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ptbyrne13

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About ptbyrne13

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  1. Mine came in today (although I don't think I'm going to brew it just yet). I'm really excited for this beer because, until recently, I really wasn't sure if I liked any Belgian beers. I've had a few, but nothing I really liked. The ones I've had have been too sweet for me. A few weeks ago I went to a bar and told the bartender that I like pretty much any style (but wheat beers) but I'm not as familar with Belgian beer and asked him to reccomend me something. First beer he had me sample was a Dubbel (the name escapes me right now). I really, really liked it. I hope this is as good.
  2. SenorPepe wrote: Table 3 - Dry Heat Sterilization Temperature Duration 338°F (170°C)-60 minutes 320°F (160°C)-120 minutes 302°F (150°C)-150 minutes 284°F (140°C)-180 minutes 250°F (121°C)-12 hours (Overnight) The times indicated begin when the item has reached the indicated temperature. Although the durations seem long, remember this process kills all microorganisms, not just most as in sanitizing. To be sterilized, items need to be heat-proof at the given temperatures. Glass and metal items are prime candidates for heat sterilization. I place my bottles in the over and turn it up to 425 degrees (it's actually closer to 450 according to the thermometer I put in there) for an hour with their little tin foil hats. The last 10min or so I turn the oven off and crack it open and leave it there for a while. Then I use an oven mitt and keep them on top of the oven until it's cool enough to add the beer. The temperature might be a bit overkill based on the table above, but it's worked so far. I've never added sanitizer to my bottles, only baked, and I've never had an issue. Make sure you use brand new bottles or clean them out with a bottle brush or something designed to clean bottles. I reused some bottles and thought water would get it done, but I had stuff baked on the bottom. I had to use two and didn't notice any off flavors. I'm very attentive about that now though.
  3. Whenever I go to the beer store, I tend to try to pick up a case I've never tryied before so I've used a bunch of different kinds from Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, Harpoon, Abita, Great Lakes etc. but my personal favorite is Dogfish Head. The labels come off so easy without any trouble at all. Part of me wonders if that was intentional. I checked them out this summer and they really encourage homebrewing, even letting their employees brew their own stuff. A better question would be what bottles NOT to use based on your prerequisites. Off the top of my head Sam Adams and Breckenridge have their logo on bottles. Erie Brewing Co labels don't come off easy at all.
  4. There's a recipe from Sam in Extreme Brewing. Check it out.
  5. Just wanted to update. I originally tried carbonating by popping the tops off, prime them, and recapping. The first one didn't work out well as the beer foamed up and came out of the bottle. The second one worked but had a terrible taste after giving it a few weeks. I think I infected it somehow. I decided to give it another shot, but decided to put the beers in the fridge for a few days to deactivate the yeast (I don't really think that caused the foaming, but hoped it would give me more time). I tried this out and it worked really well. I only had one overflow out of 16 bottles. Most of them didn't foam up at all. I haven't tried the ones I just did, but I tried this out with 2 a few weeks ago and they were perfectly carbed.
  6. Jason wrote: I bottled my first beer after 8 days There's your problem. It hasn't finished fermentation. I brewed a lager with fruit and got nervous that I wouldn't have enough yeast for carbonation so bottled it sooner than I should have. I even took a Hydrometer reading and it had a stupid high gravity (I learned from that...). Well, I scared the crap out of myself when I popped the cap off one and the entire top of the bottle blew off! Now when I open the rest it's like those snake fireworks that keep growing. Foam pours out of the bottles for a few minutes. Anyways, take it as a learning experience. Invest in a hydrometer. Take a reading after 7-14 days (preferably 14). Take another reading a few days later. Are they the same? Then bottle. If not, give it a few more days. When it's the same, bottle. You lose a little beer in the end, but you should avoid bottle bombs.
  7. I've never tried the variety pack but I've had the Pale Ale and the White. The pale ale is great. The White isn't for me, but I don't like wheat beers. My girlfriend and others killed them though, so it must've been good.
