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Messages - yugamrap

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegging and priming sugar
« on: April 06, 2010, 09:40:34 AM »
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, 09:34:14 AM »
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, 09:23:46 AM »
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.     

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.

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.

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!

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.

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...   

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.

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!  :-[ ;)

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.

Equipment and Software / Re: Quick Disconnect
« on: March 11, 2010, 09:43:08 PM »
I have high-temperature brass QDs  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.

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!

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.

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