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Topics - narcout

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Equipment and Software / Thermowell for Cooler
« on: March 05, 2017, 09:23:39 PM »
Does anyone sell a weldless thermowell that could be installed in a cooler mash tun?

All the ones I am finding are designed for kettles.

General Homebrew Discussion / HBC
« on: March 04, 2017, 10:52:34 PM »
Who's planning to make it out this year? 

I'm hoping to be there.

All Grain Brewing / Spunding Experiment
« on: February 04, 2017, 11:50:05 PM »
Well, I finally get a chance to try spunding.  Today is day 8 on my low oxygen saison.  The airlock was still bubbling so I took a gravity sample, and it was at 1.015. 

I've brewed this recipe quite a few times, but this is the first time I have pitched a blend of 3247 and 3711.  My guess is it will finish between 1.004 and 1.007.  Today is the only day I could possibly transfer it until next weekend so I decided to give it a shot.

I really hope it doesn't stall out on me.  I'll let you all know how it goes.

To those of you who have tried it, did you have any issues with the liquid QD getting clogged?  The beer stopped flowing when there was still about a gallon left in the fermentor.  I figured the QD was probably clogged and swapped it out for a new one which fixed the problem (but still caused a few minutes of crushing anxiety).

The Pub / Uline
« on: January 13, 2017, 09:21:44 PM »
I don't how I got on this company's mailing list, but they sell a lot of stuff that homebrewers might be interested in: stainless steel carts, plastic storage bins, dropper bottles, cubitainers, glass and plastic jars, wire shelving, bins, casters, storage cabinets, pails, etc.


Yeast and Fermentation / WY 1450 in an oatmeal stout
« on: December 14, 2016, 11:04:00 PM »
Decent choice?

I don't have much experience with this strain.

Equipment and Software / Mash Caps
« on: December 02, 2016, 09:13:54 PM »
Have any of you who mash in coolers fabricated a mash cap for low oxygen brewing?

I was thinking about getting something like the below and trimming it down to size (need to measure my tun to figure out what size I need).

Commercial Beer Reviews / Sierra Nevada Celebration 2016
« on: December 01, 2016, 05:31:07 PM »
Seeing this in the store makes me happy every year.   

For whatever reason, it always tastes different than I remember from the previous year, but it's always great.

The Pub / Whole Foods
« on: November 12, 2016, 07:09:01 PM »
I couldn't resist.

All Grain Brewing / First Low Oxygen Brew
« on: November 05, 2016, 04:52:13 PM »
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, 10:19:03 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, 10:30:06 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.


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