Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - pikelakehomebrew

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4
In addition to Whirlfloc and Irish Moss, Clarity Ferm (a WYeast product) works pretty good to.  You pitch one vial (per five gallons) right before pitching the yeast and that helps quite a bit, too.  For s#its and giggles, I decided to pitch the Clarity Ferm to a test batch of witbier wort in the carboy, and holy crap did it clear out!  We're talking "read a newspaper through my three-gallon glass carboy" clear.  Obviously you don't want a crystal clear witbier (or any other style where clarity is not wanted), but the experiment illustrated just how well it works (for me — your mileage may vary).

I have also read from a couple sources that it even helps break down glutens and denatures them to a large extent, making beer more tolerable to those with mild to moderate issues with glutens.  But don't quote me on that.  WYeast hasn't released any studies on the denaturing of glutens with Clarity Ferm and to what degree of parts-per-million the gluten remains.

...psh it's Blogspot.  -5 credibility without reading it.   ;D

My husband and I would love to open a homebrew supply store, but everyplace we think about opening one there is already one there. Does anyone have any insight on where there is a need?

My basement.  That'd be a good place to start.  ;D

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Anyone have problems with US-05 lately?
« on: March 20, 2012, 03:40:19 PM »
While I can't say I've had any problems with US-05, it certainly is slower and a bit more sluggish than WYeast 1056.  But thinking back to the one or two small test batches that I pitched to, I still had solid fermentation — sluggish to start, but still did alright.

If you're really concerned about it, I'd recommend making a yeast starter for recipes of an OG of 1.050–1.060 or higher, and coordinating your brew/pitch day so that you're pitching the yeast starter about 48 hours (give or take 24, or when the yeast is still active and you're just reaching high kroisen in your starter) after having made up your starter.  That should get you going with a healthy start to your fermentation with yeast that are ready to hit the ground running.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling bucket spigot contamination!
« on: March 20, 2012, 03:29:57 PM »
Here you go:  Bottling spigot from Northern Brewer

They're cheap and VERY easy to install.  If you have a hard time cleaning that thing out, don't waste your time over what would cost about $4.00 to replace (plus shipping).

The Pub / Re: Guinness Ad
« on: March 16, 2012, 06:39:54 PM »
Psh!  I don't need a border collie to herd me to the nearest bar stool serving Guinness.   ;D

Equipment and Software / Re: Is this a poor shape for a mash tun?
« on: March 16, 2012, 04:54:16 PM »
It'll work fine and a little hump won't hurt you.

That's what she said?  :o

All Grain Brewing / Re: CaraAroma vs Aromatic?
« on: March 16, 2012, 04:44:19 PM »
What's the difference (other than color) between Weyerman CaraAroma and Dingemans Aromatic?

Well, technically you can use the Dingemans up to 100%, albeit with relatively low diastatic power — and it probably has similar caramel notes to the CaraAroma.  But given the vast °L difference between the two, I think CaraAroma (IMO) has a richer, deeper caramel aroma contribution...but that's subjective and depends upon how much you're using I imagine.

I'd think that you'd want to use the CaraAroma for bigger, darker beers over the Dingemans, which you might use for less-darker beers but want that deep caramel aroma.  Just my two cents, and quite obviously subjective.

Going Pro / Re: OK, we're doing it
« on: March 16, 2012, 04:06:32 PM »
That's awesome micsager.  Congrats on starting the process!  ;D

It's a pipe dream for me to do the same, but a looooooong ways off from making that kind of gutsy move.  Have you looked into the Federal requirements yet?  I've heard that they can be a pain in the keester.

The Pub / Re: What's the Weather Like Where You Are?
« on: March 16, 2012, 04:04:31 PM »
70's in Minne-where-the-hell-is-our-snow-sota.... in MARCH.  Tree's are budding already, perennials coming up, and grass is starting to turn green.  This is just plain unnatural.  :o

Equipment and Software / Re: Anyone using iBrewmaster?
« on: March 16, 2012, 03:54:46 PM »
Could someone with access to the iBrewmaster app shoot me a PM or email? I want to check a couple calculations without having to pay the $10. It should only take a minute or two.


Hit me up.  I have the app.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg & carboy washer
« on: March 16, 2012, 03:37:05 PM »

Any have/use one of these? I'm thinking about getting one, just curious to see what all you have to say. Worthwhile or not?

Sent from my EVO using tapatalk

Hands-down one of the best purchases that I've made (next to everything else that is equally as awesome).  It does a decent job cleaning and rinsing stuff out AND with the added bonus that you're using MUCH less water.  How can you not like reducing your impact on the planet and your water bill at the same time?

You basically put the submersible pump in the basin, pour in enough PBW in the basin for one gallon of water (around a half cup), and then one gallon of water.  Carefully put your carboy or keg on the basin stand (it comes with a removable mount for carboys), and then plug the pump into an outlet that has a ground fault interrupt on it.  DON'T even think of using an ordinary outlet though...remember this is water and electricity, and they don't play nicely.   :o zzzzzt

The other great thing about the cleaner is that I can multitask and do something else while that's cleaning drink my beer or scrub my kettles from the brew day.  But don't walk away from it for too long — we all know the golden rule, that if something can happen while you walk away, it inevitably will.

