Category: Brewing

Turn Yeast into a Mosquito Killing Army!

Mosquitoes are drawn to CO2.  Yeast create CO2.  So, use yeast to draw mosquitoes into a trap.

I heard about this tip somewhere and thought I’d share it with you.  It cleverly uses yeast’s carbon-dioxide bi-product to trick mosquitoes into going into a bottle.  Since mosquitoes are also drawn to heat, you can paint the bottle black to make it extra temping.  This is a very natural and eco-friendly pest control.  You can just use some old bread yeast, although some spent beer-brewing trub (pronounced TROOBE) will work awesomely too.

Mosquitos Trapped in a 2-Liter Bottle

Items needed

  • 1 2-liter soda bottle
  • scissers
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of sugar (white or brown)
  • 1 teaspoon of yeast

Steps

  1. Cut the plastic bottle in half.
  2. Mix sugar with hot tap water. When cool, pour in the bottom half of the bottle.
  3. Add the yeast when the water is cool. No need to mix. Yeast eat sugar, and then creates carbon dioxide which attracts mosquitoes.
  4. Place the funnel part, upside down, into the other half of the bottle.  You can tape them if you want.
  5. (optional) Paint the bottle, or wrap it with something black, leaving the top uncovered.  The black will absorb more heat during the day.  Both the yeast and mosquitoes like it warm.
  6. Place the trap along the edges of your yard.

Maintenance (Every Few Weeks)

Add some more cooled sugar water every 2 weeks so the yeast has something to eat.  If there are a lot of dead mosquitoes, and or the liquid looks especially nasty, spray it out and start over.

Dirk’s Lawnmower Cream Ale Recipe

Cream Ale (based on Weed, Feed and Mow from Brewing Classic Styles)

Style: Cream AleOG: 1.050
Type: All GrainFG: 1.009
Rating: 0.0ABV: 05.40 %
Calories: 162IBU’s: 16.50
Efficiency: 80 %Boil Size: 7.25 Gal
Color: 3.7 SRMBatch Size: 5.00 Gal
Boil Time: 90 minutes

Fermentation Steps
NameDays / Temp
Primary7 days @ 65.0°F
Bottle/Keg30 days @ 60.0°F
Grains & Adjuncts
AmountPercentageNameTimeGravity
4.75 lbs45.24 %Pilsner (2 Row) Bel60 mins1.036
4.75 lbs45.24 %Rahr 2-Row60 mins1.035
1.00 lbs9.52 %Briess Rice, Flaked60 mins1.032
Hops
AmountIBU’sNameTimeAA %
1.00 ozs16.15Liberty60 mins4.30
0.50 ozs0.35Liberty1 mins4.30
Yeasts
AmountNameLaboratory / ID
2.00 pkgAmerican AleWyeast Labs 1056
Additions
AmountNameTimeStage
1.00 ozYeast Nutrient10 minsBoil
Mash Profile

Light Body Infusion In90 min @ 149.0°F
Add 13.12 qt ( 1.25 qt/lb ) water @ 165.0°F

Carbonation
AmountTypeBeer TempCO2 Vols
4.46 ozCorn Sugar – Bottle Carbonation60.0°F2.70

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How to Remove Labels from Beer Bottles

Every once and a while, as a reluctant as we are, home brewers sometimes buy beer. Shocking isn’t it?  It’s not a big deal; we usually reuse those bottles for our own brew.  But there’s a problem with this.

One of the biggest pains for a home brewer is removing labels from old bottles.  

In fact, it just plain sucks. Scrubbing with steal wool. Shaving it off with a razor blade. Nothing seems to work.

Until now.  (cue the dramatic music)

The easiest and most effective way to remove labels from beer bottles is..

OXICLEAN!

Removing labels is easy with OxiClean. DO try this at home!

Seriously! Just submerge your bottles in the sink, pour in a bit of dish soap, and sprinkle a small amount of OxiClean powder over the labels.  A couple hours would probably do, but I usually let them soak over night.  In the morning, you can just pull the labels off and easily remove the left over glue by wiping with an old scrubby.

There, I’ve saved you hours! Maybe even days!  (Numbers are over the course of your lifetime. Results may vary.)

Yet Another Homebrew Q/A Site

For good info on home-brewing beer, there’s not much better than Home Brew Talk. And for techie-questions, I also love Stack Overflow and the whole Stack Exchange for the voting and atmosphere.  The cool thing is, both of these ideas are  now combined into one site:

Homebrew – Stack Exchange
http://homebrew.stackexchange.com/

It’s left to be seen, but hopefully the people on this new site are as insightful as on Home Brew Talk.  I’ll try posting on both to get a good feel of which ones better.  The interface for Homebrew – StackExchange is WAY better than Home Brew Talk’s, which seems to be some bad, old forum software from the late 90s.  But since HBT has been around for a long time, there is a TON of wisdom there that should never be overlooked.  Just sayin, take a gander for yourself.  Let me know which one you use and what you like about either one.

And if you don’t know: Don’t worry.  Have a homebrew.  :)

P.S. In case you have an account on either one, I wouldn’t mind being in your circle.  Check out my profiles if you got a moment:

My Homebrew – StackExchange Profile

My Home Brew Talk Profile

Belgian Wit and Honey Brown Ale

Currently brewing a belgian wit and a honey brown ale.

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The only reason these have anything to do with each other is that they were both brewed by myself and a gracious helper.  The honey brown ale on the right was brewed with Tom May and the Wit on the left was brewed with my Mom.

They’re both all-grain.  These are my 3rd and 4th all-grains, and probably 14 / 15th of all the batches under my belt.  I sure have learned a lot in the last year.