HOMEBREW Digest #3841 Thu 17 January 2002

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  re: How Did You Start All-Grain?/Overdue note ... ("Steve Alexander")
  First All Grain Batch (ProfessorRoe)
  re: Phil's 8" sparge arm (John Schnupp)
  Re: How Did You Start All-Grain? ("Gregor Zellmann")
  Best of Brooklyn V Homebrew Competition ("Kevin Winn")
  Re: Force Carbonation & Keg Cooling (Jay\) Reeves" <jay666 at bellsouth.net>
  Critiques/Beta test my web page. ("Walter H. Lewis III")
  Re: purchases we wish we hadn't made ("Pannicke, Glen A.")
  RE: how did you start All Grain ("Steven Parfitt")
  RE: Phil's 8" sparge arm ("Paul Kensler")
  Re: How Did You Start All-Grain? (John DeCarlo)
  RE:New Thread- purchases we wish we hadn't made.................. ("Leonard, Phil")
  Re: Higher gravity problems. (John DeCarlo)
  high gravity brews (Marc Sedam)
  "Super" IPAs (Paul Shick)
  my first AG recipe (Marc Sedam)
  Re: How Did You Start All-Grain? ("Pete Calinski")
  Re: Sister Star IPA (Demonick)
  Raspberry flavoring (stewart.pounds)
  Re: purchases we wish we hadn't made (Demonick)
  going all grain (carlos benitez)
  RE:  How Did You Start All-Grain? (Mark Kempisty)
  Purchases we wish we hadn't made.................. ("Houseman, David L")
  Cleaning soda kegs and hops (Jeff)
  First All-Grain / Buyer's Remorse (mohrstrom)
  Ass-cendent Nuances (mohrstrom)
  First all grain set up/Sister Star of the Sun (Dave Kerr)
  Sister Star of the Sun (Bill Tobler)
  Keep Your Powder Dry (mohrstrom)
  Meadllennium V - Call for entries ("Donald D. Lake")
  Re: How Did You Start All-Grain? (Dan.Stedman)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 00:12:22 -0500 From: "Steve Alexander" <steve-alexander at worldnet.att.net> Subject: re: How Did You Start All-Grain?/Overdue note ... Dan Wenger writes ... >So what I'm asking the collective, is to wax historical on *your* first >all-grain system. What was your first setup? Did it work? What is your >advice for a super cheap, relatively simple, but somewhat effective AG >system? My first AG system was like your suggestion, Dan. A zapap (2 - 5gal buckets, one with holes drilled thru bottom). The mash came off fine,but the zapap stuck soundly. Maybe the holes were too small, maybe some of the grist was overcrushed. I emptied the sieve, drilled more holes while the mash waited, and tried again and ended up with about 4 gal of semi-clear wort at about 1.035 (way low of target). The rest of the process worked well and the flavor was definitely superior to the extract brews I had been making. Did it work ? Not well really, but well enough to tell me I should go further. Also the 2 bucket system is as cheap as it gets. With a properly made one and a little practice you can get results as good as any other system which doesn't use pump recirculation. For more advanced systems I'm enamoured of insertion manifolds and also RIMS. Speaking of Klein bottles and other manifolds .... ===== John Palmer was kind enough to send me a copy of "How to Brew", 2nd ed. a few months ago and I've been too busy to brew, much less read about brewing until this past month. John's book is an expansion of his "How to Brew" eBook at http://www.howtobrew.com/ . If you like the stuff on his website you'll love the 2nd edition hardcopy. I've always liked John's friendly and practical style of writing, both on HBD and in his brewing articles, but the organization of the book is notable. One difficulty when writing about HB is that the audience is at all differing skill and knowledge levels, and it's tempting when writing about the basics to start explaining the background information - and suddenly your in deep technical issues with many open questions. It's a mistake I regularly make. John has somehow avoided this pitfall by presenting details as they are needed but not before. The first section covers the basics through extract brewing, the second section covers partial mash and the third covers all-grain brewing. Any of these first three sections (225 pp total) could easily stand alone as a guide on its subject. There is development from basics to the more complex, but there isn't a lot of cross-referencing between. Section 4 covers style, recipe design and troubleshooting. A 58 page appendix covers several technical topics and home-built hardware issues in great detail. When he sent the book, John asked me if I considered it a beginners' book. It is in the sense that I wouldn't hesitate to hand this book to someone considering a first brew, a first partial mash or a first all-grain and expect a good outcome. It is complete and direct and detailed enough for use by beginners. OTOH this book also covers more advanced topics. Some methods, like decoction, are given short tho' competent coverage, while others more current topics like no-sparge, first wort hopping and hopping calculation are given substantial coverage. It seems to strike the right balance between "too basic" and "too complex" topics and attacks the issues that arise repeatedly on HBD headlong with a practical approach. As regular HBDers would expect of John, the appendix on brewing metallurgy is excellent, covering everything from welding to yeast metallic ion reqs in the same breath. The other unparalleled appendix topic is lauter design and construction. There is a detailed practical manifold design that would make an excellent cooler/lauter unit. This is integrated with a nicely graphical coverage of John's original fluid flow grainbed work and experiments (these were presented on HBD some months ago). This is