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Messages - yugamrap

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226
I always read threads on decoction with great interest.  I've tried several different decoction mash schedules from triple-decoction with protein rest, to single-infusion mashes with decoction mash-out.  Like others, I'd be hard-pressed to describe any specific characteristics that differ in the finished beer with different decoction mash schedules, and agree that fermentation is probably a much greater factor.  However, simple observations made during the mashes reveal different mash characteristics like viscosity, color, and the amount of protein teig I find in the mash.  All that said, I use some sort of decoction mash for the German styles I brew because, for me, it's part of the "spirit" of brewing those styles.  So, whether it actually makes a difference chemically, biologically, or otherwise, there's just something about that bubbling pot of boiling mash that "feels right" to me - so I do it.     

227
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What are your house styles?
« on: April 06, 2010, 08:17:32 AM »
I usually have a house APA, Bavarian Hefeweizen or Cream Ale on tap but, with four faucets, there's plenty of room for variety and seasonal styles.  Today, It's Session Pale Ale, Porter, BVIP and Schwarzbier (I'm working off some winter inventory).  I have IIPA on deck, Maibock and Helles lagering for a few more weeks, and Cream Ale and Märzen fermenting.  My next brew day will probably be a 10-gallon batch of the house APA to lay in some stock for early summer.

228
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: stir plate vortex
« on: March 22, 2010, 07:09:29 PM »
What style stir bar are you using? The only thing holding me back from building a stir plate was that I'd have to get a big ol' flask, but if there's one that will stay centered on a convex bottom...
I have a 2" bar with the ring in the middle.  It works fine in a cheapo 1-gallon Carlo Rossi wine jug with a convex bottom.  This pic is just a 1.75 L starter, but it works fine all the way up to a full gallon.


229
The Pub / Re: And now for something completely different...
« on: March 20, 2010, 08:12:13 PM »
If I hear any of them on my boxwoods, I'll break out the Holy Hand Grenade and count to five...no...three!

230
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Oxygen; too much, or not enough
« on: March 20, 2010, 07:43:02 PM »
I get such good aeration out of my cheap'n'easy Mixstir that I've never considered a more expensive/complicated method.
+1  I use my Mix-Stir as I run the wort to the fermenting bucket from the kettle.

231
All Grain Brewing / Re: First Decoction Results
« on: March 20, 2010, 07:13:28 PM »
way to go man!

that's something I've never tried.  I will one day, I just have to work up the nerve to put a batch at risk!

Dont let that scare you , decoctions are very forgiving
+1  Don't be intimidated by decoction.  You can make it as difficult or as easy as you choose.  I've tried several different schedules - from triple decoction with multiple rests, to a single-infusion mash with just one decoction to get to mash-out temperature.  Most recently, I did a Maibock with just the mash-out decoction, but I boiled the decoction for a solid 20 minutes.  Of course, I won't know how that one turns out until May...   

232
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My Mash Tun problem
« on: March 17, 2010, 06:13:08 PM »

No? Just me?

Allright, I guess that's why I stuck to BrewHaHa.

Nope, not just you.  The problem seems to me to be a case of just not getting a siphon from the manifold.  The solution seems to be getting the manifold to sit lower in the tun.  That could involve a whole new manifold design, but it's doesn't necessarily seem like it has to.
+1 

233
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How to Siphon Beer
« on: March 16, 2010, 08:38:47 PM »
Auto Siphon here.  It's reliable and pretty much idiot-proof - goodness knows I've done my best to debunk this claim!  :-[ ;)

234
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Which Brew pot to buy?
« on: March 16, 2010, 08:18:26 PM »
Do you still have that 8-gallon canning pot?  Is it still in good shape?  If so, you could use a picnic cooler as a mash tun.  That will work fine for stepped infusions using boiling water.  You can also use the 8-gallon pot for decoctions by pulling them from the mash tun, heating to rest and boil, then returning to the main mash.  Then, I'd suggest you go with at least a 10-gallon pot for your boil kettle and, as others have said, you'll probably want a 15-gallon boil kettle if you're going to do any 10-gallon batches.  Either the 8-gallon canner or a new pot could do double duty as your hot liquor tank.

My boil kettle is a converted Sanke keg (15.5 gallons) with a valve and thermometer.  I like not having to siphon, and the thermometer is helpful for knowing when the wort is first approaching the boil and for watching temperature while cooling the wort with my immersion chiller.  Those Boilermaker kettles are very nice if you can afford them, and I think one would be great as a boil kettle.  However, unless you're planning to do direct-fired heating of your main mash tun, I think a cooler is every bit as good and a lot less expensive.  The money you could save on the mash tun would go a long way toward setting up good temperature-controlled fermentation.

235
Equipment and Software / Re: Quick Disconnect
« on: March 11, 2010, 09:43:08 PM »
I have high-temperature brass QDs http://www.mcmaster.com/#quick-disconnect-hose-couplings/=66hfyx.  Male on the kettles, mash tun and pump, female on the hoses.  They work great - you just need to remember to use a potholder or glove when handling them.

