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Old 11-01-2012, 07:41 PM   #1
jondavis08
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Default Help Stepping my game up

Been brewing all grain for a year now and loving every minute especially when I've been drinking some excellent beer! The entire time I've started Home Brewing I always had my next step planned but I'm a little lost with where to go from here. Here's how I'm currently brewing and the techniques I've been using would love any advice on how to approve on my process/equipment that will take me to a new level.

Brewing All Grain with:
Yeast starters with stir plate
Keggle and and Igloo coolers for HLT and Mash) Gravity Fed, with DIY tower, Fly Sparge Arm for Mash
Cooling with 2x worth chillers(one in ice water the other in wort, about 15 min)
Aerating with diffusion stone and oxygen
Fermentation Chamber with Temp control
Using both 1 and 2 stage fermentation
Kegging using a Kezzer
Testing with Refractormeter
Using Beer Smith

I think that about sums all the money ** I mean love I've put into brewing!

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Old 11-01-2012, 11:08 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jondavis08
Been brewing all grain for a year now and loving every minute especially when I've been drinking some excellent beer! The entire time I've started Home Brewing I always had my next step planned but I'm a little lost with where to go from here. Here's how I'm currently brewing and the techniques I've been using would love any advice on how to approve on my process/equipment that will take me to a new level.

Brewing All Grain with:
Yeast starters with stir plate
Keggle and and Igloo coolers for HLT and Mash) Gravity Fed, with DIY tower, Fly Sparge Arm for Mash
Cooling with 2x worth chillers(one in ice water the other in wort, about 15 min)
Aerating with diffusion stone and oxygen
Fermentation Chamber with Temp control
Using both 1 and 2 stage fermentation
Kegging using a Kezzer
Testing with Refractormeter
Using Beer Smith

I think that about sums all the money ** I mean love I've put into brewing!
You have everything you need to make beer, so are you trying to make better/great beer or just amass more toys?

More toys and money won't make your beer better, only improving your process and you provided no description of how you brew, although every beer is different.

What is your overall efficiency and are you consistent? How is your beer and have you ever entered a competition for feedback?
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:11 AM   #3
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Sounds like you have a setup that can make great beer. As long as your sanitation and process is good you should be doing very well, but if you still wanted to upgrade I'd consider going with electric brewing. Helps with consistency...

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Old 11-02-2012, 02:38 PM   #4
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I would brew more often, using the same recipe and experimenting with one small change at a time. Document everything and blind test them during several different stages of maturity. Also, entering your beers in competitions is a great way to get impartial feedback.

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Old 11-02-2012, 03:18 PM   #5
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Try fermenting a SMASH beer around 3.8% ABV at 7 C, 12C, 17C, 23C and 29C - do not go any higher, keeping your recipe identical of course. Bottle each brew and taste a bottle every 3 days from day 7 - I will not reveal my preferences so as not to influence the experiment.

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Old 11-02-2012, 05:03 PM   #6
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I agree with the above posters about entering competitions. The feedback you will get will point out your deficiencies and show you where you need to improve.

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Old 11-02-2012, 05:23 PM   #7
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You don't have a grain mill posted. That would be one of the few purchases left that would really impact quality/consistency. That is the main variable you aren't controlling right now.

As others have pointed out, pretty much everything else is process driven in terms of beer quality.

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Old 11-02-2012, 07:40 PM   #8
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+1 on the mill.


Also, while not necessarily impacting quality of beer get a carboy washer if you don't already have one. One of my favorite pieces of equipment. Makes washing carboys, kegs and buckets a snap.

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Old 11-02-2012, 07:42 PM   #9
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Thanks all for the advice, I agree on trying to tweak my own recipes to get a better idea of what little changes can approve an existing recipe. A grain mill is high on my list and would love to start purchasing in bulk. With my set up I have now I've been getting close to a consistent efficiency around 72%.

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Old 11-02-2012, 07:45 PM   #10
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Three things: 1- grain mill 2- yeast culturing 3- water chemestry.

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