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Messages - el_capitan

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hulk Smash
« on: February 21, 2015, 04:39:53 PM »
I had that happen once when I was showing my mother-in-law how the smack packs work.  She ended up showered in yeast, and was not too happy with me...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Extreme Weather Brewing
« on: February 21, 2015, 04:09:19 PM »
This winter has been so much better than last!  There was one day last year when the governor cancelled school.  It was -51 degrees with the windchill (I don't remember actual air temp) but I went ahead and brewed a batch out in the garage.  I was surprised my propane tank didn't freeze up - although I brought it inside overnight in anticipation.  Brewed up a Munich Helles and called it Helles Frozen Over. 

Cheers to cold weather brewing! 

The Pub / Re: Homebrewing in 2015
« on: February 08, 2015, 09:36:30 PM »
I've been printing brewday sheets for the last 50 batches or so, along with online and hard drive storage.  A majority of these batches have been real winners to brew repeatedly, so I could easily go back through the logs and recreate something I've done before. 

But, if it was a new batch (and it often is) then I'd want all my tools to calculate water, etc.  Gotta keep on brewing my way through BCS, but Northern Brewer is rolling out some new kits that sound intriguing too. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: CO2 tank for Tasting Event
« on: January 11, 2015, 05:26:18 PM »
One option would be to charge up an empty keg with CO2, and then use that to push the beer.  The problem I foresee with this method though is that you'd be starting off with a fairly high serving pressure and then slowly decreasing as the night goes on.  Maybe you'd get by with only 20 lb of pressure in the CO2 keg, but I really don't know how far the gas would go.  Might be a good time to pick up a keg charger after all. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: first homebrew with 5 gallon mash tun
« on: December 27, 2014, 10:26:14 AM »
I started out with a 10-gal mash tun, and that works great for almost any 5-gallon batch.  You're pushing it on big beers though.

When I scaled back to 3-gal batches, I built a 5-gal mash tun.  The 5-gal tun has worked great for 3-gal batches, even an Imperial Stout (although again, it was pushing it). 

If I were you, I'd consider doing 3-gal batches and fermenting in a 5-gal carboy.  Incidentally, all of the recipes in Brewing Classic Styles are actually formulated for 6 gallons, so it's pretty easy to cut one of those in half. 

The Pub / Re: Evil Dead TV Show
« on: December 22, 2014, 06:18:49 PM »
Whoa - I forgot all about Evil Dead.  Total flashback to high school... thanks.   8)  Now I'm wishing my boys were a lot older. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Measuring a Gallon
« on: December 15, 2014, 07:48:43 PM »
So how hard would it be for big kettle manufacturers to publish a volume/depth chart with purchase of their kettles?  I have a nice Polarware 10-gal pot, and I bet it would have been pretty easy for them to provide that info with purchase.  Just sayin'.

Which 10-gallon Polar Ware stockpot do you own?  Polar Ware offers one made in the U.S.A. 10-gallon stockpot (model 360) and a factory converted version of this stockpot called the Brew Pot (models 361BP and 362BP), one made in the China 10-gallon stockpot called the BrewRite Brew Kettle (model T5140), and one made in China 10-gallon Economy Brew Pot (model T422BPTT). I own the made in U.S.A. 10-gallon Brew Pot (model 360BP).  The 361BP is easy to pick out of the line-up because it has factory welded fittings.

The internal dimensions of the 361BP are roughly 14" wide by 16" tall (the Polar Ware specified width of 15" includes the rolled lip at the top of the kettle).  The BP361 holds approximately (~) 10.5 gallons when filled to the top.

Here are measurements for the 361BP:

height_of_one_US_gallon = 231 / (3.14 x 72) = ~1.5"

0.375" = ~1/4 gallon
0.75" = ~1/2 gallon
1.5" = ~ 1 gallon

As mentioned above, the volume of a liquid expands by roughly 5% at 100C (212F); hence, one's end of boil measurement should be approximately 1.05 times the volume one wants to achieve after chilling.  While not perfectly accurate, multiplying the volume at 100C by 0.95 will give one the approximate volume at room temperature (i.e., the multiplicative inverse of 1.05 = 1 / 1.05 = 0.95238)

I did some careful measurements a few years ago and determined that my kettle is 1.5" height per gallon.  And I had read that wort increases in volume by 4% at boiling, so I typically measure preboil wort right after the hot break happens and the foam settles down.  I multiply by 0.96 to get my volumes.

