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Messages - majorvices

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Going Pro / Re: Steam vs Electric vs Gas?
« on: November 23, 2011, 06:19:03 AM »
I think electric is the best choice for that size system. Just be careful you don't leave the element on when you are running off like I did last Monday! Talk about a b**** to clean!

Ingredients / Re: What is the difference between carared and Crystal 20?
« on: November 23, 2011, 06:13:11 AM »
Cara red has a richer malt taste and seems to be more fermentable, less "sweetish". FTW I am using Cara Amber now and I think I like that even better. Its a little "redder" than cara red and is around 28-32 L IIRC.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Should I Rack to Secondary
« on: November 23, 2011, 06:06:29 AM »
I'm at work now... can't replace with a clean lid or airlock yet if that's what you're advising.  I did pour vodka all over the top of the lid and in the airlock before I left.  I live in Korea by the way.  No starter.  I re-hydrated two packets of Safale-05. The temp of the beer when yeast was pitched was around 70F... the ambient temperature was 66F on my porch where it stays around that temp or a little lower.  Guess I'll put on a new lid and airlock when I get home in about 9 hours or so.  Thanks for the advice.

I'd try pitching cooler next time. Also, you should make some effort to drop the temp a few more degrees next time. Don't monitor ambient temp. Monitor the temp of the fermenting beer. The stick on "fermometeors" do an excellent job of telling you a reasonably accurate temp of the fermenting beer. Cooler pitching and fermentation temps will help minimize the blow offs. An ambient temp of 66 may mean you are fermenting in the low to mid 70s, which is a bit too high for my tastes.

As far as racking to the secondary - that's the last thing you would want to do! I have had literally hundreds of blow offs over the years. Never lost a batch because of it. Did create lots of messes.

Also, I notice you say you used no started and used dry yeast. There isn't really a reason you would even want to use a starter with dry yeast.

Going Pro / Re: You wanted to have two head keg washer.
« on: November 22, 2011, 06:21:39 PM »
steps are as follows
1. with all other valves closed and your drain line (the co2 line of the keg coupler) on the floor or in a drain, open the valve on the keg to relieve pressure and drain out the remaining beer
2. open valve for rinse water (hot works better) - that's water into manifold, out the hose to the keg coupler, through keg and out drain hose onto floor
3. close valve on keg, place drain hose into the cleaning agent (hot) holding container, turn on pump, open valve to flow cleaning agent into the manifold and into the keg, open valve on keg to allow flow but maintain pressure. run clean cycle
4. use co2 to push all cleaning agent out of keg and back into holding container
5. place drain hose back onto floor or drain, run rinse water cycle.
6. use co2 to push all rinse water from keg
7. set keg aside

Run all kegs through this set up, then swap sanitizer for cleaning agent and run a sani cycle through all the kegs. Push all sani out with co2 and pressurize the keg to storage pressure.  Done (go home and cry, wonder why you decided to be a brewer.  Remember that you get to brew tomorrow, smile and go to sleep)

+1 except I use compressed air to push rinse water and cleanser water and co2 only for sanitizer.

The nice thing about the $15K washers is you put your keg(s) on the cleaner and push a button and come back and they are clean. Cheaper ones available are semi-manual. I have my eye on a premier stainless keg washer that is fully automatic though. But $15K is a huge chunk to cough up.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Is PBW safe?
« on: November 22, 2011, 09:57:33 AM »
I don't have a problem with star san much. It doesn't seem to have any affect on my hands. Another thing i was thinking about this AM - PBW works so much better when hot. I never use it under 120 degrees. That may be why it bothers some peoples hands and not others if some people are using it cool.

Going Pro / Re: Show you goods
« on: November 22, 2011, 08:31:17 AM »
I hate those plastic kegs, because I can't convert them to keggles. :D

LOL!  ;D ;)

Going Pro / Re: Show you goods
« on: November 22, 2011, 07:36:30 AM »
Lots of breweries are using them now. I get returns from Cigar City all the time that I have to send back. I have probably around 800 of the PKA kegs, though they are not without problems they have been a decent investment. They cost about 1/3 the price of stainless.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Is PBW safe?
« on: November 21, 2011, 07:49:29 PM »
I guess YMMV here - it dries my hands out something terrible. If you get some on your hands wash it off immediately. I would recommend leaving your hands soaking for prolonged periods.

