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Messages - mmitchem

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The Pub / Re: Why I run Windows
« on: April 17, 2013, 02:23:52 PM »
I guess I should add that I'm a very experienced computer user.  I started programming before a lot of people here were born.  I either build my machines from scratch, specify exactly what goes into them, or strip all the preinstalled software from a commercial machine and reconfigure it the way I like.  Admittedly, not everyone has the experience or time to do that and I think that those are the people who can run into problems.

Kudos Denny! I am beginning to wonder what you CAN'T do!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: First State Microbe
« on: April 11, 2013, 07:25:04 PM »
I caught wind of this earlier this week. What a great way for the state to show appreciation for the craft brewing contribution. Without the bugs, there is no brew!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: PH adjustments
« on: April 10, 2013, 07:13:04 PM »
I look at it in terms of the total. The water, the grain and the salts/acid together are what determines pH. Add one before the other, or after and it is still the sum of all parts. Right?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Gravity adjusting
« on: April 10, 2013, 01:09:25 PM »
Just to piggy back on what Tom said. I think that sometimes brewers tend to get caught up in the numbers game. This efficiency, this percentage, this whatever. It all really comes down to taste. There is no magic mathematic formula for making tasty brew. Just try it, adjust as needed. That batch that you might have missed your targets on could be the best batch you have ever brewed.

Equipment and Software / Re: Hydrometer question
« on: April 08, 2013, 05:38:32 PM »
There is a temperature conversion chart in Ray Daniel's book Designing Great Beer

Equipment and Software / Re: Conical Fermenter Size
« on: April 08, 2013, 02:05:40 PM »
I am a member of a homebrew club, and I am moving in a couple of weeks. Seems like now would be the time to make it happen. Gotta get moving...

Equipment and Software / Re: Conical Fermenter Size
« on: April 08, 2013, 01:45:56 PM »
And can I say how extremely jealous I am of those who decided to go with stand up fridges right off the bat??? I bought chest freezers back when I was strictly using carboys. Now i want to go for a conical because of the many awesome niceties they offer (stainless body, yeast collecting, etc.). I am in a pickle. Ugh, if I would have only seen the evolution...

Equipment and Software / Re: hop screen
« on: April 08, 2013, 01:38:29 PM »

Is a dedicated whirlpool an option for you? I whirlpool before I run wort through my plate chiller and have never clogged it. Really clear wort with a TON of hops that never make it out of the kettle. Plus it really maximizes your yield.

My wort leaves the kettle through the bottom valve. I have one of these handy dandy pickup tubes attached that pulls wort from the side of the kettle. here is a link:

It goes through my pump and comes back into the kettle through the top valve that has a 90 degree street elbow. Nice whirlpool making for a super tight dry cookie.

Five pounds is a lot of hops and to me it seems like a hop blocker really isn't the way to go with that much  kettle hops. Just throwing it out there.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Hop Temp Question
« on: April 04, 2013, 04:53:04 PM »
Too low of a temp for isomerization to really come into play, but you will still get some aroma and flavor out of that. Tell us how it turns out :)

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Why do YOU keg?
« on: April 04, 2013, 01:52:40 PM »
I think that kegs are infinitely easier to fill than bottles. Instead of juggling 50+ individual, breakable components - i am only juggling one. The time it takes to clean a keg isn't that bad either. A little PBW, hot water and starsan. No reason it should take very long. Once again - i am only cleaning one item with a few components.

There is no guess work either regarding carbonation level. I set my psi on the regulator and walk away. I can be drinking my beer in two days rather than waiting for bottle conditioning which we all know can either be inconsistent and/or a long wait of 2 weeks +.

With kegs, you still have the option to bottle as well. You can slap a beergun on the keg and fill a few bottles as needed rather that committing all of your beer to bottles right off the bat. Most of my beer is drank at home so why go through all the bottling effort when ultimately only a few will be consumed off premise.

those are my top reasons. cheers.

All Grain Brewing / Re: First Lagers
« on: April 03, 2013, 04:28:21 PM »
Jim, lagers can be very rewarding after the wait. Once you have some success, they will be part of your brewing rotation. You might need more kegs, if you keg.

We have done a Landbier, Helles, German Pils, CAP, Vienna, and a sort of clone of Quiannanon Falls lager by Bells (like a Pils but with American hop like Crystal). Have a Czech Pils planned.

I really want to start making some light lagers just to test my skill. The flaws will be very noticeable if I screw up something. I am sad to say I have been brewing for a few years now and have never attempted a pale lager. Time to get on it, huh?

No brewing. Starting to pack up the brewery for my move to NC. Good times and better water (hopefully) ahead!

Awesome stuff. Two hard working guys back on the GC. Great news, thanks Jake!

The Pub / Re: Why I run Windows
« on: April 02, 2013, 04:33:24 PM »
I like Win7 - alot. It was a real step away from the way Windows used to work. Feels more like a Mac or Linux OS in the sense that you verify changes being made. On domains this will usually involve credentials.

It is stable and works like a champ. The developer/engineer side of me really enjoys the flexibility of Linux.

Backwards compatibility is really hit and miss. It sucks most of the time. Just the way they get consumers to buy the latest and greatest hardware/software. Ugh - the never-ending struggle...

The Pub / Re: Why I run Windows
« on: April 02, 2013, 12:27:30 PM »
You Sillies. Just install the program with Wine :)

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