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Everything posted by Cato

  1. Back into the brewing this week trying a Josh Weikert based Altbier recipe. As usual with a new recipe, I'll stay fairly close to the grist ratios with just some slight grist substitutions on my part. So interested to see how it fares against my Dusseldorf Alt. I think I'll always want to have an Alt in my inventory. Next after the Alt will be my return to a Witbier. Heavy wheats are totally out of my wheelhouse but Erdlinger Wit, Mothership Wit, and Blue Moon fall in it. I find myself often adding either white or red wheat instead of Carapils or Carafoam to my recipes these days. Poor wheat grinds from suppliers prompted me to get a grain mill last fall, and since then it's made a big impact on my BIAB process.
  2. Lol, that is how I first found this forum, Stretch! I brewed my first two batches exactly by the directions on MRB, and couldn't understand why they were so bad. Once I discovered on here about temp control, then things rapidly improved.
  3. I use a big clear plastic bowl that I sanitize my utensils in.
  4. I do that to my jars of LME. Use what I need, pour a little vodka to cover the top layer, put the top back on, and back into the fridge. For your HME, I'd use a clean/sanitized resealable jar and do the same. Should be good to go and easily last your time frame.
  5. True dat! Sounds like time to rebuild inventory. I know your down at the end of the line and a long ways from LHBS, but I'm guessing UPS delivers?
  6. What @Creeps McLane is saying makes sense.
  7. Sounds the same as an aroma addition to me. I've been doing less dry hops, and more aroma additions at the end of the boil and at flameout. I'll whirlpool by stirring while the chiller does its thing and then squeeze the hop sacks and remove them prior to pumping into the fermenter. Been pretty happy with that method.
  8. What @RickBeer said. I use a small $25 mag drive pump and for it's size it does an excellent job. Saves me from moving any hot kettles or pouring and splashing.
  9. Lol, the Star san foam coming out of my bottles as I'd fill them would totally bug me I'm sure. I use the Star san a lot for everything in my brewing process except the bottling and LBK sanitation. I'm okay with some foam but too much and it becomes kinda messy. I'm retired so my brew days or bottling days aren't under much of a time constraint. I'll usually sanitize 8 or 9 bottles at a time and put them on my sanitized bottle tree. Doesn't take long to do for a 2-4 gal batch.
  10. I use a 12vdc pump from my kettle into the fermenter and it pumps in with enough velocity to aerate the wort.
  11. @StretchNM, you can always use the MRB sanitizer on your bottles. I use Star san for my ss fermenters, but not on my LBK's or when sanitizing my bottles.
  12. Hopsacks definitely hold some volume. I try and account for that when dry hopping, but when I add hops to the boil, I'll squeeze the hop sacks before adding the wort to the fermenter.
  13. If you filled to the 2 gallon mark, that's an average yield. I mark my LBK's with a magic marker at 2.25. Helps your yield a bit and overcomes a bit of that volume lost to trub. One packet of booster will negate the dilution. Just what I do to boost the yield.
  14. I'd thought about boiling a small amount of water and then dissolving the honey in it at flameout to add just after krausen but in the end, let it ride as is. Not like I'm going to taste the difference between 4.5 and 5.1, anyway.
  15. Had the same issue with my Irish Red, only I forgot to add the honey. I decided to leave it alone. I was shooting for 5.1 or so ABV and will likely be 4.5 or so.
  16. I've only ever crimped it once whether using the hand or bench capper.
  17. Lol, ferried up and down the stairs quite a bit today, but good exercise for my knee. Weighed grains for my Mystic Red Irish ale and should get supplies in for an Altbier recipe tomorrow. Rigged up a long extension for my IC, so I won't have to move the kettle off the workbench while chilling the wort. My Red ale will be my first without roasted barley. Using Cara Aroma for most of the color, plus some melanoiden. Going to be an interesting red, and malty. Golden Promise, CaraAroma, Carafoam, and Melanoiden. Hops, Saaz for light bittering and some Cascade for aroma/flavor. Yeast- Nottingham. 3 gal. My Altbier, I'll just do an LBK batch size as this one will be a bit different from my last Altbier, but will be fun to compare to see which I like better. I hit a homerun last time, I thought, but this variation has some interesting different grist players, so........
  18. My first thought was either not enough grains and/or a poor crush on them, which used to happen to me a lot. Um, if you weren't joking about contaminating with fuel stabilizer, if I had any doubt whatsoever I'd not waste 3 weeks and pitch the whole thing and hit the reset switch and start over again. Actually if I had that gravity reading, I'd take the loss and start over and use one of the free brew calculators and verify grain quantity, water needed, and review my whole process. It's a learning process and it's going to likely produce a few less than desirable results at first, but you'll get there.
  19. Why not leave the blow off tube and jar on? I've never used an airlock on my fermenters, and I just leave the blow off tube and jar in place until I bottle.
  20. Hydrometer is a great tool. Make sure to log your readings and observations for each brew as it's a great help when you brew a recipe again.
  21. Lol, thanks my friend. Actually the recipe looks pretty doable and since it's a saisons, it could be fun to try. Lol, first I'll need to produce some great smoked figs.
  22. Lol, I think Jester uses wild yeast if I remember correctly but I've got time on my hands to do some research and make my best interpretation.
  23. Thoughts turning to how I want to rebuild my mostly depleted pipeline. I'll need some good staple brews to form the backbone to start off with before I can start working in new styles. Sooo, it'll be spring and to get things rolling I'll start off with an Irish Red recipe in an LBK, and a Altbier recipe in my ss mini brew bucket. These I can do pretty much back to back, allowing just a few days separation since they'll both fit in the mini fridge at the same time. Using the same combo of fermenters I'll do a citrus zest Witbier in an LBK, and either a variation of @Creeps McLane's Little Trees PA or if figs are in season yet, try to flesh out that Jester King beer that uses smoked figs. Lol, that would be very experimental for me, but I've got a nice digital electric smoker that can do cold smoke temps, and I like figs so there you go. Plus I figure once I get my wood and fig recipe down, I can vacuum seal those puppies and pack some off to Wisconsin and see what Creeps can come up with. Yep looking forward to spring 2019.
  24. Lol, my mother's old saying, "when in doubt throw it out". I'm thinking fresh ingredients are time put to better use, but each to his own. Lol, quite possibly because I used up some older hops and grains at the end of the year and they fell in the "meh" category.
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