Homebrewing

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BAMF cowboy

The Village BAMF
Aug 10, 2007
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Sweet. BAMF, you are well on your way. That mashtun should last you quite a while (like forever as long as you clean it well) and looks great. I fully agree with going allgrain from the beginning, as long as you have someone knowledgable assisting you.

Just wondering, how are you fermenting? Do you have temperature control of some kind? In my experience, temperature control during the ferment can contribute to the biggest improvement of your brewing process. As you start figuring things out, and start looking for upgrades in equipment and process, I recommend looking first at temperature control.

BAMF, what is your local homebrew shop? When I lived in Dallas 4 years ago (and hopefully again in a few months), I frequented Homebrew HQ in Richardson. The owner, Kelly, was highly enthusiastic, willing to talk, never condescending, and worked hard to earn my business - as well as sometimes drunk. ;) That shop carried Great Western Malt, which was my base malt of choice, and is sometimes a little difficult to find.
I'm pretty proud of that mash tun, and I'm definitely meticulous about maintaining it. It probably cost me about $75 total to build but I'm realizing it was an investment well worth making. It should last a while.

Right now fermentation is my biggest struggle. I dont have any sort of temperature control. Right now I live in a rather small apartment with my girlfriend. Not enough room for a fridge/cool box and setting the thermostat at 68 won't fly. Also combine that with limited funds at least until uncle sam sends me my refund.

I am currently just using the standard white bucket, and I have a better bottle as well. I actually plan on experimenting a little bit on this next batch by putting the carboy inside another bucket/cooler and try to manipulate the temperature of the surrounding water. I won't be able to keep it a consistent temperature but it would beat sitting in a 74 degree apartment, right?

I live in Addison so i frequent HH a little bit, but there is a really good store in Haltom City closer to where I work called Stubbys. I usually go get my supplies on my lunch break. If I find I need a random thing or two on the weekend then I go to HH - you're right, those guys are very helpful and genuine.
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
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I am currently just using the standard white bucket, and I have a better bottle as well. I actually plan on experimenting a little bit on this next batch by putting the carboy inside another bucket/cooler and try to manipulate the temperature of the surrounding water. I won't be able to keep it a consistent temperature but it would beat sitting in a 74 degree apartment, right?
Be sure to use really good sanitation practices while using the bucket. Any gash or scratch on the interior plastic can harbor yuckies. Overtime, plastic is O2 permeable too (or at least that is what I have heard), so you don't want to do long ferments in plastic. Personally, when doing small 5.5 gallon batches, I use glass carboys. The drawback is it is cumbersome to clean and you have to worry about breakage/crackage.

Usually, a dark interior closet can have a temperature difference of 5-6 degrees off the thermostat. I know my "under the stair" closet sits close to 65-68F, while the house is 72ish.

If you try submerging your fermeneter in the water bath with iced 2liter bottles, I recommend picking up a stopper'ed thermowell and a digital thermometer. It's a little pricey, but you will be accurately reading the internal temp of the fermenter (which will be different than the bath or the external temp of the fermenter). As you graduate up to other hardware, you can easily repurpose the digital thermometer.
 

BAMF cowboy

The Village BAMF
Aug 10, 2007
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W[quote="sc5mu93, post: 1854883, member: 1914"
Usually, a dark interior closet can have a temperature difference of 5-6 degrees off the thermostat. I know my "under the stair" closet sits close to 65-68F, while the house is 72ish.

If you try submerging your fermeneter in the water bath with iced 2liter bottles, I recommend picking up a stopper'ed thermowell and a digital thermometer. It's a little pricey, but you will be accurately reading the internal temp of the fermenter (which will be different than the bath or the external temp of the fermenter). As you graduate up to other hardware, you can easily repurpose the digital thermometer.[/quote]

That looks great. I have a digital thermometer already to monitor my mash temperature so im all about this idea. I don't know if I've seen the stopper in any of the brew stores (I usually go look at the toys and yearn whenever i go in). I'll look again when I go tomorrow though.

Another good point about the closets too. I'll try and get some temperature readings in different spots over the next few days.

Edit: oops messed up the quoting function. Silly iphone.
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
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Also upon further inspection it looks like only that thermometer is compatible with it.
B3 loves their RANCO thermometers. However, if you ever built a cooler box, it would be pretty sweet because that RANCO temp controller, cuts off the power to the cooling element when the target temp (inside the fermenter) is hit. Automation is great.
 

