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Messages - WDE97

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The Pub / Re: Frosted Glassware isn't Cool!
« on: January 17, 2012, 03:50:44 PM »
Red Solo cups for me, please. They attract good looking women.

This!!  But only after 7,8,9.... beers.  ;D

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 1469-PC West Yorkshire Ale Yeast
« on: January 11, 2012, 04:30:38 PM »
154 is a good mash temp for a beer that uses 1469, but I tend to mash a little higher as this yeast always attenuates like a beast for me, and I like my beer a little less dry. I also tend to ferment in the lower 60s, between 60 and 64. Otherwise, Wyeast's description is quite accurate, and it makes a very tasty mild.

Ah, that explains a lot.  I used this yeast for the 1st time on an ESB a few weeks ago.  I mashed at 152F and hit my OG of 1.058. However, after fermenting at 64F, my FG was 1.010, not the 1.015 or so I was looking for.  The beer came out tasting and looking good, but is too dry for what I wanted.  I was beginning to wonder if it was the yeast or if my mash temp was off somehow.   Now I am guessing it was just higher attenuation than I expected.  I definitely want to use 1469 again, but next time I will up my mash temp to 154-155 and try again.  

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2011--> 2012
« on: December 29, 2011, 11:19:33 AM »
2011 was a big year for me as a brewer.  At the end of 2010 I decided to get more serious about brewing and started by reading several of the great brewing books to improve my knowledge.  Armed with a newfound passion and a much better understanding of brewing art and science, I took the leap to all grain after 14 years of extract brewing. I haven't looked back or slowed down:

Brewed 20+ batches
Built my own 3-tier system with 10-gal igloo drink coolers; also have 5-gal ones for small test batches.
Built a 5-tap kegerator and keg most of my beer now.
Tried new styles including Dunkelweizen, Octoberfest, Porter, Belgian Wit.
Utilized new techniques including step and decoction mashing, brewing lagers, using yeast starters for all batches, dry hopping.
Tried to enter National Homebrew Contest to get some feedback, but my beers disappeared at a UPS facility.
Joined a newly formed homebrew club and have regulary hosted meetings.
Routinely support my local brewpub!
Brewed an apple cider for the first time. Very tasty.

What's up for 2012? More learning and brewing!
I have been learning about water chemistry and will start modifying my water and controlling my pH.
Enter National Homebrew Competition again.
Attend NHC in Seattle and participate in club night.
Plan to brew more lagers (just picked up a used fridge for lagering).
Start brewing sour beers.
Get married in September!! My fiance loves my beer and wantes to learn to brew with me!
Volunteer time at local brewpub to learn about commercial brewing and just to help out some great guys.
Brew a beer that all the Keystone Light drinkers in my Monday Night Football group will drink, though this may not be possible. ;D

Happy new year everyone!!

All Grain Brewing / Re: poor all grain efficiency, don't know why
« on: December 28, 2011, 10:22:39 AM »
edit* Oh, looks like hokerer and I had the same thought at the same time. Sorry for the redundancy!

Don't be sorry.  You know, "great minds" and all that :)

Haha!! I was thinking that same thing!  ;D

All Grain Brewing / Re: poor all grain efficiency, don't know why
« on: December 28, 2011, 10:05:55 AM »
hydrometer reading was 1.06 after I cooled the wort.  added two slap-packs of london 1028 (expected a higher OG) to the wort @ 85 degrees, left the fermenter in a 70 degree room.

Not related to your efficiency issue, but I noticed you pitched your yeast at 85F?  Generally you want to cool your wort below 80F before racking and pitiching yeast. One main reason is that at these higher temps, the yeast can produce much more diacetyl and fusel alcohols, which you don't want in your beer.  Since WY1028 has an upper temp tolerance of 72F, I would suggest cooling the wort down to your room temp (70F) before pitiching your yeast so it is fermenting in the proper range.  This should help with the quality of your finished product.

edit* Oh, looks like hokerer and I had the same thought at the same time. Sorry for the redundancy!

Pimp My System / Re: Kegerator Build
« on: December 16, 2011, 09:32:34 AM »
Thanks everyone!!  As with most homebrewing projects, it was a lot of fun to build, but is even more fun now that it's finished.  It's funny, I have a 28 year old washer and dryer but don't mind dropping $800 to build a kegerator. ;D At least my priorities are in order!

Pimp My System / Kegerator Build
« on: December 15, 2011, 08:29:02 PM »
Here are some pics from my 5-tap kegerator build.  The kegerator has been operational for a few months, but I just finished designing a logo and had a sign printed. I used a new Kenmore 11.7 cu ft freezer and built a collar as most do.  I decided to go with a new freezer to avoid having potential issues with buying used. Yes, I know many of you have had sucess with used freezers, but I have bad luck with stuff like that. 

The collar is 2"X8" pine with a 1"x10" oak outer sheath.  The outer sheath rises about 1/4" above the inner collar, and hangs down 1.5" below the top of the freezer.  I built the 2x8 part to be exactly the width and length of the freezer so that the outer sheath would fit snugly. 

I cut the collar a little shorter than 2x8 so that the lower screews of the freezer lid hinges would fit into the upper holes on the freezer, with just the upper screws in the collar. I thought the added stability would be worth the lost of ¾” of depth.   

