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Messages - slarkin712

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wit yeast recommendations
« on: April 01, 2014, 11:01:28 AM »
For dry wit yeast, I've had good results with T58.  I like 3944 better, as it has a little more complex flavor profile.  The T58 seemed a little bit dull compared to 3944.  But T58 finished and cleared fast, which is not always the case with 3944.

Pimp My System / Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« on: February 15, 2014, 04:39:02 PM »
What you have is awesome.  Now you need an awesome bar build!  I've got to show my wife your set up for some perspective.  She can then appreciate the relatively small expanse of my brewery and bar.  Definitely jealous, but need a bigger house to get where you are.  I'm just starting a sour "program", mostly inspired by you.

Ingredients / Re: Gotta Vent about CaraPils
« on: December 13, 2013, 08:44:50 AM »
I feel better too.  I see carapils in nearly every IPA recipe, so I second guess my self whether or not I should be using it in my recipes as well.  No more carapils in IPAs!  I even see it in IPA recipes from professional brewers.  They use carapils and sugar(dextrose) in the same recipe.  What is the point?  Actually, now I'm getting angry again and typing very hard on the keyboard.  If you want to use carapils to add body I can understand, but why not just mash at a higher temperature?  And then leave the sugar out.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Racking
« on: September 29, 2013, 05:40:40 PM »
I really like my 1/2" auto siphon, and I know it cost less than $20.  If you are getting a lot of yeast in your kegs try cold crashing your beer before transfer.  Works really well for me.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Fermentation temp control
« on: September 05, 2013, 08:15:15 AM »
I'd go with the 2 stage just because it allows for more flexibility.  If you're just using a small freezer, and are looking to save a little money I would consider getting the stc-1000 temp controller.  It's less than $30, is simple to wire up and use, and comes with dual stage functionality.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My first homebrew comp. score
« on: July 15, 2013, 12:38:03 PM »
The beer could have been oxidized.  Perhaps it was mishandled in shipping and/or storage.  I think I've had this happen a couple of times.  If this was just one particular judge then I would just ignore it and focus on the other comments.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Exit strategy
« on: June 26, 2013, 08:50:33 PM »
I think you've got a great idea.  Homebrew kegger funeral!  Also, AQ Chicken rules!  (On the coals)  I long for AQ.

Equipment and Software / Re: Fridges vs Custom Made Coolers
« on: June 12, 2013, 11:00:19 AM »
I've been in your conundrum twice recently.  And each time it came out much cheaper and less time consuming to just buy a fridge/freezer.  I wanted to put a cooler under my bar for a 3 tap tower.  With the materials cost, time requirements, and uncertainty in performance the custom option just didn't make sense.  I found a kegerator in great shape on craigslist for $200.  There is no way it was going to cost much less if I built a custom cooler.  Estimated cost for custom build:
AC unit/mini fridge to gut:  ~$50
Insulation/wood for framing: ~$40-50
Temp Control Unit:  ~$30
Misc items(fasteners/aluminum tape/etc.) ~$10-20
So, maybe $150 if there are no issues.  I'll spend the extra money for the fridge and save myself a lot of time and get some performance certainty.
Just recently I decided I wanted to expand my draft serving capacity.  This was going to be in my brewing equipment storage space, so it didn't need to look nice.  I looked for a month or so on craigslist and found a 21 cubic feet freezer for $200.  It will hold 10-12 corny kegs, and only requires a cheap STC-1000 temp control.  I love craigslist.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermenting in blue (or red) coolers?
« on: May 07, 2013, 07:32:01 AM »
A cooler fermentor is a great idea.  I've been wanting to do a German weiss in a shallow fermentor to see how the flavor profile differs from a typical bucket fermentor.  I've got a couple of long rectangular coolers that could work great for this.  Only issue is that they won't fit in my fermentation chamber.  I'll have to get some stainless steel tubing like you're thinking and give this a try.

Pitching rate is very important with this yeast.  I suggest pitching less than you would for a typical ale.  Pitch somewhere in the 4-7 million cells/mL range.  Here's a great thread with much discussion on pitching rate:

The Pub / Re: GABF co-babysitting?
« on: January 24, 2013, 12:59:03 PM »
Yeah, I saw that about the size. Wtf with 1 ounce pours? At GBBF the minimum pour is 1/3 pint, the max is a full pint. I dunno how I'm expected to get a feel for the beer with 1 ounce.

A 1 oz pour is perfect at GABF.  I've even thrown out some of my 1 oz pour after a first sip.  No need to wast time on a terrible beer I don't like (anyone try the beer last year that had smoked hops in it, yuck).  I seem to remember that there are around 2000 beers you can try at GABF, so to get to even a small percentage of those you need very small samples.  I went with a buddy last year and we shared many of each others' samples, and over 2 sessions we might have gotten to taste 500 different beers.  I took notes on a lot of these that I liked, and decent notes considering the 1 oz size.  Keep yourself armed with pretzels and water to keep the palate clean and to maintain sobriety.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What were your gateway beers?
« on: January 11, 2013, 03:48:45 PM »
I spent my formative years drinking Bud Light and Nat Light, but when I had the extra cash I always tried to get some bottles of Guinness.  The extra stout version of Guinness...seemed like powerful stuff back then.  I then moved to Sam Adams and Killians and a local craft brewery(Schlafly) that made some good beers.  But, I'll never forget the first time I had a Bell's Two Hearted.  I don't think any of the Two Hearted's I've had since seem nearly as good as that first six pack.  The whole beer world seemed to open up for me immediately.  And I was an instant hop head. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mashing cystal malts
« on: November 18, 2012, 07:51:04 PM »
I would think that long chain sugars within the crystal malt could be "whittled" away to shorter sugars to be more fermentable if left in the mash.  This may not be to the point, but I've read that you can extract more from crystal malts if added during the mash than if steeped.  Also, within the same article I've read that some of the crystal malt sugar can be consumed by yeast if mashed.  There was an experiment where crystal malts were steep or mashed and fermented and results were reported.  I wish I could find this post.  Might have been on homebrewtalk. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 3711 French Saison
« on: October 31, 2012, 07:50:49 AM »
White wine character is spot on. We aged our summer saison in chardonnay bbls last year. It was described to us as "liquid sunshine". :)

Yeah, I was at a winery a few weeks ago and was sipping on a chardonnay from California.  It was a little warmer than chardonnay is usually served.  All of the sudden it hit me that it tasted just like a saison I had just made.  I had to tell somebody about my "aha" moment.  My wife was like, "OK, that's nice dear."  It's good that someone else has the same opinion.

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