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Messages - dcb

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 9 oz tumbler
« on: February 28, 2014, 12:32:14 AM »
I generally use my 2013 NHC tasting glass. ~6 ounces and I can have 2(or 4 or 6) in an evening. I'm a fan of just working out harder and continuing to drink beer but I'm nuts.

I so do this.  I think of a 6 mile run not as 900 calories burned, but three beers with change left over.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: House Yeast
« on: February 25, 2014, 03:35:44 PM »
There's nothing wrong with referring to the hobby as amateur brewing.  I consider myself to be an amateur brewer and an amateur brewing scientist.  The major difference between what I do and what professional brewers and professional brewing scientists do is that professional brewers and professional brewing scientists receive compensation for their work.  I do it as a labor of love.

I hate it that we've hijacked the word "amateur" to imply ineptness.  It come from the Latin amare meaning to love.  In nearly every human endeavor, I see amateurs who attend to details at a level no professional would tolerate. 

And thank you for the enlightening, informative post!

Homebrew Clubs / Re: when homebrewers go pro
« on: February 20, 2014, 04:35:10 AM »
Now you need to practice your Statler and Waldorf act.  "Back in my day..."

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Just Add Water
« on: February 14, 2014, 02:25:51 AM »
Not sure if I'd add the water and wait just to see, or slice it open with a knife to see what's in there.

All Grain Brewing / Re: First AG batch (and first post)
« on: February 08, 2014, 10:41:28 PM »
It's been in the primary exactly two weeks today, and I've just drawn off the first sample.  The FG is reading 1.012, a bit lower than the 1.016 specified in the recipe.  Next came the only part of this that's made me impatient: tasting the first warm, flat sample.

I gotta say, the first few sips seem about as perfect to me as my first girlfriend in high school.   The taste is very clean, the smell lightly fragrant.  If there are any off flavors, I can't perceive them.  My wife gave it the ultimate compliment, saying it was the best homebrew she'd tasted.  We get no "green" taste at all.

Trying to be a bit more objective and self critical, I'd say the body is thinner than I had been expecting.  I expected the 1450 to give a bit more substance and mouthfeel.  I'm no where near experienced enough to judge how this will change once it's been bottled and conditioned for a couple of weeks, nor to speculate how my mashing and sparging gaffs have affected what I have.  But I'm getting optimistic that what I have will end up being enjoyable.

So the plan is to wash bottles next Friday after work, bottle on Saturday, and then brew the very same recipe on Sunday.  I thought that suggestion made a lot of sense, both in the interest of calibrating my system and applying lessons learned. 

More when the first bottle gets opened...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Malt head?
« on: February 08, 2014, 02:43:24 PM »
Amen.   I'm getting tired of going into my local bottle shop and finding that 80% of the offerings are IPAs.  I'm getting tired of going into a newly opened brewery and finding more than half of the selection are various riffs on the hop-bomb.  I've started referring to them as AFIPA (Another F* IPA).

I do enjoy them, but come on-- it's a big world out there!  I love malt and yeast too!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Best Recipe for First All-Grain Brew
« on: February 03, 2014, 02:25:50 PM »
Exactly, the thing that will make your beers go from "ok" to "wow!" is temp control. You simply can't make great beer if you can't control your fermentation temp.

You guys are making me feel really validated.  From my reading I had determined that temp control is so important that I held off getting back into homebrewing until I could have it.

Looks like the OP is from the Phoenix area.  With highs in the 70's right now it might be tough to find a place to keep the temperature in the mid 60's.  In cooler climes, you don't necessarily need a converted chest freezer this time of year.  My garage never gets above 50 this time of year, so I wrapped my bucket up with a blanket, my wife's heating pad, and a home-made STC 1000 controller.  Cost less that $40 all told.

Four reasons I bought a Stout Tanks conical in order of importance from least to most:
*Looks cool (I admit it)

To my mind, one of the best parts about a hobby is being able to play with gear or processes simply because you're intrigued, curious, or fascinated.   No other justification is needed.

Is this really a 3 yr old thread? Somebody must be snowed in and bored...

I just finished going through every single article in the Yeast and Fermentation section and learned a hell of a lot.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Denny's Favorite Fermentation Temp
« on: January 28, 2014, 09:14:40 PM »
I typically run it at 62-65F.  After a week or so, I let it warm up to whatever temp the house is t the moment...usually 68-70.

