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Cato

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Everything posted by Cato

  1. Lol, not to mention another first soon to be added to the modern dictionary. A new way to spell scissors according to Rick- "sizzors". Add it to your auto correct.
  2. Yes, for sure that can happen, I just feel better about having my hands further away from the glass.
  3. I broke one with my hand capper and thought I'd have a heart attack as it literally crushed the top and left some very nasty jagged edges. I haven't used the hand capper since and bought a Colt bench capper and mounted it to a board. I feel better about using the lever action capper.
  4. They carry it in our local Total Wine store for 8.99 six pack. You have those near you?
  5. Usually takes a minimum of 3 weeks to carbonate then put a few in the fridge for at least 3 days for the CO2 to liquify fully into the beer. If you fermented at that room temp that could be a bit warm during krausen, and produce off flavors. Because of the heavy yeast activity those first 5 days the wort will be warmer than ambient room temp. Be better to put your LBK in a cooler with a frozen pint of water and ferment close to 64-65. Those bottles can be swapped out every 12 hours and provide a nice fermentation.
  6. Lol, my first thought would be my beer in the fermenter! I mean that's like some basic survival instinct.
  7. Nice! You're right, the LBK's are a convenient size, as they'll fit in a cooler, fridge, dorm fridge, and it's nice two have several different style brews going at once. Brewing is like cooking. You can come up with so many variations but just like spaghetti sauce or chili there are some checks and balances in the ingredients and spices so that you don't get it out of kilter and too hot, sweet, spicy, etc. Lol, I want something tasty in that sample bottle at the end of six weeks. I normally have two batches fermenting, and one of them will be a pretty closely followed recipe maybe just some slight variation, maybe in my two row, or my ibu's since I don't like real bitter stuff. The other I might get a little more adventuresome with, but still maintain a good balance. If I'm in doubt at all I'll post it and ask for an opinion or help.
  8. +1 on the comments by Rickbeer and Dawg! I'm a big fan of brewing software and use Qbrew for every recipe Mr Beer, ones I've found on AHA, Breiss, wherever. I'll probably move to Beersmith before long, but like Rick points out you can run scenarios, tweaks, or formulate your own. I use 3 different size fermenters so I'm scaling all the time. Another big benefit is saving your recipe so you have an exact procedural log for next time or to fine tune. Probably best to get your brewing procedures down with a few batches of MB recipes, and MB pm's until you start producing some tasty beers. How your beer tastes shows how you are progressing.
  9. Brewing tomorrow. First up a pale ale with a can CAL and American Ale plus .5 lb of munich. Hops HBC438 both in boil and dry hop. If I get time tonight, I'll make a yeast starter for a Belgian Dubbel that's going to be fun to brew.
  10. I certainly do the same! I just pull the grain sack and set it in another pot to drain and sparge. I keep a jar of golden light, pilsner, and Amber in the fridge to add to larger grain bills. Usually a half to three quarter lb addition goes a long way towards any lack of mash efficiency.
  11. I've never used the brix refractometer, but if that OG is correct then the ABV sounds like it is running about 14%. I think that's too high a gravity for US-05 and it could be that some other alcohols like fusels may be involved. Others far more experienced than me might know better, but I think that too high a gravity for yeasts, the alcohol will kill off the yeast and that's likely to produce off flavors. @RickBeer can likely correct my impressions on this and advise on your mistakes, but what's done is done and you'll have to see what you end up with. Sounds like it would be way too strong for me but I'm somewhat of a lightweight and about 7% is as high I'll drink and at that its about one and done!!
  12. Very cool, Creeps!! Prussian Lager
  13. Ah, something new for me to learn, like it's not bad enough waking up around 3:30-4 ish couple nights a week thinking about beer recipes! However, I do have some brews coming up that I plan on using liquid yeasts that are style specific, and so in theory should make for a better dubbel, irish, Witbier, etc. So my 4 pack of Fast Pitch and my little 1000ml flask will give me an intro into yeast starters. Until last week I thought people just dumped the liquid yeast packs in like dry yeast. It's what I did for some Omega Barbarian yeast and it took off pretty good, but I want to see and learn how this process works.
  14. 24 hours won't likely be enough. No doubt it will help some, but I've tried it and best results come from 3 days cold crashing. It's those last few bottles where you tilt the keg forward that get affected the most, because the trub will tend to slide forward and you get a load in the spigot. However, it's a learning experience and not everyone cold crashes and I experimented both ways, so try it and see what works best for you.
  15. I've never used a starter and only one liquid yeast up to now. I just got some Fast Pitch for a WLP yeast, so since I have it I'll make a starter and see how that works out. Yeast nutrients I guess I've technically used that by dropping some MB yeast packs in the boil.
  16. Yes, as Rickbeer says, you want to prop up during fermentation and cold crashing if possible. I make room in the fridge when I cold crashing an LBK or in my mini fridge if it's the last fermenter left.
  17. When I'm using an LBK, I usually figure it for 2.25 gal. In Q brew and at best I'll yield 22 12oz bottles. I have no issues as long as it's say under 6.5% ABV. Course I'll lose approx. .13 or more to trub loss.
  18. You'll really like that controller. Pretty much set it and forget it.
  19. I have a backlog of booster, and I use it when I can. I haven't noticed any flavor issues with it at all.
  20. Also a great way to keep the fermenter busy in the quest for that ideal taste and proper color. I love a challenge like that and taste testing/judging the results!
  21. Interesting recipe! I'm not familiar with Cara red malt, but I like the addition of some biscuit malt to the mix!
  22. It's a lingering sweet aftertaste that comes from extract, either LME or HME, can produce it. DME apparently tends not too, but I haven't used it before. http://www.love2brew.com/articles.asp?id=487 Check out this link on twang and ways to get around it. BIAB is easy solution but a longer brew day. For me partial mashes with the craft refills and hop additions in IPA styles have worked very well.
  23. That is the great thing isn't it? Having fun no matter whether you prefer small batches and minimal equipment or a larger set up like Creeps or yet a bigger bbl operation like kedogn! I seem to be getting more stuff, but doubt I want to get much bigger than 2.5-3 gal. batches, cause I like the variety. Lol, that said I wouldn't mind a big enough kettle to brew 5 gal. and split it into two fermenters!
  24. Good points @MRB Tim! I enjoy creating different recipes in small batches and view the MB HME's just like a base malt and then build from there. I look at my inventory and I'm pretty happy with what I have to chose from for a brew day. HME's, cans of LME's, and about 40-50 lbs of base and specialty malts. Lol, it's like making spaghetti sauce! Do I want to make it from scratch or do I want to use a big jar of sauce off the rack and add to that? Like you say each has its pros and cons and I'm sure enjoying exploring them all and gradually getting much better as a brewer. This forum, it's resources, and helpful more experienced brewers are the reason. Also, maybe I have old tastebuds, but once I started with partial mashes using at least 8-12oz grains I haven't had off flavors or twang.
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