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Messages - davidgzach

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My last change in procedure was to eliminate two pumps from my regular brewing activities. I got rid of a sub-pump used to recirc ice-water through my IC in the warm-weather months and the march pump for general recirculation and transfer of wort.

Now I just use frozen 20oz PET (soda) bottles to chill the wort down to ale or lager temps. Have found it to be more effective and just as fast if not quicker in cooling the wort down to desired pitching temps!

Through these changes I have accomplished savings in time and effort and have removed the need to make ice, and use a cooler/bucket, two pumps and corresponding hose. I no longer have to move, hook-up or clean these particular pieces of equipment. Also there has been a reduction in mess and spilled wort or water.

Euge, that is a great idea.  How many bottles does it typically take?  I assume just a good spray of StarSan?

I was about to buy a pump to make a recirculating ice bath.  Just saved me $100 and a lot of time......


I have to say though that the most recent upgrade that has had the biggest effect on my brewing is converting my chest freezer in to a lager fermentation vessel.  I can now ferment 4 lagers at a time which is awesome.....


Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First Batch
« on: August 20, 2012, 06:15:34 AM »
Try Febreeze.  Unfortunate though.  I love that smell.

Bought a mix-stir.  Sure beats a whisk for aerating!

Ha!  No pun...... ;D


Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Old Extract?
« on: August 20, 2012, 05:43:05 AM »
It sounds like it to me.  That's why I use DME when I use extract.


Can you get a replacement fan online?  How big of a job is it to fix?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Weddings and beer
« on: August 16, 2012, 12:01:47 PM »
Congrats!  I hope everything goes without a hitch and the beer is loved by all!


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I've lost that "new hobby" smell
« on: August 16, 2012, 10:56:43 AM »
Unless you made the 8 greatest beers of all time, there is a LOT of learning to go.  It took me 8 Pale Ales alone to start honing in on my recipe and 15 Pale Ale brews later, I'm still far from where I think it needs to be.  But it's pretty darn good!   ;)  And that is only one style.  Take what you like or what your friends like and try to make it better.  I think my Steam Beer would rank very highly out there, and it took about 12 brews to get it where I liked it.  But I brew for my tastes and what my circle enjoys.  Part of my next venture is to enter competitions as was previously stated.  I'm very interested to see what others think outside of my circle, good and bad.

Not sure how many of those 8 are lagers, but that's years of learning alone.

Like Jason said, start picking off styles, understanding them through your reading, and then making the best one possible to your taste.  Then you get in to water treatment, PH levels, yeast management, culturing, step mashing, decoctions, etc...

IMHO, take a break, enjoy your brew and let the bug come back to bite you when you are ready.  Stay active in the forum and learn from the guys that have been here a while.  I learn something new every day   


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Pitch Lagers Warm and Chill?
« on: August 16, 2012, 06:34:32 AM »
60F is not that far off the recommended lagering range either and it only took a day to get to 50F which means he was in the range in ~12 hours.  IMHO if he pitched at room temp it would have taken twice as long which would have meant much more time out of the preferred range to produce off-flavors.


Edit: Saw it was AFTER a day that he chilled to 50F.  Still, 60F is a LOT closer to preferred than 68F. And I think the higher activity at 68F would bring the fermentation temp even higher as well.

My refractometer works well for OG but you need to convert FG readings using a formula and I find it's still off.  So I use a hydrometer for FG readings.


Ingredients / Re: Now THAT's some fresh yeast
« on: August 16, 2012, 05:18:53 AM »
Not sure if you guys have Gold Peak Tea in your stores, but it tastes great and the 59oz size carafe is great for storing/reusing yeast.


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast German Lager
« on: August 14, 2012, 03:09:43 PM »
I would say it fermented spoiled pack nutrient, but if it swelled, I'd give it at least one step and see how it smells then.  If still bad then cut your losses.


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast has to really activated. No bubbling
« on: August 14, 2012, 08:22:15 AM »
RDWHAHB!  If you have a krausen layer and smells great, leave it be.  You probably have a leak somewhere, but don't stress over it.


Ingredients / Re: Now THAT's some fresh yeast
« on: August 13, 2012, 01:21:45 PM »
Great to live near Wyeast, huh?  I often get packs dated justv a day or 2 before I buy them.  But I doubt a week or so will make a lot of difference.

Thought I would check Mr. Malty to see what the degradation rate is.  Seems it's programmed to lose 5% of viability per week......


Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Using Ice to cool wort?
« on: August 13, 2012, 12:16:28 PM »
i fell your pain bro (original poster).  i took the temp of the water coming out of my hose solidly for over 5 minutes and it "got down" to 102.

HAHA exactly. I think it would be almost pointless to get an Immersion Chiller.....
Not at all.  With a small pump you could take water from an ice bath and pump it through an immersion chiller.  With enough ice and time you could even get your wort down to lager temps.

+1.  This is my next project so I can get my 10G lager brews down to pitching temps without having to put it in the chest freezer overnight.....


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