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Messages - JKL

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I'm planning an O-fest and a Schwarzbier using WLP830.  I've only done a handful of lagers over the years and and In the past I've always pitched warm and put it in the fridge.  I've noticed from reading this forum that some of you guys start your lagers in the low 40's and let the temp rise.  Would you use that practice be the same for this strain?  White labs says optimum temp is 50-ish. Also if anyone has an lager tricks of the trade that they want to share It would be much appreciated.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sparge Arm Ideas?
« on: November 24, 2010, 08:04:02 AM »
Manifold flowing into a pie pan. I used that method for 10ish years and got 85% efficiency. Last year I gave batch sparging a shot and after 1 less than good attempt and tweaking my equipment, I am getting roughly 82% but am saving a good 45 to 60 minutes on every brew.

I'd recommend looking at what is causing your low efficiency and fixing that - crush being the first thing I'd look at - before you started buying new equipment or changing your procedure. Without being able to fix what you have, I'd be surprised if fly sparging would help you as much as you expect.

Unfortunately I haven't had the coin to buy my own mill so I've only used my LHBS and Austin HB to mill my grain. Both are in that 65%ish range.  AHB e mailed me a few weeks ago with a special on the 15lb BarleyCrusher for like $125 & free shipping.  Boy I was tempted but I guess some things are more important than beer ???

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sparge Arm Ideas?
« on: November 23, 2010, 11:54:14 AM »
A sparge arm is a folly.  If you want to fly sparge, I'd recommend using a manifold for your return.

So just swap out my kewler screen for a copper or PVC manifold set-up and go slow, huh?

All Grain Brewing / Sparge Arm Ideas?
« on: November 23, 2010, 11:34:16 AM »
So after 40 some AG batches I have decided to give fly sparging a shot.  I've always been a batch sparger (Thanks Denny) and get around 65-68% eff.  I'm on a "Big-ger Beer" kick so I want to get as much as I can out of my grainbed the next go 'round.  I hoping to get into that 75-80% range.  I use a 10 gal Gott mashtun and wondering what some of you guys are using for sparging.  I like the cool "whirly" gig thing but I don't know how hard that would be to build.  I've also thought about just going with some simple coiled copper tubing.  Any thoughts are appreciated.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: For you brewers who are broke as I am.
« on: November 19, 2010, 10:40:01 AM »
I just got a call back from another guy (not the one I've been waiting for ) from yesterday.  He has a 3 year old side by side that quit cooling on him.  His wife wanted a new one so of course he bought one and this one is just sitting there.  He wants $100 for it.  I'm going to look at it on Sunday.  Hopefully it's a defrost problem and I get it for about $75 put less than $100 in parts in it and sell it for $500. 

General Homebrew Discussion / For you brewers who are broke as I am.
« on: November 19, 2010, 07:55:20 AM »
Two weeks ago my job dropped a bomb on me by cutting a chunk out my commission percentage.  Not knowing exactly how much I'm really losing yet but it looks to be around about 20% of my pay.  OUCH!  Sure I'm mad, my attitude is horrible, but on the other hand, I guess I'm glad I still have a job? 

Saying that, this is not gonna break me but that money was pretty much all of our "cushion"/ savings and most important brewing money.  I've started putting my resume out again but I tell you there isn't much out there.  I've already started to cut back on everything until I find another job.

Yesterday, while doing nothing here at work, I started thinking I should start selling some old stuff on ebay which eventually led me to the newspaper classifieds and craigslist. 


I quickly found out that I've been missing out.  I couldn't believe the things people give away.  last week some guy gave away a 5 yr old stainless Samsung fridge because it wasn't cooling well.  I'm kinda handy and what I've realized that if the compressor works everything else is somewhat cheap to fix on refrigerators.  Another lady was giving away a 3 year old fridge that she paid $1500 for the same reason.  The best deal I found was a couple bought a new house and are renovating the kitchen with all new appliances.  Decent looking fridge, Stove, Dishwasher, ok looking gas grill, and a great looking chest freezer!!.....all working and all free....just pick it up.  I'm hoping they call me back today. 

Just saying if you keep your eye out, people with money give away good stuff all the time.



