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  1. mattdee1

    Something You Wish You’d Started Doing Sooner (in Home Brewing)

    There are lots of things I learned along the way that really helped/improved my brewing but there aren't very many where I find myself really wishing I had started doing them sooner. I say this because if you jump too quickly into doing everything by "best practices" then you don't get the...
  2. mattdee1

    No-Chill Brewing?

    No chill rocks. I just finish the boil, put the lid on the kettle, point a fan at the kettle, and go inside. The next day around lunchtime I transfer to fermentors and pitch yeast. With 2 young kids and such little spare time, no chill helps open up opportunities to brew that would not exist...
  3. mattdee1

    Brewing with honey

    Through the years I've pretty much come to the conclusion that honey (and syrup) in craft beer functions more as a marketing tool than as a meaningful contributor of flavor to the beer. I only say that because of the few dozen beers touting honey I estimate that I have tried, there never seems...
  4. mattdee1


    I started brewing in 2015; I had no kids at the time. Now, I have 2 of them - aged 5 and 1. I just checked my notes and it looks like my brewing frequency didn't decrease much from my roughly 1-brew-per-month pattern until the 2nd kid came along. I've only brewed 5 times in 2022, with no more...
  5. mattdee1

    Question for the cheapskates out there using plain old buckets for fermenting

    My main fermentor is now a Fermzilla All-Rounder, which I mostly like for its ability to hold pressure. But I still use my buckets. They're not glamorous but they sure have great bang-for-your-buck. Also, they're dead simple to clean and much easier to lug downstairs to my fermentation...
  6. mattdee1

    Water Pots Smell Like Soup

    Fill it with a solution of baking soda and water and let it soak for a few hours.
  7. mattdee1

    Share a tip

    If you struggle to find enough hours in a row to brew because your free time is stretched thin, try out no-chill brewing. I'm a total believer in this now. I can start a brew on a weeknight after the kids go to sleep and once the boil is done I just put the lid on and shut the kettle off and...
  8. mattdee1

    Help! Trying to start a brewing system

    I think the standard answer for this sort of inquiry is "look into brew-in-a-bag (aka BIAB)" due to the relatively small equipment investment that is required. I can't help you with BIAB but I started with a low-cost setup in 2015 and for the most part I'm still using the exact same setup...
  9. mattdee1

    Kegging question

    This step is one of those things you kind of have to feel your way through over time to see what is the best fit for you, taking all things into account, such as how much time you have for home brew stuff, how that time is distributed, availability of equipment and space, your patience level...
  10. mattdee1

    Pressure transfer of dry hopped beers

    Probably no use to OP, but to others lurking, I use a much smaller and more spartan setup (Fermzilla All-Rounder with pressure kit). The kit includes a floating dip tube, which honestly is an innovation that deserves a Nobel prize. I had struggled with clogging on my plastic bucket setup...
  11. mattdee1

    Floating dip tube in a BrewBucket

    There is nothing more frustrating than your transfers getting all clogged up with dry-hop leftovers - been there. You end up farting around trying to get it going again, oxygen is creeping in, it's taking forever... not cool at all. Cold crashing helps a lot, but if your fermentor can't hold...
  12. mattdee1

    Best Equipment for new brewers

    I don't have time to read all of the long responses in this thread, but I've skimmed it and I'll add another vote for the "keep it simple and cost effective" side of things. I'm a little bit surprised at some of the things that are being promoted as "essential" without justification. A stir...
  13. mattdee1


    I picked up a dented used upright fridge (with freezer compartment on top) when I got into homebrewing back in 2016. Initially it was my fermentation chamber, then I converted it to a 4-tap kegerator, and now it's once again being used for fermentation. Still runs perfectly. It gets used most...
  14. mattdee1

    For those considering their first brew...let's talk about kveik yeast!

    I finally got around to trying a kveik yeast a few months ago after seeing so much of the hype on the internet. I opted for OYL057 Hot Head. I think the OP makes some solid points for beginners so long as they go in with managed expectations - i.e., that the kveik yeast will not yield an...
  15. mattdee1

    SafAle T-58 in belgian wit, what temp?

    I'm not sure T58 would be a great choice for a Belgian Wit, but generally speaking, I am a fan of that yeast. When I brew 10gal batches, sometimes I want a bit of variety so I split it into 2 fermentors and use T58 in one of them and in the other I use one of my usual go-to clean-tasting ale...
  16. mattdee1

    Beginner - wanting to start with All-Grain?

    Starting with all grain or starting with extract are both worthwhile and reasonable approaches. I think it's important not to lose sight of the fact that all grain has stronger potential overall for making great beer (although, to be fair, it guarantees nothing in and of itself.) With that...
  17. mattdee1

    What Did I Do Wrong?

    Glad we seem to have definitely resolved something here. If I were you I'd just toss the hydrometer and get one that reads correctly. Or, the frugal approach would be to note the offset and just figure it in every time you use it until the inevitable day comes when that hydrometer breaks. :)
  18. mattdee1

    What Did I Do Wrong?

    Check the gravity of water at roughly room temp and it should be 1.00 if the hydro is working correctly. As for the no-sparge porter, I would expect a much larger hit than 4-5 points. The gap you saw is quite in-line with what I would guess, to be honest.
  19. mattdee1

    What Did I Do Wrong?

    Yeah, all my previous comments aside I tend to agree with DannyBoy270 - if you're down to 1.002 then either your hydrometer is jacked or you've got some kind of infection.
  20. mattdee1

    What Did I Do Wrong?

    That is the "standard" way it is described, yes. But subjective descriptors are notoriously unreliable. Diacetyl seems to be one of those things that some people are more sensitive to than others. I have a feeling most homebrewers have tasted it at some point without even realizing it...