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Feb
13
answered Heating Methods
Feb
9
answered How do you make your own recipe?
Feb
9
answered Appropriate aging technique for high OG beers
Feb
7
comment Is it ever unsafe to drink an aged beer?
The relatively low pH of beer, combined with the presence of alcohol, means that beer is not a very easy medium for harmful bacteria to grow. This is not to say that your beer can't "go bad". Just leave your carboy uncovered for a few days outside and see what happens. But "going bad" for beer usually means a harmless (and sometimes delicious) secondary infection from a wild yeast or a roaming bug. Even in the worse case with the dreaded acetobacter turning your beer into vinegar, the resulting liquid is still "safe" to drink (and to put on Fish & Chips, yum!) Hooray beer!!
Feb
6
comment What to look for in a temperature controller
I also like Rebel. Good online shop.
Feb
3
comment What to look for in a temperature controller
No the Thermowell is essentially an extension to the controller probe mounted on what's basically a bung, so that the probe extension reaches does into the fermenting liquid itself. Check out this link: morebeer.com/view_product/16672/beerwinecoffee/…
Feb
2
answered What to look for in a temperature controller
Feb
1
comment Nothing visible happening in fermenter after three and a half days - what should I do?
Yep, Scum + yeasty smell = everything is fine.
Jan
30
comment Bottling high Alcohol beer
Because the alcohol level of your beer is 10.6%, so the T-58 will still be viable. Beyond that, sprinkling in 1 packet of dry yeast will be much easier than making a starter with liquid. However, if you are already planning to culture up some more Wyeast Belgian Abby for another starter/beer, then you can use that. I just wouldn't invest in a fresh pack of it plus the DME for the starter then a packet of T-58 is cheaper/easier.
Jan
30
comment Why is my starting gravity low?
Even with kits, its always good to keep a few pounds of Light Dry Malt Extract on hand for yeast starters and quick gravity modifications. I do All Grain exclusively, but still keep some LDME around for these purposes.
Jan
30
comment Secondary fermentaton objectives
Bears hate sediment in their bottles. And angry bears find homebrewers delicious, as we are already pre-marinated with booze. So it's pretty important to keep the bears happy.
Jan
30
comment Batch carbonation vs bottle carbonation
Yep, if you really can't stand the sediment in the bottles the ONLY way to get around that is to force carbonate a keg with C02, and then use a beer gun device to fill the bottles.
Jan
30
comment Why is my starting gravity low?
Going by tradition, British beers are mashed around 1-1.5 qt/lb, which could be considered "thick". By contrast, German and Belgian beers are mashed "thin", from 1.5-2.5+ qt/lb. Thicker mashes leave more dextrinous wort, whereas thinner mashes dry the final beer out more. Efficiency typically goes up the thinner you mash, to a point. You can mash as high as 3 qt/lb (Brew In a Bag Technique) without any problems in the final beer.
Jan
30
comment Why is my starting gravity low?
Per my answer "simply throw in an extra 1-2 pounds of base malt". Or a pound or so of dry malt extract, which is what I do if my gravity seems off. I know where the 5gal point is in my brew kettle, so I'll pull a sample when I hit 5gal and adjust as needed by adding some dry extract.
Jan
27
answered Why is my starting gravity low?
Jan
26
answered Bottling high Alcohol beer
Jan
24
comment Do I truly need a wort chiller?
My all grain batches boil down to about 4.5gal, so you could do this exact technique with all grain as well. If you are concerned about waste, another good technique is to use a wort chiller in conjunction with a recirculating pump and a bag of ice.
Jan
24
comment Do I truly need a wort chiller?
"A wort chiller is a .. necessary... investment" - My last 20+ batches of all grain have been done with the No Chill method. A chiller is great, but not necessary by any means.
Jan
19
comment First batch. Tons of bubbling first day and half, little to none now
Indeed. As a beer warms, the amount of C02 that can stay in suspension in the liquid decreases, thus producing bubbles in the airlock. A lot of people rack to secondary and see bubbles from the off-gassing and assume fermentation has started again.
Jan
19
comment Risk/Reward Question: Should you leave the lid off while chilling wort that is high in DMS?
FWIW, I do No Chill, which is an entirely different beast, but a hard 75-90 min boil seems to boil away all the DMS of the Pilsner malts I use, and I've done several lagers with Pilsner as the base.