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Messages - surfin.mikeg

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Ingredients / Re: Beer in France?
« on: February 02, 2016, 11:00:36 PM »
Hi Phil.  Could you recommend any breweries or neighborhoods with breweries to visit?  I'll also be visiting this year; am fired up to wander around Paris and have some fun.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Looking for ideas on a new garage setup
« on: February 02, 2016, 10:30:44 AM »
Definitely plan out space for temperature controlled fermentation if you don't already have that covered.

That thought actually just popped into my head, because I'd definitely like to use that space for fermentation if I can. Is there a reasonably cheap and efficient way to keep them at temp. without building a big fermentation chamber? I haven't really looked into that much since I've had warmer spaces to keep the stuff in my apartment. I'm not opposed to building a temp. controlled chamber, but if there's an easy way to do it without one that would be good to know.

Fridges or freezers are reasonably cheap and efficient for temperature control. You can add a temperature controller and a heating element and run the whole gamut of fermentation temperatures.

As far as setup, I need to put everything on wheels.  Don't know if that is helpful to you Scott - something occasionally happens where I need to hose out and wash out freezers, like a leaky keg or blown fermentation lid. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: personal experience with old malt
« on: January 29, 2016, 11:24:07 PM »
Hi all! This is my 1st post so maybe a bit of an introduction before I ask my question... I've been brewing for over 3 year. It all started when my wife and son gave me a Mr. Beer kit for Christmas as sort of a joke and it went downhill from there! For the past year I've been brewing all grain and love the challenge of it and of course the beer!

Now my question... I picked up a sealed 10# bag of Muntons maris otter about a year ago and it has been stored in my basement. This was bought from a party store that was closing out all of their brewing supplies so I don't know how long it sat there. I would like to hear personal experience of fellow brewers that have brewed with old malt and how the beer turned out. The reason I'm stressing personal experience is that the internet is full of "armchair experts" but that isn't need right now.


Personal Experience:  taste it. If something tastes stale you will know it, otherwise it's good to go in.  Worst case is that homebrew compost is really good, yet takes time.  It's worthwhile to taste all ingredients before using.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Off flavor, more like burnt
« on: January 27, 2016, 11:13:19 PM »
Have a question as this is the first time for me.  I make a black ipa and it has a burnt flavor. At first I thought it was my heating element in my rims tube. Then when I went to my HBS to get more grain, I found that the scale doesn't register until you get to 1#. I remember adding chocolate malt and the scale kept going to zero, this was before my primary grain. I think I had almost 1# when the recipe called for 8oz. If I had too much chocolate would it give the beer a burnt flavor?

Could you share your recipe, and then describe how the heating element is cleaned after use?  I'm asking for more context, thanks.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2015 Hop crop
« on: January 12, 2016, 10:12:40 PM »

Epic thread response from YVH.....I know where I will be buying my hops from for now on!
Plus they have pimp hophead apparel! I love my Citra hat and YVH hoodie.

Yeah, got one of their t-shirts. Pretty cool.
I have some koozies.

Appropriate, quality T-shirts for the ladies, that went over well from the NHC visit.  Just sayin'.  Koozies are a nice touch.

Regarding the hops, +1 for YVH.  They are not my desired yearly go-to supplier but a plan B, and I was surprised at all the variety and quality of hops I got from them.  Going to go dry-hop right now.  The hops I have on hand from them are really good and perfect for my needs.

Zymurgy / Re: New year, new Zymurgy editor!
« on: January 12, 2016, 10:02:27 PM »
Thank you Jill and Good luck Dave!

Yep, +1 and +1.  It's been wonderful to see the management of Zymurgy go well for you Jill and I hope the transition is just as much 100%.  Dave, the future looks bright!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Weyermann Bohemian Floor Malted Bohemian Malt DP
« on: January 08, 2016, 10:38:36 PM »
That said, I really dislike this malt. Its indeed well modified,with the high kolbach and low protein. I get funk from this... Wet hay and apple peel, I call it "dirty".

Was it perhaps bad before you used it?  As a data-point, I taste malts before buying and using and this has been a go-to base malt for me.  No problems.

No, it was fresh and brewed properly. I am not alone. Many Brewers in my circle from across the US claim the same. I guess if you can't taste it all the more power to ya'll!

My beers were in front of a lot of people this summer, some professional.  That kind of tasting feedback never came up.  Most kindly, please think of it as a data-point in the field, less "if you can't this then you" kinda thing.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Weyermann Bohemian Floor Malted Bohemian Malt DP
« on: January 08, 2016, 01:34:23 PM »
That said, I really dislike this malt. Its indeed well modified,with the high kolbach and low protein. I get funk from this... Wet hay and apple peel, I call it "dirty".

