mtw456, I haven't made the leap yet into AG. I've got four more extract kits (due to AHS' $20 kit sale...) to make before I can even think of it. Who knows, maybe I'll stick to the kits. That depends on how lazy I feel. Do you have a preference for a style of beer?
The verdict on Yeast Harvesting: success. A slow one. I treated it as a normal yeast vile (the guy online said to make a starter a day or two ahead of time) made a small 1/2 pint starter during my brew session. I was happy it took off then, but it took 17 hours to confirm we got lift off. In reading the Complete Joy of Homebrewing, the author says it takes his harvested yeasties (diff. method) 12-18 hours. He recognized that it's underpitching, but says his beer come out great. Mine was 5.8 Summer IPA (AHS). It is higher alc. and they maybe overwhelmed a little. Time is not really a prob. for me, as I won't get to this brew until Aug.
Since I harvested yeast for a week, I currently have quite a lot stock: Danstar Nottingham (dry), White Labs British ale, A cross between White labs Irish Ale/British ~20% the latter, and Danstar Windsor. All have 3 samples except for 1 windsor sample. I think my 3 kit purchase will drop 130 to 106--still qualifies for free shipping. If you read up on the yeasts they are quite versatile in brewing. I will also have W.Labs Irish and Wyeast Irish as soon as I harvest 1, and brew the other.
Next time I will make a starter for the starter a day before hand--if possible.
BTW got my mini-mash time down to 3hrs 10 mins complete with yeast pitching a cleaning.
Well, the Skeeter Pee is starting to be a success. I gave my wife a glass on ice last night and she liked it. That's a start. I did an inventory of what I have bottled: AHS Guinness Foreign Extra Stout (strong alcohol taste), AHS Bud American Ale (doesn't taste much like the beer it was trying to be, but tastes great. Nice and hoppy.) Gonzo's Fire In The Hole Chile beer with dried Panca and Serrano chiles, West Coast Pale Ale II (meh, I think that this is good bye for at least two of my Mr Beer kegs), Summer Irish Pale Ale (still bottle conditioning), AHS Anniversary IPA (ditto), AHS Anniversary Porter (good beer), Mr. Beer's St. Pat's Stout/Creamy Brown (I think I have six or seven bottles left, hoping the flavor will improve. I bottled it in October of last year. I think it's headed for the drain.), Skeeter Pee and two empty fermenters. If I get some time later today (after I go back to sleep) I'll brew.
Impressive! I miss the inventory. I keg, and drink. I just tasted my bottle conditioned AHS Northern Brown--very easy drinker. Superior to Newcastle. I think I plan on focusing on the following styles: pale ale, brown ale, irish ale, and ipa's occasionally. Ck out the beersmith.com for free 21 day trail. I am going to make my own nut brown ale after L. George. AustinBH will put all the specialty grains in one grain sack. I plan on using the software for most of my brewing. It's very cool. If you do it, punch in some of your old recipes to see how it compares with the standards for that style: alc., sp.G, color, hops. It's worth noting that the recipe I came up with without yeast costs $28. BTW with the yeast that I have harvested I am going to do 1 or 2 step up starters, to prevent underpitching.
You don't have room for a kegerator because of all those damn bottles! I may bottle some to keep brewing, because otherwise I literally have to move stock to keep going.
My bottles: Brown Ale, Blueberry Wheat with Vanilla, Pumpkin Ale, Maybe Holiday ale, and who knows a few
Walt, I keep all my brewing schist (most of it anyway) on a shelving unit. If I get rid of that to put in kegerators, my wife will think she's losing storage space. One of my fermentors is in a slop sink and the other sits on an old dresser (both in the laundry area).
Getting together for a couple of cold ones sounds good. The 19th or 20th of Aug. look pretty good right now. That is, until my wife lets me know we had other plans. Anything beyond that is spoken for until Sept.. I went upstate to visit the "out laws" and brought three bottles of the Skeeter Pee. It went over really well.
Yesterday was my first time brewing in six weeks. I made an English Honey Bitter from AHS. Then, I had to go to Thurber to get some Timber Tech to start replacing my decking. There's no shortage to the "honey-do" list!
After reading a thread on Homebrewtalk.com about canned beer, a guy I work with told me about this place; CANZ a Citi Roadhouse
Three of us are heading out there (Patchogue) on Sept. 14 after work. That's the next available time we're all working day shift (+ we're all off the following day) and it's the closest to where we all live. Yeah, gimmicky, I know, but some of those smaller breweries are supposed to be pretty good. I'm not going just for the food and beer anyway.
I have been cycling more recently, and thus drinking less. Currently I have I.Red on tap, and bass in secondary, along with my own pale creation. Beersmith.com allows you make your own recipes. I think I will brew more soon, and bottle to get me through when the kegs kick. The cannes look nice, but I just got it today. That's funny that's right now. Yeah back to school and fairly busy. BTW the yeast harvesting has been a success. I just do a 2 pint starter with 1/2 cup dry extract the night before.
Walt, I'm glad to hear one of us is getting healthier! Still brewing and Quality Assurance testing my brews. Went to CANZ a Citi Roadhouse a couple of weeks ago. Nice place, good looking women. Food was average. Beer selection was extensive. When we left around 8, the place was starting to get crowded.