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Messages - majorvices

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4036
Going Pro / Re: How hard is it to be a pro brewer?
« on: February 29, 2012, 07:21:48 AM »
Instead of "pro-brewing" I have been calling it "commercial brewing" to avoid people getting their feeling hurt/dander up, whatever. I know some homebrewers who know more about brewing than some pro - ahhh, I mean commercial brewers.  ;) And I have found the homebrew community rich with creative ideas. Some of the best beer you will ever taste without question is homebrewed.

OTOH I would para-phrase Steven King who says a "professional writer is one who writes something, gets paid for it and pays the utility bill with it." I think the same thing applies here. Also, I will point out that most commercial brewers (myself included) brew several times a week (I brew 3 - 4 times a week now) and we eat, breath and sleep brewing all day, every day and often well on into the night. I don't have many times during the day when I am not thinking about something regarding the brewery, often I fall asleep wondering if my yeast shipment will arrive or wake up worrying if the glycol pump is still functioning. So there is a "pro" aspect to it that goes beyond just an "art form". And, FWIW I am a trained artist and I consider brewing a "craft" not an art form but boulder is right - enough of semantics already.

4037
The Pub / Re: new charcoal pit?
« on: February 29, 2012, 07:12:35 AM »
The Weber Kettle is very versatile and the right price. I use it more than any of my other BBQ equipment. You can grill, hot smoke, cold smoke or use it as a hand warmer. It's easy to clean and is has a very even heating gradient. I highly recommend it.  :)

hmmmmm .... I've been meaning to get a new hand warmer.  ;D

4038
All Grain Brewing / Re: Inconsistent pH readings...
« on: February 29, 2012, 05:39:28 AM »
well, I have two of them and if they are both off they are both off the same. I don't have any issues with FG so I feel confident they are fine. I calibrate often, probably not as often as I should. Regardless, I'd rather be off a couple of degrees than have my pH reading off. I give myself a 2 degree leeway on temp anyway just for sanity's sake.

I certainly don't think pH is less important than temperature. They are both obviously important.

4039
All Grain Brewing / Re: Inconsistent pH readings...
« on: February 28, 2012, 09:16:35 PM »
The Thermapen is not only quick but very accurate. IMO that's more important than Ph, which is probably not a problem anyway.

My $7 lab thermometer is quick enough and 100% accurate - I use it to calibrtate all my installed dial thermometers regularly. I check ph all the time and I am surprised at how often it doesn't check out. YMMV. IN fact I brewed a side batch recently and checked the pH and noticed it was only off a little and the beer never did have a good hot break and the final batch ended up tasting alright but had a stubborn haze. I guess  the mash temp checked out at least.

4040
Ingredients / Re: Hop bomb!!!
« on: February 28, 2012, 04:43:02 PM »
You need to add the majority of your hops in the last 10 minutes with a huge burst at flame out, then dry hop after fermentation is complete.

4041
Beer Recipes / Re: What makes a recipe "yours"?
« on: February 28, 2012, 02:33:32 PM »
All the recipes I brew now are mine. aside from a handful of Charlie P. recipes I brewed years ago the only clones I have brewed in the last several years have been "the" dry stout recipe (the well known Guinness clone)  and a Pliny the elder kit I ordered from B3 around 7 years ago basically because it was easier and cheaper to get that quantity of hops. and I just wanted to try Pliny but couldn't get out to California.  ;)

If you sit down and have an idea of what beer you want to brew and you design the recipe - even if you look at several other recipes to see what other people are doing - then it is yours. You can certainly get ideas from other people, but if you brew Denny's BVIP and increase the munich malt or raise the bittering units slightly then it is still denny's recipe.

4042
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: cold fermentation
« on: February 28, 2012, 05:43:40 AM »
When you say you like the "007" is that WY1007 or WLP007?

4043
Equipment and Software / Re: Software?
« on: February 26, 2012, 09:59:02 AM »
Put me down as HATING BeerTools It is clunky and poorly designed. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

4044
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: To Skim or Not
« on: February 26, 2012, 08:01:40 AM »

A similar urge probably strikes you during boiling--do you skim off the foam of the hot break in the BK?  I haven't found doing so to make much difference in my beers.

It can help knock down the boil over, but outside of that there theoretically can be advantages and disadvantages. Advantage (beside boil over) is you are removing some of the hot break protein. Disadvantage is some of those proteins may help in foam stability.

4045
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: To Skim or Not
« on: February 26, 2012, 07:09:34 AM »
How are you gonna get it in the top of a sealed conical? ??? Unless you are using a plastic conical. My conicals are 7 bbls and pressurized though so I may be thinking on a different level. But even my blickmann conicals with the pull top lid were impossible to skim any foam from especially squeezed inside of a fridge/freezer.

Regardless, much of the "braunhefe" will get stuck to the sides of the fermenter anyway and unless you are open fermenting or in a bucket I don't see an easy or convenient way to skim and I personally feel it is a very, very minor difference. I doubt many breweries are skimming from inside their conicals.

4046
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP001 fermented cold
« on: February 26, 2012, 06:04:01 AM »
I was thinking about this some more and I think either yeast can be used for a super clean almost "lager-like" strain and both work well at cold temps but that the difference is WY1007 will accentuate the malt better and WLP001/W1056 accentuated hops better. Also, along that note, the dry version US-05 is not as clean as the liquid version and has a more harsh profile that can be hidden quite well by American hoppy ales or stouts and the like but does not sub as well for alts and mock lagers even at cold temps.

4048
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: To Skim or Not
« on: February 26, 2012, 05:54:49 AM »
There's no way to skim the or top crop in a conical, unless you do a blow off.

4049
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Crazy fermentation and first starter
« on: February 25, 2012, 04:36:54 PM »
Agree with these guys. I would use a clean and sanitized vessel, not one filled partially with sanitizer.

4050
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP001 fermented cold
« on: February 25, 2012, 04:34:55 PM »
I have seen it work at 54 degrees. A lot of people say that the WY1007 German Ale is the cleanest strain they have ever tasted. I'm not sure I agree with that totally. chico is super clean when fermented cold. And I have found the WY1007 can be a bit temperamental if it is not handled right.

I would say that the WY-1007 is the cleanest ALE strain that I have used.  Just saying.  Really like the clean flavors from WLP 830 and 833.  The Mexican Lager strain is said to be even cleaner tasting.

Yeah, I meant ale strain (obviously).  ;) I'm just sayin', wlp001 may be almost as clean, if not as clean, and IME is much less temperamental. Someone mentioned sulphur: I've found WY1007 can throw a good bit if not handled properly. And if fermented too warm it can be kinda funky and not clean at all. No arguments that if fermented in the mid 50s it can be extremely clean.

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