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Messages - beersk

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1606
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Refractometer Sale
« on: July 08, 2013, 07:06:50 PM »
Good luck, fellas! The only reason I'd want one is for pre-boil gravity readings. Otherwise, I'm fine using a hydrometer for my OG readings.

FWIW - that's pretty much what I intend to use it for. I also rarely take gravity readings mid-fermentation since I brew smaller batches. I'll probably be more willing to check on beers every once in a while if I can just take a refractometer sample instead of a full hydro sample. Personally, I'm just looking for another tool in my arsenal rather than a hydrometer replacement.
Fair enough. How small of batches do you brew? One gallon? Small batches are cool, I've settled on 4 gallon batches. Three gallons might be even better because turn over is much faster, but sometimes it's just not enough, especially if I'm taking a lot of growlers to parties.

1607
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Refractometer Sale
« on: July 08, 2013, 01:47:27 PM »
Good luck, fellas! The only reason I'd want one is for pre-boil gravity readings. Otherwise, I'm fine using a hydrometer for my OG readings.

1608
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: US-05 at low temp
« on: July 08, 2013, 11:53:00 AM »
I made a mistake of under pitching (I think) this weekend into an Altbier. Chilled the wort in the fridge over night down to 55F. Rehyrdrated one packet of US-05, aerated for a minute with pure O2. 36 hours, no activity, raised temp to 60, nothing. Ended up pitching another packet last night and have a krausen forming this morning. I probably should've pitched 2 packs. Gravity was 1.050 for 4 gallons (that's the batch size I brew these days). Plus I rehydrated at 95F for 15 minutes, then pitched right into the wort, that probably wasn't the best idea either...

Thoughts, anyone?

1609
All Grain Brewing / Re: Wheat malt...poor extraction
« on: July 08, 2013, 11:47:01 AM »
There is a previous thread on efficiency loss with adjuncts, but I can't find it.

Most replies noted a loss in efficiency when using wheat or rye. I tend to see a 5-7% loss when using a considerable amount of either.
Same here, it's kind of a bummer.

1610
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Refractometer Sale
« on: July 08, 2013, 11:43:32 AM »
That refractometer sure didn't get very positive reviews. Kind of apprehensive after reading some of those. Usually there's one or two bad reviews, but that one has quite a few.

1611
Equipment and Software / Re: anyone use a hop spider
« on: July 01, 2013, 01:20:28 PM »
Couldn't you just use a muslin bag that fits around your kettle? Like a BIAB bag? As long as it doesn't drag on the bottom of the pot?
That's what I do with the 5 gallon painter strainer bag.  And the turbulence of the boil keeps the bag suspended - never touches bottom. 
Ah, I figured you had a false bottom. In that case, it wouldn't matter.

1612
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brewing hiatus
« on: July 01, 2013, 01:11:18 PM »
I dread the day either of my parents die. Sorry for your loss, man. Welcome back to brewing! We can brew beer the way we like it, that's why I love it!

1613
Equipment and Software / Re: anyone use a hop spider
« on: June 30, 2013, 08:09:34 PM »
I was finding my hoppy beers to not have enough aroma/flavor when I used a hop bag on my last few batches. Pretty much had to use one since I was experimenting with fermenting in kegs; don't want that diptube clogging up with hop trub on transfers.  It's fine for non-hoppy styles, in my opinion, but for hoppy beers, I didn't like it. Sure did make clean up a lot nicer.

1614
All Grain Brewing / Re: Best igloo cooler for all grain brewing
« on: June 28, 2013, 11:54:42 AM »
Would the 52qt be too big for 4 gallon batches? I typically mash in the 7-10 pound range.

1615
Going Pro / Re: Home Brew Supply Startup
« on: June 27, 2013, 11:49:23 AM »
If you can combine a homebrew shop and a nice package store selling a variety of beer you can make a lot of money. Some of these locally are doing very well being both and even have draft to go and a sampling bar. Assuming its legal in your state, of course.
I would love to do this! I don't think I'd be adequate on the business side of things though...

1616
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Best Beers You Ever Brewed?
« on: June 27, 2013, 11:11:43 AM »
The next one.
That's not a fun response! The fun is thinking back on beers that stood out the most in the time we've been brewing.

1 - None More Black IPA batch (2012) where I did a hopstand on last year was incredible. I've since started doing that every time. 5oz of simcoe/chinook blend at flame out, let sit for 30 minutes. Makes a huge difference.

2 - Espresso Monkey Coffee Porter (2013) I have tap right now is pretty stellar. Cold brewed decaf Espresso Monkey from Fair Trade coffee. I wanted to be able to drink a pint or 3 at night without the caffeine affecting me.

3 - Satan's Little Helper IPA (2010) I think it was 2row for the base, then some crystal 55, and a little roasted barley for color, columbus bittering and cascade finishing. For some reason, that beer was awesome. Perhaps because it was the first beer I ever had on tap, since that was right when I got my new kegerator. I drank 4+ pints of that a night. I think that beer lasted a week, maybe 2...

1617
All Grain Brewing / Re: Little confused with decoction schedule
« on: June 24, 2013, 02:33:04 PM »
You can do a decoction without a protein rest; check out Kai's page about the Hochkurz mash:

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Decoction_Mashing#Hochkurz_Double_Decoction

Love the Hochkurz.  8)
I concur!

1618
Thanks!  Also, do I need to set the fridge at a certain temperature setting or does that not matter since I'll have the Ranco or Johnson controller?

Appreciate it!

set it to the lowest temp setting. that way you don't have to worry about the fridge itself kicking off before the controller would if you are fermenting a lager or similar.
This is what I'm finding, as I've just converted my old fridge style kegerator to a fermentation fridge. Set on it's warmest setting, the compressor would stop before the controller was down to the temp it was set to. I thought it didn't matter and that the controller was supposed to override any of that. Guess I was wrong. So I now have it set on the coldest setting and it's working fine. However, on my chest freezer kegerator, I have it set on the warmest setting and it's still working fine at 38F.

1619
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's brewing today?
« on: June 24, 2013, 10:43:06 AM »
I brewed a helles yesterday. 5.25lbs pilsner, 1.75lbs munich 10L, 4oz acid malt, spalter to about 18IBUs, and 34/70 yeast. RO water, with enough calcium chloride to get to 50ppm calcium. Excited to see how it turns out.

1620
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Who's going to NHC?
« on: June 23, 2013, 06:42:26 PM »
Aww man, that's a bummer, Denny. Sorry for your loss...I dread the day either of my parents die...I hate the thought...

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