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1 hour ago, Big Sarge said:

Friends, I need some quick help. My anniversary is Saturday and my wife is demanding I give her some ideas of brewing equipment. I usually just let her buy me anything but brewing stuff, but she knows where my heart is. With that said, I'm not going to ask for anything extravagant. I'm looking at ideas under $100. I have a few in mind, but can't make up my mind. I guess I'm looking for the most logical thing, if that makes sense. Here's what I'm juggling, in no particular order:

1. Anvil brewing pump. I'm not looking for anything to big, just something to help with transfers and maybe even whirl pooling (if I can figure out a noninvasive, DIY setup that doesn't require a port on my kettle)

2. Grain mill. These can obviously get up there in price, but I'm looking for something of quality at a low price (if such a thing exists). If it's absolutely stupid to buy something inexpensive, I don't need it. 

3. Stir plate. Another inexpensive version that works. Yes, I could build my own for pretty cheap, but I'm looking for something comparable that's already made. I don't have the spare computer parts laying around. An added cost would be the 2L flask, something to consider. 

 

Any help is appreciated. What makes sense to you?

 

I'd go with a quality grain crusher or maybe a 3-year AHA Membership, including the print copy of Zymurgy.  Congrats! 

 

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11 minutes ago, Bonsai & Brew said:

 

I'd go with a quality grain crusher or maybe a 3-year AHA Membership, including the print copy of Zymurgy.  Congrats! 

 

Thanks. Any recommendations on a grain crusher in the $100 range? I've seen some cheaper ones, but wouldn't mind an affirmation from someone here before committing. I'm not sure when my current AHA membership expires, but 3 more years is always a good thing!

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Happy almost anniversary, Big Sarge.

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So I continue pondering the issue at hand (it has been a slow day at work) with the following thoughts:

Has anyone seen great improvements milking their own grain? There's the obvious benefit of keeping them shelf stable a little longer when they're whole, but I got on the subject because I was worried that my last batch of grain seemed like there were some uncrushed kernels in there. It was a quick visual observation and I didn't thoroughly investigate (I was in the middle of making beer). I would like to control as many aspects of efficiency as possible, though. 

The pump would be helpful, but not necessarily needed with my current setup. I would need a whirlpool arm purchased separately and don't want to leave that up to my wife. I am able to leverage gravity for transferring otherwise. 

The stir plate would be nice, if I decide to stay with yeast starters. I'm on the fence about that one. 

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2 minutes ago, Shrike said:

Happy almost anniversary, Big Sarge.

22 years, that has to count for something lol. All of them while in the Army, too. 

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5 hours ago, Big Sarge said:

Thanks. Any recommendations on a grain crusher in the $100 range? I've seen some cheaper ones, but wouldn't mind an affirmation from someone here before committing. I'm not sure when my current AHA membership expires, but 3 more years is always a good thing!

I like the ease of use with the 2-roller NB Hull Wrecker but it actually produces more grain fines/dust than my old Corona-style mill.  I continue to "dust" the grain bag prior to mashing so I can feel better about dropping $115 on it.  Maybe we will hear from someone that opted for a 3-roller or electric mill.

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31 minutes ago, Bonsai & Brew said:

I like the ease of use with the 2-roller NB Hull Wrecker but it actually produces more grain fines/dust than my old Corona-style mill.  I continue to "dust" the grain bag prior to mashing so I can feel better about dropping $115 on it.  Maybe we will hear from someone that opted for a 3-roller or electric mill.

This is about the most trusting, inexpensive 2-roller I've found. I'm not familiar with them, other than the "3 must be better than 2" mantra. I could see myself dusting the grain before mashing as a concession. 

From a practical standpoint, with what I have going on right now, do you think the grain mill is my moneymaker?

image.png

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20 minutes ago, Big Sarge said:

This is about the most trusting, inexpensive 2-roller I've found. I'm not familiar with them, other than the "3 must be better than 2" mantra. I could see myself dusting the grain before mashing as a concession. 

From a practical standpoint, with what I have going on right now, do you think the grain mill is my moneymaker?

image.png

I would opt for a model that includes the base, since your wife is paying for it and all.🍻

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33 minutes ago, Bonsai & Brew said:

I would opt for a model that includes the base, since your wife is paying for it and all.🍻

I'm pretty sure I could figure out a base. I love her and all, but I dare not overextend her lol. 

