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Messages - narcout

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Inconsistent pH readings...
« on: February 20, 2012, 09:12:43 PM »
I've found that the Colorphast strips read within around .1 of my MW101 (after applying the +.3 correction factor).

How are you guys taking mash pH samples anyway?

When I use the strips, I just dip them in the mash for a few seconds.  When I use my meter, I dip a small tasting glass in the mash and stick it in the freezer for a few minutes until it comes down to an acceptable temperature.

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:

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Whirlpooling
« on: February 07, 2012, 09:46:29 AM »
Another question.  Are you supposed to do this before or after you chill?  I did it after I chilled it.

Depends on how you're chilling.  If you are using a plate or counterflow chiller, you can whirlpool hot which leaves the hot break and hop material in the boil kettle (and the cold break ends up in the fermentor unless you let it settle out in another vessel or dump it if you have a conical fermentor).

If you are using an immersion chiller, you'll be whirlpooling cold.  I can get a decent trub cone when I whirlpool cold, but the cold break is pretty fine and once the wort level drops below the top of the cone, the cold break tends to slide down towards the wall of the kettle.  A little cold break in the fermentor is no big deal though.

Check out Kai's page on whirlpooling for more info (including an interesting section on whirlpool dynamics):

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Whirlpooling
« on: February 06, 2012, 03:34:12 PM »
You can get a good whirlpool going without a pump. 

However, with or without a pump, it is difficult to get a good trub cone when you are whirlpooling after chilling because of the presence of the cold break (at least that has been my personal experience).

All Grain Brewing / Re: how recent should a water report be?
« on: February 06, 2012, 03:26:10 PM »
Your best bet is to get your tap water analyzed by Ward Labs.  Water souces for LA vary quite a bit depending on where you are at.

If you happen to be in West Hollywood, I'd be happy to send you a copy of my tap water analysis.

Equipment and Software / Re: Iodaphor vs. Star San
« on: February 01, 2012, 09:07:59 AM »

ahh that makes sense then. I guess I either have been using it correctly or have no ability to taste idophor in beer. I usually mix it so there is a visible tint to the water but if it's iced tea it's iced green tea and weak at that.

When mixed in the correct concentration of 12.5 ppm, it definitely has a tint to it.  Nothing to worry about...

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP007 vs WLP002
« on: January 25, 2012, 05:31:28 PM »
its what the head brewer at Stone (Steve) says to use if you clone their beers...

I use in my Ruination inspired IPA, and it comes out really well.

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.

I too just found out that I have Monday off, and I'm thinking about a saison (perhaps a black saison) which I may or not sour with Orval dregs.

Saturday, I'll be at Bockfest, which I hope will provide the inspiration to brew up some lagers.

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)?

Equipment and Software / Re: Hop Spider
« on: January 09, 2012, 11:27:34 AM »
Wouldn't it be easier to just line the fermentor with a large sanitized paint strainer bag and remove it after you transfer from the boil kettle?

It seems like that would catch any hop material you aren't able to leave behind via whirlpooling. 

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).



All Grain Brewing / Re: is vorlauf necessary?
« on: January 03, 2012, 03:30:10 PM »
wow, I'd never heard the bit in that link about not rehydrating yeast in water, either.  I'd always just follow the instructions on the package and added it to a bit of warm water 15 minutes before the end of the boil.  I know at the U-brew I started out at, they just add dry yeast straight to the wort...

interestingly enough, that NB article also mentions vorlauf causing HSA.  well damn, if they're worried about a bit of corlauf causing that, they must REALLY hate my straining method.

I also disagree with the premise that you shouldn't rehydrate yeast in water, especially after Sean's experiment:

I don't believe vorlaufing causes HSA (unless you're doing something really funky).

All Grain Brewing / Re: is vorlauf necessary?
« on: January 03, 2012, 02:40:58 PM »
Sometimes even after the wort is clear i still get chunks so I tie a hops sack to the end of the runoff hose to catch the debris.

I also use a hop bag on the end of my runoff hose; it works great.  For the record I also vorlauf, but the hop bag makes sure that nothing gets through.

There's a Northern Brewer blogpost that actually advocates against vorlaufing.  I don't really agree, but here it is:

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