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Messages - blatz

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The Pub / Re: Howdy everybody!
« on: August 10, 2010, 08:09:51 AM »

Equipment and Software / Re: Grain mill setting
« on: August 09, 2010, 12:13:32 PM »
I'm a little more anal than some of my compadres above, so I like to 'know' where the gap is at. So i bought a feeler gauge and I check it every few brews to make sure its where I like it (.037").  I also shift the gap for a few specialty grains that are smaller and thus like to know when I've returned to my 'home' setting.

That said, you do need to fiddle around and find what works for you - the visual aspect of the crush and the resultant efficiency will guide you toward what works in your brewhouse. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentation temperature
« on: August 09, 2010, 11:43:12 AM »
When a fermentation temperature is specified with a recipe, yeast type, etc, is the temperature the ambient temperature of the air around the vessel, or is it the desired temperature of the beer itself? I realize that when fermentation is slow the two should be about the same, but during vigorous activity, the beer could be several degrees higher than ambient. I am going to buy an electronic control for a freezer conversion and need to know whether the temp sensor should just be dangled into the chamber, or should I tape it to the container, or even sanitize and submerge? Thanks for your input.

the recommended temp is the wort temp and not the ambient temp, for exactly the reason that you have cited.  

Personally, I have my sensor secured to the side of the fermentor.  I have run a dual test before, using both a thermowell w/ thermocouple and thermocouple secured to the side wall of my conical, and found the difference to be less than 1 degree ( I measured every day after work for the first 7 days of primary) so I decided to return the thermowell to my buddy and keep to putting the sensor my little velcro pouch on the cone of my vessel and save the money for something more useful  ;)

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keggerator Anchor!
« on: August 09, 2010, 11:37:05 AM »
That's the one - thanks!!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keggerator Anchor!
« on: August 09, 2010, 07:41:26 AM »
you can look into building a flow gate which will allow you to use a standard length for all carbonation levels and have perfect pours. 

I have three of them and even hefeweiss pours just right.

I know one of the brew clubs out there has a 'how to' on the flow gate - will have to do some digging to find it.

Beer Recipes / Re: Oktoberfest!
« on: August 08, 2010, 12:20:34 PM »
witsok - so where's the invitation???  ;D

Classifieds / Re: ISO Ventmatic Ultra-Flo Faucet
« on: August 07, 2010, 10:11:24 AM »
Matt - I know what you mean about wanting to match - i'm completely the same way.

but...the perlicks look identical, IMO:

I have  3 ventmatics and am looking to expand in the future - i'll be grabbing these I'm sure.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Sam Adams Octoberfest
« on: August 07, 2010, 07:06:17 AM »
I'm sure that there will be a few new American made O-Fests popping up this year, and I'll definitely give them a try.  I hope I find a winner...It's one of my favorite lager styles.

prof - Left Hand and Gordon Biersch are pretty good American versions. Left Hand was best 2 years ago - last year's was good but not as spot on.

I agree SA Fest isn't meh - its not too bad, and I'll probably drink at least a six packs worth before the season is over (but after its actually begun  ;) ) its one of SA's better products, IMO.  I just get too much of a caramelly thing going on rather than a toasty malt flavor and the latter, to me, is one of my favorite facets of the style.  I love vienna malt.

Just because I cant pick up 5 gallons of wort doesnt mean I cant brew ............... right?

Experimentals here I come :D

Denny, thanks for the kind words. I HAVE TO get well soon, got a Homebrew Jamboree in one months time ;)

Jeff - don't you have kids? Have they done enough this week to earn their allowance? I think not  ;)

Get well soon.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Ok to move to secondary?
« on: August 06, 2010, 02:12:44 PM »
Secondaries cause more harm than good.  I don't do secondaries anymore.  Even with my lagers, I just leave them sit in primary for a couple months, with no ill effects.  The beer will finish and clear perfectly fine in the primary.  Otherwise, it's literally like ripping the carpet out from under the yeasty beasties, and they occasionally get confused and stop eating off-flavors such as diacetyl and acetaldehyde.  Might as well leave them alone and let them do what they want.  That's my opinion.

+1 - my sentiments exactly, though I do still secondary anything over say 1.080 for the whole 'bulk aging" thing.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: bottling barleywine
« on: August 06, 2010, 12:00:59 PM »
the abv supports it being 1.180

18+% with a 1.118 would be a fairly dry beer
It would if it was correct.

How do you know your alcohol %? You don't measure it directly do you?

I bet he calculated it from 1.180, but the real o.g. was 1.118.


you need to chew through 137 gravity points to get ~18% abv.

looks like his calcs are pretty close to me. 

Kegging and Bottling / Re: bottling barleywine
« on: August 06, 2010, 11:38:57 AM »
I've learned from trial and error to keg and force carb as Fred has indicated...then use my Blichmann beer gun to bottle the big beers. Reyeasting is hit or miss.

wished I had seen this a few months ago.  After a couple of years of using the beer gun, I went back to try bottle conditioning my Bigs again.  Not too happy with it so far.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: bottling barleywine
« on: August 06, 2010, 07:49:41 AM »

Our club brewed an over the top Quad (15%) and they tried to bottle condition some of it.................FAIL

Hmm, good to know.  I just bottled my 11.5% wee heavy.  It'll be interesting to see how that works out.

11.5% should be fine, esp if you re-yeast - 12-13% is the breakpoint, from what I understand.

No brewing for me - will be closely monitoring the festbier fermentation though. 

Working on the brewery design for my new home though, so that kinda counts.

Oh, and Blatz . . you were right. I just "thieved" a hydro sample of the Old Jubilation. OUTSTANDING!  :)

Nice!  Now comes the hard part: patience... ;)

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Cold Break in Keg
« on: August 04, 2010, 02:16:36 PM »
first pull is always yeasty, cloudy and not that good.  that one's to pour out for your homies.

also, most of us let the beer cold condition/carbonate slowly via set it and forget it for a week before we tap.  if you left something out warm, then put the keg in the fridge and shook it all around to carbonate it, I'm not suprised in the least witrh what came out.

give it time to settle and all will be fine.

I don't secondary anything but big beers anymore, and I can read a book through my light lagers after only 2 weeks in the keg.

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