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Posts posted by Cato

  1. 26 minutes ago, Big Sarge said:

    Sorry for the hiatus. I've been busy with doing a whole bunch of nothing this pst weekend and work thereafter. This is pretty much a layout of my thoughts:


    To hell with step mashing, at least at this point. With an electric system, why not?


    Given that I'm sticking with propane for the foreseeable future and not trying to chase a steady mash temp in the kettle, maybe I just outfit my cooler with one of the brew bags? I've thought of this previously, but didn't want the added expense right away. It should improve my efficiency to something more consistent. 


    I know BeerSmith does a pretty awesome job calculating water additions to raise step mash temperatures, but I still feel like I'd be chasing them. I like the set it and forget it technique. I'll just figure out the optimum mash temp for the style and rock with that. 


    I still think there's value added to the ratcheting pulley for the cooler brew bag, allowing to drain. In anyone's experience, is it better to go full blown no sparge, or drain, sparge, then raise the bag before draining the remainder?

    I tried sparging a couple of times but gave it up. I ratchet it up after the mash is done and let it hang for 20 minutes. No squeezing or any of that messy stuff. 20 minutes its down to just a light trickle and by then my kettle level is where BS says it should be for the boil. Can you get a little more wort if you have your gloves on and squeeze. Yes, but it can get sticky and messy and to me I like a clean easy brew day. Disclaimer if I'm running short cause I screwed up somewhere then yeah I'll tackle a little squeezing, but otherwise I don't. That's just me and my preferences.

    Oh, I do full volume boil in a 10 gal kettle for my max 5-5.5 gal batches. If you're doing a big beer or working with trying to do a 4.5 gal batch in a 5.5 gal kettle and having to go with less water then yeah sparging or topping off would come into play. Shoulda made that clear before I started typing.

  2. I take my Wyeast 1007 out and smack it before starting my strike and its normally tightened up by the time I've cooled to pitch temps, but regardless I toss it in. I've had one failure and I suspect, it was because I had the great idea to pour it into the fermenter and then pump the wort on top to mix it. However, just as I was pouring it in I saw some Star San in the cone of the Brew Bucket that might have killed the yeast. I waited and ended up pitching dry yeast.


     Now I just order a spare in case it's needed. That 1007 will do a great job on Pale Ales too! 

    • Like 1

  3. 23 hours ago, Big Sarge said:

    As I ponder the idea of biab, it brings up some new concerns. How trying is maintaining a single infusion mash temperature for the full term (60 or so minutes) with gas on a kettle? It would likely be a little easier maintaining step temps for a shorter period, or is it? Then comes grain absorption. I feel like I struggle to get that right when using the calculators, albeit I haven't figured out my mash tun (cooler) wort loss factor yet. Is there more accuracy in the calculators when your simply removing the grain?

    I obviously have too much time to think...

    Brew Smith! 

  4. 3 hours ago, Big Sarge said:

    Thanks @Creeps McLane. I like the idea of going biab but might have to wait while to truly set up my garage for such fun. I'm slated to go to El Paso this summer, only for 10 months but then who knows where after that. For now, I'd need an inexpensive hoist contraption to help out. 

    Check it out Sarge!

    I've gotten bags and their ratcheting pulley for my Garagewerks Brewery.


    • Thanks 1

  5. 2 hours ago, Creeps McLane said:

    I waited to offer my opinion, but I cant wait any longer. 

    just stick to single infusion. Its more straight forward and easier with your setup. Beersmith should already figure in your volumes for boiling water additions but I still never liked it. The only reason I step mash is when Im doing traditional german lagers. It also raises my abv, which is nice.


    scrap the setup, use the 10 gal bk as a 5 gallon biab setup. You can step mash all you want with that. 

    I've only step mashed a few times when using a lot of wheat, otherwise everything else is single infusion. Others may know better but in my BIAB I'm not sure how much step mashing improves the final product.

    • Thanks 1

  6. On 3/28/2020 at 8:56 PM, Bonsai & Brew said:

    With just a handful of us left on the forum, I thought it might be fun to come up with some wheat-based recipes for summer enjoyment.  Who's with me?🍻


    Not a fan of heavily wheated beers for some reason, best I can do is a Wit! However, I think I make a pretty decent one.

    • Like 1

  7. @Nickfixit, @Creeps McLane, @Bonsai & Brew. Although your hops packet is dated 2019 it is the 2020 blend. The 2019 is harvest year typically in Sept. I think and they get the blend together in Nov for release in January.


    I got that in an email from Wade at Yakima Hops, as I wanted to confirm since the blend changes each year.



    Hi Bob,

                   No worries! The only product that we currently have available on our website, is our most recent blend, which would be the Loral, Azacca, El Dorado, and Idaho Gem blend, which we refer to as our 2019 Blend (due to crop year of product used). With harvest happening in September every year, it takes just about 2-3 months to get that product aligned for the ideal blend, and then we normally release right at the start of the calendar year.  In short, the blend varieties are harvested in ~September 2019, blended and pelletized in Oct/Nov 2019, and then ready for release ~Jan 2020."

    • Thanks 2

  8. 1 hour ago, Creeps McLane said:

    How many people here have brewed with the Pink Boots Blend? Me, @Nickfixit, and @Cato? Anyone else?

    I think it's gonna make a great beer. I've brewed with El Dorado in my Wiscohops, and had a New Realm IPA, Hoptropolis, that has Azacca and Loral as part of its makeup.


    I'm not going to dry hop my first brew so I can get a feel for what if anything needs to be added.

  9. On 2/17/2020 at 6:56 PM, Nickfixit said:

    Good, let us know what you make 😄


    Ordered 6 oz of the Pink Boots 2020 this morning. Free shipping from Yakima Chief. Another Pale Ale will be forthcoming.