Ingredients / Re: Home smoked malt
« on: November 21, 2011, 01:20:24 PM »
I built a cold smoker about 2 weeks ago. Basically I made 4 screened boxes and attached these via a duct to a smoker with a hole cut in the lid. I plan on using it in the next couple of weeks.

I have smoked small batches of malt in the past and only smoked it for 1/2 hour and got plenty of smokiness. Overwhelming almost.

Beer Recipes / Re: Vanilla Rum Raisin Stout - Amounts?
« on: November 21, 2011, 01:02:04 PM »
Thanks Keith.  I will be visiting family for Thanksgiving in Decatur Alabama....very close to Huntsville.  Is Yellowhammer open for any tours anytime?

Absolutely! -Send me a PM and I can hook you up with some contact info. I will be available at the brewery Friday the day after T-day.

Beer Recipes / Re: Vanilla Rum Raisin Stout - Amounts?
« on: November 21, 2011, 09:42:18 AM »
Wow!  This is awesome!  That was my rum raisin stout I served at the hotel party with the hopheads that you enjoyed.  I'm so glad you enjoyed it.  I could give you the full recipe if you want.  But it seems you already have the stout base you want and just want to know how I added the rum and raisin.  Take a big mason jar and pack it full of raisins then cover it with dark rum.  Not spiced rum, just dark rum.  One mason jar of those raisins soaking for a week or so, then throw em in a blender.  Put that in a hop bag and add to secondary and also pour all the rum from the mason jar in the 5 gallon batch too.  So, one mason jar of rum soaked raisins per 5 gallons.  

I attempted on another batch to add rum soaked oak chips and this really made the beer less desireable.  As for the vanilla, one scraped bean to the secondary will be plenty.  You are on the right track with the special B in your recipe.  My stout was simpler and started with a base of Marris Otter.  It had roast, chocolate, special B, crystal 40, oatmeal and lactose.  

Glad you enjoyed my stout and what I said above with the mason jar alongside the special B should give you that dark fruit/raisin and rum flavor I had in mine.  Jay

Thanks for sharing your technique with the rum and raisins, Jay! I'm looking forward to trying this!

Wood/Casks / Re: my new barrel
« on: November 21, 2011, 05:59:46 AM »
Well, ain't you just one luck son of a gun! Nice!  :)

Beer Recipes / Re: Vanilla Rum Raisin Stout - Amounts?
« on: November 21, 2011, 01:43:56 AM »
It sounds like a tasty idea. I have brewed with raisins before and I got the idea from denny to caramelize them on a pan before adding to the secondary. I can not recall the amounts at this time but probably around a half pound per gallon would be my guess.

As far as adding rum flavor that is going to be a bit more tricky because just soaking the raisins in rum probably won't give you much rum character. I would think the best way to achieve rum character would be aging the beer in a rum barrel though that may not be feasible on the 5 or 10 gallon level. You can also always add rum to the beer itself, which may be the route you will need to go in this instance. I'm not a rum drinker so I'm not sure what to recommend as far as brands - make it an expensive dark rum.

As far as the vanilla goes, the common practice has been to buy actual beans and scrape the pod and add the beans and the pub to the secondary rather than using plain extract. You will get much more natural and pronounced vanilla flavor this way. I'm not sure what to recommend for amounts as I have never brewed with vanilla bean before. Maybe do a  search for "Denny's BVIP" (bourbon vanilla imperial porter) and see what he recommends for that recipe.

Going Pro / Re: Show you goods
« on: November 20, 2011, 07:40:39 AM »
Congrats man! I will post some pron here in the next month or two. I'm in the middle of a major expansion.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Westy in the US!
« on: November 19, 2011, 05:19:12 PM »
No, I mean I really think it's a great beer.  But the hype . . . it makes me crazy.  It's like Dark Lord - if I ever get to try a bottle I'm sure I'll say "that is a damn fine stout" and that still won't be as good as the hype.  :-\

In both cases the marketing is spot on rockin' in the free world though.

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