absolutely the best coverage I've seen in print on lauter design/fluid-flow issues, far beyond what you'll find in M&BS and Kunze's presentations, yet tailored to the practical issues of HB level hardware design. John has a book with almost encyclopedic coverage of HB issues yet it gives sufficient detail of the majority of topics for direct practical application. A great practical resource for HBing IMO. -Steve Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 02:41:37 EST From: ProfessorRoe at cs.com Subject: First All Grain Batch I had the great fortune to be guided by my father, who was a master home brewer, and smart enough to know just what level of complexity I was ready for after brewing 3 or 4 extract kits ... which were all fine. I wanted to brew a light lager, hard to do properly with extracts-or at least that was my excuse. I used the "easy masher" installed in the bottom of a 7.5 gallon SS brew kettle on my Coleman stove for the mash, then put a plastic saucer on top of the grain bed and did the "slip and slide" lauter with the sparge water in a pot on top of a milk crate on my kitchen counter, gravity fed into the "easy masher" kettle on the counter then gravity fed to the primary fermenter pail on a chair. Worked absolutely flawlessly, was effortless and satisfying, got the proper calculated extraction, chilled, pitched and made a good Pilsner. JR. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 00:54:07 -0800 (PST) From: John Schnupp <johnschnupp at yahoo.com> Subject: re: Phil's 8" sparge arm Gene is having problems with his sparge arm, >I have a three level brew tree and I am using a 8" Phil's sparge arm. My >problem is that my sparge arm stops turning when I'm trying to sparge. I >don't know if it defective or if I just don't have enough gravity drop from >my HLT to force it to turn. If the arm spins freely "dry" it should work with water flowing thru it. You do have the plugs in each end don't you. The water should be exiting the holes at an angle. From there physics takes over (Newton's 3rd Law) and the arm spins. If the water is coming straight down then the arm will not spin. Maybe you have a defective one. If that is the case I'm sure Dan will work with you to get you a good one. ===== John Schnupp, N3CNL ??? Hombrewery [560.2, 68.6] Rennerian Georgia, VT 95 XLH 1200, Horse with no Name Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 11:00:11 +0100 From: "Gregor Zellmann" <gregor at blinx.de> Subject: Re: How Did You Start All-Grain? Hey this thread is fun. There seem to be so many ways to do all grain brews. I am brewing my 40th batch in my first ag setup next Saturday. Thought about the design for quite a while and also got a lot of input and advice from brewing buddies. I still use 2 50 litre sanke beer kegs each cut open and with a valve attached close to the bottom as my main vessels. I use another 10 litre ss pot for heating sparge water. My batch sizes are usually 40-45 litres. I mash and boil on my big balcony. I am a kettle masher. I mash in the grains in one of the big pots and can do as many steps as I like by carefully applying direct heat from my propane burner. I built a copper pipe manifold for lautering sparging. It is screwed inside to the opening of the keg which holds the valve on the outside. When mashing it is folded to the side of the pot, so that I can also stir the bottom of the pot to ensure good heat distribution to the whole mash and to avoid a scorched mash. When I am finished with mashing and attempting to lauter/sparge, I swing the copper manifold down into position with my brewing paddle and I wrap two big foam camping mats around the vessel for heat insulation and attach an insulated lid too. In the meanwhile I have heated the first 10 litres of sparge water on a second propane burner... After having collected half of the wort, I already start heating the wort in the second converted keg. I chill my wort with a self made immersion chiller in the brewing kettle and then start a siphon into the fermenters. I wrapp a ss scrubby around the opening which goes into the kettle, to filter the wort and leave hops and hot and cold break in the kettle. this works very well, as long I use whole hops and not pellets. Aeration of the cold wort, prior to pitching was done by letting the wort splash into the fermenters and by shaking the (plastic) fermenters. (I bought an aquarium pump, filter and aeration stone just recently after I encountered a pretty sluggish fermentation of a high gravity IPA for the first time) This system works really well for me, my efficiency is between 82 and 88% and I brewed many batches of very good beer. But nothing is automated, so I have to stand a lot beside my kettles and stir and check temerature, etc. On the long run I dream of a RIMS or the like. Something that saves me a bit time. cheers Gregor [4247.6, 43.4] Apparent Rennerian On a sidenote: I was a bit disappointed, that I didn't get a single answer on my questions about cloning a Guiness Special Export Stout a few days ago. Did nobody here try to emulate this style? Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 07:12:01 -0500 From: "Kevin Winn" <krewbrew at mindspring.com> Subject: Best of Brooklyn V Homebrew Competition The Malted Barley Appreciation Society will be hosting its fifth annual homebrew competition, Best of Brooklyn V, on February 23, 2002 at the Brooklyn Brewery. This AHA sanctioned event will continue the tradition of providing quality judging and rewarding brewers with a prize for first, second, and third place in each category. There will again be a First Time Contestant's Best of Show. Entries will be due by February 15, and several drop off points will be provided. Visit our website at http://hbd.org/mbas/bob2002.html or contact Kevin Winn at krewbrew at mindspring.com for more information. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 06:14:22 -0600 From: "James \(Jay\) Reeves" <jay666 at bellsouth.net> Subject: Re: Force Carbonation & Keg Cooling >Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2002 22:53:57 -0800 (PST) >From: John Schnupp <johnschnupp at yahoo.com> >Subject: Re: Force Carbonation & Keg Cooling > >dropped to nearly zero at the tap. There are those who say that you >MUST use ONLY beer line. I call BS on that. Any food grade line will >work, *however* the pressure drop will likely not be the same. In fact, >use the quoted pressure drops as guidelines only. Manufacturing >differences batch/batch and manufacturer/manufacturer will surely >result in different specs. John's right, the specs are going to be a major factor whether you can use normal food-grade tubing or not. If you can successfully us the tubing at your local hardware store, great! In my case, I can't because it caused it to foam no matter what and I had to go to the more expensive beer-line to stop the foaming. Several years back when I was "teething" on kegging and dispensing, I spoke with a representative at Rehau in Leesburg, VA about this (they make tubing for various applications - beer being one of them). I was told that the reason for the foaming with the normal food-grade tubing was because there are irregularities that are on the surface walls that are not present in "beer line". These irregularities were creating turbulence and knocking the CO2 out of solution on the way to the tap (a glass full of foam). Beer-line is made to a different spec than normal food-grade tubing - it's surface is much smoother. Another difference in beer-line and normal food-grade tubing is it's ability to not impart a taste in the beer. One thing I noticed about the food-grade tubing I used briefly was that the beer that sat in the lines for an hour or two had a distinctly different taste. You could clear the lines before you pour, but I don't like to waste my hard work like that. So, if you can successfully use food grade tubing, do it, it's cheaper. But if you experience uncontrollable foaming at the tap, that's likely your problem. -Jay Reeves Huntsville, AL Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 08:21:35 -0500 From: "Walter H. Lewis III" <wlewis at alliedlogistics.com> Subject: Critiques/Beta test my web page. I've been hacking at a web page about my HERMS system. Though it isn't officially up I'd appreciate comments from HBD. Take a look at >http://users.ezwv.com/~wlewis/beer/evolution_of_my_herms_system.htm Thanks for your comments. Walt Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 08:55:42 -0500 From: "Pannicke, Glen A." <glen_pannicke at merck.com> Subject: Re: purchases we wish we hadn't made David Craft asks: >"What are some of your equipment >purchase mistakes that you wish you could take back?" >We all have them, though in hind site many of them were things we have >outgrown and don't use or need any more. They may not have been mistakes at >the time, though could we have bypassed them and saved some money. I'd have to say that mine is the two-handled plastic bottle capper. It worked fine, got me through my first few batches, and only occasionally screwed up a cap. The problem is that it only caps bottles of a certain type. Then I got an old bench capper that my father used to bottle root beer with when he was a kid. It caps anything and does not screw up. It was the perfect solution for those wonderful 1/2 liter european bottles used for wheat beers and Belgians. Plus, IT'S MADE OUT OF METAL! I think this post should be balanced with the best purchase also. For this I would have to say that every time I use Primetabs, it brings a smile to my face. All the measuring, preparation and fiddling with priming sugar calculations in the English system of measurement for only a few bottles make me turn purple. But counting is easy. 2 or 3 tabs per bottle and there's no measuring! I can keg and save a few naturally carbonated bottles at the same time. Carpe cerevisiae! Glen A. Pannicke glen at pannicke.net http://www.pannicke.net 75CE 0DED 59E1 55AB 830F 214D 17D7 192D 8384 00DD "I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it short." - Blaise Pascal Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 08:55:47 -0500 From: "Steven Parfitt" <the_gimp98 at hotmail.com> Subject: RE: how did you start All Grain Hmmm.. since we are waxing on starts.. I first actually made wine like many of the HBD members. Back in '69' you had to have a license to brew (from the BATF no less) and my father as "Head of Houshold" was kind enough to humor me. I started with Plumb wine which was nicknamed "Embalming Fluid" by my friends. By '76' I was into extract brewing (Beadle Brew anyone?, Charlie was a much greater help), and continued making (Psuedo)Beer till a bicycling accident in '98' distracted me from my hobby (can't lift a carboy with a broken leg). In November of 2000 a buddy of mine who knew I used to brew recommended I attend the local HBC (State of Franklin Homebrewers), and I was once again hooked. I began reading everything I could get my hands on and was amazed at the differnece in brewing since I had last read anything about it. When I joined the club, I told my fiance that "I'm not really interested in AG, just