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Messages - reverseapachemaster

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Hop Growing / Re: Photos from last years hops first year.
« on: December 31, 2014, 09:58:54 AM »
I would be surprised if next year's growth did not reach all the way up.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Using lactobacillus
« on: December 30, 2014, 10:33:31 AM »
If you are just using lactobacillus then it's up to you which process you want to follow. Lactobacillus is killed off by a sanitizer so you don't need to fear using it in your equipment but if you want to boil the beer after souring then that will give you additional insurance against infecting your equipment. The boil will also drive off some of the flavor compounds from lactobacillus. That is something to weigh out. Not all flavors from lactobacillus are necessarily bad but if you want a cleaner sourness then boiling is the way to go.

Ingredients / Re: weird flaked barley
« on: December 30, 2014, 10:10:47 AM »
Did they accidentally mill some rawhide instead of flaked barley?

All Grain Brewing / Re: What next?
« on: December 29, 2014, 10:02:26 AM »
I would definitely find a way to control temperature before anything else. It may not bring you the convenience of some of the other things you want to do but it will have the greatest positive effect on your beer. There are a number of DIY options out there that are smaller than a chest freezer or a fridge if space is a concern.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water options
« on: December 29, 2014, 09:55:01 AM »
I use RO water and build the profile I want using bru'n water. The water where I live is terrible for brewing and drinking. it's passable for drinking if you carbon filter it but I mostly drink RO as well. I could get the water tested and dillute with RO to hit my numbers but it's easier to build from a nearly blank state.

Same here. I use filtered water for drinking/coffee/tea/etc. but beer is strictly RO bought from the store or one of those water stations where you can fill a carboy with water. Our local water is terrible for brewing anything but black beers and even then it is not a great source for brewing. For a guy who makes a lot of pale saisons and sour beers it's pretty much the worst water source possible.

Ingredients / Re: Coffee, how much and what kind
« on: December 29, 2014, 09:44:13 AM »
This brings up the question: can you impart good coffee flavor in a pale beer?  I know that here in Indy, Sun King did a special version of their Cream Ale with a lightly roasted etheopean coffee infusion that was outstanding. Tasty coffee notes can be incorporated. I know they cold infused the beer. I wonder what enhances the process.

There are a few blonde or pale coffee beers around the country. I've had a couple and they are pretty good. You get lots of smooth coffee flavor without much of the roast. Of the two I have tried I know one is just adding beans post-fermentation and I believe that is the process on the other.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Rest Mash and Mash Out
« on: December 28, 2014, 10:05:11 AM »
I am also in the camp of sparging with 190F or so water. I brew a lot with wheat and rye so I am constantly tempting fate with stuck sparges. I get far fewer problems sparging with 190F water than 180F like I used to.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sparge option
« on: December 28, 2014, 09:56:24 AM »
Sparging = rinsing.

It is really not that complicated. After you drain the mash you are adding back hot water to rinse the sugars left behind off the grain and then draining that liquid out and combining it with the liquid from the mash. Your pour in the water, stir and drain.

I have never tried the no-sparge technique myself but there are lots of people doing it. It seems to require a 10-15% increase in grain to account for the lower efficiency but otherwise it is the same as any other mash process except you are adding all the water to the mash and skipping the sparge step.

