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Messages - thcipriani

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Zymurgy / Re: Zymurgy Live: Brewing Local with Stan Hieronymus
« on: May 25, 2016, 01:03:48 PM »
Loved the idea of this event. Thanks to Stan for taking the time to put on the presentation and tell us about his new book. Really looking forward to this being a regular thing.

Now to the complaining. That WebEX software horrible. How in this day and age such a collection of utter garbage code can be allowed to exist is beyond me. Crappy code that does not execute coupled with horrible interface design decisions and terrible aesthetic choices should not be supported. I cringe to think that some small fraction of my fees went to pay for that steaming pile of s***. There are much better options out there, please use those instead.

Hi stonebriar -

I am sorry to hear that you had such a negative experience with the WebEx portal. I'd be interested in hearing more about how we could improve Zymurgy Live for all users. I'm aware that there were a few audio issues, and we are taking steps to alleviate that for the next webinar. If you could email me with some suggestions on how we can improve the aesthetics of the presentation, I would really appreciate it!

I'm looking forward to hearing from you!


Matt Bolling
AHA Events & Membership Coordinator (and the guy who set up the steaming pile of s***)

I'm (obviously) not the OP, but I do work remotely and therefore have some experience with remote participation events. I am also a software developer and have (very negative) Opinions about client-side java which is the technology used by WebEx (

In my view there are several problems with WebEx:

1. Relying on the JRE, which is reasonably complex and large. Anecdotally, it has been difficult to use (see: OP)
2. This technology does not work on most mobile platforms

FWIW, hangouts-on-air ( seem to be a good option here with less technical overhead (in my limited experience). SparkFun electronics uses this for "SparkFun Live" events (ex:—which is, AFAICT very similar to this event—it seems to work well.

Hangouts on-air:

1. Do not require any plugins to watch (AFAIK)
2. Have most functionality built in to browsers and are available via mobile
3. Allow easy remote participation

At work we use hangouts-on-air along with an IRC back-channel to ask questions. There is some chat system built into youtube hangouts events, which might be usable.

Kudos for putting out the Zymurgy Live events: very exciting. Thank you for being open to feedback!

EDIT: corrected SparkFun Live example link (previous link was for a promo video)

All Grain Brewing / Re: Low Oxygen Brewing
« on: May 23, 2016, 12:01:42 PM »
use Brewtan B in strike water (and the boil)

What's Brewtan B doing in this case?

I'd never heard of it until just now:

All Grain Brewing / Low Oxygen Brewing
« on: May 23, 2016, 06:37:07 AM »
Ran across this article on very low oxygen brewing method for making a helles:

Seems fairly difficult to pull off. I've heard of this technique a couple of times now—has anyone here tried it?

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: NE IPA reviews
« on: May 20, 2016, 03:40:14 PM »
On thing I still don't understand, as hard as I try, is what the haze and thickness add to the beer in a positive way.  What do you, or others, like about it?

Just to play devil's advocate here: what does it add to a German Hefe other than: that's what's expected of the style?

I'm definitely interested in this style of IPA. I live far enough away from the epicenter of this style that I haven't had any opportunity to try it first hand. Would be interested in brewing Michael Tonsmeire's version at some point:

I'm also curious as to how expectations are affected by the appearance of this style. Is the drinking experience changed by the fact that you're expecting a hoppy milkshake? Probably so.

Thanks for the write-up denny :)

All Grain Brewing / Re: Getting low OG.....?!
« on: May 17, 2016, 06:26:23 PM »
In addition to these tips there is one other point to consider. Mash efficiency is a number with two components:
  • conversion efficiency
  • lauter efficiency
kai has a really thorough article on his wiki:

Most of the suggestions here have to do with conversion efficiency, but your problem may have something to do with how you are sparging/lautering. Or it could be a combination of the two.

Good luck in troubleshooting and let us know if the problem persists.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: NHC SQLite Dataset
« on: May 02, 2015, 04:38:40 PM »
Cool, want to have a look. Downloaded the code, but where is the data with the recipes etc.?

It's all inside the
Code: [Select]
nhc.db file. You'll need sqlite to read the data:

SQLite is a super lightweight database that is way way way easier than something like mysql or postgresql, also the code is Public Domain ( which is neat :)

Once you have sqlite installed you can do something like:

Code: [Select]
sqlite3 nhc.db
From then onward you should be able to use simple sql syntax to query the data.

General Homebrew Discussion / NHC SQLite Dataset
« on: May 02, 2015, 03:11:54 PM »
Seems like as good of a place as any to post this info.

I've collected the NHC gold medal winners dataset into a sqlite database to allow some rudimentary data science + easy, open, access.

Now answering weird one-off questions about NHC winners over the past decade is simple:

How many winning recipes in the past decade used SafAle yeast?

