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visits member for 4 years
seen Jul 23 at 10:53

Jun
11
comment Remove smell from barrel
I'm with Sander--although I also haven't tried it with brewing equipment and there's a chance you'll get some citrus scent. Maybe time for a hefe? :D
Jun
11
comment first stage beer seems slow (stopped?)
Also, unrelated, but you could try batch-priming rather than adding the sugar directly to the bottle. To batch prime you measure your priming sugar for the entire batch and dissolve it into a small amount of boiling water, then cool it and add it to the finished beer, gently stir, and bottle from there. It helps ensure more consistent carbonation and also sterilizes and fully dissolves the sugar. If you try it be sure to rack your beer off the trub before adding the sugar-water--since you need to give it a gentle stir you don't want trub on the bottom or you'll be adding it to your bottles.
Jun
11
comment first stage beer seems slow (stopped?)
You can take your OG reading after cooling the wort and pitching the yeast. Your FG reading is whatever gravity your fermentation stops at before bottling.
Jun
11
comment first stage beer seems slow (stopped?)
No problem. Gravity readings basically measure sugar-levels, so the FG (final gravity) is very dependent on what you're brewing. A dry and strong beer can actually finish below 1.000 (I've heard, never seen) and sweet beers can finish above 1.010. You'll also likely see OG's and FG's listed on recipes which give you a good way to double-check if you brewed accurately. If you miss your OG you can adjust your wort (a bit) by adding more sugars or water (boiled, of course). The difference between a OG and FG will also tell you the alcohol level.
Jun
11
comment Will this fermenter explode?
I'd second this. Contamination typically happens when particulate falls in from above (this isnt specific to beer), so loosely covering it should be fine until the fermentation slows.
Nov
30
comment How can I permanently mark my carboys?
yep, the outside gets cleaned too--there's usually dust and some dried on wort
Nov
28
comment What's a good small-batch fermentation vessel?
Sure you could--there's two small notches in the "keg" that prevent it from sealing. Fill the notches, add a rubber gasket to the lid, and install an airlock. IMO it's not necessary, but it wouldn't be much effort if you really wanted it.
Nov
21
comment What's a good small-batch fermentation vessel?
@Ell and you could modify the Mr Beer fermenter to use an airlock. Personally I just place the whole kit inside a medium-sized cooler; which allows you to keep all light out and cool the fermenter using 20oz bottles of frozen water. It's quite effective.
Nov
21
comment What's a good small-batch fermentation vessel?
Mr Beer's fermenter has worked well for me--it's not ideal but I've never had an infected batch. It's approximately 2.5 gallons and has a spout which you can bottle from directly. Overall it's a decent, inexpensive option--however I use my 3 gallon carboys much more often.
Nov
21
comment Homebrewing and Arduino
It seems one very useful sensor would be a specific-gravity sensor. Googling turns up several prototypes, but I couldn't find any commercially available solutions. Being able to remotely track the gravity would allow early intervention of stuck fermentation, and also allow comparisons of fermentation rates between different batches of the same recipes.
Nov
20
comment Can I rescue a batch that may not have had enough water at its start?
Good tip, I just checked it and have it warmed to 70 with perhaps a very slow bit of airlock activity. I'll restir it now that it's warm.
Nov
20
comment Can I rescue a batch that may not have had enough water at its start?
I just updated the question to saw where this thought came from; however I think it's just a stuck fermentation with a highly flocculant yeast. I've stirred the cake and raised the temperature to 70 to try and restart it
Oct
24
comment How to keep your head on an oatmeal porter?
Did it pour with some head, then fall immediately? How many volumes of CO2 did you carbonate it to?
Oct
23
comment What can I do to ensure my high OG wort ferments well?
I ended up brewing the first 3 gallons with about 40% of the fermentables, pitching, then topping it off to 5 gallons (with the remainder of fermentables) at high krausen. It was probably unnecessary, but it ended up working out well as I used my stove for the boil and it wouldn't have been able to handle the full 5 gallons. Next batch, however, will be a single batch with a larger yeast starter :)
Oct
20
comment Are some types of beers easier to brew than others?
A good way to think about brewing is that you're really making a yeast-farm, and the yeast are making your beer. A good strain of yeast + good food for them == great beer
Oct
20
comment Bottle Sizes Smaller than 12 Ounces?
Is it carbonated? If not then the bottle might not hold pressure. Otherwise, it looks good as long as you have a bench capper (a hand-held capper likely won't be able to grip the neck on that)
Oct
19
comment Which pieces of brewing equipment seem like a good idea to buy, but are of limited usefulness?
@JackSmith one tip to help prevent plastic from taking on flavors and smells is to always wash them in cold water; particularly while they're dirty
Oct
19
comment Which pieces of brewing equipment seem like a good idea to buy, but are of limited usefulness?
yes and no, they fill a need for those of us with space/budget constraints that prevent us from buying all the needed kegging gear.
Oct
19
comment Suggestions for cheap recipes
it can also be worthwhile to see what your LHBS can sell you at bulk or at discount
Oct
18
comment How many ounces of beer are in the typical 12oz bottle?
good point that the label must be accurate