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Messages - Alewyfe

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346
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I've lost that "new hobby" smell
« on: August 16, 2012, 10:46:11 AM »
I think I went through a similar phase one time when I was first starting. What snapped me out of it was learning the science behind the processes and competing.

The science part really was an awesome thing that really made brewing more than a simple mixture of stuff. It became larger. Tiny details became very large. It remains that way to this day.

Competing really opened my eyes. I can drink my beer fine, but it helped to validate, or dismiss, what I was tasting and smelling in my brew. Ultimately, it made my beer far better than I could imagine.

So buck up tiger - there is alot to explore and master. If you mastered it all in 8 brews, then brewing might truly have become bland. I am betting there are still mountains to climb though ;)

+10
Compete for a bit of incentive....and humility! If you haven't joined a local club, you're missing a boatload of fun and camaraderie. Brewing with a friend is a great way to spend an afternoon. If you don't have a local club...start one! That will keep you Beery busy.  Obviously the friends you do have don't appreciate you enough. 8)  Get out of the kitchen...get a cooker and brew outside. Also, if I HAD to bottle everything I make, I may get disenchanted too. Consider a kegging set up. Have you done any side by side batches to compare yeasts, hops, malts or technique yet? Do you know everything there is to know about what the different malts/hops/yeasts will contribute to your flavor profile already? You can't have satisfied your curiosity about brewing and beer in 8 batches.

347
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sour taste from US-04. Fermented at 63*
« on: August 14, 2012, 09:24:06 AM »
I have used SO-4 at a variety of temps and always detect an initial taste of sourness in the green beer.
Once the yeast completely drops out, I no longer can pick up that taste. I'm guessing in a couple weeks it will be fine. RDWHAHB

348
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop Harvest
« on: August 12, 2012, 09:51:23 AM »
I do what Jeff describes above sometimes.  I also use a food dehydrator, but it holds considerably less than I can get on a screen.

I do the same thing as Jeff, only outside. Covered the screens full of hops with cheese cloth or tuille so they wouldn't blow away and just put them out on my deck. The warm days and good airflow dry them in a hurry.
Make raisins from grapes the same way.

349
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Boil kettle too big, not enough fire.
« on: August 12, 2012, 09:46:51 AM »
Is this the first ever brewing-related BFI thread?... If so...

I like turtles.

W2F

350
All Grain Brewing / Re: Efficiency Issues
« on: August 12, 2012, 09:29:04 AM »
I think Jeff is probably right that's not a very fine crush. The difference between 56% efficiency and 70% is like $2 worth of grain. I wouldn't stress about it as long as it's consistent. Efficiency isn't inherently good, but I'd argue consistency is.

+1
That being agreed upon, I found one of the biggest improvements to my efficiency was when I loosened up my mash a bit.  I too was brewing in round coolers and adjusting my strike water to sometimes under a ltr/# to make 10-11 gal recipes fit in my cooler. When I scaled back my recipe by a gallon or so, so I could maintain around 1.5 ltrs/# of grain instead of reducing the strike water volume, it improved my efficiency by about 5% and this has remained consistent in subsequent brews. 

352
Homebrew Clubs / Re: That's my club!
« on: August 05, 2012, 01:38:10 PM »
Ours Denny....and a great team it is.

353
The Pub / Re: How to introduce a girl to brewing...
« on: August 04, 2012, 09:28:07 AM »
A nice Ordinary or Special...but for heavens sake, don't call it a "bitter". Puts n00bs right off. No matter how good it is they can't get past the bitter moniker. Save that explanation for later.

354
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Ken Schramm in Hospital
« on: August 04, 2012, 09:21:59 AM »
Me and my bees are pulling for you Ken. Thanks for your great book too, btw.
Wishing you a speedy recovery.

355
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 5 gallon starters and you drink them.
« on: August 03, 2012, 09:14:32 AM »
Our club just started doing 20-25 gal. batches on a local micro brewers pilot system. It will be served in his pub (with a discount to club members) and features our club's own tap handle. The brewer is hoping there will be enough interest for someone to brew a batch every month. It's fun for our club, but the brewer says in the long run it will save him money too. Instead of paying $xxx for a commercial pitch from WL or Wy he
will harvest a stepped up batch of yeast ready to pitch. That would be a 25 gal. starter that we can drink.