Equipment and Software / Re: 8 Gallon SS Brew Kettle
« on: November 17, 2010, 02:05:42 PM »
I hate to say this but even an 8 gallon pot is a little small, but not undoable.

I had a 7.5 gallon pot to start, filled it to within 1/2 inch from the top and still never ended up with 5 gallons in the fermenter.  I now have the 10 Gallon pot from Northern Brewer and I love brew day is a little less streeful  I got mine with a ball valve and thermometer ( probably didn't need this as much ).  I set all my recipes to have 6 gallons left at the end of boil, 5.5 gallons to the fermenter and 5 gallons to the keg.

NB has a 10 gallon w/ ball valve for $185.

Good luck with your new kettle purchase.


I have an 8 gal pot and soooo wish it was bigger (insert joke here).  It'll get the job done but you really got to watch it at the start of the boil.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout
« on: November 17, 2010, 11:58:56 AM »
I had to try one last night. It is tastey, roasty and hoppy. The version sold here is the FES is from Guinness in Ireland. Yap, St James Gate,  Dublin Ireland. Not Labatt, AB, Moosehead etc. Its the REAL deal! 7.5% alc. of dark delicious goodness.
Makes me want to go get another 4-pack tonight!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Smallest fridge that will hold a carboy.....
« on: November 17, 2010, 10:59:17 AM »
Pawtucket Patriot started this thread last week.


Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout
« on: November 16, 2010, 09:39:45 AM »
I was fortunate enough to drink a few of these in Jamaica 6 years ago only to realize that it ruined me for most lower abv stouts.  I honestly have had only a couple of regular Guinness since.  Needless to say I was stoked to find out they were releasing it here in the States.  The article I read said it was going to hit in October so I figured it would 2011 before it got here to the beer wasteland.  To my surprised my local store had it the 1st week of Oct.

I've had a couple 3 batch (5 gal) days.  Boy that's hard work!  I think the 1st time it took me almost 12 hours or so.  I remember my back was killin' me the next day.  The second I must of streamlined it somehow 'cause I think I did it in around 9-10 hrs.   

Savvy Marketing Indeed!  I don't know Sam or much about DFH except for the few beers I have had of theirs.  One thing I do know is that he and the Discovery Channel have undeniably created a "Buzz" in the brewing community with its inception.  From what I get out of the promo (and I definately could be wrong) is Sam will be showing us how and where he is getting/using some of the unique ingredients in DFH's beers.  Saying that, I hope it's a great success and if it is, I assume by the name "Brewmasters", The Discovery Channel will be recruiting other brewers to host the show in potential seasons to come.

Dig it!!!!  Most of the mini's I can find won't hold a 6.5 gal carboy.  What brand and size is that?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Odd precipitate
« on: November 10, 2010, 11:22:14 AM »
Several years ago I brewed 3 separate batches of the Apricot Ale recipe on the same day. 1 for the wife, 1 for mother-in-law, and 1 for the ladies at a "Fight" party that was coming up.  I pitched the same yeast strain into 3 separate carboys.  After primary fermentaion was complete I noticed that 1 of them had this "Ropey" stuff floating in it.  They looked like 2-3 inch clear strands floating everywhere in the beer (unfortunately tapeworm comes to mind....gross...sound familiar?) Going by the notion that nothing "bad" can live in beer, I tried them all.  They all tasted the same so I racked to secondaries and put in my apricot flavoring.  I kegged and carbonated....then gave the "ropey" one to my mother-in-law  :o  I know that sounds wrong but it really tasted just about like the others.  I had several glasses and never got the "ropey" stuff in the glass. I don't know, maybe they settled out?   the only thing I noticed that for some reason the apricot flavoring didn't come through like it did in the others.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Dextrose (Corn Sugar) vs. Malt (DME) for Priming
« on: November 05, 2010, 06:29:24 AM »
I've used cane sugar for a for years but I'm going back to dextrose. I think it tastes better. Yeast ferment them differently.

saved wort would be best.

I like that idea.  My new brewing plan is "Big" beers only for awhile and bottle them.  I thought about saving some of the second runnings for starters.  This is another good excuse for doing that.  Is there any kind of formula for that kind of process?  SG = so much volume sort of thing?

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