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Messages - beersk

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1501
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Lagering Freezer
« on: September 30, 2013, 06:03:26 AM »
I'm at 3. One for kegerator and cold crashing on the compressor hump, a former kegerator turned fermentation fridge, and a dedicated beer fridge for commercial beer (mini fridge). Unless the DBF doesn't count since it's not used for homebrew, save for yeast in the little bottom drawer. Be cool to have another chest freezer for lagers, but I don't feel a strong need for it right now. Maybe when I get a house with an attached garage or nice big basement.

1502
Beer Recipes / Re: Would this taste like crap?
« on: September 27, 2013, 11:02:43 AM »
It'll be good, don't listen to erock.  ;)

I brewed an IPA recently that was an equal mix, I think, of wheat, munich, and 2-row with simcoe and chinook in the boil, dry hopped with cascade and glacier. It was pretty tasty.

1503
Equipment and Software / Re: Choosing The Right Brewpot
« on: September 27, 2013, 10:57:39 AM »

For those conducting BIAB in their kettle, clearly a thermometer is needed.  Wouldn't a kettle-mounted probe get in the way of the bag?

Thanks for pointing out the occasional utility of a kettle-mounted thermometer.
Perhaps. Sometimes I wish I had a kettle-mounted thermometer for when I do brews in a bag, so if I need to adjust the temp of the mash with direct heat, I can see how the temp is effected down near the bottom instead of stirring and relying on the reading near the top. This way, I wouldn't denature enzymes in the mash when it's 170+ at the bottom of the kettle, even with stirring a lot, and 150 near the top.
I had several beers stop at 1.020 doing it that way and couldn't figure it out for a long time. Then I realized, I was probably denaturing some enzymes with direct heat. I've since switched to insulating my kettle with blankets when doing doing BIAB and haven't had the issue since.

1504
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: HLT or Mash Tun
« on: September 27, 2013, 05:40:39 AM »
Look for Coleman Xtreme 52qt. Good for 5 gallon batches. I use a 36qt Coleman Xtreme, got it for $40 on Amazon. Don't give your money to Wal-Mart.

1505
All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction Tips?
« on: September 26, 2013, 01:28:19 PM »
Ha! Was waiting for you to come in and say that! As Michael Dawson says on the "Decoction Day" episode of Brewing TV, "it's just another layer of involvement you can have with your beer". Whether you feel it adds anything or not, it's fun to do on occasion, I think.
Do you feel the same way about step mashes? Feel they add nothing?

I do both decoctions and step mashes occasionally to see if maybe there was something there I missed.  So far, I haven't found it.
Well, at least you know that from experience and can bestow unto us your vast knowledge. I will at least do step mashes, because they're easy enough.

1506
All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction Tips?
« on: September 26, 2013, 10:45:56 AM »
Just hate standing over a hot, boiling kettle having to constantly stir for 10+ minutes. It's brutal.

Yeah, especially when there's no benefit to it!   ;)
Ha! Was waiting for you to come in and say that! As Michael Dawson says on the "Decoction Day" episode of Brewing TV, "it's just another layer of involvement you can have with your beer". Whether you feel it adds anything or not, it's fun to do on occasion, I think.
Do you feel the same way about step mashes? Feel they add nothing?

1507
All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction Tips?
« on: September 26, 2013, 07:11:50 AM »
One kettle I have is an old 5 gallon SS copper clad Revere Ware that I picked up for fairly cheap. That is my decoction kettle. No scorching problems to date, and I stir at a moderate to slowish pace.
Ah, well maybe I'm over doing it when I stir. I have a very thick bottomed 3 gallon kettle that I use for my decoctions. I want to say it's a sandwich of stainless and aluminum. Next decoction I do I'll back it off. Just hate standing over a hot, boiling kettle having to constantly stir for 10+ minutes. It's brutal.

1508
Going Pro / Re: Growler exchange
« on: September 26, 2013, 06:54:23 AM »
I don't have anything fancy. But I'm in.
Producing Tangerine Dream, yet?

