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Messages - rjharper

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Anyone used this keg volume indicator?
« on: May 25, 2016, 12:39:54 PM »
For the kegs that matter to me, I tare the empty weight (~8lbs) then weigh the keg and calculate the mass, and hence volume of beer via the FG. #sciencegeek

Do your pin lock disconnects have barbs or MFL connections? Could you borrow a gas disconnect from him and switch out? Even if it's barbs, it will only cost you ~2" of gas line to cut off and switch out a couple of times.

The Pub / Re: Cigars
« on: April 29, 2016, 08:04:57 AM »
I'm definitely partial to a good Oliva these days, although I have some Gurkha and Cohiba in the back of the humidor. I quit smoking 10 years ago, never felt the urge to go back, but a cigar every couple of weeks over the summer is nice (too cold to enjoy one outside in the Indiana winters!)

All Grain Brewing / Re: Buying gain in bulk (Sack)
« on: February 05, 2016, 08:09:04 AM »
Sometimes the 10lb bags of grain from MoreBeer with the free shipping works out a better deal than buying a full sack. And you can mix up your base malts that way.

All Things Food / Re: Smokers: electric vs gas
« on: February 03, 2016, 07:36:38 AM »
Something else to consider for a charcoal smoker would be a pit barrel cooker. I got one a few weeks ago, and plan on doing a full review on here in the future.

One basket of charcoal burns for about 12 hours, once the cooker is dialed in. I had an offset smoker, which required constant tinkering to keep the fire going right. Ended up warping it badly by tying it down in my truck, got so bad it would never hold temp. Got rid of it about a year ago, and finally got my new cooker a couple weeks ago.

One of the biggest reason I went with the pit barrel cooker is it's ready to go out the box, and it's completely self contained. All the parts store in the cooker, and there's even room for a bag of charcoal and my charcoal chimney. The entire thing is easily lifted into my tuck's bed, and ties off with a couple of bungie cords.

Basically a UDS that isn't so ugly right? :)

Kegging and Bottling / Re: 80% CO2, 20% N2 - possible, yeah?
« on: January 14, 2016, 10:56:46 AM »
You need a gas blender, then two tanks; one each of CO2 and N2. Then you can blend your own and maintain partial pressures where they need to be. Also means you can use straight CO2 if you need to fast carb, and straight N2 if you want to keg still wines or meads. :)

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Beer Line Cleaner
« on: November 23, 2015, 06:07:06 PM »
I'll usually rinse the lines with Star-San between kegs with a pump bottle as posted. Every 3 months or so I'll bust out a bucket of hot BLC, and a mini pond pump, and circulate through each of my lines for a good 20 mins a piece. I find the moving BLC is much more effective than filling the lines and just letting it sit.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Ozone System for Aeration?
« on: November 17, 2015, 03:22:30 PM »
Just because ozone is oxygen, it doesn't mean it will work. O2 and O3 are very different chemicals. Ozone is highly toxic at concentration, and has very high oxidation potential due to it's reactivity. Oh, and it's used industrially in food processing to kill yeast.

Ingredients / Re: Adding sugar to primary
« on: November 12, 2015, 09:03:32 AM »
Well we got a little foamy over the top of the bucket. Nothing a StarSan spray down.

Ingredients / Re: Adding sugar to primary
« on: November 11, 2015, 07:37:58 PM »
If I sprinkle, if anything the crystals will knock down the foam.

Ingredients / Re: Adding sugar to primary
« on: November 11, 2015, 06:28:22 PM »
Just pour it in, it will be fine. Be sure to anticipate it may end up drier that you expected.


Thank guys! Its a DIPA so drying it out is the plan.

Ingredients / Adding sugar to primary
« on: November 11, 2015, 05:26:37 PM »
So had a great brew day, then remembered as I was running off to the fermenters that I didn't add the sugar at the end of the boil. I figure I'll just add it to the primary instead at high krausen tomorrow. But question: do I make a syrup with some water, boil, cool, then add; or just dump a lb of sugar in and hope for the best? Experiences?

This is 1 lb table sugar / 5 gal 1.080 OG BTW.


How many times have we responded to questions on low scoring competition feedback regarding which category? How many times have we told a brewer not to submit to category based on the recipe and expectations, but to the style it tastes like.

I really don't care what Marshall's recipe is. I care whether chill or no chill makes a difference. I care whether a clean fermented ale is distinguishable from a lager. I care whether you can dry hop too much, fement too warm, and every other experiment that Marshall spends his money, time and energy on, to share the results with the rest of us and help make us all better brewers. The last thing I want to do is discourage him from continuing in this venture because we're getting panties in a knot over the finer points of a Helles recipe.

Bring on the next xBmt!!

So getting back to the OP topic of chill versus no chill, I'm focused on chill haze and cold break. The old adage was that without rapid chilling there was a poorer cold break and so probably some chill haze. Do you think the gelatin fining mitigated some of this?

I (like a lot of homebrewers probably) don't fine, I let time and temperature drop my kegs perfectly bright as is. Do you think there would have been a more noticeable difference between the batches without fining?

Beer Recipes / Re: wheat beer category
« on: October 30, 2015, 10:00:40 AM »
Just because it contains 50% wheat in the grain bill doesn't mean it's going to be "wheaty enough". You're not judged on the grain bill, you're judged on flavor. If the final product is too clean, or wheat character doesnt come through, you'll get dinged.

Interesting side note, apparently 100% wheat beers drop very bright, attenuate highly and are very neutral. They'd probably be dinged for not wheaty enough too :)

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