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Messages - mugwort

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling questions
« on: July 29, 2014, 09:56:45 PM »
Another common cause of bubbly bottle-fills is missing the flow sweet spot on the spigot.

You can turn the valve 180 degrees to start the flow of beer, but if you turn it too far or not quite far enough, you get a torquing, twisting stream that agitates/aerates the beer as the bottle fills.

It took me longer than I'd like to admit to figure out that small changes in the spigot valve setting can have a big impact on the turbulence of the beer stream as it feeds through the bottling wand.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: lowering carbonation
« on: July 29, 2014, 11:11:31 AM »
This actually can work quite well.  Done it a handful of times over the years.  First, chill your bottles in the fridge, especially if your warm bottles want to throw beer.  Give the beer a few days in the fridge, then crack one at serving temp before you pass judgment on the carb level.

One at a time, pop each cap and place a new sanitized cap on top of each bottle.  As time passes and the bottles warm, CO2 comes out of solution into the headspace and pushes out under the loose cap.

How long to leave the bottles breathing before clamping down the new caps depends on a number of factors and ends up being your best guess.  I've done as little as 10 minutes to around two hours with maybe a 20 degree temp increase over that time.

If you're dealing with some degree of foamer/gusher, it helps to weigh down the cap with a good size foil sheet umbrella to keep the cap from floating away on the wings of foam.

Finally and most importantly since this is all CO2 whispering and such (you don't really know how long it'll take to get the residual level you desire), do a test run or two.  Vent two bottles, let breathe for 30 minutes at room temp (note the temp), cap down and then give them a few days for solution and headspace to equalize.  Then refrigerate if not already and taste test.

Don't worry, no oxidation here.  You're recapping on a regenerating CO2 headspace blanket.

Ingredients / Re: Tamarind anyone?
« on: July 01, 2014, 01:32:01 PM »
After tasting some samples with a prior batch, I think I'll hold on the tamarind for this IPA.  It seems like the flavors would go better with a lighter-bodied, less hoppy style like a wit.  I'm a bit concerned about the pulp/rind bitterness that the raw tamarind fruit I have may contribute - and I'm afraid that after fermentation that's all I'll be left with.  I like this recipe a bit too much to risk it.  Guess I'll just have to add another batch to the lineup soon.
Thanks for the advice!

Good idea.  Made a tamarind wit and it is delicious.  Since I did a mixed fermentation it is beautifully tart and stands up to ageing.  Gutting the tamarind pods was a good amount of labor though.

Equipment and Software / Re: Chillin' in the Summer
« on: July 01, 2014, 11:38:19 AM »
I try to enjoy it no matter the weather. Mr cup half full I guess.

Yeah, you're my AHA role-model.  Optimism and happiness can be practiced and learned, I think.  Just like brewing.

Equipment and Software / Re: grain crush issue with Monster Mill 3
« on: June 23, 2014, 10:21:21 PM »
I have the older version of the MM3.  One thing to keep in mind is that the adjustable roller is mounted off-center in the rotating bearing assembly so rotation changes the gap.  As a result, there are actually two angles where you will have a given gap between the adjustable roller and the drive roller.  One of those angles will give you a wider gap between the adjustable and idle rollers, the other will be narrower.  I think what you want to do (at least I did with mine) is adjust so the gap between the adjustable and idle rollers is the narrower of the two settings. In this position I think adjustable-drive gap should be wider than the adjustable-idler gap making it the easier/preferred path for the grain.

I am not sure if this makes sense, but I hope it helps.

Thanks for the response.  The adjustable-idler gap is definitely on the wide side.  Trying to reconcile the off-axis design you're describing with the specifications/instructions provided on the site/with the mill.  There seems to be no direct discussion of this aspect of adjustment in the documentation.  Hopefully I'll have time to fiddle with it this weekend to try to get it right.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Carbing multiple kegs without a manifold
« on: June 13, 2014, 11:23:49 AM »
My thought was to over-pressurize the kegs a bit before I leave (to maybe 20 PSI or so). Hopefully that will keep the carbonation process moving along over the 5 days I'm gone, without having to worry about overcarbing too much. Does that sound reasonable? Any other suggestions?
Double that.  I crank in about 42 psi to my carbing kegs a couple times a day and they're ready in 3 days.  Haven't encountered a problem with over-carbonation.

Equipment and Software / Re: Conical Review
« on: June 13, 2014, 11:13:04 AM »
Thank you for the candid writeup.  There's a lot to think about.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Colonna Corker
« on: June 10, 2014, 10:51:41 AM »
I thought it was common to put a drilled stopper on the plunger so it could only go in partially and leave some of the cork above the lip of the bottle?

