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Messages - Jimmy K

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Should I Panic?
« on: March 02, 2013, 01:18:50 PM »
Panic only helps if you can do something about it, so RDWHAHB. It will probably be OK.

Zymurgy / Re: mit schuss - thanks!
« on: March 02, 2013, 07:32:08 AM »
Really not needed. They are all essentially simple syrup with flavoring and a little extra acidity. Sugar in high concentrations is a great preservative due to osmotic pressure.  Think of the stress of adding yeast to high gravity beer and then remember that the specific gravity of simple syrup is ~1.350.

The article says it will last 3 weeks.  I'm sure that it could last longer.  Maybe I'll also use a little alcohol as a preservative or maybe ensure the pH is below 3.  Soda with 10% sugar and a pH of less than 3 will basically last forever if properly prepared or at least not become dangerous to consume.
I guess I would refrigerate it anyway. I've kept simple syrups in my fridge for months. Checking the pH is a good move.

Going Pro / Re: Homebrew clubs
« on: March 02, 2013, 07:30:23 AM »
In collegiate cycling they let professionals compete. Obviously, they were really fast, and obviously, it really sucked to compete against them if you weren't a professional. So, I don't really think it's appropriate for probrewers to enter homebrew comps at all, regardless of what equipment they use.
Maybe part of it is what level of pro-brewer they are too. I know a brewer who worked at a commercial brewery and homebrewed every chance he got prepping to open his own brewery. I never gave a second thought to him entering his homebrew (made in his kitchen) in our competitions. But now that his brewery is open, I think it would be different.
By the way, he owns

Going Pro / Re: Homebrew clubs
« on: March 02, 2013, 07:21:21 AM »
Coulld he throw a cooler with a braid in the middle?  Would that be enough of a change without his having to buy all new equipment?  Just lawyering it a little.  Does it have to be a completely new setup, or just different enough?
Most competition rules I've seen say that beer made on commercial equipment is disqualified. If it were my competition, I'd say using any of the same setup is not good. This is more about perceived fairness for other brewers who are going to know that swapping out a mash tun doesn't significantly change the setup. It's hard to say what would be enough in this situation, but it would probably be safest to just find a brew buddy, use his/her equipment for competition entries, and enter jointly.

Ingredients / Re: Salt calculation
« on: March 01, 2013, 09:39:05 AM »
expensive laboratory graduated cylinders are +/- 5% accuracy.  I'd expect your 1 or 5 gallon jug to be much worse.  using a small vessel to measure volume multiple times increases your error even more.
You're thinking of the error on flasks and beakers, which is due to mass production and not being designed for measuring.  It is easy to get better accuracy in large vessels if you calibrate each one yourself. 5% of 5 gallons is 1 quart - that's 1/2 inch of water in my brewpot.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Gravity Question
« on: March 01, 2013, 07:30:02 AM »
Most beers will fully ferment within 3-5 days - a full week is actually fairly long. You may see dissolved CO2 escaping through the airlock afterwards, but chances are almost all fermentation will be finished. Aging it a week or two after often makes it taste better though, because the yeast will remove green and off flavors from the beer.
By the way, most homebrewers here (including me) will tell you to skip secondary next time and just let the beer sit in primary for 2-3 weeks - then bottle.  Reasoning -- Transferring introduces oxygen which is a worse risk than leaving it on the yeast (this is really a problem for commercial breweries and large fermenters). Also, removing the beer from the yeast prevents the yeast from cleaning up those green and off flavors.

Zymurgy / Re: mit schuss - thanks!
« on: March 01, 2013, 07:18:36 AM »
Sweet (literally). I'm going to try making elderberry syrup. I have frozen elderberries from a bush in my yard.
Looking forward to growing woodruff and turning it into syrup.  I may use some kind of preservative though.

Really not needed. They are all essentially simple syrup with flavoring and a little extra acidity. Sugar in high concentrations is a great preservative due to osmotic pressure.  Think of the stress of adding yeast to high gravity beer and then remember that the specific gravity of simple syrup is ~1.350.

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 28, 2013, 09:58:09 AM »
They should have either had cascading openings for each of the regions which could have handled the server load better

Except that anybody can enter any region, so everybody would just try to enter in the first opened region at the same time.

Beer Recipes / Re: Schwartzbier
« on: February 28, 2013, 09:53:09 AM »
The only comment I have is that there is no "t" in Scharzbier :)

But there is a W...  :P

I see your schwartzbier is as big as mine!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottle Fill Line
« on: February 28, 2013, 08:08:43 AM »
Looks good to me - are you aiming for higher when you top off? I fill to the top and remove with my bottling wand and that gives very consistent fills, but I don't know how similar the tube diameter is compared to a beer gun.
I once got a scoresheet comment "Nice fill!" - I don't really know how the fill level can be THAT good either.

Zymurgy / Re: DIY version of "Pimp My System"
« on: February 27, 2013, 08:38:10 PM »
The DIY gadget issue is pretty popular, so I can't see why this wouldn't be. Even if not recurring I'm sure it would make a good article to go over a few of the PMS entries.
Wait - The acronym is PMS?!

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: February 27, 2013, 12:48:12 PM »
Don't bump the price. That would make the amount you can throw at this a big part of your chances to win.


+1  Turning it into a rich man's game defeats the purpose IMHO.
Yep - raising the price will decrease demand, but it does so by cutting out people who can't pay more. These may be some of the best brewers. Many of us know somebody with all the best equipment and a kegerator full of terrible beer.

With an exhaust fan I think you're really safe.

Going Pro / Re: Starting a brewery
« on: February 27, 2013, 08:18:51 AM »
When people taste my beer and say you should open a brewery, I laugh. I know how to make beer. I do not know the first thing about running a brewery for profit.

So is that to say if you had an angel investor and all the startup capital you needed, you wouldn't love to brew for a living?
The more I know about how much the alcohol industry is regulated - the less I want to be involved professionally. I think it would be great to have a job at a brewery, but I don't want to start a small brewery.

Equipment and Software / Re: March pump issues
« on: February 26, 2013, 02:32:52 PM »
Have you seen this thread about pump head orientation?

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