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Topics - narcout

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The Pub / Whole Foods
« on: November 12, 2016, 12:09:01 PM »
I couldn't resist.

All Grain Brewing / First Low Oxygen Brew
« on: November 05, 2016, 09:52:13 AM »
Last night, I brewed a Belgian Pale using the full low oxygen method.  It was actually pretty easy.

I underestimated how long it would take to bring 7.75 gallons of water to a boil.  Next time, I'm going to split it between two pots and combine them when they are close to a boil.

My usual efficiency on this recipe is in the low 80's.  Not being sure what to expect, I targeted 70%, but ended up hitting 73%.  I can live with that for now.

I did have to do some gentle stirring to break up dough balls.  Hopefully, it didn't burn through too much SMB (I used 50 mg/l).  I may need to order some sulfite test strips.

Typically, I heat my strike water to 13 degrees above my target mash temp, and then I gently stir for about 5 minutes to even the temp and break up dough balls.  Given the increased volume of strike water and not being able to stir, I guessed 11 degrees would work.  It turned out 8.5 degrees would have been the correct target.  On this beer, I doubt mashing at 152 instead of 150 will make any difference, and I'll get it right next time.

That said, I've been hitting my mash temp on the nose every brew for the last 10 years, so it's a bit irritating.   If I get really into low oxygen brewing, I'll probably switch to a RIMS.

I did a 70 minute boil targeting 10% evaporation.  Actual evaporation was 11.5%, which is pretty close.   

The ground water here is warm.  I usually chill to 90 or so and then let the chest freezer bring it to pitching temp overnight.  Last night, I chilled the wort to 100 and then started recirculating 4 gallons of water I had chilled to the low 40s in the freezer while brewing.  That got me down to 80 at which point I pitched the yeast into the fermentor, racked the wort on top, oxygenated, and put in the chest freezer to bring it down to 68.  Next time, I'll pick up a bag of ice.  That should get me where I need to be, at least for ales.

Overall, it was a pretty smooth process, and I learned what adjustments I need to make for next time.  It was a long brew day, but it's nice to get everything done in one shot rather than having to chill overnight and oxygenate/pitch yeast in the morning.

This was also the first time I conditioned the grain before milling.  I don't think the crush really looked all that different though.


Ingredients / Polyclar Brewbrite
« on: October 19, 2016, 03:19:03 PM »
To anyone here using this stuff, how are you using it?  What do you think?  Does it require downstream filtration to remove?

The Pub / Maui - Hawaii Sea Spirits
« on: August 08, 2016, 03:30:06 PM »
I recently returned from a trip to Maui where I had a chance to visit the Hawaii Sea Spirits distillery.  I thought some of you might be interested in seeing a few pictures.

This is the sugar cane press.  They grow their own organic sugar cane (both the vodka and rum are made from it) and import cane juice from somewhere else (I think South America).

These are the fermentors.  They ferment the cane juice to 10% ABV before distilling.  That's the bottom of the column still poking through the roof.

The pot still is on the left; that's the blending tank on the right where they add water back to the distillate.  All the water they use is desalinized deep ocean water which is pulled up off the coast of the Big Island.  Apparently, this water is marketed in Japan as a health drink and sells for something like $20 a bottle (not by the distillery).

Column still

Sugar cane; they grow a couple of different varieties

Sugar cane field with still in the background; it's a beautiful property

Bottling line

This picture is from somewhere else on the island, but I thought it was worth sharing.  These are old mill rollers from the sugar cane processing plant.  The grooved part of the roller is six or seven feet long.  Apparently, 2016 is the last year of commercial sugar cane production on Maui.


Equipment and Software / Brewing with a pump
« on: July 10, 2016, 07:46:35 AM »
I thought it would make things easier, but it actually made everything more complicated.

I do not like it.

Equipment and Software / New Mill Rollers
« on: July 09, 2016, 01:08:40 PM »
So last weekend, I replaced the rollers on my Barley Crusher.  Right away, I could feel that the knurling on the new rollers was much sharper than on the old ones.

This morning I milled some grains for an APA and it was crazy how much harder it was to crank the mill (I usually mill by hand) though I left the gap at the factory spacing. 

Anyway, it totally fixed the problem of having the non driven roller stop turning.  I wasn't sure before what was causing the issue, but it definitely appears to be a wearing down of the knurling over time. I think I bought the mill originally in the second half of 2007.

The Pub / Oregon
« on: June 26, 2016, 07:14:31 AM »
Man, this place is great.

The Pub / Live, from the NHC
« on: June 10, 2016, 09:12:20 AM »

Equipment and Software / Thermapen Classic Sale
« on: June 03, 2016, 01:47:05 PM »
Grey Thermapen Classic is on sale for $69.

I've been thinking about getting one, though I prefer blue.

Events / NHC Seminar Schedule
« on: June 01, 2016, 12:05:04 PM »
Has anyone put together a seminar schedule? 

The chart that was created and sent around last year was really helpful.

Equipment and Software / GFCI Outlets
« on: May 29, 2016, 10:17:04 AM »
If you plug a multi-outlet power strip into a GFCI outlet, is everything plugged into the power strip protected?

Equipment and Software / 3 Beer Bottle Shipping Boxes
« on: May 28, 2016, 05:18:59 PM »
Has anyone tried these?

I'm thinking about ordering some for sending beer to comps. 

Equipment and Software / Some RIMS Questions
« on: May 22, 2016, 12:51:10 PM »
Once in a while I think about setting up a RIMS.

Is there anything simpler or better than a mag pump, the 120V RIMS Rocket, and a "plug and play" PID controller?

I've been looking at this controller (the model 2 with the SYL-2352):

All-in, the controller is $280.

The Blichmann 120V Tower of Power control module is $575.  Is that just the Blichmann markup or is their controller superior to the Auber model for this application?

I brew 6 gallon batches, so my strike water is typically under 5 gallons.  I assume the 120V RIMS Rocket has enough juice to bring a mash that size from 145 to 162 in an acceptable time frame.  Am I mistaken?

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