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Posts posted by Cato

  1. 5 hours ago, Creeps McLane said:

    Im kinda suffering with you right now. 3 days without a beer so far. Tonight that streak will end. Damn flu / cold thing. Damn it to hell. Ill devote my first one to you tonight 

    I can't risk it while on the strong stuff. Sigh, will stay the course until they step down my meds.

    • Sad 1

  2. On 2/23/2019 at 8:08 PM, Creeps McLane said:

    So Rob texted me this morning and said there was a big accident at work and he wasn’t able to pick up his wort this morning with me. So naturally I called my dad and he helped me out. So dad was Rob earlier today. Got both our wort picked up and I threw mine in the snow bank (kegged) and went and took a 4 hour nap.  Woke up feeling like a brand new man but still obviously not 100%. So tomorrow brew day starts. BeerSmith recipe is completely done, I was told the mash temp, the post mash gravity and a bunch of water stuff that I’m not going to worry about cuz I don’t know what size their system is.


    Kinda weird thing is I’m gonna water down my 5 gallons 1.046 wort, boil for an hour and add some candi syrup just to end up with 5 gallons of 1.056 wort. Kinda messes with my head


    Nice, good luck and hope you win!

    • Like 2

  3. 8 hours ago, Creeps McLane said:

    This is the first time I’ve heard of any brewery giving away wort. I’ve heard of places just doing a wort giveaway but this place is letting 20 of us bring the wort home, boil it and ferment it and the best beer gets put on tap in the brewery. In exactly 4 weeks we meet back up and have a social drinking event and judges will be walking around sampling beers. Kinda cool eh?

    That's way cool! 

    • Like 1

  4. 32 minutes ago, McSquirrely said:


    So, I have two widely different methods to consider here:  a) using toasted coconut in a hop sack at mid-ferment point (give or take) OR b) use a coconut extract like I did when I made my variant of MRB's 'Nilla Porter. 


    I tasted a young bottle of my 'Nilla variant last night and it was what you'd expect of a porter drank too young - except that the vanilla flavor was almost impossible to detect.  I had used a bit more than the recipe had called for (2+ tablespoons) because I always add extra water to the LBK to make sure I fill 12 bottles full (740 ml).  But without knowing the recipe called for vanilla extract (McCormicks, a top brand) I'd been hard-pressed to know it was in there.  If coconut extract is the same, it must take a good amount for even just 2 gallons.


    Thanks for responding, k

    From a homebrewers page that I Googled. The poster was adding this to his leg. Maybe add it at bottling.


    I do what denny describes. There are 48 teaspoons in a cup and 52 12oz beers in 5 gallons.  So I dose 1tsp in 12oz of beer. Adjust up or down, then extrapolate (if you like 1/2 tsp in 12oz, then use 1/2 cup in 5gal).  You can adjust the math to dose smaller portions.


    • Thanks 1

  5. 3 hours ago, RickBeer said:

    The correct ratio for a gallon is 1.2 teaspoons.  Because it's impossible to measure 1.2 teaspoons, instead of putting in 25% more, I put 1 teaspoon in 0.8 gallons, because I can measure that.  

    Lol, whatever works. I go with the tad stronger as it seems to keep better without clouding up between my brew days.

  6. 2 hours ago, Nickfixit said:

    I bought some Starsan but have not opened it yet as I am procrastinating on getting a suitable container for storing diluted stuff and  also a good way to measure it out for small quantities. THe bottle measurer seems to cater to industrial use. They need a SMALL bottle for home users with dispenser for 1 gal increments of solution.

    I use 1.5 tsp per gallon. I'll store a gallon out in the garage in an empty gal spring water jug. I'll normally brew twice in a month so that's as long as I'll  store it. Since I usually get 6 jugs of spring water I change out the storage jugs since it is an acid based mix. Mainly use it in my spray bottle and sanitizing my ss fermenters. I use the MB sanitizer packets for my LBK and glass bottles.

  7. 1 hour ago, Fire Rooster said:

    Thanks. @Cato@Creeps McLane

    Walmart SS pot isn't magnetic, magnet would not stick to it.

    It was discovered while researching online that there is magnetic, and non-magnetic SS.

    Basement has a 240V 20A outlet, and also a sink. 

    However, wouldn't pump that much water into septic system.

    Maybe ice water in sink, and pump & recirculate through that ?


    That would work! Remember your boil will produce a bit of steam/moisture down there so you'll want to think about venting or moving the air around.

    I'm in my 400sq ft garage with 10ft ceiling. I can crack my garage door open and I have a ceiling mounted 3 speed air cleaner for my wood working that moves the air around for me.

  8. 4 hours ago, Fire Rooster said:


    Clips for grain bag, good idea.

    What wattage is your induction burner ?

    How do you chill your wort ?



    Mine is a 3500w and is plugged into 240v 20 amp circuit. My brew kettles are induction capable. It takes about 20 min to hit strike temp on 4 gal with cold water and then about 15-16 min from there to very vigorous boil. I usually have to turn it down a little once it hits boil. It's great for up to 5 gal batches but beyond that I'd  probably look at a 5500 w element in a kettle.


