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Messages - mugwort

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Twist-offs are a little more likely to come loose or leak, but that can be avoided with carefully capping and inspection.

If you like the convenience of twist-off bottles or have a bunch, no reason not to use 'em.  I just wouldn't reuse caps. 

Equipment and Software / UNI-STAT III vs Ranco ETC-211000
« on: August 20, 2014, 06:04:43 PM »
Just noticed the UNI-STAT ad in the latest BYO.  I am thinking about automating my fermentation temp control very soon and was wondering...

Any experience-based opinions/observations regarding the UNI-STAT III as a cooling/heating controller, especially as compared to the much-lauded Ranco ETC-211000?  Ease of use, functionality, reliability, etc. 

The prices and features seem to be comparable.  The UNI is claimed to made in USA.  Anybody mind making a bit deeper compare-and-contrast than that?

Equipment and Software / Re: grain crush issue with Monster Mill 3
« on: August 20, 2014, 04:55:59 PM »
A big thank you to those suggesting there is a better alternative to the MM3 factory setup.  Oddly, utilizing the opposite side of the adjustable roller is not covered in Monster Brewing Hardware MM3 documentation, and in fact seems implicitly discouraged by instructions to the user to maximize the gap between the bottom idler and the top idler rollers.

In my experience, maintaining this large gap when adjusting the drive / idler gap to anything less than .045", provides excess opportunity for the grain to choose the larger idler to idler gap over the intended drive to idler gap.

So at forum members suggestions, I rotated the adjustable roller 180 degrees.  This closed down the idler to idler gap dramatically, especially when I gapped the mill to .037".  With this setting, the idler gap is just under .0025".  Not kidding, talk about tight.

So far, on a single small brewday run of 15 lbs pils over 5 starts, things are feeding nicely and correctly.  Of course, more brewing is necessary before I conclude anything.  But isn't that always true.

Beer Recipes / Re: Stone Smoked Porter w/Peppers
« on: August 20, 2014, 04:45:04 PM »
The brewery's autobiography should be a trusted source for the recipe, at least as a snapshot in a recipe's ongoing evolution.  Page 165 of The Craft of Stone Brewing Co. specifies the following recipe:

82.5% domestic 2-row
9.5% crystal 75L
5.5% chocolate malt
2.5% peated malt

157°F mash
Mash out 165°F

90 minute boil

.293 lb/bbl Columbus (12.9% aa) [90 minute]
.23 lb/bbl Mt. Hood (6% aa) [0 minute]

WLP007 or 002 @ 72°F

SG 1.065
FG 1.018

Regarding the chipotle pepper version of this ale, the same page reads "Put .42 ounce of chopped dried chipotle peppers in a hops bag, add it during secondary fermentation, and allow it to steep for 3 days (or more or less, depending on how spicy you'd like your brew to be)".

This is specified for 5 gallons, and seems to be the only info regarding the pepper addition that appears in the book.

I use 3 of the Morebeer type kettles (from various sources), each with the triclad bottoms.  All work great and I have not scorching.  As for the cost, they are less than the comparable boilermakers despite having the more robust bottom sections.  I direct fire my MLT with a Blichmann Tower of Power.  So it's extra insurance there as far as I'm concerned.

Thanks for the post.  Yeah, I've never had a problem with wort boils, but using the Blichmann as a direct-fire mash tun can be a whole different story.  Flame restraint is crucial.

I love those heavy duty MoreBeer pots as well.  Armored vehicles of the brewing vessel world.

One other thing to consider sanitizing is your kettle ball valve.  There's space in there that can harbor nasties.   If the valve is left fully open, you can find moisture behind the valve weeks later.

MoreBeer claims the heat of a boil does not sufficiently reach the valve to sanitize it and I believe them.

At MB's suggestion, I now boil a gallon or so of my strike water in my kettle and then drain through the valve at varying degrees of openness in order to steam-sanitize the entire interior area.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Bruery Hottenroth
« on: August 10, 2014, 04:24:04 AM »
I'm sad to say the bottle I had of it last year smelled and tasted very much like laundry gray water (smells and likely tastes).

Being less than 30 miles from Placentia, I would think that bottle of Hottenroth would not have been too old.  Who knows though.

Beer Recipes / Re: I hope I didn't mess this up.
« on: August 09, 2014, 11:45:28 PM »
I just sampled this from my conical. It is very smooth. The Nelson Suavin "grape" flavor is still not very prominent. But it is a very crisp, smooth, and refreshing beer.

Can't resist commenting.  Of course this Nelson Suavin saison is gonna be smooth.

I use the morebeer kettles with bottom the same thickness/ thinness as the walls. They work great.

I use those as well.  Extremely heavy duty.  Bottoms of my 15 and 26 are much thicker though.

Also, they appear to be tri-clad.

Hmmm, I was hoping for a bit of community therapy.  Starting with a bunch of yeah-I-know-what-you-mean's and maybe going somewhere useful, like suggestions of heat dispersal solutions and who knows what.  Cheers.

Could be a little of the [ugly] baby syndrome, but I can't detect anything in the saison 3 finishing product.

Since I want to believe, I gave my wife who is notoriously sensorially sensitive a blind sample, and aside from a sulfur presence (it is only 6 days old) she found no negative aromas or flavors.

I definitely didn't imagine the scorching on brewday.  I have clear brewpot scraping and scrubbing memories from the end of that day.

No conclusions being drawn here.  Just a slight bump in my faith in the universe.

John Blichmann is as near to a homebrewing engineer saint as one can get, so please be advised this is not an attack--merely a question I keep asking myself, so I thought I'd quiz the forum.

Why are the boilermaker brewpot bottoms so silly thin?

Yes, the pots are notable for their stiffness and durability as well as build quality and features at an incredibly light weight.  True and true.  But why no sandwiched core to distribute direct fire heat and minimize scorching?  That's worth a little more weight in my book.

I can't tell if the generation 2 pots are thicker, but they don't advertise their bottoms as having any enhancement.  Bummer.

Damn, I was hoping for happier tales.  Well, I'll see tomorrow when I pull a sample.  I'm thinking the impact in this case will be mild.

The saison 3 portion has finished and dropped like rocks while the wit yeast is still munching.  I'll taste the s3 to check the damage.

Anyone do any additions that were helpful if not in masking but in overlaying a wee bit of scorch?  I know, if it's genuinely corrupted I won't waste the time.

I thought I could get away with doing the adjunct portion of my wit in my false-bottomed Blichmann, heating it carefully through the ranges. 

But by the time I hit the low 150's, I could smell evidence of scorching.  I was running a pretty gentle flame and was stirring occasionally, but the porridge made its way through the slots and charred on the thin-walled bottom.  I do love the build quality and features of the Blichmann 20-gallon kettle, but the bottom is ridiculously, inexplicably thin.

Anyway, there was an obvious burnt toast smell and taste at that point.  Not overwhelming but definitely bothersome by the time I called it quits on the heat.  Thank goodness I remembered Charlie at that point.  I proceeded to relax, realize what's done is done, and opened up a homebrewed saison.

Over time and process (adding the rest of the pils for conversion, boiling, adding the zest and coriander, etc.) the burnt component seemed to diminish or at least push out of the way.  By the time I tasted the gravity sample, I could imagine it wasn't there.  But who knows?

I'm hoping the burnt notes provide nothing more than an extremely subtle complexity once fermentation is complete.  Wishful thinking and lessons learned are all the hope I have at the moment for this batch.

Anyone had a good flavor recovery from a grain scorching experience?

I would definitely look at your water composition for your hop-focused pale ales.

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