236
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Sanitation
« on: March 11, 2010, 09:32:30 PM »
Ditch the One Step and get some Star San.  You'll find it more convenient and less expensive.  Don't fear the foam!

237
I'll be racking a Maibock to lager Friday night, and brewing a Munich Helles on Saturday or Sunday.  I got the starter for the Helles going earlier today.

238
The Pub / Re: The deed is done.
« on: March 06, 2010, 08:01:46 PM »
Weaze,

Ohio will not be the same without you.  I'm not sure exactly how, but....   ;)

Good luck with the move, and best wishes for your future endeavors.  Don't be a stranger and, most importantly, Go Browns!

Jim G.

239
The Pub / Re: Looking for Home Brewers to Interview for a Paper
« on: March 06, 2010, 07:47:40 PM »
1. Name (first and last), age, location:  Jim Gress, 47, Cleveland, Ohio

2. When did you start home brewing and why?  I started brewing in November of 2007 - sort of on a whim.  I started because we had equipment for making wine that I got my wife, but she wasn't using it.  I realized I only needed a couple more things (a pot and an immersion chiller) to get started with extract brewing, and that I could get them for less than the cost of doing a batch at the local brew-on-premise place.  At that time, I enjoyed craft-brewed beers but often didn't even have beer in the house regularly.  I got into home brewing mainly because it bothered me to see the fermenting equipment going unused.  Things have sure changed in a couple years, though.  Now, I have four different home-brewed beers on tap at all times, and usually have a Cornelius keg or two waiting to go on tap. 

3. How has your idea of home brewing changed since you started?  My idea of what home brewing is hasn't changed much, but my approach to it has.  At first, it was something fun to do occasionally.  Now, I spend several hours a week on the hobby (some would say obsession).  So much so that, upon meeting someone new, my family is more likely to tell someone I'm a home brewer than what my actual occupation is.  I guess it's become more a "way of life" than a hobby for me.
 
4. Why should others who are interested in beer take up home brewing?  I think one gains a greater appreciation of beer and the process and ingredients that produce it.  As well, there is a lot of interesting stuff to learn about different styles, brewing techniques, history, ingredients, etc.  Home brewing is a great hobby for people who like to learn and experiment.

5. What are some good retailers (either shops or online) to purchase equipment/ingredients from and why?  As others have already said, there are too many to mention - but I'll mention the two I use most often.  Online, I use Northern Brewer because they have good selection of ingredients and equipment, and reasonable prices.  They also host the forum through which I learned so much of what I know about home brewing from other forum users (thanks Denny, Majorvices, Mullerbrau, Brewhobby, Ryan, and many more).  The LHBS I use most is Grape and Granary in Akron, Ohio.  I go there because they have the best selection of fresh ingredients of any of the LHBS in my area, and they don't behave like snooty "know-it-alls."

6. What kind of beer do you recommend for a first-time brewer? Any recipes that you can provide?  I'd suggest that a new home brewer start off with an ingredient kit for an ale style they like - something like a Pale Ale, Stout, or ESB.  As well, it is probably best to keep it simple with a style that doesn't require much in the way of special ingredients or techniques.  That way, they can get familiar with the process, and have reasonable likelihood of good results with their first few batches.  Like so many other things, early success fosters further interest.

7. What are some good resources for home brewers?  Forums like this one are great resources for learning from more experienced (and expert) home brewers.  There are also a host of classic home brewing books that have already been metioned.  A local home brewers' club can also be a great resource for learning and for meeting other home brewers.  Our home brewers club, the SNOBs, http://www.beersnobs.org/ hosts a variety of brewing-focused events, trips, social events, home brew contests, and even a study course for teh BJCP exam.
 
8. What is the number one mistake that new home brewers make? How can it be avoided?  Too many focus on the brewing and not the fermenting.  Getting a handle on good, well-controlled, fermenting practices like proper yeast pitching rates and temperature control, is the key to making consistently good beer.

9. How can the growing interest in home brewing best be explained?  I think more people are interested in foods and beverages because of the rise of the "foodie" culture and it's growing presence in the media (see Food Network, etc.).  The steady rise of the craft brewing industry has had much to do with it as well.
 
10. How can a beginning brewer make the leap to intermediate or advanced brewing?  By using available resources like online forums, home brewers' clubs, books, magazines, and the like.  Of course, sometimes there is a need for some new equipment, or to learn a new technique - but it's really just a matter of making up one's mind to give it a go.  I moved from extract brewing to all-grain after only three batches.

240
The Pub / Re: I am bored and wish to be entertained
« on: March 06, 2010, 06:59:30 PM »
I can snort a string up my nose, and yak it out my mouth. I can also shoot Iced tear out of my left eye.
Why does this not surprise me?!   ;)

For some reason, my wife and kids seem to find my mere existence entertaining.  Either they're too easily amused - or I'm a complete dork.  Unfortunately, I think it's probably the latter....   :-[

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