Monday, February 13, 2006


i've moved

blogs will now be at

I wont be blogging here any more.


a few updates

well - i've done a few updates, to keep my "online presence" current (ya - i'm a dork).
* Removed references to betachat - that "website" is sitting on my old 10 year old AMD-450 (remember those?), on the floor of my basement, and i just dont see myself bringing it back to life any time in the near future. Its also just a pain in the butt to maintain.
* Added BrewBoard to my favorites. I've learned many things here - and if you're interested in homebrewing, start reading!
* Added my myspace link. Ya - this "myspace generation" is a pretty stupid subculture, most popular for people half my age - but it sets up a pretty easy to maintain online presence - which is what i need right now. I *may* consolidate and just move my blogs to there - or atleast the beer related ones. I dont know yet.
* I've removed the Perfect Brewing and Leinie Lodge link. I'm not a big supporter of either company right now, so why take up the space.

Monday, January 23, 2006


Simple Wheat followup

OG: 1.043
should up sparge by .5G to reach volume

should have been:
Mash schedule (Batch): 1.25qt/G
~2.5G / 167.9F

10 min rest schedule (~.8G absorbsion + another .7G to reach half of 6.5G):
~1.5G / near boiling

Sparge schedule (another 3.3 would give 6.5G total, rounded to 3.5):
3.5G / 180F

started heating up the 1.5G immedietly after mash in on stove
started heating up sparge water 15 minutes before mash finish.
wrapped sparge water pot in comforter while draining mash/sparge liquids

success so far!

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Simple Wheat

Strike temp calculator:

CaraPils - .25 lbs
Pale Malt - 3.75 lbs
Wheat Malt - 3.75 lbs

1oz Tettnanger @ 60min (bittering)
1oz Tettnanger @ 1 min (aroma)

Wyeast 1056

Total boil volume: 6G
Final volume: 5G

Mash schedule (Batch): 1.25qt/G
~2.5G / 167.9F

10 min rest schedule:
~1.5G / near boiling

Sparge schedule:
3G / 180F

Notes: follow directions below - spliting sparge into 2 processes. Fill keggle to 5G - 1G should be left over to be used during boil to maintain volume.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Batch sparge - the intro to all grain

1. mash in for an hour, matching the target temp of the recipe using a typical Strike Temperature Calculation (, using 1.25qt/lb water.
1b. Start heating up 1/2 total volume of sparge water to 180.
1c. Get some boiling water ready to for #2 below
2. assume a .1G/lb absorbtion, so do the calculation and stir in whatever you need of boiling water so that extraction will yeild half of the total wort volume you need.
3. Rest for 10 minutes
4. Recirculate until runnings are clear
5. Drain into keggle as quick as the system allows.
6. Stir in 180 (to get it to be approximetly 170) degree sparge water to get 1/4 of your total volume.
7. Rest for 10 minutes
8. Stir again.
9. Recirculate until runnings are clear
10. Drain into keggle as quick as the system allows
11. Stir in 180 (to get it to be approximetly 170) degree sparge water to get 1/4 of your total volume.
12. Rest for 10 minutes
13. Stir again.
14. Recirculate until runnings are clear
15. Drain into keggle as quick as the system allows
16. Continue with the brewing process

Monday, December 19, 2005

So, Saturday morning, i woke up at 4:30am to brew a Bottleworks IPA, pulled from January's BYO magazine. link

I live in IL, 15 mins from the IL/WI border. I have a propane turkey fryer, and a 2 car garage with 1 door, which had to be kept fully open for proper ventalation.. it was COLD!, good thing i have a bunch of outdoorsy hunting gear (long johns, big coat, etc..). hehe. But, 2 cool things happened:

1. Condensation formed on the propane tank, so i knew for the first time since i got it back in the spring how much i had left!
2. I was able to cool the wort by sticking the pot into a snow bank.. took only about a half hour! the only problem i had was, i accidently kicked a little snow into the wort at 120 degrees! crazy.gif Still, fermentation started within a few hours, so i know the snow did nothing.

A few modifications to their process/recipe:

I substituted the LME that they posted with DME (doing a VERY approximate conversion). I purchased Laaglander dutch extract in bulk, and need to get rid of it.. i've had some bad luck with it due to low attenuation. BUT my last brew, i experimented with using 1tsp of amylase enzyme when fermentation died early. This brought the fermentation back, and got me to a good FG of 1.016 .. granted, primary fermentation took 4.5 weeks biggrin.gif

So - I added a tsp of that enzyme when the temp dropped to 100 degrees as i was cooling the wort. I was hoping that this would allow the dextrin to break down a bit before fermentation even started. i *think* that might have been a successful experiment because the krausen is higher than i've ever seen for this extract.

Thanks to some advise i found here, i rinsed the specialty grains with a gallon 170 degree water. Perhaps i got a little sugar out that way too, though there was only 9oz of specialty grain..

Finally, I had about a 1/2 oz of Wilamette left in the freezer that I really had no idea what i'd use it for, so i tossed it in at 1 min for aroma.

Wish me luck!

PS - Has anyone picked up the Goose Island holiday pub pack yet?? I did! yum!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005



optimal conditions for the amylase enzyme is mash conditions..

"1.5 quarts of water per pound grain, pH of 5.3, temperature of 150-155°F and a time of about one hour" - John Palmer, How to Brew

so, 150-155F and 1 hour rest..

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


myspace account

i'm toying with this myspace thing, btw.. it seems pretty cool i guess..


been too long

well - i haven't posted in a while..

anyway - the brown and the stout aren't too great.. i used this crumby cheapo Laaglander extra light extract.. its not fermentable worth anything.
unfortunetly, i still have 30# of the stuff to kill!

So, the delema is, how does one convert non-fermentables into fermentables without busting open the pocket book and investing in more extract or more sugar?

Amylase Enzyme

the idea here is to add Amylase Enzyme during the brewing process.. after i steep the grains, i'll add the extract, bring the heat up to 160F, add 2.5tsp of Amylase Enzyme, and wait for about a half hour to an hour.

after that time, many of the unfermentables should be converted.. i'll continue then to bring it up to a boil, during which time, the enzymes should die off.

i'll keep ya posted. i'll probably be brewing next weekend.

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