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Messages - leejoreilly

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As the saying goes, "you eat first with your eyes"; I'd say we drink the same way. If you expect a beer to be clear, then cloudiness may be a bit off-putting. Same thing if you expect haze and don't get it. I'm not sure there is a consistent relationship between haze and taste, tho.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: AHA Financials
« on: January 22, 2014, 07:36:35 AM »
Funny, as a long time AHA member it never occurred to me that the AHA owed me a detailed financial report to justify my membership.  As mentioned, if you take a long, thorough look at this site and honestly come away needing to be sold more on the merits, then you're blind, dumb, or not serious about membership. Go to work and ask your boss how long he would keep running his company at a loss or break even, all the while having more and more asked of him.    ;)
I wasn't asking for a detailed report.  Just a general overview of what the AHA does period.  This is pretty standard for businesses, non-profits, and other associations.  I'll be honest a cursory look at the the website DOES NOT tell you these things.  Trust me my company website does give me a general overview of what my company and even specifically my product does. 

I liked Drew's post.  I just think it would be beneficial to add some stuff to the 'about the AHA page' and make that a bit more prominent on the site would be very beneficial.  If i'm looking to join an organiziation or donate money to a non-profit.  The about page is where I'm going to start.  I suppose the current about page has some of this information on it but I just feel it could be improved as it doesn't answer many of these general level questions people ask me about why they should join the AHA and how it actually helps the hobby.  I just feel if people question these things and I look at the website and I can't provide actual answers for them other than generally "well they help get legislation passed for homebrewing" - how? I will admit I read somewhere that they employeed people other than Gary but I had forgot and I don't see it really listed anywhere on the website.  I have to believe this eats up an large portion of the AHA financials.  Which employees is a good thing as you need full time paid people to make things happen.  To me that information is good to get out there.  "Hey we have multiple full-time employees that work hard to help with legislation, organize events across the country, and create content for the website and for the magazine"

Again, I'm not questioning what the AHA does and how it can spend all it's money.  I'm just saying when asked what the AHA does in general with the money it has I think the answer should be alittle more... Transparent and easy to come up with.  End rant. lol.

I really didn't mean to start a big debate.  I just couldn't find the answers to questions I was getting the past couple weeks.

I've got to agree with Dan on this one. A simple bullet list of the five or ten outstanding contributions that the AHA has made over the past year would really help defend against the empty rantings of the nay-sayers. Its all well and good to wrap ourselves in righteousness and declare that no one should have the gall to question such an obviously valuable organization, but we should also be able to easily demonstrate exactly why it's so valuable. "Go figure it out for yourself from the Financials" doesn't do that.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Frickin cleaning time
« on: January 17, 2014, 07:29:27 AM »
Best move I ever made was to install a Pex line to my garage - I hook it up manually to a slop sink in the basement and run either hot (for cleaning) or cold (for chilling) through the line.  A hose bib is the terminal end in the garage.  Makes cleaning a keggle and mash tun a snap!

I'm having a sink with a hot/cold valve installed in my garage this Sunday. It's next to crazy to brew without a water source nearby. Luckily, my mom had been saving a 2'x5' SS wash basin and mixing valve for me (from when she used to process her own photographs, aka "the darkroom chemistry sink"). The valve has a tolerance of 1*F, totally unnecessary, but neat. I can't wait for it to be done so I can brew without pulling my hair out!

Any concern about your garage sink water lines freezing? Is your garage heated or well-insulated? My garage is neither and tends to stay maybe 10 -15 degrees warmer than outside temps, but at this time of year, outside is often in the teens or less.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: regular beer line up
« on: January 07, 2014, 07:54:43 AM »
My kegerator has three taps plus room for a fourth keg with a picnic tap, and I probably brew every three weeks or so. I ALWAYS have my house Pale Ale on tap #1; it's my wife's favorite ("If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy") as well as the go-to for my MBC-drinking friends. I've brewed it dozens of times, with only slight adjustments since I got it dialed in. Tap #2 is my attempt to duplicate Bell's Two-Hearted; I'll probably keep it as my house IPA once I'm satisfied with it and until I tire of it. Tap #3 and the picnic are rotating, but it seems I always have a Belgian on one of them (most recently a Double, Tripel or Belgian Dark Strong) and the picnic has had (for me) specialties - right now, a Holiday Ale from a Biere de Garde base, and prior to that, a Sweet Stout. This kind of profile seems to work for me. I have several beers that have great popularity and I can brew in production mode without a lot of thought, plus I get to try some new stuff now and again to keep the creative juices flowing.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Thermal mass question
« on: December 23, 2013, 07:05:05 AM »
I would imagine that it would be slightly less efficient to keep some of your water hot while waiting to use it than to heat it to temp as needed. For example, heating all 11 gallons to mash temp, then keeping the unused portion at sparge temp during the mash would cost some energy over heating the sparge water "just in time". And I don't think that heating larger volumes of water is inherently any more efficient (energy required per gallon per degree of temp) that heating smaller volumes. Also, one particular individual burner/pot (volume and geometry) set-up might have greater efficiency than another. But, at least for me, the convenience of having the water at the proper temp when I need it outweighs the slight (I imagine) efficiency costs.