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Main grain tote- 33lbs combo of Briess 2 row, Maris Otter, Golden Promise, and Pilsen. Plus 5lb of wheat, 5lb Munich, and 3 lb of Vienna.

Didn't hurt to take the inventory but I was looking for flaked wheat and oats for a batch of Wit. Apparently about out of flaked wheat, which I found in a smaller storage box but not enough for my recipe.

20200507_103305.jpg

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And with that, brewing at Copper State with my Dad is scheduled! Super excited. Probably wont even hit me until im walking in. 

60A27E7D-6C6B-4915-A980-7B68D543C925.jpeg

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thinking about brewing in the morning. can't decide between a citra hop bomb dipa, or an Altbier that I got all the stuff for.......#homebrewindecision

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29 minutes ago, Jdub said:

thinking about brewing in the morning. can't decide between a citra hop bomb dipa, or an Altbier that I got all the stuff for.......#homebrewindecision

Alt, yummmmmmmmmmy

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46 minutes ago, Jdub said:

thinking about brewing in the morning. can't decide between a citra hop bomb dipa, or an Altbier that I got all the stuff for.......#homebrewindecision

Citra Alt American style altbier?

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15 hours ago, Bonsai & Brew said:

Citra Alt American style altbier?

went with the Altbier. mainly b/c i've never brewed one before (or drank one to my knowledge). wort tastes dark and roasty. this is gonna be good.

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4 hours ago, Jdub said:

went with the Altbier. mainly b/c i've never brewed one before (or drank one to my knowledge). wort tastes dark and roasty. this is gonna be good.

I'm looking to try my hand at another Alt this fall. My first attempt was extract and bottle carbed all to hell, taking away from a promising beer. I don't have many (any) references either, but I do know like the style. 

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57 minutes ago, Big Sarge said:

I'm looking to try my hand at another Alt this fall. My first attempt was extract and bottle carbed all to hell, taking away from a promising beer. I don't have many (any) references either, but I do know like the style. 

well the wort smelled great! dark and toasty just like i imagine it will taste.

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49 minutes ago, Jdub said:

well the wort smelled great! dark and toasty just like i imagine it will taste.

What yeast are you using and fermenting at? Mine was more coppery, with a touch of roasty and sweet. I like how the cooler fermentation equates to s cleaner beer. I lagered mine in the cold garage for 30 days during the winter, before I had the fermentation fridge. I'm really excited about making an all grain version. 

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5 minutes ago, Big Sarge said:

What yeast are you using and fermenting at? Mine was more coppery, with a touch of roasty and sweet. I like how the cooler fermentation equates to s cleaner beer. I lagered mine in the cold garage for 30 days during the winter, before I had the fermentation fridge. I'm really excited about making an all grain version. 

used K97 German Ale yeast. fermenting at 65 degrees in my ferm fridge. we'll see how the finished product turns out. i was going to follow the normal ale schedule: 2 weeks ferm and one week in the keg. perhaps i should consider letting it sit in the keg for awhile longer to condition. all i have to go by are @Cato's pix of his altbier. looks good!

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42 minutes ago, Jdub said:

used K97 German Ale yeast. fermenting at 65 degrees in my ferm fridge. we'll see how the finished product turns out. i was going to follow the normal ale schedule: 2 weeks ferm and one week in the keg. perhaps i should consider letting it sit in the keg for awhile longer to condition. all i have to go by are @Cato's pix of his altbier. looks good!

I only have one instance of experience to refer to, but I really feel like it's a moneymaker to allow it some extra Lager/conditioning time. It was difficult then and probably would be more difficult now to put that into practice though!

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12 hours ago, Jdub said:

used K97 German Ale yeast. fermenting at 65 degrees in my ferm fridge. we'll see how the finished product turns out. i was going to follow the normal ale schedule: 2 weeks ferm and one week in the keg. perhaps i should consider letting it sit in the keg for awhile longer to condition. all i have to go by are @Cato's pix of his altbier. looks good!

I've never used the K-97 before but do have some as backup for my Wyeast 1007. I ferment my Alts at 61-62 range. Since I bottle I dont know about the keg stuff, but I find they're great to drink two weeks after bottling. 

