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zorak1066 last won the day on December 23 2016

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    good job Mr Beer! thanks for making this place feel like 'home' again.
  1. admit it rick.. you know youll miss me when I'm gone. it is far less offensive to read a series of snippet posts where a person made an additional comment, than to weed through war and peace. since I tend to be a bit wordy sometimes...... plus when one has dyslexia....
  2. anything you might consider weird has probably already been asked before. I even mentioned once adding calamari and marinara sauce to beer... no need for liquid courage. just ask away.
  3. you could do like the French do when cooking and make an herb bundle with some thread. then give it a quick dunk in some starsan solution.. let it set for a moment then drop it into your fermenter. how I use orange peel: I used to boil but when you boil fruit you can develop pectin which would possibly be bad for the beer. I pick an unblemished orange . I use dish soap and a clean scrubby and gently scrub the orange, rinse, then carefully remove the peel. I then scrape ALL the pith off it. discard. pith = bitter. put the orange in a hop sack and then the whole thing in a freezer bag. pop it in the freezer overnight. then I go one extra step and give the hop sack with the orange a quick dunk in starsan solution before adding it to fermenter. or - I just buy some Valencia orange peel from the grocer spice aisle and use that in a hop sack. another method I use with orange peel? wash, rinse, remove pith, hop sack, put in a jar and cover with vodka or rock and rye or whatever booze you like. let it set in the booze for about 3-5 days then when ready dump the whole thing in the fermenter. you could do this too with lavender to make an extract.. just be mindful that it might overpower the beer.
  4. thinking now I might start using purified water and engineering my minerals from scratch. I'm starting to think the wellhead changed sources and my minerals through it off. or perhaps the malt was wet when it was processed at the plant and soured? edit- found a post from 2015 on another forum . someone had the same outcome with us04 and MO and EKG hops. the general consensus is that it got hot while fermenting and the 04 through off fruity tart esters. being a lighter malt and a less burly ale, theres no way to hide the esters. perhaps that is what went off? my ferment temp was around 60f but it may have spiked while I wasn't checking on it... dunno. its cool. I'm not a big fan of lighter beers anyway. this was an experiment to see if I could make something the wife would like. going back to big beers like dubbels and stouts.
  5. blichman construction is some of the best ive ever seen out there. like i mentioned , they are built solid like tanks. they are laregely stable, have some degree of built in windscreening.. and in my experience do not guzzle propane. they are customizable for height, type of gas, pot size. the pot shelf has raised fingers that you set just slightly wider than your pot size which ensures your pot wont accidentally get knocked off the burner. their customer support is tops... as you mentioned josh. i peed a little when i saw how much i was spending on it but after 2 years it is still going strong and i love it. the one additional nice feature about a propane burner... when I lose power due to a hurricane I can cook all the food in the fridge in a stew pot on my blichman... as long as I have propane. if I had the money I would also like to go induction cooktop for small batches. I could then cook in my garage without fear of bOOM from the gas water heater. I could also do step mashes easier. perhaps ninkasi will one day put in the good word for me with one of the gods of lottery wins?
  6. dont have the recipe handy atm or the water spreadsheet. it has an almost wheat tartness.. not really 'sour'. didnt see any trace of lacto while fermenting. hmm.... gypsum, ca chloride and some epsom salts. my numbers were balanced... and checked against ez water spreadsheet. ph was on point. it is like a cross between toast, tart fruit/wheat, and accents of sour dough... not puckery sour... not plain yogurt sour... a strong tart perhaps? the caramel malt covers it a little. who knows? maybe my taster is off. the truly odd thing is that the ibus were no more than about 20-25 and yet the e kent goldings are very much more bitter than i expected. it is very hop forward despite being 'balanced'. i weighed my chemical additions to the gram too. i wonder if my water source changed its wellhead and the chemicals are off? perhaps the grain was 'off' in some way like mildly sour ?
  7. 2 row... 5 gal.. 43 lbs???? that would be about 1.23 starting grav! wowzers!
  8. if youre comfy with the cost, follow your heart. kegs = more money. the benefit is that you can drink it faster because you carb with co2 directly into the corny keg... I think. I never have used them. no sugar to prime and waiting weeks. plus kegs are super cool especially if you have a keezer. beer on tap! no bottling! re concord... that's not bad for starters too but some ppl complain about the durability. for a little more money you can get a blichman which is built like a tank... some assembly required. with the blichman you get adjustable arms for varying pot diameters. set it just slightly bigger than your pot diameter. wrench them down firmly before use each time. I find mine easy to use. my only complaint would be that my patio isn't perfectly level so I have to soak some cardboard in water and use it as a shim to level it. I could use wood or something else to shim but I'm cheap and it was handy at the time. the blichman has some wind screening built in around the jets... but a strong gust will still blow it out. re 5 gallon batches... more volume, longer time to get wort to boil usually. same principles as 2.5 just more volume and more stuff. you can get some 5 gallon kits off many of the online vendors, with steeping grains. read up on all grain brewing. study it before you plunk down money. decide if you want the extra work. on the plus you get more beer for less money with all grain. on the minus, more work... water chemistry to worry about... more equipment. you can go super cheap all grain. go brew in a bag. or convert a beverage cooler into a mash tun. I use a round 5 gallon igloo with a brew in the bag lining.. and the original spigot. it works. my all grain batches are always 3 gallons or less so I can make this work. for more grain you would use a bigger cooler. go at your own pace. do your homework first. the moment you find yourself cursing all the extra work you might want to go back to doing smaller extract batches. small is good. the trick is to balance the work required with the attitude of 'its not work. I'm having fun!'. for me brewing is zen. lots of work.. lots of math... lots of science... but all balanced with a sense of calm and wonder. I turn my brewing session into almost a form of religion and it helps me focus... clear my head... balance... when I brew outside I sit and watch the wort churn.. or the turtles and mosquito fish in the pond out back. I watch the clouds... and it helps having a wife who doesn't mind doing the cleaning up for me.
