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Messages - surfin_mikeg

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: help motorizing grain mill
« on: February 19, 2013, 10:58:53 AM »
But that is not torque. Bench grinders are not designed to have torque- the stone wheel could become a shattered projectile. I have not encountered a bench grinder you couldn't keep from turning on with a slight amount of force from your hand. Grain could do the same thing.

As mentioned by others, inexpensive corded drills are great for this.  One thing I'll add is to use a router speed control (or "variable speed controller") to get the exact RPM needed.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Refactometer
« on: February 14, 2013, 10:41:01 AM »
My difference was always exceptional - like 8 points off or so. And I use the conversion as well. Not sure why it never worked for me.

Lately my refractometer has been giving me screwy reading on pre fermentation readings as well so I just use my hydrometer now for everything.

Same here.  I have 2 refractometers and they read different from each other and both are different than my hydrometer.  I've gone back to hydrometer for everything.

Good info.  Does calibrating have any affect?

Beer Recipes / Re: basic blonde ale
« on: February 03, 2013, 10:59:15 PM »
Honey flavor and sweetness

I've not used that, anyone else?  A data-point is that I've had good results when pouring honey into the wort when the boil is done.  Chill to 180, mix it in, continue chilling.

Pimp My System / Re: Home made grain mill . . . . that could crush a brick!
« on: February 02, 2013, 12:51:27 PM »
I'm impressed.  Can you help with the terminology - a gearbox drive spline, fitting into what?   Gotta hit up the few gearheads I know!

Beer Recipes / Re: basic blonde ale
« on: February 02, 2013, 12:33:23 PM »
I know don't want it too dry, but 15% crystal malt in something this delicate seems like it would be overpowering to me. I'd cut both in half.

Good point. I always forget that honey malt is more or less crystal. I might leave the honey where it is and decrease the carapils...say 5% honey, 5% carapils? I know that isn't half...

I'm using 2% - 3% carapil.  I get the effect I'm wanting and don't see a need to use more, unless wanting a crazy silky IPA.  I target roughly a half pound per 5 gallon recipe and scale/adjust as needed.

What are you looking for regarding the Honey malt?

Beer Recipes / Re: Red IPA
« on: January 30, 2013, 08:51:51 PM »

Two Row Pale = 9 lb 8 oz (64%)
Munich Malt = 3 lb 5.75 oz (22%)
Flaked Oats = 1 lb (6%)
Caramel/Crystal 120L = 10.67 oz (4%)
Caramel/Crystal 80L = 5.33 oz (2%)
Caramel/Crystal 40L = 5.33 oz (2%)
Chocolate Malt = 1 oz (0%)

I'm a fan of the guideline of limiting to 4 grain varieties when making recipes, as it makes it much easier to learn the ingredients and know where to make adjustments.  For me personally, I've ended up with a "grainy" taste when leaning on the darker crystal malts and not had the color desired.  I don't think you are going to get red but dark brown - condense & reduce on crystal and kick up the percent Munich or oats.

For reference, looking at this week's AHA recipe of the week, "Tsunami IPA", he's got 12 oz of crystal 45 within 3 malts + sugar.  Looks like roughly 5%?   re:   A fun alternative would be 10 or 12 oz of CaraRed.

Also do not overlook the recipe of topher.bartos in this thread:  3 malts and 6.6% on the 20L crystal.

IMHO of course, recipe building is great fun.

Beer Travel / Re: Louisville, Kentucky
« on: January 22, 2013, 11:00:21 AM »
the AHA card/discount is really a conversation starter, not so much about a discount. 

Finished up with a wonderful Hot Brown and then some Elmer T Lee at the BBC.  People we're amazingly friendly, Louisville is a great place to visit.  Thanks again for the suggestions!

Beer Travel / Re: Louisville, Kentucky
« on: January 19, 2013, 08:25:31 PM »
hey Siamese Moose, thank you. 

I know a few homebrewers who are making the move to a full-time brewing; With Apocalypse they are making their own equipment, brewing and distributing at their own pace, on their own dime.  Uniquely DIY (solar?), very inspirational.  Happy customers, nice selection to boot.

Beer Travel / Re: Louisville, Kentucky
« on: January 19, 2013, 01:31:41 PM »
I called Apocalypse; very very friendly.  They listed 3 other places that were "must visit" either coming or going from their place (I'll be on foot). Thanks for the tip! 

Feels kinda awkward to visit homebrewers without bringing a sample of my own. :)

Beer Travel / Re: Louisville, Kentucky
« on: January 19, 2013, 07:39:33 AM »
Thanks musseldoc!  Looking them up now.

You are in Louisville looking for beer?  That's like being in a gold mine looking for silver.  Really?!

Shame, I know.  I get hangovers from distilled spirits, so it's just a wee bit of tasting.

Beer Travel / Re: Louisville, Kentucky
« on: January 18, 2013, 07:24:15 PM »
I'm rolling through Louisville at the moment, here's a first pass:

I travel often; I always inquire about the $1 AHA discount when visiting craft breweries because it's fun to do so.  Usually servers have no idea what the AHA is and react in a skeptical fashion.

I dropped into Bluegrass because it was convenient.  With Bluegrass, when I asked about the discount the reception was warm and many samples were given.  They knew their beers.  One thing in particular is that they said the downtown restaurant beers are filtered whereas with their main location it would not be the case, and that beer enthusiasts would seek out their main brewing location (it's a bit off the tourist path).

Beers were excellent but not overly hoppy in aroma (usually what I'm looking for), and included a casked ale; the food was excellent and affordably priced.  Looking forward to visiting again.

Ingredients / Re: Hops storage
« on: January 09, 2013, 11:56:04 PM »
I'm in the same situation.  Search "hop storage index chart" to get room-storage numbers for your calculations, it's been studied.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Fly Sparging
« on: January 05, 2013, 02:27:03 PM »
What we're looking for is overall extraction efficiency with either method, so it's not so much a matter of time (at first) but keeping tabs of pre-boil gravity with a refractometer and doing some math in regards to overall wort volume.  I keep notes as I go and adjust the process as needed.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Secondary fermentation
« on: December 27, 2012, 10:06:05 AM »
Lagers get stored on the primary yeast at 30-32F for six to eight weeks after fermentation is complete, then kegged and carbed.

Asking for the sake of clarification:  Let's say you don't have temp control (let's pick an ambient temperature of 68) and you were working from a kit, would you let it sit on the lager yeast cake for 8 weeks?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Secondary fermentation
« on: December 26, 2012, 08:47:01 PM »
Why is it that some NB kits recommend a yeast starter and two-stage fermentation?

Inertia. You can't reverse forty years of tradition overnight, no matter how right you are.

For me, which yeast used and what fermentation temp are additional factors as to how long to leave in the primary.  If someone doesn't have great environmental control (i.e., starter kits), racking to secondary makes sense to avoid off-flavors.

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