 

My favorite recipe is Maris, Munich, Pils, pale chocolate, Carafa II, and CaraAmber. However, the Dusseldorf recipe on Briess Malting is very very good and probably the more traditional recipe. For variation I'll make that recipe next time. 

 

No matter which, its a great beer style and every variation I've made got great comments from friends that tried it. I think it'll be a regular in your queue rotation @Jdub!

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9 hours ago, Big Sarge said:

And FYI, I think @Bonsai & Brew is the Alt King lol

Indeed! I'd never heard of the style until @Bonsai & Brew , and now it's really my fav amber to brew.

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23 hours ago, Big Sarge said:

And FYI, I think @Bonsai & Brew is the Alt King lol

 

13 hours ago, Cato said:

Indeed! I'd never heard of the style until @Bonsai & Brew , and now it's really my fav amber to brew.

 

Having a Same Ol' Schtick with my pizza, 🍻's to Altbier!!

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32 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

Thinking about these for this weekends brewday

F7ACEB87-6FDD-473E-8BDD-E37CE1140462.jpeg

Thats some good ammo to work with!

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stole yeast from 3 bell's oberon's tonight. started with a small starter on the stir plate. will prop it up one more time in 3 or 4 days. 1st time to try this. gonna brew an oberon clone in about 1 week or so.

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6 hours ago, Jdub said:

stole yeast from 3 bell's oberon's tonight. started with a small starter on the stir plate. will prop it up one more time in 3 or 4 days. 1st time to try this. gonna brew an oberon clone in about 1 week or so.

Oh hell yeah!!!

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Think I’m gonna brew tomorrow. 4 gal batch of a citra hop bomb dipa. I have had the uncrushed grains for some time vacuum sealed. Gonna use mangrove jack west coast yeast. Indoor batch. High 90’s here tomorrow. 

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Tomorrow, 15 gallons. 3 oz cascade at dry hop. Replace falconers with veterans blend. 5 gallons lager, 10 gallons 05 or 04, whatever is in the fridge 

80ED4271-41A3-4B92-9B13-E96DB9217113.png

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On 6/25/2020 at 8:13 PM, Creeps McLane said:

Tomorrow, 15 gallons. 3 oz cascade at dry hop. Replace falconers with veterans blend. 5 gallons lager, 10 gallons 05 or 04, whatever is in the fridge 

80ED4271-41A3-4B92-9B13-E96DB9217113.png

that is a lot of beer. more than i would be able to drink for sure. what's the style you're shooting for?

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6 minutes ago, Jdub said:

that is a lot of beer. more than i would be able to drink for sure. what's the style you're shooting for?

Drinkable lager. I aint drinking it really. Its for two different get togethers that I always provide beer for. Im gonna add raspberry and jalapeño to one keg. Sounds fun

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8 hours ago, Creeps McLane said:

Drinkable lager. I aint drinking it really. Its for two different get togethers that I always provide beer for. Im gonna add raspberry and jalapeño to one keg. Sounds fun

 

That's my favorite style of lager!  😜

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So 3 beers into the evening while grilling a flank steak, I thought its going to rain and be cooler tomorrow so you should brew!

Good idea, except you've had 3 brews and now you're weighing grains and brewing salts, hooking up pump and controller stuff.

Brewing a hoppy Wit to have a change of pace from pale ales.

Crap, I'm whipped from golf and heat, and hope my hasty prep will do for a morning brew session.

Think I'll add some extra coffee for the morning session. Hitting the rack now.

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damn..i have a Neptune Pale Ale that I have all the stuff for, but it's just too stinking hot here in NTX right now! I would move somewhere else in a few years, but we have too much freedom here in Texas! maybe a couple of months "brewing vacation" in a few years when I'm an empty nester? just thinking out loud and planning my life, sorry.

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1 hour ago, Jdub said:

damn..i have a Neptune Pale Ale that I have all the stuff for, but it's just too stinking hot here in NTX right now! I would move somewhere else in a few years, but we have too much freedom here in Texas! maybe a couple of months "brewing vacation" in a few years when I'm an empty nester? just thinking out loud and planning my life, sorry.

