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Messages - denny

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Hop Growing / Re: Obtaining Hop Rhizomes?
« on: September 28, 2013, 04:07:52 PM »
I don't think it's a question of vendors selling 'bad' rhizomes, it's more a question of who the vendor is.  Is it the guy who digs the rhizomes and stores them properly then sells them to you, or is it a vendor who's actually a middleman?  Not saying that middlemen are a problem at all, but the more times the plant material gets handled the more times there's a chance of it being mishandled somewhere along the line which can lead to poor performance. 

Some of the folks I know who dig and sell are,,  And as was mentioned, you can buy actual plants which will perform better than rhizomes in their first year being that they already have roots and can concentrate their energy into top growth.

FWIW, I'm pretty sure Freshops doesn't dig the rhizomes.  AFAIK, Dave doesn't grow any hops at all.  But he's near the major hop growers and gets everything very fresh.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Conversion at 5.2PH?
« on: September 28, 2013, 04:05:43 PM »
Does any know if conversion with this grain bill will be affected. For some unknown reason my PH was lower than i expected 5.22PH. Should have been 5.5 per my spreadsheet. My preboil gravity was suppose to be 1.046 but was 1.042 i mashed for 75 min. I normally am within a few points. Anyway, would love some feedback on if this type of grain bill which i believe has a higher percent of low enzymatic malts has difficulty converting because of a lower than optimal mash PH.

74.43 Marris otter
7.88 munich 10L
2.01 chocolate
3.92 victory
3.92 C-120
7.84 C-40

75% brewhouse efficiency

I can't imagine why there'd be any problem.

Beer Recipes / Re: Golden Bock?
« on: September 27, 2013, 08:34:10 PM »
Step mash is likely.  Decoction is not likely.

I like the pitcher idea! Do you lose much heat? I'm all about simplicity. Every time I've tried to "tech it up," I've ended up making brewing more difficult and created more potential for things to go wrong or leak!

Nah, not enough heat to matter.  If you find you do, you can always bump up the water temp next time to compensate.  Take a look at

The Pub / Re: Other hobbies?
« on: September 27, 2013, 08:30:59 PM »
In no particular order: cooking, bbq, gardening, canning, my musical hobby (bassist) went to wayside due to the brewery startup. I can't forget the AHA Governing Committee!

I also try to spend time with my wife and two dogs, amongst all of the aforementioned hobbies. :)

Although most of my time these days is spent on building my dream.

Bought a new bass a few weeks back and I've been trying to find time to play it.  every time I do I feel guilty for taking time away from the book!

Best of luck on the brewery, Ron!  Love the name!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: HLT or Mash Tun
« on: September 27, 2013, 08:26:58 PM »
I advise getting a rectangular, not round, cooler.  You get more capacity for your money that way.  I've built a few mashtuns to sell in the last couple weeks, and I'm paying $36 for a 70 qt. Coleman Extreme cooler.  Then to set it up and use it, see

Equipment and Software / Re: Directly heating Erlenmeyer flasks
« on: September 27, 2013, 08:25:05 PM »
I treid it a couple times and finally decide that for me it was easier to boil in a pot and xfer after boiling.

The Pub / Re: Smoke some hops anyone?
« on: September 27, 2013, 08:23:51 PM »
I learned a long time ago, drink your beer and smoke your smoke. 

The ingredients do not mix well between the two.  Anyone else tried brewing with smoke-ables?  terrible, terrible, wasteful experiment in my opinion...

+1.060 all the way!

The Pub / Re: almost there...
« on: September 27, 2013, 08:22:16 PM »
I do not post as often as I used to, still working my way through life and in general coming out on top every day.  I find myself in a better mood nearly always than I would have thought possible a few years ago.  Anyway, looks like the divorce will be finalized in the next month or so..  and then .. who knows, but the direction is upward and forward. 

Raising an early pint of Octoberfest for my beer brethren..  prosit! 
to freedom and integrity.  may you all have it and live it.

Good to see ya around again!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Decoction Tips?
« on: September 26, 2013, 06:53:12 PM »
Ha! Was waiting for you to come in and say that! As Michael Dawson says on the "Decoction Day" episode of Brewing TV, "it's just another layer of involvement you can have with your beer". Whether you feel it adds anything or not, it's fun to do on occasion, I think.
Do you feel the same way about step mashes? Feel they add nothing?

I do both decoctions and step mashes occasionally to see if maybe there was something there I missed.  So far, I haven't found it.

Going Pro / Re: So you want to be a brewer
« on: September 26, 2013, 06:50:51 PM »
Good article. A lot like starting a restaurant or being a working, as opposed to TV, chef. Lots of long hard hours. I've done the chef thing...loved it but when I was ready to stuff an associate manager into the steamer one Sunday morning I went back to IT. Still cook, a lot, and recently started the homebrew "hobby". I'm thinking this "hobby" will get out of control like my BBQ fetish did a few years back and I got inot competition...burned out after 5 years and now just cook and que for fun! Working in beer, bbq, or other service/food industries is hard, hot, dangerous, and some of the most rewarding work you can ever do...but it's not for everyone that gets a compliment on the beer/food. Again, good article.

Thanks for your insights...good to have you here!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: belgian blonde cidery/acetaldehyde aroma
« on: September 26, 2013, 05:43:00 PM »
Second, large quantities of adjunct sugar can impart a "cidery" quality to a fermented beverage, although this isn't necessarily due to acetaldehyde.

What do you consider "large quantities"?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Water Book?
« on: September 26, 2013, 04:36:02 PM »

I am trying to determine my need for a pump with my set up. I currently brew 5 gallon batches and use a 10 g HLT, 10 g cooler mash tun, and a 15 g kettle to brew. I'm considering a pump for moving water from my HLT to my cooler. Right now, I have to pick up the 5+ gallons of 150 degree + mash water and dump it into my cooler, and I know it's only a matter of time before I dump this on myself in some capacity. My question is this: Are there effective alternatives to investing in a pump? I don't have the materials to use a gravity fed system to simply drain it down. Any suggestions regarding alternatives or additional info on pumps would be greatly appreciated! Happy brewing!

I have a 2 quart pitcher that I use for sparge water. Pretty low tech.

Yep, same here.  Dip with the pitcher until the kettle is light enough to lift.

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