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Messages - erockrph

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Ingredients / Sugarcane
« on: August 17, 2014, 10:21:43 AM »
I'm trying to come up with some ideas for meads and lime-based ones keep popping into my head. I've seen Mojito mead recipes out there, but I'm not always in a mint mood. So the next logical idea is a Caipirinha mead. And that brings me down the rabbit hole of using sugarcane in the mead.

Now, I've never actually cooked with sugar cane, so I have no clue whether my romantic notion of racking my mead onto cut up bits of cane is a worthwhile endeavor. Anyone have any clue whether I will get any noticeable flavor out of this? Or am I better off using sugarcane juice (if I can find some out my way)? I was planning on doing this in secondary after sulfite/sorbate, so I'm not worried about the yeast fermenting all the sugar out.

Equipment and Software / Re: Bottling under pressure from a gallon jug
« on: August 17, 2014, 09:28:05 AM »
I have 4 one gallon glass jugs that I use for experimenting. I do not find any difference filling from them or a 5 gallon bucket. I have always done it alone. It seems your issue is the siphon part as you want to use co2 pressure instead. My question would be what exactly makes it harder and why is it messy? I just think there is an easier solution.  If I started over, I would get 1 and 2 gallon plastic buckets and put spigots on them, but I already have the glass and my complaint is cleaning them not from filling.

I also believe the stoppers are punched and not drilled.

For my larger batches I rack to a bottling bucket first. For 1-gallon batches I bottle right out of the jug and prime the bottles individually. The biggest issue for me is getting a siphon started through a bottling wand. You have to keep pressure on the tip of the bottling wand and keep it low enough so the siphon will keep running, all while pumping the autosiphon. This leads to such ridiculousness as me pressing the wand down with my feet, or pumping the siphon with my mouth, or other ridiculous contortions.

I'll freely admit that I'm not the most coordinated person in the world, so something always seems to get knocked or kicked over. Plus, I'm usually bottling 3 or 4 one-gallon batches at a time, so that just multiplies the opportunities for "oopsies". I'm just looking for something to help me power through the bottling step.

Equipment and Software / Re: Bottling under pressure from a gallon jug
« on: August 17, 2014, 07:30:45 AM »
This is a #6.5 stopper with two holes from morebeer. Not sure if it will work. Couldn't you drill out your own stopper?

The stoppers I have always feel like they'd crumble pretty easily, but maybe I'm overthinking it. Worst case scenario, I could probably buy this one from MoreBeer and shave it down a bit.

Equipment and Software / Bottling under pressure from a gallon jug
« on: August 17, 2014, 07:11:43 AM »
I brew a lot of 1-gallon batches of beer, but the real PITA is bottling. It is possible to do it with one person using an autosiphon, but it's not easy and I always end up making a mess in the process.

My thought is to use a 2-hole stopper to bottle under CO2 pressure. In one hole I'd jam a racking cane and set it to just over the level of trub, then attach some tubing and a bottling wand to it. In the other hole I'd stick a small piece of tubing with a male MFL screw on the end. Then I'd hook up a CO2 tank at a few PSI and start bottling. Sort of like using a carboy cap for racking, just at a smaller size.

My dilemma seems to be finding a food-grade 2-hole stopper that fits my gallon jugs (i.e., size #6). I can find non food-grade rubber stoppers, but I'd really like to avoid that. I have seen a couple of places selling gum rubber 2-hole stoppers, but I'd have to buy like 60-90 dollars worth.

I'm thinking I might have to drill my own from a solid stopper. But I don't have access to a drill press, and I'm not sure about doing this by hand without ripping it to shreds.

So that's my story. Anyone have any constructive feedback? Sources for stoppers? Tips on bottling under pressure, drilling stoppers, am I crazy for wanting food-grade stoppers, etc.?

Equipment and Software / Re: Super cheap pH meter
« on: August 16, 2014, 10:40:39 AM »
I go back and forth about buying a ph meter. I would like to have it for checking my mash and the ph on my sour beers. I've also checked the mash with the strips I bought a while back and find the results on the strip sufficiently close to what Bru'n Water says, so I'm not sure whether the ph meter is a meaningful investment. Along with the meter comes buying calibration solutions and it seems the probes have to be replaced periodically no matter how careful you are with it.

Those were all my reasons not to get one, too. At this price, it's essentially disposable. I have a very deep well, so I'm pretty confident that my water supply is rock stable (pun intended). If I get the numbers I'm expecting on a Saison, an IPA and a Porter, then I'll be OK never using it again. Whatever additional use I get from it would be for things like sour wort berliners and so on.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Happening On Friday ?
« on: August 16, 2014, 08:08:30 AM »
I tapped my kellerpils last night. It's awesome. I'm so happy with it. It's more hop forward than the typical pilsner but it's not quite an IPL.

Out of curiosity, what type of Pils were you shooting for - German or Bo Pils? What was your water like?

Equipment and Software / Super cheap pH meter
« on: August 16, 2014, 04:55:03 AM »
I just ordered one of these and thought I'd share. Right now this pH meter is selling for $7.42 with free shipping. The reviews seem decent as well.

A pH meter has always been one of those things that I've wanted, but the price point has been too high for me to justify pulling the trigger on one. I've never had any major issues that I would attribute to my water. I've always used either Brun'water or Kai's calculator on Brewer's Friend and spot-checks with colorpHast strips have always been what I was expecting to see.