I'm already looking forward to my next brew day. It's hot as hell here, but I don't care! I just gotta come up with creative ways to get the wort down to pitching temp. I have my fermentation fridge and kegerator indoors here, so that's an added bonus. I spend a lot of time sweating my rump off in the garage anyway, so might as well do it while brewing! We are already empty nesters, so I hope to brew more while here. The only downfall is the wife being out of work, making money a little tighter here. Even more reason to save money brewing my own!

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1 hour ago, Big Sarge said:

I'm already looking forward to my next brew day. It's hot as hell here, but I don't care! I just gotta come up with creative ways to get the wort down to pitching temp. I have my fermentation fridge and kegerator indoors here, so that's an added bonus. I spend a lot of time sweating my rump off in the garage anyway, so might as well do it while brewing! We are already empty nesters, so I hope to brew more while here. The only downfall is the wife being out of work, making money a little tighter here. Even more reason to save money brewing my own!

Havent ruined my own batch yet but I know what you mean. One nose wipe, or leg scratch while harvesting and your next 6-8 hours of labor could all be ruined. Plus any equipment. However, some strands really dont get good until the 3-4 pitch. Just sayin

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1 hour ago, Big Sarge said:

I'm already looking forward to my next brew day. It's hot as hell here, but I don't care! I just gotta come up with creative ways to get the wort down to pitching temp. I have my fermentation fridge and kegerator indoors here, so that's an added bonus. I spend a lot of time sweating my rump off in the garage anyway, so might as well do it while brewing! We are already empty nesters, so I hope to brew more while here. The only downfall is the wife being out of work, making money a little tighter here. Even more reason to save money brewing my own!

I just need 3 bags of ice. I use a wort chiller and submersible pump in a cooler. Works like a charm. Just a pain in the ass messing with it. 
 

I know. I could brew indoors and I have. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a nice chilly morning to brew outside? This fall for sure. 

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48 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

Havent ruined my own batch yet but I know what you mean. One nose wipe, or leg scratch while harvesting and your next 6-8 hours of labor could all be ruined. Plus any equipment. However, some strands really dont get good until the 3-4 pitch. Just sayin

I've been reading up on top cropping Kveik yeast. I don't know if I'm there yet. 

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37 minutes ago, Jdub said:

I just need 3 bags of ice. I use a wort chiller and submersible pump in a cooler. Works like a charm. Just a pain in the ass messing with it. 
 

I know. I could brew indoors and I have. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a nice chilly morning to brew outside? This fall for sure. 

I've been harvesting ice from the ice machine in shopping bags and putting them in the deep freezer. I think my adjustment of pre chilling the CF water before cooling the wort on the way to the fermenter will be better than trying to cool the whole kettle during the whirlpool. 

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On 8/25/2020 at 9:31 PM, Jdub said:

I just need 3 bags of ice. I use a wort chiller and submersible pump in a cooler. Works like a charm. Just a pain in the ass messing with it. 
 

I know. I could brew indoors and I have. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a nice chilly morning to brew outside? This fall for sure. 

I've brewed twice using the @Jdub method and start off using ground water thru my chiller while whirpooling my hops and then switch to the ice bags and that'll bring it down to pitch temps. Works great even in our summer heat.

However, I have avoided brewing cause its not much fun this time of year, but I'm going to brew a batch of Altbier next week as my Octoberfest brew.

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48 minutes ago, Cato said:

I've brewed twice using the @Jdub method and start off using ground water thru my chiller while whirpooling my hops and then switch to the ice bags and that'll bring it down to pitch temps. Works great even in our summer heat.

However, I have avoided brewing cause its not much fun this time of year, but I'm going to brew a batch of Altbier next week as my Octoberfest brew.

I'm brewing an Altbier next as well. I'll keg the pale ale today and hopefully will find time to brew it this weekend. If not, I can probably carve out time this week. I'd like to get it going soon, so I can lager it for awhile as I drink the pale ale. 

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2 hours ago, Cato said:

I've brewed twice using the @Jdub method and start off using ground water thru my chiller while whirpooling my hops and then switch to the ice bags and that'll bring it down to pitch temps. Works great even in our summer heat.

However, I have avoided brewing cause its not much fun this time of year, but I'm going to brew a batch of Altbier next week as my Octoberfest brew.

Nice! i still have a little Altbier left in one of my kegs. that was a good one. May step up and brew a kitchen batch this week. it's literally like 106 deg here right now. heat wave for a few more days.