BAMF cowboy

The Village BAMF
Aug 10, 2007
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B3 loves their RANCO thermometers. However, if you ever built a cooler box, it would be pretty sweet because that RANCO temp controller, cuts off the power to the cooling element when the target temp (inside the fermenter) is hit. Automation is great.
That would be awesome, and definitely in my ultimate vision. But sadly for now I'm going to have to do it the old fashioned way this time around and see if my experimental temp control method is viable. At that point I may make the purchase on that thermometer/stopper.

P.S. What's B3?

P.P.S. I know you said you hope to be heading back to Texas, but how do you like Denver? No shortage of good beer I'm sure. The girlfriend is from there and we have been talking about moving that way.
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
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P.S. What's B3?

P.P.S. I know you said you hope to be heading back to Texas, but how do you like Denver? No shortage of good beer I'm sure. The girlfriend is from there and we have been talking about moving that way.
B3 is morebeer.com (officially it is "Beer, Beer and more Beer" hence - B3).

Denver is okay. Beer selection is good. Summers are mild. Winters suck. Mexican food sucks. No taco bueno. No Whataburger. I'm just tired of the granola-crunchiness of it all. People are not as polite as those in Texas/OK or the south. Most everyone I meet here is from somewhere else.

I just prefer Texas and as I am finishing up law school, I feel the job market in Texas is better. Denver's law market is over saturated because lawyers move here to be closer to the skiing.
 

BAMF cowboy

The Village BAMF
Aug 10, 2007
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B3 is morebeer.com (officially it is "Beer, Beer and more Beer" hence - B3).

Denver is okay. Beer selection is good. Summers are mild. Winters suck. Mexican food sucks. No taco bueno. No Whataburger. I'm just tired of the granola-crunchiness of it all. People are not as polite as those in Texas/OK or the south. Most everyone I meet here is from somewhere else.

I just prefer Texas and as I am finishing up law school, I feel the job market in Texas is better. Denver's law market is over saturated because lawyers move here to be closer to the skiing.
Fair enough. I was born in England and lived there for 11 years. Then DFW for 7, Stillwater for 4, Tulsa for 1/3 and now DFW again for a year and a half. While I wouldn't say I'm well travelled, that's nice little collection of different places. I really do like DFW but I think I've grown weary of it (I'm sure I'll regret saying that). My time in Stillwater and Tulsa was good because they were new experiences in new places, and reall piqued my curiosity of different parts of the country.

I've visited Denver several times over the past few years and liked a lot of what I've seen, although I'm nervous it could be the vacation goggles. Never eat Bueno, but I do get an Unsatiable craving for Whataburger every several months. Ive only had one mexican meal there and i thought it was really good, but thats probably not a fait sample size. As for friendliness...I feel like my time in Oklahoma ruined that for me. People there are generally way more friendlier than in DFW, but it that comes with the territory. Dallas is a huge cultural melting pot of a metropolis with a lot a wealth and a sense of entitlement, and in my opinion, doesn't really feel like Texas in some ways anyway.

The weather is a trade off. Summers here are only good for lounging by the pool where as winters there are only good for skiing.
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
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I've visited Denver several times over the past few years and liked a lot of what I've seen, although I'm nervous it could be the vacation goggles.
^This. First time I came was for GABF. I loved it. That experience played a factor in choosing this area for school. Turns out, when not on vacation, its not as fun.
 

BAMF cowboy

The Village BAMF
Aug 10, 2007
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So I picked up my ingredients during lunch today. Figured I'd snap a picture of Stubbys, the brew shop in Ft Worth I go to. I would have liked over more pictures but it was my turn in line. As you can see, much more spacious than HHq.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1333136919.360293.jpg
 

BAMF cowboy

The Village BAMF
Aug 10, 2007
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Woohoo - today is brew day! Well tonight after work at least...

I just watched the videos you posted earlier in this thread sc5mu93 . Sweet set up!! I hope to aspire to that level someday.

I'll post some pics of my brewing and maybe a video. I would love to hear some constructive criticism from everyone.
 

PokesPeak

scentless apprentice
Aug 21, 2009
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^This. First time I came was for GABF. I loved it. That experience played a factor in choosing this area for school. Turns out, when not on vacation, its not as fun.
really? i lived in denver after i got done at OSU and loved it! i'm back in OKC for about a year now, and am already looking to get out. i'm either going back to denver or trying something new by going to phoenix.

and i also homebrew, which is why i was in here. hah.
 

BAMF cowboy

The Village BAMF
Aug 10, 2007
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So after a long day of work on Saturday I was in no mood for brewing, so I postponed until Sunday.

