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Messages - davidgzach

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: I am new to lager
« on: December 13, 2011, 06:48:15 AM »
Denny is of course spot on.  The only thing I would add is to pitch the yeast, after you decant it, in to the wort that is a couple of degrees below your target and let it warm a little.  If you pitch warm and wait to see activity before lowering the temp, you are inviting ester, sulphur and acetaldehyde production.  You will have to lager much longer to clean up the beer.

All Grain Brewing / Storing Bulk Grain
« on: December 13, 2011, 06:39:59 AM »
Just bought my first 50# sack of 2-Row which is unfortunately still in my boiler room untouched.  I plan to open it this week to make a Steam Beer.  Can you guys recommend a good sealing vessel?  What size is optimal?  I looked at Big Lots and all of their containers were not air tight.  Thanks!


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: plastic fermenter
« on: December 13, 2011, 06:33:53 AM »
I would let it soak in OxiClean for a day, rinse with hot water and then soak it in a heavy bleach solution for a couple of days.  Rinse very well again with HOT water and you should be just fine. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Thermowell
« on: December 06, 2011, 01:25:38 PM »
Thanks for the great feedback all!  I'm trying to find a chest freezer on Craig's list for cheap so I can do what Euge is doing.  Until then, I like the mojo I have right now with the thermowell.  Seems to be performing well as it doesn't move from 51F whenever I check it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dry hopping
« on: December 06, 2011, 08:30:03 AM »
If you plan to reuse the yeast, I would use the bag.  If not, then I would toss.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I just freaked out a little...
« on: December 06, 2011, 08:28:11 AM »
I have fermented some awesome beers in some pretty skanky chest freezers.

On the flip side, I've fermented some pretty skanky beers in some pretty awesome chest freezers. ;D
I've seen some pretty awesome chests on some pretty skanky babes.

But there is nothing worse than an awesome babe with a skanky chest....... :D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My First Homebrew!
« on: December 06, 2011, 08:25:16 AM »
awesome job man!

And btw, this is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your chair with a Coors Light. You take the red pill - you stay in Homebrewland and we show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes...

The Red Pill it is!

Good for you!  Congrats!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Thermowell
« on: December 01, 2011, 12:01:35 PM »
Nope.  Checking through the glass door. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What's Your Favorite Bohemian Pilsner Yeast?
« on: December 01, 2011, 11:45:57 AM »
I've made two Pilsner Urquell clones using 2001 which came out great.  Needs a big starter though or you will have to wait out the sulpher for a few months while it cleans up.

Regarding a starter, how big are you talking?  My SOP for lager starters is two smackpacks/vials in 2L of wort. I use a stirplate.
That's pretty much spot on according to Mr. Malty.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Thermowell
« on: December 01, 2011, 11:31:41 AM »
It's in my converted wine cooler.  The compressor is on half the time and off half the time I check.  And I check a lot as I love watching the yeaties do their thing. 
Two lagers ago (~8 weeks), I did not have the thermowell and both thermometers and the controller were in synch. 
I have to agree with Tom, that the heat is spread throughout the wort by the action of the yeast.  I think the center stays cooler because it is in the middle of the thermal mass, thus being the last part to respond to the change in ambient temp.
I'll have to try it with an ale next time.

Yeast and Fermentation / Thermowell
« on: December 01, 2011, 07:13:08 AM »
I've seen many a debate on the forums about ambient versus internal temps during fermentation so I decided to buy a thermowell for my lagers.  When I lagered without it, I kept the ambient temp at 52.  This produced some fine lagers but conventional wisdom for those on the interior temperature side of the argument would say that the temp in the middle of the wort was higher than the 52 on the outside.
Well, I have my Johnson Controller set at 51F +-1degree and the probe in the thermowell.  It's either on 51 or 52 everytime I check.  BUT, the ambient temp is 54F.  I'm using the same thermometers that I used previously when I lagered without the thermowell, and they all were calibrated at 52F, including the Johnson controller.
I pitched a very healthy starter that had krausen coming out of the blow off tube in 2 days.  It took off and is bubbling about as much as I've seen a lager bubble. 
So, what am I missing in this little puzzle here?  Shouldn't the internal temp be higher than the ambient temp if the rule that fermentation raises wort temp is true??????
Or maybe I'm just clueless.  Can someone set me straight or tell me what I am missing?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What's Your Favorite Bohemian Pilsner Yeast?
« on: December 01, 2011, 06:54:35 AM »
I've made two Pilsner Urquell clones using 2001 which came out great.  Needs a big starter though or you will have to wait out the sulpher for a few months while it cleans up.

Wood/Casks / Re: Restoring a very old barrel -- feasible?
« on: November 30, 2011, 01:00:31 PM »
The barrel is sitting in my garage now.  I'm going to fill it with water tonight.  Is garden hose water ok to use?  That's a lot of trips from the sink with a pitcher...
I don't see why not.  Even if your hose has that rubbery taste, like mine, sounds like you have a lot more to worry about than that at the moment......

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: When to add honey.
« on: November 30, 2011, 07:46:23 AM »
I like to add honey at flameout to help it dissolve and kill any bacteria that may be present.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Forward to the Past
« on: November 30, 2011, 07:24:23 AM »
I made some great extract brews back in the day that I would love to revisit.  Enjoy the ride!

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