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Messages - tom

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Equipment and Software / Re: Sanitzing SS Diffusion Stone
« on: January 17, 2010, 03:44:15 AM »
StarSan works fine too.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Culturing
« on: January 17, 2010, 01:24:03 AM »
Here's a little light reading on brewery yeast handling and bacteria identification:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How about least favorite style of beer?
« on: January 15, 2010, 11:55:41 PM »
Sours, yuck. Taste like my homebrew! ;)
Mike I didn't see you at the Big Beers this year.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Stone Double Bastard
« on: January 13, 2010, 02:40:07 AM »
You know, it's interesting but for me, I'd much rather drink the Double Bastard than the original AB. It feels "smoother" to me.

Me too! I am not a big fan of AB. But I like the DB.

Kai have you tried Deus? That is a great beer for New Year's Eve.
Drew can give us some tips on bottling some.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Avery Sui Generis
« on: January 13, 2010, 02:33:52 AM »
They served us some at a beer dinner at the Vail Big Beers Festival this weekend. Very nice.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Open Fermentation vs Closed Fermentation
« on: January 12, 2010, 04:19:34 AM »
Hey Kaiser...yeah, it's not wide open, it's just not a "tight" seal.  I'm not even going to mess the lid until 8 weeks...then I'm going to remove the lid to transfer it into kegs and purge with CO2.

thanks for the link!
8 weeks? That's a little longer than usual. Is that your usual method? Is the fridge at 55degF or the wort? The fermenting wort is usually hotter than the ambient temperature.
With lagers I usually primary for about 2 weeks at about 50 degF. With a big enough starter and adequate oxygen, you should be done primary within 2 weeks.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: More Yeast, Temp boost?
« on: January 12, 2010, 04:14:01 AM »
Actually, for  5 gallons of a 1.100 lager, recommends using 2 vials in a 13 L starter (over 3 gallons!). I usually do a "5 gallon starter".

Assuming I did the math / science right...  and it's been a while so I could be wrong.

If your secondary carboy is filled with 4.75 gal of beer and .25 gal of CO2 then you will lose 10.35 teaspoons of CO2 volume in the headspace and 3 teaspoons of beer volume (neglecting alcohol content and assuming a drop from 60F to 32F).

This is just over a quarter of a cup.  Is that enough air going in to oxidize the beer (assuming your airlock doesn't dry out completely as major's did).

What else am I missing in my logic?  More gas is dissovled at lower temps?  Do you take the whole carboy volume into consideration for CO2 and not just the headspace?
Once the airlock is dry, air will diffuse into the carboy forever.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Reviving a yeast cake
« on: January 07, 2010, 08:02:15 PM »
Yes, if it tastes sour or barnyard funky, you know it has bacterial contamination.
But just because it doesn't taste sour or funky, doesn't mean its not contaminated.
The best way to tell would be to "plate" the slurry on agar and look for bacterial colonies.

I got a replacement head for mine from a dealer your way, but I can't find the exact site now. But here is a list of the official March pump distributors
I really wanted a stainless head, but it was $240. That reminds me to buy a lottery ticket.

Ingredients / Re: 5.2 pH Stabilizer
« on: January 06, 2010, 10:39:03 PM »
Ditto. Get your local water report. Ask for the levels of calcium, magnesium, sodium, alkalinity/carbonates, sulfate, chloride, and chlorine/chloramine. Get John Palmer's book How To Brew. He explains mash pH very well. You can check it out online at .

I have very soft and low alkalinity water, so when I make dark beers the mash pH is too acidic. A friend gave me some pH 5.2 to try and it didn't do anything even at 3 times the recommended amount.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Cornies as fermenters?
« on: January 06, 2010, 08:27:12 PM »
I agree with Denny! I like to split batches and try different yeasts, etc., so it works for me. I love being able to transfer with CO2, etc. I only get about 4+ gallons per corny. I have some 10 gallon cornies, but they just don't fit in my fermentation fridge and would be a bugger to get down the 100 year old stairs into the basement. Although I am thinking about trying some "slim" 1/4 kegs. They are 7.75 gallons and the same height as a regular 1/2 barrel keg.

I have an extra diptube that has been cut 1" shorter that I use for transferring. I also just got some thermowells made from diptubes that work great.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: new
« on: December 31, 2009, 05:23:24 PM »
Happy Brew Year!
What parts are ya from?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Denny...
« on: December 24, 2009, 04:32:55 AM »
Oh, I thought it was 60 IBU!
I always kid about my wife Melissa (soon to be 20 years, heck she got me my first homebrew kit - it's all her fault!). When we walk into the Falling Rock Tap House (our local) - she asks "why don't you get me something light, like a Hercules".

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
« on: December 22, 2009, 07:47:44 PM »
I boiled it on the stove pretty hard for about 90 minutes until it started to foam up and it was pretty thick.  I then turned down the heat and kept it boiling for about 20 more minutes while I stirred until it stopped foaming and there was very little evaporation.  At this point it was like syrup so I added it to the kettle.

Is there a fine line between having a good carmelization/browning and burning the boil down portion? Im nowhere near a good cook, and I would be worried that I would burn it, and therefore not be able to use it
I boil it until it's foaming up and I get scared. Someone could measure the temperature with a candy thermometer.

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