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Messages - Richard

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Equipment and Software / Re: electric brewing systems
« on: March 15, 2019, 04:56:45 AM »
I presume HERMS would be noticeably slower?  I have a feeling my assumptions  have been correct.

I have no actual experience with either RIMS or HERMS systems, but I believe you are correct. The temperature rise calculation for a RIMS system is pretty straightforward, based on thermal mass and power. A HERMS system is more complicated, but my physical intuition tells me that it would almost certainly be slower because you have an additional mass of water to heat and you have the inefficiency of the heat exchanger to deal with.

Equipment and Software / Re: electric brewing systems
« on: March 15, 2019, 01:36:20 AM »
How fast do you think it would take a 1650 watt element raise the temp for a step? For example from 148F to mash out? i am thinking about getting a rims package from brew hardware down the line but only if it does not take too long , does having a insulated mash tun make a difference in the speed it heats up?

You didn't specify your batch size, but if you have 8 gallons of water and 13 lbs of grain, a 1650 Watt element would give you 1.3 F/min rise as the maximum. Any losses or inefficiencies would lower this, and yes, insulation helps reduce those losses. That means that the time to go from 148 F to 168 F would be 15 minutes or longer.

When I was doing physics research we used to purchase very pure ethanol from our department store for cleaning optics (lenses, mirrors, etc). It had very little water in it so it would cut oils (think fingerprints) and not leave any residue when it evaporated. Although it was 99% pure, there was no guarantee as to what the remaining 1% was, so it was unsuitable for human consumption. Chemicals for industrial use may not be appropriate for use near or on equipment that deals with products for human consumption. Some of the contaminants can be harmful to humans in very low concentrations that have no industrial consequences. Be very careful about anything you use on your brewing equipment. If  you purchase concentrated ethanol, be sure that it is rated as safe for human consumption.

Also, I don't think nurses use ethanol before injections. I have always received a swipe with isopropyl alcohol (i.e rubbing alcohol).

All Grain Brewing / Re: BrewtanB, who uses it
« on: March 09, 2019, 03:10:10 AM »
If you give me your address I can send you a bottle full of purple water, or a bottle of water that will turn purple when you add Brewtan B to it. My starting water is municipal water that comes from the Hetch Hetchy system ( ). This comes from snowmelt in the Sierra Nevada mountains, which is delivered to a local reservoir and is treated with chloramine. It is very low in mineral content but tends to be very high pH. I generally measure 9.3 - 9.6 pH, although sometimes I measure as low as 8.8. Because the mineral content is low it doesn't take much in the way of dark grain or acid additions to lower the mash pH to the 5.2 - 5.6 range. I am not sure what causes the purple color, but I have seen it every time i have added Brewtan B and never otherwise.

I'm not sure where you are getting your numbers from, but my calculations give wildly different results, Try the calculator here:

or this one:

All Grain Brewing / Re: BrewtanB, who uses it
« on: March 02, 2019, 04:53:54 PM »
I have added 1/4 - 1/2 tsp to 8 gallons of water for a couple of mashes. It turns my water purple, but I haven't noticed any other benefits.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP004
« on: February 19, 2019, 05:55:18 PM »
Looks like your guys are looking at the manufacturer's info that says it can go to 74%.  But that's the max they got in the lab with a wort made to be as fermentable as possible.   In the real world... different story.   I'd happily drink a pint of your beer.
I brewed a batch using this yeast a few weeks ago. I mashed at 154F, with 2 lbs of caramel malts (C120, Caramunich, Special B) in a 13 lb grain bill. I got 78% attenuation (1.057 to 1.012). It did that in 3 days. I have had some extremely vigorous and fast fermentations with WLP004.

The thermal contact between beer in a carboy (or keg) and air is pretty poor, and can allow for a significant temperature rise in the middle of the beer. Immersing the carboy in water does a much better job of transferring heat out of the beer. I have done this and measured a temperature difference from center of beer to water bath of less than 1 degree F, and that was with one of those crazy WLP004 fermentations. More typical is 0.5 F at the peak of fermentation-generating heat. Another way is to use a cooling coil inside the liquid. Anvil now makes one for carboys for $99.99:

I haven't used this, but am considering purchasing their coil alone ($20) and using it with my home-built cooling system.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Stale beer direct from brewery
« on: February 13, 2019, 05:41:17 PM »
Thanks to Robert and Big Monk for explaining this. I assumed that this was just a large can of beer, packaged the way cans are usually done for distribution.

I wasn't there to see this crowler being filled, but after this discussion I asked my son about it. He said it was filled from a tap, then capped on foam. No information about whether there was any CO2 purging, but there was clearly significant oxygen contact. Even though the crowler was kept cool (but not totally refrigerated) it only took a couple of days to go bad.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Stale beer direct from brewery
« on: February 13, 2019, 04:03:37 PM »
Plus it's warm in California.

It's not warm here right now. We have snow on the hills and he drove through heavy hail to get the crowler home. Still, I see your point.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Stale beer direct from brewery
« on: February 13, 2019, 05:44:04 AM »
My son just came back from a short trip to northern California. He found a new small brewery/brew pub in the town he visited and brought me back a crowler (a large can) of their Centennial IPA. I eagerly opened it and immediately tasted the sicky sweet, sherry-like taste of oxided/stale beer. My son tasted it and agreed that it was bad and didn't taste like what he had on tap there. This was purchased at the brewery and delivered to me only a day or two later. What a disappointment! They are obviously not doing a good job of packaging and storing their beer. I don't want to name the brewery, but I am wondering if I should contact them and let them know how bad it was.

All Grain Brewing / Re: First all grain brew
« on: February 13, 2019, 02:36:01 AM »
Not sure what you mean by larger kettle. I purchased this 10-gallon one on sale for $49.99 (now $69.99):

They sell larger and better ones for more money, but still quite reasonable. I put a ball valve on it, and I highly recommend that you do so (and get one that can be easily taken apart for cleaning). I purchased this valve for $12: and added a nipple and hose barb for about $5 each ( . Total cost under $100 and it has the welded ports for valve and thermometer. Very happy.

I agree that the increased solubility of CO2 will add to the suckback effect, but I have no idea how to calculate that.

In terms of when to attach a balloon, fermentation of 20 liters of 1.060 beer with 75% attenuation produces about 450 liters of CO2, so collecting 0.5 - 1 liter would mean just catching a tiny percentage at the very tail end of fermentation.

But in a fixed container, your volume remains constant.  If you are talking the gas only, the density of the gas will increase, but its volume will remain at the 2 gallons of head space that you started with.

In a carboy open to the atmosphere the pressure remains constant. As the CO2 gas in the headspace cools it shrinks, and air is drawn in to keep the headspace volume filled at atmospheric pressure. The volume of air drawn in is equal to the volume shrinkage of the CO2 at constant pressure, about 500 ml.

Beer Recipes / Re: Error in Sierra Nevada Resilience IPA recipe
« on: February 09, 2019, 02:37:36 AM »
I get the digital edition. It once was a replica of the printed version, and had the information you refer to on pages 3 and 4. I remember seeing it once. Now the digital edition is just a set of articles, and all the non-article information is missing. There are no pages, and I can't access their information on standardizing recipes.

Beer Recipes / Re: Error in Sierra Nevada Resilience IPA recipe
« on: February 08, 2019, 05:50:02 PM »
I agree that you need to tweak recipes to your own setup, but both of these claimed to come from the same source. At the bottom of both is the identical wording: "This recipe was provided by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and scaled down from the original by Chip Walton of Chop and Brew."

Given that, I would expect them to be the same.

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