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Messages - morticaixavier

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1
Homebrew Competitions / Re: First Competition
« on: March 04, 2015, 03:55:25 PM »
Don't take it too seriously.

You don't know what the judge tasted and it may not be what you expected. They may not understand what they are doing and often times are just wrong on the score. Look for the good feedback above all.

those are advice for how to accept the scoresheets.

For trying to 'win', aside from brewing the best beer you can, enter a lot of beers, and contests. JZ mentioned at one point that, at least for NHC, he would expect a 30% advancement max, so if you send in 9 beers to round one 1 might medal in the second round.

2
Equipment and Software / Re: Sanitizing a barrel
« on: March 04, 2015, 03:46:00 PM »
Will boiling water really kill any bugs that are living in there?  I assume that those things are deep into the wood and that you'd need to get the wood hot enough for long enough to kill them.

My assumption has always been that once you've got bugs in a barrel they're there for good.

that's probably true. you can scrape and rechar a barrel to get rid of the vast majority of the bugs but it takes special equipment.

3
Could you gang together several of the smaller induction elements to get the power you need or does induction not work that way? if each hob is 8" across I could fit two or three under my kettle if arranged correctly. Obviously I'd need more power to do this but it's an interesting idea.

4
Homebrew Competitions / Re: Help me understand my score
« on: March 04, 2015, 01:51:11 PM »
yeah, the fine print usually says something like 'the overall score is not necesarily an average of all scores'. The head judge at the table, or the judges in conference may have decided on a lower overall score. although with two judges you'd thing they could have just averaged it. I guess the guy who gave you a 29 managed to talk the other guy down.

5
Kegging and Bottling / Re: bottling from primary fermentation vessel
« on: March 04, 2015, 12:58:17 PM »
I would say no.

The easiest way to bottle, in my experience so far is to rack to an empty keg with your priming sugar already in it and purged with co2. Seal it and purge again then shake to distribute the sugar and push to bottle with a couple psi of co2.

however, in terms of minimizing losses on a small batch, if you can avoid disturbing the trub it's probably a great way to go.

This method would/should work well for a still mead as well right? Just leave the sugar out.

from a keg you mean? yeah should work fine for still mead. it's not under enough pressure or for long enough to pick up any appreciable carbonation.

6
Kegging and Bottling / Re: cleaning bottles
« on: March 04, 2015, 07:12:43 AM »
heat sterilizing is a great way to go. far easier than submergeing in star san in my opinion. put them in the over the night before bottling and bake at 350f for 30 minutes or so then turn the oven off and leave them over night to cool. If yo uput them in a cold oven and let them cool over night you won't get much breakage. you'll lose one once in a while but I figure that one was weak to begin with.

in terms of removeing labels. oxiclean/PBW is the easiet way but it does mean you have to soak, then rinse well. And some labels just won't come off. I have implemented a list of common brands that use a glue that is easy to remove (such as Sierra Nevada or North Coast) or a label that comes off cleanly with no soaking.

7
Other Fermentables / Re: Anybody try kombucha
« on: March 04, 2015, 07:07:14 AM »
When I have free reign to fill empty spaces with odd fermentations again I will get one of those ice tea jars with a spout at the bottom. then you can fill bottles at will and top off with new... substrate? wort? must?

8
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 4 hours in the sun
« on: March 03, 2015, 12:30:07 PM »
sounds like you're in the clear then. think molson in the green bottle and you get an idea of the skunked flavor.

9
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: DME
« on: March 03, 2015, 09:48:24 AM »
Glad to help.

FWIW, the expected finishing gravity of an addition of extract can be calculated as follows:

1 + (We * Ge ) / (Vg * 1000)

where:

We is the weight in lbs of the extract
Ge is the Gravity points per lb per gallon of that extract (usually 44 for DME, or 36 for LME)
Vg is the volume in Gallons of the finished product

so, 1 + (6lbs x 44pppg) / (100 * 5g)= .0528 which you then divide by 1000 and add 1 => 1.0528
Thanks, santoch.  Really helpful info for us folks still doing extract.