partial mash." Ha..ha..ha..... Within six months I was working on my AG design, and finished it in June of 2001. So... the upshot is that my first AG was in a converted half-barrel system. Of all recipes to try the first go, I decided on a pLambic. I'm tweaking the recipe for the second batch of pLambic which I hope to start within the week. When the second batch finishes primary, I'm going to rack the first batch to glass aging tanks, and rack the second batch into the plastic fermenters the first was racked out of. I recently converted a 5 gallon Gott style cooler by adding a Zymico Bazooka Screen (NAYAYA)and a valve to it. The Bazooka seems wrok quite well for the two batches I have done so far. I use it to do small test batches. I would recomend the 10 gallon rather than the 5 gallon cooler if you are going that way. The 5 gallon cooler was almost half full when I put 10lbs of grain in it (yield was 5.5 gallons of 1.048 beer). Getting a 1.074 IPA out of it could be touchy. Steven, -75 XLCH- Ironhead Nano-Brewery http://thegimp.8k.com Johnson City, TN 5:47:38.9 S, 1:17:37.5 E Rennerian "Fools you are... who say you like to learn from your mistakes.... I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others and avoid the cost of my own." Otto von Bismarck Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 09:31:06 -0500 From: "Paul Kensler" <pkensler at home.com> Subject: RE: Phil's 8" sparge arm >I have a three level brew tree and I am using a 8" Phil's sparge arm. My >problem is that my sparge arm stops turning when I'm trying to sparge. Gene, This might be a long shot, but it happened to me and might be worth checking out... I hope I can describe this right... My Phil's sparge arm has a little ball of solder at the bottom of the rotating arm - if you look at it, it makes sense because this little ball of solder is what keeps the rotating arm "connected" to the vertical down-pipe. Anyway, that little ball of solder got a little bent out of shape on my sparge arm and slightly crimped up against the arm, preventing it from rotating freely. I gently pulled it downwards with some needlenose pliers, and that fixed the problem. By the way, my sparge arm rotates very easily, even when I have the sparge rate restricted to a slow flow - I have to restrict it to a mere trickle (the water just drips out of the holes) to stop the arm from rotating at all. Hope this helps, Paul Kensler Gaithersburg, MD Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 09:41:48 -0500 From: John DeCarlo <jdecarlo at mitre.org> Subject: Re: How Did You Start All-Grain? Hello, I reaped the benefits of the homebrew community in the early 90s. By then, we had figured out that most of the information in Papazian's books was (how can I say this diplomatically?) sub-optimal. So, I bought some copper tubing already coiled at the hardware store, cut some slots in the bottom, and put it in my stovetop mash/lauter tun. Mashed on the stove and lautered there as well. Note that part of the copper tubing without slots was carefully bent to come out of the mash/lauter tun. When it came time to sparge and collect the liquid, I connected plastic tubing to the copper tubing and started to collect the wort in another pot into which I would dip the wort chiller. A little bit of care to not introduce a lot of HSA, and I was all set. I never got around to a more advanced set up, either. - -- John DeCarlo, My Views Are My Own Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 08:49:44 -0600 From: "Leonard, Phil" <Phil.Leonard at dsionline.com> Subject: RE:New Thread- purchases we wish we hadn't made.................. Mine would be plastic buckets (the ones with spouts on the side) and swing-top bottles. It seems the only thing I use the plastic buckets for now is to store the no longer used swing-top bottles in. Anyone near Kansas City need any swing-top's? Philip - ---------- Internet E-mail Confidentiality Disclaimer ---------- PRIVILEGED / CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION may be contained in this message. If you are not the addressee indicated in this message or the employee or agent responsible for delivering it to the addressee, you are hereby on notice that you are in possession of confidential and privileged information. Any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this e-mail is strictly prohibited. In such case, you should destroy this message and kindly notify the sender by reply e-mail. Please advise immediately if you or your employer do not consent to Internet email for messages of this kind. Opinions, conclusions, and other information in this message that do not relate to the official business of my firm shall be understood as neither given nor endorsed by it. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 09:47:21 -0500 From: John DeCarlo <jdecarlo at mitre.org> Subject: Re: Higher gravity problems. Hello, John_Fraser/User/NWExternal at Nationwide.com writes: >I have had several brews fail to ferment out to the required FG. I have had great success with high gravity brews by swirling the contents of the fermenter several times a day during the first few days of fermentation. It has always resulted in the FG being where the recipe called for. There must be something about the higher gravity worts that makes it harder for enough yeast to stay in suspension - either you need more in suspension than is normal, or they sink faster, or something else. Anyway, empirically swirling has always helped me. I even made the same recipe again under the same circumstances, only adding the step of swirling the contents of the fermenter, and went from a high FG to a normal FG. Others have been able to sanitize a large plastic stick and stir up the fermenter. Because I got my glass fermenter shipped to me, I saved the styrofoam container it was shipped in and always stored the fermenter in the lower half while fermenting. Thus I didn't worry about breaking the glass while swirling. - -- John DeCarlo, My Views Are My Own Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 10:13:10 -0500 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: high gravity brews John Fraser writes of high terminal gravity brews... You've hit the single biggest PITA about brewing with extracts...you have no idea how fermentable the extract is SUPPOSED to be, so you may wind up with higher FGs than you want. Fortunately the solution is pretty easy. Bring the fermenter to a warm place in the house (~70F). Go to any HB supply shop and get some "amylase enzyme" also sold places as "pilsner enzyme". Sprinkle the enzyme in your fermenter (or add drops...some enzyme is sold liquid) and make sure it's dispersed. Sit back and wait! The potential downside of this method is that you can't stop the enzyme from breaking down large sugars/dextrins into fermentable sugars. You *could* wind up with a lower FG than you want too, although anything below 1.010 would be odd. But it's certainly better than 1.030. Cheers! - -- Marc Sedam Chapel Hill, NC Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 10:25:11 -0600 From: Paul Shick <shick at jcu.edu> Subject: "Super" IPAs Hi all, Chris Dodge asks about whether a faithful version of Dave Brockington's "Sister Star of the Sun" IPA will be drinkable with "all those hops." Chris, I've made a few off-the-chart IPAs lately, and I'm firmly convinced that you can make a very drinkable version, even with around 100 IBUs, as long as you provide a firm malt backbone to balance all the bitterness and hop flavor. People who've made versions of Dave's SSOS have estimated the bitterness at 80+ IBUs, which would be undrinkable in a beer with less malt to balance it. My most recent shot in this direction was an attempt motivated by what friends have told me about Moylan's "Double Imperial IPA," which blew them away at the GABF this past fall. Based on their descriptions, I put together the recipe which follows. In it, I was aiming for a "mini-barleywine" IPA, with a ton of maltiness to balance the (ahem) assertive hopping. Past beers done with this in mind have finished a tad on the sweet side, probably because there's so much Munich malt in the grist. To avoid this here, I used the Wyeast 1007 alt yeast, which gives a very dry finish. Here's the recipe: Imperial IPA (10 gallons) 13 lbs Paul's pale ale malt 12 lbs Weissheimer Munich 1 lb Munton's 90L crystal All this mashed with 8.5 gallons filtered water, with 2 tsp gypsum, doughed in at 150F, rest 30 minutes, slowly heating and recirculating to hit 158F at 45 minutes, then 164F at 70 minutes, runoff. Sparge with 172F water with 1.5 tsp 10% phosphoric acid. (This water treatment works for my water, moderate-moderately hard Cleveland municipal plant.) (With this much Munich in the grist, don't dough in at too high a temperature, or you'll end up with an overly-sweet beer. Remember, alcohol is a bit sweet in its own right.) The hopping schedule: 3 oz Centennial (10.9%) First Wort Hop 4 oz Centennial (10.9%) 60 minutes 1 oz Centennial (10.9%), 2 oz Fuggles (5.4%) 10 minutes 4 oz Fuggles, steep while cooling. (All leaf hops from Freshops.) The yeast was Wyeast 1007 altbier, dregs of batch from a Kolsch. Ferment at 68F-64F for two weeks (in SS conical,) then to carboys at 60F for 2 weeks. (Keg half, bottle half.) This worked out to 10 gallons at OG 1.076, FG 1.018. (I run off very quickly, so my efficiency is a bit lower than it might be. I actually brewed 11+ gallons, but lost a fair bit of wort in this mass of hops. On the other hand, this amount of hops in the kettle is going to cause enough astringency that you want to avoid as much grain husk astringency as you can, so don't oversparge.) The beer is still maturing, but it's shockingly good (at least to me) at this point. Of course, the initial taste is a ton of bitterness and hop flavor, but the malt seems to balance it very nicely. The Tinseth calculation gives an estimate of 101 IBUs, even cvorrecting for the high gravity. More naive estimates go up toward 150 IBUs! After brewing this monster, though, my next effort was a 20-25 IBU Munich Helles, just to bring a little equilibrium back into my life. So, Chris, it's possible to make a balanced beer with tons of IBUs. Assuming you like hops, go for the Brockington recipe. Paul Shick, Cleveland Heights, Ohio Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 10:30:02 -0500 From: Marc Sedam <marc_sedam at unc.edu> Subject: my first AG recipe This is a question akin to "what was your first car"...definitely brings back memories good and bad. I jumped into AG brewing with my sixth batch. My first set of AG equipment was the Zapap lauter tun described in the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing. I drilled a bunch of holes until the drill bit broke. I brewed with this twice, got pissed off, and ordered an Easymasher. The "Easymasher in bucket" approach worked for five years worth of brewing. My brewpot was an enameled cast iron pot which lasted for my first three years. My wife bought me a 7.5gal SS pot which I still use and was only recently replaced with a 15gal pot. I brewed with that first system (total cost ~ $40) for