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Texas Dan

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About Texas Dan

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    Brewmaster in Training
  1. There are two around here, the one in Richardson and the other in Carrollton. Homebrew Hqs: http://www.homebrewhq.com/Contact/Directions.aspx Toymakers Wine Store: http://www.finevinewines.com/home-brew-store-location.htm Both sites have street addresses/maps, or you can enter their address in mapquest.com. Yankeedag, I'm in the Denton area, right on I-35E, so if you happen to pass this way on your move, give me a heads up to stop by for some refreshments, and possibly some to take on your trip. I only have German lagers though, if that's ok...
  2. From what I have read, nothing beats long term, at least a month, "bulk" cold aging of lagers prior to bottling. Not only do you get a more stable quality lager, but many of the tannins coagulate and any haze forming proteins and other compounds precipitate out of solution and are left behind when it is time to rack off for bottling. There is still plenty of viable yeast left for priming and carbonation. When you bottle first, condition at room temps, then cold lager, these compounds that precipitate out during the cold period will forever be in the bottle and could be potentially noticible. Also successful lagering requires that beer not be subjected to temperature fluctuations or oxygenation. I personally have not found that I can keep a consistent room temperature here in Texas, and, just bottling does add some oxygen. That being said, when I have been unable to cold lager a particular brew first and had to bottle condition, then lager, I have not noticed any discernible off taste, but I make sure I condition in a cooler maintaining temps under 70*f (preferably around 65).. For those doing Mr. Beer sized batches it is probably somewhat difficult to cold lager for a month unless you use a couple of 1 1/2 galon Slim Jim's in the frig. Now that I do 3 gal brews I have been able to use a 2 1/2 gal Slim Jim that holds just shy of 3 Gal @ 38*F for lagering.. Didn't mean to be so verbose, but hopes this helps someone. New Brewing Lager Beer by Gregory J. Noonan is great. I can't recommend it enough.
  3. There was a previous discussion on what grade plastic works best for "fermenting".. Class 1 or 2 work best else you stand the chance of picking up off flavors... I can vouch for that using a food grade class 5... Any "food grade" is fine as a bottling bucket. http://community.mrbeer.com/forum/8-new-brewers-and-faqs/309211-blue-water-jug-as-fermentation-vessel#309269
  4. My wife didn't mind the mashing as much as the boil portion of my brew day. Since I wasn't able to get a good boil on the glass top anyway, I moved to propane on the patio to give her a break. I've already told her I will do the boil outside but had trouble keeping consistent temps for the mash outside, so will move that back in.
  5. Like Nightmare said, unless it is a class 1 or class 2, it won't be the best for fermenting. I tried the cheap route using plastic buckets from the local grocer/bakery and found the plastic absorbs off flavors into the plastic that can affect later brews. I finally switched back to LBK's and a 3 gal. glass carboy for fermenting. This has also been discussed in another topic here along with a link to plastic grades in my reply to the topic. http://community.mrbeer.com/forum/8-new-brewers-and-faqs/309211-blue-water-jug-as-fermentation-vessel I still use bakery buckets for bottling as nothing is in them for an extended time.
  6. My glass top stove struggles to bring my 22qt pot to boil (4 gal AG boils) so I have been forced to skew the lid alternating 1 inch to 1/2 inch during the boil to control the boil intensity... I leave the lid on full until it does boil. I nor anyone who has tried my brews has complained of off tastes..... I think as long as there is an outlet for the steam it's ok. It's now a moot subject for me anyway... Just got my propane burner...
  7. Excellent advice from all who have responded here but thought I might as well chime in with a couple of points that you might have already considered, so I may be off base. I figure every little bit of advice can't hurt. I have been fortunate so far in losing only one batch, and that thru my own fault in overdoing the spices. Some simple rules. 1. You can't go wrong in investing in a tub of Oxi-Clean Free.. (no perfumes, no additives, no anything else). 2. Dissolve a tablespoon or two with the warm water in the LBK, throw in a paper towel, let it soak and clean all inside and outside of the LBK thoroughly with the paper towel including the opening and lid. Empty it, remove the spigot and clean that and the rubber grommet in the Oxi-Clean. Rinse thoroughly with hot, not too hot water. This needs to be done after "EACH" batch of beer. Store the LBK with the spigot inside and the lid loosely on. 3. When you do brew follow your regimen with the Starsan or OneStep. Be sure to hit "all areas" of the LBK. I found the best way is to clean the spigot, install on the LBK, fill with the sanitizer/water solution, and roll/shake hitting all areas including the lid. 4. If you soak you tools in the LBK, you need to be sure you don't scratch the inside as these scratches are a great hiding ground for bacteria. Also, anything, and I mean anythinig, that comes in contact with your water or wort needs to be sanitized first, including cups, funnels. I forgot to sanitize the pitcher I was using on my first batch before collecting tap water and I was nervous until the batch finished. 5. One more thing, in your previous message you did mention you had made a batch of two of cider. I would think that you need to thoroughly clean an LBK after that, or use one expressly for cider. 6. A couple of things I'm assuming: Bottle conditioning should also be in a dark place. Pitching the yeast at the proper temp. Hope I haven't been too wordy... Just trying to help.
  8. Immediately after use I run warm water thru it, then run a little starsan thru. I never use dish soap on anything I brew with because of the perfumes and other additives. I only use oxi-clean free on the rest of my brewing gear then sanitize with starsan when used.
  9. Since I am currently concentrating on authentic German beers, I plan to adhere to the Reinheitsgebot for those. I may or may not use some additives for other type beers.
  10. After living in Germany for 10 years, and being partial to authentic German brews, I have decided to defer to the purity law for my all grains. Since I purchased all the chems for water treatment I may utilize them when making other styles though.
  11. You can accomplish that under TOOLS, EDIT DATABASE.. Click on MISCELLANEOUS then scroll down to where you want to add the yeast. Right click mouse or click + sign to open a new line with Generic ingredient. Highlight and change/add the yeast you want, choose Yeast from the dropdown and add the info for that yeast if you have it..
  12. Cane sugar won't dissolve rapidly... I started out with table sugar but have since moved exclusively, and happier with, corn sugar. At your local LHBS you can get 2.5 lbs for around $3... I also moved away from bottle priming to bulk priming as it gives a more uniform carbination..
  13. Excellent Dan- those are plastic water bottles right? Yes, they are plastic... Osarka Spring water on sale is 50 cents for the 3 liter... I keep a few empties around for storing starsan, starters, etc. I mix with my filtered tap water when I want to cut down on hardness/sulfate/sodium levels. You can also drill a hole in the lid for a grommet and airlock if needed.
  14. Manowarfan1, I have been using 3 liter Ozarka Spring Water, Pure Water, etc. bottles for starter bottles for quite a while now, rather than just chucking them after I brew... Holds as big a starter as I would ever need. Good size for taping a therm probe to also to maintain proper temps.. Works great...
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