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Messages - yugamrap

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Thanks Denny
« on: September 09, 2013, 06:15:02 PM »
I guess I'll pile on, too.  I'm an all grain brewer BECAUSE of Denny Conn.  I regularly sell the merits of the the Cheap-N-Easy method to newer brewers in our club, or brewers looking to move from extract to all grain.  I also often ask myself "what would Denny do?"  Maybe we need to make spiffy "WWDD" wristbands.  The hitch would be deciding what color they'd be.  Deep chocolate like BVIP?  "Waldo Lake" amber?  I think they'd better be "tie dye."  ;-)

Thanks Denny!


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Fermentation temp control
« on: September 05, 2013, 05:54:50 PM »
If the extra expense isn't a problem, go with the two-stage controller.  I have single-stage which works fine most of the year here near Cleveland, OH, but one of my fermenting fridges is in my garage and it can get too cold for fermenting (even for lagers) in the winter.  I solve that problem by putting a work lamp with a 15- or 25-watt light bulb in the fridge.  I ferment in stainless vessels, so light isn't an issue.  The low-wattage bulb makes just enough heat to keep things warm enough for fermenting and to let the fridge cycle a bit to keep temps in range.

The answer might be "neither."  If you don't have good temperature control for fermentation, I'd get that set up first.  Whether your wort come from extract or all grain, and no matter how you package your beer, you'll get the most bang for your buck by getting fermentation temperatures under control.  A decent used fridge or freezer and a temperature controller, and you're on your way.

For me, the biggest jumps in the quality of the beers I make came from proper pitching of yeast and good fermentation temperature control.  If your primary goal is to make good beer (I think it should be), good fermentation practice is the key.  Wort production and packaging are really secondary.

All that said, I'd probably brew a lot less if I hadn't switched to kegging several years ago.  And, as others have said, jumping to all grain is really inexpensive if you're already able to boil and chill a full-volume batch.

The Pub / Re: Just checkin' in.
« on: September 04, 2013, 12:40:29 PM »
Good to hear that you're feeling better Weaze.  A little time in the Buckeye State can't hurt and, who knows, maybe the Browns will get us a win this week!

Time to get your brew on, bro!


The Pub / Re: song title game
« on: September 04, 2013, 12:34:58 PM »
Both Sides, Now - Joni Mitchell

The Pub / Re: song title game
« on: August 07, 2013, 06:36:05 PM »
Up, Up and Away - The Fifth Dimension

Equipment and Software / Re: Pump disconnects
« on: August 07, 2013, 06:06:27 PM »
I have the brass high-temperature coolant QDs from McMaster-Carr.  I use them with a March 809 pump, and they work fine.  I like them because I only need one hand to connect/disconnect.  I have the males on vessels and my WIC recirculation, and right-angle females on my two hoses.  I wear a leather glove when I handle the hot fittings and have been fine so far.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: My plan for my sour program
« on: July 31, 2013, 02:54:31 PM »
I agree with others that souring the batches before blending is a good idea.  You may want to do that with Wyeast's 3763 Roeselare Ale Blend.  You might also want to check out the solera method of blending.  I started a solera in February of this year (2013) with a 5-gallon batch intended to be a Flanders Red when finished.  The plan is to use the solera method to blend future batches with this initial batch to develop complexity in a "house" Flanders Red.

A solera is just a series of vessels used for blending.  The method is to add "new" beer to the first vessel in the series and draw finished beer from the last vessel.  With each round of adding new beer and drawing finished beer, beer is racked down the line of vessels (1 -> 2 -> 3 ->...N) and a portion of beer (10-30%) is left behind in each vessel to be blended with the beer coming from the previous vessel in the series.  Depending on the number of vessels in the series, it can take several years for beer to make it to the finished blend.  Beer from the last solera vessel is often blended with a portion of new beer to get the desired flavor profile.

