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Topics - haeffnkr

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Equipment and Software / recirculated mash return - manifold vs nozzle
« on: December 06, 2018, 03:57:21 PM »
Is there any benefit to mash efficiency, temps throughout the MT, better/less grain bed channeling, or any other reason to have a manifold with a lot of holes ie nozzled, loc line type wort return to gently disperse the water evenly over the grain bed, under the wort level of course VS a sweeping bend or maybe 2 out of center tee fitting that recirculates around the outside of the MT .. sort of a mini gentle whirlpool over the grain?

thanks haeffnkr

All Grain Brewing / Tell me why this mash setup is a bad idea :)
« on: November 17, 2018, 02:51:19 PM »
Looking for feedback on this crazy idea.

Concept -
Put a smaller diameter MT pot inside a bigger pot that radiates heated water completely around the MT and put a HERMS type coil in the heater water as well.  Mash is pumped continuously and is full volume.

These pics show the concept a little better.

The big pot has an electric boil coil in it for heat, it is not a HERMS coil.  The MT ( keg in the pics ) would sit inside of the big pot full of grain, false bottom, etc.
I would bottom drain through the big pot, piped to a pump.  The wort pump would push the wort back through a herms coil in the water column and back over the grain.  Continually recirculated.
I would use my same controller to heat the boil coil water column to my desired mash temps.  The setup would be CIP. I already have most of this. I would just need to fab the drains.  I would for now, heat strike water in my eBK then pump to the MT and switch the 30 cord and use the same controller.

I am thinking this is a good idea.  But I want others to tell me why it is not.
I would think rapid step mashes, no scorching. Gentle heat to wort.

Or I could build a long, ULWD cartridge heater RIMS.  I would need separate controller, lots of stainless parts, etc.
I just want something that works and can be left somewhat alone during the mash time and can handle full volume mashes, is simple and is not 3 vessel :)

I currently , 2 times so far, used my gravity drain cooler setup and it worked OK as well. I am heating the wort in my eBK and recirculating up to the cooler with the small wort pump then gravity back down in the eBK.
My the temps in my MT do not ramp very fast to the set temps even though the recirculated mash is at my set temp coming out of the pump. Trying to keep 2 vessels covered to limit oxygen intake is a challenge as well....thus my desire to mash in on pot.  My herms hybrid would eliminate that I believe as the whole MT would be surrounded by set temp radiant water and I have one pot.  But so would a nice RIMS setup. 

Current cooler setup
I am trying to build around my eBIAB CIP pot.

Any way.....I
More thoughts?

thanks for looking

I have a nice eBIAB system, it works fine but I am tired of cloudy wort and average beer.
I usually brew 12 gallons so I get 10 gallons of beer after fermentation.

I am want clear wort, so I want to try a no sparge (continuous)  type mash and drain/filter the wort through the grain bed.
I also have a march pump.

Looking at building something like a Blichman breweasy system or ???
What can I build/add to get something with the ease of eBIAB but clearer wort.  I want to be able to do a step mash/ramp up as well. I want some sort of RIMS setup I guess I am saying.

If I added another pot, the mash tun, with a false bottom, have it gravity feed back into my ebiab pot and pump it back up into the top of the mash tun, with float switches and a valve on the output of the pump would this work?

Is there a simpler, better way I am missing to get the ease of eBIAB and clear wort?

EDIT - looks like something that I am trying to build is called a kettle rim or K-RIMS setup? Any tips for continuous  sparging with this setup? Where to put the temp probes?

thanks in advance

Equipment and Software / propane solenoid - source?
« on: September 02, 2018, 01:26:12 PM »
Looking for a cheap propane solenoid that I will control with a PID, any suggestions?

I found this one... I think the cheaper/generic valves for water/air wont operate due to low pressure of the input propane?  The propane I will push will be coming out of a "high pressure" propane regulator.   Not sure if that will be enough to have the solenoid operate correctly?

Looking to have a pid control a solenoid that is swithing propane to run a deep fryer :)  - I will have a continue pilot light as well in the system.

thanks in advance

I will be around it most of the time so

Folks who use an immersion chiller.... how do you seal the kettle?
- notch the kettle lid?
- no lid when chilling?
- starsan soaked rag to cover the kettle/cracks/cutouts in lid?
- bulk head type fittings on the inside of the pot?
- chiller mounted to the lid with bulkhead fittings on top of lid?

Just wondering what others do?

thanks in adavance

Equipment and Software / Help me pimp my new kettle
« on: March 06, 2018, 07:38:30 PM »
I am looking to buy a new 25 gallon kettle.  I will have a Blichman boil element in it. Use a march pump to recirculate during my BIAB mash and whirlpool during the chilling. Will be using an IC to chill.

How long do you typically wait to draw off clear wort after the chilling and whirlpool stops?
How high should the wort take off port be if the diameter is 19.5 and I am looking to get 11 gallons of clear wort into a fermenter?
Where should the whirlpool arm be mounted, ie how far off the bottom of the kettle and were should I have the pump intake for the whirlpool?

