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Messages - Alewyfe

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Pimp My System / Re: Finally!
« on: February 21, 2015, 11:10:13 AM »
Nice garage heater Dave! Seriously, nice job. What size plate chiller?

Pimp My System / Re: HopHouse Brewery & Taproom
« on: February 21, 2015, 10:59:03 AM »
Can I be your friend? Anyone who pays that much attention to tidy and clean and aesthetically pleasing undoubtedly makes fine beers.

Equipment and Software / Re: Spoon or paddle
« on: February 21, 2015, 10:52:13 AM »
I have a kitchen wire dough whip thing that I jammed into a piece of PVC tubing. Does a great job of busting my mash tun.

The Pub / Re: Ordered a nuc and hive
« on: February 19, 2015, 05:51:10 PM »
Beekeeping is not a pleasant little hobby. It's a lot of work. Depending on the nectar flows in your area, they can need constant attention. If I knew then what I know now, I may have never taken up the challenge. When my garden is planted and the little buggers are out there pollinating their little hearts out and my harvest is once again better than ever, I will retract the previous statement. I will never again bristle at the high price of good quality local raw honey.

The Pub / Re: Thanks!
« on: February 19, 2015, 05:44:22 PM »
Yup, well said Pete.

Equipment and Software / Re: BeerSmith Efficiency
« on: February 12, 2015, 12:14:39 AM »
Nice metaphor. Explains it well.

Homebrewer Bios / Re: Brewer Bio: flbrewer
« on: February 12, 2015, 12:05:00 AM »
Nice Legs! No, really!  It is good to put a face to the name. You're on the forum quite a bit and ask some really good questions. I have a feeling you will be a formidable brewer soon if you aren't already.

You are among good and knowledgeable company here. Brew on!

Homebrew Clubs / Re: Oh what a relief it is......
« on: February 11, 2015, 05:03:12 PM »
I'm there right now Mic. After assuming the reigns in 2008 with a handful of members meeting at homes, we've grown the club to 36+ members. It's a bundle of work. Last month I announced it was my last year as prez. If they wanted the club to continue, then someone needed to step forward and shadow me for the year so they could take over in 2016. Reluctantly, someone finally volunteered, when I assured them I'd be right behind them propping them up where ever necessary. I want to concentrate on educational activities for the club and sometimes I'm just too darn busy with the rest of the agenda to get anything put together. The friendships formed and social activities are fun, but it's really nice to take some new bit of knowledge home from each meeting as well. So, I'm looking forward to getting away from leading the meetings, but hope stepping down means I'll have time to bring more value to membership.

Ingredients / Re: Hop Retailers
« on: February 11, 2015, 10:41:01 AM »
Gotta +1 Denny on that.I bought a lot of hops from Hop Heaven and they were just different. The pellets were very resinous and pungent compared to some of the rather dry ones I have purchased. I got the impression they had been handled very respectfully and probably harvested at their peak.

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.

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