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For my next Pale or IPA, next in line after my Altbier.

20200901_130439.jpg

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Long Story:

 

Two saturdays (brew day) ago, I was really tired.  Sunday, even more tired.  Monday, tickle in my throat.  Tuesday, sore throat.  Wednesday, I left work.  Theres about 400 signs posted saying that if youre sick, they dont want you there.  Got tested for Covid that day.  Thursday off while I waited for results, Friday I stayed home even though I knew I was negative but they didnt...  

 

Monday, went into work.  Actually got walked out because I still had "symptoms". Told not to come back until I am symptom free.  So I took today, Tuesday off as well since Im still coughing up shit and throat is a little scratchy.  Just got off the phone with my boss, told me not to come in tomorrow and he'll call me tomorrow to discuss what Thursday holds.

 

So, my work is telling me to stay home.  Allegedly people are mad that I even tried to come back Monday despite a negative Covid test.  This is a place where I told my supervisor I was sick and was going straight to the ER while im almost in tears and had almost fainted a few moments before and all he told me was "go take a shit, youll feel better.".  The same place that punishes you for calling in sick by forcing you to work later on Fridays.  Now my boss is like "under no circumstance do we want you here if youre sick". "If youre trying to come back for financial reasons, we will give you a pay day loan". 

 

I mean, Im glad Im being encouraged to stay home if I am not well.  However, I never thought Id be forced to stay home like this.  Im sure things will calm down in November, but hopefully a little bit of this concern for the employees health stays. 

 

And honestly, Ive put it off long enough.  Freaking 7 days off and I havent brewed!!!! That changes tomorrow.  If not right now!

 

Oh and I get to see my boys off to their first days of school tomorrow!

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24 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

Long Story:

 

Two saturdays (brew day) ago, I was really tired.  Sunday, even more tired.  Monday, tickle in my throat.  Tuesday, sore throat.  Wednesday, I left work.  Theres about 400 signs posted saying that if youre sick, they dont want you there.  Got tested for Covid that day.  Thursday off while I waited for results, Friday I stayed home even though I knew I was negative but they didnt...  

 

Monday, went into work.  Actually got walked out because I still had "symptoms". Told not to come back until I am symptom free.  So I took today, Tuesday off as well since Im still coughing up shit and throat is a little scratchy.  Just got off the phone with my boss, told me not to come in tomorrow and he'll call me tomorrow to discuss what Thursday holds.

 

So, my work is telling me to stay home.  Allegedly people are mad that I even tried to come back Monday despite a negative Covid test.  This is a place where I told my supervisor I was sick and was going straight to the ER while im almost in tears and had almost fainted a few moments before and all he told me was "go take a shit, youll feel better.".  The same place that punishes you for calling in sick by forcing you to work later on Fridays.  Now my boss is like "under no circumstance do we want you here if youre sick". "If youre trying to come back for financial reasons, we will give you a pay day loan". 

 

I mean, Im glad Im being encouraged to stay home if I am not well.  However, I never thought Id be forced to stay home like this.  Im sure things will calm down in November, but hopefully a little bit of this concern for the employees health stays. 

 

And honestly, Ive put it off long enough.  Freaking 7 days off and I havent brewed!!!! That changes tomorrow.  If not right now!

 

Oh and I get to see my boys off to their first days of school tomorrow!

That's what matters... Enjoy it! And brew!

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47 minutes ago, Big Sarge said:

That's what matters... Enjoy it! And brew!

This!!!

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Got in a shipment from MRB yesterday, so revised my schedule:

 

-  Semi-SMASH
-  Flatiron Trail Ale
-  Crafty Bitch Zythos
-  Egocentric Jerk
-  Pint of Sunshine Belgian Ale
-  Hidden Lake Amber Ale
-  Santa Rita Pale Ale
-  Lucky Charms Stout
 

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Got a little overzealous and hit the road to the LHBS, only to find out it is closed on Tuesdays. I'll likely go tomorrow though. I'm on the lookout for the new Lallemand Philly Sour yeast, so hopefully they have it. I'm planning a Berliner Weisse with it. 

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Just bought:

50lbs vienna

50lbs pale malt

12lbs acidulated 

12lbs munich

 

gonna start doing smash beers. Empty the hops in the freezer. 

