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Messages - erockrph

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Used kegs
« on: December 15, 2014, 06:23:23 PM »
A friend of mine bought a couple kegs from AiH when they were $89 a piece for 5 gallon kegs. They're great quality. I'd buy them for sure. I'm seriously considering getting a couple 2.5 gallon kegs from there when they have another sale. They had them for $69 on Black Friday...didn't have any money though.

I bought a couple of their kegs over Thanksgiving.  Ended up returning them, but maybe I am too anal.  See my post:

FWIW mine arrived and were extremely clean , sanitized, and holding gas. outside was very light wear and no dents. happy with the purchase.
+1 - I've gotten two different models from them in the past year. Other than a couple of posts that needed to be tightened, they are all in excellent working order. There's something reassuring to hearing a nice hiss when you tug on the PRV on a new keg.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brewing Beer Magazine
« on: December 15, 2014, 06:20:04 PM »
They publish a lot of different magazines. This one is a special on brewing beer, it doesn't appear to be a monthly title like BYO or Zymurgy... I've seen their cheese making and gardening magazines too.  They are all very well done magazines.  I purchased my copy @ B&N , but have seen them also at Farm & Fleet  and Tractor Supply as well.
Yeah, I was surprised when I saw this at TSC. Of course, I was there buying a bucket heater for the brewery, so I guess I shouldn't have been that surprised.

It's one of those "special editions" you see 2 or three times a year from a magazine. In this case it's "Hobby Farms" magazine that puts it out. I didn't read through it, but I'd imagine it's targeted to the novice who is the self-sufficient type rather than someone who is already a homebrewer.

Ingredients / Re: Allergic to Judy's Brown Ale?
« on: December 15, 2014, 11:49:21 AM »
I thought Whirlfloc and Irish Moss had the same active ingredient, carageenan. 


they do. I would suspect, if it's that at all, that the ingredient causing the reaction is a binder or a surfactant that add to the whirlfloc to make it into a tablet or to make it dissolve more quickly.
I've heard that its just bicarb, although I can't find an MSDS to confirm this. In which case it's unlikely to be an allergy to that. As a matter of fact, carrageenan is much more likely to be the cause for an allergy than most of the ingredients that would be used in a tablet in general. Not to say that it's not possible - just not likely.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Help with increasing efficiency
« on: December 15, 2014, 11:18:40 AM »
The other thing that sticks out at me... using a grain bag... how sure are you that there are no "dough balls".   From an all grain perspective,  I find I need to stir the mash a bit to break up the pockets of grain that stay dry, even when submerged in water....   On a couple batches, while cleaning out the mash tun, I used to find that  I still had pockets of dry grain even after the grain being submerged in water for over 90 minutes.... those batches had MAJOR efficiency issues...

Just a thought.
Good catch - I hadn't thought of this. If you're mashing in a bag, then you should line your mash vessel with the bag and let the grains mix freely into the mash liquid. This would make a huge difference in efficiency.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentis/Safale dried yeast and saison
« on: December 15, 2014, 11:15:46 AM »
If I had to use a dry yeast I would use T-58 fermented as warm as the strain permits and strongly contemplate adding some spices/fruit peels/etc. that would round out the fruity ester profile you want in a saison yeast. I'd stay away from coriander and orange peel as that is more of a wit flavor combinations.
Ommegang does something similar with Hennepin. They use their house yeast and add spices. It's a lot closer to a saison than if there were no spices. But it still ends up tasting like a spiced Belgian blonde ale to me, rather than a saison.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Just say "no" to yeast rinsing
« on: December 15, 2014, 11:02:54 AM »

One habit that all brewers should get into is the habit of wiping all pouring surfaces with a cotton ball soaked with 95% ethanol
I'm a biologist, but not a microbiologist. I heard several years ago that 70% ethanol sterilizes better than 95% ethanol because the water helps denature cell proteins. I don't remember where I heard this, so any idea if it's true?

That's the theory. The idea is that 95% ethanol is so hygroscopic that it could potentially dehydrate the cell membrane before the ethanol can pass into the cell. I've never seen any experimental data proving this, however. Still, if I were to start yeast ranching in earnest, I would probably use 70% ethanol, or maybe 151-proof rum as my sterilization agent.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Just say "no" to yeast rinsing
« on: December 15, 2014, 09:09:41 AM »

Can you define your entire process for us S?  Ill try it, the only reason i was rinsing is because it was the most used method i could find instructions for.

