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Messages - Richard

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Ingredients / Re: Hops.... a reward, not a challenge
« on: November 16, 2018, 12:52:21 AM »
I'm OK with drinking NEIPAs but I find that I actually miss the bitterness.

Overall they seem like an incredibly inefficient use of hops. I brewed one on request that had $30 of hops in a 5 gallon batch! It tasted good, but if it hadn't been a birthday gift I wouldn't have made it.

The #CampFire is burning near Chico and Sierra Nevada has closed their brewery until further notice.

Equipment and Software / Re: sampling for pH meter measurement
« on: November 03, 2018, 07:14:46 PM »
The sample should be cooled down to room temperature before measuring the pH. Even if you know how the pH changes with temperature, measuring hot liquids will quickly degrade the electrodes on your meter. I scoop up some mash in a Pyrex cup and pour it through a small strainer into a little metal cup. the grains from the strainer go back into the mash and the metal cup goes in a bowl of ice water to cool it down.

Equipment and Software / Re: Recirculating wort chiller
« on: November 01, 2018, 10:32:13 PM »
If you already bought the pump, connect it to your chiller and see how much water it pumps. I have a submersible pump rated at 920 gph, but only for a lift of 10 ft. My chiller coil presents enough resistance that I don't get anywhere near 920 gph through it. I get maybe 1/10 of that, which is enough to cool down 5 gallons in about 20 mins. What you get depends on the diameter and length of your chiller tubing, how tight the coil is wound,  and the lift capacity of your pump in addition to the gph rating. Although it is possible in principle to calculate all this out, experimenting is the only way to be sure.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Safale S-04 Low Attenuation (59%) at 60F
« on: October 23, 2018, 09:42:14 PM »
The lactose is not fermentable. I did a quick BeerSmith calculation and if you mashed at 156, then it predicts exactly what you got.

Beer Recipes / Re: Need Help with Water Profile
« on: October 23, 2018, 03:03:20 PM »
It looks like nobody else is going to help, so here is my minimalist approach. I took Bru'n Water, zeroed out the water report and entered your grain bill and volumes. I added gypsum and calcium chloride to bring the calcium level up to just above 50 ppm while keeping the sulfate:chloride ratio near unity. That led to a very low estimated mash pH so I added baking soda to bring the pH up to about 5.4. Here is the summary, cut and pasted from Bru'n Water (columns are all messed up). It is similar to the Amber Full profile.

Bru'n Water v.5.3   Water Adjustments         
Enter Batch Name Here            
Profiles (ppm)   Exist   Mash   Finished   
Ca                      0   54   54
Mg                0   0   0
Na                0   51   19
SO4                0   52   52
Cl                0   57   57
HCO3        0   120   NA
SO4/Cl Ratio            0.9
Batch Volume      5.8   Gallons   
Total Mash              3.8   Gallons   
Mash Dilution      0.0   Gallons   
Total Sparge      6.3   Gallons   
Sparge Dilution      0.0   Gallons   
Estimated Mash pH      5.42   SU   
Mineral Additions (gm)   Mash   Sparge      
Gypsum                      1.3   2.2   
Calcium Chloride      1.7   2.8   
Epsom Salt              0.0   0.0   
Mag Chloride                  0.0   0.0   
Canning Salt              0.0   0.0   
Baking Soda              2.7   Not Recommended   
Chalk                      0.0   Not Recommended   
Pickling Lime              0.0   Not Recommended   
Sodium Metabisulfite      0.0   0.0   
Mash Acid Additions                  
            0.0   (ml)
            0.0   (ml)
Sparge Acid Addtions            
Lactic   88.0   %   0.0   (ml)
            0.0   (ml)

Equipment and Software / Re: Cleaning a ball valve.
« on: October 23, 2018, 01:30:05 AM »
I use a 3-piece ball valve on the outlet of my kettle. I remove it, disassemble it and clean it after every brew. It isn't a big job and I am always amazed at how much stuff can hide in the trapped spaces and not get removed by simple flushing.

Equipment and Software / Re: Insulated SS Kettle Specific Heat
« on: October 15, 2018, 06:56:14 PM »
When heating water in an electric BIAB system, the thermal mass of your kettle doesn't matter when determining the strike temperature. In BeerSmith, un-check the box on the mash tab that says "Adjust Temp for Equip". If you are putting hot water into a cold kettle you need to know how much heat the kettle will absorb as the kettle and water equalize their temperatures. If you are heating the water in your kettle then the kettle will be the same temperature as the water so it doesn't matter. You just need to know your water volume, grain weight and grain temperature to calculate the strike temperature. Just give your system a few minutes at strike temperature with well-stirred water before adding the grains and everything should be fine.

In my electric BIAB system the difference between strike temperature and mash temperature is only about 6 degrees, so just setting to the mash temperature would result in mashing about 6 degrees too low for a few minutes. If  you are looking for a light-bodied, highly fermentable wort then there is no problem with doing this (and I do it on purpose sometimes). If you want a higher-bodied beer with a higher mash temperature then you probably want to start with strike temperature higher than the mash temperature.

Jim, you already solved this elsewhere.  An active one like you do is a "starter," because you're just getting the yeast awake and going.  One that's completed and decanted is "propagation,"  because you're growing up a new supply of cells, no longer active, which need to start up again when pitched.  (What I do, and what I call it.)  All that's left is to popularize the use of these preexisting, perfectly sensible terms. Start a movement.  Or propagate one, either way.

Sourdough bread makers have starters, too, and it usually refers to the sleeping culture. You warm it up and feed it, wait until it doubles, make bread with half of it and put the rest in the fridge. If someone looks in your fridge and asks you what that white goop is you say it is your sourdough starter.

Pitching a large starter that was fermented at high temperature could cause some off flavors, but probably not grassy ones. That does sound more like something from the hops, or stale grain.

Do you pitch the whole starter? If you cold crash it for a couple of days, decant the liquid and only pitch the slurry then any effects of high temperature fermentation should be minimized.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: PBW vs Oxiclean
« on: October 09, 2018, 11:59:35 PM »
Effectiveness of any cleaner is a product of time, temperature and concentration of the active ingredient.   

That sounds like something a chemist would say about almost anything.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Full 5 gallon boil, or ???
« on: October 09, 2018, 06:04:00 PM »
When I did partial-boil extract brews my beers always came out darker than expected.

Equipment and Software / Re: Electric BIAB Mash without Circulation
« on: October 09, 2018, 05:56:08 PM »
I chose to go with insulation rather than recirculation. Cheaper and easier to clean. I also noticed differences between water tests and real mash behavior. Eventually I decided not to stress over fractions of a degree.

I'm not sure any of this will really change your efficiency. It is more a matter of getting the fermentability you want by controlling the temperature.

Equipment and Software / Re: Electric BIAB Mash without Circulation
« on: October 09, 2018, 04:52:50 PM »
I do something very similar, but without the false bottom. Without a pump you will get some stratification unless you stir often. You can also have problems with lag time that will make  your controller overshoot and oscillate, depending on the distance from the heating coil to the temperature probe. The heater comes on but it takes some time for the heat to rise to the probe. By the time the probe heats up and the controller turns down the power there is already enough heat put in to overshoot. Most PID loops really don't handle transport lags like that very well at all. Stirring or recirculating smooths out all the temperatures and solves that problem. Lots of insulation also helps because the amount of power you need to put in is very small, so any overshoot and oscillation will also be small. I use three layers of Reflectix ( ) during the mash that I remove afterwards. I am able to maintain mash temperatures with a low enough power input that I don't worry about burning the bag, and I can achieve a temperature stability of 0.2 - 0.3 F.

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