I used Minwax pre-stain wood conditioner, stained it with  Minwax WoodFinish red chestnut, and Minwax Helmsman spar urethane to help prevent rotting from condensation.  Wood was all glued and screwed together, then two more coats of the urethane were applied.  I used a roll of rope caulk between the top of the freezer and the bottom of the collar.

Holes for the faucets were drilled with a drill press.  I am still deciding what to do for tap handles, but it works fine without them for now.  Rbower’s tap handle project with the magnetic labels looks like a pretty good idea, so I may do something like that. 

Anyway, I can fit 6 kegs plus the CO2 tank inside with room for bottles (or a half keg in the future) on the hump.  A 7-way spitter allows me to keep all 6 kegs on tap, plus an extra hose for jumping beer, pushing santizer, filling bottles, etc.  Used Perlick faucets and a Johnson Temp Controller, which is mounted to the wall.  The kegerator sits in my laundry room which is about 10' away from my couch/recliner and TV!

Finished product!!

I designed the logo myself from scratch with Adobe Illustrator (used the free trial).  I took a photo of my own hand and stylized it with the software for the label.  It is printed on vinyl and has a hard plastic backing.  Also had a few 5”x7” stickers made to put on stuff like my truck window, kegs, etc. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Kegerator or beer fridge placement?
« on: December 12, 2011, 09:56:18 AM »
Like Denny, mine's in the laundry room. Fortunately, that's only about 10 feet from my couch and TV. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: How do yall buy grain?
« on: December 12, 2011, 09:52:19 AM »
Like a lot of others here, I buy my base malt in bulk.  I actually buy mine through a local brew pub.  They allow members of our homebrew club to buy grain from them at cost, and will even order bags for us if it is something they normally don't carry.  It's so much cheaper ($25-35/bag) for me than even buying bulk grain on line.  I then buy all the rest of my grain online by the 1lb or 5lb. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 1728 Scottish Ale Yeast
« on: December 07, 2011, 10:26:16 AM »
I used it with a scottish 80 and the karusen was a good 3-4" thick.  I used that yeast cake on a wee heavy and the krausen blew through 1.25 gallons of headspace (and the airlock of course).  I had to use a blow off tube for at least 2 days.  You should be seeing a nice krausen. 

+1.  I use WY1728 frequently and always see anything from a 3-4" thick krausen to a blowout (when making a wee heavy).  I usually make a 2-4L starter, so your 3 packets should have done something.  Is there any evidence of a krausen on the carboy? 

I just made a Scotch ale about 4 days ago with OG=1.088.  Fermentation temperature is about 60 F.  I pitched a 20-oz starter in 3 gallons, and fermentation started up within 12 hours, then it had a huge krausen for about 2 days, and now it's already fallen back in.  Time to check the gravity -- this might be a really fast yeast, I'm not sure.  Sure seems like it.  Is it possible that it's already finished fermentation for you when you weren't looking?  Check the gravity, that's the only way to know for sure.

I haven't experienced overly quick fermentations with this yeast. They usually start fast, but go for a few days. I ferment this yeast at 60-62F, so a warmer fermentation probably would go faster.  As Dave suggests, check your FG.   

Ingredients / Re: Protein rest for Golden Promise?
« on: December 05, 2011, 03:22:11 PM »
One thing I would suggest for a Pilsner: use Pilsner malt  :)

Yup, agree. Someone gave me 10lbs. of golden promise, so I need to find something to make with it. Got any ideas?

A Scottish or Irish Ale. I use GP as the base malt for all of my Scotch and Irish style beers.

Pimp My System / Re: Tap Handle Project
« on: December 05, 2011, 02:50:54 PM »
Great looking tap handles!  Love the custom labels for each beer as well.  Really nice touch!  I just finished using the Adobe Illustrator trial version myself to design a brewhouse logo and labels.  Yes, there are cheaper tools out there for making labels, but AI is an awesome graphic design tool if you want to get carried away. 

The Pub / Re: Ever see something you just HAD to share?
« on: October 24, 2011, 02:52:25 PM »
Stunning!!!  Thanks for sharing the link!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 10 easy steps to being a better brewer
« on: August 29, 2011, 10:11:10 AM »
Brew with other people once in awhile, such as at a club brew day, to see what others do during their brew day. We can all learn from each other.   

Ingredients / Re: Growing Hops questions
« on: August 26, 2011, 02:48:04 PM »
Dig the crowns when they are dormant, but you need to make sure the ground is thawed too. :)  Mark them so you'll remember where they are.

And don't move the whole thing, just hack off a good chunk, I wouldn't go with anything bigger than 12" in any direction.

Thanks Tom,

I was planning on digging them up in late September when I harvested the cones, but I will see if the landowners mind me going back later in the fall/winter. 

If the person giving is hopeing to get rid of the hops by letting you take them they have a nasty suprise coming next spring. Hops are almost as hard as horseradish to really get rid of. just one little piece of rhyzome left will regenerate into the same of monster after a few years.

Funny you should point that out.  The landowners have been trying to kill them off for a few years. Apparently, someone told them it was illegal to grow hops! :-[  She was happy to hear she wasn't in violation of the law.  However, they are planning on moving the historic shop and building a new shop on that site. Since the plants probably won't survive being under a couple feet of concrete, she was happy I was interested in taking a few and would be able to make good use of them.

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