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About Trubadour

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    Brewmaster in Training
  1. The brand new keg leak is from the brand new loosening leprechaun trying to get a drink. :laugh: I tighten the spigots and they seem to unscrew themselves. This gets better as the washers break in, and it does help to turn the spigot to tighten it while holding the nut as you get more torque than just cranking on the nut.
  2. Actually most of the conicals and Ale Pails are made from #2 which is HDPE. If I'm not mistaken the Cooper fermenter is also HDPE. Number 3 plastic is some type of PVC. From a scientific standpoint all plastics are probably capable of some leaching (although not always in significant amounts) and this could expose one to different chemicals and heavy metals in the long term. The advantage of HDPE is it can sustain higher temperatures and is not known to leach much. PVC (#3) can leach, but leaching in plastics is exacerbated by high temperatures and vigorous scrubbing. We don't put high temperature water directly in the fermenter (without room temperature or cold water as a buffer) and we shouldn't be scrubbing the fermenter vigorously either. If you use plastic wrap (also #3) contacting food in the microwave it is likely to leach much worse than your fermenter. PVC pipe is common in household plumbing and I.V. bags are also made from PVC. Drinking your water and going to the hospital could expose you to more than you'll ever get from your fermenter. Not to mention that is impossible to avoid plastic wrap as most meats and cheeses and other things are routinely wrapped in it. The only way to know for sure would be to get tech specs. about the plastic from Mr. Beer and/or to test beers for traces of BPA and other leaching byproducts before and after fermentation. I'm of the stance that I'm just not that concerned as I use many "food safe" plastic products and canned goods which have liners that could leach BPA and I think a lot of the cant on the internet is extreme fear-mongering with an unknown agenda. Of course detrimental effects could be subtle and take a long time to develop. But it is next to impossible to eliminate all toxins. Lord only knows what is in most tap water as they don't test for a lot of things, including traces of pharmaceutical products. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-03-10-cities-water_N.htm Final conclusion: RDWHAHB! :woohoo:
  3. The Witty Monk with or without a 1/2 cup of honey added at flame out and fermented with the yeast of your choice is reminiscent of Blue Moon styles (but far better in my opinion). I've done it with the WB-06 yeast, US-05 and Nottingham. Sometimes without honey, sometimes with. I did the US-05 batch with 1/2 pound of wheat DME and 1/2 cup of honey and it was far better than Pale Moon or Honey Moon. If you like it cloudy with more of that wheat yeast taste you'll like the WB-06. If you like it clearer with a cleaner taste then I'd try the US-05 or the Nottingham. Or get a smack pack Witbier strain at your local LHBS. I fermented all of them for 16-21 days in the low to mid sixties. Except for the one I did with 2 packets of Mr. Beer yeast which fermented in the high sixties. Even with the honey Witty is usually drinkable in 3-4 weeks in the bottle. I usually wait 5-6 weeks, but it really doesn't change much.
  4. yankeedag wrote: once you do your wort, and before you add the yeast, take your sample. record that information. Good advice, and I used to do this before I used satellites. Which, by the way, I don't use all the time anymore. But I did some comparisons of many worts and just pitched worts and the gravity differences are negligible in the first 1/2-1 hour. I just find it easier (and less wasteful, unless you have to have a 3 oz. taste ) to fill the satellite after aeration and take the gravity. And if you're going to take a hydrometer reading you might as well use it for a satellite unless you're comfortable putting it back in the fermenter, or you're thirsty. Unfermented wort is the only NA brew I really like. :woohoo:
  5. Tandor wrote: I completely understand how hard it is to resist tasting the beer. I almost caved yesterday and tried mine (only on day six). Good thing I didn't cause I wouldn't have known to sanitize the nozzle. Now I do. Back in the day I used to taste all the time on my Coopers fermenter and just sanitize the spigot well at bottling and I never had a problem. I think it's better to sanitize it, but I've never had it infect the fermenter. But to prevent bottle infections I think it is necessary to sanitize before bottling.On that note, I usually take enough for my satellite after aerating and then sanitize the spigot and put one of those half-size ziplocks over it for the duration of fermentation. Then all I have to do is remove the bag and bottle away.
