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Topics - narcout

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Equipment and Software / Northern Brewer Stainless Growler
« on: August 10, 2012, 07:58:13 AM »
It's not the nicest looking stainless growler on the market, but NB says it is double-wall insulated and can keep beer cold for 24 hours.

All Grain Brewing / Shift in thought regarding optimal mash pH
« on: August 04, 2012, 03:50:50 PM »
Note: all pH measurements referenced in the below post are room temperature measurements.

In How to Brew, Palmer states that the goal is to hit a mash pH of between 5.4 and 5.8.

However, I've read a lot of posts on this forum where people state their target mash pH is 5.3.  I've also read some posts where it has been posited that a mash pH higher than 5.6 can cause problems - regardless of the style of beer being brewed.

Has there been a recent shift in thought concerning optimal mash pH?

Beer Recipes / Akin to SN Celebration
« on: July 07, 2012, 01:15:59 PM »
This is a recipe inspired by Sierra Nevada Celebration.  It's not a clone, but it's definitely in the ballpark.

13.25 lbs. American 2-row
1 lb. English dark crystal (75% in mash, 25% added during batch sparge)
.25 lbs. dextrine malt

1 oz. Chinook (11.8%) - 60 minutes
.5 oz. Centennial (12.5%) - 30 minutes
.75 oz. Cascade (6.8%) - 15 minutes
.75 oz. Centennial (12.5%) - 15 minutes
.75 oz. Cascade (6.8%) - 5 minutes
.75 oz. Centennial (12.5%) - 5 minutes
1 oz. Cascade (6.8%) - dry hop

13-15 grams (eyeballed) of rehydrated US-05 pitched at 62 and fermented at 66 for 16 days, crash cooled for 3 days, then kegged with the dry hops

All RO water with 3 grams gypsum and 2 grams calcium chloride added to mash, 1/4 teaspoon of phosphoric acid added to sparge water, 2 grams gypsum and 1 gram calcium chloride added to kettle

Mashed at 150 for 60 minutes

OG: 1.068
FG: 1.013
ABV: 7.19%
IBU: 78
SRM: 11

I tapped the keg last night, and it is fantastic...

Edit: I should add that this is formulated for a 5.7 gallon batch at 74% efficiency.

Yeast and Fermentation / Wyeast 3864 - Canadian/Belgian Ale
« on: June 15, 2012, 05:43:57 PM »
Is it just me or is this the greatest yeast strain of all time?  I hope they release it again soon; it's been forever...

Equipment and Software / An alternative to bagging hops
« on: June 03, 2012, 11:10:30 AM »
I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner.

Ingredients / New Weyermann Malts
« on: March 03, 2012, 12:28:34 AM »
I don't know if these are really new or not (personally, I've never seen them before), but I noticed Northern Brewer is now carrying:

Weyermann Floor Malted Bohemian Pale Wheat;
Weyermann Oak Smoked Pale Wheat Malt;
Weyermann Floor Malted Bohemian Dark Malt; and
Weyermann Abbey Malt.

A few months ago I made a smoked hefeweizen with some rauchmalt that came out really well.  I'm going to try a variation on my recipe using the floor malted pale wheat and the oak smoked pale wheat.  Should be interesting...

Beer Recipes / Black Champagne
« on: February 27, 2012, 08:20:32 PM »
The idea is a black, dry, lively beer with a touch of light fruit and slightly tart finish.

This is my initial stab at the recipe:

9 lbs. Belgian Pilsner
.75 lbs. Carafa III (Added during the sparge)
1.75 lbs. Organic Cane Sugar

1.5 oz. Styrian Goldings (60 min.)

Wyeast 1388 Beglian Strong Ale (the Duvel strain)

OG: Around 1.056
FG: Hopefully between 1.006 and 1.008
IBU: 26
SRM: 28
ABV: Between 6.25 and 6.5%


Equipment and Software / Think my Johnson A419 just died
« on: February 25, 2012, 11:23:35 PM »
After 4 years of service, I just tried to change the setpoint on my Johnson temperature controller and pushing the menu button had no effect. 

I opened it up, and I can't see that there's any visible issue.  The menu button appears to be mounted on the circuit board just like the other two.  It clicks just like it always does when I push on it, but it doesn't bring up the menu on the display.

Anyone encountered this before?  I figure it's probably toast.

Fortunately, the beer I brewed today is a tripel so I think it will be ok if I just let the temperature rise to wherever it wants to go (I pitched at 61 degrees).

I'll have time to buy a new controller before my next batch if necessary. 

Equipment and Software / Sure Screen
« on: February 24, 2012, 09:57:59 AM »
If you put a Sure Screen on the liquid dip tube, can you add whole leaf hops to the keg for dryhopping without bagging them?

I've heard that it works, but the mesh doesn't look fine enough to me to do the job.


The Pub / My Co-Workers Have Pretty Good Taste
« on: February 16, 2012, 05:14:02 PM »
For my birthday, they bought me six of these:

The Pub / The cone of shame
« on: January 20, 2012, 04:41:35 PM »
It would be difficult for my dog to be more miserable.

Fortunately, it's not as bad as it looks.  The whole bandage/cone apparatus is just to keep her from getting at a couple of sutures in her ear.

Equipment and Software / pH Meter: How long to get a reading?
« on: January 09, 2012, 11:35:51 AM »
A couple of months ago, I bought a Milwaukee MW101 pH meter.

One thing I wasn't expecting is that it takes about 2-3 minutes to get an accurate reading.  When I first insert the probe, the initial reading is usually around 7 or 8, and then it slowly starts going down until it eventually settles at the final reading.  I have found that gently stirring the probe in the sample speeds the process up a bit and actually seems necessary to get an accurate reading (as confirmed with testing solutions).

I've never heard anyone mention this before.  Is it normal or do I have a bad probe (it's only about 6 months old, and I store it in the recommended storage solution)?

Ingredients / Hemp Seeds
« on: January 07, 2012, 06:20:39 PM »
The other day I noticed that my local Whole Foods sells hemp seeds in bulk, and I thought I might try them in a beer.  Does anyone have a good idea of what they might contribute flavorwise?

According to what I've found on the internet, they have a flavor that is both "toasty" and "nutty."

I'm thinking maybe 15% of the grist in a basic pale ale recipe.  Thoughts?

The Pub / Brew closet shelving
« on: January 06, 2012, 10:53:18 PM »
I don't know why I never thought of this before; it's going to make my life so much easier (especially getting in and out of the fermentation freezer).



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