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Messages - foobrew

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And charts are perfectly acceptable rather than all prose.

I'd think twice about that strategy. I answered all my compare/contrast questions with charts of the statistical data and only wrote a small paragraph of prose for each question. Both graders shredded me for it even though the numbers were all correct. The message was that the prose is far, far more important than regurgitating the numbers. So, personal experience was that charts are absolutely not acceptable in place of prose but are certainly welcome in addition to prose.

Events / NHC BJCP Event Wed Night
« on: April 27, 2011, 03:27:07 PM »
Anyone have any info on this? I've searched everywhere and all I can find is a mention of a "BJCP Judge Reception in the afternoon" on this page:

I don't see anything on or in the forums there either.

I discovered there were some factors with my measurements which I wasn't accounting for, the most notable of which was the significant inaccuracy in my kettle. The sight glass on the 10 gal Blichmann Boiler Maker is not accurate, but it is consistent. The markings start at 2.0 gallons on the sight glass and this is accurate. For every gallon past 2.0, however, the marks overestimate 7 ounces. So, if you have a reading of 6.0 gallons, you really have: 6.0 + (6.0 - 2.0) * 7 / 128 = 6.22 gallons. I'm guessing the sight glass is calibrated for one of their larger kettles and just re-used for all the others. A little disappointing for a $450 kettle.

The Pub / Re: The Wall
« on: December 03, 2010, 02:19:44 PM »
Ah, The Pros and Cons...I have fond memories of that concert since it was my first. I was about 16 and was just obsessed with Floyd...and heartbroken when they broke up before I was old enough to see them live. Waters came around on the Pros tour soon after and while I'll never forget that show, it still wasn't Floyd. I did catch the Momentary Lapse of Reason concert a couple years later and it was incredible too...but still not the same. Such a shame for the fans that things ended how they did.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Best Brew Software??
« on: December 02, 2010, 03:09:27 PM »
If you have access to a webserver you can look at BrewBlogger ( It's open source (free) and completely web based. A lot of homebrew clubs install it on their website for their members. It doesn't give you paint-by-numbers instructions (yet) but it has all the tools you need to maintain/develop/share recipes and keep track of brew sessions ('blogs'). It uses BeerXML as a format too so you can import/export recipes from other programs like BeerSmith and StrangeBrew. It's the only web-based solution out there which means you have access to your data from anywhere you have a browser (Linux, Mac, iPhone, Android, etc.).

Thanks for the response, Kai.

foobrew, could there be some systematic measurement error that is at fault here?

It's possible, of course. I'm reviewing my measurement procedures now to see if I missed something.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Shipping Beer
« on: November 30, 2010, 05:19:14 PM »
It'll hurt *you* if they find out and decide to press charges.

Brings up a good point..have you (or anyone on this forum) ever heard of this actually happening to someone? I haven't and I've been doing it for years.

I shipped three cases of beer from a monastery I wont name in three different boxes back from Belgium this year and a fourth box full of beer from Paris. All via USPS, once it was stateside, and all arrived at my local post office. Only one box was damaged so bad that a few of the bottles broke. When I picked it up, they'd wrapped it in plastic and it smelled horrible. They kept asking what it was so I finally said something about cooking supplies, vinegar, etc. The spine was busted on another box and was so bad that you could actually reach in and pull out a bottle; surprisingly, they were all accounted for, though! Anyways, no issues at all. For the record, the Belgian post all but gave me their blessing, however, the French were freaking out because I didn't have a French return address..eventually, they let me ship it after a bunch of dirty looks. Not once did they question what was in it, they just wanted to make sure it said something on the forms; I used "Souvaniers/Personal Purchases." I will say that a worker at a different Paris post office than the one I used told me specifically that they would ship wine/beer to anywhere in the world...except the USA. They even have special boxes for it. The price to have shipped all that back internationally with UPS or Fedex was completely prohibitive; their prices were astronomical compared to standard post.

I've also shipped plenty of beers nationally to competitions and never had an issue. Really, who has?

I've been researching this for a few weeks now and have only been able to come with online or in hobby-level homebrew books is anecdotal evidence. I'm trying to find a formula which will output wort volume at a specific temperature based on a known wort volume and temp. For example,

5.0 gallons wort at 68 degrees F = X gallons of wort at 212 degrees F

I've found many references to using .96 or .97 as a factor depending on a wort temp of 212F or 160F, respectively. For example,

5.0 gallons / .96 = 5.2 gallons at boiling

I believe people are basing this factor on the thermal expansion of water formula (Wikipedia: Thermal Expansion):

207 * 10^-6 * (temp in C) * (volume) = expansion volume


207 * 10^-6 * 100 Celsius * 5.0 gallons = 0.10 gallons
0.10 gallons + 5.0 gallons = 5.10 gallons at boiling

Regardless of which one I've used, they both appear to be way off based on my own experience. Over the course of five different brews, I've recorded the following data:

Brew #1
5.25 gal @ boiling, 4.75 gal @ 68F --> 4.75 / 5.25 = .91

Brew #2
5.75 gal @ boiling, 5.25 gal @ 66F --> 5.25 / 5.75 = .91

Brew #3
5.60 gal @ boiling, 5.00 gal @ 76F --> 5.00 / 5.60 = .89

Brew #4
5.65 gal @ boiling, 5.10 gal @ 68F --> 5.10 / 5.65 = .90

Brew #5
5.50 gal @ boiling, 5.00 gal @ 90F --> 5.00 / 5.50 = .91

As you can see, my own measurements show an expansion/contraction rate of about 10% between 68F and boiling which doesn't at all agree with the expansion of water or the .96 (4%) factor thrown around so often. It seems like there must be a thorough formula for wort expansion which has been lab produced but I can't find it. Wouldn't this be covered in one of the professional brewing science texts (which I don't have access to)? Since I'm working on building an online calculator for this, I'd prefer to have a real formula to work with and not just anecdotal evidence. Anyone have any ideas? This would've been a great question for John Palmer I think but I missed out on that one; maybe I should submit it to Rand Moser for the next "Ask the Experts" session?

Equipment and Software / Re: Giant Tea Ball for hops?
« on: October 29, 2010, 03:08:20 PM »
Anyone use one of these ( for hops in the boil?

Have you considered using/building a hop bag hanger? Here's a link to a semi-elaborate one but there are lots of other designs for the same thing on the web:

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