If you have REALLY stubborn stuff stuck in your carboys, I recommend this bad boy:

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: gluten free starter
« on: March 16, 2012, 02:53:54 PM »
I had been reading and hearing from people that sorghum tastes pretty weird with the metallic-like off flavor in the beer; and when I saw that NB sells malted oat, I thought to myself, "self, I think we need to try this out."

Round one of my gluten-free all-grain brew looked nastier than sin when it was fermenting in the carboy, but after the kroisen fell (and it too quite awhile) and cleared out, it actually started to resemble BEER!  I honestly thought it was going to be a throw-away recipe, but after tasting the results it maybe just needs a few tweaks.

It's really tart, kind of like a witbier mixed with a Belgian — so I may try a different strand of yeast next time and tweak the recipe a bit to try and tone down the tartness.  But it has decent head (it ought to with all the flaked oats) and tastes pretty good...for a gluten-free beer.  It just needs some tweaks.

Here's the original recipe:

Gluten-free oatmeal ale — test batch 1.0
Yield: 1 gallon
Pre-boil: 1.070-1.050, OG:  1.116-1.069, FG: 1.029-10.16
Predicted ABV: between 7-11.7%
IBU’s: 43 – 55
Color: 24-31  (this was a miscalculation from the software)
Boil volume: 1.25-1.39
Strike water: 5 quarts (168°F), Sparge water: 4 quarts (170°F)

3 lbs Oat (malted)
.75 lbs corn (flaked)
.75 lbs oats (flaked)
.25 lbs rice (flaked)
.2 lbs dark candied sugar (this is where the software went wrong in color interpretation)
1 lbs honey  (I may ditch the honey next time and add more candied sugar instead)

.3 oz Williamette (60 min)
.3 oz Williamette (15 min)
.3 oz Williamette (10 min)
.3 oz Williamette (5 min)
.6 oz Williamette (1 min)
(I may use Simcoe next time to play off the tartness and add the grapefruit aroma, or go spicy instead)

Yeast:  Safale US-05 dry yeast

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: gluten free starter
« on: March 16, 2012, 02:12:12 PM »
I'm going to make this for my mother for her b-day, want to make a starter, but haven't seen anything on how to do so.  Should I just take say 250mL of sorgum syrup to replace the DME?  Thanks.

As long as you're using sorghum syrup, sure.  If you were brewing an all-grain or a partial mash that didn't use sorghum, I'd do a mini mash/boil with Malted Oats — something you can get from  It's a decent base "malt" that's gluten-free and has the building blocks of what you'd need to make a starter (that and the obligatory yeast nutrients).

Edit:  much like you would a regular starter, obviously boil the sorghum for 15-30 minutes to boil out all the nasties, chill, and you should be good to go.

I've got an all-grain gluten-free beer that I've been crafting together as an alternative to using sorghum.  I'll be sure to post it in the all-grain forum when I feel it's ready for prime time.

Equipment and Software / Re: Software?
« on: March 15, 2012, 09:03:41 PM »
Personally, I've been VERY frustrated with basically all of the apps available and find myself using multiple apps for different things.

I love having my iPhone with me on brew day and it's much less clunky than lugging around a laptop, particularly if there's any risk of it getting splashed on — MacBook Pro's don't care much for splashing wort.  So on the iPhone I've really enjoyed BrewPal for recipe creation — it is a nice interface, helps me get in the ballpark of various beer styles, and can export the recipes via e-mail.  BUT it doesn't manage inventory and the brew timers are highly flawed.  If you press the top button on the iPhone to put the display to sleep, the timer essentially stops. 

I've also been using iBrewMaster, mostly to manage actual brew sessions and toyed around a bit with trying its new inventory management feature.  I liked it for brew sessions and its reliable timers, but the app is really buggy and the inventory manager doesn't work reliably enough.  BUT it's off to a good start.  I can look at my recipes and at a glance see if I've got what I need to brew that batch (green = enough of that item in stock, orange = some of it in stock but have to order, red = not in stock).  If they could just work out all the bugs, I may go back to using it.

In my quest for the perfect brewing app, I also tried Beer Alchemy's iPhone app and basically had to write off the $4.99 I spent for it.  It's way too "click" heavy to do things.  Though it does manage inventory nicely, you have to click through like two or three times from a recipe just to see if you've got enough in your inventory to brew that beer.  Not cool.  I want to see IN my recipe view whether or not I have what I need to make a batch of that recipe.  It's Mac desktop counterpart isn't too bad and it is nice how the two apps sync together, but it honestly reminds me too much of working in a spreadsheet that's been converted into an app.  It doesn't have a slick layout or interface, and there are facets of using it that make pen and paper more appealing.  (Is that even possible when I'm a web developer/Mac geek?)

I tried BrewTarget, an open source app for the desktop ...and closed it after looking it over.  Yeah, it looks, feels and operates like open source.  Onto the next app.

I briefly tried BeerSmith2 and it reminded me too much of Microsoft Office.  I hate Microsoft...and hate their Office products.  So yeah, onto the next app.  Oh wait, that's it?

I've been seriously contemplating writing my own web application to specifically handle inventory (well) and work closely with recipes and batches from those recipes, making it easy to see at a glance whether or not you have the stuff to brew a batch up, along with a few of the calculators to help measure out your assets that you need for brewing.  But it's a lot of work and I'd need some help to ensure all the calculations work right and whatnot.    I've got the UI design and development experience and think I could come up with something nice and sexy — but I'm a lazy home brewer and would rather just sit at home and drink my home brew, hoping someone else would just make their app work right AND look awesome.

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4