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Messages - Phil_M

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1
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A Return...
« on: May 20, 2019, 11:30:53 PM »
Yeast wrangling was part of the hobby I enjoyed, though in the end it turned out that while culturing yeast up from storage was fun, it wasn't when I combined it with brewing.

As for US-05, I've never had luck with it. Peachy flavors, lack of flavors...it's never worked for me. Combine that with a general apathy to anything like 1056/WLP001, and why bother? Works for some, sure, but isn't my thing.

My intent is to use multiple packs/larger pitch options. If I'm brewing occasionally, and for fun, what's another $10 per batch?

2
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A Return...
« on: May 19, 2019, 01:39:43 PM »
The smack packs just tell you the yeast is alive and well, enough to justify if multiple packs could be used in lieu of a starter.

I used Mark's SNS start method exlusively, but still hated doing it. My dislike of starters likely isn't the most rational thing in the world, but it's still what caused me to cancel brew days more than anything else.

What also might help is that this time I'm not trying to be a production brewery, I still intend to buy most of what I consume. Meaning, I can brew when I feel like it, rather than when the beer is running low.

3
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A Return...
« on: May 19, 2019, 01:25:11 AM »
I think my idea of simple isn't what it is for others...

The big thing I won't be doing is yeast work. I want to avoid starters, I've come to realize I hate making them with a passion. Yeast are more a means to an end than a rabbit hole to me now, there's fun there but just more work than I intend to do.

I still intend to get clear wort into the kettle, and will be utilizing the 3-vessels of course. Will also do decoctions as well.

IOW, more brewing, less brewerania.

Oh, and no whacky hops either.

Whatever works for you is the right thing to do.  Make the best beer possible with the least effort possible while having the most fun possible.

Pretty much. Taking a break from brewing made me realize it's not the cleaning I hate as much as some of the prep work. Starters in particular. Suddenly have the itch to brew? Too bad, only White Labs on hand and you didn't make a starter the night before.

Going to be using Wyeast exclusively for liquid yeast, and I'm going to give dry yeast another shot. Still don't expect US-05 to be any good but I'll see what else I can find.

4
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A Return...
« on: May 13, 2019, 01:55:00 AM »
I think my idea of simple isn't what it is for others...

The big thing I won't be doing is yeast work. I want to avoid starters, I've come to realize I hate making them with a passion. Yeast are more a means to an end than a rabbit hole to me now, there's fun there but just more work than I intend to do.

I still intend to get clear wort into the kettle, and will be utilizing the 3-vessels of course. Will also do decoctions as well.

IOW, more brewing, less brewerania.

Oh, and no whacky hops either.

5
General Homebrew Discussion / A Return...
« on: May 10, 2019, 02:41:51 AM »
Yep, I think it's safe to say I'm finally about to start again.

And this time, I don't feel inclined to be technical about my brewing.

When I got into homebrewing, I wanted to brew the best beer. Guinness dry stout, IPAs that were awesome, German Lagers, a Saison to rival Dupont, and so on.

Now that I can afford to drink what I want, I don't feel inclined to brew that way. Now, I just want to brew for fun. The beer still has to be good, for sure, but why try and brew what I can just buy?

What I'm really thinking of is just brewing simple beers when I feel like it, or more complex beers with friends. I've got several who already brew regularly, and a close friend who's dying to start brewing. During my hiatus, I procured a used MoreBeer Tippy Dump, and have done enough to work the bugs out of it. Just want a second SS Brewtech Brew Bucket (I've got a 10 gallon system) and some yeast, and I'm ready to go...

First brew will be a sorta Belgian. Weyermann Barke Munich I, and 3787. Likely some stale Goldings (I have two pounds of them) for a hop. (I still have all my hops...now all stale. Perhaps not a bad thing?)

6
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dogfish is merging with Sam Adams
« on: May 10, 2019, 02:30:45 AM »
Dunno what this means for the craft beer as a whole, but this will probably be good for the consumer.

Maybe now I'll be able to find fresh 60 Minute, as opposed to the 3-4 month old crap I usually see. Sam Adams products are always fresh. (Dunno if they're buying them back, or just sell better...)