  8. The Linebacker Doppelbock was the 2nd beer I ever made. I brewed it in January so it would be ready for Easter. I thought I screwed something up too because it had some funky taste to it, but since I had never had a Doppelbock I thought maybe that was what they tasted like. So I let it sit from mid February until April as planned, cracking a few open in between. It changed a lot from my early 2 week tester until April. It even developed a slight hint of vanilla. This is a pretty good refill if you let it sit for a few months. Trust me, it will be worth it!
  9. SenorPeper - appreciate the link, even though it's a different cooler. I did see some how-to's do something similar. YD - Is there a link somewhere? I did a search and checked out his profile but didn't see it.
  10. Hey guys! I've been debating on going all grain for a while now and said I'd look into it this summer. Well there was a sale at my local sporting goods store and I found this cooler: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&safe=off&q=coleman+model%233000000152&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&biw=1259&bih=761&noj=1&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=3861875747366962151&sa=X&ei=9pL3Tfe2F4Te0QHH19HACw&ved=0CDMQ8wIwBA# I went ahead and got it for the sole purpose of using it for all grain. When I was at my LHBS last week I noticed he had some parts to build a mash tun there. I had never seen them there before so I talked to him a little bit about it. Unfortunately he didn't offer too much incite about them. I've watched a lot of how to videos and I'm not sure which route to go. One part I recognized that he had was this: http://www.brew-dudes.com/bazooka-screen/410 I'm not the most skilled guy in the world at building things, so I thought this might be the easiest option. I did see other videos and how-to's of people using copper and pvc pipes. Has anyone used this? Does anyone have any reccomendations? Any help or advice would be appreciated.
  11. Colby wrote: SenorPepe wrote: lol I like that post YD. In my personal experience, the most important immediate accessory for me was the thermometer (brew-o-meter). I think it's the most important in creating a beer that's better and ready to drink quicker. Fermenting temperatures are pretty important and it's hard to gauge without a stick-on thermometer Good point, I keep forgetting that doesn't come with the keg. +1
  12. kerrierou wrote: Fat Pete wrote: BTW, have you looked into if there is a LHBS (Local Home Brew Store) near you? I just looked and there is a small home brew store 2.5 miles away from us....actually under a mile from his work. There's also a couple bigger ones 12 and 14 miles away. Should we go there to get the tools instead of getting them on here? If I knew what I knew now and was looking at accessories, here's what I'd probably do: - Get a 2nd fermenter. It's $10 and you can do 2 brews at once or use one for brewing and the other for batch priming. - Hydrometer/sample tube. - Locking spigot and bottling wand. 2 locking spigots if you get a 2nd fermenter. It makes bottling so much easier. Just make sure you tighten the locking spigot as tight as possible. Mine leaked when bottling the first time. And that's pretty much all you need to start. There's not much need for a hops scale as Mr.B packages them in 1/2oz packages. Funnel with strainer isn't really necessary either. As for getting supplies at your LHBS, you can get the hydrometer/sample tube and bottle capper (and caps) there. The bottle capper will probably be a little more expensive, but from stories I've read, it's superior. I also recycle my bottles and reuse them. Just make sure they're not twist offs. Also, some brands don't cap so well. There was a thread started about that if you want to give it a look. I saw people pointed you in the direction of this message board, but definately have him come here and read up before he brews. Might also be a good idea to get some books on homebrewing on Amazon. I bought a bunch when I first started.
  13. +1 to QBrew, DME, and Mellow Amber I prefer not to add extra sugar and/or booster to my beers. I'd rather use DME, LME, or steeping grains.
  14. Last night I was cracking open a beer that I knew was overcarbed. Not only did I pop the cap off, but the top of the bottle flew off as well. It scared the crap out of me. Cut my finger as well. Brewed a Lager with fruit and bottled too soon. I'm scared to open the rest lol. Although this was the first of about 6 of the ones I've opened to give me any trouble.
  15. I sanitize mine in the oven. Cap 'em with aluminum foil, stick them in a 450 degree over for 45min. Turn off the oven and crack it for 15 min. Open it til they're cooled. Just gotta make sure you've properly cleaned the inside, otherwise you'll have some burning on the bottom of the bottle.
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