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Messages - narcout

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Equipment and Software / Re: Beer Stone (maybe)
« on: January 14, 2015, 01:18:19 PM »
What is your water like and what calcium level do you typically target in your brewing?  Just looking for data points on beerstone.

I brew with 100% distilled water to which I add modest amounts of gypsum and/or calcium chloride.  I usually target between 50 ppm and 70 ppm calcium.

Maybe it isn't beer stone, but there's definitely some buildup in my fermentor (which I've only put 6 or 7 batches through) that I can't seem to remove.  I'll see if the acid wash does the trick.

doesn't bother me, and my neighbors, should they have a problem with what i am doing, can go pound sand. but frankly, i've never had any issues with anyone.

I was mostly just kidding with the neighbors comment.  Thanks for the info on the acid cleaner.

The Pub / Re: Please Help Me Plan My Trip To The US
« on: January 14, 2015, 01:12:37 PM »
Ashville, nashville, memphis, new orleans...

Yeah, that would be a great trip.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Right RPM for stir plate?
« on: January 14, 2015, 11:52:22 AM »
Starters a little like nuclear weapons in that close enough gets the job done.


Cell population growth is exponential, not linear.   Hence, the difference between 200 billion cells and 400 billions cell is roughly one reproduction period, and the difference between 200 billion cells and 800 billion cells is roughly two replication periods.  Dissolved O2, the amount of carbon (extract), and volume of the liquid medium all play a role in replication.

I take your point, but as you note (and as is shown in Yeast) there are factors which affect the number of reproduction periods that will be obtained.  Also, as I think you've referenced before, the amount of cell reproduction has flavor implications.

Anyway, I'm making a starter tomorrow night for a dunkel I will brew on Friday night and pitch Saturday morning.  I'm going to attempt to cold crash the starter at the end of the exponential phase rather than waiting for it to ferment out (if I make it home from work in time Friday afternoon).  I'll be curious to see if the supernatant, as you call it, tastes any different than usual.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Right RPM for stir plate?
« on: January 13, 2015, 10:03:56 PM »
the maximum cell densities for 1L and 2L starters are 200 billion cells and 400 billion cells respectively

I wonder how close I am actually getting to those maximum cell densities. 

In the experiment discussed on page 140 of Yeast, when 100 billion cells were pitched into 2 liters of 1.036 wort at 70 degrees, the total cells after the starter was complete were only 205 billion.

When 100 billion cells were pitched into 4 liters of the same wort, the total cells after the starter was complete were only 276 billion. 

White and Zainasheff note that no oxygen was added and that the starters were not agitated.  I think they would have grown more cells had they done either of those things but how many more I have no idea.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: PBW and teflon
« on: January 13, 2015, 06:13:39 PM »
2 - keep the siphon so the dip tube, which picks up below the ball valve, keeps its siphon.

Not that I think it really matters one way or the other, but I haven't found teflon tape to be necessary in my kettle for this purpose.  Even though the dip tube screws in pretty loosely, it is apparently still airtight.


Equipment and Software / Re: Beer Stone (maybe)
« on: January 13, 2015, 03:37:51 PM »
Higher concentrated solution soak of Acid Line Cleaner or even better, Acid #5 usually does the trick.

I just checked out the spec sheet for Acid Cleaner #5.  They list a variety of different concentrations that can be used, what have you found to be effective?

Also, how dangerous is this stuff?  It sounds like I need safety goggles and rubber gloves (that has the potential to really freak the neighbors out).

Equipment and Software / Beer Stone (maybe)
« on: January 13, 2015, 02:31:49 PM »
I've noticed a whitish film building up on the interior of my new stainless fermentor (and also a bit on the dip tubes of my corny kegs). 

Neither oxyclean nor PBW seems to be effective at removing it.  I can just barely scrape a bit off using my fingernail.

If I run my finger down the inside of the fermentor, I can feel exactly where it starts (it has kind of a rough, almost non-slip surface feel to it).

Is this beer stone?  If so, what is a good way to remove it?

I feel like bar keeper's friend would probably work, but I've only ever used it to clean the outside of kegs and the inside of kettles.  Is it safe to use on the inside of a fermentor with non-scratch (blue) scrub pad?

