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Topics - evandy

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Equipment and Software / Hydroflask Growler Filler
« on: January 29, 2014, 03:10:12 AM »
For any other hydro-flask growler owners out there...  an extra cap is just $5 from Amazon.  That plus some extra racking cane I had handy makes a perfect filler.  Just jam a cobra-tap on the top ghetto-filler style.  I used to use a large rubber stopper, but with the large area it was hard to keep in place.  Now I have mechanical advantage!  I may drill it for a schraeder valve down the road, which would mean I can fill with CO2 first and counter-pressure fill.

Beer Recipes / Oak an English IPA??
« on: January 17, 2014, 10:41:35 PM »
I just put an English IPA into the fermenter, and am trying decide whether or not to oak it.  I haven't oaked a beer before, but I got an oak spiral to try and help an old ale that's a little flat.  I'm thinking about breaking off a piece and trying it in the IPA.   Any thoughts/suggestions?

Recipe makes 5.5 gal in the fermenter...
1 lbs Amber (Crisp) (27.5 SRM) Grain 1 9.5 %
8.0 oz Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 2 4.8 %
8.0 oz Crystal Dark - 77L (Crisp) (75.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.8 %
8.0 oz Crystal Extra Dark - 120L (Crisp) (120.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.8 %
8.0 oz Special Roast (Briess) (50.0 SRM) Grain 5 4.8 %
7 lbs Extra Light Dry Extract (3.0 SRM) Dry
Extract 6 66.7 %
8.0 oz Wheat Dry Extract (8.0 SRM) Dry
Extract 7 4.8 %
1.50 oz Challenger [7.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 8 36.5 IBUs
1.50 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 9 4.4 IBUs
1.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 10 0.0 IBUs

It's fermenting with repitched Wyeast 1768 (English Special Bitter Ale), one of the recent private-collection yeasts.  The yeast's first batch was a best bitter.

Beer Recipes / HAle 2012
« on: November 17, 2012, 12:32:28 AM »
Decided that I shouldn't let the yeast from a Best Bitter go to waste (Thames Valley II)...  I rarely pitch on top of the cake, but for this Old Ale I think I will.  Should reach it's peak for next year, most likely.

As always, thoughts welcome....

HAle 2012
Old Ale
Type: Extract Date: 11/16/2012
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal Brewer:
Boil Size: 2.82 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Pot ( 3 Gal/11.4 L) - Extract
End of Boil Volume 2.60 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 5.25 gal Est Mash Efficiency 0.0 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes:
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
1 lbs Crystal Extra Dark  (C&F) (120.0 SRM) Grain 1 7.3 %
8.0 oz Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 2 3.6 %
8.0 oz Honey Malt (Gambrinus) (25.0 SRM) Grain 3 3.6 %
4.0 oz Black Malt (Simpsons) (550.0 SRM) Grain 4 1.8 %
4.0 oz Crystal, Dark (T&F) (80.0 SRM) Grain 5 1.8 %
11 lbs 4.0 oz Extra Light Muntons Dry Extract (3.0 SRM) Dry
Extract 6 81.8 %
1.00 oz Magnum [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 38.1 IBUs
1.00 oz Bramling Cross [6.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 8 3.3 IBUs
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.092 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.046 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.023 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 9.1 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 4.7 %
Bitterness: 41.4 IBUs Calories: 151.6 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 25.1 SRM

Beer Recipes / First Recipe comments....
« on: August 26, 2012, 06:15:24 PM »
I've just finished brewing my home-made recipe.  I've tweaked a few recipes in the past due to ingredient availability and such, but this is the first one I've come up with myself.  Any comments/Thoughts?  Since it's brewed, any changes will need to wait for next time, of course.

Note: This is the original recipe; I had to substitute Galena for the Galaxy hops due to availability.  I am calling this a hybrid English/American Brown ale.  I wanted something a little citrusy and hoppy, but to retain the fantastic malt character of an English Brown.

