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Messages - BrewArk

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Anxiety of Kegging
« on: April 17, 2015, 12:44:42 PM »
Rule #1: The beer in the keg will always achieve the perfect balance of flavor, carbonation, and clarity about 2 or 3 pints before it blows.  ;)  RDWHAHB and build up an inventory.


Zymurgy / Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« on: April 15, 2015, 03:59:00 PM »
Also the July/August 2011 issue of Zymurgy had a good article on PU, and decoction.

Just pull the one off the bbq until you get it refilled.  That's what I do.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: handling kegs not under pressure
« on: March 20, 2015, 10:55:32 AM »
Some random thoughts:

With a bunch of "t"s you get all the same pressure over all the kegs, regardless of style.

Unless you put check valves throughout the system, a leak in one keg could run you flat over the whole system. 

When you add a new keg, you'll have to hope (& you'll probably be fine but...) that the new keg doesn't pull gas (or worse liquid) out of your other kegs.

If you naturally carbonate, & you have a keg that doesn't seat well, you might want to give it a small charge to get the seal, until the yeast build up the pressure enough to keep the seal.

It's like beer.  Clean it real good.  Then sanitize it.  Use the regular bleach ~ 9:1 (in water).

Ingredients / Re: Freezing fresh hops
« on: March 17, 2015, 10:20:56 AM »
Title said "fresh" hops.  I dry mine first.   :P
Then I weigh them into 1 oz portions then vacuum seal those in foodsaver bags taht go into the freezer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction
« on: March 12, 2015, 08:43:03 AM »
Decoction is great when you miss your target mash temperature (provided you are on the coll side).  Otherwise, I tend to avoid it.

Some people can read it in a book,

Some people can be taught,

Is decoction for those that need to pee on the electric fence for themselves?

(personally, it's not that big a deal, just do it, experience it, retire from it)

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.

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).

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?

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

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!

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.

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. 

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.

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