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Messages - BrewArk

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Help with preparing to malt
« on: July 15, 2014, 12:05:49 PM »
Just looked & the facebook.  I think your problems w/the first batch were likely that the grain was too green. 

I think the grain does want to vernalize.  If it were me (that's how I can postulate without knowing my ass from a hole in the ground), I'd try chilling it close to freezing for about a week and then let it rest @ ambient for another week before trying to malt it.  If I were more patient, I'd just wait a longer while.

I can say that the barley that I grew last spring sprouted when I planted it again in November.

Hop Growing / Re: Note to Self
« on: July 14, 2014, 09:07:18 AM »
I'm at about 37°.  Cascade has worked better than anything else.  This year, (2nd year in the ground) the Cluster is performing very closely.

I am trying to hunt down California Cluster germplasm.  California Cluster should grow like a weed where you live because it was grown in the Russian River Valley.  There does not appear to be any California Cluster germplasm in the USDA collection.  However, there is a good chance that there may still be germplasm at HortResearch in New Zealand.  California Cluster served as the foundation hop for New Zealand's hop breeding program.

I bought the only Cluster rhizomes I could find on the net; they were @  I did not inquire anything about their pedigree when I bought them.  I was very happy w/their service.

They are maturing faster than any of my other varieties this year.

Hop Growing / Re: Note to Self
« on: July 13, 2014, 06:18:00 PM »
I'm at about 37°.  Cascade has worked better than anything else.  This year, (2nd year in the ground) the Cluster is performing very closely.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Help with preparing to malt
« on: July 13, 2014, 06:13:56 PM »
My process is similar.  I use a pillow case.  Put all the heads of the grain in, and beat it against a bench or something for a while.  Then I dump the contents into a large sieve, & swish for a spell.  After getting all the "fines" off, I pour the grain from one large pot into another a few times in front of a box fan on it's highest setting.  All of the chaff is in my yard, but the grain is clean.

That's for barley.  My first crop of wheat is still in the ground.  If it isn't easy to thresh & winnow I'll probably just use it to make bread.

Ingredients / Re: Source for H2SO4
« on: July 10, 2014, 12:47:19 PM »

Hop Growing / Re: Note to Self
« on: July 09, 2014, 08:55:50 AM »
Oh, to have the space to grow that much!  Mine are crowded into my suburban back yard, between tomatoes and a good neighbor fence.

At least we don't get thunderstorms to knock them down.

Thanks for the pix!

Ingredients / Re: Iodophor
« on: July 01, 2014, 04:24:38 PM »
I use Iodophor once a year to kill any bugs that have become resistant to StarSan.  I don't know if that can even happen or if temporarily switching sanitizers is an appropriate safeguard.

I do the same on roughly your time increment (1 - 1.5 yrs, or whenever) because I always heard it might be a good idea. But I'd love to hear some actual data on that. I read Sean's post about some beer spoiling organisms actually producing acid and whether acid based cleansers would therefore be effective on them. Anybody have any other info ?
While it is true that Star San needs to below pH 3 to be effective, it is because the low pH is required for the detergent to be effective. The low pH may inhibit or kill many of the problem microbes, but that alone is not the primary mechanism of action in Star San.

Sorry, should've been more clear. I get all that about Starsan - I was looking for info on whether there is really anything concrete to the 'myth' of needing to change sanitizers (any sanitizers) periodically, to eradicate organisms that (in theory) could become 'resistant'.
Short answer is no.  There's a huge difference between sanitizers and antibiotics.  Antibiotics work within a living organism and have to be efficacious without killing the host, so they have to be limited in their killing.  Sanitizers don't have those limits.  They are rinsed away (or diluted to the point they are harmless). 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Torrified wheat substitute
« on: July 01, 2014, 04:10:14 PM »
I've put torrified wheat into pales before, when I was having problems with head retention.  Now I just hand wash my beer glasses. 

No it isn't quite the same thing as puffed wheat.  I will have to check out the video - sounds interesting.

Going Pro / Re: new keg product
« on: July 01, 2014, 02:13:57 PM »
I've already made an investment in kegs.  That's a big deterrent to dropping with another $100 to just save wash water.  Perhaps they should move the kegs @ cost if they can profit on the bags?  No doubt the Chinese will steal the idea soon.

Ingredients / Re: Growing your own
« on: July 01, 2014, 09:17:29 AM »
The shorter the plant, equals less lodging seems intuitive.  However, my experience has been that if a mature plant gets too much water, it is more likely to lodge.  Watch your irrigation at this point.

Equipment and Software / Re: CO2 outside fridge
« on: June 26, 2014, 11:53:49 AM »
I have 9/16" OD gas line, and I just drilled the hole 9/16". The hose fits pretty snug and I doubt it's a problem.

The biggest issue with this is that its not air tight.  Because the inside of the cooler is cold and the outside is warmer and more humid, the cooler will essentially suck in moisture from the outside causing more condensation build up.  If you go this route make sure you chalk around the hose and get it as airtight as possible.


I never sealed mine.  I drilled the hole the same size as my line.  I could get the line through, but it is snug.  I suppose I could silicone seal it but there is so little transfer that I haven't had a problem.

I keep the cooler relatively warm for serving, and I live in a dry climate.  Your results may vary.

Equipment and Software / Re: Hand Cranked or Powered?
« on: June 25, 2014, 11:15:35 AM »
I'm thinking the rare, but possible, unanimous decision from this thread to have a powered grain mill  :D

There's a plumbing/electrical supply company down the road from me so I may just stop down to the store and see what low RPM/high torque small electric motors they have.

Ok I'll admit that I hand crank.  I'm a cheapskate.  It feels like I deserve my beer if I'm "working" for it.  ::)

Other Fermentables / Re: Thinking about trying my had at mead
« on: June 18, 2014, 09:10:00 AM »
(Much) Later, when your fermentation is done.  Bentonite has always worked really well to clarify my meads. 

Personally, when finishing, I prefer to add potassium sorbate stabilizer, and then back add some honey to sweeten up my meads too.

My senator & committee chair - check!

Thanks for the update!

Ingredients / Re: Growing your own
« on: May 15, 2014, 01:30:46 PM »
... and maybe grow winter rye as another cover crop. In the spring I'll till, get a soil test, amend the soil and grow something else. If this works I'll keep breaking new ground for more veggies, fruit trees, berries etc. Eventually there will be no grass to mow and we'll have more and more of our own food. I wish I could quit my job!

I grew rye this year for the first time.  Planted the first week in November, it didn't get more than six inches tall until February or March.  Then it took off, it's now up to six feet!  It is still green and the seeds are just beginning to plump up.

It's delaying my spring barley planting. :)

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