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Messages - kgs

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Curious...part 2
« on: June 09, 2010, 01:33:51 PM »

As for 3 gallon batches, I would say the big pro of that is 1) as you said, space 2) more variety 3) an untested recipe or 4) something you don't want a lot of.  For awhile, I did 3 gallon batches of untested recipes so that if they were bad, I wouldn't have 2 cases of crap!  I got away from doing that, though, when my daughter was born.  Now, brew days are precious, and you can make 5 gallons in the time it takes you to make 3!  I will still do a 3 batch if it's something I just don't want 2+ cases of.

I do small batches for all of the reasons noted above, plus the ease of the physical process, and for me the big prep on brew day is cleaning/sanitizing, plus organizing the production line, etc. So doing 2 small batches in a row has worked for me. Come to think of it, if I built a second mash tun I could easily mash both batches simultaneously and do two consecutive boils. But whatever gives you a fun brew day is what it's about!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How to know more about beer
« on: June 08, 2010, 09:37:15 AM »
Damn, Drew! I didn't know you wrote a book. I'm going to pick that up for sure.

Which book is Drew's? I didn't see that name on the list...

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Aluminum or Stainless Steel?
« on: June 05, 2010, 04:55:45 PM »
Thanks on the responses. I went to a restaurant supply store today and looked at/lifted various pots. The interesting thing was that SS wasn't always the heaviest, aluminum wasn't always the lightest, and for any particular line of stockpot, the weight difference between 32 and 40 was negligible. It is how much I put into the kettle that will make a difference. That's where I think that beyond half batches, I will have to go to a pump system.

But in looking at the surface area of 32 to 40 quart pots, I can brew 3-gallon batches (starting with 4 or 4.5 gallons) without detriment, so the pump could be another step, later. I might want to keep an eye on the rigor of the boil, but these pots aren't a quantum leap from what I have.

Also, I agree, the hardest part about the drill bit is preparing myself to drill into a new kettle.

Just a little more research late Sunday afternoon. :-)

Equipment and Software / Re: Brewing Software
« on: June 04, 2010, 05:21:24 PM »
For Mac I use Beer Alchemy.  Has a nice iPod companion program that wirelessly syncs with your main database.

Thanks for the suggestion. I see it supports BeerXML, too.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Aluminum or Stainless Steel?
« on: May 30, 2010, 12:40:04 PM »

She Who Must Brew Often...  ;D

I like it!!

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Aluminum or Stainless Steel?
« on: May 30, 2010, 10:42:36 AM »
And then, once one has their expanded brewery, where does one brew? You'll be exiled out of the SWMBO's kitchen... ;)

Ah, but I *am* SWMBO... :) I want to stay self-sufficient with my brewing (Ye Olde Alewife), so keeping things manageable is key. I don't weigh a lot more than 10 gallons of beer... though that is changing as time passes and my brewing improves :-) ... and frankly I'm a 50-something librarian with noodle arms, which has also dictated smaller batches and partial-mash.

Mashing in the kitchen in my 2- and 5-gallon coolers is easy enough (and makes the house smell great). But brewing all-grain half-batches, as I'm increasingly doing, requires split boils, and I'd also like to get out of the kitchen for some/all of these brews to both enjoy the outdoors and be able to hose down any mess afterwards. Plus I'd like to move up to 3.5 - 4 gallons (about the most I can handle). But as you point out, with scaling up, other dependencies start to emerge, such as chilling.

I bought the Bayou SP10 with an Xmas certificate (easier to cook on than our gas grill during an earthquake/power-outage, or that was my excuse anyway) and I'm shopping around with about $35 in Amazon/gift certificates to augment the kettle purchase. No hurry, I'm just shopping/musing. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with my current setup for now. I met another local "librewian" at a library conference and we've been planning a brew day, and seeing how she manages her setup will be useful.

