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Messages - phillamb168

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Smack pack did not inflate
« on: September 23, 2010, 06:55:43 AM »
I had a pre-smacked smack pack delivered to me a few weeks ago; I stuck it in the fridge and it deflated quite a bit, so I was nervous about pitching it. However, after a day of lag time, it's fermenting nicely. The wee yeasties are a resilient lot; I think you'll be ok.

Equipment and Software / Re: HERMS Coil
« on: September 23, 2010, 05:11:35 AM »
I just did my first batch with a HERMS coil; because of circumstances surrounding my basement's water evacuation, my coolant line into my counterflow chiller was run out through the coil and then into a garden hose. The following day I blasted it with home pressure water after soaking it in bleach. Should I run some star san in there too or will what I've done be ok?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Okinawa Bound
« on: September 23, 2010, 04:43:51 AM »
My dad's not too far from these guys, and he asked them about international, apparently they do it: APO/FPO shipping should be way cheaper than UPS or FedEx, I'd think.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing This Weekend - 9/17 Edition
« on: September 21, 2010, 02:05:27 AM »
Update: we have fermentation! Woo! OG was at 1.030, which means it'll be a bit weak, but I'll be happy if my first all-grain is drinkable.

Beer Recipes / Re: Halloween beers
« on: September 20, 2010, 06:39:27 AM »
Heh, maybe I should just do an imperial IPA and add food coloring?  :o

Sounds like I'll just stick with the red ale recipe above with the modification to 2 oz cara II. Will let you all know how it works out.

Equipment and Software / Re: HDPE container question
« on: September 20, 2010, 04:06:26 AM »

Do not eat if you are a mouse. :-p

As long as they don't get hot (TFA says they start warping at around 60 deg C/140 deg F) you should be ok. The only concern I might have would be any residual moulding from when the containers were cast - might make cleaning difficult and could be a harbor for bacteria.

Beer Recipes / Re: Halloween beers
« on: September 20, 2010, 02:27:16 AM »
As I've been thinking about this, I think I'd still like to do a red ale, but now am wondering if I could do a red imperial IPA with a ton of hops. I know IPA means PALE, but I'd love to have a combination of super duper hop flavor with a nice red color. Would it work to make the adjustment to 2oz Carafa II but bump up the American to maybe 20 pounds, then add 2 oz cascade for dry hopping?

This is my first time making my own recipe, so if I'm way out in left field feel free to shoot the idea down :-)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing This Weekend - 9/17 Edition
« on: September 20, 2010, 02:18:54 AM »
Late to the game here, but I've just finished my first all-grain batch on my new HERMS system. The beer is a generic "festbier" ordered from a company in Germany that I won't be ordering from any more - bad quality. 10 pounds of a grain they didn't bother to identify, and a generic "yeast" packet. Lots learned from this brew, for sure. Namely:

First lesson: Mise en place is very important! The above mentioned yeast packet was nowhere to be found when I started racking to my primary. I had some (probably wayyyy expired) liquid yeast (the kind that comes in a plastic bag where the yeast and food are in two separate plastic baggies inside, and you have to punch it to get them to mix together), so I used that.

First question: Beer yeast isn't supposed to smell like bread yeast, right? It's been a while since I last brewed and I can't remember.

Second lesson: garden hoses in Europe (and the US too, I guess? Been a while since I used one) now come with checkvalves on the ends of the hose so they don't output any water unless there's a nozzle attached. I hooked up my counterflow chiller to the house's water supply (high pressure) and coupled it to the garden hose with some 1/2" vinyl high-temperature (UNREINFORCED) tubing. I turned the water on full and looked down to check for leaks, and I say to myself, "Hey, I don't remember putting PVC piping in here... Oh, wait a second, that's not right... Oh, s*** I better turn off the *BOOM*. Water everywhere but thankfully not in anything already sanitized. I went upstairs to change my shoes, pants and socks (this is why they have no-pants brewing I guess?) and came back and put the nozzle on.

