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Cato last won the day on June 15

Cato had the most liked content!

About Cato

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    Brewmaster in Training

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    Mid Atlantic
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    Golf, photography, woodworking, and now brewing!

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  1. Cato

    No evidence of fermentation?

    Do you have a hydrometer to check the gravity?
  2. Cato

    2018 Churchills Challenge

    Nice!! You are a way more patient man than I! I should be bottling Wee Heavy Winston on the 28th. Lol, depending on gravity it will likely be shortened to Wee Winston.
  3. Cato

    Bottles Overflowing

    How much sugar are you adding? What size bottle?
  4. Cato

    2018 Churchills Challenge

    Well my Nottingham yeast has kicked into high Krausen on my Wee Heavy Winston, and always glad to see that. Who knows maybe it will get great attenuation and be a Wee Heavy instead of a Wee! However it was really bugging me that I had to deviate from my recipe so I exercised my right as a consumer and ordered more grains including Victory, another Churchill, more Crystal 60, and while I was at it another CAL and American Ale for my Pale Ale with Mosaic that turned out so great for a easy drinking summer brew with a bit of ABV kick to it. Lol, also added a can of those Raspberries thinking that a raspberry stout may be in the works. I'm for sure going to have a second entry into the Churchill's challenge, @Bonsai & Brew . I got a few pounds of Golden Promise 2-row and will use part of it for an Irish red ale, but thinking i will use some for a Churchill recipe.
  5. Cato

    2018 Churchills Challenge

    My first attempt at the Churchill's challenge did not go without some stress, but in the end I made beer. 1 can Hme- Churchills 1 brewmax LME-robust 4oz. 2 row 4 oz. Crystal 60 4oz. Vienna .5oz. Roasted Barley 1/2 cup honey last 5 min. of boil .5 oz. Willamette boiled 15 min. .5oz. Willamette last 5 min. of boil 1.oz. Heather tips last 5 min of boil Danstar Nottingham yeast All grains mashed for 30 min at 160F Overcooked my first mash because my temp probe wasn't deep enough in the mash water and was reading far less than actual. If it hadn't been for the roasted barley, I might have considered going with it, but there went my only Victory grains. Crap, my bad, but time to shift gears. So I had back up grains for all but the Victory, so subbed Vienna, changed to my digital probe and back to the races. I've got a new kettle and it did it's part just fine. I really like having a larger size, as hot break is no biggie compared to worrying about boil over. Also, draining the wort through a hose is super convenient. So, with this now hybrid batch I was shooting for OG of 1.074, what I got was 1.067. Lol, might not be a Wee Heavy Winston, and not a Northern style English ale, but I'm holding out that it'll be tasty nonetheless.
  6. Cato

    2018 Churchills Challenge

    @Bonsai & BrewLol, I'm running behind on the Churchill's Challenge. Should get to brew maybe Wednesday or Friday. Bottling an IPA tomorrow. However, looking forward to the Churchill's. Might be the trial run for the new kettle. Assembly was easy and no leaks. My temp probe will reach down to 1.5 gal. mark, and just under 3 gal. mark covers the bulkhead where a Thermometer can be mounted. I think it should work pretty well for my size batches.
  7. A good camping cooler with a frozen water bottle would hold my temps between 63-64F for 12-15 hrs during high krausen and after that I could hold 64F with half a frozen bottle.
  8. Cato

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    Man, that sure sounds like too much trub or something in the bottling end. Do you batch prime or bottle prime? I've not done batch priming, but use 1 domino sugar dot per bottle. Yeah, I know I'm likely stretching looking for the problem and I'm at a loss as to how part of a batch could be different from the rest. Somebody more qualified may have some ideas. Your procedures have all sounded solid to me.
  9. Cato

    2018 Churchills Challenge

    Ruh Roh, if you start thinking like that it becomes sooo easy to pull the trigger "Add to cart". I don't want to change my avatar to Eddie Haskell. But, you're right that's what got me started, thinking that I needed some more viable options to try different things but stay within my fermenters as I don't have space for much more than two LBK's in the mini fridge. LOL, on Homebrew web site I think it was or one of the BIAB sites I found tables this morning for preboil volumes, calculations for evap during boil, etc. Gonna have to go back and print those out.
  10. Cato

    2018 Churchills Challenge

    It's nearly a toss up as they are both the same capacity. However, some of the factors that influenced me are; 3 piece valve on the SS vs 2 piece on the Anvil. ( I watched a vid on taking apart a 3 piece and they break down easily for cleaning) The Anvil is shorter and squattier at 12" dia and 11 5/8 high, vs the SS 11" dia and 13.4 high. I figured that may work better for me in covering grains on small batch's as well as maybe better flame coverage on my gas stove. Not worried about the stability as I have those heavy duty cast iron continuous grates. Finally my gut feeling that I'm buying from a firm that makes homebrew equipment, Nano brew equipment, and Professional Systems up to 20bbl. The principals started a brewery that's still in operation before embarking on the equipment side. Check out their web site, I guess that kind of sold me on them too. https://www.ssbrewtech.com/collections/ss-brew-kettles I can add a thermometer later on the SS if I need too, but since I'm going to be doing some BIAB, I didn't want one poking holes in my bag since the kettle will be doing mash tun duty. Not a biggie though since you can put a bulkhead plug. Either one should work fine though, I've just learned to go with my gut on what feels right for me. Ah, got notice a few minutes ago they created my shipping label and it should take about 5 days to get here from Calif. I'm excited to have it! LOL, whats happened to me with this brewing thing that I'm getting giddy over a new kettle. Boys and their toys I guess.
  11. Cato

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    I guess everybody's pallete reacts differently when it comes to homebrewing with HME and perhaps what they call twang. My old taste buds identify it as that lingering sweetness on the tongue. @Creeps McLane described that well recently in a similar post. I don't mind it really, it's just not as crisp a finish as a commercial brew. I haven't gotten any off flavor esters, pear, apple, cider, since I went to fermenting 63-64F in a cooler and now the mini fridge with inkbird. Hops will totally mask it for me until they start to fade. Drying it out with a half cup of honey like in that saison recipe he gave us gave as close to a crisp finish as I've been able to manage thus far. I'll be curious to see how a couple brews in my queue do that are coming up in the next week or so as those are PM's with LME, grains, and hops.
  12. Cato

    2018 Churchills Challenge

    Ah, so you use it as you are heating to a boil. Guessing you've got to stir constantly until dissolved to avoid scorching. Every day is a learning curve for me in brewing.
  13. Cato

    2018 Churchills Challenge

    So, on your Chartwell Churchill's brew, you used some DME. I've never used that before and since LME is so easily dissolved, why use DME? I've read where people had it turn into tar like substance, and ended up pouring it all down the drain.
  14. Cato

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    I'd think all the bottles would condition similarly.
  15. Cato

    3 days worth chillin'

    +1 on that! I'm thinking that as soon as those Hoppy beers are carbed enough to drink, they belong in the fridge to keep them fresh. My bottles of Deschuttes Fresh Squeezed IPA are bottle conditioned and it's printed on the label they must be kept refrigerated.