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Messages - Hydro

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash recirculation
« on: May 27, 2013, 10:53:42 PM »
Jeff, Thanks for your input.    Your comments are also, indirectly supported by Gordon Strong in his book, Brewing better Beer.  I am looking forward to trying this during my next brew.  Do you use brew in a bag for the colored grains?  To help control the SRM?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash recirculation
« on: May 27, 2013, 03:34:18 PM »
I have been using a direct fired recirculating mash for almost a year.  I have not fully automated my system yet.  I have built my setup along the line of the Brutus 10 model, although I am using a 4 burner setup. I need to build the control panel and hook up thermal wells to my system.  My system is: 1 - Hot laquer pot, 2 - false bottom 15 gal sanke kegs for mash tuns or for a second boil pot if needed.  1 - 20 gal boil.  I am using 3 recirculating pumps and moniter temp via temperature gagues mounted on the side of the pots and at the surface of each mash tun. 

Consistancy is a matter of paying attention to the details and variables which you encounter in the brewing process.  With a direct fired recirculating mash it is important to keep the wart continously flowing and the burners to either low or to off.  The beauty about it is that you can work with your mash to achieve the optimum efficiency.  The grist has the sugars, it is up to the mashing process to extract them.  One thing which I noticed is that the color extraction has also increased. So I am having to reduce some of the roasted grains because my SRM has been coming out darker then what I planned for.


I am making batches of beer 25 - 35 gallon.  The red oxygen tanks are not lasting long enough for me.   I am considering purchasing an M80 welders steel oxygen tank with a CGA540 regulator  0-4LPM.  Is there any reason to be concerned about contaminating the beer by using a welders steel oxygen tank instead of a stainless steel medical grade oxygen tank?   

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: BJCP On-Line Exam - did you finish?
« on: September 27, 2012, 05:15:20 PM »
there was no way that anyone could remember all the style differences that they were asking for.

I'm glad you passed, though I certainly don't agree with this statement.
ability to look up things quickly is not knowledge.

Well let's put it this way.  If I had to invest the amount of time I'd need to remember every subtle nuance of all 70+ styles, I wouldn't be doing it.  I've read the BJCP style guidelines more than once for all of the styles, I've listened to Jamil's show, many of them several times and I've read most of the popular brewing books as well as brewing over 50 batches a year and I still struggled because of the way some of the questions were worded. 
The reason I posted this in the first place was because I wondered if everyone else got through it and also because I really don't understand why they have the survey first.  The survey asks "is 1 hour enough time..."  After doing the test, my answer would be no.

Well I just finished taking the 200 question test and only got to 158 before time ran out.  Unfortunately I did not pass.   I am not sure if the test is adaptive or not.   It seemed to definately hammer away at some of my weaknesses.  My advice is to prepare as if you were going to take the tasting test.  The way the questions are presented it would be beneficial to know as much about the styles and off flavors in conjunction with brewing techniques as much as possible.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 5 gallon starters and you drink them.
« on: August 01, 2012, 03:04:14 PM »
Thanks for the update guys.  It makes since. 
Like killing two birds with one stone.
More then one way to skin a cat.
Oh, don't want to make any animal advocates out there agitated.
Just a joke.

General Homebrew Discussion / 5 gallon starters and you drink them.
« on: August 01, 2012, 02:22:21 PM »
My starters range from 4-5+% (1.040-1.055) and I drink them.   These are 5 gallon starters.

Hi Fred,
I know that I am comming a bit late to the party, although you mentioned a couple of things which interest me. 
1. You are making 5 gallon starters.  Are you using glass carboys?  I would assume that a stir plate would not work well due to the shape of the bottom of the carboy, therefore you must be adding oxygen via a centerstone or what ever method you normally do.  Then let it ferment just as a regular batch of beer would.  I find this interesting because I am starting to ferment in Sanke kegs.  I could create just one starter in the Sanke. Instead of having to go through a couple of starter steps to get to the volume which I need.  Once it has completed it's starter phase, rack off the liquid.  Add the wort, oxygenate and stream line my efficency.  This would be vary helpful when needing to create large starters for big beers.
2. You drink the starter liquid after the process has completed.  Of course this is a low grade of beer, 1.020 - 1.040 SG.  I have not done this and it sounds interesting. Have you come up with ways to make this more palatable after the beer has been racked off the yeast cake?  You must be adding hops to the starter wart for a preservative, since you plan on keeping it.  So many questions come to mind, although I will just focus on this right now.  I like the idea of a fresh yeast cake to keep the flavors of the beer I am actually wanting to make, not be affected by other background residual flavors.  So as an example, I would like to make a Strong Scotch Ale using 1728 yeast, 1.086 SG, 12 Gal, ferminted at 60F.  The starter could be 5.25 Gal. boil volume, 5 Gal. batch volume, wort gravity 1.040 from Amber DME, add yeast neutrent, hops same type going into main brew.  Hops 1.5 oz. pellet @ 4.5 % AA, 30 minute boil.  Total bitterness 16.48 IBU.  Cool to 60F, add oxygen, and pitch 2 Wyeast 1728 smack packs.  This hopefully should create enough of a yeast cake 706 Billion cells needed for the 1.086 wart to follow, and also add enough hops for preservative, and flavor of the starter beer. 