    I looked hard at that route before buying the induction burner, but for under $200, it was a much less expensive way to brew.


    I use an immersion chiller for my wort when the weather permits. If it's too cold to use the outside faucets then I pump the wort straight into the fermenter in the mini fridge and chill it down to pitch temp. If it's a 2.5 gal batch I can pitch before bedtime, but if it's a 4 gal batch or more I'll pitch the next morning.



  9. 9 hours ago, swenocha said:

    It's actually this one...


    Rastal Craft Master Grand Glass


    It's pretty similar to the Sam Adams glasses on the shelf above it.  Wide bowl and flare for aromas, nucleation and narrow base to keep the carb stirred, etc.  Their additional pitch here is the stacking shelf to make them more easily stackable for bars and such...




    Lol, @swenocha, I had some errands to run today, so picked up a 4 pack of these Belgian Ale glasses.


    • Like 3

  10. 7 hours ago, swenocha said:

    Assuming this is known, but in case some don't know... called a shaker pint because it's used to shake mixed drinks.  Not really the best glass for any particular beer style, but bars like them because they are easy to clean, ans also are sturdy and stackable.



    Boston Cocktail Shaker Tin and Glass at drinkstuff.com


    Here's a good guide image to glass styles...  I used to not be very picky, but have learned during tastings with glassware companies that it does indeed make a difference...  Changes to aroma, head, carb, etc. can come from the different glass styles.  I always have much more confidence in a beer bar if they have a few different glass styles, but at least don't hand me a frosted pint glass or mug, please?


    Glassware By Beer Style - Brookston Beer Bulletin


    Side note:  I have way too many glasses...  



    We mostly have the Weizen, shaker, and mug style. I obviously haven't been particular in my glass standards, though I've made some progress.

    I rarely drink from a beer bottle, and avoid beer in ice tea glass and Dixie cups.


    However, I like the looks of your glass in the bottom left middle with the blue logo. That interests me because of the wide bell at the top. I would think you'd get maximum aroma from that design.

    I typically don't go overboard with adding so much hops that it  masks the malt, but love the aroma they bring to the table.  Plus, I've been using a few more aromatic malts in my recipes.

  11. 1 hour ago, Fire Rooster said:

    Calculating boil off rate, and grain absorption, is to end up with whole volume being brewed.

    What would be the benefit ?

    Instead of adding more water to volume before fermenting.

    The benefit to knowing these would be able to calculate your ABV for one thing.


    Using brewing software and inputting your boil off rate, amount of trub loss left in kettle, your amount of grains and hops, your desired packaging amount, the capacity of your fermenter and trub loss in fermenter, it can tell you how much strike water you'll need,the preboil amount, the post boil amount, and how much will be left to go in your fermenter and in the case of Beersmith , I believe, how much top off water is needed. I haven't used that feature yet but I've seen it in the program.


    If you follow those guidelines and input the correct numbers, then it should get you close to your packaging amount and approx. ABV when it's ready to bottle.

    All that lets you play with some scenarios should you want to make changes to your recipe. Huge deal for recipe making, my fav.


    It's not a small benefit, it's pretty huge in that it opens up a whole new dimension from what you began with in cans of HME.

    There are free online calculators that can get you off and running even if you're using HME, DME, or LME as your base for a PM, or if you're going all grain.

    • Thanks 1

  12. On 2/5/2019 at 12:35 PM, McSquirrely said:

    Lately, I've been checking my brix values on the 14th day of kegging.  I've noticed with at least three of my batches, brix values had stabilized by the end of the second week of fermentation in the LBK.  Never-the-less, on only one batch (my first) did I not let the process continue to day 21.  My question is this: IF Brix values are stable from Day 15 - Day 18, why not begin the cold-crash then instead of waiting another 3 days?  Just curious -

    I've always gone 18 days and then either bottled then or cold crashed for 2-3 days. In answer to your question, I think that 21 day time limit is a safe advice for those fermenting in an LBK because some don't have a hydrometer to check their readings, and those that do don't want to waste the 4 oz each time they take a reading.

    Your refractometer only takes a few drops. I haven't used one for beer, only for salinity, so I can't speak about the accuracy of the instrument compared to a hydrometer. 

    I think that those that keg, often keg at 2 weeks if they have a steady reading but they're not risking bottle bombs either.


    • Like 1

  13. 57 minutes ago, BDawg62 said:

    One of your first tasks with that new pot is to put 3 gallons of water in it and boil for 60 minutes on whatever burner or stove you plan to use for brewing.  Then cool that water and see what volume you have left.  Subtract that number from the initial 3 gallons and you will have your "boil off" rate.  You will need this with AG to calculate your total mash water volumes.  Also note that during the mash some water is lost to the grain absorption.  Brewing software usually has a default volume to account for grain absorption but you need to know your "boil off" number.

    @Fire Rooster, you can mark a stick at gallon and 1/2 gallon points to help determine the boil off rate. Will most likely be 1/2 gal/hour at a nice rolling boil for that size stockpot but every kettle can be slightly different depending on heat source.