356
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 5 gallon starters and you drink them.
« on: August 02, 2012, 02:24:36 PM »
I reuse yeast by saving in a ziplock gallon plastic bag.  If I use it within a month, I pitch directly with approximately a third, a half, three quarters or all (based on weeks from harvest).  After a month, I will rinse and make a starter or consider tossing it.  I write the date of harvest on the bag, along with yeast type.  I have used dark slurry for lighter beers without any appreciable effect on color of the repitched beer.  YMMV.
Why the plastic bag? 



357
The Pub / Re: I want to toast to Euge's father
« on: August 01, 2012, 06:02:57 AM »
Toasting Euge, Sr.   

358
Ingredients / Re: Are 30 minute hops worth it?
« on: July 30, 2012, 03:04:58 PM »
Any of you guys ever read the "Roving Brewer" articles by Eric Watson on the Beer Tools website?
He has some pretty different views on hopping as well as yeast. I'd be interested in your comments about what he writes on both issues, but for this thread at least about hopping. He sez never FWH. Whadya think?

FWIW, I just did an APA on Saturday with a load of 30 minute hops and 15, 10, 0 as a kind of experiment. It will be dry hopped as well. I'll let you know how it goes.

359
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Today's screw up...
« on: July 29, 2012, 09:09:39 PM »
Okay...so this just comes in from another brew friend who has been soooo looking forward to this weekend. He has had life happen and has been unable to brew for about 6 months. All kinds of planning went into this brew day. He has teamed up with a brand new club member who is very enthusiastic to get going.

His email.....

Oh my. What a day. Last night I discovered that my thermometer battery was dead and someone broke my hydrometer but didn't tell me. Too late to go to harvest, couldn't get ahold of Paul to borrow one. Went to town, couldn't get ahold of Paul still, but got a battery. Told Craig later that he needed to go in early and buy me one. He agreed but failed to tell me about baseball practice in the morning. Ended up calling Paul W and told him to come an hour later for brewing. Seriously grumpy by now. Go get the hydrometer myself. Paul gets here, we start the mash water heating. I walk into the garage, hear a crash. My rolling cart I use to brew with that had shelves for all my gear went for a ride down the driveway and dumped on it's side spilling everything out. I walked up fully expecting the new hydro to be broken. Somehow, it got hung up in the shelf and didn't hit the ground. A miracle. It's 10:15 now, and I have a facial twitch. I decide it's time to start drinking. Give Paul a beer. I decide a beer isn't strong enough to fix my facial twitch. Get my rye whiskey from the shop and have a couple good belts. Mmmmm! Much better... The brew proceeds. Beer is being drunk. Mash goes well, but discover the well is now dry and there's no magic water left for the second running. Almost start crying. Briefly consider hari kari, but settle on more whiskey instead. This helps. I ask Paul, expert on all things water, how hard the river water is. He says its pretty hard by this time of year. I drink more rye to clear my mind. Screw it, I say. Let's use river water. So we do, and things get considerably better from there on out in spite of having to send a kid to town for propane for the bbq'er. Burgers were great. Beer was cold. Got more gravity than I expected. Diluted a little. Hit my final gravity. Took forever to chill, but finally managed 75. Oh well. Like I really give a tinker's damn about that anymore.

Relax, don't worry, have a home brew. Or whiskey if you already have a good facial twitch going.
............................................................................
Gremlins I'm telling you!  You all be careful out there.......

360
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Today's screw up...
« on: July 29, 2012, 08:37:57 PM »
The brew gremlins were everywhere this weekend. I and another club member did a demo brew at the local County Farmers Market on Saturday. First, while he was checking temp with my digital thermometer, I watched as I saw the thermometer slide from his grasp in slow mo and sink to the bottom of the boil kettle. Second, his ex drops off the 2 year old because she has some work issue and can't find a sitter. You know 2 year olds are pretty curious and unbeknownst to me, she has cracked the valve open on the boil kettle. I'm busy talking to market patrons and notice something leaking underneath my truck (we were brewing on the tailgate).....what the hell is that I wonder. When it occurs to me how sticky it is, I holler "the valve is open." Instead of closing the valve, my partner in comedy goes running for another kettle to catch it in. We end up sacrificing 3 gals of fist runnings to the asphalt gods. A much lengthened boil time later we end up with a 7 gal batch instead of 11, but did at least manage to hit the right OG.

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