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Messages - Richard

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The New York Times reported today (see the link below to the article) that AB Inbev announced their purchase of the homebrew supply company MoreBeer, along with negotiations to purchase Lagunitas Brewing from Heineken. AB recently purchased Northern Brewer, another major supplier to homebrewers, setting off speculation that they were trying to take over the homebrewing market. This latest move has only further fueled the speculation and concern by homebrewers across the country. AB Inbev spokesperson Anita Knapp denied this and says there is no need to worry. “We are not trying to take over the world, just the first half of the alphabet. Although the purchase of Lagunitas wil be difficult we hope that we will soon be able to proceed to acquire Kona Brewing and Jaded Brewing, for some diversification. The plan will end after we purchase Bell’s because we clearly don’t need another A. Please note that Sierra Nevada has never been on our radar and never will be.”

See the article at

Beer Recipes / Re: Scottish ale
« on: March 29, 2019, 11:33:08 PM »
And, before the style nazis start in, you can't even taste the 1% peated malt addition. ;)

Then what's the point of adding it?

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Leaking Spigot in Primary Fermentor
« on: March 25, 2019, 04:54:34 AM »
Plan otherise... time to invest in a glass carboy even thought I really like my wide mouth fermonster!

Stick with the Fermonster and double-check your spigots before filling. I have a Fermonster and I would never go back to glass carboys.

I'm American, I even like my British ales cold and fizzy

Yeah, my British ales are quite Americanized, too. I like them stronger and with more foam than the Brits do.

That reminds me of my last visit to the north of England in 2016. I was dismayed to see that all the pubs carried American beers in addition to local ales and cask ales. One evening I was at the bar waiting for a refill and a guy asked for a Coors. The bartender pulled the handle and just got a hiss and a spit or two of foam from an empty keg. The customer then asked for a Bud Light, and the bartender again got just a dying sigh from an empty keg. I turned to the guy next to me and asked "I wonder what his third choice is when his first two were Coors and Bud Light?" The answer was Foster's.

I think that 1000 Watts is total overkill. I mash in a well-insulated kettle and I need less than 100 W to maintain a mash temperature (with the top on). Using a high-power element increases your chance of scorching the mash if you don't keep it moving fast enough. Also, most of the ones I have seen are described as being for heating water. If you heat mash you will definitely get a burnt layer building up over time, so make sure you get one that can be thoroughly cleaned. That means the shield around the heating element must be removable so you can scour the surface of the element clean.

All Grain Brewing / Re: 6 gallons of beer on the floor....
« on: March 24, 2019, 05:24:13 PM »
I stopped using my glass carboy because I feared an experience like yours, although I don't do pressure transfer. My biggest concern was when I was washing it and turning it upside down to drain, etc. I got a PET carboy with spigot and I love being able to lift it with one hand. I also like being able to stick my arm in it all the way to the bottom for cleaning.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Grain Crush versus BIAB
« on: March 24, 2019, 05:16:41 PM »
You can now also purchase larger quantities and store them uncrushed for months, further lowering your costs.

OK, then I would say that the 38 - 40 F temperature is the STORAGE temperature, not the serving temperature. US refrigerators can't be set to temperatures above 42 F because that is the max temperature for food safety. After various attempts to force mine to regulate higher I have given up. I store the beer at a low temperature but generally let it warm up a bit (how much depends on the style) before I serve it. I don't really measure the final temperature in the glass, but now I might start doing that just for fun!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Grain Crush versus BIAB
« on: March 23, 2019, 10:09:00 PM »
My results are very close to Bob's. My gap is set to 0.026" and I get 80% efficiency with BIAB.

i cold crash @32F-34F serve at 38F

Wow, that is a pretty cold serving temperature. If I remember correctly in England they serve their local beers at something like 50F, which is called "cellar temperature" or "cold", and they serve American beers closer to 40F, which is called "ice cold". As with wine, the temperature affects the volatility of aroma compounds, and too low a temperature will reduce the aroma and flavor you get from the beverage.

My cooling system will produce lower temperatures, but the water in the heat exchange block began to freeze and clog the hoses with ice when the beer was at 35.5. I could go lower if I use propylene glycol to lower the freezing point of the cooling liquid, but I don't want to do that unless it is absolutely necessary.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Topping off boil kettle for 10 gallon batch?
« on: March 22, 2019, 05:30:34 PM »
I don't see any problem with it and have done something similar myself several times. Just be sure you stir everything really well after adding the top-up water before you take a sample to measure the gravity.

Also make sure your thermometer is reading correctly - you could be colder or warmer than you think!  I would measure with an accurate probe in a glass of water for best results.  Cheers!

Accuracy is not a problem. I have a PT100 RTD probe that is accurate to better than 0.5 degree F checked across the entire range from freezing to boiling.

General Homebrew Discussion / Cold crash - how cold is cold enough?
« on: March 22, 2019, 02:03:25 AM »
I have been testing a new cooling system and although I am pleased with its performance overall, I am a bit disappointed in its lowest achievable temperature. My old system could cool down to 34 F, but the new one can only get to 36 so far. Is that good enough? I can work on getting it lower, but it would be quite an effort. I usually keep the beer at the low temperature for 3-4 days before packaging.

I’ve seen a video where the brewer used an ice cream churn motor to fashion a set of rakes to stir his mash.  Hope this helps.

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I have tried various home-built mechanized stirrers for BIAB with no success.  I have a mechanized whirlpool stirrer for after the boil, and it works great, but it has not worked at all for the mash. The slow speed of the ice cream churner may keep it from twisting up or catching on the bag, although I would have gone with lexan or ABS for the top instead of wood. I think a recirculation pump would do just as good a job as a stirrer without worrying about catching the bag, at the expense of a bit more complicated cleanup. The pump and external plumbing would contribute to temperature loss, but with an electric kettle that could be compensated for with ease. FWIW, I now use an occasional stir with a spoon and let it go at that.

Equipment and Software / Re: electric brewing systems
« on: March 15, 2019, 02:56:02 PM »
FWIW, I have a modified RIMS system that in addition to the 1650 watt electric heating element (3300 watt element at 220V that I run on 110 V), ...

Not that it matters a lot here, but running at half voltage doesn't give you half power, it gives you 1/4 power.

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