  6. It sounds fine. It always tastes sweet until it's done. I used to taste a lot when I first started brewing. Now I only taste the wort when it goes in the keg and the beer at bottling time unless I'm testing for diacetyl or have other concerns about the beer. I sanitize the spigot with 70% Everclear or leftover One Step with a small spray bottle or a q-tip or twisted paper towel. Sometimes it is so good out of the keg I just have to drink a few ounces. Since it's not awful you know it isn't contaminated. Just relax and let it finish. Taste at bottling if desired. Good luck!
  7. Well, if you go by Mr. Beer specs. then each can is approx. 2.3% ABV in a 2.1 gallon batch. This would be ~4.6% ABV which would come out to ~1.045-8 OG. So one can would be approx. 1.023-26 OG for a 2.1 gallon batch. These numbers are approximations. Final results will depend on yeast and multiple other factors. I usually just count the UME and HME cans as ~2% ABV in a Mr. Beer sized batch, although I have had batches that did come close to 2.3% ABV per can.
  8. Spinner wrote: So..how many of these tabs would you use if bottling with 1-Liter PET bottles? I generally use 3 Coopers drops per 1 liter PET.
  9. @truckndad I've never waited more than 1-3 hours to put another batch onto a yeast cake. If you bottle quickly then brew another simple batch it seems to work fine if you leave the lid on tight. Or if your next batch is more complicated, brew first then rack the original batch to a slimline (or other secondary) and put the new batch on the yeast cake.
  10. It'll work great. It might, however, quickly go crazy on you. So keep and eye on it and maybe put it on a tray or someplace an overflow won't be a problem.
  11. rev_evans wrote: I ordered from my LHBS online. I ordered UK Kent Golding but he was out of the pellets. So he sent me US Kent Golding pellets AND two UK Kent Golding plugs. I have never used the plugs before. With a recipe like this where I wasn't going to use a lot of hops would one of the plugs at flameout be good? Or should I go with the US Kent Golding? What do ya'll think? US and UK Kent Goldings are technically interchangeable but if you get some high quality UKKG there are some subtle differences that might be worth it in some beers.
  12. hi1mnick wrote: Hows the brew looking Mark? I pitched my liquid ale yeast at 65 even though it said 70-75. I was a bit worried that it may have been a tad too cool, however after 24 hours of waiting my keg sprung into action. I have serious fermentation going right now and I hope you do too. Ravens Texans tonight!! Good night for homebrew! I always pitch at close to what my fermentation temps are going to be (low to mid sixties) regardless of what the instructions say and I've never had a problem. I really don't know why the liquid yeast says to pitch at 70-75F when it has a 60-72F range.
  13. I've boiled two cups of oats in a sack (without toasting them) for about ten minutes in a little DME. I also squeezed the sack (I know some brewers say this is a bad idea) and I got some great oatmeal stout. Of course it's actually hard to squeeze that much out, but I did get good results from simply boiling the oats. I have steeped them as well, but the simple boil seemed to work better at giving that "slick" mouthfeel and improving the head. When I try steeping them again I think I'm going to not use a sack and strain the oats out.
  14. Some people always invert their bottles to mix the priming sugar. I usually invert gently once or twice when I'm done bottling to mix a little and make sure the cap is sealed and not leaking. But there really is no need to invert to dissolve the drop as they always dissolve completely within 6-12 hours. Sometimes I don't invert at all and I've always had them dissolve and have had good carbonation.
  15. A lot of people have problems with the smack packs. They often smack them so hard that they burst the outer packet. Years ago I had someone certified as an EMT who came up with a much better method. Place the pack on a hard surface at about waist level. Locate the inner pouch and move it to one corner. Hold your interlaced hands together like you're going to do CPR (in a way you are ). Then push on the inner packet like doing a chest compression. http://firstaid.about.com/od/cpr/ht/06_cpr.htm This has worked well for me with surprisingly less pressure than expected. No more broken outer packets. I hope this helps some people. Cheers!
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