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About Nolanar

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  1. TJTHEBEST wrote: Nolanar wrote: TJTHEBEST wrote: I was mainly talking to the OP and letting him know that in order for it to work you need to know how much you can get out of the malt. I'll be honest. Since I'm not at all experienced with all-grain methods, I'm having trouble following what you and Tobasco were saying. It sounds relevant to my interests though. Are you talking about adjusting my recipe to account for the fact that I won't get 100% efficiency? Well theres alot to all grain brewing, most dont get it perfect or right the first time. I actually did the same thing you did, basically a normal mash with no sparge, didnt turn out that great for me (I still drank all the beer though cause i ended up adding some booster to my beer). The way to get the hang of it is to know your equipment. How big is your pot? How many vessels do you use? And through trial and error, how good of an efficiency you can get? Once you know your efficiency and how much wort you can end up with you can formulate your recipes to use those numbers. It sounds to me like you didnt have a pot big enough for a true no sparge BIAB. and that is fine.. as long as you do a sparge. If theres anything else you need just let me know. Thanks for the feedback! My pot can handle a larger volume than I used (4 Gallon capacity). I just used two gallons because I thought you were supposed to. Boil-off should have occurred to me, but didn't. How large of a pot do you normally use? Also, I only used one pot, though I have a two-gallon that I could use if necessary. I was thinking of using it with a colander over it to hold my grain as it drips dry. I'd love any advice you're willing to give. All-grain seems like the way I want to go, and I want to get my SMaSH brews as right as possible.
  2. TJTHEBEST wrote: I was mainly talking to the OP and letting him know that in order for it to work you need to know how much you can get out of the malt. I'll be honest. Since I'm not at all experienced with all-grain methods, I'm having trouble following what you and Tobasco were saying. It sounds relevant to my interests though. Are you talking about adjusting my recipe to account for the fact that I won't get 100% efficiency?
  3. Thanks to everyone who suggested brewing software/spreadsheets! Good to know I have options. FedoraDave: I'd love to try doing a mash / lauter tun setup, but money is a concern, and I'd probably buy a 10gal brew pot / propane burner first. Seems like more bang for my buck. @TJ: The OG I got out of that recipe was 1.038, adjusted for temperature. QBrew estimates the OG to be 1.058, so I'm well lower than expected. @d3EP: Knowing the two gallon mark was easy, because I keep my brewing water in gallon jugs. Also, I love the 2-pot / colander idea; I know there was still some good stuff in that grain bag, but I didn't want to stand there holding it for 20 minutes.
  4. There are a few more if you get into slightly more advanced techniques: ABV: Alcohol by volume. SG: Specific gravity; hydrometer readings for determining ABV OG: Original gravity; the density of your wort before fermenting (used with FG to determine ABV) FG: Final gravity; the density of your finished beer, taken during bottling AG: All Grain; making beer with malted grain directly instead of extract BIAB: Brew in a bag; An AG technique that's like making a bunch of complicated tea SMaSH: Single Malt and Single Hops; A simple AG recipe for learning the tastes of different ingredients
  5. It looks like you're on track for good beer. Sadly though, I don't think there's any way short of Gas Chromatography or something similarly expensive to get the alcohol content without the OG.
  6. Welcome to the Borg! The Witty Monk is a good brew; it starts off pretty good, but you'll be amazed how much it improves as it ages.
  7. Apartment brewer here! The most important thing I've found for apartment brewing is to find a good closet for your LBK. Beer likes to be kept at a constant temperature, and doesn't like light. We don't have any of those fancy-schmancy "basements" or "garages" like other brewers, so closets are really the go-to spot for us. Look for ones that are away from exterior walls (which can cause temperature fluctuations), and go around with a thermometer to see which one has the best temperature for your yeast. As for hoppy recipes, the American Devil IPA (or ADIPA) came with my starter kit last year, and it had a good bite to it without going overboard. Of course, if the standard refills don't do it for you, you could always check out some official recipes, find some on the boards, or make your own! If you're looking at the recipes in the shop, remember that IBUs (international bittering units) are the quantitative measurement of bitterness.
  8. It's not immediately obvious, but there's a rough copy of the cider kit instructions on the store page for the cider kits themselves. The answer there seems to be: 3/4tsp for a 12oz bottle, or 2 1/2 tsp for a 1-liter PET bottle. I don't remember if those are the same amounts from the beer kits, but there you have it. That said, enjoy your ciders! My first batch turned out well, and I have a second one conditioning at the moment.
