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Messages - morticaixavier

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bottle Cleaning
« on: September 25, 2013, 12:10:11 PM »
Powdered dishwasher detergent can substitute for PBW in a pinch.

I use Cascade and have for years.  Generic some times, but usually Cascade.  Most of the time I mix it with oxyclean, but it works well on it's own.

Wait, you clean bottles with hops? how's that work  :o ;)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bottle Cleaning
« on: September 25, 2013, 12:07:45 PM »
Stuck out in the Pacific, I doubt PBW is available.  Can you get your hands on any oxyclean powder?  That would do the trick - use a long soak, even a couple of days to loosen up the organics, then scrub as best you can.  Anyone know if a strong baking soda solution would work in a pinch?  At least you could probably find that at a local market.

I don't know about baking soda but washing soda, which should be available on any quality desert island, might.

Brewed John Palmer's Urak Hai Barley Wine on Monday. Had to Substitute WL Burton Ale yeast for the Wyeast Thames Valley. Made a 3.5 quart starter, recipe called for a gallon. Extract with grains. Process very smooth for my fourth batch of home brew. Recipe calls for 2-3 weeks in primary and 1-3 months in secondary. Cant wait to try it in January? How do I know which end of these time frames to be on? I'm not in a hurry as I have parts of my first 2 batches left, and a smoked porter in another fermenter, but just curious after that long in the secondary, what changes will i see from 1-3 months. Any info any one has will help this newbie greatly. Looks great in primary, lots of action, good krausen, lots of bubbling through blow off.

You will know when it's done by taste. I personally would leave it in primary the whole time but I'm crazy that way. If you do decide to transfer for secondary wait until the gravity stops dropping (two readings the same several days apart) then give it at least another 2 weeks on the yeast.

My two cents: I agree with both sides. I completely agree with Mort in that people should not just be brushed aside because it was their first post because the that's how we all get involved but I also agree that the first time poster should be diligent in follow up and participation and in this case, also comment on the feedback being provided.

Forums are a two way street and everyone is here to both learn and teach or mentor, which is also the way the world basically works, So to the OP, if you ever check back in, keep these things in mind as a lot more information can be provided than just simple answers to a survey, that, well, wasn't really well thought out in the first place;)

Engaging people in conversation is really the best way to gain knowledge anyways....

well stated. Thanks

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentation not finished
« on: September 24, 2013, 07:57:43 PM »
this beer has  Humbled me :-[

don't be too humbled. that's a solid recipe. no fat.

Beer Recipes / Re: Strong dark Belgian ideas from mixed grains
« on: September 24, 2013, 07:54:01 PM »
I don't understand how all this business of foam proteins getting used up applies to homebrewing.
If I shake the bejeezus out of a cold commercial beer, known to have good foam, the amount of foaming is limited by the amount of head space and the amount of pressure released(none). So I can shake it up really good and it can barely foam inside the bottle and therefore uses up little of it's foam-producing proteins. If I let that bottle rest a few minutes in the fridge, I can open it and pour a beer with a nice, lasting head. This is not theoretical because I just did it with a Stone IPA, which traveled 3000 miles on bumpy trains and trucks to get to me, being shaken(and probably warm) the whole trip.
Maybe if I shake up that bottle and immediately open it and pour out a gallon of foam, then let it settle and repackage and recarbonate, then maybe it won't have any foam proteins left. But in what scenario would that apply to what anyone would do to their homebrew?

I suspect you are right. I have also never had a problem shaking the keg.

Homebrewer Bios / Re: Amanda's Bio
« on: September 24, 2013, 03:38:22 PM »

Beer Recipes / Re: Apple pie ale
« on: September 24, 2013, 03:37:59 PM »
I don't know that you will get much in the way of flavor from the brown sugar. It looks like you are going for a pretty chewy beer so I might add a little molasses instead.

Why so many different grains? Do you have a reason for each?

That's ALOT of flaked barley.

I will say that I LOVE a nice 'black velvet' or 'snake bite' or whatever they call it in your neck of the woods when you float half a pint of stout on top of half a pint of cider.

