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Messages - MerlinWerks

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Beersmith 3 Water
« on: February 01, 2019, 07:06:19 PM »
FWIW, here are my results over several brews. First column is BS3 prediction, second is BW 4.2 prediction, third is actual pH measured with an Omega PHH-7011 meter, calibrated every brew day. Samples are taken at 20 minutes into the mash and cooled to room temperature. When I have checked, I have never really found a significant difference in pH between 20 minute samples and samples taken later in the mash although I understand that many advocate for later samples.

I build my recipe and water in BS3 and transfer the values to BW to match the same grist, liquor, salts and lactic acid amounts. The ion concentrations between the two programs are almost always within 5 ppm of each other, the only thing that varies is the predicted pH. I start with RO water.

I do full volume BIAB and have found the BW 5.3 pH predictions to be lower than either of the above so I've stuck with 4.2

                BS3     BW     Actual
Celebration   5.41   5.30   5.39

Extra Pale   5.41   5.42   5.38

Helles      5.38   5.31   5.38

Dark Mild   5.39   5.25   5.31

Dunkel      5.37   5.33   5.34

Vienna      5.38   5.36   5.29

Extra Pale   5.41   5.38   5.40

Dark Wheat   5.41   5.29   5.37

Pale Mild   5.36   5.36   5.34

NEPA      5.38   5.27   5.41

Equipment and Software / Re: Ventilation for Indoor Brewing
« on: November 26, 2018, 05:27:10 PM »
FWIW here is my setup. The "hood" is a storage bin from Walmart. It's not connected right now but I use 6" semi-rigid pipe from the fan to my dryer outlet, then a 6" > 4" reducer and just disconnect my dryer vent when I brew. It doesn't capture 100%, but after 150+ brews the paper on my exposed insulation directly above the rig is only mildly wrinkled. The humidity in my basement actually goes down when I have this on...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Adding cucumber
« on: September 13, 2018, 12:55:07 PM »
I do a couple batches of a cucumber/wheat every year. For a five gallon batch I use 5 pounds of cucumber peeled and chopped (~1" cubes) in a nylon bag. Put it in the primary after the bulk of fermentation is done and leave it for 5-7 days at room temp.

I will definitely be trying the juice method on my next batch...

Beer Recipes / Re: Wee Shroomy/Skotrat Wee Heavy Question
« on: August 13, 2018, 01:02:49 PM »
I understand this is not an exact science or that it needs to be as Denny suggested, just looking for something in the ball park. I'll start with 1.5 gal of 1.085 wort and boil it down to .2 gal.

Thanks All

Beer Recipes / Wee Shroomy/Skotrat Wee Heavy Question
« on: August 11, 2018, 02:17:41 PM »
Hey all,

Gonna brew the Wee Shroomy, however I BIAB so no first runnings per se. My plan is to do a mini mash ahead of time to collect the wort to boil down for the concentrate. So for any of you that have brewed either of these recipes do you have an idea of what the OG is for the first runnings you've boiled down? I'm doing a 7 gal batch so I want a little more concentrate so I'm thinking 1.5 gal of "first runnings" boiled down to 1.5 pints.


Equipment and Software / Re: Tilt Bluetooth floating hydrometer
« on: June 21, 2018, 01:26:46 AM »
Why do you pull the Tilt before running off the beer? I runoff the beer and then reach in to pull the Tilt and grab any slurry I want to save.

Good question, initially I was concerned that it could possibly block the spigot, but by that time most of the beer should be in the keg. I'll have to give it a try and see, quite possibly did not think this through enough  :P

Even though my system and process are well dialed-in I still find little tweaks here and there, sometimes something that was valid a 100 batches ago no longer applies and it finally hits me, why are you still doing this? I think this may be one of those times  ;D

Equipment and Software / Re: Tilt Bluetooth floating hydrometer
« on: June 20, 2018, 08:07:04 PM »
Kind of curious.   But I have questions.   I like to harvest yeast, but I ferment not in a conical, but a Speidel, with draw tube and thermowell intruding near the bottom, and I have visions of my $135 toy getting swirlied and whacked on the equipment as I break up the cake for harvesting.   Just how robust are these gizmos?

I've used two of these for about 75 batches now and I have Speidels and harvest yeast as well. I just open up and remove the Tilt with a pair of sanitized tongs before kegging. I know a lot of people will balk at the O2 ingress with opening the fermenter these days, but its only a couple of seconds, it's getting transferred immediately to the keg and the the most exposed layer of wort gets left in the fermenter anyway. My beer still tastes great and I harvest healthy yeast out to eight generations or so, I'm OK with the process.

Ingredients / Re: Yeast nutrients
« on: May 09, 2018, 07:27:19 PM »
I believe it was in a recent Beersmith podcast that John Palmer mentioned that yeast nutrient may be useful in maintaining yeast health if you are repitching. Kinda made sense to me so I started adding nutrient every third generation, I usually go 8 or 9 generations then figure I got my money's worth and start over.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Shaken not stirred for Lager
« on: April 03, 2018, 05:23:38 PM »
FWIW, I believe Omega OYL-114 is supposed to be the Augustiner strain.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Reusing 34/70 dry lager yeast
« on: August 14, 2017, 02:27:02 PM »
I just pitched an 8th generation slurry from two packs of 34/70 that I re-hydrated at the beginning of the year. I'll probably go two more and start over.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First Wort Hopping
« on: July 27, 2017, 01:53:29 PM »
For FWH I slip the hops in as soon as I raise the basket high enough to get clearance, then let them steep for about 30 minutes before cranking up the power to start the boil...

Ingredients / Re: Habanero question
« on: May 02, 2017, 02:16:09 PM »
From some of the comments I'm guessing I did not de-seed when I made my tincture because I could have easily made the beer undrinkable from a heat perspective with just the tincture. Making a tincture might seem like an unnecessary step, but for me it is the easiest way to dial in the amount of heat you really want. I've had similar success soaking dried chipotles.

Ingredients / Re: Habanero question
« on: March 21, 2017, 07:08:50 PM »
Unfortunately I can't remember if I deseeded/deveined the peppers but I sliced up around five and soaked them in about a half pint of vodka for four or five days. Only took about 50ml of that tincture in five gallons of wee heavy to get a noticeable but pleasant amount of heat.

For me making a tincture is the most foolproof way to add pepper flavor/heat to a beer...

Beer Recipes / Re: Chili Recommendation
« on: February 10, 2017, 02:21:22 AM »

Tincture is the method I use a well. FWIW, I've had good experience with this method and fresh peppers as well...

Beer Recipes / Re: Looking for a good Dry Stout recipe
« on: February 03, 2017, 01:15:58 PM »
Thanks Eric!

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