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Topics - nofunsally

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I made sure to the correct gas in fitting on the keg by making sure it had notches.  However, I didn't pay attention when screwing on the "out" -- They both are notched (I was cleaning the four kegs I bought at once). I carbed the brew.  I tried to attached my quick disconnect for my beer line and it wouldn't go on.  This is when I noticed the double use of the notched fittings. 

Any one have suggestions on what to do next?


Equipment and Software / 70 quart cooler to big for 5 gallon batches?
« on: November 07, 2011, 04:46:29 PM »
I need a new cooler for my mash tun (I moved, it didn't).  I was previously using the 48 qt Igloo cube it worked well as far as I was concerned.  I mostly brew 5 gallon batches (boiling up to 8) and I batch sparge.  I am now looking at coolers and was wondering if others use a 70 qt cooler for 5 gallon batches.  Is it too big? Will the 5 gallon batch in a 70 qt mash tun have less than desirable temperature holding, etc?


Equipment and Software / Propane burners and soot
« on: September 16, 2011, 06:47:14 PM »
I had been using a non-name propane burner I purchased at the hardware store Menards for $30.  It worked, I use a ten gallon kettle and usually boil about 8 gallons of wort. However, it was always burning rich and left an incredible amount of soot on the pot.  I tried adjusting the air input to no avail.  I recently moved and left the burner out for the scrap metal collectors.

It had a base like the Bayou SQ14 but the burner looked like the one in the SP10.

So .. Does anyone else have problems with incomplete combustion? Is the because of the burner type? Or, did I just get what I paid for? 

I'd like to buy a new propane burner very soon, but want to make sure to avoid the soot problem.


I am moving soon and I am looking to use most of the ingredients below in a ~5 gallon batch.  I'll need to get yeast and possibly some hops.  Any suggestions?


Code: [Select]
9.25# White Wheat
6.5# Pale
3# Munich 10L
14 oz C90
11 oz Acid Malt
10 oz Debittered Black Patent

1 oz Hersbrucker 3.5%
1 oz Sterling 6.5%

I’ve got about a 30 brews under my belt.  Recently I have some new problems along with the persistent ones.

Persistent Problems:
I bottle my beer.  My last two beer were most likely infected (bottle geysers, one was more sour than the other though).  Out of the 30, I have had about a third of the beers suffer from some degree of geyserness.  It wasn’t always every bottle in batch so I thought it could be improperly mixed priming solution.  However, these last two definitely appeared to be infected.  

To stomp out the infection issue I’ve since purchased a bottle tree, vinator and new fermenting buckets.  Unfortunately, I haven’t kept notes on whether I’ve fermented in glass or plastic to see if that was the issue.  I also bought a stainless steel racking cane thinking this could be kept clean better.  I rinse it after every brew with fairly high pressure water and usually run some starsan through it and rinse again.  However, the other day I found it was really gross just out of the normal sight line (i.e. about an inch in with tan, stubborn sludge).  I have since cleaned out the gunk.  I think the cane may have been the problem.

Recent problems:
When I was looking for the infection source, I bought new tubing too.  Nevertheless, I am getting extreme cavitation and am having a really hard time getting the siphon to start.  Not only is it hard to start, but also over time the wort is mixed with more and more air, until it eventually stops.  I never had this siphoning problem before the last few beers when I switched the tubing.  I am using a metal hose clamp and two zip ties to reduce the cavitation but it’s not enough.  It is incredibly frustrating especially towards the end of the brew day.  How do you all siphon?  Has anyone else combated this issue?

I recently purchased a refractometer (with automatic temperature control) and have been checking my pre- and post- boil gravity (via brix).  When calculating my efficiencies my pre is always better than post.  I am talking like ~20% difference.  My volumes are not precise, (definitely within a quart).  Any ideas on what might be causing this discrepancy.  I check the refractometer with distilled water frequently, I believe its measurements are correct.  I am shooting for 65 – 75% efficiency.

Finally, how much wort is usually left in the brew pot after transferring to the fermenter?  I haven't really got that down when planning recipes (I am using BeerSmith).

I’d appreciate assistance on any of these issues.



I bought some corny kegs a while back and have not started using them yet for anything.  I just have the kegs and none of the accoutrements for serving from them. 

Can I lager in them without adding CO2?  I can fit more kegs in my freezer than buckets or carboys and this would be a desirable option for me.  Will the minimal CO2 created after racking into the keg provide me the level of protection I need from oxidation during cold storage (lagering at ~ 34F)?  I imagine I'll be able to fill them to brim.


