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Messages - Joe Sr.

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Pulling Keg off of CO2
« on: June 20, 2015, 08:47:26 AM »
OH, who would take the hose off the disconnects? In my case, that would mean ripping off the Oetikir clamps.

I'm guessing he speaks from experience...

Equipment and Software / Re: 5 gallon Igloo mash tun is best for me?
« on: June 19, 2015, 04:46:24 PM »
I didn't mean to imply incivility. I was thinking more along the lines of opposite but complimentary.

Equipment and Software / Re: 5 gallon Igloo mash tun is best for me?
« on: June 19, 2015, 02:38:19 PM »
If you batch sparge, as I do, then grain bed depth doesn't matter.

if you continuous sparge like I do, grain bed thickness, tun geometry, and false bottom design all make a difference. 

The answer to the question, as in most cases, appears to be "it depends."

This is what's so great about brewing.

I'm also starting to think that Denny and Mark are like the Yin and Yang of the home brew world.  Batch sparge/stir plate or continuous sparge/shakey-shake, whichever you prefer.  Or mix 'em up.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Pulling Keg off of CO2
« on: June 19, 2015, 12:38:57 PM »
I dont' keep my kegs continually hooked to CO2.

I'll pour a few pints and then repressurize the keg.  Worst thing that happens is you might lose some carbonation, but you get that back when you repressurize (not instantly, obviously).

Equipment and Software / Re: 5 gallon Igloo mash tun is best for me?
« on: June 19, 2015, 08:54:14 AM »
I've got a five gallon round cooler.  I kinda wish I'd gone bigger and will wind up doing so at some point.

I can't speak to heat loss, since I haven't used a bigger cooler yet, but I really dont' relish having yet another cooler kicking around and taking up space.

Get the right cooler the first time.  Based on everything I've read, I'd go with Denny's recommendation here.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast propagation at White Labs
« on: June 19, 2015, 08:21:54 AM »
So, get a stir plate?

You do not need waste money on a stir plate.  Do yourself a favor search the forum using the terms "shaken, not stirred" and "James Bond Method."  You probably already own everything that you need to make a healthy starter using this method.

Fortunately, one was given to me, so no money wast wasted.  And I still can't reconcile my personal results with your "best practices".  My own experience is that using a stir plate and decanting produces better beer at my house than shaking the starter and pitching at high krausen.  I respect the science, but I must be in some sort of Bermuda Triangle of non-science since it doesn't work like that for me.

You two need to agree to disagree and stop arguing about stir plates.  You're going to drive me mad.

Personally, I like my stir plates.  I think they've helped me to improve my pitching rates.  But do whatever works for you. 

People get too dogmatic about things sometimes.  There is more than one route to the production of great homebrew, and that's one of the great things about the hobby.

I'll do it my way, you do it your way.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Pitch Rates
« on: June 19, 2015, 08:07:59 AM »
I don't trust the online calcs for guessing yeast vitality. The best way to do that is by feel. If the starter takes off pretty quickly you are probably good to go. If it takes a long time you may want to step it up another time. If you aren't doing cell counts, and I think it would be arguably silly to do such at the homebrew level, then you really just need to use experience and feel.


Agreed.  And I would also point out that Mark (S. cerevisiae, and a man who clearly knows a lot about yeast) frequently uses the "nuclear bomb" analogy in that close is good enough.  Your cell count (which you don't really know anyway) only needs to be in the ballpark.

The Pub / Re: Homebrewing and Children
« on: June 18, 2015, 02:48:45 PM »
As far as the school aspect, I've shared bottles with my kids' teachers.  Can I say that?

They were appreciative.

The Pub / Re: Homebrewing and Children
« on: June 18, 2015, 02:37:14 PM »
I feel like I should also throw out the obvious warning about flames, boiling liquids, etc.  Dangerous for us, but even more so for little people.

I stopped using glass carboys when I cracked one with a wee one nearby.

Keep it safe, always, but you need to be even more diligent around kids.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Starter DME Issue
« on: June 18, 2015, 01:57:46 PM »
I would file this under RDWHAHB.


The Pub / Re: Homebrewing and Children
« on: June 18, 2015, 12:59:12 PM »
In my experience, the fun of helping wears off somewhere around year 4.  My son's idea of helping is to stir up the sanitizer to make bubbles.  He has helped fill bottles and cap them, but not really.  One of my daughters used to help keg, but she's no longer interested.

I think it's great that they want to help and it give us another thing to do together.  I wouldn't want to keep them from it, because then it would seem like I'm doing something wrong.

If people have a problem with your kids helping you make beer, they have bigger problems than that.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: A few bottle harvest qusetions
« on: June 18, 2015, 08:27:28 AM »
When I have cultured from a bottle I don't recall ever seeing kraesun in the bottle.  You will see increased sediment, as you noted.

I've never tasted a starter that tasted good.  Some of that sourness taste could come from the yeast in suspension.  Also, you probably haven't hopped the starter wort so it's not going to taste like your final beer will taste.

It's very possible that your first step is done.  Step it up.

If you're worried about the yeast you are culturing, maybe try it out first in a one-gallon batch to see if it's what you want.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: CO2 regulator to Paintball Tank Adapter
« on: June 17, 2015, 07:18:17 AM »
I've used that JacPac thing I bought maybe a total of three or four times.  I think I paid $40 for it and even that's hard to justify since I don't use it much.

It's also complicated getting the paintball tanks filled.  One of the lovely things about living in Chicago is that I cannot get paintball CO2 tanks in the city.  You need to drive way out into the hinterlands.  My local gas place wants $10 to fill a 20 oz. paintball tank, $15 for a 5 lb. tank.  Dick's will fill the small tank for a couple bucks and even free sometimes, but I have to drive 45 minutes to get there.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: CO2 regulator to Paintball Tank Adapter
« on: June 17, 2015, 07:00:21 AM »
Those mini-regulators are cool and I've wanted one for years.  Never could justify the expense, though.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: Final Round Scores
« on: June 15, 2015, 02:04:17 PM »
No scores for me either.   Whatever.  They'll be there soon enough I'm sure.

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