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Messages - madscientist

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Nothing brewing this weekend.  I will be bottling my first batch of "Mad Scientist Amber Ale" Monday Night.  Eventually I'll learn to have two going at once or as I'm bottling one work on another.  I may need to buy stock in bottles though.  Until I brew again, I will be working on improving my fermenter and getting a bigger brew pot. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New to Homebrewing
« on: July 06, 2010, 12:51:35 PM »
A little late to the thread but never too late to the party my Momma used to say.

Here's a few pics of my setup and it only cost me $10 for the tote and I had the Reflectix already. It holds two 7.9 gallon brew-buckets.

 I used to keep several gallons of water in there as well but it promotes mildewing on the sides of the fermenters. The water helped keep the temps steady along with the ice-packs but now I've since gone without the water for many batches and the mildew problem cleared up immediately.

Depending on ambient temps and desired wort temps I'll use 2-4 blue ice packs or 20oz soda bottles. This has worked extremely well for my brewing ales.

The "out" on the thermometer corresponds to the interior of the chamber.

I just lost everything i typed.  That sucks...

Anyway, I pretty much use the same set up but I have water with the ice packs and a tshirt around the bucket.  Where do you get the reflectix?

The brewing pretty much went off without a hitch (I should invest in a bigger pot though), and I started getting activity in my airlock, so I'm happy.  I'm changing ice packs at least twice a day, and the set up has been really good at maintaing a temperature.  I'm going to invest in a digital thermometer because those stick on ones suck.  I am confident in this set up, and we'll see how well it handles over the next few days which of course are supposed to be the hottest yet this year. 

Thank you everyone for your advice, and should this go well I will attempt the Wit. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New to Homebrewing
« on: July 02, 2010, 12:45:17 PM »
My kit came yesterday and I'll be out most of the weekend, but with monday off, I'm thinking it'll be the perfect time to brew the first batch of "Mad Scientist"

Edit:  My fiance has already requested her own batch of beer... Something along the lines of a blue moon.  Doesn't need to be an exact copy, but something with an orange-citrusy flavor (I guess even something along the lines of a magic hat no. 9 but with orange), so if anyone knows if this is too difficult to do yet, or has a link to some kits, let me know. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New to Homebrewing
« on: June 30, 2010, 02:36:49 PM »
Cooler or tub
Frozen soda/juice bottles swapped out twice a day

You can even get fancy and put a cover on it :D

You'll have to experiment but one bottle will keep it around 10 degrees below ambient for long enough to go to work

This is perfect!  Thanks for sharing, and thanks for welcoming me to the message board.  The Kit should arrive 7/1, which i guess is tomorrow, so hopefully I will be brewing soon.  Eventually I would hope to move to better temperature controls and the like.  And my fiance likes having the idea of beer always on tap when we buy a house :-)  Right now I will go with simple.

And as for lagers and ales, Ales have always been my favorite come to think of it, so that's what i'm starting with.  I'm a big fan of Triumph's Amber Ale at the moment. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New to Homebrewing
« on: June 29, 2010, 04:56:24 PM »
Hey thanks for the advice!

I'll definately look for a cooler/fan set up or something to fit the fermenter in and keep it cool with some ice packs/towels etc.  The upside of it is, that it is dark, and I will be starting off with an ale.  My fiance already said I should get something to put the fermenter in. 


General Homebrew Discussion / New to Homebrewing
« on: June 29, 2010, 03:41:08 PM »

So i'm about to begin my journey into the world of homebrewing.  I'm a research chemist, and I love beer, so what better way to combine the two things I love, science and beer.  I purchased a starter kit with an ale recipie, now I'm anxiously waiting for it to ship.

So I have a few questions:
Space for me is limited in a 1 bedroom apartment.  I have a walk in closet in my living room that I cleared out a corner for storing my fermenter.  My only concern is that during the summer months in NJ, temperatures have been in the upper high 80s to upper 90s.  My apartment is air conditioned but it's not running all the time.  With a temperature of about 80F, am I going to run into problems during fermentation? 

My second question:  How important is it to boil the amount of water it says to start?  Is it ok to boil less and add the malt to that, and then bring it to volume while cooling it down? 

Is adding ice into the fermenter a viable option for cooling down the batch before you add yeast?

I can't wait to start. 


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