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Messages - macbrews

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You could try making a Burton Union type device.

That is an interesting set up that looks easy to make.  My original thought was to not have the spillage return to the fermenter, but having the original wort in the container rather than something else makes a lot of sense.



Let me pose another question to this thread:

I often brew hefes with Wyeast 3068.  Due to the often near-violent fermentation of these and the ensuing mess, I have given up on using the regular air locks and just use blow-off tubes which go to a container that I fill with starsan.  There is always a LOT of yeast in the bottom of the blow-off container.  I have never considered using it because of the starsan.  If I were to run the blow-off tube to a sanitized container filled with sterile, treated tap water, or for that matter a cheap lower-gravity beer, would that be a reasonable way to harvest the yeast? 

I use Better Bottles to ferment in, so top cropping as described above is not an option for me.



All Grain Brewing / Re: When to measure mash pH...
« on: February 21, 2015, 11:08:58 AM »
What if it needs adjusted? Hasn't a lot of the conversion taken place by 15 min? I recently started checking mine at 10-15 like you all say and it has been OK. I just wonder what to do if it's not. I'm usually about 30 in by the time it's cool and checked so I figured it's too late to do anything other than take a note for next time.

Get a test tube, fill it with the wort and put it in a glass of ice water.  It is ready to check the pH in about 1 minute.  Works great.


Pimp My System / Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« on: February 13, 2015, 06:13:56 PM »
That is cooler than my Wife's Hop earrings

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC first round judging?
« on: February 05, 2015, 07:28:51 AM »
Hi Mac,

As with any competition that you have entered and also are volunteering to judge, you may not judge or steward any category in which you have an entry.

In the Final Round, a large number of BJCP-certified judges attend the conference, and we do not have very many problems getting enough highly qualified judges to volunteer.



I misinterpreted your initial post thinking that this year was different and that you couldn't judge at the site your beers were sent (competition vs category).

Thanks for the clarification.  I'm trying to do both this year.


Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC first round judging?
« on: February 04, 2015, 06:01:21 PM »
So does that mean you can't send your beers to a region where you want to judge during the first round? 

Most people choose the closest site so the shipping is the shortest or they can drop them off.  That is almost always the most convenient/only viable place they can judge.

Historically it has been allowed to judge in other categories, just not the ones you are entered in.  If this is the rule and it applies across the both rounds, there is going to be a big problem getting judges for the finals.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Competition Scoresheet timeline.....
« on: January 30, 2015, 09:14:38 AM »
As a rule the best run comps get your sheets back to you quickly.  The exception is the NHC finals which seem to take about a month.  It is well run, but they could stand to put a little bit more emphasis on it.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: Competition Cheating
« on: December 11, 2014, 07:26:54 AM »
I would rather let a cheater get through than falsely accuse an honest, skilled homebrewer. That would really piss them off and I imagine the bad vibes would spread to their friends too.

This is exactly why I didn't do anything.  Depending on which category he fell, my comment about how much it tasted like Anchor was to either compliment him, or if he was cheating, let him know.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: Competition Cheating
« on: December 10, 2014, 08:27:20 PM »
Not long ago I judged a California Common that was in an Anchor Steam bottle that tasted remarkably similar to Anchor Steam.  The cap was different but that would easily be changed.  Wasn't sure what to do.  It wasn't a big competition (~80 total beers/meads)  but the prizes were significant ($75).  I gave the brewer the benefit of the doubt and it took first (I did note on the scoresheet that it tasted just like Anchor) .  The same brewer ended up winning/placing in some other categories as well.  Haven't seen his name on any of the other competitions.

I still wonder about if I did the right thing, but it was the best beer.

What would you have done?


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Starter measurements
« on: November 10, 2014, 01:28:26 PM »
Now that's something I don't have.  Where do I get one and how much?  Christmas is around the corner!


How important is maintaining the starter temp? It's sitting around 70 now, didn't want to bother keeping the flask in a water bath or anything over the 24 hours.

The needed time for a starter is also depending of the room temperature. It is not needed to control the temperature for a starter.

Last time I made a starter I used my CO2 production sensor system. In the following screenshot you can see the temperature rise of the starter during its time on the stir plate.

The light yellow curve is the ambient temperature and the red curve is the temperature of the 1 liter starter. You can see the rising of the temperature from 22 degrees C to 25 degrees C. (In the beginning this sensor was on the ground)

The purple curve is the CO2 production in time. When the production of the CO2 of the starter decreases I placed the starter into the fridge. A few days later I used the starter and the yeast was in very good condition because the CO2 production of that badge started in 4 hours.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast starter time question
« on: October 13, 2014, 10:38:00 AM »
Indeed, this is very interesting and likely to change my starter routine, but I have to ask, considering how the commercial breweries repitch their yeast at the end of primary fermentation (as well as many homebrewers) - how important is it in the final product?  I know that the breweries repitch for the economical reasons, but if it was an inferior product that resulted it would certainly affect their bottom line.

Is it quantity vs quality?  If you have daily access to gallons of yeast I guess you can pitch as much a you see fit.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 10 AM
« on: September 26, 2014, 11:44:35 AM »
I can almost smell that wonderful aroma from here!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Category 8 NHC Winner was out of style
« on: August 31, 2014, 07:10:54 PM »
This whole discussion is predicated on the assumption that the beer brewed hit all of the parameters in the recipe.  If you can say that every time you have brewed a beer it ended up in the bottle exactly like it was on paper, my hat is off to you.  I certainly can't say that.

I bet, as others have said, it was a mighty fine beer that tasted like an 8B.  Congrats to the winner!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Category 8 NHC Winner was out of style
« on: August 29, 2014, 07:54:19 PM »
Some of the best advice I have gotten from the sensei brewers in my club is that it isn't what you tried to brew, its what it tastes like when it is done. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Roeselare
« on: July 27, 2014, 08:30:48 PM »
I've got my first Flanders Red that is about a month old.  At two weeks, I split the 10 gallons - 1/2 in a carboy with Roselare and half in a 5 gallon oak barrel with WLP665.  Tossed in dregs from Boulevard Love Child in the Carboy and Rodenbach Grand Cru in the barrel.

My question is, what do you think of topping off the barrel for the angel's share with additional charges of similar sour dregs from various bottles?  Is there too much of a good thing?  Do the waters get a bit too muddy if you add multiple top offs?  And how often is it recommended to top it off?  When I have used this barrel before I purged the dead space with a blast of CO2 after pulling a sample to try to get the extra O2 out, but I never added extra wort.



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