Rockin 2-Fast Brown
Amt    Name    Type    #    %/IBU
7 lbs    Golden Promise (Simpsons) (2.0 SRM)    Grain    1    53.8 %
3 lbs    Amber (Crisp) (27.5 SRM)    Grain    2    23.1 %
1 lbs    Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM)    Grain    3    7.7 %
1 lbs    Crystal, Dark (Simpsons) (80.0 SRM)    Grain    4    7.7 %
8.0 oz    Chocolate Malt, Pale (200.0 SRM)    Grain    5    3.8 %
8.0 oz    Crystal, Extra Dark (Simpsons) (160.0 SRM)    Grain    6    3.8 %
0.50 oz    Galaxy [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min    Hop    7    22.7 IBUs
0.50 oz    Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Boil 10.0 min    Hop    8    2.8 IBUs
0.50 oz    Galaxy [14.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min    Hop    9    4.5 IBUs
0.50 oz    Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Boil 1.0 min    Hop    10    2.3 IBUs
0.50 oz    Galaxy [14.00 %] - Boil 1.0 min    Hop    11    3.8 IBUs

Yeast: Safale US-05

Yeast and Fermentation / Mead lag time
« on: August 26, 2012, 03:45:13 PM »
All you mead makers… how long is typical for a mead to take to start showing signs of active fermentation after pitching?  I just started my first mead, and it started bubbling nicely in the airlock in about 45 minutes.  Needless to say, this was a LOT shorter than I was expecting.

OG: 1.115
Yeast: Safale US-05 (Brew store was out of Lalvin 71-B)
Temperature: 60-65F
1st batch of a staggered nutrient addition added.

I was a little sad to find that I couldn't get 71-B for my first mead... I've had some good meads from US-05, so hopefully this will come out all right.  I have a little Thames Valley-II hanging around in the fridge, and I almost pitched that instead.  It has a nice stone-fruit character, but I didn't think it would attenuate enough.



The Pub / Project Fedora
« on: May 17, 2012, 11:22:54 PM »
Well, since I saw a Diablo 3 thread out there, I figured I would throw in a plug for Project Fedora.

Calling all Adventure Gamers out there:  Project Fedora ( is now live!  The Tex Murphy games were sci-fi/detective adventure games, and left with a huge cliffhanger about 15 years ago.  If you like adventure games, you should check out the old games over at  If you like Tex, then you should consider offering a bit over on kickstarter to help fund the reboot of the series.

If you want names... Chris Jones (co-founder of Access SW), and Aaron Connors (sr. developer at EA) are the founders of Tex.  They've cast people like James Earl Jones in their games, and they do a great job.

Thanks for listening to the plug, all.

General Homebrew Discussion / Adding body to a beer
« on: January 29, 2012, 01:35:09 PM »
I brewed a beer with a new yeast a while ago.  It was an extract batch, so I don't have much control over mashing parameters.  Unfortunately, post-fermentation, the beer seems a little thin on the mouthfeel side.  Not a lot, but definitely somewhat watery.  Any suggestions on how to correct this?  I assume there's not much to do at this point with the current batch (in a keg, carbing).

Beer Recipes / British Recipe Progression
« on: January 07, 2012, 03:08:22 PM »
I am currently working on a set of British Ale Recipes to use for a brew-in series with my local homebrew club.  We are planning to brew 3 batches of beer, 3-4 weeks apart, with related recipes.  I haven't done a lot of recipe formulation, so I'm hoping to get a review of what I've come up with.  This is a Best Bitter -> Northern Brown -> Brown Porter  series, based on the recipes in BCS.

Any comments/thoughts appreciated!  (Note: Our club has good access to US 2-Row, so we use that as our base malt.  I am using a small addition of Special Roast to add extra biscuit and colour.)

I am reluctant to change the Best Bitter recipe too much, as I have brewed it a few times and love it.  That said, I am considering using the same crystal in all 3.  We will probably ferment with the Thames Valley II (PC yeast from Wyeast this season).

Best Bitter (OG 1.049):
    US 2-row: 84.4%
    Special Roast: 4.4%
    Aromatic: 6.7%
    Cara120: 4.4%
    EKGs @ 60min, 20min, flameout to make 30 IBUs

Northern Brown (OG 1.050):
  (Reduce base-grain percentage, use Amber instead of Aromatic, add pale chocolate)
    US 2-row: 81.2%
    Special Roast: 4.4%
    Amber: 6.0%
    Cara40: 4.2%
    Pale Chocolate: 4.2%
    EKGs @ 60min, 10min to make 24 IBUs

Brown Porter (OG 1.052):
  (Reduce base-grain percentage, use brown/chocolate instead of amber/pale choc)
    US 2-row: 72.7%
    Special Roast: 4.4%
    Brown: 9.7%
    Cara40: 8.1%
    Chocolate: 5.1%
    EKGs @ 60min, 10min to make 26 IBUs

Equipment and Software / "Beginners" Essentials?
« on: December 04, 2010, 12:32:04 AM »
I've been brewing for 3-4 years now, and my brother-in-law-squared (sister-in-law's fiance) wants his first brewing equipment.  Looking over my own beginning-brewer's kit, I can see a couple of things that just aren't needed... and a couple that I'd like to upgrade.  Since I'm kegging now, and have done a number of upgrades myself, I have some items that I can send his way that I'm just not using any more, but are still in good shape.  We are doing a "secret"-santa gift exchange in that family, and he's the one I'm buying for, so I have a reasonable budget ($70) I think.  Any additions/subtractions from others?