1509
All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction Tips?
« on: September 26, 2013, 06:46:15 AM »
Randy Mosher is probably recommending a triple decoction if he says to mash in at 95. I'd personally mash at 145 for 20-30 minutes, decoct, bring up to 158-162, let rest for 45, then pull thin mash of maybe 4 quarts or so, boil, and bring up to 168 for 10 minutes. Boil the decoctions as long as you can manage and stir like mad, constantly (for the thick decoction). If you can get it, use dehusked Carafa III instead of chocolate malt. But, I suppose chocolate malt would work fine in that small quantity as well.

1510
Equipment and Software / Re: The Right Stuff
« on: September 25, 2013, 12:44:51 PM »
I don't know what kind of braid I have, but I bought it at Ace Hardware. Probably not Lasco. But seems to be working out just fine for me.

1511
All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction Tips?
« on: September 25, 2013, 05:50:22 AM »
Oh and I' suggest wrapping the mashtun in blankets for more insulation. I always have the problem of losing too much heat in the main mash while the decoction in boiling, then not having enough decoction to bring it up to my next rest temp. It's kind of hard to do when my grist is 7 pounds for a 4 gallon batch. I think it's just not big enough a batch to work, as it hasn't yet, even though I seem to pull nearly all the thick mash out...
Oh well, I'm cool with step infusions as I've read that many German breweries mostly perform step infusions these days. Who knows though...

1512
All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction Tips?
« on: September 24, 2013, 09:13:52 AM »
I'd suggest a Hochkurz double decoction, starting with a rest between 140-146 for 20 minutes, then decoct, boil for 10 minutes or however long you can manage, add back till you get to 158-162, hold that for 45 minutes, decoct liquid portion of mash, boil for a bit, then add back to get to 168.
I think some refer to this as a single decoction, but to me, it's a double, since you're removing a thin mash as well as a thick mash.
Either way, I don't do them anymore as I always miss my next rest temps due to loss of heat during the decoction boil and perhaps not taking enough decoction out in the first place (even though I take almost all of the thick mash out I can). I do step mashes these days, typically of that same Hochkurz procedure using infusions.

You can have boiling water handy in case you miss your temps, but I always seem to miss them anyway, ugh. With fully modified malt, it's debatable whether decoction adds anything to the finished product other than YOU know that it was decocted and it's another layer of involvement you can have with your beer. It's fun to do once in a while, but I don't think it's worth it to do for most beers. A step mash or single infusion gets you there.
Decoction improves your efficiency a little, so plan for that. You might also lose a little volume depending on how long you boil your decoctions. Just have boiling water ready. Michael Dawson did a decoction episode on Brewing TV a while back where he said to pull 1 quart per pound of grist for each decoction. So that's a starting point. Good luck.

1513
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pics of recent brews?
« on: September 18, 2013, 05:50:03 AM »
J's Ale (Cream Ale)

This is my standard cream ale (originally made it for my brother). Took a ribbon at the World Cup of Beer a few years ago. 80% German Pils, 20% Home-Grown Corn. Bottled right after this picture, I love the yeast-scape...


I've never had a beer be that clear in the carboy. Nice.

1514
All Grain Brewing / Re: equal amounts for 1st and 2nd runnings
« on: September 10, 2013, 01:36:21 PM »
I feel that my LHBS must change the gaps on their mills constantly whether it is intentional or not. My process is consistent yet my efficiency is extremely variable from batch to batch.

This next batch will be a test of sorts with my new grain mill. It's nothing special but at least I will be able to remove it from the equation once I decide on a constant crush.

pH is defintely something I will need to address in the future...
Yeah, address pH and water chemistry when you're ready. Getting your own mill is a big and important step.

1515
All Grain Brewing / Re: equal amounts for 1st and 2nd runnings
« on: September 10, 2013, 12:26:47 PM »
I shoot for close volumes, but I am always within a gallon.
Difficult to do with a high gravity beer, where you still want to mash at 1.25-1.5qt per gallon and still make up your planned volume with the sparge.
I brewed a weizenbock, 4 gallon batch recently, with 17qt in the mash and 10qt in the sparge, and that was still planning to boil for 90 minutes.
For the most part, I think it's been shown to help if you keep the runnings close enough. Most beers I do is usually with in a quart or two between mash and sparge.

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