My gut inclination is that I would not regret buying a 30-to-36-gallon aluminum kettle regardless of whatever I stepped up to later on for homebrewing. Whether it's homebrewing or holiday cooking, there comes a time in most of my cooking projects where every single large pot is occupied... one more couldn't hurt. I prefer stainless steel aesthetically but think that will have to take a back seat to other realities.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Aluminum or Stainless Steel?
« on: May 30, 2010, 08:00:49 AM »
Sorry about the late post. I will add my $0.10

Aluminum is just fine. About a third of the cost of Stainless. However, if one can afford it go with Stainless. One already equipped with ball valve, thermometer, sight-glass etc would be optimal for sure. ...

I am seeing some very good deals for SS stockpots that make them competitive with stainless (at least for basic pots without ball valves, etc.). Where I hesitate is the weight of SS versus aluminum and the impact on hoisting it/heating it/cooling it. I have a 4-gallon SS pot and am trying to envision the weight of this pot at 7.5/8/9/10 gallons and the extra effort to bring it to a boil and cool it down. Thoughts?

Common wisdom I've always heard is to add it after the vigorous part of fermentation is complete.  Idea being that the crazy part of fermentation will blow off a lot of your honey character.  That said, someone on here, I forget who, says they have good luck adding just after flameout.

It was uthristy:

:D :D  Sorry if I put you on the spot Denny,  I'm just curious what they actually do ...

I've been active in my professional association for over 20 years (and it's a second career). My take, based on my experience there (and in several other organizations), is that the AHA is a member organization, and "they" is "we." The small staff at the AHA HQ can facilitate, but they can't do it all.

IMHO, for the staff they have, the AHA does a heck of a lot, and in the last couple of years I've seen a lot more. They orchestrate national events and conferences, promote homebrewing, maintain and build a strong digital presence, produce an excellent industry magazine, and so on.

But ultimately, *we* are the AHA. If, for example, we want homebrewing legal in every state (including the Territories), it's up to us to make it happen. They can help, if we ask them... but they can only do so much on their own. My 2 cents, anyway.

I am not sure what I'm brewing yet... partly depends on what yeasts are available when I get to the LHBS either tonight or tomorrow night. I'd like to try Denny's Rye IPA, but I will take a couple of recipes and see what happens next.

I hope to do the Rye IPA that I couldn't get to last weekend.

That must be because I stole your mojo.  I brewed the Rye IPA last weekend.

I wish that was the reason....I was caring for a dying dog.... :'(

Sorry about that, but glad that the dog had you caring for him/her at the end of life.

Equipment and Software / Re: Brewing Software
« on: May 26, 2010, 02:53:53 PM »
i use beersmith on the pc and my favorite for my iphone is brew pal

At one point the author of BrewPal told me it was going to support BeerXML in a future version. That would allow you to transfer recipes between BeerSmith and BrewPal.  That was a while ago though, so not sure what happened with that.

Just checked the site: "BeerXML import and export is coming soon in version 1.7! " That would be really valuable. BrewPal is amazing, especially for the price. Oh, and kudos for Beersmith for supporting BeerXML in the first place, not only for the long-term preservation issues related to content creation but also for supporting and promoting open standards.

Equipment and Software / Re: Brewing Software
« on: May 26, 2010, 01:00:23 PM »
As the author of many of the updates available on the BeerSmith site, specifically what are you talking about.
Given the specific information it is not difficult to add updates.  Finding the info was the difficult part

I'd be happy to send you my requests/suggestions by PM.
I don't want forum members to think I'm fault-finding BeerSmith.  That is not the intent.
I actually like it and use it--I just think some things could be better.

Exactly. The people offering suggestions are doing this on behalf of a product they like. The "other" machine I'm running it on is a MacBook where I'm running it under VMWare... and it's the only reason I ever launch VMWare.  :) I just used Beersmith today to scale up a recipe, calculate priming sugar for a batch I'm bottling, record notes in the brew log for said batch, and calculate a hydrometer reading (factoring in for temp). It's a very smart, well-rounded product; there are just some things some of us would like to see in 1.5.

And now back to cleaning West Coast Blaster off the kitchen floor (this batch is so tasty I was tempted just to lick the floor clean :) ).

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