    Lol, remember there's a reason why kettles for AG are usually double the size of the maximum batch recommended. Example 10 gal kettle for 5 gal batches is a common size. HOT BREAK happens quickly and can overflow an undersized kettle that is not under a watchful eye. Read up on that.


    That not to say that you can't push that envelope a bit. My biggest kettle is 7.5 gal and I can boil 5 gal without issue as long as I am extremely vigilant as it approaches boil, and I am ready to dial my heat back a little at hot break, then once that protein foam peak passes I can resume my boil.


    Just saying. :)




    • Like 2

  14. 1 hour ago, Fire Rooster said:


    Was it just for the color ?

    Or, pale malt DP of 85, and 2 row malt DP of 140, averages to a diastatic power of 112.  Was this taken into consideration at all ?



    @BDawg62 has got it. 

    I wasn't really concerned about the DP. I'd bought some of both to have on hand, and ended up using the blend in BeerSmith to get the color I was looking for.

    It wasn't a super critical point as either would have served well for a pale ale.

    Mostly me just learning how to fine tune color, IBU's, ABV in BeerSmith.


    Didn't mean to throw you a curveball by my blend.

    • Like 1

  15. 55 minutes ago, Fire Rooster said:

    Thanks. I am misunderstood with base malt , probably because I asked poorly.

    99% Base Malt is listed for Briess Golden Light DME.


    Which base malt are they referring to ?


    Thank You



    Probably their 2 row malt. They have a pale malt but its slightly darker than the 2 row.

    For my AG ZD clone I used a 50/50 mix of their 2 row and pale malt to get my color where I wanted it.

    • Like 1

  16. 18 minutes ago, RickBeer said:


    You're looking at this all wrong.

    Figure out what she likes.  Make her a whole batch.  "Honey, I made this JUST FOR YOU".


    Then make a crapload of other beers that she hates.  "But honey, you have YOUR BEER, which is MUCH BETTER than these beers."


    Of the dozen or so beers I make, my wife likes 4 or 5 of them.  More for me!

    My wife sticks with her Bud Lights with a squirt of lime juice. She has taken a sip of nearly everything I've brewed, she makes a nice comment and hands it back. I think she drank a whole one once when she was out of buds. My feelings are completely intact, as is the pipeline. All is well.

    • Haha 1

  17. 2 minutes ago, Don H said:

    I'm wondering if anyone can advise me on how to add flavors to the beer? My wife really likes Bud Light Lime. I wouldn't mind trying to add lime flavor to the American Light, but not sure how. And would anyone know if this would be similar to Bud Light Lime?

    My wife too! I got her to switch to Bud Light and she just adds a squirt of lime concentrate to her glass before she pours.

  18. 1 hour ago, Fire Rooster said:

    Jdub, thank you very much, my brewing hobby is renewed.

    Best beer I have made to date, by far. Get to experience the citra hops to the max.

    Below is your shared Zombie clone recipe.




    All it takes is that one success and you know its there and its repeatable if you keep good notes and or a log of your recipes and procedures!!


    Congrats on your brew! Some will always be more successful or in your wheelhouse than others, but the nice thing is to have a few favs that you can keep in the stable for those batches that you thought would be fun to try but you find your hand going elsewhere in the fridge reaching for a beer.


    Lol, I give them a grade comment type of thing in my last Excel column for each beer. Most are good and a few great, but I have some that were meh, or just okay. Still fun to try different styles but to keep something fav in the rotation.

    • Like 3

  19. 49 minutes ago, Fire Rooster said:


    Do you have this brew bucket ?

    If so, how long have you had it ?

    Any regrets ?

    Improvements ?

    Positives ? Negatives ?



    Yes, I have two, the 3.5 gal and the 7 gal. I bought the mini first last summer and brewed 2.5 to 3 gal batches, and love it. It's size fits in my mini fridge along with an LBK, so that's nice. It produces clearer beer to me, with less trub in the bottles than the LBK. 

    The 7 gal I got a few months later and can use for 4-6 gal batches.

    Only improvements I made was to install the beveled LBK washer in place  of the OEM o ring. Fits perfectly and makes rotating the racking arm a bit easier IMO. 

    Very simple but effective design and widely used. Both sizes have options for heating and chilling system.

    For a small batch brewer, I think they're ideal.

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1

  20. 1 hour ago, Brewing4Fun said:

    Well here is what the manufacturer of my kettle sent me.



    Thank you for you inquiry. I would recommend cleaning the unit before using but it is stainless steel and not porous, which means you do not need to seal anything. Cleaning and sanitizing is always a good idea for your brewing process. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.

    Thank you  

    Um, that's not entirely true in my book. Stainless can get corrosion on it. Just used the Bar Cleaners Friend soft scrub yesterday on my stainless steel sink to get off a few corrosion spots.

    I posted earlier what SSBrewtech recommends before using your stainless kettle or fermenter. Clean with TSP and then use 1 oz per gallon of Star San to passivate. 

    Up to you.


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