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Posts posted by Cato

  1. Wheat adds to head retention and some beers with certain ingredients and yeast can produce more carbonation/head than others. Adjust your pour by tilting the glass and slowly pouring down the side. I've had saisons and other brews that occasionally produce way more head than expected but the beer was fine.

    Also try letting the opened beer rest for a minute or so before pouring which might help dissipate some CO2

    • Like 2

  2. Since it's been too chilly recently to work in my woodshop in the garage, and forecast to still be too cold to do so, I think Garagewerks Brewery is going ramp up to brew my clone of Hopulation by Titletown Brewery.

    Have to order some hops today as I don't have quite enough for a 5 gal batch.

    • Like 3

  3. Brew day tomorrow! Water additions weighed out, grains crushed, kettle cleaned and filled, controller programmed, and set to go for Thursday morning.


    Lol, couldn't figure out at first why my grain mill wasn't crushing the grains. Turned out my Golden Promise kernels were too fat for the roller gap. Once I mixed in some of my Briess 2 row, and my other grain additions in with it they crushed just fine.


    I have some hops to use up so it's going to be an IPA with Warrior for bittering, 15 minute addition of Citra and Idaho7, then whirlpool additions after flameout of Galaxy, Mosaic, and El Dorado. IBU's show around 79, and ABV should be about 6.3%. 5lb each of Golden Promise and Briess 2 row, 1lb. Munich, 1/2 lbs each of C-40 and wheat. 


    It'll be my last brew day for 2020.

    • Like 2

  4. 2 hours ago, Bonsai & Brew said:

    Right, I usually check my inventory of hops and yeast first when trying to decide what to brew.  I'm waiting for you to brew a killer German Dunkel or Schwarzbier!  My next recommendation would be a Czech Lager...   

    Hmm, a Scharwzbier would be interesting. I had the authentic when I was in Germany a few years back.

    • Like 1

  5. Not sure what I want to tackle for my next brew. My inventory of specialty grains and wheat were okay, but needed some staple base malts which were pretty depleted. Coming in tomorrow are 2lb C-40, 3lb Munich, 5lb Briess 2 row, 10lb Golden Promise, 5 lb Pilsen. 


    Bottling a Northwest IPA style at the end of the week, so kinda leaning towards a Golden Ale but need to check my hops inventory and likely that will point me in the right direction.

    • Like 2

  6. On 8/25/2020 at 9:31 PM, Jdub said:

    I just need 3 bags of ice. I use a wort chiller and submersible pump in a cooler. Works like a charm. Just a pain in the ass messing with it. 

    I know. I could brew indoors and I have. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a nice chilly morning to brew outside? This fall for sure. 

    I've brewed twice using the @Jdub method and start off using ground water thru my chiller while whirpooling my hops and then switch to the ice bags and that'll bring it down to pitch temps. Works great even in our summer heat.

    However, I have avoided brewing cause its not much fun this time of year, but I'm going to brew a batch of Altbier next week as my Octoberfest brew.

    • Like 2

  7. So 3 beers into the evening while grilling a flank steak, I thought its going to rain and be cooler tomorrow so you should brew!

    Good idea, except you've had 3 brews and now you're weighing grains and brewing salts, hooking up pump and controller stuff.

    Brewing a hoppy Wit to have a change of pace from pale ales.

    Crap, I'm whipped from golf and heat, and hope my hasty prep will do for a morning brew session.

    Think I'll add some extra coffee for the morning session. Hitting the rack now.

    • Like 3

  8. 12 hours ago, Jdub said:

    used K97 German Ale yeast. fermenting at 65 degrees in my ferm fridge. we'll see how the finished product turns out. i was going to follow the normal ale schedule: 2 weeks ferm and one week in the keg. perhaps i should consider letting it sit in the keg for awhile longer to condition. all i have to go by are @Cato's pix of his altbier. looks good!

    I've never used the K-97 before but do have some as backup for my Wyeast 1007. I ferment my Alts at 61-62 range. Since I bottle I dont know about the keg stuff, but I find they're great to drink two weeks after bottling. 


    My favorite recipe is Maris, Munich, Pils, pale chocolate, Carafa II, and CaraAmber. However, the Dusseldorf recipe on Briess Malting is very very good and probably the more traditional recipe. For variation I'll make that recipe next time. 


    No matter which, its a great beer style and every variation I've made got great comments from friends that tried it. I think it'll be a regular in your queue rotation @Jdub!

    • Like 2

  9. On 12/31/2019 at 8:28 AM, Jdub said:

    right. i think the solution is to use an airlock for cold crashing instead of the blowoff tube. I am using an airlock now, and although it makes it taller, the vodka stays in the airlock. 

    I used a 3 piece airlock for the first time recently on my Night Moves PA and it worked great. I hadn't cold crashed in sometime due to suckback from the blowoff jar.


    This time I did cold crash as I had a big dry hop and a bit of wheat in my recipe. The airlock did suck back a little of the vodka, but it was a miniscule amount and I left the airlock in place when i bottled and I was very pleased how that went as well. 


    I would only go back to a blowoff jar if I maxed the fermenter capacity and expected some krausen overflow.

    • Like 2

  10. On 5/17/2020 at 5:41 AM, Bonsai & Brew said:

    Wow.  I wish I could say glad it's not just me.  Thing is, if I had to worry about a profit margin with my homebrewing, having to pitch backup yeast every other 2-gallon batch of beer would certainly blow it.  Anyway, with a couple more Belgian-strain smack packs on order, I'm not ready to give up on Wyeast just yet.  Thank goodness for Mangrove Jack's and Fermentis though.

    @Bonsai & Brew I've become a big fan of Mangrove Jack especially their M44 West Coast yeast. Fermentis has always been reliable and I can't leave out Nottingham, which has always been a great performer.

