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Messages - BrewArk

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1
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Used kegs
« on: February 11, 2015, 03:50:28 PM »
Thinking about jumping on that sale from AiH but the lack of the NSF stamp makes me a little nervous.  Would it make you nervous?

I completely understand how lack of the NSF stamp could make you feel uncomfortable.  I slowly switching all of my ball valves over American-made Apollo 76F stainless steel ball valves because they are NSF certified and the Chinese ball valves are not.

On stuff from China the certification doesn't mean much to me (my belief is that it is just as easy to counterfeit the certification).  More important are the reviews from those brave enough to buy before me.

2
Equipment and Software / Re: The ethics of keggles
« on: February 04, 2015, 11:03:14 AM »
I have a similar story, in the 1980s I was unaware that the deposit left on a keg didn't cover the replacement.  I "purchased" my keg for the cost of a deposit from a liquor store.  I have been using my keggle since.

While I have some guilt now, it still doesn't seem appropriate to send a check to Coors now for my crime in the 80s.

For a time, I would assuage my guilt by buying their products from time to time, but after I became a shareholder, that seemed self serving.

I'd agree sell your keggles, keep 'em in circulation to help prevent others from being stolen.  If that's not enough, donate the proceeds to orphans in Haiti (as a shareholder in a brewery, that works for me).

3
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: S-33
« on: January 06, 2015, 10:14:25 AM »
I've seen the same thing from S-33 when the temperature fluctuates.  To me it seems that if it gets cold, a lot of the activity just stops, & doesn't return when things warm up.

How is your temperature control?

4
Pimp My System / Re: Automatic beer bottling system DIY
« on: January 01, 2015, 09:46:43 AM »
Sweet idea! 

5
Ingredients / Re: Home malted pilsner
« on: December 23, 2014, 10:52:37 AM »
Better to have a tasty beer that's not clear, than a clear beer that isn't tasty!

I didn't get a bumper crop this year but will brew some up soon.  My first batch was fairly lackluster.

I read your process thinking it was different from mine - until I realized that 450 grams is fairly close to the 1# batches that I malted.

I only planted a couple rows of Maris Otter for the winter. Just too busy an autumn (A bit of a shame since the rye grew so well last year).

Good luck on the homegrown!

6
Other Fermentables / Re: S-05 in a Mead?
« on: November 17, 2014, 03:53:16 PM »
Interesting idea.  I'd still quench w/sorbate, or you might eventually get bottle bombs during aging.

7
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: shocking my system
« on: November 13, 2014, 11:13:36 AM »
In theory, if you "cleaned" your surface perfectly, you would remove ALL of the microbes and any potential food for microbes to live, grow or breed upon.  Then you would not need to sanitize.  In the real world perfection doesn't happen.  Since none of these surfaces are sterile.  The best we do is to reduce the numbers of the "bad" microbes and hope the "good" ones out-compete them.

Still, it is my belief that good hygiene is more important than your sanitizer choice.  Any microbe (yeast, mold, virus or bacteria) that gets washed away, won't need to be killed.  There was lots of "good" beer produced in the 19th century when there was no sanitizer use and hygiene was the only control method.

After good cleaning, as a regular practice I use both solutions of StarSan (in a spray bottle on stainless fermenter), and bleach (buckets, tubing, & siphon, small equipment), so for me it is a matter of which is most convenient for a given piece of equipment.

Still, if I thought I had an infected piece of equipment it'd go to the bleach, maybe with a boiling water chaser if appropriate. 

8
Other Fermentables / Re: Dark Cloudy Mead 3 months in
« on: November 11, 2014, 05:02:32 PM »
I put together a batch in early August with L47 & Wildflower Honey. I did a SNA, monitored the pH, and reached my target final gravity of 1.010. I just tapped some today 13 weeks from brew day and the mead's hazy and brown.

Do you guys think this is from the residual honey (this is my first mead I put enough honey in to get above 1.000), not ageing long enough (my first mead under a year old), infection, or some other issue? No off flavours or smells I can detect.
Can't speak to the dark, but the cloudy can probably be cleaned up with bentonite.

9
...  I am currently looking into the possibility of switching to peracetic acid, which is a no-rinse oxidizing sanitizer that is formed by mixing acetic acid and hydrogen peroxide.

Tried that, ugh!  Back to bleach for me.

10
Other Fermentables / Re: Back-sweetening a melomel
« on: November 07, 2014, 10:31:24 AM »
That sounds rather sweet to me.

When I've done it, I've pulled a taster & added honey manually (w/a spoon) until I get the ratio I want.  Then I'll back calculate how much to add to the batch.

Then weigh that out and keep tasting after adding 1/2-3/4 of what I've weighed out until I reach the taste I'm looking for.

Keep in mind, you can add additional honey much more easily than you can remove it.

11
Ingredients / Re: Does Briess mix crystal malts?
« on: October 17, 2014, 09:26:34 AM »

12
Ingredients / Re: Is gypsum gypsum?
« on: October 17, 2014, 09:21:48 AM »
Of course, I just didn't know if there was a "food grade" or not or if its all the same thing just packaged different.
I had the same question about bentonite (my company makes cat litter).  It all comes from some mine in the ground.  My guess (hope?) is that the food grade gets tested before labeling.

For the cost, I'm buying the "food grade".

13
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Getting Back
« on: October 07, 2014, 04:06:00 PM »
I do 1 gallon batches when I have my homegrown-home malted grain.  But that's mostly been experimentation, since I don't have the space to grow too much grain.  I basically BIAB on the stovetop.

Hopefully I can get this year's crop malted soon & start again.

14
Zymurgy / Re: Didn't get last Zymurgy
« on: October 06, 2014, 08:41:02 AM »
Does your son lock the bathroom door & spend a lot of time in there?

15
Equipment and Software / Re: Vacuum Packer
« on: October 02, 2014, 10:24:47 AM »
I picked up a food saver at Costco for $50 bucks. Works great for hops, grains and deer meat. Can't complain.

+1

Bought it for hops, use it for tons of stuff now.

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