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Messages - brewchez

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Next Step-Water
« on: March 19, 2013, 12:04:11 PM »
I'm more concerned with the alkalinity presented by this water.  At 100 ppm as CaCO3, it has the chance to adversely affect any of the lighter beers. 

Can you elaborate a little more on this statement? Particularly what role does alkalinity play on flavor perception.  What role on pH.  Then framing it in context of your worries about lighter beers.  What effect exactly would you be worried about.

Ingredients / Re: IBU scales, why so different
« on: September 14, 2012, 08:27:09 AM »
It seems to me that our concept of hoppiness is shifting away from IBUs and bitterness.  Hopping a beer later in the process to make flavor/aroma bombs with a lighter emphasis on true "bittering additions" is a focus on hop oils and other delicates in hops.  I wonder if the chest thumping around 100+IBUs bbers will eventually give way to oil content and some undefined future unit of aroma.

Just thoughts.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Crushed Grain Life?
« on: March 01, 2011, 01:36:23 PM »
A couple days will be just fine.  No worries.

Equipment and Software / Re: HERMS Coil
« on: September 23, 2010, 07:51:05 AM »
Is 20ft of 3/8th too long (volume-wise)?  What dimensions do others use for a HERMS coil?

Equipment and Software / HERMS Coil
« on: September 23, 2010, 04:28:55 AM »
I have a 20ft 3/8th inch copper coil that had served as my chiller for 8 years, until I upgraded to a bigger coil.

I have been wondering what is going on inside the coil and if I could use it to pass wort through for use as a HERMS as is.  I figured if I recirculated some PBW or TSP through it for awhile if I could clean out any hidden corrosion in there.

Any thoughts?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Plastic off taste in beer
« on: June 16, 2010, 06:56:38 AM »
Also planned on keeping 20 pounds of ice on hand just in case I cant get my pitching temp down to 64degrees where I like it. Will also turn down the thermostat to 67.

Screw the ice thing.  I could never remember to get the ice before the brew session.  If you have a temp controlled place to ferment the wort then you need to use that to your advantage.  Chill your wort as usual with your chiller and ground water to the best you can get it to.  Maybe that's 74F.  Put the carboy of wort in the fridge set to 64F (your #) and let it sit overnight to chill the rest of the way.  In the morning you aerate (which is more efficient and cooler temps) and pitch the yeast.

I recently started experimenting with making my yeast starter while I mashed. I let the starter go overnight and pitch the yeast in the morning, after the wort chilled down to the exact pitching temp I wanted in the fridge.  Works great so far on 3 batches.

The only caveat is that your sanitation needs to be spot on to let wort sit overnight like that.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mash Temperature Control
« on: May 30, 2010, 06:27:39 PM »
I have the same type of cooler set up and batch sparge.  I had the same troubles you describe.
I have had good luck, bringing one gallon of water to a boil as I get close to the end of the conversion period.  I pull one gallon of wort and add it to the boiling water.  Just as the two gallons starts to come to the boil I add it all back to the mash and stir well.  Gets me pretty close to 170F mash out.  The advantage to that is that you're overcoming some of the mashes low temperature that you need to over come, and not diluting the wort with just more boiling water.

As Denny said though, its sort of an art thing.  You need to figure out for your own system how much water at what temp you need.  The calculators will get you close, but you need to experiment with your real world conditions to get it to work for you.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sour Mash
« on: March 24, 2010, 05:15:40 AM »
How do people go about holding the mash at ~110-120F for several days of sour mashing?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sour Mash
« on: March 19, 2010, 05:12:59 AM »
What temperature do you hold the sour mash at for proper souring?

Beer Recipes / Re: Little help with Oatmeal Stout
« on: March 19, 2010, 05:03:58 AM »
I generally use a pound and a half of oatmeal in my O.Stout.  I use traditional flaked oats from quaker, not quick oats.  Though it might not matter much.  I like to use 1.5lbs (24oz).  I toast half a pound of them in the oven.
Oatmeal doesn't really taste like much, but judges seem to think it does.
So look to somewhere else in your grain bill to help out.  I'd add a little biscuit or victory malt (0.5lb).  And also bump up your chocolate malt slightly too if you are using any.
These two things will help increase the desire to have some nutty, toasty flavors.

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