Equipment and Software / Re: Paddle
« on: December 27, 2014, 11:30:44 AM »
I have one of the long plastic spoons they sell at homebrew shops. I rarely use but that's because I rarely brew batches that need something that big. Somewhere along the way I obtained a large SS slotted spoon for the kitchen that works extremely well in my smaller batches for both stirring the mash and the boil. When I do brew a five gallon batch that long spoon does a great job of scooping up the dry grain along the bottom edge of the cooler and making sure everything gets mixed up. I couldn't see one of those big wooden paddles doing as good of a job in a small cooler. I'd probably feel differently if I brewed 15+ gallon batches though.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Conicals again
« on: December 27, 2014, 11:26:55 AM »
I like the idea of a conical but it wouldn't be good value for my brewing. One gallon batches are too easily brewed in 5l wine jugs. There is somebody out there selling a one gallon conical but there's no way to dump the bottom to collect the yeast so it doesn't do me any good.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Viability
« on: December 27, 2014, 11:21:26 AM »
If you get zero activity after a few days then all the yeast were dead. The problem is that if you pitch a large amount of yeast (such as a whole vial of yeast) in to a small amount of wort (such as a starter) then the fermentation can occur quickly and without much visible evidence so you only think nothing has happened. I often make starters at night and wake up to what initially looks like an unaffected starter but actually fermentation is just done. After you have made a few starters you will be able to look at it and tell whether it has fermented just by the color and clarity. You can also swirl or shake the starter and see CO2 coming out of solution. That is usually how I tell whether I am looking at the starter before or after fermentation has started.

Unless the beer kit sat under a Christmas tree that was on fire it is almost certain that you have plenty of live yeast in that vial. Our beers sit at room-ish temperature for 2-3 weeks and you can repitch the yeast from one batch into the next. Yeast naturally live at ambient temperatures. I expect your starter fermented out quickly and you have a big pile of healthy yeast ready to tackle some beer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Brett Mash Temperatures
« on: December 27, 2014, 11:13:10 AM »
Thanks. That sounds like the best option. Do you recommend against bottling with the Brett even at the low attenuation I hope to be getting? Or should I let it sit in secondary for awhile still?

There is disagreement on the subject but I am not a big fan of bottling with brett. You have no control over brett in the bottle and any sugar-based fermentation by brett is necessarily going to result in CO2 and the only place for the pressure from excess CO2 to go is into the beer and into the headspace (unless the bottle explodes). It's a recipe for gushing bottles if you don't know how dry brett will get the beer on its own. My opinion is that if you want to bottle with brett then you should first brew a batch and use brett in secondary to see how dry the beer gets then you can dose at bottling on the second batch because you know how much fermentation to expect in the bottle and you can adjust your priming sugar appropriately. As you may have guessed, I am very much not a fan of gushing bottles.

Other people will tell you they have had good success and avoided the gushing bottle problem.

All Grain Brewing / Re: starting out all grain
« on: December 27, 2014, 10:56:50 AM »
I don't know how cheap any electric system is unless you are using an electric stove and part of that gravity system is you hoisting stuff up. There are plans out there for heatsticks but personally I would not mess around with those unless you understand enough about electrical engineering to avoid blowing circuits in your house or starting a fire. You may also not have enough circuits available in one place to run enough heatsticks or other heating elements without having to do some rewiring in your home. I know some people are using countertop induction burners but I don't know how big of a batch you can do on those.

Personally I wouldn't start dropping a pile of cash on an electric brewery or rewiring your house until you have brewed some beer and made sure this is a hobby you want to get into. Most of us fall into the obsession but there are people who brew a few batches and decide it's easier to just go to the store and buy beer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Dedicated home-brew store in your neighborhood?
« on: December 27, 2014, 10:50:24 AM »
I have five clubs in my metropolitan area although the further the distance the better the store seems to be. I do most of my shopping at the store fourth furthest from my house because they are the most reliable at carrying what I need and their prices are the most reasonable. I know I can place an order on my computer and when I pick it up in a few days the order will be correct. The problem is that it's a forty minute drive out there and I rarely find myself in that part of town at a time convenient to be out there. Their shipping is prohibitively expensive. So I often buy from one of the larger online shops where it is comparably expensive but I don't have to waste time or gas picking up the order.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: having perplexing PH issue
« on: December 27, 2014, 10:43:29 AM »
I use to use EZ water

EZ Water is better than nothing but I did not get particularly great results using it. It was likely in part user error based upon the water profiles I was targeting rather than the tool itself. Bru'n Water is certainly a superior tool if for no other reason than the ability to input the grains and have it account for how they affect the mash ph.

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