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Messages - theDarkSide

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I've lost that "new hobby" smell
« on: August 16, 2012, 11:42:02 AM »
Definately competing.  Win a medal and you're soon planning how you can win Ninkasi next year  ;)

Also, being on the East Coast there are beers that I cannot easily get.  I will brew those clones ( thanks mostly to Can You Brew It? ) so I can try a close facsimile. 

I generally take breaks but not because I want to.  Either there is tons of family/house things going on or my kegerator gets full.

No judgement here, we've all been there.  I was just wondering if a supply shop shipped it to you that old.

Local shop and I kept it in a cooler until I got home.  I'm guessing it was dead before I got my hands on it.

I got another pack from a different shop, not as old and less money.  Started my first step on Saturday and by Monday night it had fermented out.  I put it in the fridge on Monday night and made my second step last night.  After decanting and adding new wort, I put it on the stirplate and sat down to watch "Beerfest".  By the time the movie was over, it was chugging along with visible CO2 rising up and a small krausen ring on the top.  Less than 2 hours lag time!!!  Awesome!

One more step to do before brewing early next week!

The Pub / Re: Best Portland neighborhood for breweries/restaurants?
« on: August 13, 2012, 07:10:25 AM »
wait, we are talking about portland OR right?

Once someone chimed in with the SE & NW, I figured it was OR.  I wish people would be specific.

FYI - in Portland, ME - Old Port is the place to be!!  ;)

You paid $11.75 for 5 month old yeast?  ???

I know, I know.  It was one of those situations where I have to step it up a couple times and if I didn't get it that day, my schedule would be pushed back.  Trust me, it's not something I do on a regular basis.

I just went through this with a pack of Wyeast 2124 ( see "What are you paying for your yeast post?").  Mine went on a stir plate at room temp for 36 hours and nothing.  The yeast was older ( March 6th ) but I expect to see something. 

I did smell the starter and it smelled like yeast or sulfur compounds.  I didn't take a gravity reading because I was a little frustrated with the yeast ( and the shop that charged me $11.75 for the smack pack ), so I dumped it.

How old was the yeast and how was it handled before getting to you ( i.e. shipped from online store in 95 degree heat) ?

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Hotel?
« on: August 09, 2012, 05:46:47 AM »
anything confirmed yet?...I wanna book asap

This past year you couldn't book at the group rate until Feb 1st. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What are you paying for your yeast?
« on: August 07, 2012, 09:01:15 AM »
Why in the world would the yeast makers say "hey, this is enough for your 5 gallons of beer" when they could sell more yeast in a pack and charge more for a proper pitch of yeast? 

I'm sure it has something to do with attracting the newer or less experienced homebrewers, who want to make beer without the added complications of making a starter.  Otherwise they would just go with the dry option.  And they can probably assume the more experienced homebrewers will know to make a starter or add multiple vials/smack packs.

Bottom line: I am too lazy to wrangle yeast, but would start right away if my option was 6 month old yeast for $11.
Trust me, if this was the norm...I would be keeping my own library.  Unfortuneately my laziness got the best of me and I was a little rushed.  As it stands right now, I'm not even sure the starter I did last night is going to make it.  9 hours later on a stirplate at room temp and it doesn't look like it's doing anything.  I'm going to check it when I get home from work before making a decision to continue or not.  >:(

Yeast and Fermentation / What are you paying for your yeast?
« on: August 06, 2012, 11:27:01 AM »
I just bought a smack pack of Wyeast Lager yeast today and it cost $11.75.  I wouldn't normally pay that much but I needed it sooner than later.

What is everyone else willing to pay for yeast?

I know I can get it cheaper online, but I'm not too crazy about it sitting in the UPS truck in this heat, even with the freezer packs (which probably only last a few hours ).  Another local option has it for $9.99, which also seems high.  Most of the places around me only have Wyeast, but it is the same for White Labs?  Is everything going up?  Is there a dreaded yeast "shortage"  ;)?

Also the yeast I got today is dated March 6, 2012 which means I'm going to need to step it up a few couple times to get the total yeast I need.  But when you procrastinate, you pay I guess  >:(

Events / Re: GABF Ticket Sales/Swaps
« on: August 02, 2012, 11:16:17 AM »
Not quite sure what they could do to fight it.

Member's only tickets tied to the actually account and checked at the door...although I imagine it would be a nightmare logistically. 

All I can say is Rule #1 of the Brewer's Code:  Don't be a d**k.

Other Fermentables / First Mead Questions
« on: August 02, 2012, 10:10:56 AM »
Started my first mead on Sunday.  15 lbs of wildflower honey, water, and 1/4 of the nutrients.  I rehydrated the yeast (71B-1122) according to package and I'm fermenting at 65 F.  I open and stir it twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.  I also add a 1/4 of the nutrients when I stir at night.  I currently have 1/4 left and from an interview with Curt Stock that I saw, he said the last 1/4 should be added when 2/3 fermentation was done. 

My question now is how many more days should I be stirring the mead to off gas the CO2?  Is there some unwritten rule or it is based on percentage of fermentation completed?  Should I be stirring it everyday still but maybe not as vigorously as I have been?

I have some madagascar vanilla beans soaking in vodka right now to dose the mead at bottling time.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Boston Lager or California Lager
« on: August 01, 2012, 08:09:04 AM »
This pretty much covers the history part:

I believe the yeast is Wyeast 2124 - Bohemian Lager...but I can't be 100% sure.

Events / Re: NHC 2012 final round scorecards and awards
« on: July 30, 2012, 05:43:35 AM »
I picked up my scoresheets at the conference but did get a letter on Saturday from the AHA regarding my entries, so I'm sure you'll have them soon.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Looking Forward to Fall
« on: July 27, 2012, 11:14:03 AM »
I was really hoping to get an Octoberfest going to have for Oct 1st, but time is definately running out.  Too many projects around the house eating into my brewing time.  >:(

If you can get it going within the next week or two you'll be fine.  I'm planning one very soon.  :)

Yeah. I may have to call in sick next week  :-[

Equipment and Software / Re: building vs. buying mash tun
« on: July 27, 2012, 05:46:03 AM »
I built this one 4 years ago and it works great:

The only modification I've made is adding a Bazooka screen instead of the SS mesh from a supply line for the manifold.  Holds temperature very well ( 1-2 F drop over an hour )

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