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#13866 - 08/26/04 02:06 PM Re: Finally! ****
ringmir Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/03/04
Posts: 619
Loc: boston
Yeah, I am using specialty malts, pretty frequently actually. I know it's cheaper...the draw for me is the artistry of it more than anything else though. So long as you can stick your temperatures properly, everything should work out nicely. You should look into the stainless hose braid option. This has a few pictures of it under the "cooler detail" header down the page a bit. If you go with PVC make sure you get something "food grade" that can tolerate the temperatures without releasing any nasty toxic chemicals...
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[black]-"The further we go and older we grow, the more we know, the less we show."[/black]

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#13867 - 08/26/04 02:07 PM Re: Finally!
tomtuttle Online   happy
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8123
Loc: Tacoma
Hi guys,

I don't really brew any more - I'd rather spend any given Saturday with my kids than washing buckets. But I made my share of beer (and then some), having brewed >100 batches all grain. I am convinced that some brewers are engineers, some are cooks, and some are scientists, but we are ALL janitors.

My mash tun is a cooler with the PVC manifold. You need to use the kind of PVC that is rated for Hot water (not the regular, white kind). I don't know the lingo, but it is kind of tan in color. My joints are NOT glued (just shoved together), because I am not convinced that the PVC cement, even for that rated pipe, would be impervious to temperatures near boiling, and I want to be double-sure I can get it absolutely clean each use. The PVC is easier to work with, but you still should get on that sweating-copper-joints-with-a-torch bandwagon. I mean, it's a big, fiery thing! Closest you can come to a flame thrower in suburbia! Insert Tim Taylor noise here. It is not difficult to do, and you simply CANNOT make perfect creme broulee without a propane torch; it is the only way to carmelize/harden the sugar on top without heating up the custard underneath. My wife is convinced that I am borrowing her kitchen tool when I need to do plumbing, rather than vice-versa.

I'd disagree somewhat with my friend bigwill about the inherent qualitative differences between extract and all-grain brewing. I feel that I can pick out an extract beer, even a well-made one, virtually every time. There is something about the residual protien and residual sugars that just isn't "there" with extracts. Likewise, the ability to mash the specialty grains with the rest of the malt (rather than do some infusion during the boil) actually reduces the tendency to leach astringent compounds from the grain. I don't think that properly-made all-grain beers are any more susceptible to infections than extract beers; in each case, you just have to be careful what happens AFTER the boil. It's sanitary at that point regardless of how you got your sugars.

It takes more time. But man, there is NOTHING like the smell of a barley mash! And you have much greater control over the entire process.

Look at it this way - extracts are basically "canned food". If you are going to spend the time, money and energy to make something truly delicious, don't you use FRESH ingredients?
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#13868 - 08/26/04 03:10 PM Re: Finally!
ringmir Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/03/04
Posts: 619
Loc: boston
I will go to all grain, it's just a matter of when really. There are other problems with extract too. It's impossible to get the color of a beer right, you're reliant on consistency of the extracts, etc. As for the torch, I've already got an acetylene torch so...yeah. It's a fun thing to own. I've done some minor plumbing work with it, so putting together something for a mash tun doesn't seem too complicated. Ever want to get a bbq going in a blizzard? No problem, large torch tip, fingers crossed that you don't overheat the grill... (oxy-acetylene of course is even more fun, but then it's fingers crossed you don't burn through the grill.) I am the engineer type of brewer myself. I think your classifications are spot-on. There's organic chemistry for the chemists, procedure and equipment for the engineers, and culinary freedom for the cooks.
_________________________
[black]-"The further we go and older we grow, the more we know, the less we show."[/black]

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#13869 - 08/26/04 03:53 PM Re: Finally!
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
Thanks for your expertise, Tom.
When I mentioned an increased chance of infection in all grain beers, I was referring to the likelihood that ringmir will be storing, pouring and measuring his malt in the vicinity of his fermenters, bottles, bottling pail, etc... In that situation there is an increased chance of the lacto-bacillus bug getting started. Just makes sanitation of even greater importance.

I'm going to start back up this winter. The old lady quit her job to be stay-at-home mom. It's either start brewing or start drinking Lucky Lager.

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#13870 - 08/26/04 04:30 PM Re: Finally!
tomtuttle Online   happy
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8123
Loc: Tacoma
Mark, you're right, of course. I did not consider the environmental impacts of living with grain when considering the all grain brewing process. I'll just shut up now and leave it to you "Active" brewers

Do they even still make Lucky Lager? That was a legendary beer. Loved those picture puzzles they used to have in the caps!
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#13871 - 08/26/04 04:40 PM Re: Finally!
bigjohn Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 3016
Loc: San Angelo, TX
In reply to:

Loved those picture puzzles they used to have in the caps!



Lone-Star beer still does that.. i have a buddy of mine that has a whole jar full of the lone star puzzle caps.. they are fun when the parties slow down.

i have never had lucky beer, but i would suspect lonestar is better??

bigjohn

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#13872 - 08/26/04 07:35 PM Re: Finally!
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
No way, Tom! Don't shut up now. That was just my INTJ personality not being sensitive enough to your feelings. Seriously, I would love to be able to discuss homebrewing with you guys.

Just as seriously, I was actually scouring the ads for some Old Milwaukee sales, but I didn't find any. That's a cheap beer I can live with. By Xmas, though, I should have some nice homebrewed ale available (maybe start with a stout or porter) - if any of y'all are coming to soCal.

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#13873 - 08/27/04 07:45 PM Re: Finally!
tomtuttle Online   happy
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8123
Loc: Tacoma
If anybody needs a vintage Schmidling Malt Mill, I might be able to help you

Okay, this is a totally shameless, Str$$m-free bump. Criminy, what a train wreck.

Mark, one of these days, you and I ARE going to drink beer together. It might be one you've made, it probably won't be one I have, but it will very likely be the best beer I've had in a long while.

I'm going home to my lovely wife and charming children now. There will be Deschutes Obsidian Stout and Mirror Pond, Paulaner Oktoberfest (yippee!) and Elysian Porter to choose from when I exit my vehicle next to the beer fridge in the garage. The distance from the bottle opener to the glass will seem interminable.

You guys should go listen to some music sometimes. And maybe roast a pig or something.

I'll take "Prattling Off Topic" for $200, Alex.

Have a great weekend, friends.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#13874 - 08/27/04 08:07 PM Re: Finally!
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16220
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
In reply to:

I'll take "Prattling Off Topic" for $200, Alex.


[Alex]You've found an Audio Daily Double!

[Tom]I'll wager $1500, Alex.

[Alex]Very well. In December of 2000, this person was awarded the year's Foot in Mouth award for uttering the following:

"I think that 'Clueless' was very deep. I think it was deep in the way that it was very light. I think lightness has to come from a very deep place if it's true lightness."
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"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#13875 - 08/27/04 08:46 PM Re: Finally!
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
Is that a real quote, pmb?


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