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Messages - chinaski

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Kudos to everyone in involved in this experiment & others.  I know its a ton of work and can further our interest in the hobby.  As mentioned earlier in this thread, and in other discussions of experiments like this where there are two variations of one beer and a panel of tasters to gather the data, a truer result probably won't be known until this experiment is repeated with a variety of recipes.  When you have results from just one beer, you can only really draw conclusions about that one beer; what you are really assessing is how well a population of people can taste the difference between that single beer.  What we really need is tasting panels tasting maybe 5 or more recipes brewed by the methods here.  Sounds like a multi-club experiment in the making.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Another efficiency thread
« on: July 09, 2015, 06:20:14 PM »
I get different efficiencies for every batch which bugs me. When I do batches again I usually get the same efficiency.

Unless all your beers are the same gravity, that's to be expected. Efficiency will necessarily scale with the ratio of grist mass to kettle volume, unless you have a mash press.

I disagree based upon my own experience batch sparging a very large number of different recipes from 1.032 mild ales to 1.068 IPAs.  My efficiency is super-consistent at 78%.  I do have to adjust somewhat lower for gravities above 1.070 or so.  I'm sure other experienced batch spargers would agree.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Another efficiency thread
« on: July 08, 2015, 06:48:34 PM »
If you are batch sparging, the speed of the runoff shouldn't affect your efficiency if you are still draining all, or almost all, of the wort.  That said, the psychological benefits of having a nice easy runoff are good.  I recommend rice hulls.

If you find your efficiency is consistent, then you could decide to not worry about it & have the ability to design recipes or adjust existing ones to hit your target gravity consistently.  Otherwise you can have variable results on each batch until you find a system that consistently gives you the efficiency you seek.  Either way consistency should be your goal.

Equipment and Software / Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« on: June 05, 2015, 06:01:23 PM »
My advice is to keep whatever gap setting you settle on once you find your favorite.  If I change mine I can no longer predict my OG very well.  If I leave it alone, I get consistent efficiency and know I can design a recipe and at least get the OG spot on every time.

Hop Growing / Re: Hop Growning and Yellow Leaves
« on: May 28, 2015, 06:18:56 AM »
The reason why I asked is because I have been experiencing slow growth and the same kind yellowing.  The day and nighttime temperatures here have been swinging wildly enough the I am positive that my hop hills cannot decide if it is spring, summer, fall, or winter.
I doubt that the plants are in any way confused about the season.  Temperate zones have very predictable day lengthening in Spring no matter what the temperatures do.  My plants in Vermont see huge swings in temps (frost to high 80's) and don't exhibit these symptoms.  I don't know what the cause is, however.  Because I'm not a commercial grower, I tend not to stress too much about pests and diseases on my plants.

Hop Growing / Re: Thinking about growing hops
« on: May 17, 2015, 06:26:16 PM »
A word of advice is that growing hops is not a way to save money. 

So much of brewing & associated stuff like hop growing is not about saving money, IMO.  Its a fun labor of love for me as well as a brewer's challenge to create original recipes around MY hops, including bittering additions.  I grew approx. 3 lbs. dry weight of hops last year (12 varieties) & like the challenge of supplying my own ingredients.

Hop Growing / hop growing webinar - April 8
« on: March 27, 2015, 06:06:32 PM »
From University of Vermont Extension, who has been doing trials for the last several years.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Creating recipes
« on: January 22, 2015, 06:13:32 PM »
Good advice from many.  Not sure I saw the option of tweaking a recipe you have brewed before, whether its a kit or not.  I think I've done that a lot out of necessity when a particular ingredient isn't available or, more recently, when I want to use my own hops rather than commercial ones.  Many starts have come from Brewing Classic Styles recipes, which I really like.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Quality, Impact, and Commercial Appeal
« on: January 22, 2015, 06:01:48 PM »
I'm in the same boat, registered for the same competition, I"m sure.  I waffle between a style that's not represented much in the VT craft scene and which of my beers will likely score well in BJCP-style.  The bud/miller/coors crowd won't be the target audience for these beers that's for sure.  I don't expect that the judging will be done by many BJCP judges either so score itself might not matter a heck of a lot.  Just brewed a potential entry from a newly formulated recipe that I'm not sure is going to make my cut.  Good luck!

Equipment and Software / Re: Boilermaker Valve
« on: January 15, 2015, 08:17:31 AM »
To aproximae 40 ftlbs. Just tighten until there's blood in your stool and you'll be close.

This makes me smile.  Thanks Jim!

Not enough mention of blood in stool these days, is there?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sparge Water Volumes
« on: January 10, 2015, 02:39:21 PM »
If you are batch sparging then just add enough sparge water to fill the kettle to your pre boil amount.
I fly sparge and very rarely measure the sparge water.  I just stop collecting runoff when I reach the proper volume in the kettle.

I batch sparge and have gotten to the point where I know how much water my grain absorbs & do this.  I measure as closely as I reasonably can know that I typically leave some wort behind in trub after the boil anyway.  A couple of cups of water ain't going to make a lot of difference for sparge water volume.

Equipment and Software / Re: Insulated stainless mash tun
« on: November 29, 2014, 03:04:54 PM »
I agree that its odd.  I can easily see myself buying what would amount to be a stainless rectangular cooler- call it Shiny Cheap-and-Easy= to batch sparge in, especially if it held temps like my plastic one does.  Every once in a while I wonder if the plastic cooler is leaching stuff.  Then I have a beer and stop worrying...

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: How important is it to decant the starter?
« on: November 28, 2014, 07:00:55 PM »
What is the proper way to decant?  I always pour it but loose yeast.

Refrigerate for 1-3 days.  That will cause the yeast to drop to the bottom of your starter vessel and make it easier to pour off the wort.
If I decant, I'll do it this way.  I prefer to have mine at full krausen with as active yeast as I can have.  I assume that they will clean up any off-flavors from the starter fermentation during the conditioning of my beer.  I generally don't like the idea of providing yeast a great place to hang out and grow and then throw them in the cold.  I'm guessing this puts some selection pressure on them and I might be getting less of the genetics of the culture that I want.

I reuse yeast a lot, which mean I am probably selecting the yeast that does best in my brewery, not necessarily the ones I originally paid for, or cultured up from a can of Heady Topper.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Introduction and a few questions
« on: November 15, 2014, 03:23:49 PM »

I made the same Consecration kit from More Beer to try my hand at sours & see what all the fuss is about.  I put a Flanders Red (Brewing Classic Styles recipe) right on the yeast slurry- no additional yeasts or bacteria were needed to produce a good beer in about 1/4 the time (or less) than the Consecration fermentation.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Smoke Malt % in a IIPA
« on: November 12, 2014, 11:53:48 AM »
If the beer turned out great, why not just do the same "mistake" again?  I take it scrubbing your brew kettle is the main sticking point?

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