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Messages - Alewyfe

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Reusing Starter
« on: February 11, 2015, 10:32:31 AM »
If your sanitation is good, and you refresh it regularly, it will be good for quite a while. I do this regularly. I buy 50ml sterile centrifuge tubes, ebay or Cynmar, and whenever I make a starter, after decanting, fill a tube or two, mark it and put it back in the fridge. The tubes are graduated, so after they settle, you have a pretty good idea how much yeast you have harvested, then you can use a calculator and just step it up next time.
I usually dump it after about the 5th generation as I know home conditions are not that sanitary, but you can taste the wort you decant and get a pretty good idea if you should use it again or not. Does it taste like the original batch or does it have a hint of sour? I have about 6-8 strains banked for use this way.

When I'm doing an all grain batch, after I've sparged, the runnings usually still have a lot of sugar, so I add a couple more gallons to the mash and let it run off while I'm brewing. At the end of the day, I then take that run off and either boil it down or dilute it to my desired OG of around 1.030 and pressure can it. That way I've always got readily available wort to start my refrigerated bounty.

Ingredients / Re: Pellet vs. Leaf Hops
« on: February 10, 2015, 06:56:19 PM »
Same here. Also, I tend to buy by the pound on my favorite hops and leaf hops take up way too much space.

Equipment and Software / Re: Inside Dimensions Older Coleman Extreme
« on: February 09, 2015, 10:28:56 AM »
Any size cooler will work. If the cooler is too small, it will limit the size of your grain bill, so you may have to run more sparge batches. 58qt. is a nice size. Especially for 5 gal. batches. If it really matters to you, measure it with water.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Brew Day Update
« on: February 08, 2015, 04:03:35 PM »
I'd always prefer to be a bit over on the OG. Easier to add some water if I want to drop the gravity. Double check your volumes. Maybe you just boiled a bit longer or a bit more vigorously. It's pretty hard to tightly regulate some of those burners.

Pimp My System / Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« on: February 08, 2015, 11:55:55 AM »
This thread has certainly shared a bunch of good ideas. Thanks for posting all the pictures Amanda. Keep 'em coming.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Debbie Downer (Cleaning My EHERMS)
« on: February 08, 2015, 11:53:31 AM »
Yup, simpler can be better. While some folks clean and set up their systems, some folks are already brewing. I hate cleaning kegs enough to know I don't want a lot more stainless nooks and crannies in my brew life. I just did a little 2.5 gal. BIAB batch the other night and set the oven temp to 150F and threw the kettle in there for an hour. It was so easy I just went out and got a 3 gal. fermenter so I have someplace with less head space to ferment  batches like this. I can brew while I'm cooking pot and virtually no clean up. Now when I don't have a lot of time, it won't keep me from brewing something.

Pimp My System / Re: Motorized Monster Mill
« on: February 08, 2015, 11:14:20 AM »
Nice. Looks like you could crush gravel with that motor. I was looking at small cabinets like that at the Home Depot yesterday. The spirit is willing but the garage is full.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brew Weekend
« on: February 06, 2015, 04:46:52 PM »
Oh Jim, you are one wild and crazy guy! I'm parti gyling a Wee Heavy and Tu'pney. Looking forward to a nice long brew-zen day.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: I hope I'm not screwed
« on: January 04, 2015, 03:17:31 PM »
Major Vices should weight in on this and you'll get an idea of how crucial returning these kegs is particularly if it's a micro's keg. The losses from un-returned kegs to a small brewery is staggering.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Conicals again
« on: December 25, 2014, 03:47:55 PM »
On a homebrew scale I have experienced no difference in quality of the finished product. I have been using a stainless conical, buckets, glass and plastic carboys for a number of years. I actually prefer the buckets and carboys for the ease of arranging them in my cooler. If you're wanting to drop trub or pull yeast from the cone, that would be the only advantage to the conical and that can be a pain as the racking ports (mine is not rotatable) can get completely clogged so nothing comes out easily.

If you have everything else your heart desires for brewing - go ahead. But, a conical would definitely not be an early purchase in my acquisition of desired brew gear.

The Pub / Re: The Malt Book
« on: December 20, 2014, 11:50:01 AM »
Yes, that's a disappointment. I've been in search of some of that same information lately. I'm fine with experimentation, but in the interest of scooting up the learning curve a ways, it would be nice to have a good reference. Maybe you/we need to compile some kind of a poll, say do it with 10 malts at a time, and give people a way to post their flavor descriptors based on their experience using these malts. See if we can build some kind of a useful reference. There's an awful lot of experience on this forum to pull from.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A homebrewing milestione
« on: December 20, 2014, 11:25:44 AM »
I've reached there with kitchen stuff. I can walk through a shop and finally not buy anything. Homebrew gear, nope, not quite. New stuff still holds a compelling fascination. I must say that getting to brew with a friend who has the most tricked out system I've ever encountered has put the brakes on my desire to acquire though. A person just can't brew enough to make all the set up and clean up worthwhile.

How about books Denny? Don't those count? The Malt book is out, which I will have to get and I'm really looking forward to Randy Mosher's new book too. Then there's that Experimental Brewing book. Perfect gifts for the brewer who has everything.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Airlock vs. Blowoff tube
« on: November 23, 2014, 11:12:25 PM »
You done good! Many folks user a blow off tube in the beginning then switch to an airlock after the fermentation slows down. Prevents you from blowing gunk into and out of the airlock, or worse yet, blowing it off the carboy and exposing your beer to nasties in the air. . It will not affect the amount of kreusen.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast stout question...I'm a little drunk!
« on: November 22, 2014, 11:00:51 AM »
I think that all three yeast pitches would be enough. Also, you can still make a starter without a stir plate.

You can also make a starter whether or not the packs swell.

I made starters for years without a stir plate.  I still wouldn't have one if someone hadn't given me an old one a few years ago.

LAZY CHEAPSKATE!!!! (You can say that to Denny, he considers it the supreme compliment)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Homebrew All Stars
« on: November 22, 2014, 09:38:10 AM »
These responses absolutely punctuate why I love homebrewing and the people who are members of the homebrew community.

The hobby is so satisfying because you all engage and interact.

We look up to and admire and are grateful for some very innovative people who have accomplished much and laid the path for our own brewing successes, but we consider them our Beer Yodas. The moniker All Star just doesn't seem to fit those we admire among the ranks of homebrewers.

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