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Messages - eyousey

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Perlick 650 SS with flow control?
« on: January 25, 2015, 02:58:43 PM »
As a short term fix for your problem.  I've found a little keg lube around the cylindrical part at the front of the tap valve helps a lot.  It keeps the beer from working into that area and just makes the tap work a little smoother.

Equipment and Software / Re: Garage Freezer Fermentation - Winter Problems
« on: September 15, 2014, 04:41:48 PM »
Thanks, guys.  I think I'll look into the heat wraps or reptile heaters.  I'm a little weary of the light bulb/paint can or the cut off extension cord, but I bet they work.  I'm not sure if a fan would heat up a 7 cu ft freezer, but could be worth a try.  Any of these options would leave me wanting a thermowell vs my current copper probe taped/insulated to the outside of the carboy. 

Any additional ideas on how to heat up a fermentation freezer during colder months?

My freezer is a 7 cu. ft. and the fan worked fine (when I didn't even want it to).  A small ceramic heater, if you have one sitting around, will easily do the job too.

Equipment and Software / Re: Garage Freezer Fermentation - Winter Problems
« on: September 11, 2014, 08:02:57 PM »
I use a small fan in my freezer to keep the air moving around the bucket.  I've found, the hard way, that this small fan generates enough heat to easily heat the freezer into the 75-85+F range in as little as 12-16 hours.  While I'm fermenting, I leave the fan running all the time (plugged into wall).  The freezer will kick on/off as needed to hold the temperature.  When I'm ramping the temperature up/down, I have the fan set to only cycle when the freezer is running (plugged into temp controller).

All Grain Brewing / Re: About to destroy my immersion chiller...
« on: August 01, 2014, 02:59:15 PM »
I have a pull down sprayer kitchen faucet, so I use a small pond pump in a small cooler.  I fill the cooler with tap water and pump it through the my 1/2" x 50' double coil IC.  Once I hit between 90-100F, I pump most of the water out of the cooler, fill it with ice and recirculate the cooling water.  I also gently stir my wort to keep it moving over the coil of the IC.  I typically drop about 10-13F/min with the tap water.  Then it slows down with the ice water.  I monitor the temp of the recirculating ice bath water and the wort temp.  When the are within in about 5-10F of each other and the ice is all gone, I pump out most of the water and fill it back up with ice.  I've gotten lagers down to 45F like this. 

Lagers take about 45-60 minutes and ales (~60F) take about 30-40 minutes.  I've got city water, so right now it is about 70F but in the winter it is about 45F.  Winter cooling is very quick.  I think I was doing nearly 20F/min with this past winters super cool water temps. 

I'm thinking about getting a slighter higher volume pond pump.  The temp of the water coming out of the chiller is about 5 degrees below the wort's.  A little more flow rate should increase the difference and increase cooling along the last bit of length of the coil.  Then I'll use the older pump to stir the ice bath water to help with cooling.

Equipment and Software / Re: Recipe designer software
« on: April 04, 2014, 12:30:15 PM »
I use Brewtarget.  It is an open source software the runs on multiple OSes (Windows, Mac, Linux, BSD).  I personally have it setup on FreeBSD and because I can secure shell into the machine, I can run the software remotely, but display it locally.  So, I don't need to be in front of the machine to tinker with recipes.  I've found it works really well, and its calculations are pretty spot on.  It also supports BeerXML.

The developers are constantly working on the code and fixing bugs.  It is not perfect yet, but it is stable and getting better with each release.

Give the pot a good scrubbing and rinse.  You need to wash off the oil they use to form the pot.  Fill it up with more water than you plan to normally boil for a batch of beer.  Bring it to a boil for about 1 hour or so.  I have a 10 gallon Winware pot that I filled with 9+ gallons.  I boiled it for about an hour or so.  The pot will turn a bronzy color where ever the water touches it.  This is the protective oxide that you need to protect the pot for future use. 

Don't use oil... just boil water in it.

Other Fermentables / Re: Juice & Strain Method
« on: October 21, 2013, 03:21:41 PM »
I thought I might chime in on this idea since I just did it yesterday.   After reading the article I picked up an older 850W juicer from a family friend that wasn't using it anymore.  She had bought it with good intentions, used it for some amount of time, and didn't want it anymore.  I got it for about $50.  I also looked over Craigslist and eBay and almost got one there before things got over what I was willing to pay for an experiment.  If/when this juicer dies, I plan to replace it with something more powerful.

I got about 4.5 gallons from 1 bushel of apples.  I was expecting about 2-3 gallons, so this was a happy surprise.  The motor did get warm by the end, but I had to stop often because I was using the little container that came with it to put juice in.  Next time I plan to juice straight to the bucket.  I also had to stop and clean the pulp shoot from time-to-time.  This first time was just to see how it worked, and it worked perfectly.  It is a little messy, but the process is sound.  I've done the traditional grind and press method, and this is much easier.  It can also be done in the kitchen vs. out back or in the garage.

Total time from when I started to sanitize to last apple was about 1.5 hours.  This would be cut down if I didn't have to stop every few minutes to empty the juice container and wait for the juicer to spin down and up.  So, I think about 1 bushel per hour is not out of the question on my 850 watt juicer which is a Breville JE95XL (older model of current JE98XL) that can take whole unseeded fruit.  Also, smaller apples will mean faster juicing since they won't require pre-processing (halving/quartering).  There was also some clean up time after that, but I know that will vary per person.

I could have gotten more juice if I had also squeezed out my pulp, but it was pretty dry, and I might have only gotten about another quart or so.  I figured that I can sacrifice it this time.  It does make a lot of foam, and not all of the pulp makes it in the pulp bin.  I was pouring the juice through a mesh strainer, and it would clog up with pulp after a while. 

The resulting juice was about 1.052 gravity.  I put in some potassium metabisulfite and plan to pitch the yeast tonight. 

I would do this again, and might before the fresh apple season is over.  The juice tasted awesome and my wife was telling me during the process that she wasn't enjoying it at all.  She was washing and helping to cut up the larger apples.  In the end, after a taste of the product, she said it was "totally worth it." 

The recipe:
1/3 bushel Fuji
1/3 bushel Jonagold
1/6 bushel Breaburn
1/6 bushel Winesap
potassium metabisulfite (dose according to instructions)
1/2 tsp yeast energizer
1 tsp yeast nutrient
1 lb pilsen dry malt extract per 5 gals juice (body and residual sweetness)

Yield: ~4.5 gallons
OG: 1.052 (before DME)
Yeast: Safale S-04
ABV: >5% (est.)

Juice apples by preferred method.  Add potassium metabisulfite according to instructions for the volume of juice produced.  For me, it was about 3/16 tsp.  Mix in and allow to sit for 24 hours to do its thing.  Dissolve 1lb/5gals of DME into 1 quart of warm cider and add back to main batch.  This will bump the gravity and give the yeast some needed nutrients.  Also add in the nutrient and energizer.  Scale them accordingly for your juice yield.  Pitch hydrated yeast and off you go.  Rack and clarify once fermentation is complete.  Bottle, keg, or whatever you want to do.

Theory of the DME:
The yeast will eat all the simple sugars from the fruit and hopefully "forget" how to process the maltose of the DME.  This will leave some sweetness behind, and also the dextrins in the DME will leave some body.  I just did two 1 gallon batches of cider, one with DME and one without DME, and the with DME had a better all around taste and body.  It was less tart/dry and some more subtle complexities.  So, this is my scaled up version of the DME version.

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