Equipment and Software / Re: newbie refractometer question
« on: September 24, 2013, 03:23:27 PM »
I have noticed with my refractometer if I set it aside for a few minutes and check it, the gravity will usually rise by a bit.  It has ATC, but it just isn't as quick as I would have expected.  My usual practice is to use my refractometer for checking gravities throughout the brew day.  Once the wort is chilled and in the fermenter, I check the gravity with a hydrometer because my standard practice is to aim a bit high on gravity and a bit low on volume in the fermenter so I can dilute with water to hit the targeted OG.  My hydrometer is more accurate than my refractometer, so I like the accuracy for when I'm doing the dilution.

that could also be from evaporation. The sugar doesn't and the water does

+1 on the drive-by.  Not even a kiss...  :-*

Yep. Sorry, but I don't fill this kind of stuff out when you only have 1 post to the forum. Next time at least lie and say that you homebrew yourself.

Why? don't you guys want your opinion counted? it doesn't cost anything and actually increases the chance that new products will in some small part reflect YOUR wants and desires.

This comes across as a little elitist on a forum that prides itself on inclusivity.

If I was this kid and I got that kind of response I would not be coming back here and might not want to become a homebrewer even if I was interested.

I'm not saying you have to answer the kids survey but take it easy. It's not like he's trying to offend you.

Didn't mean to come across so harshly. It's just a pet peeve of mine when someone simply makes a post to a forum to finish their homework. If you were really serious about this product/project, then you are much better off actually engaging discussion on a forum like this. You'll get much more useful and relevant info that way. Otherwise it just comes off as "here - fill out my SurveyMonkey", and that kinda rubs me the wrong way.

I agree. however if I was the guy that posted that and then came it to see these responses I would RUN the other way. I would feel like some of the people on this forum didn't want me here because I was new and didn't know a lot.

Now, I freely admit that this could be some lazy kid in college who figured 'beer, that should be easy' but they could just as easily be just like any of the new folks that come on here to ask if they should pitch their yeast when the wort is at 80* 'like the instructions say'. Should they have to chat with us for a week or so first?

Certainly asking specific questions would net them more information but in what form? when the assignment is 'design a survey and gather data with it' you can't use conversations for a forum. it has to be a survey.

I'm just trying to put a different perspective out there. Let's remember when we were in school and feeling overwhelmed. Would it have helped if people we approached for help told us we hadn't earned it?

Equipment and Software / Re: newbie refractometer question
« on: September 24, 2013, 02:24:27 PM »
I would check my volumes before looking to the refractometer.

If you have .5 extra gallons of wort that accounts for your difference almost exactly

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Using yeast from a blow off as a top crop.
« on: September 24, 2013, 02:21:46 PM »
Was wondering if anyone has tried to use yeast that accumulated in their blow off container. Mine is in a container full of Star  san and figured it may not be a good idea to try to grow it..

You could try it. a lot of the cells will be dead from the star san though.

Try replacing the star san with boiled, cooled water and that should work just fine. You would want to discard the first bit as that will have a lot of the nasty brown gunk.

Beer Recipes / Re: Belgian Amber Strong Ale
« on: September 24, 2013, 01:37:47 PM »
That looks like alot of sugar for a 3.5 gallon batch!

My SOP for big Belgians is the 20% ballpark for simple sugars (I've pushed it as high as 25% and still have been happy with the results). I have a rough rule of thumb that starting at about 1.060ish I do at least 10% sugar and above 1.075 or so I go up to 20% to get my Belgians to finish as dry as I'd like. In smaller Belgians I may use Candi Syrup, but the primary goal in those cases is flavor.

good rule. My house 'saison' is only 1.048 and that includes 1 lb of honey in 5 gallons. dry is nice.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: sugar instead of DME for yeast starter
« on: September 24, 2013, 01:36:15 PM »
Got it thanks for the ideas. I normally use dry yeast but just pitched a vial of white labs for the first time in a while. About a 40 hour lag time into 1.045 wort...

I will often pull a starter sized portion of wort out of the boil half way through, chill and pitch into that on brew day and pitch it the next day in a pinch.

It takes a lot less time to chill 1-1.5 quarts of wort than the whole batch. and I always chill my wort from ~80 to pitching temps in the ferm fridge overnight anyway so it works well for me. This is the only time I pitch the entire starter instead of crashing and decanting.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fermentation not finished
« on: September 24, 2013, 01:31:54 PM »
i racked all the yeast with it

you didn't leave anything behind in primary? there was no big cake of sludge on the bottom? In that case there was really really no reason to rack. The idea behind racking in the first place is to remove the beer from potentially old and unhealthy yeast that might cause off flavours. This is rarely an issue with the healthier yeast we have access to today.

Alright then, Let's have the recipe details.

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