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    • First batch, flavourful but flat
      i recycle 1 L and 1/2 L pet carbonated water bottles for brewing.  I periodically replace the caps though many will say this is not necessary. since it's just me drinking my beer and I don't expose them to uv light, clear bottles are fine. the plus about the pet is I can see how they are carbing. I can easily bleed off co2 if they over carb (if I add too much sugar).  another plus no bottle bombs. .. and no need for a capper.  while I miss the aesthetic of a glass bottle I don't miss the headache of the capping process.... or the dread of bottle bombs.
    • Brewing a Diablo IPA today
      start with the post from blackduck dated dec 7 2012.  read to its conclusion. it will walk you through his recipe, his findings etc. I did his recipe as stated in 12/7 and loved it.  click on the "reply to diablo ipa dry hop" to go to the thread.
    • Brewing a Diablo IPA today
      the diablo ipa on its own merit is a good kit.  once you try it, if you can find Blackduck diablo ipa recipe somewhere here its a modified version that is outstanding.  follow the thread to the end to see all the changes and additions etc.  I would wait until I was more familiar with the process of brewing and when I felt ready for hop additions etc.   his recipe was my first krausen volcano! 
    • How long can sanitized solution sit?
      iodophor will keep for a couple days in a sealed container. its color will begin to fade so you will know it is loosing potency. the downside is that it stains everything.   I make up a bucket of star san and it keeps for quite a long time in a sealed container.  my only problem is that I don't brew often enough and the star san solution causes condensation in the bucket.  the condensation collects on the lid, runs down the inside of the bucket and grows black mold. I find this funny since starsan kills mold so it must be just the water.  the solution itself is fine.  occasionally I will squirt in some more star san to bump down the ph.
    • inexpensive brewing techniques
      the perk of smaller batches ?  less heavy fermenters.  my oxygenator:   a sieve/strainer  that I dump wort through into the bucket.. or a sanitized whisk and elbow grease. if using a bev bottle, put lids on and shake like mad for about 5 mins.   my most expensive piece of equipment was the blichman burner I invested in and the propane tank.  I miss brewing in the comfort of air conditioning but the stove I have at home sucks donkey butt. also indoors makes lots of humidity which makes mold.  I enjoy sitting out watching the birds and such while cooking.. in spite of the heat . 
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