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Messages - yugamrap

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+1 to Micromatic.  I've had good pricing, selection and service from Rapids Wholesale:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What in the tun this weekend?
« on: March 02, 2014, 03:14:42 PM »
Yesterday was a brew day.  I racked a German Pilsner to a lagering keg to make way for this year's Maibock.  I brew the Pils, ferment it, then reuse the yeast (WY2206) for the Maibock.  Checked on the Pils in the fermenting fridge a few minutes ago and there is steady activity in the airlock.  Pitched at 46F, and primary is running at 49F. 

I definitely picked the right day to brew this weekend.  Yesterday, it was sunny and almost 40F outside.  This morning, we've had 3" of snow (so far) and it's holding steady at 10F outside.  Gotta love winter in Cleveland!   

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Being Water Wise
« on: January 27, 2014, 07:06:14 PM »
Sanitizing with StarSan in a spray bottle uses much, much less than filling a vessel - even if you only fill the vessel half way.  I can usually make it through an entire brew day with less than 16 oz of StarSan this way.  StarSan is a contact sanitizer - only the surface to be sanitized needs to be wetted.  The rest of the sanitizer filling the vessel is unnecessary.  Of course, if you save the StarSan to reuse on another brew day this is a moot point.

Like others, I save leftover hot water from the HLT for cleaning, and use water from cooling for cleaning/rinsing.  Cooling water also gets put into empty 1-gallon water jugs and frozen for use when recirculating ice water to chill lagers.  Remaining chilling water gets used to water plants in the summer, and to fill the washing machine in winter. I let my mash sit a while after sparging and collect the last of the low-gravity runnings for starters.  Even if those runnings are too low a gravity for a starter, it's that much less DME and water that I need to use.

I do these things, and I live less that five miles from Lake Erie - so there's really not a water shortage here.  I think conservation is a good practice regardless of whether there's a shortage.  I do things like turn off the water faucet while brushing my teeth.  That might only save a little water, but it also saves all of the energy used to treat it and pump it to my house, as well as reducing the amount of chemicals that need to be used, produced and transported.  It's remarkable how far a little forethought can go toward reducing and conserving the resources we use.   

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Stoopid Polar Vortex!
« on: January 27, 2014, 06:39:44 PM »
We have a terrific new concept we're working on here in Michigan. It's called "Inside"...
Unfortunately, full-scale brewing indoors just isn't an option for me.  It should be around 20-25 F here this Saturday, so I'm going to sack-up and jury-rig some tarps to block the wind and brew outside.  The part of my patio where I brew has a roof and I have an infrared heater to take the chill off.  It's really the wind that's the problem - it messes with my burners and really impacts my boil-off rate.  That just means more monitoring during the boil with my refractometer so I hit my target OG.

General Homebrew Discussion / Stoopid Polar Vortex!
« on: January 22, 2014, 09:05:43 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, 01:58:15 PM »
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, 02:59:44 PM »
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, 03:07:41 PM »
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, 02:48:48 PM »
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, 01:52:21 PM »
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, 04:03:45 PM »
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, 03:25:58 PM »
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, 03:03:35 PM »
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, 06:23:40 PM »
Maybe on a tandem....   ;)

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