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age 52
visits member for 1 year, 9 months
seen Jan 17 at 20:27
Hacking Java for money, Erlang for knowledge

Jan
17
comment Bottling Rhythm and efficiency
My daughter helps me. She fills the bottles and I cap and store them. She also helps sanitize (I have a vinator and drying rack that I expanded so it holds a full batch worth of bottles). It goes pretty quickly. Do you have any interested friends or family members you could recruit to set up an assembly line?
Oct
1
comment First time without a kit
If you use a grain bag, don't do what I did and tie it off close to the grain. I had a packed mass of grain and the water didn't circulate through it well, and I missed my OG by almost ten points because of the resulting poor efficiency.
Oct
1
comment Too long in Primary Fermentation?
I've heard that autolysis is usually only a problem in commercial breweries, because the weight of hundreds of gallons of beer focused on a small yeast cake in a conical fermenter will actually kill the yeast.
Oct
1
comment Adding cherries to an imperial stout
I'd also recommend pasteurizing any fruit before you add it to your beer. Heat it to 170, cover, remove from the heat and let it sit for five minutes. The go ahead and put it in your secondary and rack on top of it.
Oct
1
comment What is the correct way to sanatise plastic pet bottles?
Most no-rinse sanitizers only work when they're wet, so you want to bottle before the sanitizer dries.
Jun
5
comment Oxidization during transfer
On my second batch I transferred to secondary and left the end of the siphon hose dangling a good 6-8" above the bottom of the carboy, and didn't realize it until I'd transferred about a gallon. I got a fair amount of bubbles, but the brew turned out just fine. So there's hope!
Jun
3
comment Why an erlynmeyer flask?
@DougEdey: I'll bet you have -- Pyrex measuring cups. They may not be laboratory-grade, but they're certainly thermal-shock resistant.
Jun
3
comment How long to dry hop, then when to bottle and taste?
You don't have to wait that long before tasting, I typically crack open one of my brews after only a week. They're carbed enough to enjoy, and it's fun to taste the way they change as they age.
Dec
17
comment How do you prevent boil-overs?
+1 for blowing on it. I did this in a panic once and was amazed that it worked. Don't know if it's a function of my pot shape (it's wider than it is tall) but all it takes is blowing on it for 2-3 seconds and it's under control. When I had a smaller pot I could snatch it off the heat fairly easily, but now I'm doing full-volume boils in a 10G pot so it'd be a bit more challenging.
Dec
17
comment What are the easiest and hardest commercial beer bottles to re-use for homebrew?
The bulk of my bottles originally came with either Steam or Porter in them, and they're the only ones I have trouble with. I usually wind up snapping the neck on one of them every batch I bottle.
Oct
24
comment Make a kit brew better?
If you're going to add DME, then you'll need to add hops to maintain the balance, and those hops should be added at the beginning of the boil. For a pound of DME I'd suggest half an ounce of EKG, with another ounce at five minutes. If you're doing a full-volume boil, add the DME at the beginning. If you're just doing a 2-3 gallon boil, you can add it at flameout.
Oct
16
comment A way get scum out when making mead without boiling?
I've used a paint strainer for BIAB brewing and they're much more porous than a dishtowel. If you use a "flour sack"-type towel, they're practically lint-free. I'm guessing a paint strainer would trap 90% of the scum, but not all.
Oct
15
comment Cleaning Fermenter
I find that sticking a shop rag or other smallish bit of cloth in the carboy with some PBW or OxyClean and some warm water does wonders for getting the gunk out.
Oct
8
comment Do I need to rack to a new vessel for a secondary (fruit) fermentation
@alsothings: Note that John Palmer has reversed his earlier view on secondaries; pick up the current (third) edition of How To Brew for his current recommendation.
Oct
4
comment Stuck Mash — New LHBS
I have heard that it makes conversion go faster, but I don't really know. Maybe they're catering to the BIAB crowd?
Oct
3
comment Is hop harvesting before first frost necessary?
Really? I thought people stored their hops in the freezer. Or is it a repeated freeze/thaw cycle that does it?
Aug
30
comment Small Space & Apartment Brewing: Mashing
Just be sure your oven works properly at low temps. My old oven thermostat was only really accurate between 325 and 425. I can't even set a temp below 170 on my current oven.
Jul
25
comment Brew In A Bag one-gallon batch?
Your brew kettle doesn't have to be stainless, aluminium works just as well and is often cheaper. See if you have a restaurant supply store in your area. You can also use paint strainer bags for a grain bag ($3 for 3 bags at a home center).
Jul
23
comment All grain - is full wort boil absolutely necessary?
They BOIL in a plastic bucket? How does that work? Some kind of heating element suspended in the center?
Jul
23
comment Brew In A Bag one-gallon batch?
I actually just picked up one of the BBS kits this weekend, and I'm going to BIAB sometime this week. As far as I can tell, all I need to do is put the grains in a bag and then drop that bag into five quarts of water. Mash for about an hour at 152, remove the bag, then boil as directed. Certainly seems easy enough, hopefully everything works out.