  9. did a variant of an English pale... bordering on a bitter. I used all grain maris otter, some crystal something or other for a touch of caramel, and east kent goldings for bittering and aroma. my mash temp was a little cold so I compensated by extracting some mash and boiling it on the side. I added it back to the mash, scooped some more off and continued til my temp hit target. I kept the abv down to about 4%. after about a month post bottling... theres an odd tart quality to the taste. also where it was malt forward at first, it is going hop forward (ie bitter) the longer it ages...which to me seems a bit backwards. the yeast was us04 kept on the low side of the temps. (around 60f) so where would this tartness come from? it's like an almost toasted sour dough bread quality. would that be the grain , the hops? or the result of my water chemical additions perhaps? speculation?
  10. more btus means more heat...which means you reach boil quicker. more btus also means you use more gas more quickly. the trick is to discover what flow works best for both economy and heating things up without boil overs.
  11. darkstar, bayou classic, blichman, are all very good burners.
  12. i was once like you are now... considering propane but deathly afraid of blowing up. lol. propane burners are safe if you use them correctly, and precheck for leaks correctly before use... and don't drink while using them. I use a blichman. I opted for the additional natural gas fitting because I have a nat gas line outside , but have yet to use anything but the liquid propane tanks. you can use a soapy water solution to check for leaks before use. to do this you would hook everything up. turn the propane tank nozzle all the way on, while keeping the knob that allows flow to the burner closed. you then spray everything.. the knob... under the knob... the top of the knob.. the emergency pressure release valve... the line up to the burner... and observe. if you either smell propane (eggy smell like sulfur) or if you see soap bubbles... your line or tank leaks. shut it down immediately and return to place of purchase. mark on it in magic marker LEAKS. I found out that using this method works BUT if you fail to carefully wipe up all your soapy residue off everything you might get rust on the tank fittings ... and leaks develop. these blue rhino type lpg tanks tend to be really old because they reservice them over and over and over. a better check method is to invest about 20 bucks in a propane leak detector from a hardware store. hook up the propane tank, turn on the flow nozzle from tank to regulator...turn off regulator to burner. turn on leak detector and allow it to zero out.... then slowly pass it all around the fittings, the hose, etc. green is good. yellow is minor leak... red is omg shut that thing down now! the hardest thing about lpg is learning where to set your flow and your oxygen port on your burner. too low of a flow and it will take 45 minutes to come to a boil. to high a flow and you will burn through lpg like mad. there is a fine balance. read the instructions that come with your burner. using lpg burner outside you want to ensure that you are out in the open... and don't brew when then wind gusts over about 5 mph. (check your weather page before brew day). my blichman can handle gusts from 5-10 mph but higher and it goes out with a very alarming WHOOSH!!!!!! noise that will scare the hell out of you. do not use propane in a garage... especially with a gas water heater in it. don't use in an enclosed room or porch unless very well ventilated. use common sense and you will be fine. I love my blichman. it beats the hell out of indoor electric stoves. I have an immersion chiller... hook one line up to garden hose... the other goes off to a bucket or the lawn. I give it a quick dunk in a bucket of starsan.. then put it in my boiling wort at the last 10 minutes of the boil. the heat will sanitize it. at flame out you turn on the water on a slow flow. fast is bad. the longer the water takes to go through the system the more time it spends cooling. outdoor hose water tends to run a little warm so you might find the temperature will only get down to about 78f or so. no worries. when you take the wort inside you can top it off with water from the freezer to chill it the rest of the way. I use the water exiting the system in a bucket to wash my equipment when done. if you live in florida you will want to hook up some kind of shade overhead for yourself. or wear a big ole hat. oh and smoking while propane burning is generally a bad idea too. I think once you get comfortable and figure out which nozzle settings for flow work best, you will never go back.
  13. oh yeah... a blend. been a long while since I looked at it. that and pneumonia don't help much.
  14. 'chico strain' aka California.. as rick pointed out is the same as us05. us05 ferments clean ie very little esters. it does a good job. he recommended it because a) you asked for a clean fermenting yeast... it is. b- you asked for one that works in a good temp range.. it does... and c) it is a liquid yeast and cost more than the equivalent us05. if you bought it already, use it. if not, pick up a couple packs of fermentis US05. ferment around 64-66f. I use 05 when I want the beer to highlight the hops or malt, and not the yeast. 'brewmeisters' ... lol. I laugh at anyone who considers themselves a 'meister' or expert. you can brew for ages and still learn new things.. still better your craft. my first impression of my lhbs owner was that he only knew wine.. but when I actually took time to chat I learned that he actually knows quite a bit. never sampled his brewing, nor he mine but he knows his stuff. I like that he also asks other ppls opinions on stuff that they are buying from him like a certain yeast strain. when I first started brewing, I mentioned to him that I was making mr beer kits. he didn't ridicule,acknowledged that it was a great start to brewing.
  15. re beer in a dark place... I will quote someone who mentored me here long ago... beer is not a vampire. yes, sunlight and UV radiation will skunk a beer. no- most household light bulbs don't put out that much uv. incandescent none at all. fluorescent somewhat. keep the thing out of sunlight... and youre golden. no need to lock it in a closet in the dark. temperature control is more important. fermenting in an ambient temp of 70f can mean internal temps during peak fermentation of about 75-80+ degrees until things slow down. during that time the yeast will pee out all manner of off flavors like cider.