  9. Beerlabelman wrote: I want to try BIAB too. :woohoo: How long does it take from start to finish? I'm always pressed for time. :work: It's a much longer process than extract. Not including testing my equipment (Can I boil this much water on my crappy stove? How's this autosiphon work, anyway?) and cleanup, maybe three-four hours or more. 60 minutes for the mash and another 60 for the hop boil (or more!) alone. Definitely a whole-afternoon activity. @GWCR: I don't have brewsmith, but I do have qbrew. Will that accomplish the same thing? Money's a bit tight, so I don't want to spring for a brewsmith reg right now if I can put it off 'til later. All that said, I have another question: what's the best way to clean these useful-but-filthy reusable grain bags and hop bags? They're some manner of PE or nylon mesh, looks like.
  10. ...is starting its fermentation as I type (adj. OG: 1.038). I used a recipe I found on this website somewhere, but I think I messed up a bit. I only used 2 gallons of water for my mash, which left me watching the fluid level drop during the hop boil ("maybe I can slow the evaporation if I put a lid on my pot OH GOD WHY DID I DO THAT"), and wondering what to do with the precipitate from cooling (the cold break, apparently?). As a result, I had to add more water to the fermenter, since I had less than a gallon of wort left! From what I read, the extra proteins from the cold break won't harm my beer too much taste-wise, but will give it some haze and long-term stability issues (which means I'll have to drink it before it goes bad, what a shame). So, enough about that, let's see what I've learned: -Boil-overs: to be avoided at all costs -Put in more water than I think I'll need -Autosiphons are the best invention in history -Find a thermometer that will clip to the side of my pot, but still reach the water line -Find a faster way to cool my beer than "sink full of ice" -All grain is way more fun than extract, partially because it's harder Now that Santa brought me a 5-gallon setup for my "normal" brews, I'll probably be doing more BIAB in my LBKs (probably SMaSH brews to teach myself what's going on). So, any veteran BIAB people have tips/tricks/SMaSH recipes they'd like to share?
  11. Thanks for the replies, everyone! I didn't realize how quickly the packets can go wrong. Looks like I'll be using the older half-packets as yeast nutrients, and splitting the extra pack of T-58 between the two batches. I'll definitely have to check out yeast washing, too!
  12. So, I've been using fermentis yeast for my beers, but I only use a half packet per brew, since they were designed for 5-gallon batches. This means I have some leftover yeast in ziplock bags in my fridge, hopefully dormant. I figure I should use them pretty soon, in case they go bad. Right now, I have the ingredients for my first BIAB (an American Pale Ale), and an Eye Opener Sumatra Stout recipe kit. I'm thinking of pairing my leftover S-05 with the pale, and some T-58 with the stout. It seems to fit, given the beers those yeasts went with originally. I also have some Mr. Beer double-secret ale yeast from the stout cans, but I have other plans for those. I guess my first question is, how long does yeast stay viable in the fridge? Also, is there a way to check for viability / wake them from a dormant state easily? The T-58 has been in there for about an hour now, so I'm not concerned, but he S-05 has been in for about two months, so I'm a bit worried there. I have an extra packet of T-58 (from god-knows-where) if the S-05 isn't viable. Also, a friend of mine recommended a new use for the Mr. Beer yeast: food for the specialty yeast I have. Specifically, opening the packet into the boil for a couple minutes before I add the HME. Does this help much, or affect the flavor in any way?
  13. Pretty much what Yankeedag said. One thing I learned from doing a few brews is that beer can be astonishingly forgiving in certain things. I brewed a beer over the summer and had a hell of a time keeping a stable temperature. The end result was cloudy and ever so slightly cidery, but that mellowed out after a few more weeks of conditioning, and after an extra month it went from "ok" to great.
  14. Hey everybody! I completely forgot about this thread after I posted it, but it's been a good long while, and I thought I'd post my results, in case someone looks into rye later and does a search. The beer ended up as a very nice, clear amber, and the rye came through beautifully as a subtle spicy overtone to the whole thing. So the verdict is: crystal rye can be steeped, and it is delicious. 1/4 lb seems about right for a Mr. Beer sized batch, but you could add more if you want it to really dominate the taste.
  15. FedoraDave wrote: Did you check to make sure that Crystal rye can be steeped, and that a mash isn't required? I haven't found anything about that in my (admittedly limited) search. I'm pretty sure. I was originally going to use flaked rye, but someone on the forum said to use Crystal so I wouldn't have to mash. Plus, I think I tasted a bit of rye-ness in my hydrometer sample, so that gives me a little hope. But just like you said, I didn't see any direct confirmation one way or the other. I'll try one in a couple weeks, for science.
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