Interesting things like oaking or spicing can be done in different stages of a solera, too.  My solera is a series of glass carboys (just two at the moment).  I have a small amount of oak chips in my second vessel that I intend to leave in there forever as a site for a bacteria culture to live on - sort of like emulating the way bugs live in the pores of an oak cask.  I'll probably do the same when I add a third vessel later this year.

You'd think that a solera could be tucked away in a corner and forgotten - but I check mine every week to top-off the airlocks so they don't run dry.  Each carboy is capped with a drilled natural cork and a 3-piece airlock.  I'm using the natural cork to try to emulate the slight amount of oxygen permeation that occurs in large wooden casks.  That little bit of oxygen is needed if you want the acetobacter to develop some vinegar character.  All of the solera carboys sit on a shelf in my basement at ambient temperature (65-75 F) and are each covered with a cardboard box to keep them in the dark.

I can't tell you much about how this beer will finish as I haven't drawn any finished beer from my solera yet, and probably won't draw more than 2.5 gallons later this year.  Recent samples from the second vessel are showing some pleasant souring and a mild aceto character, though.  One of the members of our club runs a solera similar to what I've described.  He's been running it almost four years now and has won several medals with his Flanders Red. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Best igloo cooler for all grain brewing
« on: June 24, 2013, 06:30:20 PM »
C'mon, now - you all know it doesn't matter what cooler you get as long as it's BLUE.   ;)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Zymurgy Top-Ranked Beers
« on: June 24, 2013, 06:19:45 PM »
I'd be really interested in seeing a regional version of this. IMO Urban Chestnut makes some of the best beers I've ever had, but there's no way they'd ever end up on that list.

+1 for a regional version

The Pub / Re: Has anyone noticed
« on: June 24, 2013, 04:57:42 PM »
Yeah - exactly why a swim-up bar has no appeal to me.  Same goes for indoor water parks.

The Pub / Re: To our Friend and Leader
« on: June 24, 2013, 04:46:16 PM »
Thoughts and prayers to you and your family Denny.

- Jim

Yeast and Fermentation / Help with Berliner Weisse
« on: June 19, 2013, 05:06:18 PM »
I have a Berliner Weisse fermenting and am new to the style so I need some help deciding when to rack it.  It's been in primary for about 10 days.  I pitched a pack of Wyeast 5335 Lactobacillus on brew day (6/8/13), let that run soloat 72F to get some souring going, then gradually cooled to 66F and pitched a smack-pack of Wyeast 1007 German Ale six days later (6/14/13).  The lacto fermentation was VERY active and when I added the 1007 it really took off, too.  As of last night (6/18/13) fermentation activity has subsided without any activity in the airlock for a couple days - still at 66F.

I know the lacto will keep working a while and continue souring, but I think that the 1007 is probably done.  There is still a little krausen and some gooey lacto stuff on the top of the beer and it hasn't dropped very clear yet.  I'm planning to keg the beer and force carbonate.  Should I wait for the krausen and lacto goo to drop before I rack?  Is it better to rack sooner to carry over some lacto and maybe a little 1007 to keep working?  I can let the beer drop clear in the keg then push to another keg for serving later.

The OG was 1.031.  I'd expect that the 1007 alone would take it to around 1.010, and that the lacto will take the gravity below that as it eats up the remaining dextrines.  If it's held at around 1.010 for a couple days is that a good enough indicator that it's okay to rack?

The Pub / Re: Why I run Windows
« on: May 08, 2013, 09:55:13 PM »
People have been calling Microsoft "idiots" and saying they're doomed for years. What's different about this time? I remember people saying all the same stuff about Vista and 7 too.

I don't think they are idiots nor do I think Windows is going away. But egads Windows 8 is a nightmare.

Since Windows 8 was released, I've been buying laptop PCs for our company through Toshiba Direct and pay a little extra to "downgrade" to Windows 7 Pro.  We've had really good results.

The Pub / Re: Best TV theme song
« on: May 08, 2013, 09:48:15 PM »

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