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    At what point did your homebrew go from good to great?

    Two things for me: Full boil and all grain. I used to put more stock in liquid yeast, but I've come to understand equally great beer is made from dry yeast, but more styles are available with liquid.

    Mash tonight, boil tomorrow: results?

    This is exactly what I do every time. I sparge and heat to around 200, then wrap it in blankets overnight. By morning it's around 185, which makes for no tang problems and a short time to boil. Has always turned out delicious, with no difference at all to a traditional brew session. Sometimes I...

    Overnight Mashing

    I'm in the habit now of mashing and sparging, then heating to around 200F, then insulating the pot, all on Friday night. By Saturday morning it drops to around 180F. I boil, and I'm done by 8:30AM so I can spend time with the family. Works great. No flavor problems.

    Using a pasta maker to mill grain.

    I use an Atlas pasta maker. Setting 3 is ideal for most grain. I thought it was too coarse but it's real fast and I get the same efficiency as #4. I did my 11th pasta maker batch this morning and it still works perfectly.

    Post if you're brewing today

    Westmalle Tripel clone from "Clonebrews". Great book.

    Streamlined Brewing Procedure - Seven Steps

    Soak all equipment in a 1:1 solution of undiluted ammonia and bleach. DO NOT RINSE. Combine 6.6lb of malt extract with 2 gallons of water. Simmer gently for no more than 10 minutes. Add ¾ cup Irish moss and finishing hops during the last minute. Meanwhile, bring 3 gallons of tap water to a boil...

    Full Boil on Stovetop?

    I have no problem getting a 6.5 gallon strong boil with my propane stovetop. Natural gas should be slightly better than propane. I have the pot span a front and a rear burner. My main burner is 11,000 btu and the rear is somewhat less. When I used only one burner it was a weak boil, and aluminum...

    Using a pasta maker to mill grain.

    Great job! I didn't expect knurling to work. Those are very hard rollers and yet hollow. I thought they'd need too much pressure on a lathe. My guy was hesitant to knurl. By the way I think you meant 0.050".

    soil PH meter

    I have one and I've used it on two mashes. I got what I feel are strange results. I actually did an acid rest, and the ph INCREASED both times during the rest according to my meter. :confused: I don't know how temperature plays with the accuracy but I take my readings with a grain of salt and...
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    Temperature Concerns

    I've observed my carboy thermometer during many fermentations. When I cover the carboy with a blanket the temperature rises 5-10 degrees. When I leave it alone simply in a dark room the temperature stays the same as the room.
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    Too cold for a yeast starter

    Sometimes I put my starter right next to the boiler near a bare radiating copper pipe. It's a few degrees higher there.
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    boiler boils too vigorously

    You can get an autotransformer, sometimes called a variac, on ebay. They use dials to vary the voltage. They are not isolating transformers. You just have to make sure the voltage is correct. UK I believe? And make sure the current capability matches your burner. Simpler solution, get a fan to...
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    Brewing a Helles - Protein rest?

    Thanks for the thorough answer! I can't get past saying "signal to noise ratio" whenever I see "SNR". :p
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    Brewing a Helles - Protein rest?

    What damage specifically? And, related, how does one know how well-modified his malt is without empirical data? This has always left me disturbed as I am trying to nail down these subtle details. I hate guesswork and generalized assumptions. I have yet to see a scale measuring how modified a...
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    Using a pasta maker to mill grain.

    No, my Xs weren't deep enough. What worked well was milling horizontal lines. After the machine shop did a few lines it was improved, but it was only really good after I machined a few more, but deeper. Definitely be careful because the rollers are hollow! Since few people can access a milling...
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    Decoction... WHY???

    Samuel Adams Boston Lager uses decoction. That says a lot to me. And other than consuming more time, I agree that it's simply fun to do. Side note, maybe (surely) it's been discussed, but conventional wisdom has us stir the decoction frequently. Wouldn't stirring less frequently encourage...
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    How many AMPs to power yoru mill?

    I'd say torque and speed are the parameters of interest. My motor is rated 1.5A but draws 0.7A with no grain. This is at 120VAC. It's 1/10 HP and 5000 rpm with a 20:1 gear ratio, making the actual work shaft 250 rpm. The torque is very strong at 12.5 in-lb and mows through grain like a hungry...
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    Alright, really, no rinsing of Star San foam?

    You don't trust government-regulated water but you trust FDA-approved (government-regulated) sanitizer. Seems arbitrary. And you're implying you make sure you have chlorine-free water in your Star-San solution? Trace amounts from poorly-rinsed bleach sanitizer can definitely create...
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    3/4 cup bleach per gallon. Are you insane?

    I saw a commercial, and the Clorox website confirms it. To disinfect, they recommend this ratio and a 5 minute soak, which is about 60 times more bleach per gallon than you and I have been using. Am I missing something? What does this ratio kill that 1TSP per 5 gallons does not kill? Merely...
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    Alright, really, no rinsing of Star San foam?

    Absolutely. I have a filter for the brew water and just use the tap for rinsing. It comforts me both to smell a little chlorine from the tap and to smell none from the filter.