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Messages - Alewyfe

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The Pub / Re: Espresso machines
« on: July 23, 2016, 09:36:41 AM »
 would get the model without the burr grinder. you probably already have a good grinder. why pay for another one?

The Pub / Re: Brewery Visitor
« on: May 22, 2016, 09:56:26 AM »
Wow! He is a real brewer now. He's got a beard!  You both look great and  I appreciate that as busy as running breweries keeps you two, you still manage to field so many questions here on the forum. Cheers gentlemen.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Activated Wyeast packet
« on: April 25, 2016, 09:28:10 AM »
Sometime back when I was playing with a microscope, I took a year old package of Wyeast that had somewhat swollen out of the fridge and did a cell count and viability test on it. I got over 99% viability, so I called Wyeast to see if that was even possible. They said absolutely.

Yeast are a lot heartier than we think. Usually, the older the yeast, the more time to wake from dormancy.
The problem for most of us is maintaining a clean enough environment that nothing else which grows faster takes hold first.

Since then, I've used lots of old yeast as a LHB used to give it to me free. My advice...make a starter and taste the decanted starter wort before you pitch. Do it even if the yeast is fresh. You'll get used to the taste of green unhoped beer and will be able to easily identify when something  is not right with the starter.

Curious....what is a density meter used for in the brewery?

I think they're talking about a dissolved oxygen meter.
That would make sense. I couldn't comprehend what a density meter might tell you that a hydrometer couldn't.

Curious....what is a density meter used for in the brewery?

Homebrewer Bios / Re: Thomas from Ireland
« on: March 23, 2016, 10:08:37 AM »
Cheers to you Thomas. Lousy beer here and a couple trips to the UK is what got me started brewing back in the '70s. You've got no idea of how it cheers me to know we've now got beers good enough to be appreciated abroad. I toast the work you are doing to foster home brewing in Ireland and welcome you to a great group of fellow enthusiasts here on the forum. Look forward to hearing more of what you're up to.

I would have extrapolated how much priming solution to use. If it's normally 2 cups you use for 5 gals., then you would just use 1/5 of that for one gallon. There are also some priming tablets you can buy which you simply add directly to the bottles. Also, any piece of tubing would probably fit into the gallon bottle. I assume you tried to use an auto siphon or something which probably wouldn't fit.  You need to siphon the good old fashioned way.

Events / Re: Homebrew Conference T-shirt
« on: March 06, 2016, 01:14:54 AM »

Events / Re: 2016 Homebrew Con
« on: March 05, 2016, 11:00:19 AM »
You guys are a stitch! Klickitat Jim for King...and I want one of those Conn shirts.

Events / Re: Homebrew Conference T-shirt
« on: March 05, 2016, 10:42:48 AM »
You ol' dinosaur you! I suddenly don't feel so alone. Still irrelevant, just not alone  :-\

Equipment and Software / Re: refractometer question
« on: March 05, 2016, 10:23:28 AM »
Spend some $$. There is no such thing as good and cheap in a refractometer. Most of the ones sold by the HBS are too cheap. The handheld ones that are good come out of the wine industry suppliers and run upwards of $80 to $100.

I had one I paid about $40 for and it drifted like crazy and rarely matched a good old glass hydrometer. I was given a Milwaukee digital model (they run around $100 I think) and it is a thing of beauty. Rock solid. calibration is a snap....though it rarely moves, and it's very fun to use. I buy sterile, individually packaged disposable pipettes, they're like $5 for 100, so tracking gravity on fermenting worts is actually a pleasure rather than being a PITA.

All Grain Brewing / Re: New Aluminum Brew Pot
« on: March 01, 2016, 11:21:30 PM »
wash it well, no conditioning needed. It will ultimately form a bit of a  patina on the inside. Do not try to remove this using anything abrasive. No wire scrubbies, use only plastic or the green sponge scrubbies. This oxidized layer is actually fine and imparts no off flavors. I've had a 15 gal heavy aluminum pot since the 80's and it looks grungy, but works perfectly.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Crazy Idea
« on: February 09, 2016, 10:09:48 AM »

What happens if I take two American Pale Ale No Boil Complete 5 gallon beer kits and combine them to make 5 gallons
You'll make really strong beer if it works.  If it doesn't you'll make a high alcohol syrupy mess. 
You have a strong chance of making something very bitter, or with too much "specialty malt" flavor (roast, caramel, etc).  Doubling recipes works if you increase all the ingregients, including water.  Doubling all the ingredients EXCEPT the water may overload the beer with hops or specialty malt.
Make sure the yeast you use has high alcohol tolerance.  If you get through primary fermentation and you're bottling, there's a chance that the yeast may give you the middle finger and go on strike, leaving you with flat beer.
Consider just adding some simple sugar to your recipe to boost gravity: try a cup or two for starters.
Or don't.  It's only beer.  I did a "high gravity" beer for my second extract batch.  Turned into lawn fertilizer.  I learned some things.  I tried tripling the amount of crystal malt in a beer for my second all grain batch.  Turned into lawn fertilizer.  I learned some things. 
Years later, I'm still learning with each batch, but make much less fertilizer!

Just curious does the lawn look?

All Grain Brewing / Re: All Grain Starter Wort fail
« on: January 31, 2016, 09:58:38 AM »
You didn't do anything wrong. There's nothing wrong with a yeast starter a 1.025. It will make for some healthy yeast, but you will have   to use more of it to get your proper cell count. You could have just boiled it down farther to get to a higher gravity. You don't have to add DME.  My procedure: 3lbs 12oz. Pils malt. 2 gals of water in a 4-5gal stock pot heated to 155F.  I have very soft water so my pH is probably around 5.6 (I haven't checked as I don't really care for this)  Put grain bag in pot with bunge cord around it to keep it from falling in. Stir in grain. Cover and set in 150F preheated oven for 1 hour. Take grain bag out and put it into another pot or pail with 2.6 gal. of 170F water and mix to rinse well. Combine the two worts. Bring to a boil with some yeast nutrient until I get to my desired OG of 1.034-36, (I turn the burner way up and boil really hard. I can get to my desired gravity in about 15 mi.) then transfer to your hot sanitized mason jars and process. I process quarts for 1/2hr at 15# pressure.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lager starters
« on: January 28, 2016, 02:49:25 PM »
Denny, Thanks for the quick feedback oh ye of no life. I kind of was thinking that, but you never know. There are some great lager makers out there and I just thought  it would be fun to ask if anybody is even concerned with starter temps.

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