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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. some of us have to work for a living and don't have time to do searches.
  2. you can tape your aquarium probe to the outside of the lbk below the water line, then tape a small piece of reflectix insulation over that and you will get a ballpark idea of wort temp. those thermometers (the yellow one above) are not 100% accurate but close enough. I use them. my lazy man's guide for temp control is if my cooler ambient air temp stays around 62f then my wort temp should be ok for most ales. 62f is good on its own. peak fermentation would mean wort would be around 72 max probably...which is a little high but still ok for most ales. . at least for me. ive only had apple esters on one or two batches. one was because I used us04 in a stout and let temps get way too high. imo stouts and apple esters are a major no no. if I wanted fruit in my beer I would dump a can of it into my glass. here's a thought. if you were confident about sanitation you could probably soak your probe and about a foot of lead wire in starsan for a bit... then run the probe directly into your lbk but how would you screw the lid down I wonder? or you could take a meat thermometer , sanitize the probe end and poke it through your lid into the wort... but then you would have a hole in the lid. I don't worry about it. I just shoot for ambient of 62f.
  3. didn't the really really old lbk's have a standard airlock at one time? I like standard airlocks. watching all the little bubbles and bouncing thingamajig makes me feel like my yeasties are singing my praises for being such a great host.
  4. too much sugar can cause bottle bombs. sugar + live yeast = co2 = pressure build up in bottle . bottle bombs are not cool. plastic bottle bombs are only messy. glass bottle bombs can seriously injure you... and are messy.
  5. generally if you have a high abv beer it will benefit from a longer conditioning time. high abv beers tend to taste like rubbing alcohol early... figuratively speaking. aging them allows them to mellow out and the flavors to blend better.
  6. you can save money by using dry yeast and washing it / harvesting it when done to use in another batch. even if you only do about 4 generations on one sachet of yeast, that's still a big savings over liquid yeast.
  7. re underpitching... sometimes this is actually desirable. when you want to stress the yeast early on and have a prolonged growth cycle to make lots of esters... if I am doing a hefeweizen with liquid yeast, I will skip the starter, under pitch... and let the temps go up a bit more than usual. this way I can get lots of banana esters while the yeast make up their cell count numbers. when doing a Trappist ale I also underpitch a little and let the temps ramp up wherever they want. if you don't want ester development you pitch enough yeast and keep the temps in optimal range... but where's the sense in spending all that money on liquid yeast for a result you can get with a 3 dollar dry yeast?
  8. liquid yeast... a little costly. if you want to customize ester profiles in your beer it's good to use. if the yeast is relatively fresh I wouldn't even bother with a starter since you are overpitching. imo, a waste of money on the small scale like a lbk. much of your esters come from the growth cycle. since youre overpitching there wont be much of this. for the lbk I would just use dry yeast and save your money.
  9. us-05 is a pretty forgiving yeast. wheat yeast (ie hefe or witbier) makes a more interesting beer if you let it ferment warm a little ... but as was mentioned , that far along the odds of esters from temp being high are diminished.
  10. no two batches are identical. ive had one batch with us04 go nutso quick.. high krausen in a day, drop three days later. ive had sluggish with moderate krausen that hung around for over a week before collapsing and leaving behind a flotilla of orange / tan rafts. I used us04 once on a hobo wine. I got a moderately high krausen of red dense foam... that dropped in 5 days... then reformed for a couple days.... then dropped... then made a layer of bubble foam. (beer yeast doesn't work very well on wine)
  11. my one really bad batch had a lacto infection. it tasted like unflavored yogurt. I drank it anyway by adding tang orange drink powder to each glass to hide the sour. it had soured in about 2 months.
  12. at my last place I used the unused walk in shower enclosure as a fermentation room. ambient air averaged 67f. I didn't use ice or a cooler. even though this made my inside the fermenter temps run about 4 degrees higher than optimal I never noticed any off flavors. moving the fermenter to a chiller box with ice to keep ambient at about 62f would be more optimal. it doesn't take much. an igloo cooler and some frozen plastic 1 liter bottles of ice.... fyi.. in my experience if you start using a higher quality yeast like us04, it is more sensitive to temperature. if you brew in ambient 73f with us04... at peak fermentation the temp of the wort will be around 79-83f and us04 will pee out tons of apple-like flavors. if you use a hefe yeast it might pee out tons of banana flavors or worse, bubblegum. know your yeast. keep your yeast happy and safe(sterile environment) to make better beer.
  13. good for you. ive been on hiatus myself.... way too freaking hot out to brew and I need propane. been doing hobo wines instead to get me through summer.
  14. rick said it.
  15. seal crushed grain in a ziplock bag and put that in a Tupperware with a lid... keep it in a relatively stable temp with low humidity. it should last quite a while.