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Messages - Joe Sr.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: September 17, 2015, 10:01:51 AM »
I made about 20 gallons of cider a few years ago, back before even before the start of this thread.  I started with 5 gallons or so, but it was so damn simple I went wild.

Turns out, I don't like cider at all.  Not sweet.  Not dry.  Not tart.  Not at all.

It works well for brining, though.  And as liquid in the steam tray of the smoker.

Ingredients / Re: Maple Extract
« on: September 16, 2015, 09:38:34 AM »
I've never tasted imitation maple flavor, but I can tell you with certain there will be a significant difference in flavor between imitation maple and the real thing.

I've also never used maple extract, but I have used maple sugar and maple syrup.  In the sugar and syrup format, which I assume to be far less concentrated than extract, you need to use a large amount to get anything more than a subtle flavor.

If you're kegging, I would start with adding a small amount and tasting the beer to see the impact.  Do this until it reaches the level you want.

The other option is to dose a measured pour of beer with a measured amount of extract until you find the ratio you like and then scale up the volumes.

Equipment and Software / Re: Mini Fridge
« on: September 14, 2015, 09:57:59 AM »
Even with the shelf, you should have room for a corny keg.  Maybe not for a fermenter, though.

I've got an old Sanyo.  I don't know what's on the market today that works, but there must be something.

Take an empty corny with you to a big box store and see what fits.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: How old can yeast be and still have a chance?
« on: September 11, 2015, 02:50:37 PM »
Is it worth the effort to try? Let's say you spend 20 min per step + the cost of DME, that to me is more than the cost of a fresh pack. If the yeast is hard to come by or a seasonal strain, I'd do it.

If you save some wort from every batch, you don't need DME.  Just defrost a pre-measured starter wort, boil for a bit, cool it, and pitch the yeast.

How much effort does it take to boil some wort while your cooking dinner or something like that?

Plus, sometimes it is worth the effort to try just cuz.

+2 to consistency. Being able to be consistent and knowing your system enough to predict OG pretty closely across low, standard, and high target gravities are all that matters.

I disagree somewhat.  I've been consistently at about 50% with BIAB and mashing in a cooler.  I'm not at all happy with 50% and something is clearly wrong or can be improved.

Last weekend, I was able to improve that to around 70% (which obviously is only one data point and I'll need to see if I can be consistent at 70%). 

The only change was a new thermometer and realizing my two dial thermometers are both reading 10 degrees high.

So, I will agree that consistent efficiency is good.  But consistently poor efficiency is maybe not so good.

Events / Re: Swap-toberfest '15
« on: September 11, 2015, 08:13:41 AM »
Very, very, tempting.

But I'm not sure what sort of stock I have...

I'll need to check.

The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: September 10, 2015, 11:17:58 AM »
I had some Bulliet rye awhile ago.  We used it for Manhattan's, and it makes a good one.  I don't recall if we tried it straight up or not.

Of course, you can make a decent Manhattan with Old Overholt, which I wouldn't want to drink straight.  So take that for whatever it's worth.

Nice write up. One that is often overlooked is to make sure your thermometer is calibrated and accurate in the mash temperature range. I say this from personal experience, dial thermometers can be off.

Changing thermostats helped me dramatically.  My dial thermo reads 10F high.

The Pub / Re: Whiskey
« on: September 09, 2015, 07:28:47 PM »
I'm not a huge fan of regular buffalo trace but they have the best line up of bourbon by far, IMO.

My most recent purchase though is Bulliet. Not bad at all. Great with BBQ. Took a bottle to my football draft and picked up another a couple days later.

Equipment and Software / Re: how to bond rubber and plastic
« on: September 09, 2015, 08:24:49 AM »
I mashed in my tun over the weekend with no leaks.

I had previously de-converted it for a party (needed a water cooler) so I had to re-convert it on Monday morning.  Changing it back took minutes.

If it doesn't leak, you don't need the sealant.  If it leaks, that's a different story.

Equipment and Software / Re: how to bond rubber and plastic
« on: September 09, 2015, 07:58:31 AM »
Why do you need to bond the bung to the cooler?

On mine, I just stuffed it into the hole where the spigot was and it fit perfectly.  No leaks, no fuss.  Less than a five minute conversion.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Happy and sad at the same time
« on: September 08, 2015, 07:27:57 AM »
No doubt.  Everything seemed like it had gone well...

And then the hot water heater crapped out, too.  Cold shower this morning.

Anyway, I'll just let it ferment out and see how it tastes.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Happy and sad at the same time
« on: September 07, 2015, 08:12:40 PM »
Just wrapping up my brew day (10 gallons of RIS) and I realized two things.

Firstly, I was not happy with my OG thinking it was too low.  Then I realized that I only added DME for a 5 gallon batch, so my mash efficiency has actually increased significantly since the last brew.  Nice.  Glad for that.

Then I realized, I had only added hops for a 5 gallon batch.  Not so nice.

I know this is a tough one to fix and I probably need to re-brew and blend.

I have extra wort in the freezer and could probably boil that with the missing hops and add it the to fermenters.  Not sure if that's a good idea or not.  I probably have 1 gallon or so.

The lesson for the day is, adjust the recipe in advance for 10 gallons rather than trying to work it out on brew day.

It will make beer, but as said above plan on something darker.

I'd throw some fresh hops and yeast at it, but what the heck.

It might not be the best, but if you do it right you should have something decent.

The Pub / Re: Ten Drinks a Week
« on: September 07, 2015, 08:08:49 AM »
I'm sticking with the ten drinks a day rule.

Except for holidays.  You've got to be allowed to indulge on holidays.

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