    • Like 2

  11. On 5/16/2020 at 9:53 PM, D Kristof said:

    I have had nothing but crap Wyeast smack packs. All of them well within their best viability dates. I've got two different local stores. I get better results from White Labs, Imperial, Omega or dry. If I can make a starter, I will.

    I've had pretty good luck with them but have only ever used their 1007 for my Alts. My supplier sends them with a freeze pack. I had one dud that arrived warm but the others have been fine.

    I have 2 in the fridge now, both 1007 and will use one for an Alt and the other for a Wit.

    • Like 1

  12. 10 minutes ago, D Kristof said:

    I use a 10 gallon cooler mash tun and have never attempted BIAB. Are you able to twist your bag rather than trying to squeeze it? Asking because I don't know.

    Yes you can twist the bag some but to do so that gets sticky too and you also start twisting the pulley rope, so its not really too productive.


    • Thanks 1

  13. Main grain tote- 33lbs combo of Briess 2 row, Maris Otter, Golden Promise, and Pilsen. Plus 5lb of wheat, 5lb Munich, and 3 lb of Vienna.

    Didn't hurt to take the inventory but I was looking for flaked wheat and oats for a batch of Wit. Apparently about out of flaked wheat, which I found in a smaller storage box but not enough for my recipe.


    • Like 2

  14. Planning how Garagewerks Brewing will handle the hot summer.


    My plan is 5.5 gal batches and fill those storage totes with at least my fav 3 brews that have proven they store and age well without that disappointing hop degredation.


    Got my Night Moves Pale fermenting now. Next up will be Wiscohops, and then my Witbier.


    Those will carry my brewing thru mid July , bottling the Wit on the 15th. A cold Wit in August, yeah!


    At that point rather than stop until September, I plan on doing a short brew day with a couple of those 3.3 lb cans of Briess LME. 


    My controller has a timer on it so that i can prep the kettle and program the controller before bed time and wake up to strike temp and be done with brewing before the heat of the day.

    • Like 1

  15. 8 hours ago, Big Sarge said:

    First time for me. I guess we will see how it goes. Nothing traditional by any means, going with the shaken, not stirred method. Better than nothing, right?

    Its what i would have to do. I dont have a stir plate.


    What areyou going to use as a starter? LME, DME?

  16. 2 hours ago, Big Sarge said:

    The verdict is in, I'm waiting until tomorrow night and anticipate about 18 hours for the starter. 

    I've never made a starter before . Just chilled to pitch Temps and well pitched it in, dry or liquid.

    I have some fast pitch and an ehrlenmeyer flask, just never played with it 

    • Like 1

  17. 3 hours ago, Jdub said:

    @Cato got the grains shipped to me for an Altbier! gonna see what the fuss is all about. 4 gallon batch. 2nd up in my brew queue.

    Having Altbiers in your pipeline, is a really good thing. 

    I've brewed it several different ways, but Josh Weikerts recipe is a sure fire introduction.

    • Like 1

  18. A lot of different ways to skin the cat. 


    Whatever floats your boat to make your brew day enjoyable AND still reasonably hit your targets.


    You guys all know I like to golf.


    The saying there is that the score card only shows how many strokes it took to get in the hole, not how!

    • Like 3

  19. Took a hops inventory this morning and ordered some for a 5 gal batch of Night Moves Pale Ale. Lotta hops in this one: Warrior, Citra, Mosaic, Vic Secret, and Idaho 7. Also some cryo of both Mosaic and Citra. 7 oz of hops, 10.88 lbs of grain,  M-44 yeast, 6.3 ABV, SRM 5, IBU- 55.


    Yeah it carrys a price tag, but big on flavor and for a hoppy ale it ages very nicely, so instead of disappointing hops fade it seems to morph over time and presents different flavors.


    Cause it's easy to program and control the temp, I do a step mash on this one because it's close to 20% wheat.

    I'm not sure my taste buds would pick up the difference one way or the other, but reapeatability and consistency are why I got that controller, and it's nice to look at my brew notes and follow the script.

    • Like 1

  20. 8 hours ago, Big Sarge said:

    Just so I'm clear, biab means absolutely no sparging?

    No, it just stands for brew in a bag, period. What you do with the bag after you put the grains in, is up to you and how your system is set up.


    You could use a mash tun or go single vessel. Sparge, dunk sparge, drain only, drain and squeeze, or do like I did and try all of those and see what works best for you. No mash out is needed because hoisting the bag out accomplishes the same thing.


    The full volume single vessel method appealed to me as the simplest and least complicated brew day. I know some guys whether propane or electric that will hoist the bag to drain and then while it's draining start heating to boil and by the time they've reached boil, the bag has finished.

    I'm retired and in no rush,  so I just let it drain for 20 min and take a break to get lunch or coffee.


    I did used to add some extra grains to hit my numbers, but then I realized that I was doing that to make up for inaccurate info on my kettle and fermenters in BS. It took some time, but now my kettle loss, boil off rate, fermenter trub loss, are pretty well accounted for and I'm amazed how well they align with BS's predictions. 





  21. 2 hours ago, Big Sarge said:

    Makes sense. What do your mash efficiency numbers look like? I'm still working on improving mine, so my practice has been to add a half pound of base malt to make up for it. I don't like doing that. 

    I was just wondering if you gain anything by sparging. Are the numbers just as good for no sparge vs batch sparging? My brain says no. There still has to be some sugary goodness in those grains. 

    I am by no means trying to nickel and dime cutting costs, just trying to get the most out of the raw product. That and consistency. 

    Thanks much!

    I'm hitting my numbers very closely in BS with full volume BIAB. No extra grain added.

    Single grain crush.

    I'm at 72% that way, I've read that those that double crush can get 80%.

    • Like 1
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