The point is - maybe that info was readily accessible to me a few years ago, but it sure didn't come with the kettle. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Measuring a Gallon
« on: December 13, 2014, 10:47:45 PM »
So how hard would it be for big kettle manufacturers to publish a volume/depth chart with purchase of their kettles?  I have a nice Polarware 10-gal pot, and I bet it would have been pretty easy for them to provide that info with purchase.  Just sayin'.

The Pub / Re: FictionALE Brewing
« on: December 04, 2014, 10:31:43 PM »
I used WY1469 West Yorkshire ale for the Elevenses oaked mild.  For the graf, I went with some WY1450 slurry from a batch of hard cider. 

Looking forward to sampling these! 

The Pub / Re: FictionALE Brewing
« on: November 29, 2014, 09:51:15 AM »
Yessir, it would. Just toasting the oats! 

The Pub / FictionALE Brewing
« on: November 28, 2014, 03:51:07 PM »
Tomorrow I'm brewing two recipes inspired by fictional stories - John Palmer's "Elevenses" Oaked mild (inspired by Tolkien's tales), and a batch of "Gunslinger's Graf" (mentioned by Stephen King in his Dark Tower series.) 

Both of these recipes include a bit of the oak-smoked malt.  The graf will be interesting, since about half of the fermentables come from cider.  It's described as a dry stout with cider. I'm using the recipe from BTV, scaled down to 3 gallons.  This will be a challenge for me, since I'll need to make a batch of wort finishing at only 1.2 gallons, then topping up with 1.8 gallons of cider.  Since it's such a small batch, I'm just going to BIAB on my stovetop, which will be a first. 

I should be able to pretty much run both batches simultaneously - one outside and one inside. 

Anyway, as I was working through all of my spreadsheets, I realized that both of these batches will be fictional beverages brought to life.  Kind of a fun concept.  Both of these should be really nice session ales with plenty of character. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: ive gotta ask
« on: November 20, 2014, 06:19:12 PM »
You guys are not alone  :D  Happens to me all the time too.  I like HoosierBrew's keg classification scheme.

Other Fermentables / Re: Cider, Scotch Ale style
« on: November 11, 2014, 10:10:21 PM »
Yeast has a big effect on residual apple character and can either enhance or hide the apple.  I have experimented with a lot of different yeasts for cider and found none better than Cote des Blancs.  US-05 is pretty good too and also the 4184 sweet mead yeast if I recall correctly.  Many other yeasts hide or dull the apple character including English cider yeasts.  The one I would be interested to try and haven't yet is WLP400 witbier.  I use this in my apple ale and love it there... for some odd reason I just never remember to try it in a cider cider.  Next year.

Thanks for sharing the concentrated boil idea -- great idea.  Sounds similar to ice cider except that is concentrated by freezing on the tail end.

I've also experimented with a variety of yeast strains, over the years.  I agree that Cote des Blancs does a great job, and I've had great results with US-05 too.  However, my best cider came from a spontaneously-fermented batch.  I froze a bunch of cider, and after defrosting I was preparing to ferment it, when it began to ferment on its own.  I was surprised that some wild yeast survived the freezing process and took hold.  I let it go, and it turned out to be the best out of 6 yeast strains.  Too bad there's no way to reproduce that one!

Other Fermentables / Re: Cider original gravity
« on: November 11, 2014, 10:06:03 PM »
I pressed out 20 gallons of cider this year, from a variety of apples.  Some Fireside and Golden Delicious, but most of a couple unknown varieties.  I tend to pick what I can get for free and go from there.

My gravity came out at 1.052, which I guess is pretty high based on what the rest of you are saying.

I wonder if my higher gravity came from the fact that I let the apples "sweat" for almost a month before pressing?  If the apples are sweating out moisture, then the sugar concentration would be constantly increasing. 

I mainly let them sweat since I know they'll keep fine (assuming I've taken care in picking them and not bruised them up or mixed in apples of questionable quality), and I'm amassing a huge quantity over a couple weeks.  I've also read that sweating the apples aids in juice extraction. 

The Pub / Re: What to read
« on: November 11, 2014, 06:44:52 PM »
Im a big fan of James and the Giant Peach
And the book was way better than the movie

+1.  Roald Dahl is pretty cracked.  If you can find his collected short stories, buy it.  Definitely a twisted mind.

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