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Messages - Richard

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Equipment and Software / Re: Insulated SS Kettle Specific Heat
« on: October 15, 2018, 06:56:14 PM »
When heating water in an electric BIAB system, the thermal mass of your kettle doesn't matter when determining the strike temperature. In BeerSmith, un-check the box on the mash tab that says "Adjust Temp for Equip". If you are putting hot water into a cold kettle you need to know how much heat the kettle will absorb as the kettle and water equalize their temperatures. If you are heating the water in your kettle then the kettle will be the same temperature as the water so it doesn't matter. You just need to know your water volume, grain weight and grain temperature to calculate the strike temperature. Just give your system a few minutes at strike temperature with well-stirred water before adding the grains and everything should be fine.

In my electric BIAB system the difference between strike temperature and mash temperature is only about 6 degrees, so just setting to the mash temperature would result in mashing about 6 degrees too low for a few minutes. If  you are looking for a light-bodied, highly fermentable wort then there is no problem with doing this (and I do it on purpose sometimes). If you want a higher-bodied beer with a higher mash temperature then you probably want to start with strike temperature higher than the mash temperature.

Jim, you already solved this elsewhere.  An active one like you do is a "starter," because you're just getting the yeast awake and going.  One that's completed and decanted is "propagation,"  because you're growing up a new supply of cells, no longer active, which need to start up again when pitched.  (What I do, and what I call it.)  All that's left is to popularize the use of these preexisting, perfectly sensible terms. Start a movement.  Or propagate one, either way.

Sourdough bread makers have starters, too, and it usually refers to the sleeping culture. You warm it up and feed it, wait until it doubles, make bread with half of it and put the rest in the fridge. If someone looks in your fridge and asks you what that white goop is you say it is your sourdough starter.

Pitching a large starter that was fermented at high temperature could cause some off flavors, but probably not grassy ones. That does sound more like something from the hops, or stale grain.

Do you pitch the whole starter? If you cold crash it for a couple of days, decant the liquid and only pitch the slurry then any effects of high temperature fermentation should be minimized.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: PBW vs Oxiclean
« on: October 09, 2018, 11:59:35 PM »
Effectiveness of any cleaner is a product of time, temperature and concentration of the active ingredient.   

That sounds like something a chemist would say about almost anything.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Full 5 gallon boil, or ???
« on: October 09, 2018, 06:04:00 PM »
When I did partial-boil extract brews my beers always came out darker than expected.

Equipment and Software / Re: Electric BIAB Mash without Circulation
« on: October 09, 2018, 05:56:08 PM »
I chose to go with insulation rather than recirculation. Cheaper and easier to clean. I also noticed differences between water tests and real mash behavior. Eventually I decided not to stress over fractions of a degree.

I'm not sure any of this will really change your efficiency. It is more a matter of getting the fermentability you want by controlling the temperature.

Equipment and Software / Re: Electric BIAB Mash without Circulation
« on: October 09, 2018, 04:52:50 PM »
I do something very similar, but without the false bottom. Without a pump you will get some stratification unless you stir often. You can also have problems with lag time that will make  your controller overshoot and oscillate, depending on the distance from the heating coil to the temperature probe. The heater comes on but it takes some time for the heat to rise to the probe. By the time the probe heats up and the controller turns down the power there is already enough heat put in to overshoot. Most PID loops really don't handle transport lags like that very well at all. Stirring or recirculating smooths out all the temperatures and solves that problem. Lots of insulation also helps because the amount of power you need to put in is very small, so any overshoot and oscillation will also be small. I use three layers of Reflectix ( ) during the mash that I remove afterwards. I am able to maintain mash temperatures with a low enough power input that I don't worry about burning the bag, and I can achieve a temperature stability of 0.2 - 0.3 F.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: a little help for a beginner?
« on: October 08, 2018, 10:41:08 PM »
Spigots (and valves) on fermenters scare the heck out of me.  Once you take your first sample, there's beer residue up in there growing all manner of nasties, and you can't properly disassemble and clean it out until you've emptied out all the beer -- through the contaminated spigot.  They're fine on a bottling bucket, because you start clean, and bottle the whole lot in one operation through the  clean spigot.

My fermenter (Fermonster) spigot has a small vent hole at the top that is closed when the spigot is open and open to the output when the spigot is closed. I can flush out the spigot with Starsan using this vent. I take a piece of hose that is half filled with Starsan and put it on the output of the spigot. As I raise the open end of the hose the Starsan goes into the spigot and out the small vent hole at the top.  I normally take samples through the top with a turkey baster and only use the spigot when transferring to the bottling bucket, so flushing it once is fine with me. If I took samples through the spigot I would flush it with water after sampling and Starsan before sampling.

Ingredients / Re: Water Profile for Brown Ale
« on: October 07, 2018, 08:01:50 PM »
If the dark malts are bringing down your mash pH too much, you could try steeping them separately, or adding them at the very end of the mash after most of the conversion has taken place.

All Things Food / Re: Beef Jerky
« on: October 06, 2018, 12:49:44 AM »
The jerky reminds me of the story of the junior high cooking class teacher who was giving the students various meats to taste. Everybody know beef and pork and chicken but when she gave them venison nobody could figure it out. They guessed all kinds of animals except deer, so the teacher gave them a hint. She said "When your father comes home, what does your mother call him?" One boy excitedly jumped up in the back of the room and said "I know, I's jerky!"

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Layoffs.
« on: October 05, 2018, 03:42:46 PM »
poodle sack race night

I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to gloss over this one. Is this a sack race, but with poodles? Where the sack is made from poodles? Where you put poodles into a sack and have them race each other?

You put the poodles in sacks and throw them into a swimming pool, where they race back and forth while the brewer tries to figure out if they are affecting his hydrometer reading.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Solvent Flavors in Final Product
« on: September 30, 2018, 04:03:24 AM »
Another option is to focus on Belgian styles during the warmer summer months.
That is only a good option if you happen to like Belgian styles. For the rest of us, there are lots of simple ways to keep fermentation temperatures down.

The Pub / Re: If you served just one beer
« on: September 29, 2018, 08:24:59 PM »
There is no way to satisfy everyone's taste with a single beer. I recommend going with what works for you, and the Brown Ale seems to fit that bill.

Looks good, but I think the yeast nutrient should be 0.5 tsp and not 5 tsp.

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