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Messages - charlie

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Interesting article, maybe
« on: May 24, 2018, 03:57:37 AM »
“Dry milling of malts becomes irrelevant with the new installation, since malts are pulverized by the cavitational processes down to less than 100 µm in size within a few minutes,”

In other words we get malt flour in the boil kettle. Thanks, but no thanks!


All Grain Brewing / Re: APA malt bill advice
« on: April 14, 2018, 02:08:32 AM »
I dumped Carapils from all of my recipes 5 or 6 years ago. I don't have any quantitative data on the before/after event, but my considered opinion is that carapils had no effect on my brew.

I'm sort of a medieval brewer. I brew in much the same way that they did in the 1600s (but with stainless steel vessels, and natural gas heat. lol).


Then it comes down to batch quantity. Make more or less.

In my case more is better. My schedule is hectic, and I have to brew every 3 or 4 weeks to keep up with demand. If I could find a couple or three of the old 1 bbl Sanke kegs I would cheerfully switch to 20 gal batches.



Indeed!  If gravity could make 600 bbl flow sideways in a 20 acre pole building, macro breweries would gladly dispense with pumps!  The same principle applies to most equipment.  You needn't do things the way pros do, they might prefer your way.  Applies to immersion chiller vs counterflow, pumps, cip, all manner of brewery procedures.

Or you could buy property on a hill. But your 20 acre pole barn is going to look weird. :-)

This is my brew rig. The components are identified with dinky red letter abbreviations.

I use a cold liquor tank (CLT) because the local water sucks, and I have to source it from a nearby town (or treat RO water to spec).

I recently switched to a natural gas burner, so no more running out of propane in the middle of a boil!


Here's a couple more:

Carapils is worthless.  It doesn't do what anyone says it does.

Strongly agree! I used to add Carapils to my recipes religiously to aid head retention, but discovered that I have good head retention without it. So I dropped it from my recipes a couple or four years ago, and I still have great head retention.

So I dunno why people use it.


Two things:

1. I wish I had known that you could make brew pots from 1/2 barrel kegs. I would have saved a butt load of money buying Blichmann this that and the other brew pots.

2. I wish I had known that a total gravity rig was so much cleaner than trying to pump wort from the mash tun to the boil kettle. I switched to a gravity rig about 5 years ago. I get nary a particle of grain in the boil kettle, and it's downhill all the way to the fermentors.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Trub Shmub
« on: March 28, 2018, 11:12:56 PM »
The first president of the Malt Munching Mash Monsters (my club) was a graduate student in Microbiology at LSUMC. His considered opinion was that trub is yeast food, and that it was a good thing.

In my almost 10 years of brewing, both amateur and pro, I have never worried about trub, and have seen no detrimental effects from putting it in the fermentors with the wort.


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: 1 L Erlenmeyer flask
« on: March 07, 2018, 11:47:18 PM »
The rule is that the starter should be half the volume of the flask.

My procedure calls for boosting a White Labs packet to four 500 ml stock starters which I then refrigerate. Each 500 ml stock starter will be used to make a 2 liter starter for brew day. I use 1L flasks for the 500 ml stage.


My hop schedule (10 gallon batch) is bittering at 60 minutes followed by an ounce each at 20, 15, 10, 5 and 0 minutes. Then I get it in the fermentors as quickly as possible.

IMHO whirlpool hops are a waste of time (and hops), and the main reason commercial brew rigs suck (you can't do late hop adds if you whirlpool). If you want alpha conversion (and I don't!) just add them earlier.


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Reconfirm: I HATE White Labs new packaging
« on: February 25, 2018, 02:46:00 AM »
I don't like the new packaging so much either. My objection is that it's hard to re-suspend the slurry before you open the package.

There is a way to get the yeast out in a sterile manner. You need two pairs of scissors: one blunt and one sharp.

Sterilize the blunt pair in the autoclave when you run your starter wort. Re-suspend the yeast as much as possible. Pierce one end of the outer packet with the sharp scissors, and remove it being careful not to damage the inner packet. Remove the inner packet from the outer, invert it, cut the clean exposed end with the sterile blunt scissors, and pour it into your starter with rinsings as needed.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Too much SO4?
« on: February 21, 2018, 02:10:27 AM »
14g to 9.5 gallons distilled

That sounds about right. I mash in with 15 g CaSO4 in water that already contains 18 ppm Ca and 15 ppm SO4, which gives me something like 109 ppm Ca and 235 ppm SO4 in the finished 10 gal brew. I approached that amount qualitatively: Just kept adding another tsp until it tasted right. I'm pretty sure I don't want to go higher on a regular beer.

I know some brewers that think all you need in water is some gypsum and calcium carbonate, but in my experience the brew will benefit from a complete mineral profile. Sodium  and chloride ions are deprecated, but a little salt makes anything taste better. There are brewers in this state who use ridiculous water profiles, and one that uses untreated soft spring water. And their beer suffers for it: There's a hole in the taste as the beer goes down. It just vanishes! And it doesn't leave you wanting more.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Fly Sparge efficiency
« on: February 20, 2018, 02:01:30 AM »
Why not a false bottom covering the whole bottom? I've never fly sparge, but I recirculate and I'm mindful of channeling. To date I've tried a smallish domed false bottom, a bazooka tube, and recently a custom false bottom designed to completely cover the bottom (precise fit). The best for me has been the full false bottom.
Totally agree, Jim.  I DO fly sparge, and the full domed false bottom is the ideal way to go if you ask me.  Palmer CLAIMS a ring dividing the area is almost as good at preventing channeling, but full FBs are so easy to get now it's worth it.  The gold standard. Just make sure it comes with, or you modify it to include, a draw tube leaving zero dead space.  I leave only about 1/2 cup liquid in my 10 gal cooler. Those that draw near the top of the dome will kill your efficiency.

I have tried both the 10 inch hat shaped false bottom and the full width hinged false bottom (Sabco), and was expecting to pick up a few points with the full width bottom. It didn't happen.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why I'm not a big fan of IPA any longer
« on: February 20, 2018, 01:56:43 AM »
I recommend that you pace yourself. Start out with a plain vanilla APA....

Holy crap Charlie, "vanilla APA..."  If that gets out out of context you will be held personally responsible for the coming fad of "Pastry Pales."  : ;)

Like. lol

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Too much SO4?
« on: February 20, 2018, 01:54:48 AM »
200 ppm SO4 sounds about right to me. I routinely run 150+ ppm with no ill effects.

I read some book that said the effect of using too much CaSO4 was a taste like licking drywall. I haven't got to that point yet.

What weight of CaSO4 did you add per how many gallons of water?


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why I'm not a big fan of IPA any longer
« on: February 19, 2018, 03:21:35 AM »
I recommend that you pace yourself. Start out with a plain vanilla APA, then progress to a slightly more aggressive style and so on. Finish the night with a nice hoppy DIPA.

That's what I do. Keep it interesting!


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