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Messages - yugamrap

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General Homebrew Discussion / Stoopid Polar Vortex!
« on: January 22, 2014, 02:05:43 PM »
This polar vortex thing is driving me nuts.  It's probably not going to make it over 20 F here for a couple weeks.  That's messing with my brewing schedule, and I'm going to be behind on my Maibock. >:(  The temperature I can deal with - it's the lousy wind chill that's keeping me from brewing outdoors.  It's time for some more small batch BIAB experiments on the stove, I guess.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Is -20 too cold to brew?
« on: January 21, 2014, 06:58:15 AM »
I have an electric infrared heater like this for the covered part of my patio where I brew.  That helps keep the chill off, so I'll brew outdoors down to about 15-20 F.  Outdoor cleanup is a hassle when it gets much colder than that, so I switch it up and mash indoors and only boil outside.  Sometimes, I do 3-gallon BIAB on the stove when it's really cold - it's fun to use a different technique and/or an experimental recipe.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Baby long is enough?!?
« on: January 08, 2014, 07:59:44 AM »
I didn't start brewing until my kids were in college, so I got nothin' to say but "happy wife = happy life."

I was self-employed, traveled a lot, and finished college through night classes when my kids were infants/toddlers - and my wife has always worked full-time.  The key for us was to know when one of us needed a break from the mayhem, and to give each other the opportunity to get that break.  Having my mom living nearby and happy to take the kids for an afternoon here and there helped a lot, too.

Best wishes, good luck, and brew on!

The Pub / Re: New Year goals?
« on: December 31, 2013, 08:07:41 AM »
In no particular order...

Celebrate 30 years of marriage in September.
Lose some weight.
Brew more and better beer. 

The Pub / Re: Beer menu
« on: December 31, 2013, 07:48:48 AM »
It's great when a menu is straightforward and not given to hyperbole.   ;)

Classifieds / Re: Free 6.5 Gallon Glass Carboy
« on: December 31, 2013, 06:52:21 AM »
If I were near you I'd take it in a heartbeat. Why not use it to ferment sours or bulk age a barleywine or RIS? Then you'd only have to deal with it like once a year.

Sent from my MB865 using Tapatalk

indeed, if you used it for a sour horny tank you'd never have to clean it again!

I did this ^^^ with my glass carboys when I switched to using stainless vessels as my main fermenters.  I still use one of the glass carboys as a primary for sours, and occasionally for dry-hopping non-sour beers.  The other two glass carboys have been re-purposed as a Flanders Red solera.  The solera hasn't produced any finished beer yet - I've only had it going for about a year.  It'll probably be this time next year at the soonest when I blend & bottle the first batch.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Grain Mills
« on: December 30, 2013, 09:03:45 AM »
I've been using a "standard" Barley Crusher for 6 years with no problems and good results.  I brew about 20 5-gallon batches a year with a few 10-gallon batches mixed in.  I hand-crank my mill for most 5-gallon batch grain bills and use a drill for 10-gallon batches.  My mill is adjusted to 0.029 and I don't have any problems with stuck sparges - even with 50% wheat grist.

Some report problems with their Barley Crusher's "free" roller not spinning freely.  That's a maintenance issue.  If you mill dry and clean the mill after each use, it shouldn't be a problem.  I use a cheap 1" paintbrush to dust out the mill after each use and blow out any remaining grain dust.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Simple Aeration?
« on: December 30, 2013, 08:25:58 AM »
I used a Mix-Stir on a drill for years with good results.  I recently switched to the William's O2 system and have only used it on a few batches.  The jury is still out for me as to whether one is better than the other.  I'll know better after I've used the O2 system for a few lagers.

The carbonator cap for 2L bottles.  It's very difficult to get the QDs on and off, and the poppet/spring in that thing is way too firm.  I'll stick with growlers.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beers planned for 2014
« on: December 30, 2013, 08:03:35 AM »
I won't be brewing on the 1st, but plan to brew a German Pilsner on Saturday or Sunday.  The yeast cake from that pilsner will be used for a Maibock in a few weeks.

The Pub / Re: Would this get you out on a bike?
« on: December 24, 2013, 11:23:40 AM »
Maybe on a tandem....   ;)

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keezer CO2 Management - Manifold Only
« on: December 24, 2013, 10:21:36 AM »
I do a hybrid of what others have suggested.  I shut off the gas to the other kegs and dial pressure up to about 10-12 PSI greater than serving pressure.  I attach the gas line to the IN post of the keg, purge the keg with CO2, then turn the keg upside-down and shake for about 3-4 minutes.  After that, I put the keg into the serving fridge (right side up, of course) with the others and return it and the rest to serving pressure.  Typically, the new keg settles in to proper carbonation after 5-7 days.  This makes things faster than set-n-forget, but doesn't over-carb.

All Grain Brewing / Re: All grain brewing - pump or no pump?
« on: December 24, 2013, 10:00:14 AM »
I use a pump to reduce lifting and to recirculate with a WIC during chilling.  Once I solved the priming challenge and got my process dialed-in, the pump ends up being a net time-saver for me. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Single Infusion Mash Time
« on: December 24, 2013, 09:52:41 AM »
I mash anywhere from 60 minutes (single infusion) to 3 hours (long triple-decoction schedule).  It really depends on what style I'm brewing and what I'm trying to accomplish with the mash. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: When did you switch to all grain?
« on: December 24, 2013, 09:39:18 AM »
I switched to all grain after three extract batches.  I started with a couple extract kits, then did an extract with steeping batch recipe of my own.  All the while, I was reading info from several online forums and figured all grain wasn't a drastic step (I was doing full boils right from the start on a turkey fryer burner, and had an immersion chiller) so I made the switch and haven't looked back since.  I've done a few extract batches since then - mostly small-batch experiments like a gluten-free beer for a friend's wife.

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