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Messages - gimmeales

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Brewhouse efficiency 'stuck' near 60%
« on: April 19, 2010, 09:44:30 AM »
Even when sparging with correct volumes, I was regularly getting only 55-60% extraction efficiency on my first half-dozen all-grain batches.  After looking at all other factors, including my crush (I crush my own), and water profile, and stirring during the mash, simply recirculating my entire first runnings 2 or 3 times bumped my efficiency up to 70%.  Also making sure to get my sparge water hot enough - my larger MLT soaks up a significant amount of heat.

I mash in a large rectangular cooler (I think 60-qt. w/stainless braid manifold), and batch sparge and wonder if my MLT geometry is a factor.  My grain bed is thick enough by most accounts (> 4 inches deep), but position and size of my manifold may be a factor.

Ingredients / Re: Planting hop rhizomes
« on: April 16, 2010, 01:07:32 PM »
Generally, you can use any regular, cheap ol' plastic planter with drainage holes, and bury the whole thing.  It keeps most of the roots in check, plus you can pack it with really a really good soil/compost/manure mix, and dig it up if you ever move.  Wish I;d done that, come to think of it...

Ahh cool - easy enough.  Thanks!

Ingredients / Re: Planting hop rhizomes
« on: April 16, 2010, 08:29:14 AM »
a general question - I got Rhizomes about 3 weeks ago and they've sat in my fridge since then.  From what I'm hearing I should put them in a planter before transplanting to the yard?  Am I too late to get them in the ground this year?

Also, what can be used to contain the Rhizomes in their planted area?  Any kind of in-ground 'box' they can be put it?  I'd prefer not to have to dig up my yard to keep them from taking over!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Trying to Find Yorkshire Yeast
« on: April 15, 2010, 03:11:29 PM »
The Innkeeper Ale kit from Northern Brewer intrigued me a year ago when it came out - especially for the yeast.  Now after hearing that cybi podcast, I MUST get my hands some!  Hopefully enough interest can be generated to get it out there year-round.

Kegging and Bottling / Help me design a killer kegerator!
« on: March 16, 2010, 11:59:48 AM »
Hey all,

I've been charged (well, I volunteered) for getting a workable kegerator system in my office.  The big challenge is that the new building we're in has a custom cabinet unit which had a beer dispensing system put in as an afterthought.  It currently houses two pony kegs and a flash chiller, which doesn't work for anything more than a single event - not long-term storage.  I'm wondering what options exist out there for converting this space into a properly refrigerated space.  What I'm looking at (without any cutting) is a box that is 41"H x 39.5"W x 31"D (all internal dimensions), but with a 'serving shelf' on the front that reduces the current opening to 22"H.  There is a possibility of cutting out the back of the cabinet to get another 8" of depth.  Will make more sense with some pics:

I'm hoping for: 1.)  suggestions on refridgerators\chest freezers that may fit the space as-is (i.e. cheap 'n easy) and/or  2.)  possibilities for a custom job, even referrals to companies in the NW (Seattle) that do this type of work.  I'm guessing number 2 is the mostly viable option considering the odd-sized space, but I want the experts to take a look and chime-in.  I really want to get draft beer back in the office! (wouldn't you?)


All Grain Brewing / Re: Badly stuck Mash - why this time?
« on: March 15, 2010, 03:25:05 PM »
Nope, I ran off fairly slowly, AND was extra careful during vorlaufing, having considered this might be a cause.  As I watched the runoff, it did seem like there were lots of visible particulates moving through the tubing.  Not sure if that was the broken-down FB, or pulverized base malt like my other guess. 

Since no one's jumping on any other obvious culprit, I'll write-this off as a one-off and watch closely the next time my FB % is so high.

Thanks all!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Badly stuck Mash - why this time?
« on: March 15, 2010, 02:47:55 PM »
More info:  rectangular Coleman Extreme cooler, stainless braid manifold.