I should note that I brew in my kitchen, using a gas stove. Once I get to the temp I want, I can turn the gas flame down to a "maintenance" level for as long as I need to hold that temp. I'm not sure how easy it would be to do that outside on a propane burner, or with an electric heater setup for that matter.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cold Crashing
« on: December 06, 2013, 08:55:38 AM »
I prefer to rack to keg, top off with CO2, then crash and charge at same time.


Ingredients / Re: Dried Sweet Orange Peel
« on: November 10, 2013, 08:36:39 AM »
I've used an ounce in both a holiday ale and a saison. That amount seems to provide me with a nice background hint of orange without becoming dominant. It probably adds some bitterness too, but I can't separate that out from the hoppy bitterness.

Ingredients / Re: Rye Malt?
« on: November 09, 2013, 07:31:26 AM »
I use about 25% rye malt in my Rye Ale, but it's not an IPA. It's only about 25-30 IBU.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Converting you wife
« on: November 07, 2013, 07:21:14 AM »
My kegerator's tap #1 is always "Tiny Dancer Pale Ale"; if Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Equipment and Software / Re: Kegerator faucet location
« on: November 02, 2013, 06:15:05 AM »
My kegerator is an old freezer-on-the-top refrigerator that already had a single tap on the door when I got it. I've since added two more. But I'm limited in the height of the tap handles that I can use and still be able to open the freezer door. Not huge issue, but one to consider.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Storing an empty keg
« on: October 25, 2013, 07:08:25 AM »
I store them usually under pressure with about a gallon of Starsan. I pour the starsan in, put it under pressure, shake it all up, and let it sit. When its time to rack, I run some through the out tube (to sanitize the dip tube and tap) I shake it up again, and pour back out the starsan.

My process, too. It also gives me a convenient source of Starsan to run through a dirty beer line or picnic tap.

Equipment and Software / Re: Cleaning Old Used Kegging Equipment
« on: October 21, 2013, 06:18:29 AM »
A couple of years ago, I bought an old refrigerator (so old the users manual was on clay tablets) that had been drilled for a faucet and had a set of Sankey connections, a old regulator and a CO2 tank. One of the things that I did was to buy a rebuild kit for the regulator that replaced all of the seals, rings and diaphragm. It was easy job and the regulator has been operating perfectly since. It seems to me that the kit only cost $10 or $15 or so.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lid on or off during boil?
« on: October 05, 2013, 05:49:22 AM »
Just perusing the wiki on Maillard reactions, I'd have to say there isn't much of this going on.  The reaction occurs between sugars (plentiful in wort) and amino acids from protein (less plentiful and mostly coagulated early on) and is enhanced by an alkaline environment (wort is acidic).  On the other hand, simple browning of sugars via pyrolysis, aka caramelization, seems likely to be the primary mechanism behind the darkening of wort during boiling.

On the other hand, kilning of malt certainly involves Maillard reactions.  So of course there are plenty of Amadori compounds and other tasty stuff coming into the wort.

For this reason, I don't see boiling as creating a lot of flavor/aroma other than caramelization.

By the way, when I was going to school at Mizzou ther were a couple of profs working on Maillard reaction stuff, Dr. Milton Feather and Dr. Tom Mawhinney.  That tidbit just came to me as I was typing this.

Lennie, caramelization doesn't happen until about 360F or so.  A kettle full of wort can't get much above 215F.  I can't see how you can get caramelization in the kettle.

But the metal bottom of the kettle can exceed the boiling temp even if the wort above it doesn't, though, right? So I wonder if some limited caramelization could happen "locally" on the hot bottom, rather than throughout the (cooler) wort?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: HLT or Mash Tun
« on: October 01, 2013, 07:12:29 AM »
I brew in my kitchen on a gas stove, so rather than one large kettle, I use two smaller ones. Before I chill, I move my wort to my fermenter (Ale Pail), which is lined with a paint strainer bag. So I'm only moving something less than 3 gal at a time; not ideal but better than over 5 gal at a time. I figure that my cooling has to be a bit more efficient for not having to cool the thermal mass of the kettles and the hot trub.

OTOH, you risk HSA by xferring wort over 180F.

True, but I've never experienced it; lesser of the evils, I guess.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Racking
« on: September 30, 2013, 06:53:28 AM »

 I have only used a plastic auto siphon for years. It is simple enough to use, but I have always been concerned about how clean it is. I usually just rinse it off and then siphon all the starsan out of my keg to sanitize it. I dont even get any noticeable off flavors or infection type things from it.

Not to hijack the thread but just to add/ask. How do ya'll clean your auto siphons. Also If you are only using a racking cane and not an auto siphon how do you go about starting it?

I use the autosiphon to "recirculate" the hot PBW solution in my fermenter or kettle when I clean them, and again with hot water when I rinse out the PBW. Then I use it to transfer my star san from the bucket I store it in to my fermenter/bottling bucket/etc. and then back to the storage bucket when It's time to sanitize.

That's my process, too.

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