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Messages - kgs

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631
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 1.022 versus on 1.016 on an oatmeal stout
« on: February 11, 2011, 07:07:46 AM »
Update: even finishing higher than anticipated, or maybe because of it, this stout has turned out wonderful. A couple weeks in the bottle it had a very pronounced coffee flavor (which I actually liked; I had used a cold extract of fresh-ground, recently-roasted Peet's French Roast decaf) and the body wasn't quite there. Now the coffee is in the background and the mouthfeel is terrific. I may use a starter based on a liquid yeast next time just to see where it takes me, but I certainly would do this again with the dry yeast, high finishing gravity and all.

Thanks for the observation about the oats providing a lot of unfermentables--when adding oats I hadn't factored that in.

632
Events / SF Beer Week and Toronado Barleywine Festival, 2/19-2/21
« on: February 11, 2011, 06:59:03 AM »
My better half isn't interested in beer (nobody's perfect...).  I would feel silly going to a bar by myself to taste barleywine, and haven't found a "beer friend" interested in spending an hour or two that Saturday or Sunday  tasting barleywines at the Barleywine Festival at the Toronado Pub on Haight (see http://www.toronado.com/events.htm#279 ). I'm really interested because I'm planning to brew a Christmas barleywine so I'm shopping for the right taste.

There are other events happening in SF Beer Week (though only on the weekend) I'd be up for if anyone else were interested in an ad hoc AHA meetup. http://sfbeerweek.org/

(Gotta love a "beer week" that's 10 days long :-) )



633
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: White House Homebrew
« on: February 11, 2011, 06:43:34 AM »
This whole thing is really cool, and if an AHA rally at the White House were possible, in this or ANY presidential administration, I would hope that we'd be grownup enough to set aside differences and flock to an AHA rally at the White House regardless of our political affiliation. That's a big part of the joy of homebrew: it brings us together under the common banner of our love of homemade beer.

As I wrote on Twitter a few months back when a "homebrew buddy" and I were disagreeing on a political point, "We may not agree about everything, but we can agree that malted barley wants to become beer."

634
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing This Weekend - 2/4 Edition
« on: February 06, 2011, 08:07:09 PM »
After dropping off a care package of Amarillo APA for a neighborhood non-SuperBowl party, did "research" with some friends at Social Kitchen and Brewery http://socialbrewsf.com/ which has been hit and miss but right now is featuring some great strong beers for San Francisco Beer Week. Really liked The Giant S'more, but glad I ordered a small glass of it.

Feel better, Denny... my doctor refers to the "A-Word" (aging).

635
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop mess.....
« on: February 06, 2011, 07:51:03 PM »
I'll investigate this. The wire is probably the safest bet.

it's been a very long time since my USAF days, but once upon an airplane, when I was a jet mech, I could safety-wire just about anything into place.

636
and my Turtle Rye PA (Terrapin clone).  ...

Oh, do share. At my previous job I arranged a conference in their home town, and having Terrapin on tap was one of the major benefits.

637
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop mess.....
« on: February 05, 2011, 08:06:59 PM »
How about putting one of these stainless steel scrubbies around your pickup tube?




Those make excellent column packing.

Ah, I have often wondered...!

I have used these when racking from a primary into a bottling bucket. It's shocking how much these strainers pick up even when I think I'm racking clear beer.

That said, for the last several batches, I have been pouring the cooled wort through a 12" mesh strainer into a sanitized bucket and then funneling it into a fermenter. I didn't think the strainer was fine enough to catch the pelletized hops, but durned if it doesn't--in fact, I have to use a sanitized spoon to scrape aside hop stuff so the wort will keep on flowing. I have a theory that "sparging" the wort through the hop debris also gives the wort one last bump of hop goodness. It certainly has reduced the amount of trub in the fermenter. I regret not having brewed something to rack onto the last yeast cake -- it looked perfect. My fermented beer also looks much clearer.

638
entering year three of brewing... I go on jags and brew the same thing several times, maybe altrrnating with something else, then move on. I really liked Fred Bonjour's late-hopped Amarillo APA so I brewed it again two weeks ago. I'm thinking of brewing McQuaker's stout again, since I'm enjoying the batch I made a few weeks ago. Small-batch brewing means if I like something I need to brew it again pretty quickly so I don't run out. :)

639
All Grain Brewing / Re: First AG batch......
« on: February 01, 2011, 01:09:24 PM »
I seldom vorlauf over a qt. and never over 2 qt.