  10. 18 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

    You still gotta get up earlier than that. Though our motives for waking up are way different. I envy yours


    What is that 3rd shift hours? I had some hours like that when I ran an R&D aquaculture facility. My phone would go off at 3am with a night shift guy panicking because of an emergency, and of course I had to go in or we could lose thousands of shrimp very quickly.

  11. Jeez, I  wake up at 3:15 a.m. why? Am I concerned about Covid-19, my tumbling stocks, what? No, it's my Red IPA recipe! It's not right, it's got flaws! I review it and refine it and remake it off and on until 4:49 and then I'm wide awake.


    Got up, it's pouring outside, no golf today,  make coffee.


    By 5:30 I've thought it out had more coffee and on the computer in BS revising my recipe and printing out the brew steps.


    With no BJCP guidelines or comps to influence me I've morphed a Red IPA and APA hybrid that will feature Pink Boots hops. That mountain of weight is off my shoulders and I can prep for brewing tomorrow. 


    I feel at ease now. Think I'll make a sausage and fried egg sandwich while you guys are still sleeping.

    • Haha 3

  12. 10 hours ago, Jdub said:

    haven't brewed in a while. want to get back on track soon. just need to go get spring water and get going. I have 2 batches worth of ingredients sitting here at the house. NO EXCUSES!!!

    My supplies came in Wednesday but it's going to be an unseasonable 85 today,  so I'll wait until Tuesday to brew.

  13. Pink Boots IPA recipe is ready to go in BS and might be able to brew it Friday.  Being a Red IPA it's going to pack more ABV, IBU, and SRM than my pales. Kind of a blurred line between the two styles from breweries these days anyway.


    4 gal batch, 7% ABV, 68 IBU, 14 SRM. Kinda excited to try a new style and my from scratch recipe.

    • Like 1

  14. On 2/17/2020 at 6:56 PM, Nickfixit said:

    Good, let us know what you make 😄


    Been thinking on it and definitely going to be a Pale Ale, and I'm leaning towards a Red IPA. It's a style I haven't made but I'll give it a go.

  15. Going to do a small batch of Wiscohops, after reading my score sheets from the latest comp.

    I'm encouraged that this beer given the right timing and some more hops can move from very good to excellent.

    It was past its prime by judging time and with no changes, had it been timed better I believe it would have scored much better.

    I've entered this upcoming batch in another comp and very interested in its outcome. It's really quite good when in its prime.


    Lol, this beer was born out of a beer not sold here, @Creeps McLane, Titletown's Hopulation. Score sheet link-

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/m20m87m52g7zg82/000066 (1).pdf?dl=0

    • Like 2

  16. 6 hours ago, Nickfixit said:

    Got 6 oz Pink Boots hop blend from Yakima. $5+ a 2oz bag but free FEDEX 2 day ship.  Anyone else trying those? It's for Charity.

    Making a medium strength IPA today.  

    Opened up the hops, VERY aromatic.

    The 2020 Pink Boots Blend was chosen by more than 100 PBS members during the 2019 Great American Beer Festival. The blend consists of Azacca®, El Dorado®, Idaho Gem™ and Loral®, creating a blend with tropical, citrus and piney aromatic qualities.



    Pink Boots IPA#1
    PM 35 mins at 155-165 4 oz 2 row, 4 oz carapils, 2 oz oatmeal(3/4 cup) + 1/4 cup cream of wheat.
    Boil Pink boot blend 0.5 oz for 7  - 10 min  36-48 IBUs.  
    Boil PB blend 0.5 oz 1-2 min   - 2-4 IBUs
    American Ale HME - 36 IBUs, 3.5% ABVx
    .25 lb Sparking Amber DME
    1x 6oz Booster pack
    Ferment 14 days with  S-05 yeast
    1 oz PB ops dry hop 7 days.
    5.8-6 % , 70 IBUs.


    Nice, thanks Nick. I just ordered a couple packs of Pink Boots.

  17. I just ordered an assortment of 41lbs of grain. Pils, wheat, briess 2 row, Maris, golden promise, and a little melanoiden.


    With what I've already got on hand in base and specialty, plus hops and yeast, I should be set for a few months.


    First will be an Irish red and a witbier back to back, then probably shift back to a couple larger repeat batches of Altbier and a Pale Ale like my Night Moves or depending on how well it turns out my Wiscohops PA.


    I'm excited to get brewing again after the holidays and looking forward to rebuilding my pipeline.

    • Like 4

  18. Brew day coming up will be my Witbier and a Red Ale. Gotta look at the yeast temp ranges to plan my order though since I'll have both in the mini fridge at the same time a week apart. Guess I'll also be looking at the BJCP to see if I'm brewing an Irish, a red, or whatever.


    Going to program a step mash for the Wit. My first time doing a step mash, just to see if I can tell any difference.


    Been months since I've used the mini bucket and an LBK, but they generally both work well in the mini fridge when brewed about a week apart.

  19. 7 hours ago, Jdub said:

    what's the minimum cold crashing time? did a ton a dry hopping to a pale ale and looking to have it clarify a bit. put in the fridge tonight. can i keg/bottle tomorrow? or should i go 3 full days? impatient.

    I've pretty much quit cold crashing cause I'd get starsan sucked back into the fermenter. 


    Even with dry hopping 3 days before bottling I haven't had clarity issues. Everything seems to settle out just fine to the bottom of the bottle during carb/conditioning.


    Kegging I don't know about.

    • Like 1

  20. On 12/19/2019 at 9:10 PM, Jdub said:


    this is my local tap water report but it's from 2018. isn't that pretty much worthless being 2 yrs old now?

    Our local report has some lag to it as well, but that's okay it puts me close enough. However, they include an average for all the levels, which is helpful.

    • Like 1
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