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Topics - rkausch

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Ok, so, first things first, I'll admit, I'm a bit obsessive, and do some off the wall stuff, because I think it's fun.  No, this project isn't "necessary", but I'm getting a kick out of it.

So, I'm rebuilding my system, to make it easier to use on brew day.  I've decided to hard-plumb all the connections with solid pipe, and am having some trouble deciding what material to use.  My system is basically a 3 kettle system, in roughly the same layout as a Brutus 10, with all the kettles side by side, at the same elevation from the ground. 

The purist in me says "use stainless steel pipe", because that's what all of the connections, valves, etc are made of, and dang it, it looks pretty.  Problem is, it's not easy to find (unless I'm not looking in the right places), and rather expensive (IIRC, Grainger wanted to sell me a 10 foot length of Schedule 5 at around $40.00).

Well, the economist in me says "use copper", as it's most likely cheaper, and I can find it easily (home depot, etc). 

So, I know that copper kind of acts as a nutrient for the yeast if present in the boil kettle, which is a good thing, and stainless steel is easy to keep clean. 

So, are there any good reasons to use either approach? 

Thanks in advance!
Rob

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Equipment and Software / Custom Tap Handles
« on: May 03, 2010, 12:42:37 PM »
I'm doing the beer for my wedding (which is a year away, so I have plenty of time), and am going to build a 4-tap jockey box.  I'd like to do custom tap handles with the special beer labels that we're putting together, and am wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how to do this.

Thanks in advance!
Rob

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Ingredients / Using Pomegranate
« on: April 12, 2010, 01:01:24 PM »
I'm looking to craft a recipe with pomegranate, and am just beginning my research.  I know the basic flavor of pomegranate juice, and am looking to infuse that into a "summery" (easy drinking) beer.  My initial thought is a wheat, using the tartness of the fruit to complement the flavor of the wheat. 

So, has anyone used pomegranate before, and did it turn out?  I'm thinking of adding about a gallon of pomegranate juice to secondary fermentation, but am open to other ideas (bearing in mind costs and difficulty of "fruit extraction").  Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance!
Rob

4
All Grain Brewing / I accidentally created a Sour Pale Ale
« on: March 30, 2010, 01:49:42 PM »
So, I must qualify that I've recently upgraded to all grain brewing, and am eagerly trying to learn as much as possible.  My first recipe was a pale ale, that I sort of based on Sierra Nevada's famous version (though some liberties were taken).  I used BeerSmith to concoct the recipe, and have pasted it below (though I accidentally substituted Crystal 60 for the Crystal 80):

Style: American Pale Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 10.00 gal     
Boil Size: 11.45 gal
Estimated OG: 1.059 SG
Estimated Color: 12.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 44.3 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU     
256.00 oz     Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)            Grain        72.73 %       
80.00 oz      Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM)     Grain        22.73 %       
16.00 oz      Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM)     Grain        4.55 %       
0.50 oz       Magnum [14.00 %]  (60 min)                Hops         11.9 IBU     
1.50 oz       Pearle [8.00 %]  (60 min)                 Hops         20.4 IBU     
2.00 oz       Cascade [5.50 %]  (15 min)                Hops         9.3 IBU       
1.50 oz       Cascade [5.50 %]  (5 min)                 Hops         2.8 IBU       
2.00 tsp      Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min)                Misc                       
1 Pkgs        California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [StartYeast-Ale                 


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 352.00 oz
----------------------------
Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time     Name               Description                         Step Temp     
60 min        Mash In            Add 27.50 qt of water at 165.9 F    154.0 F       

Now that we've seen the recipe, on to the outcome.  It tastes pretty good, except there's a slight sour note to it.  I'm not sure what could be causing it (though I have fears of contamination).  I've never done any of the strange belgian beers that supposedly permanently contaminate your equipment, and I'm careful with the sanitizer.  I've bottled the beer, and let it naturally carbonate. 

Anyone have any thoughts on what could be causing it?

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