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About dodgerblue

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    Brewmaster in Training
  1. Pasteurization is your best friend. It is possible to use extracts for bottling, but anytime you are using fruit you never want to go fresh. It is okay to use peels (I generally recommend boiling them) or zests, but generally if you want to nail a fruit of some sort into your brew you want to use some sort of pasteurized juice just to make sure you don't inherit any contamination.
  2. My second beer is a brown ale that had some extra kick in the pants and the krausen barely came over the top of the fermenter. Needless to say it's being conditioned right now but the initial samples were pretty tasty. I know a lot of people have mentioned that the fruit often produces a good amount of krausen (hey, it's sugar people!) but everyone seems to also report the beer comes out tasty, just messy.
  3. mnstarzz13 wrote: Welcome dawgman!! Congrats...you made beer! I am sure by the time a chicken peck the keyboard someone already responded but that is called Trub. It is a byproduct of yeast (along with alcohol and CO2) It contains yeast cells too and an interesting tid bit, you can actually use it instead of a new yeast packet to make beer.... I had added some perle hops commando to my brown ale and they sat at the bottom with the trub. The trub looked like it had green measles. Kinda odd looking really.
  4. Absolutely. That thick yeast cake is called trub. Different yeasts, temperatures, and ingredients will result in different levels of trub. I just bottled a brown ale that had some honey and brown sugar in it. The yeast loved it and made the gnarliest looking cake of smelly yeast I've ever seen. You should be able to taste your wort before you bottle it. The smell and the flavor should let you know where you stand. Normally wort that is ready for bottling will taste like beer, but it'll be flat of course, as it has no carbonation.
  5. skydvr wrote: I was just looking through "Homebrewing for Dummies" and thought of this thread. There's a recipe (5 gal) that calls for over 14oz of hops, and won 1st place at the AHA nationals. So, cut in half for 2.5 gals, and that's still over 7oz of hops. How much is too much? Depends on beer style, hops variety and personal taste. Trial and error will let you know when it's too much, I'm guessing... 7 oz of hops in a 2.5 gallon recipe could mean little to nothing based on what you do with the hops. Certain hops are used for aroma, others for bittering, and others just for flavor. Now, with that said, if I just dry hopped 7 oz of any sort of hop, I would have a vary aromatic and hoppy smelling beer. In return, this doesn't mean that the beer flavor itself would be hoppy. Like mentioned above, the acids need to bind within the wort for effectiveness in flavoring and in bittering. Basically what I'm saying is it isn't so much about the amount of hops used, but what type of hops and how they are being utilized is the importance to it.
  6. This is why I use a 20 qt pot. Saves your butt when you aren't paying attention! Got my 20 qt for $15 brand new. :laugh:
  7. mnstarzz13 wrote: When ever I have read "them" saying drop in cold water they say bring to a boil and then remove the grains. Well, is that at max heat to get to a boil the quickest or not? Too many variables (time, tannin extraction, temp, burning your sack :blush:) I go back and forth with monitoring the temp approach to keep it level and using the "165 and cover" approach. Yeah I almost feel like hitting your target temperature and just covering it and insulating is the safest and cleanest way to do it. 30 minutes may drop your initial temp a few degrees but as long as you keep things covered and insulated and you don't have sub freezing temperatures blowing on your pot it shouldn't be a problem. People mention about checking once or twice to stir, but I feel like a slight stir before you sparge or prepare to boil is good enough.
  8. yankeedag wrote: along the line of starting cold to getting hot... there is the possibility of the bag slipping down and burning. not good. +1...also I just want to point out that if you are like most of us on here, time and temperature is important. If you drop a grain bag into cold water, when do you really know when a 30 minute steep begins? Yes you probably would count it once it hits around 150*, but if you're going to bump it to 160* then aren't you throwing in variables you wouldn't want to create in the first place? IMO hit that water at 160*, drop the grain bag in, cover it, set it, and forget it!
  9. I would say that the concept is good. There used to be a place in the area here that did that and they went out of business after 8 years. However, they were in an expensive location and the city itself was very tough on business owners. My LHBS offers everything pretty much except the make your own beer concept. However, they do teach classes twice a month on Saturdays which allow people to not only get involved in the brewing process and learn about everything all-grain, but they actually will give you some of the beer after it is ready. They also try to invite all hobbyists of all skill levels to meet up with this local brew club just to get people together and involved. I would say that your best bet is to do a LBHS in which you go the extra mile with customer service to help people (especially those are new to brewers), carry good ingredients (make sure you crush grains for people, poor FD has to do it himself!), and offer home kits. You could from there then (once you find the right staff cause you couldn't do this alone) move onto offering people to make their own beers. The other thing you might want to look into is legislation to see if you need certain licensing and other fees and permits as it can get expensive.
  10. You definitely have trub my friend. I have a brown ale that has trub and krausen all over the keg. Looks like there was an explosion inside. Like mentioned above try not to move the keg too much as you want that trub layer on the bottom to stay put. As you learn to grow into making larger batches, you'll start to have secondary fermentors where you leave that trub behind to clear the beer up. For now, if you can avoid moving it, that trub will sit at the bottom and keep the clarity of your beer a littler cleaner.
  11. Our general rule of thumb on here is that you don't want to add the HME because it will severely alter the flavor of your beer (generally not for the better). Once you hit boiling point and you're done with boiling any hops/LME/UME, you flameout and add the HME. If you have any other questions let us know!
  12. Welcome to the borg Brett! Don't hesitate to ask any questions here. The dudes here like myself enjoy the craft and obviously enjoy drinking a nice cold one. You mentioned about the leak and I had a similar experience. One thing I noticed that I did was I put the rubber washer on the inside of the keg as opposed to the outside. Also make sure the curved side is facing the keg. I made the mistake of putting the washer on the inside of the keg and that actually caused the leak. Just a thought. As far as yeast goes, it is pretty versatile. The Mr. B yeast is in small quantities (2g) but will get the job done. Using 2 packets of yeast will definitely help kick start things. If your temps are in the mid 60's you should be just fine. Generally the yeast will thrive a bit better around 70*, but it just means that the yeast may need an extra day or two to finish the job.
  13. Or you could have beer soaked apricots! :woohoo:
  14. Clever! I'm not a big fan of Mexican beers but I'd crack one of those just to try it. Who doesn't love pepperchinis?!?!?
  15. You shouldn't have any problems with cold crashing. I definitely recommend for future batches to use a different yeast that the Mr. B yeast. There are tons of selections for all styles of beer. After you bottle it may take a bit longer for your bottles to start carbing as the yeasties are asleep and need time to "wake up" before they go into full effect. When you want clarity with your beer, cold crashing is always a safe and easy method to use.
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