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Messages - lazydog79

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31
All Grain Brewing / Re: The More I Read...Confusion and Vorlauf
« on: September 04, 2011, 11:20:12 AM »
I remember reading that post a while back.  My question was, "Then what the hell do you do with it?"  Like Tygo said, my first run with my system into my pitcher has quite a bit of grain in it.  I wouldn't want to boil it.  I'm probably a little extra thorough, O I vorlauf quite a bit.  I'm not tossing almost a gallon of wort!

On re-hydrating, maybe it was reading that that got me thinking.  I'm a pretty frequent dry user (I'm a cheap skate!), and typically re-hydrate.  Some one on a different board suggested using wort, which is what I do now.  As I'm cooling my wort, I pull out 3 cups or so when it hits 90-ish.  By the time the main body is down to pitching temps, the yeast is already active.  I've had pretty good results with this method - short lags and good attenuation.

32
All Grain Brewing / Re: Missing Mash Temps
« on: August 30, 2011, 06:11:36 PM »
When I step mash with a protein rest in the cooler I usually do as thick a mash in at the protein rest temp as I think I can get away with (usually 1.0 - 1.25 qts/lb) and then add an infusion to get me up to the next step.  Then if I want to do a third step I'll do either a decoction or a quasi-decoction where I just run off as much wort as I think I need and bring it to just boiling before adding it back into the tun.

Ahh, a decoctition!  That actually would probably be good with a bock.  I wish I had thought of that Saturday  :P  Actually, I wish I hadn't blindly followed the kit's mash schedule.  I knew better than that.  I thought, "that's a weird mash schedule.  Oh well, they must know something I don't."  Clearly, that schedule only works with a direct-heated MLT.  Like you said, 2-steps doable.  More than that, trouble.  This unfortunately didn't occur to me after until after my third infusion.  Oh well, brew and learn!

33
All Grain Brewing / Re: Missing Mash Temps
« on: August 29, 2011, 07:20:51 PM »
Yeah, I learned this the hard way this weekend.  I have occasionally done a protein rest if necessary, but usually do single infusion mashes.  Well, I did a NB Trad. Bock kit this weekend.  They recommended a 3-step mash.  Since I mash in a cooler, I'm obviously doing infusions.  Three infusions got me to s stupid thin mash and cost me about 10 efficiency points.  Oh well, still came in @ 1.064, which should be good for a Bock.  But, I'm not doing steps again unless I absolutely have to!

34
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How much beer is too much?
« on: August 09, 2011, 10:24:05 AM »
Good call.  I guess I don't have THAT many friends that come over and drink.  I only give my beer to a few close friends.  The other ones really don't care about beer.  More for me, I guess.  I'm even downsizing my batch sizes to 3 gallon batches so I can brew inside and brew more often.

Good call.  About the same here.  I brew between 5 and 7 times a year (5 gallon batches).  That's enough to usually keep me and guests in beer.  This year, I was shut-down from February-July due to adventures in real estate.  I actually ran out of beer  :o  With the new house, we might be entertaining more, so I might have to brew more.  Shucks  ::)

35
Hmmm... That's an interesting routine - a way to split the difference between the two camps.  Thanks for sharing.

36
All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash rests and timing between steps
« on: August 06, 2011, 02:52:13 PM »
This would depend upon what kind of tubing you are using.  A figure I have in my head, which very well could be wrong, is something like 150 F for standard vinyl tubing.  You can easily get high temperature tubing such as http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/3-8-hose-hi-temp-vinyl-safe-to-212-f.html

Ditto - Vinyl is rated in the 150's.  I don't remember the specific number either.  I remember when I first started AG, I used a vinyl line out of my MLT, and it got pretty soft.  I bought this stuff http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/3-8-id-thermoplastic-tubing.html.  Thermoplastic is rated to 275.  NB sells it in 3/8" or 1/2" by the foot.  I used this over the Hi-temp clear stuff because that's only in 3/8' and I have a 1/2" barb on my MLT.

37
Yeah, I wasn't that concerned about lag time - more the pitching rate.  Not that much yeast had settled on the bottom, so I didn't want to decant as I usually did.  I was just surprised at how fast it took off.  A lot of the reviews on 011 commented on long lags and slow ferments, which I saw on my starter.  I'm assuming pitching more active yeast accounts for that.  I usually only like a pint or so of starter beer going in the fermenter rather than the quart and changed I put in.  But figuring that a little over a quart puts me at about 5%, I'm under the 10% rule and the malt of the Biere de Garde should cover up the starter.

