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Messages - yugamrap

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

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.

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, 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.

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....   :-[

The Pub / Re: Old Sayings - Cryptic Quotes
« on: March 06, 2010, 06:49:26 PM »
A few of my favorites, and where I learned or heard them

"Opinions are like asses...everyone has one, and most of 'em stink." - my dad

"The hardest part of any job is getting started."  - my grandfather

"Do what you wanna, do what you will, just don't mess up your neighbor's thrill" - Frank Zappa (a version of "live, and let live")

"He's so stupid, he's gotta take off a shoe to count past 10." - a guy I used to work with

"He's dumber than a box of rocks." - a family friend

The Pub / Re: Super Bowl Sunday
« on: February 12, 2010, 01:18:46 PM »
Yeah, but "back before they were called Superbowls........"
True - one of those was even in my lifetime.  Of course, I was too young at the time (almost 2 yrs old) to have any recollection of the event.

The Pub / Re: Super Bowl Sunday
« on: February 09, 2010, 07:09:46 PM »
I'm late to the party - just like the team I root for (see avatar).  Yep, now they're the only team/city to have no association with a Superbowl. :(  Every other team or city in the league has either played in, or hosted a Superbowl.  My son (23) asked me how long I thought it will be before they win a Superbowl.  I asked him how long he's planning to live, then told him to add five years....

I have some towels and cloths that I use only for cleaning and drying my brewing gear.  So, after emptying the bags (paint strainer type) I give them a rinse.  Then, at the end of a brew day, I toss them in the washing machine with the towels and cloths and wash all of it with OxiClean only.  The towels and cloths go in the dryer, and I hang the hop bags to drip dry.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: what should i buy with my tax return
« on: February 09, 2010, 06:40:44 PM »
With $500, you should be able to go all grain AND get a handle on temperature control.  A Denny-style MLT can be built for under $50.  A temperature controller can be had for $50-$100, and you should be able to find a good used freezer or fridge on Craig's List for well under the $350 you'd have left.

Equipment and Software / Re: Gravity Systems?
« on: February 09, 2010, 04:46:09 PM »
That sounds cool, but I think a pump would be easier in the long run - and probably safer, too.

Equipment and Software / Re: Easy vorlauf
« on: February 09, 2010, 04:44:37 PM »
Like Denny, I've never had an issue with gently pouring wort back into the MLT.  Since I recently got a pump, I use it (with the output trimmed by a ball valve) to recirculate and run the pump's output hose into a plastic bowl sitting on top of the grain bed. Once the wort clears, I move the output hose to the boil kettle and open the valve some more.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Do You Prime Your Kegs?
« on: February 09, 2010, 04:31:07 PM »
I've done it a few times with Hefeweizen since it's a style that's expected to be cloudy.  For other beers, I force carbonate.

Equipment and Software / Re: Propane Burners
« on: February 02, 2010, 12:14:19 PM »
There is a review on this burner that states that kettles made out of kegs do not sit properly on it.  Has anyone had this difficulty?

I used a half-barrel keg on mine once but didn't feel comfortable with it. The keg base is just barely larger in diameter than the burner ring, so it's precarious and has to be kept perfectly centered.
Get a barbecue grate or a sheet of non-galvanized expanded metal and put that between the keg and the burner.  That'll keep the keg steady.

Equipment and Software / Re: Anybody use this?
« on: February 02, 2010, 12:00:31 PM »
I tried that one, but I like this one better:  It doesn't have the reload delay, shows style guidelines as ranges, and has nice links to the BJCP style guideline descriptions.

Equipment and Software / Re: Manifold vs. Screen/Braid
« on: February 02, 2010, 11:55:42 AM »
I have a CPVC manifold that I use in both of my MLTs, and it works great.  I batch sparge, and also use a pump to vorlauf and move wort to my boil kettle.  I haven't used a braid, so I can't make any direct observations as to whether either works better in my system.  However, I know some brewers who do use braids and, as Denny said, the wort seems to clear a little faster.  I went with the manifold because I already had the CPVC around the house, and because I hadn't come across the braid idea yet.  I'm sure you'd be happy with either a braid or a manifold - it's really a matter of preference and how much tinkering you want to do.

Equipment and Software / Re: stainless steel tubing
« on: February 02, 2010, 11:43:27 AM »
Go here and get3/8" or 1/2" refrigeration tubing.  You can bend it by wrapping it around a corny keg or other appropriately-sized cylinder.

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