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1 hour ago, Creeps McLane said:

Just bought:

50lbs vienna

50lbs pale malt

12lbs acidulated 

12lbs munich

 

gonna start doing smash beers. Empty the hops in the freezer. 

Soooo...which hops are in the freezer??

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i need to get to brewing. been a lazy butt lately when it comes to brewing plus I want the weather to be a bit cooler for outside brewing. and i started a business this year and that has taken most of my time as it should. still have 2 on tap in the keezer, but they're about to run out. just my friday rant, sorry!

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19 hours ago, Big Sarge said:

Soooo...which hops are in the freezer??

Everything west of the silver packs are unopened. 

2C421EC5-7C5D-4AEF-9CD8-91ED56C97EBD.jpeg

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25 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

Everything west of the silver packs are unopened. 

 

And you think 100lbs of malt is enough?

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Just now, Big Sarge said:

And you think 100lbs of malt is enough?

I also have 10 lbs caramunich

10 lbs carafa II

5 lbs flaked oats

15 lbs roasted barley 

5 lbs victory 

7 lbs rye malt

30 lbs white wheat

possibly 22 lbs of acidulated. I think I double ordered that one

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1 hour ago, Creeps McLane said:

I also have 10 lbs caramunich

10 lbs carafa II

5 lbs flaked oats

15 lbs roasted barley 

5 lbs victory 

7 lbs rye malt

30 lbs white wheat

possibly 22 lbs of acidulated. I think I double ordered that one

Party at @Creeps McLane's house!!

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Not sure what I want to tackle for my next brew. My inventory of specialty grains and wheat were okay, but needed some staple base malts which were pretty depleted. Coming in tomorrow are 2lb C-40, 3lb Munich, 5lb Briess 2 row, 10lb Golden Promise, 5 lb Pilsen. 

 

Bottling a Northwest IPA style at the end of the week, so kinda leaning towards a Golden Ale but need to check my hops inventory and likely that will point me in the right direction.

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1 hour ago, Cato said:

Not sure what I want to tackle for my next brew. My inventory of specialty grains and wheat were okay, but needed some staple base malts which were pretty depleted. Coming in tomorrow are 2lb C-40, 3lb Munich, 5lb Briess 2 row, 10lb Golden Promise, 5 lb Pilsen. 

 

Bottling a Northwest IPA style at the end of the week, so kinda leaning towards a Golden Ale but need to check my hops inventory and likely that will point me in the right direction.

Winter is coming.... Brew accordingly. 

I have an imperial coffee stout in the queue, specifically for that reason. 

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I have a new pellet smoker that is pretty much amazing. I am also a fan of peated (Smokey) scotch. What if I put some grains on a cookie sheet in the smoker for a while for a low temp smoke? Maybe a smoked ipa? Is that gross? Or would that be remotely interesting? Should I just stick with ribs?

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10 hours ago, Jdub said:

I have a new pellet smoker that is pretty much amazing. I am also a fan of peated (Smokey) scotch. What if I put some grains on a cookie sheet in the smoker for a while for a low temp smoke? Maybe a smoked ipa? Is that gross? Or would that be remotely interesting? Should I just stick with ribs?

 

If you do this, I look forward to reading about the process, the brew, and the end result.

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17 hours ago, Cato said:

Not sure what I want to tackle for my next brew. My inventory of specialty grains and wheat were okay, but needed some staple base malts which were pretty depleted. Coming in tomorrow are 2lb C-40, 3lb Munich, 5lb Briess 2 row, 10lb Golden Promise, 5 lb Pilsen. 

 

Bottling a Northwest IPA style at the end of the week, so kinda leaning towards a Golden Ale but need to check my hops inventory and likely that will point me in the right direction.

Right, I usually check my inventory of hops and yeast first when trying to decide what to brew.  I'm waiting for you to brew a killer German Dunkel or Schwarzbier!  My next recommendation would be a Czech Lager...   

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2 hours ago, Bonsai & Brew said:

Right, I usually check my inventory of hops and yeast first when trying to decide what to brew.  I'm waiting for you to brew a killer German Dunkel or Schwarzbier!  My next recommendation would be a Czech Lager...   

Hmm, a Scharwzbier would be interesting. I had the authentic when I was in Germany a few years back.

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