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Messages - yugamrap

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Though the results of scientific studies are mixed, there are some cold remedies and lozenges marketed that claim zinc is effective at shortening the common cold.  Maybe you should just save the brew for the next time you have the sniffles.  If the zinc doesn't work, you can just have a few more beers until your cold "goes away."  ;)

I racked  a Helles to a keg for lagering on 4/3, and reused the slurry for a Märzen brewed that same day.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cost Per Batch?
« on: April 06, 2010, 08:10:23 PM »
I have no idea what a batch costs's my hobby, so I really don't care.  I know it's cheaper than buying a bass boat!  ;)
My sentiments exactly!  I try to keep my costs down by purchasing un-crushed base grains by the sack, and reusing yeast when I can - but that's as much about convenience as it is cost.  It seems almost silly that I think about saving a few cents per pound of grain when I have three refrigerators dedicated entirely to brewing and beer (one for fermenting, one for lagering, one for serving).  I guess what I save on ingredients helps offset the fuel and electricity I use when I brew and store my beer.  IMHO, saving money isn't a good reason to take up homebrewing - or any other hobby.  I do it because I enjoy it (okay, I'm obsessed, too!).

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Basic Question of Kegging Science
« on: April 06, 2010, 08:00:05 PM »
If you keep a keg under pressure, it will equilabrate as the gas (CO2) is absorbed by the beer.  Agitation will accelerate that process, as will colder temperature (a liquid will hold more dissolved gas at colder temperatures).  As long as the keg is not isolated from the gas source, the beer will continue to absorb gas until it reaches its equilibrium for that particular temperature and pressure which, hopefully, is the intended carbonation level for the beer.  A chart like this is helpful:

Commercial breweries fill kegs (and bottles and cans) with beer that's already been carbonated - usually by some means of "natural" carbonation like krausening.  They have counter-pressure equipment for kegging and bottling carbonated beer.

The Pub / Re: Baseball season just around the corner...
« on: April 06, 2010, 07:00:17 PM »
The Indians.  They'll suck this year.  A friend and I have a bet on who will lose more games - The Indians or the Pirates.  My money's on the Indians.

Go Cavs!  (I say this even though, as a Cleveland sports fan, I know they'll probably get bounced in the first round regardless of their best-in-league regular season record).

Don't even get me started on my beloved Browns...  :(   

The Pub / Re: Would you eat whale meat?
« on: April 06, 2010, 06:55:03 PM »
Like others, I'm not big on whale hunting, but I'd try it if it was offered to me.  I've eaten some pretty interesting stuff over the years - even some rattlesnake.

The Pub / Re: Will it kill my truck?
« on: April 06, 2010, 06:49:23 PM »
Look out Idaho!  ;D

They have been warned, but they have no idea....   ;)

Equipment and Software / Re: Options for Fermentation Chiller
« on: April 06, 2010, 06:37:26 PM »
I'm almost finished converting a small refrigerator for fermenting - I just need to install a new top on it.  I took off top and the the door, added a collar made of 2x12 lumber, removed the shelf plastic from the inside of the door, and re-attached the door to the collar.  I put the whole works on a furniture dolly so I can roll it around (it's in my garage).  I control the temperature with a Johnson A-419 controller.  It's working great so far - I have a Märzen fermenting in it now at 50F.  With the collar, it's big enough to ferment a batch in a 7.9-gallon bucket or a carboy, and I can even fit my converted Sanke keg fermenter in there for the occasional 10-gallon batch (though I haven't tried that yet).  I got the fridge for free from my cousin who had it at his office and didn't need it anymore when he closed his business.  You could probably find something similar on Craig's List for well under $100.  I'll try to post some pictures in the next couple days.

Ingredients / Re: German Hops
« on: April 06, 2010, 05:23:44 PM »
I've used Hallertauer Hersbrucker (not Mittlefruh), Saaz, Spalter, Tettnanger, and Magnum - All German varieties.  I know there are some differences between the German and US varieties, but can't offer specific comments because I've only used the German varieties purchased at the LHBS.  I've also used some Sterling in a Hefeweizen as a sub for Saaz with good results.  Even a particular variety will differ somewhat with where it is grown because of variation in weather, soil, and other growing conditions.

And, are you set up to actually lager properly?

Might be worth it to go get a couple packs of Saflager 23 (just following Kai's train of thought)- rehydrate and pitch.

And, some Fermentis S-05 ale yeast produces a nice clean ale so subbing and doing a Blonde ale is a good alternative to a lager.

+1   I always keep a couple packs of US-05 around for "emergencies," and so I can brew something simple like an APA or Blonde Ale if some time suddenly opens up.  Of course, I usually have grain and hops in supply as well.

Wood/Casks / Re: Food Grade Bladder
« on: April 06, 2010, 04:52:08 PM »
Maybe something like the replacement bag on this page would work?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegging and priming sugar
« on: April 06, 2010, 04:40:34 PM »
Check out this discussion of carbonation and the accompanying chart: I've found the chart to be very helpful.  As others have said there is more than one way to force carbonate.  I use the set-n-forget method.  Using the chart, I set the pressure based on the desired level of carbonation and temperature of the beer, then leave the keg sit for 7-10 days.  I sometimes give it some shaking when I first connect the gas to get things going a little quicker.  I serve at the same pressure used to carbonate.  I have a few different lengths of serving line that balance my system for good pours at different pressures.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Brass or Chrome Faucets?
« on: April 06, 2010, 04:34:14 PM »
I ended up ordering the new perlick s/s jobbies.  They should be here any day as I ordered from Kegworks.
I have four of these, and they're great.  With four faucets, one can go several days between pours, and I haven't had one stick yet.  They're easy to clean and maintain, too.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Batch-Sparge and maltiness?
« on: April 06, 2010, 04:23:46 PM »
I don't particularly feel that batch sparging in and of itself presents a maltier resultant beer. If it did then every malt centered style would/should be dominated by those who are batch sparging and that does not universally appear to be the case and therefore the statement doesn't seem to be a proven across the board. What a proper batch sparge DOES do is keep one from oversparging.
That's a really good point, Mike.

+1 to Mike's comment.  As well, I think that the calcium / sodium balance in one's water chemistry comes into play here.  That is, balancing toward calcium enhances maltiness, while balancing toward sodium emphasizes bitterness.  Some of my beers were lacking the appropriate maltiness, so I've been tweaking my calcium levels, and am doing much better at achieving the right malt / bitterness balance in the finished beers. 

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.     

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