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Messages - Mark G

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31
The Pub / Re: Au pair?
« on: October 24, 2013, 08:47:29 AM »
Congrats on #3! How long are you looking for the au pair to stick around?

32
Equipment and Software / Re: Thermometer Recommendation
« on: October 23, 2013, 06:14:09 AM »
I have one of those; it's my reference thermometer. FWIW, Arbor has them for $26. http://www.arborsci.com/lab-supplies/measurement/digital-thermometer
Same one I have. And it's definitely waterproof. It sat at the bottom of my HLT for about an hour last brew day and still works flawlessly.

33
Equipment and Software / Re: How to tell volumes in opaque vessels
« on: October 20, 2013, 06:48:10 PM »
I like to do closed transfers with CO2 as well. I just chill the beer down to near freezing, then when I'm filling the keg, I just follow the condensation on the side of the keg up to the top (or almost, I stop at that weld line). If you don't have a way to chill the beer first, I would try the scale method.

34
Never heard of them, but I'm curious to know what a "chronical" fermentor is. ???

35
All Things Food / Re: Bacon blu cheese burgers
« on: September 20, 2013, 05:51:51 PM »
What a great idea!

36
Ingredients / Re: Homebrewing making a mark in the water supply community
« on: September 15, 2013, 08:48:56 PM »
That's awesome. And I'm envious of the water too.

37
All Grain Brewing / Re: Sanitizer left in carboy...
« on: September 12, 2013, 05:33:55 AM »
I wouldn't think that such a small quantity would be a big deal. The guy who works at my LHBS and started a nano brewery told me that some brewers literally spray-bottle Starsan over the top of their beer after pitching the yeast and before sealing the fermentor.

So I guess the logic for spraying star san on top is to kill airborne bacteria and wild yeast that may have settled on the surface of the wort in the few seconds that the lid/bung was removed. I would think the star san would be diluted with wort long before the required 30 or 60 second contact time. Has anyone else heard of this technique? I can't make sense of it.
I've heard of that technique... It's technical name is paranoia.

38
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How long to boil to rid chlorine?
« on: September 04, 2013, 05:39:06 AM »
I tend to do the "belt and suspenders" thing with chlorine.  For convenience, I fill my pots and buckets the night before and crush and add campden just in case.  8^)

Having all the water standing ready in the morning saves me time and makes me think about the recipe the night before.  Sometimes it makes me realize I missed something on the shopping list.

Paul
This is what I do as well.  Prep also includes measuring and crushing the malt, so all I have to do is turn on the burners in the morning.
Set up equipment, weigh and crush grain, weigh and add water salts.

On addition, use a bucket heater on a timer so that the mash water is at/near strike temp. That way you can mash in first thing in the morning.
+1 The $40 bucket water heater on a timer is one of my favorite brewery upgrades. Wake up in the morning, grab a cup of joe, and mash in.

39
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Smack or dont smack?
« on: August 09, 2013, 06:29:34 AM »
You are correct, the yeast is in the liquid in the main pack. The interior pack has yeast nutrient and a bit of food for the yeast. If you're making a starter, you don't have to wait for it to swell first, but I would definitely smack it to get the goodness from that interior pack into your starter. If you're concerned about the yeast being viable (i.e. shipped in hot weather, really old...) then wait for it to swell for peace of mind. I typically get my starter boiled and cooled, then pull the pack out of the fridge, smack it, and pitch it into the starter immediately.

40
Beer Recipes / Re: Partial Mash English IPA
« on: July 28, 2013, 03:34:10 PM »
For an American IPA, you need a lot more late hops. I'd at least triple all your late additions and dry hops.

41
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Corny Keg Hardware
« on: July 24, 2013, 06:45:10 PM »
Is there a reason why the gas lines should be 5/16" instead of 1/4"? The reason why I ask is because I'm seeing 1/4" barbed distributors. (After looking at the prices, I think I'm going with a 4 way distributor as opposed to a 4 way regulator). 1/4" swivel nuts, hose, and distributor are all cheaper than 5/16", so I was just wondering if there's a significant reason why 5/16" is the norm for a gas line.
I use 3/16" line for the beer side and the gas side. Saves me the hassle of buying two different size lines. Instead I can buy 3/16" in bulk (50 ft or 100 ft box) and use it everywhere. And yes, you can fit 3/16" line onto 1/4" barbs, just run it under hot water first to soften it up.

42
Ingredients / Re: Grain for color in a Saison?
« on: July 24, 2013, 02:50:12 PM »
I've been enjoying a healthy % of... wait for it...

munich malt in my saisons. right around 20%.

the saison yeast and some added simple sugar will ensure that the munich doesn't make things too malty but it gives a lovely orange hint to the color and a little more complexity in malt profile.
Yep, this is what I do too. I don't have the recipe in front of me, but I think it's close to 15% Munich. I'd avoid any cara/crystal malts.

43
Hop Growing / Re: Hop harvest
« on: July 23, 2013, 09:30:49 PM »
I think I'll be selectively harvesting some hops soon.   Some of the Cascades hops are full grown, but I think I have more flowers than hops at this time.  The Centennial and Goldings are lagging.  It seems a little earlier than previous years in Chicagoland.  At the risk of jinxing myself, I haven't seen any white flies on my hops ... yet.  This is the first year that I culled bines but I'm not sure that culling is connected to a possibly earlier harvest and lack of white flies.
Yeah, Chicagoland is definitely ahead of schedule this year. Other than my first year plants, everything has lots of full size  cones. They can't be too far from harvest. There was lots of early summer rain. And no Japanese Beetles yet either. I hate those bastards.

44
Ingredients / Re: Amber Malt
« on: July 20, 2013, 06:09:50 PM »
I've used Amber before in a Porter.  It's similar (to me) to Biscuit or Victory, except more intense, a little redder, and slightly roasty.  I think @ 5% it won't be overbearing, but I wouldn't use a large % in a pale beer.  It is really good in Brown, Porter, or Stout though.
This is a really good description. I've been experimenting with some different "character" malts in my APA, and used 5% Amber in it recently. I really like the result, but that little bit of roasty edge probably pushes it out of an APA if you're worried about style guidelines. I think it would be great in a bitter, amber, brown, porter, etc.

45
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Pressure question
« on: July 20, 2013, 06:38:11 AM »
How long are your beer lines and what temperature are you serving at?

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