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Cato last won the day on September 25

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

    Propping Up Your LBK - No Trubal

    Yes, as Rickbeer says, you want to prop up during fermentation and cold crashing if possible. I make room in the fridge when I cold crashing an LBK or in my mini fridge if it's the last fermenter left.
  2. Cato

    Propping Up Your LBK - No Trubal

    When I'm using an LBK, I usually figure it for 2.25 gal. In Q brew and at best I'll yield 22 12oz bottles. I have no issues as long as it's say under 6.5% ABV. Course I'll lose approx. .13 or more to trub loss.
  3. You'll really like that controller. Pretty much set it and forget it.
  4. Cato

    Something other than booster

    I have a backlog of booster, and I use it when I can. I haven't noticed any flavor issues with it at all.
  5. Cato

    All grain Irish Red Ale

    Also a great way to keep the fermenter busy in the quest for that ideal taste and proper color. I love a challenge like that and taste testing/judging the results!
  6. Cato

    All grain Irish Red Ale

    Interesting recipe! I'm not familiar with Cara red malt, but I like the addition of some biscuit malt to the mix!
  7. Cato

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    It's a lingering sweet aftertaste that comes from extract, either LME or HME, can produce it. DME apparently tends not too, but I haven't used it before. http://www.love2brew.com/articles.asp?id=487 Check out this link on twang and ways to get around it. BIAB is easy solution but a longer brew day. For me partial mashes with the craft refills and hop additions in IPA styles have worked very well.
  8. Cato

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    That is the great thing isn't it? Having fun no matter whether you prefer small batches and minimal equipment or a larger set up like Creeps or yet a bigger bbl operation like kedogn! I seem to be getting more stuff, but doubt I want to get much bigger than 2.5-3 gal. batches, cause I like the variety. Lol, that said I wouldn't mind a big enough kettle to brew 5 gal. and split it into two fermenters!
  9. Cato

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    Good points @MRB Tim! I enjoy creating different recipes in small batches and view the MB HME's just like a base malt and then build from there. I look at my inventory and I'm pretty happy with what I have to chose from for a brew day. HME's, cans of LME's, and about 40-50 lbs of base and specialty malts. Lol, it's like making spaghetti sauce! Do I want to make it from scratch or do I want to use a big jar of sauce off the rack and add to that? Like you say each has its pros and cons and I'm sure enjoying exploring them all and gradually getting much better as a brewer. This forum, it's resources, and helpful more experienced brewers are the reason. Also, maybe I have old tastebuds, but once I started with partial mashes using at least 8-12oz grains I haven't had off flavors or twang.
  10. Cato

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    Well said, Gutterbunnie! Each of those different brewing methods have their own set of challenges, which makes it fun to try and make your best beer you can and how you'll do it better next time.
  11. Cato

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    No need to be quiet Creeps!
  12. Cato

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    What yeast are you using? It might be coincidence but after my first two batches using MB yeast I switched to US-05, plus temp control and haven't had off flavors since. I did pitch one batch at 55F, using US-05, and got away with it but normally I try to have the wort a little warmer than my room temp yeast. How big an effect, if any, idk. I guess when you find whatever method is working for you, you tend to stay with it. Don't give up on it though. Possible you're tasting extract tang from HME, so maybe make a partial mash with a can of Briess LME, or like Jdub and try a DME partial mash. There's different ways to skin this cat, and you're close.
  13. Cato

    Conditioning/Cider flavor

    I usually put at least a gallon of spring water in the fridge 2 days before brewing if I'm going into an LBK. Brew day I'll pour what room temp water I need into the kettle and put whatever's left in the fridge to cool down as well while I'm boiling, steeping, whatever. That'll usually get me close to pitch temp fairly quickly if I'm just using HME or LME and going into an LBK. If not then I'll pop the LBK in the fridge for a couple hours until I get the wort at least under the max temp of the yeast by a few degrees. Ideally I like anywhere from 74-77F and the yeast at room temp, which in my house is 68-72 depending on the season. As far as I can tell, albeit a first year brewer, I'm not stressing my yeast and getting off flavors from that method, and once my LBK is in the cooler I ferment on the cool side 64F for most of my yeasts. My AG batches in my little stainless fermenter are proving to be a little more challenging to chill rapidly since I'm doing a full volume boil for that. Immersion chiller has helped a lot but still leaving me too high to pitch in this hot weather, so either an ice bath for the kettle or a two stage chill with the wort chiller, faucet first, then pumping ice water through it to lower that last 12-15 degrees. Sorry didn't mean to go overboard on that, but I'm thinking that from pitch temp to ferment temp thru first few days of krausen is where your off flavors aka yeast stress has been introduced. Lol, I'll shut up now.
  14. Cato

    Fermentation temp control

    I use @Screwy Brewer's EZ BIAB online all the time, as well as some of the other calculators. It's a huge help to me.