I've brewed batches with as little as 9lbs and up to 16lbs of grain with this system - again, never had runoff issues.

Thanks for the suggestion, Denny - that was my guess too being as I doubled that ingredient from the first run and an ingredient, I don't know much about.

All Grain Brewing / Badly stuck Mash - why this time?
« on: March 15, 2010, 02:14:05 PM »
I asked this on another forum recently without a lot of concrete feedback, so I present to you:  I brewed a Dry Stout a couple weeks ago - had a badly stuck mash and sparge of the likes I've never experienced (had to nearly completely scoop out the mash tun with a strainer) . I've brewed a good dozen batches on my system, one of which had 20%+ Rye (w/out rice hulls) which lautered without a hitch.

The gap on my Barley Crusher has not been changed. The two culprits I'm guessing at this point are:

1.) Extra Dry base malt causing excess flour and husk breakage (this was Golden Promise malt I got from the LHBS)

2.) I doubled the Flaked Barley from the first batch of this beer (2lbs in a 9.5 lb total grist) and wondered if the flaked format creates a more gummy mash?

Either of these likely?  Any other potential culprits?

Thanks in advance!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 1450
« on: March 10, 2010, 12:31:42 PM »
My experience with 1450 was also that it was slower and steady (though still very attenuative) compare to say, US-05 which rips through seemingly any wort in 3 days.  Will be using 1450 again in the next week or two - a fine yeast that I'm glad has become a year-round offering!

Ingredients / Re: Vanilla Beans
« on: March 04, 2010, 10:56:58 AM »
Thanks for the replies!  Guess I'll just have to taste them overtime (oh darn, beer to sample!).  I've got 4 750ml bottles, so will squirrel away one or two for a good awhile anyway.

Ingredients / Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
« on: March 04, 2010, 08:36:31 AM »
I remember a Basic Brewing vodcast awhile back did a base malt experiment using American 2-Row, MO, and a Belgian Pale Ale malt.  They made a gallon of unhopped beer for each, same (or as close as possible) gravity, and yeast.  Tasted side-by-side, the differences in color and flavor were notable.  Could probably easily find it on the site:

Been meaning to try something like this for awhile.

Ingredients / Re: Vanilla Beans
« on: March 03, 2010, 05:01:35 PM »
Those experienced w/Vanilla - does it age out very quickly?  I threw about 1/3 of one dried up bean (soaked a few days in vodka) into a gallon of Imperial Porter along with some oak cubes and fresh ground nutmeg for about two weeks.  It was a Vanilla bomb a month ago when I bottled it (actually was perfect at a 50/50 blend with the un-spiced Porter).  I'm wondering if it will be drinkable on it's own, or if it will be a specialty 'mixer' beer.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Scale for very small measures?
« on: March 03, 2010, 08:33:10 AM »
Awesome - thanks everyone!  My dad used to be an avid re-loader, he may even have one laying around.

General Homebrew Discussion / Scale for very small measures?
« on: March 02, 2010, 03:31:08 PM »
Hey all, where can one find a scale that will measure in grams, say for spices and water treatments?  (i.e. very small amounts my kitchen scale doesn't do)


Ingredients / Re: % Rye?
« on: February 26, 2010, 08:34:47 AM »
the % figure seems pretty system-and taste-specific.  I did a beer with Denny's Wry Smile as a template - the grain bill was identical and about 30% Rye in that one. I'd zero issues lautering - no rice hulls or otherwise and it ran-off as fast as any other non-Rye beer I've done.  Personally, while the beer was solid, I'm pulling back on the Rye just a tad the next time around (brewing it again in another couple weeks).

I would like to try a 'Rye-Wine' for kicks at some point - maybe up to 40% Rye, British Pale making up the rest, and a mild, earthy hop.  Not sure which way to go with yeast.  Been reading up on Roggenbier too which I've only had once commercially, mmmm, Rye....

I'm just doing single-infusion mashes in a rectangular cooler with a stainless braid manifold, fwiw.

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