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Topics - thcipriani

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Equipment and Software / Pressurized transfers are amazing
« on: June 28, 2017, 12:52:33 PM »
It probably seems like a trivial reason to own a conical, but no-worry pressurized transfers are definitely my favorite thing about my conical. I used to use a sterile siphon starter, but I still had endless worries about oxidation and about my racking cane's connection to the transfer hose...and when I used a carboy cap with a CO2 hose barb I was always worried that some clog would dramatically explode my carboy, sending huge glass shards flying in all directions. Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that conicals are neat and my conical has been my favorite brewing purchase in recent memory in terms of piece of mind.

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?

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!

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 / 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?

All Grain Brewing / Lager Candy Sweetness
« on: September 03, 2011, 09:21:24 AM »
I've got a fairly young oktoberfest on tap and, as is my want, I've been periodically sampling as the beer matures.

Recently I've noticed a candy-like malt sweetness develop that I don't like/want. It's Jamil's Oktoberfest recipe with no substitutions save using WLP833. What, in your experience, causes this?

I didn't do a cell count, but I did use the mrmalty calculator so I probably pitched fairly close to 1.5 million/mL/P; however, after doing counts on some pitches I've been surprised. That is to say, I wouldn't be surprised if I underpitched slightly - is that typically a cause?

I used single-infusion mash regiment and the final gravity was 1.014.

Other Fermentables / Cider Juice Sources
« on: August 27, 2011, 12:08:47 PM »
Are there any reliable sources for apple juice that will make a decent cider? The only apple orchards that will part with cider don't exactly grow the traditional Northern Spy, Kingston Black, Russet et al apples - more like Sweet Gala and Red Delicious. Most orchards around here (Front-Range Colorado) don't say too much about cider to take home on their website.

It's strange, I can have 5 gallons of honey shipped from Florida, I can have 55lbs of grain shipped from Germany, but I can't get English cider-apple juice without having a place to grow a tree or knowing a good orchard.

I feel like I'm missing something - everything I read about cider says the critical aspect of good cider is good juice; however, I can't find juice that can be shipped.

Anyone help me out?

The Pub / Beer making gifs
« on: July 07, 2011, 08:42:43 AM »
Saw this on FastCompany Design this morning:

Which begs the question - in what medium will Dogfish Head choose to sellout next?

Other Fermentables / Staggered nutrients for cider?
« on: June 13, 2011, 05:15:33 PM »
I've just started some preliminary reading on cider-making this evening, and I haven't seen any mention of nutrient addition schedules. Furthermore, I haven't seen much in the way of recommended nutrient additions, outside of the addition of some DAP. Are there best practices for cider nutrients - staggered additions like in the mead/wine world?

Also, any general cider best practice resources would be greatly appreciated.

Ingredients / How to use vanilla beans
« on: January 08, 2011, 05:59:56 PM »
I saw this video this morning and thought it'd be perfect for Denny's BVIP - plus it's just a great general vanilla bean tip:

Other Fermentables / WLP720 White Labs Sweet Mead opinions?
« on: December 26, 2010, 12:12:03 AM »
I've never used anything but dry wine yeast for mead. I was curious if anyone had any strong opinions concerning this strain. Also,  I'm not sure whether this needs a starter or not considering mead should be fairly easy to ferment.

Equipment and Software / Therminator Pellet Hops
« on: November 11, 2010, 02:58:19 PM »
I'm kind of itching to get a therminator, but before I drop $200 on one I'd like to know if it's going to clog with loose pellet hops - does anyone have experience using the therminator with loose pellet hops?

I use all loose pellet hops in my kettle and if that's going to clog the therminator then I won't get one.

Thanks all!

Equipment and Software / BernzOmatic O2 Flowmeter
« on: September 14, 2010, 08:55:16 AM »
I have the standard oxygen setup available from any of the major homebrew stores - it hooks to the red bernzOmatic O2 cylinders from the hardware store. I was wondering if anyone had been successful in finding a flow meter that worked with this setup or if anyone had any cheap way to upgrade to an O2 system that included a flow meter? Thanks.

Other Fermentables / Mead and Potassium Hydroxide (KOH)
« on: August 25, 2010, 10:04:43 AM »
I just had a few questions regarding the use of Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) in mead. I've seen this suggested in multiple sources:

Really these questions are more requests for confirmation that I'm going about things correctly and that I'm not a total boob.

In any event - what is a reputable source of KOH? I tried ordering 500 g flakes from Cynmar and they informed me that they don't sell chemicals to individuals. Since then I've located this source which is food grade and it's about 4x as much as Cynmar was selling for the exact same price:

I did notice in that picture on Amazon that it says 'minimum 90% KOH' on the bottle - which begs the question, what's the rest and is it OK to add this?

Also a quick question about using the stuff if/when I get it. It's been a while since chemistry - since the molecular weight of KOH is 56.1056g/Mol, to get a 2M solution I would add 112.211g to a container and then add distilled water until the total volume reaches 1 Liter and the subsequent solution is KOH at a concentration of 2M, correct?

If that is correct, does this method scale in a liner way (i.e. if I mixed a 500mL solution with 56.1056g of KOH would that also have a molarity of 2? Or 28.0528g in a 250mL solution?).

After I get a 2M solution of KOH can I just add 10mL of directly to my fermenter or is there an intermediary step?

Thanks in advance for the responses.

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