Code: [Select]
$ sqlite3 nhc.db 'select count(*) from recipes where ingredients like "%safale%"'

What is the most common batch size?

Code: [Select]
sqlite3 nhc.db 'select vol from recipes' | cut -d'(' -f1 | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn | head -5
     77 5 Gallons
     44 6 Gallons
     35 10 Gallons
     24 5.5 Gallons
     14 12 Gallons

You can even use the data to create interesting plots that can answer questions.

Has the average gravity of a batch changed over the years?

All the code and info is available at:

Enjoy everyone! Cheers!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast starter time question
« on: October 13, 2014, 01:18:12 PM »
Minor thread hijack about starter gravity. I asked Chris White about this via email right before his yeast book came out (because I'm an impatient bastard)

Here is his reply:

Hello.  Thank you for your comments and for using our yeast.  To really eliminate the crabtree effect, you need to be down under 1.010, and slowly feed the yeast sugar.  But 1.025-30 is still a good range, and I think it is a good compromise to good yeast physiology and good fermentation.  So I think that is the best gravity, and brewers wort with grain, liquid, or dry malt are all good.  Thank you, enjoy the book,



Equipment and Software / Chillin' in the Summer
« on: June 30, 2014, 08:07:52 PM »
Whirlpool chiller + $15 submersible pump + 20lbs of ice = 58°F wort on a 100°F day

All Grain Brewing / Re: Another band-aid off flavor post
« on: February 22, 2014, 04:53:21 PM »
Tyler, did you count cells to verify how much you were pitching?

Yes, I do hemocytometer counts to verify pitching. I don't, however, do any viability testing for starters made from fresh smack-packs, so there is likely some variability.

I also try to keep tight controls on other measurements. My temp is controlled with a 2-stage Ranco, fridge and ferm-wrap to ±1°F and the O2 was measured with a Milwaukee DO Meter.

I posted my discussion regarding 3068 with Wyeast on this forum previously; here is the link to that thread:

As I said, it's not popular advice to say, "pitch less yeast", but I'd try that before I'd try buying all new equipment, especially if your other beers are coming out fine. Those phenolic yeasts are very particular about pitching rate in my experience.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Another band-aid off flavor post
« on: February 22, 2014, 10:33:35 AM »
Although it's probably not a very popular thing to suggest, have you tried playing with the pitching rate at all? I had tons of problems with my hefe, felt like I tried everything—ferments from 60°F to 75°F, O2 rates from 8ppm–14ppm.

Finally, I tried 20E6 cells/mL and that was the worst yet! Then I tried pitching at 6E6 cells/mL and all my problems went away. Had a conversation with Wyeast and they said that they found the same thing—pitching much higher than 6E6 for hefes I causes problems. Just my experience.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Distilled water brewing
« on: January 26, 2014, 10:01:21 PM »
So my initial idea was to brew 3 batches this weekend—one with distilled water, one with 25ppm calcium and one with 50ppm calcium. I haven't brewed in, oh, I don't know, 4 months, and the last time I _did_ brew was on totally different equipment, so how hard could that be, right? Right? RIGHT!?

So, anyway, I got two batches done: Distilled and 50ppm calcium.

A few hiccups, nothing major, some trouble holding mash temp. There has been some delay in fermentation as I've only had single-stage temp control, and, initially, I was banking on the wrong stage (i.e. room got too cold, not too hot). This post, however, primarily focuses on the mash.

Write up here:

Any notes on methods, layout and process very welcome.


All Grain Brewing / Distilled water brewing
« on: January 19, 2014, 07:52:53 PM »
I've always heard that you need 50ppm calcium in your brewing water to produce good beer. I've read it in the water book and on this forum, but I've never heard the genesis story of this heuristic. Does anyone know? (seriously, not just a question that serves a rhetorical purpose)

Not having 50ppm calcium can cause:

* Your mash not to convert
* Your beer not to ferment
* Your finished beer not to clarify

I know I've brewed beers using < 50ppm calcium and I think that I could brew with distilled water.

Before doing any sort of experiment with a full batch of beer, I figured I should first try to determine if a mash would convert using distilled water. I knew I wanted to take a gravity reading, and I also knew that my hydrometer tube is ~200mL, so I started with 300mL distilled water. I added 150g grain to keep to roughly 1qt/lb.

I wrote up this little test here:

**tl;dr**: The mash _did_ convert...eventually.

I want to try some 1 gallon experiments using 0ppm calcium (distilled), ~25ppm calcium and 50ppm calcium waters and monitor their mash, starting gravity, final gravity, fermentation, clarification and, ultimately, flavor.

Thoughts? Anyone besides me think it's a cool idea?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Fusel alcohols
« on: October 02, 2012, 09:18:42 PM »
An excess of FAN will cause fusel alcohols—low molecular-weight proteins are also foam-negative. Might be something to look into if you're seeing low head and hot alcohol.

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