about five years. Worked like a champ. AG brewing can be done on the cheap. - -- Marc Sedam Chapel Hill, NC Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 10:30:09 -0500 From: "Pete Calinski" <pcalinski at iname.com> Subject: Re: How Did You Start All-Grain? Well, I pretty much still do it the way I started. I use plastic buckets for mash, lauter and boil. I have access to 7 gallon plastic buckets. I fit them all with faucets. I prefer the replacement faucets for hot water heaters. They never leak even at boiling temperatures and give finer control for lautering. Cost around $1.65 each plus a PVC fitting on the inside. For mash/lauter, I made a false bottom out of the bottom of a plastic bucket. I used a hot soldering iron to melt holes on a 3/8" x 3/8" grid. Originally it was the bottom of a zapap but it kept sucking air around the top. So, I cut the bottom 1.5" off the inner bucket and use that as a false bottom. The original zapap was a 5 gallon bucket so the outside diameter was slightly smaller than the 7 gallon buckets I now use. I invert the bottom and cut a notch that fits around the inner part of the faucet. That leaves it about 1 1/4" above the bottom of the bucket. I wrap the mash tun with a few revolutions of plastic bubble wrap to keep in the heat. I also stuck some plastic bubble wrap to the lid. Since I use heatsticks: http://hbd.org/pcalinsk/HeatStk3.htm for all my heating and boiling, I can add a little heat to maintain temperature if needed. I can step mash either by adding heat with a heatstick or from a HLT (also a plastic bucket with heatsticks). When the mash is complete, I lauter into another plastic bucket (with a faucet). When I get a few inches of wort in the bucket I drop in a heat stick and start bringing it up to boiling temperature. When the lauter is complete, the wort is near boiling already. I unwrap the mash/lauter tun and wrap the bubble wrap on the boil bucket. Drop in another heatstick and I have a full boil in a few minutes. Add the wort chiller: http://hbd.org/pcalinsk/Chiller.htm to sanitize it during the boil. When the boil is done, I run cold tap water through the chiller. If the tap water isn't cold enough to get to the final temperature I want. I fill the (now cleaned) mash tun with ice and blue ice from the freezer and top off with water. When this water is cold, I switch from tap water to this prechilled water. After chilling, since the boil bucket has a faucet, I just run the wort into the fermenter. I seem to get enough aeration by just letting the wort drizzle 2-3 feet from the boil pot to the fermenter. A nice thing about the plastic buckets is how easy it is to measure volume. I used a magic marker to make rings around the buckets in one gallon increments. I can either see the wort level through the sides of the bucket for darker beers or, for lighter beers, I look in the bucket and move my finger down the outside. I can see the shadow of my finger and when it reaches the liquid level, I see how it lines up with the rings. Seems to work for me. Pete Calinski East Amherst NY Near Buffalo NY *********************************************************** *My goal: * Go through life and never drink the same beer twice. * (As long as it doesn't mean I have to skip a beer.) *********************************************************** Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 07:38:31 -0800 From: Demonick <demonick at zgi.com> Subject: Re: Sister Star IPA Many years ago I had Dave Brockington's Sister Star, brewed by himself. It was one of his batches that won one of his many awards. It was awesome. Yes, it's bitter. Yes, it's hoppy. But, it was good. If you are worried about the hopping levels, cut it in half for the first batch. Flavor perception is not a linear phenomenon. A beer at 100 IBUs will not taste "twice" as hoppy/bitter as one at 50 IBUs. Domenick Venezia Venezia & Company, LLC Maker of PrimeTab (206) 782-1152 phone (206) 782-6766 fax Seattle, WA demonick at zgi dot com http://www.primetab.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 10:37:42 -0500 From: stewart.pounds at gm.com Subject: Raspberry flavoring My wife and hers friends are fond of raspberry flavored ales. I pay $5 for a 4oz bottle of Hoptech flavoring for a batch of all grain ale that the rest of the ingredients only costs about $8 and it drives me crazy. Does any one know of a better deal for this flavoring, I'd be willing to buy it in bulk if necessary. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 07:32:01 -0800 From: Demonick <demonick at zgi.com> Subject: Re: purchases we wish we hadn't made A pump. A magnetical coupled heat resistent food-grade pump. I bought a pump for wort to avoid having to siphon and used it maybe 5 times. What a pain. It was not self-priming and would cavitate on green beer and lose its prime. How do you prime a non-self-priming pump? You siphon. If you buy a pump, get one that is self-priming. BTW - I've added a formulas and code section of the web pages below. Domenick Venezia Venezia & Company, LLC Maker of PrimeTab (206) 782-1152 phone (206) 782-6766 fax Seattle, WA demonick at zgi dot com http://www.primetab.com Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 07:49:08 -0800 (PST) From: carlos benitez <greenmonsterbrewing at yahoo.com> Subject: going all grain Hi All ! Dan wenger asks about going all grain: Like him, I read everything I could find and then made a "mini-mash" tun out of 2 1 gallon plastic buckets to try a partial mash for my first try (cost was minimal -under 10 bucks(US) for the buckts and the