One habit that all brewers should get into is the habit of wiping all pouring surfaces with a cotton ball soaked with 95% ethanol

So just spraying the surfaces with Star San isn't good enough?

not for yeast ranching. If you're just repitching once or twice it's not a big deal but if you are going to be culturing from a couple million cells it becomes more important to get as close to sterile as possible and star san doesn't do that.
+1 - It mainly depends on your definition of "good enough". If you're going to be pitching right into another batch in a day or two, then it's probably good enough. But any miniscule contamination will increase over time. When you're talking about long-term storage or smaller culture sizes, then contamination can take over much more easily. Alcohol will sterilize, while Star-San will not guarantee sterility.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: when to add sugars in a high gravity brew
« on: December 15, 2014, 06:31:58 AM »

I actually I prefer my current method of adding sugar at beginning of boil before first hops go in, mainly because it's a PITA to add sugar post boil.

Not a PITA to add it.  Just dump it in the fermentor.

+1 - it may not be instant, but will all dissolve soon enough and the yeast will get to it in time

Ingredients / Re: Simcoe: Standard vs. Organic
« on: December 14, 2014, 08:31:12 PM »
any agricultural product is going to be different based on where it's grown, how, when, and in what conditions. I doubt it has much to do with organic v. chem (that's what you call it by the way, dirty dirty chem ;D).
You can also call it "the little guy can't always afford to get USDA certified"

Beer Recipes / Re: Fruit to add to winter saison
« on: December 14, 2014, 08:27:06 PM »
First of all, it's a misconception that you need to leave Brett "something to munch on" in order to get a lot of Brett character. Brett creates much of its flavor by eating the fermentation byproducts from the original Sacc yeast (i.e., the esters and phenols that your Saison yeast produced in primary). So if your only reason to add fruit was to give Brett some added fermentables, then you can safely just let it ride as-is.

Having said that, cherries jump out at me as being an ideal fruit for this. I get a lot of cherry pie from Brett brux, and cherries also have enough dark fruit character to go with the spicy saison fermentation and the C-120's dark fruit note.

Another thought I had was apples. I'd probably go with juice concentrate or a syrup made from boiling down some fresh-pressed cider, otherwise you may just end up diluting your beer too much.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: when to add sugars in a high gravity brew
« on: December 14, 2014, 02:54:52 PM »
Do like me. Simply forget to add the sugar during the boil. You'll be glad to be able to add it during fermentation.

I must admit, I've had more than my fair share of beers that came in inexplicably low on the OG, only to realize I never added my sugar to the boil.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: when to add sugars in a high gravity brew
« on: December 14, 2014, 11:52:45 AM »
This is an interesting thread. I think many of us have heard of the idea that for super-high gravity beers (Samichlas, 120-minute IPA, etc.), in order to get the ABV way up there then you can use incremental feeding of sugar additions late in fermentation in order to really push the yeast to their limit. OTOH, many of us have noticed no difference between adding simple sugars in the boil versus adding them after primary has slowed down.

Major's results from his tripel is making it seem like maybe there is a gradual slope between the moderate gravity beers where late sugar additions seem to have little effect (if any), to the super high-gravity brews where it is a requirement. Somewhere in the middle, it seems like there's a point where late additions start to make more and more of a difference in attenuation.

This would be a cool experiment for an AHA grant. Compare 20% or so of the grist in table sugar added in the boil vs after primary slows down. You could try it at varying gravities to see if there's a difference in attenuation, how much it is, and if the difference changes as gravity increases.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Just say "no" to yeast rinsing
« on: December 14, 2014, 11:40:05 AM »
This thread has been referenced so often that we should consider making it a sticky.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Northern Brewer 3 Gallon Keg System
« on: December 14, 2014, 10:55:20 AM »
Do you need it now? AiH runs sales on new 2.5 gallon kegs a few times a year, and they tend to run about $70-80 apiece. I just waited for a sale and pieced my system together. I started out with 4 new kegs, a new aluminum CO2 tank, cobra tap, fittings, an extra set of O-rings, plus a portable CO2 charger and extra set of CO2 canisters for it. I got it for just over $470 (including shipping). Plus I got another $20 worth of reward points, which I put towards the next keg sale they ran.

Needless to say, if you aren't in a huge rush, the subscribe to AiH's newsletter and jump when they run their next sale. You can score a much better deal there.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: another episode of categorize this beer
« on: December 12, 2014, 08:50:11 AM »
It goes in the "Arrogant Bastard" category... um, I mean "American Strong Ale"

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