Anything else I am missing?

thanks in advance

All Grain Brewing / BIAB wort recirculating pump experiences??
« on: February 24, 2018, 10:26:46 PM »
I brew 12 gallon batches, EBIAB in a keggle. It works out fine but I am looking to get a bigger kettle so I dont have to sparge and hope to run a recirculating pump to filter the wort in the grain bed to get clearer wort.
I tried this ones or twice but even at the lowest out put I could sustain the bag would not flow fast enough and my element started to go dry.
I am hoping with a 25 or 30 gallon pot I can build/buy a basket to fit inside the pot, line it with a bag and recirculate the wort to get clearer wort. The bigger pot and basket will allow much more surface for the bag to drain/filter is my thought.

Anyone have success doing something like this?

thanks in advance - haeffnkr

I just like the title says... I got something going on and trying to figure it out.
I am scrambling to prep for my brew session in the morning.

If you mix what I think is the approved ratio of a fuzz less than a 1/4 oz starsan concentrate to a gallon of RO/DI water, mix it, should there be ANY taste if you try a tiny bit?
I got taste....

thanks Kevin

I want to do something like this and push beer from my fermenter into pressurized kegs.

Is it OK to fill the keg until beer comes out the gas post?  Seems not very sanitary??

Any other ways to fill a pressurized keg besides a scale? Of course you need a spunding valve to release the pressure.

thanks haeffnkr

Like the topic states....
I have had a bad run this past summer and have had 4 batches that have gotten just a bit of belgian/lacto/funk in them. 

I have these nice plastic 14 gallon fermenters w/ screw lids that cost $40 a piece.
Can you bleach bomb or whatever else a plastic fermenter to get it sanitized again or is the recommendation just by new and forget about the old ones?

thanks haeffnkr

Yeast and Fermentation / White labs pitch rate?
« on: August 31, 2017, 03:46:24 AM »
I am on the fence of whether to build up a starter or not for my 12 gallon lager.

I read somewhere 1.5 billion per liter for a 1.050 lager for a pitch rate?
So at 1.5 billion per liter lager pitch rate at 12 gallons = 45.4 liters X 1.5 = 68.1 billion cells.

from Whitelabs site -

Although the PurePitch® packages state a cell net volume of 40 mL, actual volumes range from 40 to 50 mL.

In our production, we allow for cell counts of 1.5 to 3.0 billion per milliliter which will produce 60 to 120 billion total cells if 40 mL. We target the high range of cell counts and fill volumes in our production and packaging processes, however as stated above, the reality of cell biology is that those numbers will vary.

At it says here that 2 packs is what you need for 10 gallons of wort -

So If the pure pack packages for WLP940 lager yeast says it has 100 billion cells per pack, 2 packs should be more than enough right?

But... what if the local brew supply places have yeast that best to use by August 1 and it is now almost Sept? use 3?

hope that all made sense

Yeast and Fermentation / 3 piece air lock keeps blowing out sanitizer
« on: August 28, 2017, 06:07:48 PM »
I have been using a 3 piece air lock with starsan in it for a while,  The airlock assembly is in the stopper in my 14 gallon fermenters.

During the first few days of active fermenation the starsan bubbles all out of the air lock and I have to keep adding more and have the fear it blowing it all out and allowing air into the brew. I usually dont have a yeast blow out problem.

Is there a better air lock design or should I just use a blow off tube or any other suggestions to keep a safe amount of starsan in the airlocks?

thanks Kevin

Yeast and Fermentation / lager yeast - 830 and 940 - pretty close?
« on: August 25, 2017, 02:56:43 PM »
I made a Vienna lager that was basically half pils and half Vienna and was trying to get close to Victoria (Mexican) Lager. 
Last night I did a tasting side by side and could not really tell the difference, they were very very close.

I used 34/70 dry yeast actually which is to be 830 yeast.
I was going to brew a few beers w/ 940 but the fact that my 830 Vienna beer tasted like Victoria brewed with what I assume was 940  were so close has me scratching my head and wondering if I should bother getting the 940 strain going.

So that all said... Can you all taste the difference between 830 (34/70) and 940 lager yeasts?

thanks haeffnkr

Just like the title says...
I see a lot of people use 2 packs for 5 gallons so I assume 4 is is good for 12 gallons?

I dont mind over pitching a lager but I dont want to be throwing an extra $6 at the problem for no reason.

thanks haeffnkr

General Homebrew Discussion / Cold packing a yeast starter?
« on: May 03, 2017, 03:33:42 PM »
Short question -
Anything wrong with cold packing a yeast starter?

Long version of the question -
I really dislike making starters, but I need to make them as brew 12 gallon batches and lots of those are lagers that I used a 2 gallon starter for.
I have progressed to pressure canning my starters, works great, no boil overs takes about an hour total for 4 jars start to finish ( ½ gallon size jars).  If I make a gallon starter I use 2 jars.

A few days ago I noticed I was out of jarred starter and needed 2 jars that day later on so I could pitch the yeast next day and did not have an hour to baby sit the pressure cooker.  I then thought about “cold packing” like my mom used to do sometimes.  So I boiled some water in my electric brew kettle, which was great cause I did not have to baby sit it and no worry of boil over.  Added DME and a few hop pellets to my jars, came back later and added the boiling water to my jars and quickly screwed down the lids, shook the jars to mix the DME and left the jars to cool and they all sealed as expected. I was able to fill all 8 of my jars, not just 4 jars, in minutes, not hours and was still able to work in the yard with no fear of a pressure canner exploding. No more babysitting,  Yes !!

So the question is –
See anything wrong with this process?
Are they any nasties that can survive the heat of boiling water left to slowly cool to room temp?

thanks haeffnkr

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