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  1. friarsmith

    Poppet Disassembly

    Yes. You can unscrew the liquid and gas posts with a wrench (either a crescent, socket, spark plug socket) and "pop" or push the poppets out from the top with a screwdriver. Sometimes they will fall out naturally. A word of caution: put the gas and liquid posts and poppets in separate...
  2. friarsmith

    Frist batch questions

    Considering fermentation is at or near completion, it's best to avoid stirring the beer as it may cause some oxidation/staling of the beer. You can, however, pick up the fermenter and gently rotate it (think really slow hula hoop dance) to rouse the yeast and encourage more activity. Maybe a...
  3. friarsmith

    Frist batch questions

    Do you have a hydrometer? If so, check the gravity. Without knowing the specs of the beer, the hydrometer reading should be at or below about 1.016 for this type of beer. If the reading is north of 1.014-1.106, there is a slight risk of bottle bombs. If you do not have a hydrometer, give it...
  4. friarsmith

    American light lager

    Style-wise, this one hits all the high points w/ specs, flavor and mouthfeel, but there's something about this ratio of Pils and 6-row that gives it a little more oomph. It's won a handful of awards in large comps over the past several years... that is, if the keg lasts long enough to fill...
  5. friarsmith

    I'm about to give up.

    FWIW I've made this recipe several times, and I started getting even more banana notes when I reduced the listed sparge volume by a gallon or so, making for a higher gravity wort for the initial pitch. IIRC higher wort density is mentioned as a driver of banana notes in the Bavarian article...
  6. friarsmith

    American Lager 'Nucky' Best of Show winning Pre-Prohibition Lager

    My Pre-Pro recipe and process are eerily similar to the OP's other than I use homegrown Cluster and Tettnanger. It's taken it's fair share of medals over the years. I've made it with WLP 840 (Schmidt), Wyeast 2105 (Coors) and Imperial Harvest (Augustiner) depending on what slurries I have...
  7. friarsmith

    Bavarian Lager: Wyeast 2206 vs Mangrove Jack´s M76

    I've used WY2206 a few times and M76 twice in a bock, helles and dunkel. They perform in a similar manner in terms of good floc, attenuation and low sulfur production-- much like my usual workhorse lager yeasts (Imperial-Harvest and WLP 838) that I mostly use in more malt-forward lagers. I...
  8. friarsmith

    For those that keg condition

    I have found that using/saving 1.5 qt chilled wort from the brew day in a half gallon sanitized mason jar (kept in refrigerator until kegging) is about as effective as using 3-4 oz dextrose in just enough boiled water to dissolve it. The former is more 'traditional' and complies with German...
  9. friarsmith

    For those that keg condition

    I've never used a spunding valve. You shouldn't need one as long as: 1) the beer is within the last 4 points or so of expected FG (as determined by a forced fermentation test or indicated by past experience) or 2) FG is reached and you use an appropriate amount of speise/dextrose/DME Worse...
  10. friarsmith

    To Lager, or Not to Lager...

    On occasion, I've had to sulfur-scrub a lager. It's pretty easy. Slowly push CO2 down the liquid dip tube (5-7 PSI or so) while the keg lid's PRV is open. A 15-20 second "shot" on two consecutive days usually does the trick. It stirs up any settled yeast though.
  11. friarsmith

    Dry yeast cell counts

    friarsmith: Very interesting indeed. Did they talk about rehydration at all? Yes. IIRC they determined rehydration makes little difference in the fermentation process and finished product. One of the presenters, during the Q & A, went as far as to say "don't bother" with rehydration. In my...
  12. friarsmith

    To Lager, or Not to Lager...

    For the best of both worlds...;) *First 6-8 days: Ferment in the mid-50’s *Rack to keg w/ 4oz dissolved dextrose or DME. Place keg somewhere warmer (Low 60’s) for 3-4 days for a D-rest and to allow natural carbonation to start *Ramp down to serving temp over a few days *Drink half of the keg as...
  13. friarsmith

    Dry yeast cell counts

    Last year at Homebrew Con, I attended a Fermentis/Safale lecture. It was mainly focused on results of testing 34/70 at various temperatures. The two presenters were technical/lab types. After the lecture, I spoke with one of them and asked "Off the record, how many viable cells are in a...
  14. friarsmith

    Recommend a hop variety for me

    Warrior, Galena, Magnum (in no particular order). Nugget is pretty versatile as well. Cheers!
  15. friarsmith

    What hop varieties are you adding this year?

    I have two 5th-year Columbia hops and one 6th year Cluster. All three plants are two crowns per vertical trellis. They give me plenty of cones for my American lagers. I just ordered a couple of Chinook rooted cuttings from Great Lakes hops. I plan to start making APA's, session IPA's and...
  16. friarsmith

    Newport Hops?

    Herbal, slightly piney, earthy. Sort of like Northern Brewer but not as pronounced.
  17. friarsmith

    Newport Hops?

    I used to grow Newport, and it was a great producer every year, that is before my neighbor spilled Roundup on the other side of our fence a few feet from my Newport and EKG. I used Newport interchangeably with Galena and Warrior pellets when I wanted a firm and fairly neutral and high alpha...
  18. friarsmith

    Help with Hop Planters

    Drainage, drainage, drainage... No variety of hops thrives with wet feet. Of the four C's you listed, Cascade and Chinook will probably fare the best in planter pots. Regardless of the planter pot size (within reason) the roots will get crowded out after two seasons or so, so you need to be...
  19. friarsmith

    End of the world supply

    I stocked up in January because I brew a bunch from Jan-May (15-20 times) for NHC and other comps which have all gone to sh** this year, then I focus on my garden and depleting my inventory ;) all summer. I still have 100 lbs of pils, 50 lbs of each of 6row and 2row, tons of hops in the freezer...
  20. friarsmith

    Pilsner - All Grain

    You should probably decide on total IBU's and then make hops decisions. 28-35 IBU's seems about right for this beer... a malty German Pils or lighter festbier. Whatever you call it, it should be a thoroughly decent beer.