Even if it's a throwaway meter after a handful of uses, that's perfectly fine with me. I'm just looking to spot-check a few of my usual recipes to verify that the water calculators are accurate enough for me.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Happening On Friday ?
« on: August 15, 2014, 09:00:31 PM »
I made my first melomel today. 15 lbs of Orange Blossom Honey and 15 lbs of mixed fruit (dark cherries, sour cherries, blueberries, rasberries, and strawberries).

Man, that sounds really good.
I was really inspired after drinking some of Ken Schram's meads at NHC this year. He also gave a great seminar that really got me thinking. I hope it turns out good because I dumped a lot of money into this batch.
The great thing about mead is that as long as you handle your fermentation well (SNA, cap management, ferm temp control, etc), you have a lot of room to adjust post-fermentation to tweak it to your liking.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brewing calendar
« on: August 15, 2014, 08:55:02 PM »
The Calendar has begun... needs more beers though. Thanks for the inspiration so far.I will try and remember to share the rough draft. Still dont know what to brew in early sept to have for fall/ early winter though... I can keg for fast drinking if needed. anybody?

What do you like drinking in the winter? You have time to brew nearly anything and have it ready for consumption. Even a big beer could be ready, especially if you have a healthy fermentation.

Well I know Im gonna be brewing a stout of some sort for winter but I was thinking about something to bridge the gap and I have settled on a balanced  copper colored ale copper of some sort. Better make up my mind before brew day…
Altbier is a good choice for that

Kegging and Bottling / Re: forgot to prime???
« on: August 15, 2014, 10:06:52 AM »
I know this sounds like alot of work but worse case scnario and they are all flat- can I dose them and re-cap?
Say maybee with prime dose or something? I would rather do that work than drink it flat or toss it.

you can. I've not used any of the pre-measured priming tabs but you could try them. I mix up a syrup of known gravity (sugar and water by weight) so that say .5 tsp is how much one 12 oz bottle needs when I am doing just a couple bottles. This should work here too. Ideally you would have a syringe with measurement marks. pop each cap, add sugar, recap and turn gently to distribute sugar and yeast.

+1 - I use the Coopers carb drops all the time to prime my 1-gallon batches. I have also used my gram scale to weigh out priming sugar on a dose-by-dose basis, but I like Jonathan's idea about making a syrup better.

Equipment and Software / Re: Makes me want a plastic big moiuth
« on: August 15, 2014, 08:24:58 AM »
Every time I see this product I can't help but wonder "why not just use a bucket?"

Me too.

One of the biggest pro's in my opinion is that it is transparent. I like to watch the yeast dance. They are also narrower by an inch. In my freezer this would allow me to have a third vessel without a collar. Better bottles and buckets are just hair too big for this.

Another plus is the threaded lid. I guess that could also be a con as the threads could harbor grime and spoiling organisms.
I completely understand the freezer situation. I have to use a 4.5-gallon bucket if I'm brewing 2-lagers at once.

I don't see the threaded lid as a plus, though, unless there is a gasket that fits super-tight inside to make a seal.

Equipment and Software / Re: Upgrade decision. Advice needed
« on: August 15, 2014, 08:10:09 AM »
If you want to dabble in all-grain, BIAB is a great way to get your feet wet. When I made the jump to all-grain, I kept my extract gear and scaled my batch size down to 3 gallons. The only thing you need to get started is a bag.

I'm in a similar boat with my current setup. I have a chest freezer and controller that serves double duty as my lager fermentation chamber and my kegerator. Fortunately, I have a basement that is perfect for ale fermentation pretty much year-round. But now that I have the ability to brew lagers year-round, I have been. Which means my kegerator isn't always available for serving. Personally, my next major beer purchase will probably be a dedicated kegerator.

Equipment and Software / Re: Makes me want a plastic big moiuth
« on: August 15, 2014, 07:14:50 AM »
Every time I see this product I can't help but wonder "why not just use a bucket?"

Beer Recipes / Re: American Sweet Stout
« on: August 15, 2014, 07:01:40 AM »
Making the coffee is different. I'd think you'd get a coffee pot on the Warner plate flavor from that.

I would also might mash higher.

My thought on masing that low is that I will already have a ton of sweetness from the lactose.
Mashing higher won't really give you more sweetness, just more body. At 49 IBU you won't have to worry about it being too sweet. Higher IBU's to make it 'American' will also hide some of the lactose sweetness.
But all that is just options - I'm sure the recipe will make tasty beer as is.

+1 on the mashing higher leading to more body rather than sweetness. Even though you'll end up with a higher FG, what is left behind is unfermentable dextrins (which aren't sweet) as opposed to sugar.

And if you really wanted to go "American" on the hops, then an ounce or two of Centennial at flameout would be the 'merican thing to do.

Of course there are always exceptions to the rule. But ive found that if you look at a hipster's high school yearbook, you'll often see that he was an Emo, with a skateboard and listening to the Misfits on his walkman. He grew up to be a hipster driving an 86 volvo and hanging out at the farmer's market selling cambucha

That's a bit of an anachronism there. There was no such thing as Emo back when walkmans existed. And Emo kids probably have no clue who Glenn Danzig is. If you said "dress like the Misfits and listening to Jimmy Eat World on their iPod", then you're on to something.

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