I'm curious about the purpose of the temperature raise.  Better taste?  To let the fermentation finish?  Free up space?

I'm using this yeast in my first all-grain batch.  I've got it at 64 degrees right now (close to three days in) and probably would have left it there without other information.  And also, I'm new at this and enjoy understanding the whys of things.

All Grain Brewing / Re: DMS causes
« on: January 28, 2014, 01:40:36 AM »
A more general question:  if his problem were indeed DMS, would you be able to taste that in the post-boil wort?  That is, would you be able to notice this and possibly boil some more at that time?  Or does this sort of flaw only become evident after fermentation?

All Grain Brewing / Re: First AG batch (and first post)
« on: January 26, 2014, 06:28:03 PM »
And just as I post this I see that several people had worked out what had to be the problem. 


Thanks again to all of you for helping a new guy out!

All Grain Brewing / Re: First AG batch (and first post)
« on: January 26, 2014, 06:26:10 PM »
I'm pleased to offer the group a chuckle on only my second post.   I kept going over and over what I did when it struck me: I mashed in with 20 CUPS of water, not 20 quarts.  I was using a pyrex 4 cup thing to measure and was thinking "each of these is 4, so I need 5 total..." without noticing that I was using the wrong units or simply visualizing what 5 gallons of strike water should look like.   As was pointed out, it just about had to be a measurement error, and sure enough.

While I feel silly, I don't mind making a mistake if I can see what I did wrong and learn something.  I really appreciate the people who took the time to read my question and offer help.  Not having done nor seen this done before, I didn't know what it should look like.  Having experienced people say "no, that doesn't sound right" is more helpful than you might realize.

I'm still hopeful about getting something drinkable, even if not the beer I set out to brew.  I've got my bucket in a dark, cool corner of the garage, wrapped up with a blanket and heating pad, where the temp controller I made for the occasion is keeping it right at 65 degrees.  I keep going down to admire the bubble and have a whiff of that lovely airlock vapor that smells faintly of hops and yeast.

To answer other questions, I had chosen a recipe described as a "Hoppy American Amber or Malty American Pale Ale" which described what I wanted a beer to taste like.   My grains were purchased and crushed from my LHBSP.  I batch sparged in two, 3.25 gallon batches, giving each 15 minutes before recirculating and draining.

10 lbs US 2 Row
1 lbs Crystal40L
1 lbs Munich
8.0 oz Biscuit Malt
8.0 oz Crystal120L
8.0 oz Flaked Oats
2.0 oz Chocolate malt

1.00 oz Magnum(60 min)
1.00 oz Centennial(10 min)
1.00 oz Cascade (10 min)
1.00 oz Cascade (0 min)
1.00 oz Centennial (0 min)

All Grain Brewing / First AG batch (and first post)
« on: January 26, 2014, 02:59:17 PM »
Yesterday a friend and I dove in with our first all-grain batch.  It would be hard to think of a more enjoyable way to pass the afternoon.  Overall, we were pleased with the process, hitting mash temps exactly and getting an OG just a bit low (1.058 whereas the recipe called for 1.065).  We had a couple of surprised that I'd appreciate comments on.

The first thing that surprised us was how dry the mash was at mash in.   We used 13.625 pounds of grain and 20 qts of water per Beersmith.   That was enough to moisten the grain well but there was no standing liquid and there would have been zero run-off from that.  I was expecting it to be somewhat soupy.  Does this sound right?

The other thing was that we lost a good bit more in the boil than expected.  We started the boil with 5.9 gal but recovered only about 4.25 gal in the fermenter.  We kept a nice gentle boil going for an hour but didn't feel like it was too terribly dramatic.    While cleaning up, I squeezed the hop-crud left in the pot to see how much might have been soaked up but managed to get only 12 more ounces, which didn't account for much of the loss.

Still, we were pleased with the results.  We felt like the wort tasted clean and sweet and hoppy, and if we got our sanitation right we'll end up with something very enjoyable.   It'll be six weeks until we know if this was just hubris on our parts, but the airlock was bubbling away nicely this morning so we'll go with that optimism for the time being.

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