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Messages - garc_mall

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if you cant find a wine thief, turkey baster works as well. check the gravity today and tomorrow, if they are the same go ahead and cold crash. Take the gravity on sunday before you bottle just to be sure.

I went to the LHBS, and wandered around until I decided to make an altbier. I will probably ferment it a bit warm, because I don't know if I can get it down to the high 50s like I would like. I am going to go to the store though and see if I can find a large bucket that I can put some ice water in. Starter will be started tonight!

All Things Food / Bamburg Stuffed Onion
« on: January 25, 2012, 04:04:33 AM »
So, Last night I was flipping through "The Brewmaster's Table" and a dish caught my eye. It was at the Schlenkerla Brewery, and it was an Onion, hollowed out and filled with Pork, then topped with bacon and baked. I decided that I had to try it. I found the Schlenkerla Brewery recipe, and I cooked it tonight. It might be one of the best dishes I have ever had. I recommend that anyone who likes bacon, pork and onions try it. I will certainly have it again.

Here's the recipe.

Doing a batch of the Yak and Yeti Milk Stout from last January's Zymurgy. My wife has been asking me to make it since I read it in October.

Ingredients / Re: Zythos and Bitterless Black wheat malt
« on: January 12, 2012, 08:09:29 PM »
Boundary Bay made a "single-hop" pale ale using Zythos, and I was lucky enough to get it. I got a lot of piney and grapefruit in it, but it was very tasty. I don't know, I was thinking Amarillo and Centennial, with some other C-hops added as well.

Thanks for all of the good advice.  Not sure I will go through with the experimentation on the first batch.  Kind of impatient though.

Best remedy for impatience: Brew another batch!

I'm waiting to get paid to buy a kettle bigger than the 8 qt stock pot I have on hand, and I'm reading up.  I have a few questions.

My recommendation is to get a turkey fryer, which should come with a 30QT pot, thats what I use, and now I am looking to upgrade to a 40 or 60 QT pot.

1. I've been reading through "How to Brew" and it's definitely more enlightening than other references, but I got to section 5.4, hops measurement, and it says:
The gravity of the boil is significant because the higher the malt sugar content of a wort, the less room there is for isomerized alpha acids.

So why don't we boil the water and add hops while gravity is low, boil X amount of time before adding extract?  If the hops would make everything way too bitter, couldn't you just use less hops?  I'm assuming there's a good reason why everyone doesn't do this.

There has been some evidence that adding hops to boiling water extracts a vegetal(sp?) flavor which is noticeable. I have not tried this on my own though.

Next, I've read all about how secondary fermentation is not usually necessary, but I also have the 5 gallon glass carboy (feels like I ought to shove a u into that word) with my Christmas kit.  I like to experiment with variables, so what I'd *like* to do with my first batch is this: ferment 5 gallons in primary until the airlock slows down.  Then bottle a few, rack 1/2 of the remainder in a secondary fermentor, and leave the rest to sit in primary.  I also read though that lots of headspace in secondary may be a problem, and I suppose the same may be true of primary?  My intent would be to bottle from both primary and secondary the same day a week or so later.

Biggest problem with alot of headspace is that you will introduce oxygen and that can cause staling of the beer. If you do this as you are planning, you will probably not notice the difference. This is the reason that secondary is usually recommended against. It doesn't really offer any benefit, and the possibility of introducing oxygen or wild yeast/bacteria is an issue.

2. is this just asking for trouble, and assuming it is, how much trouble?

3. My basement is around 60 F - is that too cold to condition beer after bottling?  Everything says 65-75, preferably the low end, but what happens when it's too low?  Takes longer to finish?

If the beer gets too cold, the yeast will fall out of solution without fermenting the priming sugar. I doubt 60 F would be low enough for that, but it would take a bit longer to carbonate properly.

Last but certainly not least, welcome to the obsession.

The Pub / Re: Why hide behind a Alias?
« on: January 10, 2012, 01:42:37 AM »
I figured since I saw this show up, I would throw in my 2 cents. I use an "alias" on this forum (I put alias in quotes because I would guess most people can figure out my real name) and other forums because of my job (I work in US Army Intelligence). I don't really want everyone on the internet to figure out who I am, because some of them may be interested in finding me for reasons I am not interested. I guard this identity as much as I do my real identity, so I don't feel that I am hiding behind my alias.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New to brewing, a few questions
« on: January 10, 2012, 12:56:56 AM »
one fermentation bucket, a plastic carboy, and a bottling bucket (with a spigot).

sounds to me like you can start at least two beers 8)


and I would recommend it as well, homebrew goes fast!

I would recommend starting the next batch sooner. It is amazing how fast good Homebrew goes.

Beer Recipes / Re: Sweet stout recipe recommendations
« on: January 08, 2012, 05:26:44 PM »
I do not have a whole lot of experience with milk stouts, I have had a few more commercial examples, but I thought I would point out that in last year's Jan/Feb issue, there is a chai-spiced milk stout recipe from Yak and Yeti in Arvada, CO. That will be my next beer, because the wife has demanded it. It calls for 1lb of Lactose and WY1728 Scottish Ale.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A few newbie questions
« on: January 06, 2012, 06:47:59 PM »
In that case, some rehydration instructions suggest giving the yeast a bit of a sugar solution after they've rehydrated for a few minutes, others just say to use boiled/cooled water.  I'm not quite clear on what the circumstances are surrounding this -- are the instructions to give the yeast some food just there for when it's taking the wort forever to cool?

I have never had an issue just rehydrating, and adding to the wort. I usually wait until the wort is cool and in the fermenter before rehydrating though.

Yet another question (I told you, I'm full of them!)
Do I need gloves for handling the diluted Star-San?


By day I'm a microbiology grad student, so I'm probably used to handling more caustic stuff and needing a higher level of sanitation that is required here.  I'm obsessing about whether I need to disinfect the floor of the bathroom where I'm doing the fermentations...

Nope, the airlock will keep you safe there.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First time brewer needs help!
« on: January 05, 2012, 06:43:21 PM »
Brew your second batch before your first one is ready to drink. Trust me...   

+10 for sure

The first batch will run out sooner than you ever expect for 5 gallons. I would even recommend brewing your third batch before your first one is ready to drink...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First time brewer needs help!
« on: January 04, 2012, 09:02:29 PM »
Don't rush!  You'll be chomping at the bit to taste your first brew, but the longer you wait the better.  I usually keep my beers in the primary for at least 10 days, if not longer.  If at tasting time, you're not happy, let the beer condition in the bottle another week.  You'd be surprised how much the flavor can mature with time.


my recommendation is to buy quite a bit of craft beer (enough to last 3-4 weeks) about the time you brew. If you always have beer in the fridge, you will be able to wait as the beer matures. If you run out of beer, it will be too tempting to grab a homebrew that isn't done conditioning.

also, if your LHBS makes their own kits, you might find those to be really nice for your fist couple batches. If they are making their own kits, you won't have the issues you can get with kit beers (Old yeast, old extract, Kit and Kilo, etc)

Overall, welcome to the obsession, once you try your first homebrew, there is no going back!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Double Choc Stout help
« on: January 03, 2012, 06:06:16 PM »
If I were doing it, I'd probably have the black and roast barley add up to a half pound rather than a half pound of each.  But that's just me :)

me too, those can be quite overpowering

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