Second question: I know temperatures vary for sparging depending on the type of beer you're going for, but does 30 min @ 50 deg c/30 min @ 67-70 deg c/30 min sound about right, with a mash out at 77 deg c?

Third question: I didn't have a hopback or anything to filter the hop particulate from going into my counterflow chiller (and my March 809), so there almost certainly were hops that got into the lines. 1. Is this a problem? I ran high-pressure water through everything this morning and it's running clean now, but I don't want to have burned out the motor. 2. As I was running the wort through the chiller, it was barely streaming. The pump wasn't used at the time, so I switched out the lines and had it run through the pump after the chiller to get things pumping a bit better. This helped, but what was weird was how the wort was coming out. There'd be no wort for a while, and then the whole system would go "WhummMMMM" and a big squirt of wort would pass through. Is this because of the hops in the chiller, or because I really really need to put the pump between the boiler and the chiller, as opposed to boiler -> chiller -> pump?

Fourth question: Got everything done, finally, and pitched my questionable yeast. This morning I got up to check for fermentation and there's nothing going on. How long do I wait before I assume it's a dead batch?

Thanks guys - hope you all had a better go of it than I did, but then again I learned a LOT!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Okinawa Bound
« on: September 17, 2010, 01:53:50 AM »
I was stationed there at Kinser back in '85-87. I wasn't homebrewing at the time. When you're not drinking your own, enjoy the Kirin and Sapporro in vending machines out in town. Yes, you can drink and urinate out in town in public legally, if things haven't changed. It's a male dominated country. Just don't do #2 because it is a desecration and will land you in jail. Oh Yeah, If it's still available, stay away from the bombers of Red Horse Ale imported from the Philippines. I recall blistering hangovers from it. Fusel alcohols out the wazoo. Enjoy the diving, yaki soba etc. Yakatori (chicken dick on a stick) :D

Semper Fi!

Don't forget to try the "weird" stuff they've got over there too - there's a great after dark food scene, lots of izakaya have interesting things on the menu.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Okinawa Bound
« on: September 17, 2010, 01:51:14 AM »
I'll check out the article.
I'm excited to hear there is a craft brew scene at all. I was worried.

Oorah, you brewed up a Chesty Puller ale yet?

Beer Recipes / Re: Halloween beers
« on: September 17, 2010, 01:08:43 AM »
How's this sound:

8 # American 2 row
1/4 # Carafa II (for coloring, basically?)
3/4 oz fuggles @ 60mn
3/4 oz fuggles @ 30mn
1 1/4 oz fuggles @ 5mn
Wyeast 1056
OG: 1.046
FG: 1.011
Bitterness: 30 IBU
Color: 15 SRM
Alcohol: 4.5%

Kegging and Bottling / Re: New keg system
« on: September 16, 2010, 01:52:30 PM »
GREAT THREAD. Thanks a bunch to everyone for posting all this, it's going to be really really helpful for me once I get my kegs.

There's a fantastic restaurant in Montreal called Au Pied du Cochon, they serve a fried foie gras, comes in a little cube, I believe it's flash fried - I think frying something slowly or at a low temp would be bad bad bad with this.

Theoretically, you could fry beer by itself, but you'd need to gelatinize (NOT Jello, actual gelatin; comes in sheets) it first, and then get it super cold (but not frozen) so the gelatin holds up to the heat. coat it in flour, then dip it in (beer? buttermilk? etc?) then back in the flour. Fry it in a deep fryer. That should work.

Maybe I'll try this sometime next month. Also of note, you'd probably need to use flat beer. Not sure how the carbonation would behave with the gelatin.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Okinawa Bound
« on: September 16, 2010, 07:57:13 AM »
There's a lot of stuff going on in Japan these days with the craft beer scene. Try to contact the guy in this article:
and here's another useful link:

Looks like you might be able to find stuff fairly easily.

I'd love to see how this turns out, it's exactly what I'm looking to brew after my pumpkin ale.

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