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Messages - morticaixavier

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Refractometer Sale
« on: July 11, 2013, 02:48:53 PM »
Well, I just got mine in today and everything looks as advertised. Nice case, and the refractometer seems very sturdy. I'm looking forward to testing it out tomorrow.

My only complaint is that the SG scale is way too small for my crappy eyes to read.
Me to. all looks well.

+1 on the sg scale being too small to read.

Equipment and Software / Re: What type fittings are these?
« on: July 10, 2013, 08:41:40 PM »
For the tubing you could use polycarbonate or borosilicate glass (McMaster-Carr) and use a couple of silicone O-rings in place of the metal compression ring.
That's how my sight glass is constructed. I bought it from

Thanks. If you get around to it, can you post a pic?

You mean like this?

Ingredients / Re: Candi sugar
« on: July 10, 2013, 07:49:37 PM »
I did not really want to add it to the boil, but rather let the yeast get
to high Krausen (no need for a giant starter)on a lower gravity
then supplement the sugar, once maybe twice as the fermentation progresses.

I guess recalling some fermentations I watched in a carboy, the turbulence
was enough to keep all the ingredients in flux.  I think I am just going to
carefully maintain sanitation, and add the syrup to the bucket.  The contents
of the food grade syrup was probably packaged Hot and must be sanitary else
you would have moldy syrup upon opening of the commerical packaging.

this is what I have been doing lately to good effect. the yeast get a solid go at it in a nice 1.038 wort and then I hit it with a lb of oney 3 days in.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Refractometer Sale
« on: July 08, 2013, 09:21:14 PM »
That refractometer sure didn't get very positive reviews. Kind of apprehensive after reading some of those. Usually there's one or two bad reviews, but that one has quite a few.

I don't know, there are like 7 bad reviews and 23 really good ones. let's assume the guy selling it has added half the good reviews there are still almost twice as many 5 star reviews as 1 star. Time will tell.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: US-05 at low temp
« on: July 08, 2013, 08:25:59 PM »
I made a mistake of under pitching (I think) this weekend into an Altbier. Chilled the wort in the fridge over night down to 55F. Rehyrdrated one packet of US-05, aerated for a minute with pure O2. 36 hours, no activity, raised temp to 60, nothing. Ended up pitching another packet last night and have a krausen forming this morning. I probably should've pitched 2 packs. Gravity was 1.050 for 4 gallons (that's the batch size I brew these days). Plus I rehydrated at 95F for 15 minutes, then pitched right into the wort, that probably wasn't the best idea either...

Thoughts, anyone?
An 11 gram packet should be plenty for 4G of a 1.050 beer. They are twice the size of Red Star packets.

+1 it sounds like you maybe got a dead packet of yeast. properly rehydrated 1 packet of us=05 should have been more than enough for that batch. 95 for 15 minutes sounds good. did it get kind of creamy and goopy?

Do you mean you aerated the yeast that was rehydrating for 1 minutes of pure o2? cause it's possible you killed the yeast with that.

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: July 08, 2013, 08:18:58 PM »
Found past winners on line.

2012 Seattle, CA = 36
2011 SD, CA = 48
2010 Minneapolis.  CA  = 62
2009 Oakland. CA = 39
2008 Cincinnati. CA = 35
2007 Denver. CA = 48

I want to look at Michigan next.

The right way to do this would be by percentage since it's pretty obvious that CA skews the results due to high numbers. But I don't think we have those numbers.

At least for the later comps you could start by simply dividing CA numbers by 2 as we are the only state (I think) that has two first round sites thus allowing us to potentially advance twice as many beers. (Assuming that the entry site correlates with the home state of the entrant)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison Dry Yeast
« on: July 08, 2013, 05:04:27 PM »
Well I made the wort yesterday. going to pitch 5 gallons with a rehydrated packet of the belle saison that was terribly mistreated and spent a week in unrefrigerated heck in my suitcase. The other 5 gallons will get my house yeast blend. 

Equipment and Software / Re: Options other than racking cane?
« on: July 08, 2013, 03:16:06 PM »
"Stop when full" - are you talking about filling bottles? If so, add a bottling wand which will only fill when you push down on the bottom of the bottle.

Yes, sorry for not clarifying.  I'm talking about filling bottles.

Perhaps racking cane wasn't correct. The little bottle filler that has the spring loaded tip. It works fine, but I'd prefer something I can set on the bottle and it will automatically stop once full. Is something like this made?

I don't know but I bet you could bodge one together. If you can figure out a way to hold the tubing part of the filler assembly so that there is not to much weight on the bottle filling wand then you should be able to add a float to the bottling wand placed so that it floats up off the bottom when the bottle is full. It would take some experimenting but it would really only have to lift a quarter inch or so.

for sure, beautiful. If I had a friend with a small place and the dough...

Pimp My System / Re: Gravity Fed Strut stand
« on: July 06, 2013, 09:03:34 PM »
very nice indeed.

The Pub / Re: I am really disappointed in Sam Adams
« on: July 06, 2013, 06:07:58 AM »
Oh come on.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

They also ommitted '[...] that among these are [...]' what do they have against complete sentences? I'm sorry but that's the news ginning up controversy to put buts in seats.

Going Pro / Re: Why Plato?
« on: July 05, 2013, 04:56:57 PM »
I says to myself - I'm sure there is a SG refractometer out there. Sure enough - dual scale ...
AND IT'S ON SALE FOR $15 (from $90). SCORE!!!

I actually just grabbed one as well. did I  need it? nah but it's a darn good deal

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sour question from a beginner
« on: July 05, 2013, 12:49:04 AM »
The short answer is that it really depends. Yes the beer well continue to change and everyone for years either in primary or in a bottle. Is ecy01 bug farm? If so I would give it a lot more time our add more bugs. watch your o2 pickup so accetobacter doesn't get out of hand. I had good luck on a recent project adding some sugars with the bugs.i just used honey.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison Dry Yeast
« on: July 05, 2013, 12:41:19 AM »
First batch w/ Belle Saison dry yeast and it turned out fantastic!  I can't really compare to 3711, which I've always used for my Saisons, since I changed a couple of variables for this brew.  Usually I let my Saisons rise to the mid 70's during fermentation, however I kept this one in the low 60's.  Mine started at 1.058 and ended up 1.008, which is a little higher than what I usually get w/ 3711, but that may be due to the lower fermentation temps.  Very happy with this yeast and will use this yeast for all my Saisons, except w/ my Saison de Noel which I will use 3711 and a large starter.  Also, I'll probably keep fermenting in the low 60's.
Cool to hear it worked out well. I've got a packet from NHC and a saison brew scheduled for this weekend.

All Grain Brewing / Re: malting your own
« on: July 04, 2013, 05:33:41 PM »
There was a presentation on home malting at NHC. Hopefully the video will be posted soon if you weren't there.
That was a great presentation. One thing to keep in mind is that you will have to let it rest a few weeks at least before attempting to malt it.the barley wants to rest for a season before sprouting. You can speed the process a bit by cold stratifying the seed in your fridge our freezer to simulate the passage of the seasons.

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