Is this what you do or have you come up with something else to improve the process and flavor?

All Grain Brewing / Greg Noonan's Scotch Ale
« on: September 04, 2011, 07:05:36 PM »
Has any one read Greg Noonan's book on, "Scotch Ale"?

I have read it and it is a vary informative and interesting book.

Although I am a bit confused with the recipes which he has included in the book.  The amount of grain which he uses does not seem to be balancing out the the OG which he states you should expect.   

I am considering brewing as an example:  120 Shilling Scotch Ale,  Double Mash, which yields two separate brews. 1 Barrel (Mash) each OG Strong Ale 1.090 and Twopenny 1.040 (Page 117).  He is only using 54 lb Pale Malt, 9.5 lb Carapils, .6 lb Roast Barley.    He expects to get 35 gal mash for Strong Ale at 1.090 from first mash, and 34.1 gal mash for Twopenny Ale at 1.040 from the second mash. 

This just does not sound right at all to me.  I have also ran the figures through Brewsmith 2.  It also shows that the grain bill is too low.  I would appreciate your openions about this.  Maybe there is a miss print in the book or I am miss interpreting it.
What do you think?   

All Grain Brewing / Re: Pumpkin spice Ale!
« on: September 04, 2011, 06:43:43 PM »
Once you have racked from the primary to secondary, I would recommend to taste your brew.  Most likely you will not be able to taste hardly any spice flavor, with the amounts you have used.  I would recommend at that time to add into the secondary equal amounts of the spices to the secondary.  This should enhance the flavor of your pumpkin ale.

Wood/Casks / Re: Celebration is in order
« on: April 17, 2011, 10:33:05 PM »
To Teas or not To Tesas,
What have you done to achieve such a briliance?[

quote author=1vertical link=topic=7006.msg85496#msg85496 date=1303049888]
And the make up beer
Brewed Herman Holtrop's Rochefort clone for the beer that will go into the solera after my next harvest from same.
Hit all the numbers and got a promising looking wert from the BK.

I love that mashwater software from John(plctech)   ;D

Wood/Casks / Re: Preparing Oak Staves
« on: April 17, 2011, 06:27:16 PM »

Wood/Casks / Re: Preparing Oak Staves
« on: April 16, 2011, 03:51:14 PM »
Not sure what RDWHAHB means.

Oh well,  how is your bucket fermentation project going?

... or just RDWHAHB.  :)

That's exactly what I plan to do...

Racked the beer to a plastic bucket over the weekend and added the sufficiently sanitized and charred (on all sides) stave. Pitched the blend and set it in a basement corner to let the bugs do their work. A bit of O2 is just fine with me. If I had full cask, O2 would be present anyway...

Now, I'll taste it in a few months and decide then whether to add any fruit - thinking maybe raspberries or cherries.

Beer Recipes / Re: Let's see some dunkel recipes
« on: March 14, 2011, 02:19:36 AM »
What is the url for locating Best grains?  Did some google searching, unable to locate.  I am planning on making a Munich Dunkle and am interested in this recipe.  Is this for a 5.5 gal or 6 gal batch?  What hops and schedule did you use?

9 lb. Best Munich II
2 lb. Best pils
.5 lb. CaraMunich 40
2 oz. carafa

sure looked and smelled good when I took the OG!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Another oopsie
« on: March 14, 2011, 12:59:25 AM »
Beano to the rescue!!!

Went to make lunch today. Pulled the container of beans out of the fridge and dumped it into a saucepan. The smell of fermented wort wafted up...

There went my yeast cake for the batch of Kolsch planned for this weekend. :-\

Ok, so we are looking at a Real Extract value of:

RE = 1.0133792

So sugar is 1.036 per pound in 1 gallon of water and this is showing that there is a residual of .37 percent of a pound of sugar per gallon.  Still left in the brew.  That is what I am tasting.

Is my math correct?

This weekend I will take two cups of beer and boil it to remove the ethanol and once it has cooled.  I will add enough water to bring back up to two cups and recheck the hydrometer reading.  This should give me an accurate reading of the Real Extract value and then be able to calculate what the actual residual sugar is still in the beer.  Thanks for your ideas.  Will update.

That will work, but why bother? If you have the OG and FG readings you can calculate the real extract:

RE = .1808*OG + .8192*FG

Your right, this Really Skews with my head.  Ha Ha

This weekend I will take two cups of beer and boil it to remove the ethanol and once it has cooled.  I will add enough water to bring back up to two cups and recheck the hydrometer reading.  This should give me an accurate reading of the Real Extract value and then be able to calculate what the actual residual sugar is still in the beer.  Thanks for your ideas.  Will update.

An FG of 1.000 means the yeast have converted about 82% of the sugars to ethanol. There's still a ton of sugar left in a beer that big.

Real Attenuation is 81.1% if the OG was 1.071 which will get you 1.000 and 9.7% ABV. The 1.000 reading is skewed by the presence of the alcohol- which skews the hydrometer reading if that makes sense... ???

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