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Messages - narcout

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The Pub / To our friends in Europe
« on: November 14, 2015, 10:00:11 AM »
Stay safe guys, our thoughts are with you.

Beer Recipes / Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« on: November 13, 2015, 10:42:55 AM »
At this point, if you would like I will post my last brew details, if you would like a glimpse of what I am talking about.

That would be cool.

There's nothing I'd love to do more than sit down with you guys and taste some German beers.

Come to the NHC next summer.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Banana ester in my lager after diacetyl rest
« on: November 13, 2015, 10:30:16 AM »
Just want to thanks the folks who responded to my questions. After reading all the responses I think I will stick with Ales for a while before trying another lager. I'm trying to keep life simple. I'm thinking about using a clean tasting ale yeast (like 1056) and making ales with hops typically used in lager, and the doing extended cold conditioning in the bottle. Just play around with it and see what happens.

I hope you will post an update once the beer is packaged and ready to drink. 

I'm curious to hear whether you even end up with any off flavors.

All Grain Brewing / Re: need help understanding water additions
« on: November 12, 2015, 06:13:45 PM »
I found sulfate and chloride on a separate table just now. Chloride appears similar to your readings, but sulfate is at 55 mg/L (I think this is safe assuming that mg/L is the same as ppm since How to Brew puts 50 at a safe low end)

The sulfate on my water report was listed as SO4-S, you need to multiply it by 3 to convert to SO4 units. So if the table you found lists sulfate as SO4, the discrepancy is less than it initially appears.

Beer Recipes / Re: Chasing the perfect Munich Helles
« on: November 12, 2015, 05:04:41 PM »
100% Best Pils malt, with WLP830 and 30-35 IBU gets you something like Bitburger, but no IT.

This is actually what I have fermenting right now (well 34/70 instead of White Labs).  I'll have to try to find some Bitburger for a side by side when it's ready.

I think I got lucky: cilantro tastes delicious, I can smell asparagus urine, I cannot easily taste diacetyl, I believe I can taste IT.

All Grain Brewing / Re: need help understanding water additions
« on: November 12, 2015, 04:08:29 PM »
I am also in LA and had Ward Labs test my water in March of 2008.  I'll post the results below; they are surprisingly close (some are even dead on) to the averages listed in the LA Aqueduct Filtration Plant column of the table you linked to. 

Unfortunately, your table doesn't list sulfate and chloride, but given how close all of the other numbers are, you'd probably be ok using the figures from my report as an estimate until you get your own water tested.

My report:

Sodium: 52
Potassium: 4
Calcium: 28
Magnesium: 11
Total Hardness, CaCO3: 116
Nitrate, NO3-N: 0.4 (safe)
Sulfate, SO4-S: 14
Chloride: 65
Carbonate: <1
Bicarbonate, HCO3: 110
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3: 90
Floride: 1.08
Total Iron: 0.01
pH: 7.8

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: fermenting lager in a keg
« on: November 12, 2015, 12:50:05 PM »
Think I removed the dip tube and poppet valve but left the guts of disconnect intact originally

You need the keg post poppet valve in place to press against the poppet valve in the disconnect, otherwise the valve in the disconnect will remain closed. 

You might need the dip tube in place in order for the keg post poppet valve to seat correctly, but I'm not positive about that - easy enough to test though. 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: fermenting lager in a keg
« on: November 12, 2015, 11:58:42 AM »
Narcout - Interesting, I wonder what was different with you leaving everything intact - when I tried that initially there was still pressure in the keg building up (as in I'd have to vent it). Removing the guts allowed all the C02 to escape easily.

Did you leave everything else intact (gas-in dip tube and poppet valve in the keg post)? 

Equipment and Software / Re: The Grainfather
« on: November 12, 2015, 10:39:05 AM »
I believe the version NB sells is the one with the 1600 watt element (at least according to the description on their website).

They do manufacture an insulating jacket which would probably help get the wort to a boil more quickly.!online-store/c8k/!/Grainfather/p/47641226/category=12375700

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: fermenting lager in a keg
« on: November 12, 2015, 10:05:17 AM »
When I ferment in a corny keg I neither remove the gas in dip tube nor the guts of the gas in disconnect. 

You can just attach the gas disconnect to the keg and attach some tubing to the disconnect (put the other end of the tubing into a jar of sanitizer). 

If you are only fermenting 10 liters in a 5 gallon keg, you shouldn't have any issues with blowoff.  The gas will vent through the disconnect.

And if I want to collect the yeast, can I simply do this by means of forcing CO2 through the keg after primary fermentation, and collect the first few messy pints?

If you build a jumper cable, you can use CO2 to rack beer from the fermentor keg into your serving keg.  Some yeast and other trub near the bottom of the liquid out tube will come out first, and you'll want to direct that into another vessel before redirecting the flow into the serving keg.

In my experience, the majority of the yeast, etc. will remain in the fermentor keg until you get down to the last bit of beer. 

There is some good info and instructions here:

Going Pro / Re: Commercial and Homeowners Insurance Nano-Brewery
« on: November 11, 2015, 05:51:29 PM »
This may not be feasible or desirable, but have you considered segregating the detached garage area into a separate parcel?

But a Hochkurz step infusion mash is so easy to do, I do them all the time.

I'm going to try one on my next lager (ironically, one of rabeb25's recipes; need to order that chit malt).  Are you just adding boiling water or do you have a more elaborate setup?

Ingredients / Re: Post your water report
« on: November 10, 2015, 05:26:07 PM »
Man, that is a lot of sodium and a lot of alkalinity.

What does your water look like before it goes through the softener?  You might want to skip it for brewing and then dilute with RO or distilled to cut alkalinity as necessary. 

Kegging and Bottling / Re: No joy in kegging
« on: November 09, 2015, 12:29:56 PM »
It foams like crazy and when the foam settles it is totally flat.

Is your system properly balanced?  If not, you are going to have issues with foam.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: New starter procedure trial
« on: November 07, 2015, 12:35:06 PM »
Yeah, I figured it would be difficult to chill and decant an active fermentation.

It can be done, at least with some strains.

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