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Everything posted by Cato

  1. Lol, was browsing your local LHBS this morning comparing prices on grain mills and found they had a good sale going on and free shipping. Better deal than my supplier, so got one coming. A bit of expense load on the front end but it'll be worth it to me. My local LHBS is prices their stuff 25% higher than online suppliers. Between AIH and Maryland Homebrew, most everything I need ships free.
  2. Don't worry about it. Its your beer and you can do what you want and put anything you want in there. After all you've always got store bought beer in case your experiment didn't work out. After all it is a hobby and so should be fun, so do it any way that it pleases you. Seriously, its your beer have fun with it. For me I see learning the brewing craft is no different than learning how to cook really well, or play music, or build furniture. There's basics to learn, so you start out a bit simple, you learn your spices, your chords and scales, how to build a simple box or table, or your grains, hops, adjuncts. Once you've tasted some success you get that feel of confidence and you can start choosing your own complimentary spices, playing in different keys, or brewing more complex recipes with a reasonable expectation of success and good drinkable beer in 2-3 months.
  3. Split batch is on my list to try one of these days in the not too distant.
  4. Lol, the recording of everything is ingrained by now, like old habits. However now that I'm older and retired I make good use of inserting comments and observations in Excel on each brew like notes to myself, otherwise I'd surely forget what was it I liked or didn't or a recommendation for next time. I've only replicated one AG recipe, but it hit OG and FG dead on, so hoping thats a good sign for future ones.
  5. Did not know that Inbev owned Northern Brewer. Thanks for that jnfo.
  6. I was in production management for too long to do that as everything was logged from machinery maintenance, goods produced, waste, inventory, etc. Then when I ran an R&D facility raising shrimp indoors from larvae, where we grew our own algae for feed, well that was a huge amount of data recording. Nope, even though I'm getting a good feel about what my grain bill is gonna yield, I still want to know and log into my spreadsheet.
  7. It's okay to use a flashlight, just don't open the top. It can take a bit to kick off sometimes and others faster. Sometimes a thick foam and other times a thin one. Have bit of patience.
  8. I think a half cup of honey helps diminish the extract twang that can be present in HME's, though that could just be my taste buds.
  9. If it is the MB hydrometer, yes that would be the sampling tube and stand. Takes about 2/3 fill in that tube to get her floating.
  10. I've been squeezing the bag, plus running my recipe thru Qbrew and bumping the grains when possible or adding some LME . I think the double crush will make a decent amount of difference. I sparge only with water that I would have to use to make up volume lost by grain absorption. EzBiab calculator will show that in the equation pop up. Lol, I haven't done half bad at all with Qbrew figuring my batches by just entering a bit bigger batch than I actually intend to ferment.
  11. @RickBeer I just noticed you're doing BIAB. I like it a lot for it's convenience but I'm still in a learning curve on how long my mash should be and my best sparging method. I've had to add some LME to a couple batches to hit my OG numbers and a couple hit within a couple points OG but exceeded what I expected on FG but yeast selection likely caused that. Going to use two kettles for my next batch as my grain bill is too large for full volume. Will divide 4.5 gal water into one and 3.5 into another that will get the grain bag after the first has mashed and then after sparging combine the two (by pump)for the boil. I'm looking forward to trying that. I read that a lot of people doing BIAB are double crushing their grains. I may try that next time.
  12. MB has a very inexpensive single scale hydrometer that tells you all you need to know for OG and FG. I sanitize the hydrometer in the sampling tube to take the OG so I can return it to the LBK before I pitch. FG I take before bottling and take a taste sip of the sample as well as record the reading and save the rest in a glass to sip on at lunch after bottling and clean up is done.
  13. Oh, no other type of thermometer that you could slip in behind a taped cloth or sponge on the backend of the LBK?
  14. Ah, you want to tape that temp probe below the wort line with a folded cloth or sponge over it to read wort temp not air temp.
  15. Didn't you just make that batch today? It takes usually 12-24 hrs for krausen to get going depending on the yeast used. You don't want wild or rapid temp swings. Did you put your temp strip below the wort line? I put my frozen water as far from the LBK as I could, and sometimes I'd drape a washcloth on it, lol, like a shade to regulate, or as you've done you can slightly crack the cooler lid to help regulate it. I think it's going to be better off in the cooler than out.
  16. They regularly stock those wands but so do all the other online suppliers. Very handy tool.
  17. 7th generation is a good unscented brand of dish soap found in the grocery store.
  18. Welcome to the forum and brewing.
  19. +1 on the oxygen brewery wash for cleaning the LBK. Probably an unnecessary step on my part but since I've already got a gallon of sanitizer mixed up for bottling, I run that through the LBK before disassembling, and will save some back into a container for a final cleaning of spigot, washer, and nut, plus the bottling wand assembly, and hydrometer. Yeah, I know I'll do it again in prepping for a new batch but since it's already there I feel better about everything being put away clean.
  20. Agreed. I'm fortunate with this newer model gas cooktop to have one of those large output "turbo" burners for large stockpots, so it'll reach strike and boil temps fairly quickly at 3/4 output. Height above the kettle has been my limiting factor for BIAB. I've got a 220v 20 amp outlet for my table saw right by my work bench in the garage, which would be perfect for an induction burner that could handle heavy stockpots weight but those are commercial grade and the lower priced ones in $300 range are apparently crap, so you have to take a leap into $600+ minimum. I decided to wait for technology to improve and price to decrease on either induction or eBIAB.
  21. Those cooler mash tuns sound like they work well but I also needed more boil capacity. So ordered a Anvil 7.5 gal. kettle which should suffice for my BIAB batches and still work on my gas cooktop as its only half inch taller than my other kettle. Thanks all for the input.
  22. I'm in Virginia Beach. I'd rather brew inside than get bugs in my beer! I don't how it is in WI , but just the smell of wort when I'm running the wort chiller in the garage with the door open starts drawing flies. I did briefly consider a propane burner as it'd be the cheapest option, but I think I should be able to find another option, lol, which may mean just staying with brewing in the kitchen.
  23. Anybody using one of these for brewing? I could use a slightly larger kettle but most are too tall for BIAB on my gas cooktop in the kitchen, cause of the microwave above it. I can go to the garage but eBIAB set ups with controllers really mount up quickly. A nice portable induction that could hold a 7.5-10 gal kettle would be great. I looked at some 3500watt commercial ones but they all get terrible reviews on Amazon, for breaking down. For the high end ones I'd be back in the price range of an eBIAB single vessel unit with controller, kettle, and recirc pump.
  24. Oy, same thing happened to Devil's Backbone Brewery here in Virginia.
  25. I guess I feel better about over pitching and toss the whole thing in. I figure maybe it gives me some latitude in case I've inadvertently shocked some of my yeasties by being a little off temp wise in my pitch. Not so sure how much weight that theory carries, but so far so good.
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