valve - This worked, and gave me the oppurtunity to get my feet wet without going all the way under (I was always partial to the baby pool before I joined the swim team...) At this small amount, it really is only worth the effort if you're scared. It does give you an added comfort level but for just a smidge more daring -YOU CAN do the whole batch. From there, I went to brewing outside (swmbo doesn't like the the aroma) on a turkey burner and a converted keg - again I read up on everything I could find and settled on a design similar to Vance Saabe's portable brewery (nayyy) http://www.concentric.net/~vsabbe/portabrew.htm I like the fact that I can roll the whole thing away when I'm done and I have even taken it on the road to brew elswhere (it fits in the back of the pickup) - I really hate priming the pump though... Bottom line is like you I enjoy building gadgets and had almost as much fun building it as brewing with it, and it was nice to have some guidlines to follow - cost was about $450-$500 using cpvc rather than copper... but by all means, two 5 gallon plastic buckets work well and are a LOT cheaper ! Good luck , Go for it! ===== BIBIDI ! Brew It Bottle It Drink It Carlos Benitez - Green Monster Brewing Bainbridge, PA, U.S.A. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 11:00:14 -0500 From: Mark Kempisty <kempisty at pav.research.panasonic.com> Subject: RE: How Did You Start All-Grain? Dan Wenger asks: "So what I'm asking the collective, is to wax historical on *your* first all-grain system. What was your first setup? Did it work? What is your advice for a super cheap, relatively simple, but somewhat effective AG system?" After doing extract for about six years a new co-worker who had been doing AG for two years just kept talking about it. Since he lives only two miles from me, I went over there on brew day and saw what it took to do as well as the process. He had previously convinced me to get a bigger pot (and requisite burner) so all I needed was a Gott cooler and I already had just about everything else traditionally used. We stopped in a Wal-Mart during lunch and there were the coolers, so I was on my way. I made a copper slotted manifold and CPVC bulkhead fitting with ball valve and we brewed my first AG together. He then learned how much easier a ball valve is for lautering, so we've been teaching each other things. Since then I have added a few extra pieces of equipment and haven't used extract except for starters! Take care, Mark Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 10:24:25 -0600 From: "Houseman, David L" <David.Houseman at unisys.com> Subject: Purchases we wish we hadn't made.................. At first I thought, I haven't made any purchases I wish I hadn't made....but then I remembered -- this oak cask I have that I've never used. Thought about putting it out on EBAY, and may still. Holds about 8.5 gallons. Will leak when you first put water in it but does seal up fine; I did that to make sure it was good before I bought this used cask. But I've never got around to using it and it's taking up space in my basement. Yours for only $50...comes with decorative base. Probably best for lambics since I don't know what was in it prior to my possession. This tread could lead to more postings on the HBD flea market. Dave Houseman SE PA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 08:24:47 -0800 (PST) From: Jeff <duckinchicago at yahoo.com> Subject: Cleaning soda kegs and hops I have two questions for the collective. 1. I bought some cornie kegs recently and they have that tell tale coke/root beer type smell. I've tried an overnight soak in PBW, a soak in One-Step, and have had it suggested to soak in a solution of dish soap, but I worry about the clorine content of it. I've heard two things, one is-the smell is there for good, the other is replace the seals and gaskets. Any suggestions?? 2. I bought some magnum hop pellets and they came in a nice sealed vial, but they have a different color than any other pellets I've seen-more of a yellowish, almost brown. Are they bad, or do magnums have a different color than other hops? Any suggestions are much appreciated. Jeff Hertz Glen Ellyn, IL (219.4,264.1) Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 11:42:01 -0500 From: mohrstrom at humphrey-products.com Subject: First All-Grain / Buyer's Remorse Let's kill two avians with just one chunk of rock ... David Craft cranks up the issue of buyer's remorse, and George Fergusson comments in another post: > You can cook up a kit beer in an hour and a > half from start to finish but an all-grain > beer is going to take a good 5-6 hours whether > it's 2 gallons or 10. After observing a couple of all-grain brews done by others, I came to that same realization. When I decided to go all-grain, I gave myself one year to acquire the trappings of a half-barrel brew system. If you tend to dabble in hobbies before moving on to the next thing, ignore this advice. But if you are already a passionate brewer looking to take the next step, don't shortchange yourself on capacity. Buy big enough burners, kettles, etc. the first time around. Conversely, don't rush to unload your smaller pots, carboys, etc. As your interests unfold, you may find that the 20 quart pot is just dandy for doing that turbid mash pLambic. I did. Mark in Kalamazoo Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 11:51:12 -0500 From: mohrstrom at humphrey-products.com Subject: Ass-cendent Nuances SomeDude quotes the dear Mr. Klein: > "Within the carefully nuanced flavors, the solid malt presence > is