- Bottling bucket (I keg now, he'll get my old one)
- Fermentor (6 gal BB, new), + bung + air-lock
- Hydrometer
- 3 feet of vinyl beer hose
- wing capper (my old one)
- Package of Caps
- Auto-siphon
- Iodaphor + PBW
- Bottling Wand
- If I have $20 left over, I'll add an ingredient kit.

I am deliberately NOT adding empty bottles, since he is already collecting, and I have to ship this a couple states away.  My sister-in-law is suggesting a large discount turkey-fryer kit to his mother, so between the two of us, he should be all set.  Beyond those, anything that I'm missing?

Kegging and Bottling / Lingering Cola smell...
« on: November 21, 2010, 03:23:34 AM »
I have a couple of kegs that still have a lingering cola smell.  They've all been PBW soaked a number of times, and had complete gasket replacements.  I have served a couple beers that didn't pick up any noticeable cola odor, so it's probably not a big deal.  But does anyone know how to remove this long-lasting odor from the keg?  I've heard both that bleach might fix the problem... and that you should not use bleach in stainless, as it will pit it pretty quickly.  If bleach is the right answer, what concentration should be used?


Kegging and Bottling / Mix & match?
« on: November 12, 2010, 01:53:11 AM »
I just got a pair of new kegs, both of which say "Cornelius Company" on the side.  However, they have the wedge-shaped pressure relief valves.  Does anyone know if I have a prayer of replacing them with the normal ring-style valves?  The valves on the new kegs (the 2 wedge-shaped ones) are both near dead, so I need to replace them some how.  The seal on one has fallen off, and is litterally just sitting in the bottom of the hole.

Any idea where I can replace these?  Or, alternatively, swap for the commonly available ring-style valves?  Again, these are definitely Corny kegs, but I'm wondering if the lids were swapped for firestone lids before I got them...

Other Fermentables / Pectic enzyme - too late
« on: November 10, 2010, 12:22:54 AM »
I have some cider that's just about done fermenting.  Alas, I forgot to add pectic enzyme, so it's cloudy.  Is it too late to add it to the fermented cider?

General Homebrew Discussion / Watch out for short-cuts!
« on: November 01, 2010, 01:07:41 AM »
I wanted to get a quick brew in today, so went for an extract + steeping grains (really a mini-mash, despite what the recipe says) clone from BYO a few years back, specifically the Nutcracker ale.  Hope it turns out good.  However, with the intention of "speeding things up" I made a bunch of bone-headed blunders.  Read and enjoy... and don't make the same mistakes!

Started the water boiling in the kettle while the steeping grains were finishing up inside.  Which would have been fine, if I hadn't gone ahead and added the DME to it once it hit boiling.  Or if I had calculated how much extra water I needed.  I didn't leave space for sparge water from the steeping grains... which were sticky with gooey, tasty, malt sugars.  In the end, I had about 8.5 gallons of wort pre-boil, which I managed to get down to 6.75 gal at the end of an hour.  I usually put 5.5 to 6.0 gallons in my fermentor, so I wasn't too off, but yikes.  Hopefully the lowered OG won't throw off the beer too much.  And I must not have let the whirpool go for long enough, because my fermentor ended up with LOTS of hot/cold break in it, despite a short whirlpool.

Oh well, based on past experiences, it should come out fine in the end.

Kegging and Bottling / Beer Line Cleaner
« on: October 31, 2010, 01:55:20 AM »
What do all of you use as beer-line cleaner on your kegging setups?  How often do you clean your lines and faucets?

I have been spraying a little star-san up into my forward-sealing faucets every month or so, but haven't done too much with the lines yet (they have each pushed about 2 full kegs, and it's taken a year to do it).

How often do they need to be flushed out?  Is star-san or PBW good on the lines, or should I break down and buy some actual BLC?

Thanks for the feedback.

Questions about the forum? / RSS && Google Reader
« on: October 31, 2010, 01:35:30 AM »
Since Google reader only refreshes RSS feeds every hour or so, has anyone had trouble with the AHA forum's RSS feed?  I see that it only includes the 5 most recent posts, so if there are more than 5 posts in an hour, Google's RSS reader probably won't see them all.  Is there any way to get the default number of posts in the RSS feed raised from 5?

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