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  1. hillhousesawdustco

    Possible to ferment too long?

    I would argue, solely due to personal experience with little "so called science" to back it up, that your beer will be just dandy. A belgian blonde is rather perfect for a slightly extended vacay on a yeast cake especially if it is fairly high gravity. At some point autolysis comes into...
  2. hillhousesawdustco

    Fermentation temps

    I think everything above is good advice. What yeast are using for this batch- they vary in the temp extremes they can handle. Ideally for ales you want your FERMENT temp to be in the 60s, not just the air temp. If you can start in the low 60s and let it rise to the upper 60s that will be...
  3. hillhousesawdustco

    cold crashing confusion... *sigh*

    No worries, old bean- if you can't be rude to a perfect stranger on the internet trying to give you advice that you asked for then the internet is clearly broken. I don't mean to harp...but your argument against stepping up is kind of odd. Since you have to spend five weeks waiting for the...
  4. hillhousesawdustco

    cold crashing confusion... *sigh*

    (he or she doesn't want to)
  5. hillhousesawdustco

    cold crashing confusion... *sigh*

    Oh a Mr. Beer Keg! Takes me back to college. I thought maybe you were fermenting in a bottling bucket (aka a bucket with a spigot) and that has always bothered my brain. The assembly of those things with the washers that dry out and whatnot just make me think they'd be ripe for infection I...
  6. hillhousesawdustco

    Bitter Beer!

    Water tests are certainly available, and I recommend you getting one so you know what you're working with. Every state will have a water-testing lab you can send a sample or to, or you can send one to Ward Labs which a lot of homebrewers do. My first too guess would be sparging with water over...
  7. hillhousesawdustco

    cold crashing confusion... *sigh*

    What "keg-like" container with a spigot are you fermenting in? I used an autosiphon for years to transfer from primary to secondary/keg/bottling bucket/whathaveyou and got good results but I was always to lazy to sit there and hold it above nice tigh yeast cake so I just dropped it in and it...
  8. hillhousesawdustco

    Ummmm What is This?

    That's weird. I like the static electricity explanation! Is it possible you had some gunk or leftover cleaning particles or something like that already stuck to the side of your carboy for the yeast to cling to? What yeast is it?
  9. hillhousesawdustco

    first ipa

    For IPAs I usually let ferment for 2-3 weeks, sometimes 4. I generally drop hop for the last 3-5 days of that time frame before kegging. For bottle conditioning you can start tasting them whenever you want to, but they won't be ready for you to start getting an idea of the finished project for...
  10. hillhousesawdustco

    broken thermometer in primary... continue?

    I don't think it is a big deal- pretty sure food grade thermometers do not contain mercury. I'm not sure what those little weighted balls are- if they are lead then that isn't great. I doubt you'd suck up much glass with an autosiphone but couldn't hurt to put a mesh strainer over the racking...
  11. hillhousesawdustco

    "Trick" for more accurate hydro reading?

    I find that even in the sample tube it is important for the base to be on a completely flat surface. Probably not a problem for most folks but it sure is in my brew shed!
  12. hillhousesawdustco

    White Lightning in Air Lock?

    It'll work fine... but I agree it is a waste of "moonshine." Off-topic I have to say that calling a commercially distilled product "white lightning" just seems silly, but I guess it is the same thing whether it is legal or not.
  13. hillhousesawdustco

    What can I make with the ingredients I have?

    You could get pretty close to a decent porter by using your stock recipe plus a couple additions. I think if you add a pound of malt extract (dark), as well as steeping 1/2lb chocolate malt and a 1/4lb black patent malt WITH the steeping grains you already have then you will get a pretty nice...
  14. hillhousesawdustco

    Columbus vs. Northern Brewer

    I think the northern brewer will be fine in that quantity as a bittering hop replacement for Columbus (CTZ). Heck brew two 1 gal batches with the different bittering hops and see if you can tell the difference. I bet the amarillo will "cover up" any particular bittering hop flavor.
  15. hillhousesawdustco

    How much will og drop when adding fruit?

    From a little internet search, it looks like blueberries contain between 4% and 15% sugar, 6lbs of fresh would add between .25 and 1 lb of extra fermentable sugars. So this could have a large or negligible effect on the gravity of the beer depending on what your base beer is. It shouldn't make...
  16. hillhousesawdustco

    How much will og drop when adding fruit?

    First off, I think you mean FG. Your original gravity will actually be raised rather than dropped due to the addition of more fermentable material. Your final gravity will probably be a bit lower, but maybe not. In any case you will have a higher alcohol content due to the higher OG to FG...
  17. hillhousesawdustco

    What can I make with the ingredients I have?

    There are definitely a zillion ways you can go from here, so figure out what YOU want to drink. You can easily make a completely different beer by switching up the hops and/or adding additional grains to steep. The 6lbs of gold extract can be used as a base for almost any kind of ale. I think...
  18. hillhousesawdustco

    What can I make with the ingredients I have?

    I think 6lbs of extract will get you to 1.043 rather than 1.033
  19. hillhousesawdustco

    What can I make with the ingredients I have?

    Your ingredients won't go bad anytime soon, especially if they are all sealed. First to go will be the speciality grains (i assume they are pre-ground) but they will still be fine for at least weeks. The hops are best stored in the freezer. Are the C40, Special B, and Roasted Barley already...