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Topics - Joe Sr.

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1
All Grain Brewing / Another efficiency thread
« on: July 03, 2015, 03:22:16 PM »
Finished my first out door all-grain batch today.  I did one all-grain on the stove top, years ago, so this maybe counts as my first.

Anyway, on to the questions.

My efficiency is maybe around 65%, which seems low.  I milled my own grain, and I've got it set pretty tight.

Strike water was 160 and dropped to 140 in the tun.  I add boiling water to bring it back up to 150.

I mashed for 90 minutes.  Recipe is Saison d'ete from NB.  Pils, Vienna, torrified wheat.  Expected OG = 1.041.

Mash was three gallons (I mashed in two round coolers, so 3 gallons each).  Sparge was 4 gallons.

My boil was pretty hard (Dark Star burner,  LOTS of soot but NB is sending a new one with a redesign to control the soot).  I wound up with 8 gallons at 1.048.

Curious as to thoughts on how to increase efficiency.  Was my mash and sparge water not enough?  I think pH was fine but didn't check.  Crush, as I said, was pretty fine.  The mash had trouble draining. Sparge drained pretty much OK.

I've been doing partial mash batches on the stove-top, BIAB.  That efficiency has been crappy, too.  But there wasn't much sparge with that process and I never worried about it because I adjusted with DME.

Here's Himself (Jr.) stirring the mash.


2
Commercial Beer Reviews / North Coast Puck - Petite Saison
« on: June 23, 2015, 07:45:50 AM »
Was excited to try this, as a nice flavorful petite saison would be perfect for the hot humid weather we had yesterday.

Unfortunately, I found it disappointing.  Thin and watery.  Too bitter with few other flavors.

It was OK, at best, and I doubt I'll buy it again.  Especially since it costs the same as their other beers, even at 4% abv.  Next time, I'll just get a four-pack of Pranqster.

3
Commercial Beer Reviews / Spencer Trappist Ale
« on: May 22, 2015, 11:47:15 AM »
I had some of this a couple weeks ago when I was in Rhode Island.

It was tasty and pretty much as they described it.  Peppery.  Had a linger bitterness that was a bit odd but not off putting.

All of the bottles (4 pack) were gushers.  Slow gushers, but nonetheless.  I'm wondering if they bottled too early or if they were infected.  Maybe that's the odd bitterness.

The beer was expensive.  I'm not sure I'd do it again, but I probably would just cuz.  And to see if another four pack would be gushers.

4
So, I've got a tripel in the fermenter where I overshot my OG a bit.  I've changed up my process a bit (new grain mill and mash tun) so I'm still dialing it in.

Anyway, my OG was 1.1.  It's sitting in the fermenter now at 1.014.  I was hoping for something lower, but I'm not sure if that's unreasonable.

It tastes good.  Maybe a bit sweet, but maybe I'm fooling myself.

Ardennes yeast.

I have no worries about being patient and giving it time, but it seems a little unreasonable to expect it to drop much lower.  Any thoughts?

5
Kegging and Bottling / Universal Poppet O-ring
« on: April 20, 2015, 08:49:56 AM »
I had one of these tear recently.  They are theoretically replaceable.

Anyone know where to get them in bulk?  I've seen a couple on-line vendors selling them individually for $0.10 or $0.15, but I don't want to place an order for less than $1.

Anyone know a McMaster Carr part #?

6
Equipment and Software / Aquarium Heaters for Temp Control
« on: February 18, 2015, 01:26:16 PM »
Anyone use one?  I have a saison going and I'd like to raise the temp as it ferments.

My thought was to put it in a tub of water with an aquarium heater.

I tried this before with a small heater that did nothing, so I'm looking for recommendations on one that would work.

I'm not looking to put the fermenter in a box or fridge with a brew belt, heating pad, or light bulb.

7
Equipment and Software / Weldless valve for kettle
« on: November 08, 2014, 01:22:32 PM »
I'm ready to drill out my kettle and add a weldless valve.

But I have to ask, will that silicone o-ring really not melt?  If I read the directions right, it goes on the outside.

I'm sure it works, since so many others have done it.  I'm just leery and need convincing.

8
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Breiss Bavarian Wheat Extract
« on: July 15, 2014, 08:24:05 PM »
Just curious if anyone has used this.  I usually use Munton's.

USed the Breiss and my wheat came out pretty dark.  And insipid.

I'm thinking maybe I mashed the wrong grains because its so dark.  But I'm pretty sure I used Pils.

9
Rallies / Revolution Brewing AHA Rally
« on: June 25, 2014, 02:17:02 PM »
Anyone going?

10
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / IBU Calculation
« on: May 29, 2014, 10:41:01 AM »
Another post related to my Old Rasputin "clone."

I followed the recipe since I've never brewed this one before. Zymurgy, July/August 2007.

The recipe says 92 IBUs, but Beersmith calcs something like 28.  The warm and uncarbonated sample I had last night did not taste nearly hoppy enough to be close to Old Rasputin.

The recipe calls for 2 oz of Cluster for 60 minutes, 1 oz of Northern Brewer at 2 minutes, and 1 oz of Centennial at 2 minutes.  I've seen a couple other recipes (BYO) that take the Cluster up to nearly 4 oz, but even then I'm not getting 92 IBUs.

I've never been a numbers guy so I don't usually pay all that much attention to IBUs. And I know Beersmith is only a tool.  But what am I missing here?


11
Is there anything you can do to increase body/mouthfeel after the beer is fermented?

I did a "clone" of Old Rasputin following an old Zymurgy recipe and it came out pretty thin.  It finished 10 points lower than the expected FG from the recipe and the hydrometer sample leaves me feeling that it just won't have the body I had hoped for.

12
Equipment and Software / window AC for cold room
« on: May 25, 2014, 11:41:17 AM »
Got a new (to me) AC for my cold room today.  The old one was just too small, I think.

Anyway, tore the new one open and it has two temp sensors.  One in the duct for the cold air (to the room) and one attached to the coils.

I don't recall a two sensor thermostat on the other ACs I've opened.

I'm going to go ahead and put the cold air thermostat into the can with the light bulb to make it think the room is warmer, but curious about the other stat.

It is, of course, a unit with digital controls unlike my old unit.

Anyone familiar with AC units?

13
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Low mash pH
« on: May 17, 2014, 09:29:09 PM »
I finally bought pH strips to check my mash pH.

Today, one batch was right on and one appeared to be low.  The batch that was right on was a stout, the low batch was an IPA.

What would be the impact of low pH in the mash?

I've had comments on score sheets that my beers need more body.  Would pH affect body?  Of course, those comments have been on everything from a light saison to an imperial stout.

14
My last batch came in low.  It's sitting in the fermenter right now.

I know I can add sugar to bring the gravity up to where I want it.

Can I add DME to the fermenter?

I've added sugar straight in and am thinking of doing the same with DME.

Thoughts?

15
Kegging and Bottling / Pin lock to ball lock conversion
« on: May 13, 2014, 09:34:03 AM »
Just bought four pin-locks.  Looking for opinions as I can't decide.

Is it worth converting the posts?  Cornykeg.com has conversion kits for like $11. 

Otherwise, I just buy a couple disconnects and go to town.  Those will run me under $20 all in.  So half price, or thereabouts, vs. the conversion.

PRVs are for a different day.

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