LIkewise, I use the stainless braid and I vorlauf clear usually after the first quart.  I do a second quart just out of habit as it's usually not really necessary.

I'd wondered how much vorlaufing seasoned pros do. Thanks!

640
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sugar
« on: February 01, 2011, 10:33:12 AM »
OG:  1.044 at 75 deg F
FG:  1.016 at 67 deg F

Brewed on 1/1
Racked on 1/8
Bottled on 1/23


Hmmm, one week on the yeast cake. With that FG, sounds like it needed more time with the yeast.

641
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Overshot my OG
« on: January 26, 2011, 12:20:00 PM »
One other thought: weigh your ingredients when you get them home. I started doing that after one batch seemed about a pound off. You can always adjust quantity based on what the weight of ingredients are. I think it's just a case of the LHBS being a little casual depending on who is working there, since the weight is likely to be a little off in either direction, whether it's hops, grains, or DME.

As noted in an earlier post, I also watch the LHBS folks like a hawk, but I still weigh when I get home. My hops were actually well over the 1-ounce measure per packet last time.

642
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Partial mash question
« on: January 20, 2011, 07:14:06 AM »
It seems that a lot of folks are hesitant to make starters when first getting started, but they really shouldn't be.  You can put together a top-of-the-line setup for 2 liter starters for under $20.  That pays for itself pretty quickly vs. $5 - $6 each for extra smack packs or vials.  If you're not using the Mr. Malty calculator, a general rule of thumb is that you should be using 2 smack-packs or vials for ales with OGs over 1.060, and double everything for lagers.
What goes into your top of the line setup for starters for under $20?  I don't see how you get there for that little. 
Granted you don't need to spend $100, but $20 seems low.
Maybe 'top-of-the-line' was a little too strong a phrase.  I certainly didn't include a stir plate!  However, you can get a good new 2 liter Erlenmeyer flask for $18.  Aluminum foil works, but I use the foam plugs (around $1 -$2).  I didn't include cost of DME or yeast nutrient as 'equipment', as I consider them as supplies.  Main point is that making starters is neither difficult nor expensive.

I have made starters in a 1-gallon growler. If you're not using a stir plate, wouldn't almost any glass container work ok? Agreed, also, that starters are much easier than new homebrewers realize. Dry yeast is a good way to start out, though, because it's harder to introduce contamination with dry yeast. When you're troubleshooting your first few batches, it helps to have a minimum of trouble spots to isolate for issues such as "where did that infection creep in" and "my beer taste funny."  (Not to suggest that you won't turn out perfect beer from the git-go... ;-) )

643
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: US-05...Best Deal?
« on: January 20, 2011, 06:54:22 AM »
If you didn't want to go quite that far, try pricing out an order of 20 or so packets on one of the mail-order sites with flat or low shipping rates for small items. Williams discounts dry yeast in quantities of 12 or higher, so it's $2.65/packet plus $6.50 shipping to my zone, anyway. So for 40 packets:

Products: $116.00
Discounts: $-10.00
Shipping: $6.50
Tax:    $0.00
Total:    $112.50

Personally, I find that focusing on improving my efficiency has given me an extra dollar or two in savings per batch, and I go through phases (make liquid-yeast starters, use dry, repitch, etc.). But it's your money!

644
Also, as a meta-observation to OP, I once again highly recommend the Basic Brewing DVD series. They're reasonably-priced and well-made, and a picture is worth a thousand words. Their (free) podcasts are great, too. James Spencer understands how to produce radio shows and gets right to the point in a friendly, humorous, but always "safe for work" manner.

Their new DVD for new brewers:

http://basicbrewingshop.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=26

645
A 3 gallon batch of bitter and then an RIS for my 100th batch. I've also got an IPA that's about ready to bottle. Yep, 100 batches and I've bottled them all.

Congrats! This is a bottle-cleaning weekend for me, so I'll be ready to bottle my second batch of Amarillo APA next weekend. Probably another month before I brew again, with one thing and another.

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