General Homebrew Discussion / Any ill effects from delayed lagering?
« on: June 12, 2011, 12:53:03 AM »
If after fermenting and racking is there any problems with not lagering immediately?  I only have room for two fermentors in my chamber, I'd like to ferment another lager and then lager them both at the same time.  I'd like to keep the racked beer in the chamber at lager fermenting temperatures until they are both ready to lager.


Yeast and Fermentation / Marzen, is it stuck?
« on: June 02, 2011, 09:23:55 PM »

I think my Marzen may be stuck.

Some information:

Brew and Yeast Pitch Date: 5/17/2011

Munich 44%
Vienna 30%
Pilsner 25%
Carafa II 1%

Single Infusion: 152F for 60 minutes

collected about 7.75 gallons of wort
Boil Time: 90 Minutes
5.25 gallons into the fermenter
SG = 1.055

1 gallon yeast starter Wyeast 2633 (decanted)
yeast nutrient in the boil
o2 via stone before pitching

Gravity Readings:
5/20/2011 - 1.047
5/24/2011 - 1.020
6/2/2011 - 1.020

Fermenting at 50F

Any ideas?

I have a question about backsweetening my first mead.

Brief Details:
10 Jan 11 - 1 gallon of honey with ~3 gallons of water, 1.116 OG
16 Feb 11 = racked, 1.001 FG

I have campden tablets (sodium metabisuphite, 1 tablet/USG = 150 ppm total SO2) and potassium sorbate.  I have read about backsweetening and most suggest using both.  However, since fermentation has stopped can I just use the potassium sorbate?  I have never used either of these chemicals. Can I expect a flavor contribution?

I plan on bottling it and keeping it still.



If made a lambic with the following grain bill:

60% Pilsner
40% White Wheat Malt
Single Infusion @ 155F

Do you think I would regret the decision come drinking time? I am using a cooler for a mash tun and have plenty of wheat malt on hand. But, I don't want to be overly regretful concerning this brew a few years from now. Is raw wheat turbid mash, or the Wyeast lambic mash necessary for reasonable success?


Equipment and Software / Design for Immersion Wort Chiller
« on: May 10, 2011, 05:52:31 PM »
I switched to a 10 gallon pot a while back for my 5-6 gallon batches.  I had a 20 foot immersion chiller that I haven't even bothered to use with the new pot.  Currently, I let the wort sit over night to get down to temperature (no issues yet).  However, I'd like to get to pitching more quickly and I've had a 50 foot coil of 1/2 inch copper refrigerator tubing for a while now. 

My question: Is it better to make just one coil, or should I make an inner and outer coil?  For example, input water goes down inner coil and comes back up outer coil to exit?  Basically, I'd like to know if you all think there is a cooling advantage in an inner and outer coil?

Thank you in advance,

I recently acquired a refractometer. I've been told its great to check the gravity of the wort in the mash and also to know when to stop collecting wort.  Could some one please tell me about checking the gravity pre-boil / mash or point me to the literature? 

I typically get about 75% efficiency into the fermentor from my brews. I use a 48 qt rectangular cooler with a stainless steel braid.

I don't know what to search for to find this information.


Other Fermentables / 'Best' method for adding herbs/spices to mead
« on: April 27, 2011, 02:46:29 PM »

The recipe: ~3 gallons of water with 1 gallon of raw honey.

I measured the OG at 1.116 and the gravity at racking (2/16/2011) was 1.001.  When I tasted it in February it was a bit alcohol-y.  Regardless, I had always intended to 'flavor' the mead. 

My question is what is the 'best' way to accomplish this?
-Another racking onto some herbs, spices?
-Add them to the current secondary?
-Or, make a tisane and add it to the the current secondary?

Also, in order to backsweeten I should first kill the yeast, right? Any suggestions on the best way to do this?

Thank you kindly,

I brewed a no-boil Berliner Weisse about a month ago.  I have had it in secondary for about 2 weeks. After about a week in secondary I added more Lactobacillus (I pitched half of 1L starter in the beginning).  A few days later a distinct dark layer has developed at the top of the beer in the carboy (it's about 1.5 inches deep in a 6 gallon carboy).  The beer below looks really clear with the yeast, etc already nicely on the bottom.  Anyone else experience this? What's this dark strata all about?


General Homebrew Discussion / Infusion / Mash Calculators
« on: August 23, 2010, 04:30:18 AM »
Is there an infusion calculator where the final qt/# can be entered first? I would like the intermediate steps and thicknesses to be calculated 'automatically' (entering temps for each step of course)  based on the desired final thickness.

Also is there an infusion calculator that can be use for decoction mashes?


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