38
Yesterday was my brew day for my Bier de Garde that I am fermenting with WLP 011 European Ale Yeast.  Up until now, my SOP for starters was to make up an appropriately sized starter (per Mr. Malty) 48-72 Hours before the brew, let it ferment out, decant the starter beer, and pitch the cream.  With this brew, it took the yeast almost 36 hours to get going - from what I've read typical for 011 - so it didn't have time to ferment out.  Rather than risk increasing under-pitching and increasing my lag time, I decanted off about half of the 2.75 qt. starter and pitched the rest.

So far, I'm impressed with the results - I had slow bubbling within 3 hours of pitch and aggressive fermentation inside of 12 hours.  This is definitely getting me to rethink when to pitch.  My lingering question is how much starter beer is too much to pitch into a 5 gallon batch? 

39
Ingredients / Re: Yeast for a Biere de Garde?
« on: August 03, 2011, 03:24:02 PM »
US-05 would be your best bet for dry yeast IMO. Definitely not nottingham. That said, I'd give it until tomorrow and see what your liquid yeast has done.
Thanks major - that's what I was thinking.  You and Denny are probably right.  It looked like it might be ticking a little when I checked it - just being pokey.  Think I'll dough-in in the morning and run to the store if need be.  Have to brew tomorrow or I won't for weeks!

Thanks for the advice guys!

40
Equipment and Software / Re: Finally got a chest freezer
« on: August 03, 2011, 08:32:58 AM »
A solid pickup!  Adding a freezer and a controller was probably the best thing I could have done for my beer!  I can't believe I went without it.  Now I just need to get another one to set up for kegs like you did!

41
Equipment and Software / Re: BeerSmith 2.0 reviews
« on: August 03, 2011, 08:30:17 AM »
I did upgrade and I've been going back and forth on whether I like it or not.  I think it'll end up being a good upgrade once all the bugs are ironed out.  But in the meantime I've decided to go back to 1.4 for now. 

Yeah, I think I'm going to stay with 1.4 for now.  It works great for me, and I'm not one to take to change well ;)  Besides, I can spend that $20 on beer!  8)

42
Ingredients / Yeast for a Biere de Garde?
« on: August 03, 2011, 08:19:19 AM »
I'm planning on brewing a Biere de Garde tomorrow.  I had planned to use White Labs' 011 European Ale.  I made up a 2 qt. starter yesterday and pitched the yeast at about 7 last night.  As of 10 this morning - nada.  So, I'm thinking I have a $6 vial of dead yeast.  Anyway, I don't want to lose my brew day tomorrow - around here getting them is too hard!  What's a good dry yeast to use in a pinch?  S-05?  Nottingham?

43
Equipment and Software / Re: BeerSmith 2.0 reviews
« on: July 22, 2011, 12:51:38 PM »
It sounds like a lot of you have chosen to upgrade.  I'm undecided.  I've been a dedicated 1.4 user since I went AG three years ago and I really like it.  I've downloaded a trial of 2.0, and I think I like it.  The new interface is pretty slick, and some of the new features are nice.  I just can't decide if it's nice enough to pony up $20 to upgrade.  Thoughts?

44
All Grain Brewing / Re: Urbana, IL Water Profile
« on: July 12, 2011, 06:34:56 PM »
Thanks for the numbers Anthony!!  You're right - it's all the same source - the IL American Water Plant West of town.  If the numbers are different, it can't be all that different.

I've thought about going to BUZZ meetings, but when we lived in Rantoul, it was a real P-I-A.  Now that I'm an Urbana-ite, I might have to.  Step 1: Get brew gear out of boxes!

Thanks again.  I owe you a homebrew or two!

45
All Grain Brewing / Urbana, IL Water Profile
« on: July 11, 2011, 06:42:18 AM »
I recently relocated to Urbana, IL and was wondering if anybody had the specific numbers for the water report here.  As usual, the online water report was not that helpful.  I'm a life-long central IL resident, so I have a good idea of what the water is, but was hoping to get the specifics without spending the $16 for Ward (I'm a tight a$$).  Thanks!

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