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Messages - Mark G

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The Pub / Re: Geminids
« on: December 14, 2010, 12:57:15 AM »
Well, the sky is perfectly clear tonight. But... the temp is in the single digits and falling fast. Gonna have to drink a couple brews before bundling up and heading outside.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Want a bigger better bottle?
« on: December 13, 2010, 05:13:30 PM »
Carboys are antiquated, IMO.  If you're trying to move away from glass (a good idea for safety reasons), there's no reason to remain attached to the shape of a blown glass carboy.

I'd much rather have a 7.5 gallon Better Bucket made of PET so I can have plenty of head space, and be able to watch the cool fermentation process.  It would also be far easier to dry hop or do fruit additions in the secondary.  It would be much easier to clean, as well (just pop off the lid).  I'd also like it to be usable as a bottling bucket--installing a spigot would be much easier and cheaper in a bucket than a carboy.

I'm with you on this... I have a couple carboys, but they sit empty most of the time, unless all my buckets are full.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Out?
« on: December 11, 2010, 12:38:26 AM »
OK then dip both hands in concentrated wort, let dry and rinse. Warm water will rinse it faster, IMO.
True, but who lets their mash dry before sparging? Now THAT would be a long brew day.  ;)

All Grain Brewing / Re: About being fresh.....
« on: December 08, 2010, 03:06:52 PM »
Home Depot sells buckets and gasketed lids. I believe for less than 3-4 bucks total. Two will hold a 50/55 lb sack of grain. As long as you keep the grain dry, it lasts a long time. Although I can't really say I've gone past maybe 6 months since I go through them pretty quickly.

The Pub / Re: Perfect pic for Weaze's Christmas Card
« on: December 08, 2010, 01:17:27 PM »
All of a sudden I'm really hungry. That is a piece of artwork.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: When you brew a beer
« on: December 06, 2010, 07:17:06 PM »
Try to make the best beer possible with the highest quality ingredients available... While I do try to emulate commercial examples from time to time, I'm more concerned about brewing what I like, regardless of what style it fits in.

I used to worry about it, but after a while realized the hugely diminishing returns in trying to keep it out. I use an immersion chiller, and siphon out of the BK into the fermentor. I do let the wort settle in the BK for 15-20 minutes after chilling while I do some cleaning and sanitizing. Then I siphon from the top and slowly move the racking cane down, getting mostly clear wort. If I suck up some cold break on the way, I don't stress it.

Equipment and Software / Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
« on: November 20, 2010, 02:20:26 PM »
That's a nice pot, but you might want to double check your math (radius = 8, height =12), it's pretty close to 10 gal.  ;)

Equipment and Software / Re: refrigerated truck as fermentation lager house
« on: November 17, 2010, 09:35:45 PM »
Put some shanks through the side... And now you're talking!

Equipment and Software / Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
« on: November 17, 2010, 09:34:36 PM »
Definitely 10 gallons. Even with my 10 gallon pot, I come close to boilovers all the time.

Equipment and Software / Re: Kettle Questin Beginner
« on: November 09, 2010, 02:51:29 PM »
I use aluminum for my kettle. Boil water in it for 30 minutes or so, and you'll have an oxide layer that withstands all but the toughest scrubbing. Check this one out:, 10 gallons for 40 bucks. It's what I use, and it's heavy gauge aluminum, sturdier than most SS kettles I've seen. I could drop it from my second story windows and I'd be surprised if it even dented.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: help under carbonated beer with too much foam
« on: October 29, 2010, 07:13:44 PM »
What method did you use to carbonate? The set it and forget it, or the crank the co2 and shake it?

For a while when I started brewing, I made my commercial beer purchases based on ease of label removal. If a label won't come off after an overnight soak in PBW, I just toss the bottle in the recycling bin.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Interesting Taste
« on: October 11, 2010, 01:10:51 PM »
It could be the basil. In cooking, I've noticed some basil leaves have a bit of a peppery character to the flavor. Have you tried chewing a couple leaves to see if that's what you're experiencing?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Round Igloo or rectangular cooler for mash tun
« on: October 08, 2010, 06:58:36 PM »
Has anybody noticed if a round versus rectangular cooler has more stuck sparges?
I have both, and pretty much abandoned the round cooler due to slower or stuck sparges. Not that it happened often, but the round just seems more prone to it. The grain bed is a lot deeper with a round cooler, so there's a greater risk of compaction. If you go with round, just start your vorlauf and runoff slow to set the grain bed well, then open it up a bit more. When I use the round cooler, I rarely open the valve more than halfway. With the rectangular cooler, I let 'er rip full blast.

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