Recent content by Mike B1190

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

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  1. M


    Not sure if you want a probe style thermometer or just something handheld, but I really like my thermoworks thermapen. It reads fast and is accurate as far as I can tell. It has a backlight and rotating display so you can read it at pretty much any angle. I mainly use it to check the strike...
  2. M

    Hi, I'm Back--

    I'm not entirely sure if your're asking if temperature control is important or if you're looking for suggestion on how to keep your fermentation temperature in range, so, I'll comment on both. Temperature control during fermentation is very important. Different yeasts respond differently to...
  3. M

    No Conversion of starch to sugar?

    Do you normally take pre-boil gravity readings? If not, it might be good to start. Then you would be able to notice something like an extremely low gravity before you start the boil. Then you could try to correct it with malt extract, sugar, or maybe even attempt to reintroduce the grain to the...
  4. M

    HERMS Step Mashing

    I figured it would be very inefficient. But at the same time, I've cooled mashes for 5 gallon batches that I accidentally got too hot with frozen soda bottles, so, I thought boiling water in a coil plus manual stirring of the mash would work. Of course, the temperature differential from mash...
  5. M

    HERMS Step Mashing

    Hi All, I know there's a lot of info on HERMS and RIMS systems out there, but my question is a bit different and I didn't quite see anything related to it in the search. Anyway, it seems most RIMS systems pump wort through a coil in the HLT. However, I was curious if anyone pumps hot water...
  6. M

    Recommendations for Chicago brewpubs

    Haven't lived in Chicago in a few years, so, not sure how much things have changed, but there's plenty of good breweries depending on what you're after. Don't overlook Goose Island. Yeah, they sold out, but at their brewpubs they still brew interesting stuff on premises that isn't commercially...
  7. M

    Turning your Fermonster into a complete closed transfer system for cheap!

    Does anyone know if the bulkheads come apart to be able to change the poppets or the diptube?
  8. M

    Sanke Keg Fermentor

    Thanks for the replies. If I were to opt for a conversion kit, that seems like the way to go and is affordable. Still, if I can save $40 bucks, I'd like to. I feel like the coupler would be doing essentially the same thing, except instead of having a floating dip tube, the keg spear would be in...
  9. M

    Sanke Keg Fermentor

    Good Morning Everyone, I have recently started to conceptualize fermenting in Sanke kegs. I have seen conversion kits online for this purpose, but considering that I already have a Sanke coupler with ball lock fittings, I am curious if I could leave the spear in place with the coupler attached...
  10. M

    Step Mashing in a Cooler

    Thank you for the detailed response. That was my fear of this process, knowing all the enzymes would be in the kettle. I thought that if it were heated somewhat gently and I made sure not to go above 168 Alpha would still be intact. How are you accounting for the extra quart when you...
  11. M

    Step Mashing in a Cooler

    Hi All, I attempted step mashing last night on a pilsner. I batch sparge in a 48 quart rectangular cooler. I just wanted to do a simple step from a Beta Sacch rest at 148 to an Alpha Sacch rest at 158. Why do this with today's modified malts? To try it out and see if it would make a dryer beer...
  12. M


    I think that those that have done the C02 thing would put a liquid disconnect on a gas line. But I'm not certain, I've never tried it. I just seem to recall hearing of others doing this.
  13. M


    If you don't want to transfer the beer or go to a floating dip tube, you can try putting some sort of filter on your keg's dip tube. Kind of like this one Corny Keg Dip Tube Screen I've never used such a product, so I don't know how well this would work. If I dry hop in the keg I usually put the...
  14. M

    Heating options?

    If you get to the point of doing all grain - full boils for 5 gallon batches with 60 minute boil times, you're going to need to start off with 6 - 7 gallons of wort to account for evaporation. Because of this, I would recommend a 10 gallon kettle if you can find one in your price range. While a...
  15. M

    Beginner brewer questions.

    I've never used a Sanke keg personally, but I wouldn't assume you need to do anything special to fill it. Regarding keg carbonation, there are a few different methods. You can certainly add priming sugar to the keg and let the beer carbonate naturally. Some prefer this. Some prefer force...