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Everything posted by Cato

  1. I've been vacuum sealing my grains when I get them in and then just store them in a plastic tote upstairs. The base malts rotate out pretty quickly, but I'm in the same boat with all these odd lots of specialty grains. I don't think they'll spoil anytime soon being vacuum sealed, but they have to be slowly degrading. All my hops have been in the fridge and not the freezer, so that's definitely an issue. I hate the thought of purging, but maybe I'd be better served to do that in January.
  2. Great topic and discussion as I'm just starting to learn/pay attention about this as well. Although I'll have to make that jump to BS v3, Vince aka Screwy Brewer is on another forum I'm in and has a pretty cool cloud based calculator for AG brewers that works great for mobile devices. https://www.ezhomebrewing.com/ezrecipe/ezRecipe-v1.24.htm However that water profile that @Creeps McLane posted from Beersmith looks to be a must have. Damn, as soon as I think I'm done buying stuff for my brewing, I find I need more.
  3. I don't have a clue, really since I just started paying attention to ph. I mean I've used ph meters and had to make water adjustments for our salt water critters when I ran an R&D facility, but I haven't sent off a sample of my bottled spring water to get an analysis. Not sure that I need to at this point. I tested the ph of my bottled spring water with paper test strips and the color matched the 5.0 range. I mixed the appropriate amount of stabilizer for my strike water and mashed, and tested 1/2 way through my mash. Pretty much all out of curiousity. People say your ph will change during mash and when I checked mine it was in the 5.0 range. Going back to the instructions on the jar of stabilizer it says it will "magically" lock in my ph to 5.2. So you might be correct, that you have to be in the ball park for the stabilizer to work. My beer has tasted fine ever since I switched from tap water to spring, and I'll have to check what happens to a strip next time I mash without any stabilizer added. Yeah, I'll probably get a ph meter before long, just cause I want to know more.
  4. Thanks @Nickfixit! Lol, I entered all my specs into the Brewers Friend calculator. That's a pretty neat software. My adjusted numbers show that where I started out to brew an American Pale recipe began morphing with the addition of some dark Munich and dark wheat (intentional on my part).Then, evidently morphed again because I double crushed my grains in an effort to improve my previously poor BIAB efficiency. Net result was I check all the boxes for the Strong Ale category and Old Ale as the specialty. Results show I can expect about 7.1% ABV and that I had a significant improvement to an 80% brewhouse efficiency. Ah, so goes it learning how and what to tweak in my brewing system. @Bonsai & Brew, I'm going to rename this pale to "Ye Olde Ale". Hell, maybe I should rename my brewery to "Afterthefact Brewery".
  5. Thanks for the heads up, Dawg! Temp controller set for 65 and 1 degree differential set for the heat side. That'll hold it 64 as a low and 66 as a high.
  6. For ales I've often read below 80. Personally I try to pitch within the temp range on the yeast packet. S-05 seems pretty forgiving in its pitch as I've not had any issues pitching from 63-75F.
  7. Oy, also aiming for less attenuation in my current ale fermenting. Trying S-04 for the first time. Seems to take off fast, pitched in the morning and at bedtime blowoff jar was gurgling.
  8. Wow, I've had mine too far up and blocked some flow, but no way would it fall out. If it was loose I'd probably put a wrap of teflon tape on it.
  9. Thanks! I've been looking at an Apera digital that has a replaceable sensor. Seems to get good reviews @Creeps McLane.
  10. Yeah, might fit better. I bought an extra from MB to use with my brew buckets and it fits tight on my LBK's as well.
  11. I guess I'll plan on getting a ph meter at some point but my spring water tests at 5 on the test strips and I checked my mash on this last batch after adding the appropriate amount of 5.2 stabilizer and it read 5 as well. Whether the stabilizer had significant effect or not, I'll have to check next time without adding any stabilizer.
  12. That's weird because my bottling wand from MB fits so tight I have to twist and push to get it to slide in or pre wet it with sanitizer. Not super easy to get out after bottling either.
  13. Pour slowly and stir when in cold water. I use a whisk as well and it dissolves nicely every time. I slowly pour about 1/2 the pack in and stir until disslove and repeat.
  14. What you haven't seen the Coopers "put your big boy pants on 2bbl fermenter"? Comes with a small hand operated forklift, so you can tilt it and not get trub in the kegs!
  15. This could be karma, kismet, whatever. From what I briefly read it sounds like they handle pretty much the whole system, including the controllers. If there's serious interest on your part I'd want to go where they've got one in operation and talk to the guys running it. As a production manager I used to have to make some hefty equipment purchases, and to me it was just as important for me to know the customer support and service capability when there was a breakdown.
  16. Cato

    Miller Lite

    Well said! It's a winding road from extract, partial mash, and AG. I've followed it for learning but certainly have noticed the difference in price and volume output between grain and extract.
  17. I think you're really going to enjoy brew day! Certainly less clean up than 3 vessel, and I'll be interested in your thoughts on it both likes and dislikes. Although I have been buying stuff, it's all been centered on making my brew in a bag process streamlined and simple.
  18. Cato

    Miller Lite

    @Lionfan67, welcome to the forum, if your still here after such an opinionated reception. We should all be here to help and encourage new brewers and not be judgemental about anyone's beer preference whether it be a commercial or craft beer. When I'm looking for a clone recipe I Google for it and also go to the manufacturer's web page to get any details they can provide. Some vendors will have clone extract kits that you can purchase. I usually end up combining ingredients from one or more recipes to try and clone the beer and it's usually a mix of grains and liquid malt extract. So, if you want to brew Miller lite, I'd suggest getting your feet wet with a couple of the Mr Beer kit cans if that's what you have, just to get familiar with the process of brewing, sanitation, fermenting at correct temperatures(which will likely differ from your instructions), and bottling. Don't expect great results at first. Most of us had poor to disastrous first batch or so. If you get great results,lol, then you'll be way ahead on the learning curve. It's a fun hobby and you can brew beer, good beer, in a number of ways with very little in the way of equipment up to very sophisticated and anywhere in between.
  19. Great reason to have a two speed drill!
  20. I'd think the pellet hops are easier to use as they don't take up much room in the fermenter or cause bottling issues or sparging issues in the kettle if they're in a hopsack. Plus they store very well in the fridge in a ziplock.
  21. You're definitely dominating the Churchills Challenge! I need to get brewing!
  22. Hold on! What's this Churchills Tropical Stout that you've slipped in?
  23. @Bonsai & Brew May be of interest or not. A forum members response post from another site, where the OP had very low ph readings , 4.89, in his samples taken early in a cooler mashtun, but then got a 5.39 ph from the preboil wort in the BK. No sparge mash in the cooler mashtun for a pale ale. I had not considered when would be the recommended time to take the mash ph readings, so I need to do some further readings, and to also see if the post below carries any weight. Good thing that I've got a little break before my next brew session!
  24. I'll be interested to see how they taste and compare! Thanks
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