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Messages - rbowers

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All Grain Brewing / First lager batch
« on: September 09, 2011, 01:05:20 PM »
Going to try a batch of lager this week and haven't been down this path before so looking for a few tips.  The recipe will likely be an Oktoberfest or Shwarzbier (Sprechen Black clone?).  In terms of pitching: Is a starter necessary?  If so at what temp do I make the starter at? 
Is it ideal to pitch the yeast at room temp and then chill to 50 degrees or so or chill first. 
How long does primary fermentation take and what is a reasonable time to lager the beer for?  I am hoping to have it kegged and ready by thanksgiving.
I have a chest freezer (recently turned keezer) that I am hoping to use as the lagering and chilling vessel with the aid of a thermostat controller.  No kegs yet so I thought this would be an opportune time to use.  All suggestions appreciated.

Pimp My System / Re: Keezer time
« on: August 30, 2011, 08:49:55 AM »
All great suggestions.  I hadn't thought about the extra swing height if the collar is attachednto the lid and that may push me to just leave attached to the freezer.  Off to go pick it up now.  Thanks again

Pimp My System / Re: Keezer time
« on: August 30, 2011, 04:30:51 AM »
By at risk I mean malfunctiong to any degree.  Do you like the setup you have with the collar attached to the freezer?  It would certainly eliminate the weight concerns with the hinges.  Does it make it difficult to transfer the kegs in and out or is it a negligible problem?  What did you do to attach the collar to the keezer?

Pimp My System / Keezer time
« on: August 29, 2011, 08:49:53 PM »
So after months of tooling around with the idea of a keezer I am going to finally take the plunge.  I have a 8.8cf freezer picked out and will be starting shortly.  The one part I am concerned about is regarding the weight put on the hinges.  I'd like to attach the lid to the collar based on most of what I've read making it easier to load in the kegs.  I had plans for an inner collar of 2x6 pine with an outer collar of oak 1x8 to overhang the freezer a bit and give it more of a finished look.  The outer collar would only be on the front and sides so it can open ok.  Is this going to be too much weight and put the hinges at risk?  Also what is the best way to attach the collar to the lid- liquid nails seems to be a common product discussed?

All Grain Brewing / Re: First Wort Hopping/ Black IPA
« on: August 25, 2011, 04:14:26 PM »
So leave the magnum alone and maybe add an ounce or 2 of the cascade or centennial as a FWH and leave the recipe as it is in terms of everything else?  There was a pretty good amount of malt involved (17.5lb) so I am not hesistant about maybe adding some more hops to go along side of it. 

All Grain Brewing / First Wort Hopping/ Black IPA
« on: August 25, 2011, 03:50:53 PM »
Got a black IPA planned for next week.  This will be my first black IPA and I have been reading up on some finer points with regards to hops. First wort hoppping sounded interesting and something I have not done before but there seems to be a debate about how to re-arrange the rest of the hop profile around it.  The recipe (which I am altering to experiment with a FWH) calls for 3oz magnum (60 min), 2oz amarillo gold (1 min), and 0.5oz cascade (0min) followed by additional cascade and amarillo dry hop (2 oz apiece).  Is it best to move all the magnum forward to a FWH vs. a portion.  I plan to leave the dry hopping out of the equation for now.  Should I take a portion of all the additions and move it forward? 
And just to get this right- the hops are merely added to the kettle and allowed to sit with the sparged wort until and then through the entire boil?  Is there a set time to allow them to sit in the sparged liquid pre-boil? The desrciption this process seems to yield, based on my review on the web, is that of a hoppy but smooth beer with elements of blended bitterness and hop flavor. 
Any suggestions, as always, are very helpful.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Freezer for a Keezer
« on: August 18, 2011, 06:39:21 PM »
An excellent point.  To lager in a corny do you need a special adapter to allow the co2 to escape from the corny?  I'll be new to kegging

Kegging and Bottling / Splitting a batch to 2 kegs
« on: August 18, 2011, 01:16:09 PM »
Is there a way to split a 5 gallon batch between 2 5-gallon kegs and still carbonate effectively?  I was hoping to brew a black IPA and age half of it on some oak.  I assume force carbonation is going to be the only way to go?  Has anyone done this? 

Kegging and Bottling / Freezer for a Keezer
« on: August 18, 2011, 07:21:44 AM »
Looking into building a keeper sometime soon.  I am hoping for a 4 corny keg setup with room in the keezer for a 10lb CO2 tank.  A bonus would be extra room to lager a primary 6 gallon carboy possibly at the expense of one or two kegs at times.  Any recs on size/model/brand of freezer to look into?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Saison Brew Day
« on: July 10, 2011, 03:11:49 PM »
Rounding out the recipe notes here- I have not done a 90 minute boil yet.  What should I consider a fair starting volume to be to endure the boil of 90 minutes and not end up with syrup?  I was also considering adding some grans of paradise- has anyone ever used these?  What can I expect and what is a good amount to use?  Do I add them at the start of the boil, during primary fermentation, or what? 
I am using Wyeast 3711 French Saison and was planning on holding it in the mid 70s.  Is there a benefit to starting a little lower and ratcheting up the temp every day or so to a final goal temp? 
Looking forward to this one.

All Grain Brewing / Saison Brew Day
« on: July 06, 2011, 06:30:24 AM »
Going to brew a saison for the the first time next week.  The recipe is based off a Saison Dupont clone I found.  From what little I have read it seems higher fermentation temp is the way to go.  Using Wyeast 3711 French Saison strain.  Any additional suggestions?  I was also considering dry hopping it to add some additional aroma- the only dry hopping I've done is with high AA hops in IPAs which I don't think is the goal here.  The beer is to be brewed with EKG and Styrian goldings; just use the same hops for the dry hop?   Plan to mash in at 150 I think for 90 min. 

All Grain Brewing / Small Batch Test Brewing
« on: July 04, 2011, 07:43:03 AM »
I was looking to brew a few test batches in smaller quantities to fine tune some things and experiment a bit.  In general is everything scaled down equally in terms of ingredients?  Any recs on adjustments to yeast pitching?  If I use CO2 to cover the beer in the fermenter is their any problem with using my 5 and 6 gallon carboys or is an additional investment needed for a smaller carboy?  Things to consider for hops?  Dry hopping?  Thanks in advance for any suggestions

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My First Dry Hop
« on: May 26, 2011, 05:54:43 AM »
Whole hops.  There is a lot of foam and stuff in the primary now sitting atop the beer- can I expect the hops the sink thru this and if not does it matter.?

General Homebrew Discussion / My First Dry Hop
« on: May 26, 2011, 04:42:06 AM »
So I am going to dry hop a APA today and wanted some general recs.  I haven't done this before so a little clueless.  Going to use citra hops at the recommendation of LHBS.  Is there any benefit to placing them in a weighted mesh bag if I plan to transfer back to a clean carboy after 5-7 days?  Is it ok to have the hops simply floating on top of the beer?  Add the hops first then the beer or vice versa?  I assume I maintain the same fermentation temp ~67F. 

Equipment and Software / Kegerator
« on: March 26, 2011, 10:18:46 AM »
So I've decided to take the plunge and get a kegerator.  I'm trying to discern the difference in cost between buying a kit and likely a new small (dorm size) fridge or buying a kegerator outright.  I am looking for at least a 2 cornie keg capacity with a twin draft tower.  I've seen completed systems with co2 tank, 2 cornies, and everything else for around $750.  Does anyone have experience with building their own and if so what were the overall costs and labor time.  I'm not the handiest person around but could probably complete the task with adequate instruction.  Any advice?

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