I'm also adding in some steeped grains to a 6 gal. batch.  1/2 to 1-1/2 lbs. in a bag at 150-160 F for 30 minutes prior to adding the extract.   How would those add in to the expected SG calculation?  I'm steeping both crushed malted barley and crystal barley.

it won't make much of a difference. 1 lb of malted barley will add about 32 pppg assuming 100% conversion efficiency. I would expect 1.5 lbs of malt in a 6 gallon batch to add a couple points at best. so a 1.052 might be 1.055 instead.

10
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 4 hours in the sun
« on: March 03, 2015, 09:28:12 AM »
Even if skunked, you should bottle some and take it to your local homebrew club and tell your tale of woe.  Learning from other people's mistakes (and learning what certain faults taste like) is a valuable part of the homebrew club experience.

+1 to this. It's a bit bruising to the ego but it's really helpful to other brewers. I had a bad phenol problem in a brew recently and it was well received as an opportunity to taste a fault in it's natural state so to speak.

11
Homebrew Competitions / Re: Aaaargh! version 2
« on: March 03, 2015, 09:14:36 AM »
bummer! It snuck on my a bit this year too. I have a brew in the fermenter now, just pitched yeast that was supposed to be my fourth entry. Luckily I had some stuff in the cellar to replace it. Not sure what I was thinking, it's more or less the same time every year.

12
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brew Weekend 2/28
« on: March 01, 2015, 08:17:15 PM »
My first brewday in Vermont in a long time tomorrow. Marzen. built a new mash tun cooler, got the ingredients ready, borrowed a burner from a friend. ready to go. supposed to be a balmy 17 degrees at 6:00 tomorrow. fun!

13
here is a link to the idaho statute as laid down in the AHA database.

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrewing-rights/statutes/Idaho/

it's pretty general but does seem to say you have to keep it at home.

Here is the AHA page about legal stuff

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/homebrewing-rights/statutes/


14
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: spring beer styles?
« on: February 27, 2015, 12:37:04 PM »
marzen on deck here. then maybe a couple more lagers while the temp is low. gotta get some farmhouse on the list as soon as it warms up a bit.

15
Kegging and Bottling / Re: bottling from primary fermentation vessel
« on: February 27, 2015, 12:33:45 PM »
I would say no.

The easiest way to bottle, in my experience so far is to rack to an empty keg with your priming sugar already in it and purged with co2. Seal it and purge again then shake to distribute the sugar and push to bottle with a couple psi of co2.

however, in terms of minimizing losses on a small batch, if you can avoid disturbing the trub it's probably a great way to go.
Again, you've got the extra vessel (the keg) to clean and sanitize.  Plus hoses and such to deal with.  So, to easier using a keg as a bottling bucket, I would say no.
If you're using a keg to carbonate your beer, again not easier but you get no (or very little) yeast sediment in the bottle.  A desirable outcome.

But, you have to BUY the keg (or several)
And a CO2 tank
And a regulator
And hoses and connecters
And a beer gun or such
And a fridge to cool the kegs.

What are we talking about here, if bought new?...$400?, $800?
I've got a brewing tool that I assembled for $4.75.  Even if you already have all the kegging stuff, I think this may be a tool you will want to have in your brew cabinet.

Give me a couple weeks to get some results and I'll post a "how to" new topic thread with pictures.

I said easier not cheaper. It is easier than a bottling bucket because there is no worry about how to distribute the sugar evenly and the oxidation concerns are more or less nil. Easier than bottling from primary because you don't have to dose each bottle with priming sugar, you don't have to carefully avoid picking up trub, and you don't have to worry about losing your syphon.

cleaning a vessel, especially a bottling vessel is the work of ten minutes while watching TV.

bottling already carbonated beer from a keg is trickier and does require some additional considerations but that's not what I was talking about.

now if you have some previously unknown system for bottling I can't be held responsible for not considering it.

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