Was it perhaps bad before you used it?  As a data-point, I taste malts before buying and using and this has been a go-to base malt for me.  No problems.

Think backwards on it, i.e. think about the water to grist ratio first.  Among other things, there's a ton good info out there to help you make great beer.  John Palmer summarizes as so:

A compromise of all factors yields the standard mash conditions for most homebrewers: a mash ratio of about 1.5 quarts of water per pound grain, pH of 5.3, temperature of 150-155°F and a time of about one hour. These conditions yield a wort with a nice maltiness and good fermentability.

It's a concise read:

In starting out with 1.55qts/lb, the argument is for you to use less mash water, and then get up-to-speed on water chemistry to get the pH you need.  Martin Brungard's "Bru'n Water" is a fantastic reference.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Mistakes, Learned From
« on: January 03, 2016, 04:09:41 PM »

Also, on a regular basis I find that I walk a fine line in not over-crushing my grist, which can make sparge runoff a little difficult although I get satisfactory efficiency.

As it happens from time to time, I wonder if there is benefit to having rice hulls on-hand.

Worst mistake for me is using glass carboys.  I'm thinking all brew equipment (outside of instruments) should stand up to some abuse, and I want the risk factor down low enough to where I can brew in shorts and flip-flops.

The Pub / Re: My Christmas Present
« on: December 27, 2015, 03:26:08 PM »
Looks amazing!  Nothing quite like a strong crowd at an opening, well done.

Pimp My System / Re: Mill Prototype
« on: December 25, 2015, 10:10:53 PM »
Nice build. I can tell you put some effort into that. I wouldnt mind having a bad boy like that!

Hey Jimmy.  Thank you, it was fun to make.

Looks great. My only concern is that the wood gears will need replacement far more often than metal ones.

Hi Cblitzstein.  On the gears, it's fitted 3/4"-thick 5-layer high-grade ply, with a polyurethane finish (wipe-on), and then 3-1 oil. The gears run smooth albeit a little loud.  It's good.  Getting the gap setting in place was more of a concern. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Opinions on Homebrewing Equipment
« on: December 21, 2015, 02:48:42 PM »
I think not in terms of desired capacity but in terms of what I can consume.  I've also brewed too many batches in the 5+ gallon size that I've eventually tossed, and so I have two setups. 

The first is 1 to 2 gallon stove-top BIAB, for anything experimental.  No more large batch recipe experimenting.  It includes a wort chiller using a 12v pump meant for CPU cooling.

The other is for 8 to 11 gallons.  I keg 5 and then bottle the remainder for giving away, or possibly split and ferment/dry-hop differently.  I'm not going for a lot of different styles but only a few recipes that I try to do well.  Gravity fed with a 10 gallon cooler as a mash tun.  If I were to upgrade, I'd consider an RO water system or possibly getting off of propane.  I also make a point of BBQ'ing when I use this one and consider that part of the setup.

Also, I unload any brew equipment if I don't use it within the last six months.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: John Cougar Mellencamp
« on: December 15, 2015, 08:38:53 PM »
In other words, "Hurts So good."

Yes, I am enjoying a Habanero Sculpin. Every bit as delicious as the original, and then a giant kick in the teeth of Habanero fire. On my 4th of a sixer I have had for about a month. About 1 per night is about my limit, especially now that the weather is a changing again and my lips are chapped and cracked. All this pain and I am contemplating another...

Oh my goodness "NO."  I had a 4 oz sampler when last in San Diego and I thought that was painful.  Otherwise, what an excellent beer.  I loved it.

The Pub / Re: Is anyone here into low voltage outdoor lighting?
« on: December 12, 2015, 11:36:24 PM »
Cool.  So that's a 3.6W LED light fixture in that pic?  Nice.  It does look very similar to the amount of light I might get out of my old-school 50W low-voltage fixtures I have in the front yard.  Your light also looks "warm" like a standard light as opposed to whitish-blue which is not nearly as nice looking.  Thanks for posting that.  I think I'm sold.  I'll probably try to pick some of these up over the winter and install them next spring.  Cheers.

That's a 3.6W LED Flood lamp, the bulb type is a PAR36.  It's about 4" across:

The one thing I've not found so far are good replacements for the 7W/11W small fixtures used for paths or steps, the T5 or T10 wedge base.  The ones I've tried are not that bright and not warm.  As far as other lights, I'm mostly using directional fixtures with 3W LED, pointed directly upwards (replaces 50W).  They highlight up to about 15' into the trees giving a soft reflection downwards.  It's great to not need multiple 200W to 300W transformers.

Also wondering if anyone has a good source for LED holiday lights.


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