With this apparatus, being able to change the floor height via a metal base plate that slots in securely is what enables the correct amount of protruding cork.  Picking the right slot for the height of your bottle is key.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Colonna Corker
« on: June 09, 2014, 09:15:22 PM »
Thanks I maybe do some practicing with this to try to get the right height, I have a mix of 750s, and Vinnie's

Yeah, I love those Russian River bottles.  I made a tic mark for the correct base height for those mini-belgians as well.

Equipment and Software / grain crush issue with Monster Mill 3
« on: June 09, 2014, 09:10:47 PM »
I'm about to write Monster Brewing with a question about the performance of my recently acquired 3-roll mill, but I thought I'd put the same questions to the experienced crew on this forum as well.

I am having an issue achieving a finer crush with my new MM3 2.0.  As instructed on the provided sheet, I ran my first brew with the mill at factory setting (approximately .045"), and using a 1/2" corded DeWalt it mowed through the grain effortlessly.  Mash drained quickly, without a hint of sluggishness but efficiency suffered (about 65%).

So for my next brew I thought I'd adjust the gap tighter for a more thorough crush.  As suggested in the documentation, I put a tic mark to indicated the default gap before loosening the set screws.  Facing the mill from the drive shaft side, I turned the adjuster a small amount (5 or 10 degrees maybe) to reduce the gap to a little over a .035".  I turned the knob on the other side a corresponding amount in the same absolute direction, and then confirmed with a gauge that the gap was the same on both sides of the roller.

To my surprise, the crush came out as coarse as before I adjusted the mill.  At this point I figured out why.  The bulk of the grain was now channeling through the fixed gap side instead of through the adjusted gap side.  No matter what gap I set below and up to .045", the majority of the time the grain was directed though the fixed rollers rather than the rollers with the adjustable gap.  Due to this behavior, I was forced to double crush the all the grain.

My question is, how can I get a tighter-than-default crush on this mill?  There must be something I'm missing here.  I don't understand why the grain flow keeps switching between the two roller paths.

Anyone else have any experience with this?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Colonna Corker
« on: June 09, 2014, 10:04:06 AM »
This is a good article on how to use it for belgian bottles:

Make a small mark with a sharpie to indicate which base slot works best on a typical 750.  They can and do vary in height so check your bottles beforehand.

The most important part of all is to keep from breaking the flexible channel/funnel when you are retrieving your newly-corked bottle.  As mentioned in the article, remove the base, hold the bottle neck and lip with one hand and apply the full range of the plunger to push the cork the rest of the way out.  Use the hand holding the bottle to reinforce the plastic channel, keeping it from flexing as the cork slides the rest of the way through.

I have found though, without something to fit between the plunger and the top of the cork, it is very tough to free the corked bottle.  I use an inch-long piece of wooden dowel for this.  As soon as the cork's been driven into the bottle and the base plate is removed, rest the dowel on the top of the cork while holding the bottle & supporting the surrounding channel.  Swing the plunger and out pops bottle.  Easier than it might sound.

I'm not sure I would trust that thing upside down with my beer in it ;-)

At any rate 108%... Glad it made it.  Glad I found it early and got 2 for $105 each as well ;-P

Good, you deserve it.  You did a fine job of raising awareness without going anywhere near shillville.  Thanks!

For sure that would make it a perfectly fine fermenter and basically the same as one of these.. albeit at a higher price.  There is certainly nothing new or innovative about the campaign.  It's just a cheap stainless container to ferment in.  Nothing more nothing less lol.
Not really innovative?  True.  Well, I'll still be buying this glorified milk can adaptation for homebrew fermentation assuming it all goes through.

Someone trying to be witty might just call it cow tested, homebrewer approved.

That's a re-purposed stainless steel milk transport can.
Hmmm...that designation is not so alluring.  Looks like with a week to go, funding is at 80%.  Anyone who is on the fence and low on milk cans, jump on in!  The wort is fine.

Yeah for me it's just a good bucket replacement that doesn't need to have too much care done for it like a plastic bucket does.  With bucket fermenter I always feel like I spend so much effort trying to get the aromas and flavors they absorb out of them...and it's creepy to think of something as 'clean' when it still smells like what was previously in it even after weeks of multiple soakings with cleaner.

They way I figure it a 7.9 gallon bucket + lid is $22-25.  So this is 4-5x as much as they are right up front.  But since it shouldn't ever need to be replaced and it doesn't take as much effort to keep clean and flavor free... that's the main benefits of fermenting in stainless to me.

You make a good argument.  I think I'll lay down the money for one.  Never done a bucket fermentation.  Don't like the long plastic contact, scratchability, etc.  And I'm really getting tired of jamming additions through narrow carboy necks.

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