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Messages - brewsumore

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Single Infusion Mash Time
« on: January 05, 2014, 07:43:32 PM »
With the majority of today's malts being highly modified, I typically mash for 60 minutes and know it's done, or 90 minutes if I want a more fermentable wort or am mashing at low temp.  If I add a significant amount of wheat malt, oat malt, flaked oats, flaked wheat flaked barley, and/or flaked rye I normally go 90 minutes.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First US Trappist Brewery!!!!
« on: December 17, 2013, 10:02:08 PM »
This is a good question.  Are beers brewed in Belgian Trappist monasteries Belgian or Trappist first of all?  Since "Trappist" beers currently proliferated truly originate from recipes developed by monks in the monasteries and sold publicly for centuries to provide for their needs and assist in their intentions/charities and which established much of the backbone of secular-produced Belgian beer styles, that established tradition of monastery-conceived brews suggests that Trappist ales wherever brewed will continue those styles, as passed down for generations.

However, brewing tradition starts with available raw materials plus innovation.  Therefore, due to different water profile, and malts, and hops available at good price locally (continentally?) in America, might this spur development of a new style or styles of beer to newly gain the "Trappist" brand?

I concur that there is enough interest in Trappist beers in America, which can be brewed anywhere in the modern age, that the good monks will bank on the reputation and artistry of their forebears, and continue in those same styles, but I would not be surprised by the American adventure as a potential stepping stone for new innovation that could eventually further offerings under the Trappist famous brand.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Leave the Trub behind...or not?
« on: December 15, 2013, 06:23:12 PM »
I'm going to jump on the bandwagon and make a copper pickup tube similar to Denny's, and try stirring again after removing my IC to see what kind of trub cone I can get going.  The main reason I haven't already done so is that I've been afraid it will substantially increase my runoff time, and I'm also concerned about the pickup tube clogging.  It's time to experiment.  Any recommendations on how wide of an opening to leave on the copper pickup tube on the partially flattened end?  Thanks.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Storing an empty keg
« on: December 15, 2013, 01:52:06 PM »
I store my ball locks clean/sanitized/dry upright with lid on.  After reading this I might start storing pressurized.  I very lightly lube o-rings with keg lube and then re-sanitize the kegs with Star San before using.

I've tried cleaning cornies with Mark's keg washer, but went back to breaking them down and giving everything a good soak with PLC or PBW, via the bucket method.  I am going to head down to my basement now and use the keg washer to clean and sanitize a bunch of carboys that were only rinsed out, from wine making.  It works great for that!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg hops - Pellets
« on: December 15, 2013, 01:22:24 PM »
Another vote here for the small size nylon fine-mesh bags with pellet hops, which I use all the time with no problems or hop debris.  Cinch the drawstrings tight kept closed with a good knot and there's no leakage.  Low-tech, inexpensive, decent flow-through, easy to clean and sanitize, and small footprint so low beer displacement.  I tie them off with teflon tape through the lid seal, or to the welded tab with a hole I have on the bottom of one of my keg lids.

I must say that the Stainless Brewing dry hopper is some real eye candy, and I see that the lid sits high enough in the keg that it is retrieved not via a tie off string, but with a sanitized metal hook that snags it easily enough. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Thermometers?
« on: December 14, 2013, 02:22:23 AM »
You know how a tool you like to use seems to conform to your hand, and comes out as effortlessly as a carpenter pulls out his framing hammer from his tool belt?  That comes from confidence in the tool, and that it will do it's job very well.  Why stop at asking for a good thermometer for checking the mash temp?  Depending on your setup (mine is cheap 'n easy) shouldn't the same thermometer be able to very accurately and very quickly and safely test the temperature of your hot liquor, sparge water, strike water, wort in regards to pitching temp, and hydrometer sample? 

I'm kind of a nut for accurate notes, and hitting desired temps, but I can repeatedly quickly check temperatures with ease and confidence with my Palmer-Wahl TM 500 that Blatz recommended a few or more years ago, along with a compatible 18" (or is it 24"?) SS probe from McMaster-Carr.

Oh, the removable probe quickly detaches from the unit and the connection end sticks up above the top of a bucket full of Star San solution, so it is easy to wipe clean and sanitize too.

Now I'll get off my soap box.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brrrrrrew Day
« on: December 14, 2013, 01:49:16 AM »
Here in eastern Washington State I wait for winter days above freezing so hoses and my outside spigot don't freeze up and so I don't have issues with ice buildup on my driveway or back yard.  Luckily where I live there are normally enough days, even weekends, in winter that are +32F.  How I love how fast the tap water going through my IC gets the wort down to pitching temp, including for lagers. 