Things started off smoothly. Hit my
Mash temp almost dead on - had to add some some ice. Unfortunately hombrewing in a small apartment kitchen has its limitations and inevitably leads to spillages, messes and damages (note to self: don't put hot boil kettle on expensive memory foam sink matt - girlfriend was none too happy and I will be purchasing a new one).

Had some issues cooling the wort, and eventually just cut my losses and decided to pitch before going to bed last night. Temperature was a bit higher than desired, but in the word of Charlie Papaizan "don't worry...relax..."

I took a sample to measure gravity which I will do tonight. The beer looked very murky and dull during the boil but has come out a very vibrant golden color - exactly what I wanted.

Anyway, here are some pics of my setup before I started wreaking havoc in the apartment.

My boil set up. Heating up water here.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1333378735.333800.jpg


Mash

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1333378753.459539.jpg


Nailed the mash temp.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1333378764.425691.jpg


Boiling wort. Looks very murky but turned out great.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1333379650.080903.jpg
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
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really? i lived in denver after i got done at OSU and loved it! i'm back in OKC for about a year now, and am already looking to get out. i'm either going back to denver or trying something new by going to phoenix.
It's just too dry as well. I should have bought stock in Nivea when I moved here, since I have bought so much of it. The wildfires are a little insane too. Yesterday it was 80F today it isn't supposed to get over 40F and we are going to get snow. Awesome!
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
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Oct 18, 2006
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It's just too dry as well. I should have bought stock in Nivea when I moved here, since I have bought so much of it. The wildfires are a little insane too. Yesterday it was 80F today it isn't supposed to get over 40F and we are going to get snow. Awesome!
its snowing right now. its the 3rd of April. Winter Storm Advisory. I would rather deal with the tornadoes, hail, and thunderstorms of North Texas.
 
Feb 7, 2007
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its snowing right now. its the 3rd of April. Winter Storm Advisory. I would rather deal with the tornadoes, hail, and thunderstorms of North Texas.
Hey two days of snow out of the last 30 that averaged 65 and sunny I can deal with. Looks like more of the same 65 and sunny for the next 10 days too after this little front.

I did Dallas for 2 years and the ONLY thing I miss is the restaurant/bar selection. But being able to walk to a handful of good restaurants here outweighs driving in traffic everywhere you go because walking is impossible in Dallas except a few neighborhoods.

Not to mention the reason I moved. MTB, fly fishing, skiing, climbing, scenery, camping that are all a pipe dream in northern texas.

But, if you don't ski I could see how winter could wear on you to the point in would be a deal breaker. Different strokes for different folks I guess.
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
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Oct 18, 2006
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Fairfield, CT
So after a long day of work on Saturday I was in no mood for brewing, so I postponed until Sunday.

Things started off smoothly. Hit my
Mash temp almost dead on - had to add some some ice. Unfortunately hombrewing in a small apartment kitchen has its limitations and inevitably leads to spillages, messes and damages (note to self: don't put hot boil kettle on expensive memory foam sink matt - girlfriend was none too happy and I will be purchasing a new one).

Had some issues cooling the wort, and eventually just cut my losses and decided to pitch before going to bed last night. Temperature was a bit higher than desired, but in the word of Charlie Papaizan "don't worry...relax..."

I took a sample to measure gravity which I will do tonight. The beer looked very murky and dull during the boil but has come out a very vibrant golden color - exactly what I wanted.

Anyway, here are some pics of my setup before I started wreaking havoc in the apartment.

My boil set up. Heating up water here.

View attachment 10666

Mash

View attachment 10667

Nailed the mash temp.

View attachment 10668

Boiling wort. Looks very murky but turned out great.

View attachment 10669
How is your ferment going?
 

BAMF cowboy

The Village BAMF
Aug 10, 2007
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Denver, CO
Not too bad. I haven't been able to keep a close eye on it since I've been working 14 hour days with the upcoming deadline. The most I've been able to do was keep it in a cool cupboard and rotate ice packs to try and keep the temperature down. I took a reading earlier in the week and while my apartment was 76 degrees, the cupboard was 70...so that's promising.

I'm going to take a gravity reading this weekend.
 

sc5mu93

WeaselMonkey
A/V Subscriber
Oct 18, 2006
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Fairfield, CT
Not too bad. I haven't been able to keep a close eye on it since I've been working 14 hour days with the upcoming deadline. The most I've been able to do was keep it in a cool cupboard and rotate ice packs to try and keep the temperature down. I took a reading earlier in the week and while my apartment was 76 degrees, the cupboard was 70...so that's promising.

I'm going to take a gravity reading this weekend.
What style is it?