Unfortunately in MN my experience with Sam Adams products always seems to lack any freshness.  I stopped buying it years ago.  I wasn’t buying much DFH either, but now it might completely turn me off if the quality goes down.

IMO, Sam Adams doesn't suffer quality problems, just distribution ones. (Like all of craft beer...) That's why I see this helping all parties involved. Time will tell, of course, but I don't see this as a bad thing for the beer drinker. I like the idea of DFH's enthusiasm/spark with BBC's more stoic "it's beer" mentality.

7
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dogfish is merging with Sam Adams
« on: May 10, 2019, 01:07:50 AM »
Dunno what this means for the craft beer as a whole, but this will probably be good for the consumer.

Maybe now I'll be able to find fresh 60 Minute, as opposed to the 3-4 month old crap I usually see. Sam Adams products are always fresh. (Dunno if they're buying them back, or just sell better...)

8
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The book you keep returning to...
« on: April 26, 2019, 05:28:10 PM »
Tasting Beer, by Randy Mosher.

First beer book I bought, and it's still a go-to.

9
I think the whole focus on craft brewing as opposed to home brewing happens for a reason: the overwhelming majority of homebrewers dream of going pro and make it big.

That dream sells homebrew kits, craft beer, equipment, whatever. I can think of many who tried the hobby, suddenly wanted to go pro, then realized what that actually means. Usual result is quitting the hobby and starting a new one. With craft beer saturation kicking in, and starting a new and successful brewery being harder, maybe this is why the hobby is down...

An increased focus on homebrewing, and the specific techniques that separate it from craft beer sounds like a great idea. There's a core fanbase in any hobby or sport, those are the folks that sick around when fads change, and the folks that all too often get ignored in favor of the will (well, the money rather) of the majority. Appeal to that core, and maybe we'll get somewhere as a hobby independent of (but still related to) professional brewing.

10
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Smelly Gas Lines
« on: March 15, 2019, 01:53:38 PM »
Wait, if it's two distinct layers, could the stink just be from a more flexible outer layer, with a more impervious liner?  If you felt experimental you could cut a little piece off and try to open it up and delaminate it to investigate.  And by investigate I mean sniff, of course.
EDIT You could also just hook up your system, leave gas in the line for a bit, and smell what comes out before hooking up to your beer.  Either approach is the kind of stuff that would give me peace of mind.   But I suppose given that it is legit beverage gas line, maybe it should be trusted.... nah I'm always a skeptic.

Trust, but verify.

Split it open as suggested...the inner tubing has no odor at all. Thanks for the good idea!

11
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Smelly Gas Lines
« on: March 15, 2019, 12:38:52 PM »
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BKWWMB6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It's listed as food grade...maybe I'll try soaking it in something and see what that does...

And it's the legit stuff, two distinctly different layers of plastic.

12
Kegging and Bottling / Smelly Gas Lines
« on: March 14, 2019, 11:31:32 PM »
Bought new gas lines for the nitro setup...they reek of plastic. (well, they are plastic, but you get it...)

Any chance this will affect the beer? I'll cannibalize my CO2 lines if need be, but I'd rather not have to...

13
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Balancing a Nitro Draft System
« on: March 11, 2019, 11:38:13 PM »
My takeaway from all this has been to have a longer length of beer line on hand, but that my 5' lines should be fine. If it isn't, start with 10' and technician it down from there, vs. trying to engineer the system.

Thanks for the help folks...parts start arriving tomorrow...we'll see how this goes.

14
Kegging and Bottling / Re: beer gas mix
« on: March 11, 2019, 11:36:39 PM »
It is worth noting that a 5 lb. bottle of nitrogen/CO2 blend doesn't contain as much gas volume as one filled with pure CO2.

That being said, this still seems extreme. The local welding shop taught me to use Windex to hunt for leaks, instead of soapy water. I've not idea why, but it does work better.

15
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Balancing a Nitro Draft System
« on: March 10, 2019, 08:59:16 PM »
That deals with the whole getting the CO2 balance right when dealing with a mixed gas. That part I figured out already.

What I specifically need is to know the length of beer line needed to balance the system. I know the Guinness type taps have a restrictor that will help offset the increased serving pressure needed to properly carbonate the beer, but what part does line length serve?

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