However, occasionally in a cold spell I've gone to doing a 5-gallon extract or partial mash batch inside on the stove.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First US Trappist Brewery!!!!
« on: December 14, 2013, 01:24:05 AM »
Thanks for sharing the Good News!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Leave the Trub behind...or not?
« on: December 14, 2013, 01:19:06 AM »
I do 10-gallon batches that I chill with an immersion chiller that I remove after chilling the wort while stirring, and then wait at least 10 minutes before runoff first through a fine mesh strainer.  The first bucket filled gets considerably less trub in it.  I leave as much trub and pellet hop spooge behind as possible, including typically at least 1/2 gallon of liquid.  Although both buckets are filled the same and sit in the same fridge ferment chamber, sometimes one does not come out as well as the other all other things being equal while practicing quality sanitary practices.  I figure the primary reason for a difference in flavor and occasionally color too, is when I transfer too much trub/spooge into the second bucket fermenter.  I generally need to transfer some trub since I max out my keg kettle to yield 11 gallons/5.5 gallons wort per bucket, each of which yields 5 gallons of finished beer into a corny keg.  For batches with really heavy hop load and break material, to reduce the amount of trub transfer instead of running off via the kettle's ball valve I'll transfer from the top down using a siphon.

Gonna keg and backsweeten a cider tomorrow night which I made with a local orchard's early blend (read: nice and tart). So the backsweetening should balance nicely with the tartness.

A few days ago I similarly kegged and back-sweetened an early fall hard cider.  Drinking it tonight I find that with the tart, dry cider, the 2.5 cans of frozen apple juice concentrate per keg that I added is very good for my tastes.  I wouldn't have wanted more, and not much if any less.  I put the thawed concentrate in the bottom of the empty keg, racked the hard cider into it, sealed and first purged the keg of o2, and THEN shook the keg to distribute the concentrate prior to placing in the kegerator at 34F which is the temp I keep it at.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Racking
« on: October 08, 2013, 11:18:30 AM »
I also use a 1/2" autosiphon. 

I avoid sucking up yeast by first of all using he anti-sediment tip, but also, I put the racking cane tip just below the surface of the beer or wine to be racked, and keep lowering it to remain in the clearest liquid as it is being transferred.  When I get around 3/4 the way down, I tilt the bucket and support one side with a support I have on hand -- a thick phone book will work.  This allows me to focus on following the liquid down into a corner of the bucket just above the yeast layer, so as to remain yeast free in the receiving bucket.  This works well so long as the receiving vessel will hold all the liquid being racked -- otherwise you get into a juggling act that can get messy if you need to move the outflow tube into a second jug or carboy when meanwhile the racking cane is close to the bottom of the bucket or carboy where the yeast is.  I've had plenty of practice and it becomes pretty routine.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Lagering Freezer
« on: October 08, 2013, 12:06:29 AM »
I have 3:

1) 18.2 cf fridge ferment chamber, that also serves to cold crash prior to racking to kegs.

2) 7.2 cf 3-faucet chest freezer kegerator holds four ball locks + 2 more on compressor hump for conditioning/carbonating

3) side by side fridge/freezer, with half of freezer for hops, and fridge can hold two ball locks + 2.5 lb co2 cannister plus bottles.

The side by side plus my food fridge (not previously listed) make ice, which helps having two ice makers for filling coolers, house parties, etc.

A couple nights ago I kegged 10 gallons of a Saison Dupont clone I brewed just before this thread started.  I'm going to wait to tap it for at least a couple weeks.  I'm not sure I'll be able to wait longer than that.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Be afraid, be very afraid
« on: August 16, 2013, 11:06:09 PM »
I wonder if we're related sometimes lol.
The wife and I are going camping in a couple weeks. A cabin on the river in Winthrop, then Friday Harbor Inn, then a resort on Lopez Island,  then the Obertal Inn in Levenworth. Roughing it

Be sure to check out Icicle Brewing in Leavenworth.  I know the brewer and he makes excellent beer.

Last weekend I did 11 gallons of Galaxy Simcoe Pale Ale.  The 60 min charge was 1/2 oz of Warrior, and then an ounce each of Galaxy and Simcoe at 5 minutes and then again at 45 seconds, followed by a 45-minute hop stand without additional cooling of the wort after flameout until I chilled it.  BAse malt was 60/40 pils/marris otter.  I also included a couple pounds of wheat malt, as well as ~1 lb each of flaked rye and quick oats in the mash.  The hydro sample was unique and delicious.  Primary is going at a steady 65F with US-05, and will dryhop one keg with Galaxy and Simcoe, the other with Galaxy and Summit.

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