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Otto Von Blotto

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Otto Von Blotto last won the day on April 3

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  1. I wouldn't even return the first one to be honest. Unless the sample tube and hydrometer are as clean and sanitised as everything else.
  2. Depends on the style. Some are good after 3-4 weeks, others take longer. There isn't really a standard that fits all beers. Generally the darker a beer the longer it takes to hit its peak but as with anything there are exceptions, such as lagers (although it's time cold that improves them rather than warm).
  3. Supposedly my new grain bag will be arriving today, if so I'll be doing a brew day on Saturday. Not sure what yet, will look in the freezer and see what I can come up with from whatever hops are in there. Maybe some kind of red/amber ale. After that I'll have to get some more Saaz so I can get some more pilsners done.
  4. You may be reading it wrong. 1.5 is not correct and no brewing hydrometer even goes that high. They usually max out at about 1.120. If you look down the scale it probably has a 1.000 line then 10, 20, 30 etc. going down the hydrometer with graduations between each 10. These numbers are translated as 1.010, 1.020 etc. so you can get the exact reading pretty easily.
  5. Maltodextrin doesn't add sweetness. It just adds body and mouthfeel.
  6. Just hot tap water. Sometimes I've put boiling water in them to swish around in lieu of sanitiser but it hasn't caused any problems. I only run the hot tap water through the lines and taps, not boiling.
  7. Did they actually let you take the money? Heard a few complaints on the radio the past few days of people being offered cashouts then having their accounts frozen. I actually have a Sportsbet account but I only opened it to have a go on the Melbourne cup last year. Haven't used it since
  8. I think there can be overkill. Aside from not sanitising bottles I never did the caps either, but they never actually came in contact with the brew as they were always stored upright and not shaken or inverted. Didn't have any problems with infection or weird flavours in thousands of bottles. It's less susceptible to infection after fermentation anyway. I tend to use sanitiser in kegs though, because the whole batch can get ruined if there's something in a keg. They get cleaned in hot sodium percarbonate followed by a hot rinse, then filled with CO2 so they're probably fine, but it's a bit of added insurance. I have done kegs without it that have been fine too though. At least if a bottle goes it's only a bottle and not the whole thing.
  9. They're pretty good most of the time but when they stuff it up they really go the extra mile and make a complete SNAFU
  10. At least you didn't get it sent from Adelaide to 10 minutes down the road then to Darwin and back...
  11. I always check OG because sometimes I get a low one, or in the case of my last lager, an unusually high one. Malt bill and process still the same. However it's different with all grain, kits and extract is predictable and actually pretty easy to calculate without needing to take a sample at all. It's only based on grams of sugar per litre. With the samples, it originally started because I check it after a period to see if it's ready to raise the temperature, 3 days for ales and 5 days for lagers. Depending on this reading I'll bump it up then or give it another day. Then I figured these samples could act as a sort of fast ferment test, not so much about when it reaches FG but making sure that it does. Hence leaving them on the bar. My fermentations are consistently good but it's still nice to have confirmation. My other reason for not putting it in the fridge is that it's a very small volume compared to the batch so its temperature likely drops further when the fridge does come on, which could actually make it take longer than the batch. This predictability makes it pretty easy to figure when the actual batch has hit FG. I took a sample on Monday which was late for this batch at 5 days, but judging by the reading it probably reached FG either yesterday or today since it only had about 10/11 points to go and the temperature was allowed to rise 3 degrees. It's also taking quite a while to rise the 0.3 degrees that kicks the fridge on, which is a good indication that it's done. I'll check it Friday or Saturday, if it's where I'm expecting it to be it can begin chilling down on Saturday, as these few days will be enough for any yeast cleanup.
  12. I did it because I liked the reduced amount of sediment in the bottles. It didn't really make any difference to the clarity though. A week isn't really long enough to drop chill haze out without some sort of aid.
  13. Yeah don't pour the samples back in. Not worth it. I don't brew from kits anymore so my original reading is taken before it even gets in the fermenter. I take a progress sample 3 days after pitching yeast, but rather than leaving it next to the fermenter I keep it out somewhere warmer so it ferments quicker (my fermenters are in fridges for temp control). I then take proper FG samples another day or two after the hydrometer stops dropping in that sample, which is usually 6 and 8 days since pitching. All up it's about 300mL taken but it's not an issue really. I make 21 litre batches and use 19 litre kegs, so that extra litre or two just gets tipped anyway. Not really losing anything by taking the samples. The original sample is also taken from dregs that get tipped so not part of the final batch. That's for ales. Lagers I do the same but with slightly longer timeframes.
  14. Never noticed any difference in carbonation times from cold crashing. I used to cold condition lagers for a month or more before bottling and they still carbonated in a couple of weeks. It might look like there is a lot less yeast in suspension and there is, but it's not enough to stuff carbonation up. More likely they aren't warming up enough if it's taking ages.
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