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Messages - theDarkSide

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55 gallons so far this year, with another 30 scheduled before the end of the year.

The Pub / Re: Dogfish Head sitcom
« on: August 12, 2013, 12:27:47 PM »
but I'm sure my wife would suggest they pick Horatio Sanz.

Nice thing about that is there's options if Horatio isn't available.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Smack or dont smack?
« on: August 09, 2013, 01:01:23 PM »
Smacking the yeast is a way to proof it, to make sure the yeast is viable.  If you have time, smack it, let it swell, and pitch in your starter ( whether you should do a starter depends on your starting gravity and age of the yeast, but I would just to be safe). 

Half the time I forget to smack them 3 hours in advance when I do my starter so I just add it in.  They may get 1/2 hour while I'm boiling and cooling the starter.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Efficiency Problem
« on: August 08, 2013, 08:26:09 PM »
great so no little loss on heat and hitting target OG, sounds good. Are folks typically covering their mash tun coolers to insulate heat? Does everyone typically pre-heat mash tun cooler with boiling water prior to adding strike water and mashing in?

I cover my mash tun if it's colder and I'm outside.  I use a thick wool blanket to help keep it from falling too  much.  Otherwise I just let it be and only lose a degree or two over a 60 minute mash.

I do preheat my mash tun with boiling water, but then my recipe is configured that way.  If I don't preheat, I will undershoot my mash temp unless I heat my water a bit more and then it's a guessing game.  Preheating makes it easier for me to hit my temp within a few tenths of a degree.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Popping My Homebrewing Cherry
« on: August 07, 2013, 03:02:31 PM »
Great feedback...thanks. Quick question: I'm fermenting in a plastic carboy- what's the best way to take a gravity reading without making a mess/disrupting the process? Thanks!

I use a turkey baster.  Make sure it's sanitized before you plop it down in your beer.  Try not to stir the beer up either, so as not to oxidize.

Same here.  Those little pipettes are a pain to get in to get a sample.  And with the turkey baster, you have a little left over to sample the beer (I use a refractometer for my gravity readings so I don't need a lot)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's up with this?
« on: August 06, 2013, 01:46:44 PM »
The same 20% off offer came from midwestsupplies not long ago. Those 2 online shops now have the same parent company.

Who would that be...AB Inbev? ;D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's up with this?
« on: August 06, 2013, 12:27:16 PM »
Maybe they took 20% off the weight too  ;D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Popping My Homebrewing Cherry
« on: August 05, 2013, 03:19:46 PM »
Dark closets are good.  The ferment will raise the temperature but you should be fine.

Good for you starting this hobby with a newborn.  Several of the veteran homebrewers disappear for years after there is a child in the house.

For sanitation, I personally think star san is the best.  Colorless and odorless, unlike iodophor (basically iodine).  Check out some local homebrew clubs too.  There are a great source of information and it's nice to get out of the house at least once a month.  Usually, there are varying levels of homebrewing skills, so don't be shy about be a beginner.

Read up on homebrewing, ask questions here or other forums, and most importantly, BREW.  The best way to learn is brew often, learn your system, learn from mistakes and maybe develop your own techniques.

Welcome to the obsession!

Equipment and Software / Re: equipment for sale due to passing of owner
« on: August 05, 2013, 12:42:47 PM »
Sorry for your loss.

The forums are a good place to start.  You could also inquire at a local homebrew club.  Here is a link for the AHA Homebrew clubs, so you can see what's near by.

Craigslist is also a popular place to list since many homebrewers are always watching it for equipment to go on sale.

The Pub / Beer Labels in Motion
« on: August 02, 2013, 05:37:23 PM »
I saw this on this morning...pretty cool stuff

A couple examples

Here's the article from

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: GABF ticket?
« on: August 02, 2013, 01:00:30 PM »
If it did, they'd be selling for opver $1000 on Stubhub  ;D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Happy National IPA day!
« on: August 02, 2013, 12:43:11 PM »
I wonder if there is a National "No Day" Day?  That one day a year there is no designated day.

I don't mind the "days".  It would be better if it included a day off (either the day of or the day after )

Equipment and Software / Re: Yet another keezer question
« on: August 01, 2013, 07:20:32 PM »
My inner collar is the exact dimensions of the freezer opening and the outer collar hangs down around 3 sides.  Advantages for me are it helps secure the collar to the freezer and give me a place to screw in a drip tray if I want.

Also, it allows you to choose a nicer piece of wood as a facing, instead of using really expensive wood for the inside, where no one sees it anyways.

This isn't mine but it demonstrates what the outer collar does on my kegerator

Just make sure your collar is big enough so you have the clearance if you want to put kegs on the compressor hump.  Otherwise you'll have to build one all over again (ask me how I know  ::) )

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Happy National IPA day!
« on: August 01, 2013, 05:29:30 PM »
I have a DIPA still fermenting and nothing IPA related in the kegerator, so I had the wife pick me up a six pack of Torpedo yesterday.

The Pub / Re: GABF - Ticketmaster hosed again
« on: August 01, 2013, 12:28:01 PM »
Now I'm already getting stressed out about registering for NHC...RDWHANB (relax, don't worry...have a nervous breakdown).  :P

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