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Messages - kgs

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631
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: White House Homebrew
« on: February 12, 2011, 07:18:24 AM »

Kumbaya

Which if everyone can keep a sense of humor and perspective would be an outstanding name for that beer.

632
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: US-05...Is One Packet Enough?
« on: February 12, 2011, 07:13:50 AM »
I hear ya Dean. I don't always accept the party line or convention. In fact some of my methods might seem unconventional but they work for me. Had to learn through experience some things have a wide latitude and others don't. I try to work within the boundaries I've set for myself. 

Agree with Euge and Dean. Part of the joy of homebrewing is testing the bounds of the party line or convention. I have twice successfully used a starter method suggested by one homebrewer at the LHBS (someone whose advice generally makes sense) where I make a starter in the carboy and pitch the wort on top of it. I was skeptical, and I had arguments against it (not enough depth for the starter, layer of oxygenated beer you can't really pour off easily, etc.), but the ease of it was tempting so I tried it, and the two times I used that method, the fermentation took off like a rocket and the beer turned out great.

But mostly I pitch an unhydrated packet of US-05 into wort at or just under 70 degrees f, and it works out fine, and if there are millions of tiny screams as yeast cells die, I don't hear them. Especially for my 3-gallon batches of ale or stout, there's no reason one packet of dry yeast isn't plenty. The next time I do a "repeater" I may reconstitute the yeast in 90-degree water and time the fermentation to see if it is all that faster/heartier. That said, a few dead cells seem a reasonable tradeoff for eliminating a possible contamination opportunity at a vulnerable point in the brewing process, post-brew and pre-fermentation.

633
Events / Re: SF Beer Week and Toronado Barleywine Festival, 2/19-2/21
« on: February 11, 2011, 12:12:56 PM »
I'll be there at some point, but I'll be playing chaperone to the club since we have to leave to be at Anchor Brewing a 2PM for the California Homebrew Club of the Year Party.

That is so cool! And I'll miss you no matter what, since I'm not hardcore enough to attend a barleywine tasting that early in the day. ;-)

634
General Homebrew Discussion / Diastatic power of toasted oats?
« on: February 11, 2011, 07:09:48 AM »
When using toasted oats (lightly browned in the oven) for an oatmeal stout, should I factor in any reduction of diastatic power?

635
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.

636
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 :-) )



637
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."

638
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).

639
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.

640
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.

641
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.

642
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. :)

643
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!

644
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.

645
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.

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