ascendant" > > Snark! This guy is killing me! How would you like to see that comment on your scoresheet? I had to go out last night and score one these gems for myself. Now, every day, I can giggle along with the rest of you ... Mark in Kalamazoo Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 09:05:30 -0800 (PST) From: Dave Kerr <dave_kerr2001 at yahoo.com> Subject: First all grain set up/Sister Star of the Sun Dan Wenger asked: "What is your advice for a super cheap, relatively simple, but somewhat effective AG system?" I used a Phil's Phalse bottom for the first few years of all-grain brewing 5 gallon batches - cheap, works great, no complaints. When I scaled up to 10 gallon batches using a converted Sanke keg, I bought an EZMasherII - again, no complaints. The converted keg system has the added benefit of ramping up mash temperatures using direct heat. I still use the Phil's for the rare 5 gallon batch. ********************************** Chris Dodge asked for feedback on Sister Star of the Sun- I've brewed about 10 variants of Brockington's SSotS recipe and loved each one. Lately I've moved to using Vienna as the base malt for my IPAs while keeping an aggressive hop schedule using insane amounts of Chinook/Centennial/Cascade at all stages of the boil. Dave Kerr Needham, MA Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 11:06:26 -0600 From: Bill Tobler <WCTobler at brazoria.net> Subject: Sister Star of the Sun Chris, This is by far the best IPA I have every had. Brew it once, and you will brew it again, If you like IPA's. The malt and hop profiles mesh together perfectly. Brew it, and you will enjoy it. Bill Tobler Lake Jackson, TX (1129.7, 219.9) Apparent Rennerian Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 12:32:22 -0500 From: mohrstrom at humphrey-products.com Subject: Keep Your Powder Dry Does anyone have any tips for keeping DME free of lumps and caking? I like to use it to build starters, but hate having to break it up to use it. Geordie-brand DME claim to have a granulated form that doesn't cake. Can anyone verify that. How fermentable is it? Thanks! Mark in Kalamazoo Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 13:37:13 -0500 From: "Donald D. Lake" <dlake at gdi.net> Subject: Meadllennium V - Call for entries Sorry for the late posting but there is still time to gather your Meads and perpare them for entering in this once a year, AHA Sanctioned, Mead-only Competition. Last year's Meadllennium was a tremendous success with almost 80 entries. Each year since its conception, Meadllennium has grown and has quickly becoming the second largest Mead-only Competition in existence. Competition is Saturday, January 26th and will be held at Tim's Wine Market in Down Town Orlando. Entry procedures have been streamlined to make entering the competition as easy as possible. At a minimum, awards will be presented to 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in each category. Additionally, an award will be given for Best of Show and to the Brewer with the most points. There will also be an award for the homebrew club with the most points as well as bonus prizes from Commercial Meaderies that include professionally-made bottles of mead and T-Shirts. The entry deadline is Tuesday, January 22nd. BJCP Style Guidelines are as follows: A. Traditional Mead B. Varietal Honey Traditional Mead C. Cyser (Apple Melomel) D. Pyment (Grape Melomel) E. Other Fruit Melomel F. Metheglin (spice and herb) G. Braggot H. Modified-Experimental - includes styles not covered in above categories. Ship Entries to: Meadllennium V c/o Rockey Markham2247 King John Court Winter Park, Florida 32792 Entries can also be dropped off at Heart's Homebrew Supply in Orlando Awards Ceremony: Sunday, February 3, 2002 at 4:30 PM at the Central Florida Home Brewers monthly meeting (all prizes not presented at the ceremony will be mailed out within one week). For entry forms and style guidelines for Meadllennium V go to www.cfhb.org If you have any questions call the organizer, Ron Bach at 407-696-2738 or email him at bachian at juno.com. Return to table of contents
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 13:15:02 -0600 From: Dan.Stedman at PILLSBURY.COM Subject: Re: How Did You Start All-Grain? Jeff Renner writes: >In 1979 I tried a grain bag per Dave Miller's suggestion, but was >disappointed, so I made a zapap per Charlie Papazian's directions. In 1979 I was 8 years old & would have gotten a spanking had I tried to make beer. :-) I built my first (and current) all-grain system about 3 years ago with the phrase "go big or don't go" in mind. Fortunately, I had been reading the HBD for years before as I was learning to create decent extract brews, so I had a really good idea of how the all-grain process went and which direction to go in regards to 2-tier vs. ?-tier, CFC vs. immersion chiller, oxygenator vs. aquarium pump, MaltMill vs. Valley Mill, etc... So my first all-grain brew was brewed on my two-tier RIMS'ed, Sabco-kettled, propane-fired, Moving Brews pump & quick disconnect'ed, PBS MaxiChiller'ed, Oxygenator'ed brewery. I figured that will all of that cool equipment that I would just be able to crank out one batch after another of stellar beer that my friends would line up to drink. However, "learning valuable lessons" was pretty much my theme for the first year, though I've got it all dialed in now and am down to recipe formulation as my last hurdle before achieving brewing nirvana! Dan in Minnetonka Return to table of contents
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