Equipment and Software / Re: Immersion Chiller Solder
« on: January 09, 2015, 04:59:39 PM »
If you are thinking about getting a stainless steel immersion chiller, check out the "silver serpent" over at Northern Brewer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Candi Sugar/Candi Syrup question
« on: January 09, 2015, 10:17:21 AM »
Would it make a difference if I used dark candi syrup

Yes, you will get a different result using the syrup instead of the rocks.  I'm not familiar with the beer in question so I can't really say which will get you closer to the intended result.

A lot of people claim the rocks are bogus, but I think they have their place. 

+1. Much, much better on the dark syrup IMO.  But don't waste $ on clear syrup (for tripel) - table sugar is just as good there.

I tried the clear syrup recently, and I felt it contributed a different flavor than the evaporated cane sugar I normally use.  I didn't do a blind triangle tasting or anything though.

The Pub / Re: stop drinking for a month
« on: January 08, 2015, 06:24:04 PM »
I'll add (perhaps obvious) the fact that many of us are probably imbibing more than 2 drinks based on what our doctors think is a drink.

I'll often remind myself that if I have 3 IPA's at 7%, I've really had about 5 Bud Lights. Food for thought.

Yes, I believe a standard drink is considered to be 12 oz. of 5% ABV beer. 

I find it useful to break everything down into points (a standard drink is 60 points: 12 x 5).  A pint of 7% IPA is actually about 1.86 drinks:  (16 x 7) / 60.

Equipment and Software / Re: Kettle Thermometer
« on: January 08, 2015, 04:13:51 PM »
I have Blichmann thermometers (though not the ones with adjustable faces) on both my HLT and boil kettle.  My experience has been that they both cloud up, heat shield or no heat shield.

They dry out between brew days, and still function perfectly (I've been using them for 3 or 4 years).

Equipment and Software / Re: Another Fermentation Chamber
« on: January 08, 2015, 11:27:27 AM »
I've had my chest freezer fermentation chamber in use for a little over 7 years, and there are only a few rust spots on the interior.  They don't affect anything, and I'm sure I could mitigate them if I felt the need. 

The air is pretty dry out here in Los Angeles though; maybe it's more of an issue if you live in a humid climate.

The only thing that's kind of a pain is lifting fermentors in and out, but I'm relatively young and in good shape so it hasn't been a problem.  I also ferment in stainless vessels.  I would definitely not try to lift glass carboys in and out.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Used kegs
« on: January 07, 2015, 09:57:56 AM »
Thinking about jumping on that sale from AiH but the lack of the NSF stamp makes me a little nervous.  Would it make you nervous?

If it bugs you, the kegs from beverage elements have the NSF stamp and are only $7 more expensive. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Visible Carbonation
« on: January 06, 2015, 04:05:23 PM »
I've poured two beers off a keg into different shaped glasses many times and noticed that one looked flat and one was effervescent like champagne.

I've also filled a glass with beer that looked flat (that I knew was perfectly carbonated), gently poured it into a different glass, and watched the bubbling increase drastically.

I don't mind a non-effervescent pour, but for guests I try to use appropriate glassware so the beer doesn't appear undercarbed.

Kegging and Bottling / Beer Gun Tips
« on: December 23, 2014, 11:55:44 AM »
When filling bottles for competition or to take to an event, I usually fill them directly from the tap.  However, I need to bottle 10 gallons for a friend's rehearsal dinner so I purchased a beer gun.

Using the included 10 ft. of beer line, what is the best pressure setting to minimize foaming?  I gave it a test run last weekend, and, while it worked pretty well, there was a bit more foam than I would have liked.

To be clear, I'm talking about foam in the actual beer line before it hits the bottles (I know the trick about chilling the bottles first).

I carbonate and dispense at 14 PSI, so I turned the regulator down to 2 PSI and purged the head space.  This is what works well for filling bottles off the tap, but I'm wondering if a little more pressure would have been better for the beer gun.  The directions state you should use the minimum pressure necessary to fill the bottles at an acceptable rate, but that seemed to cause a fair bit of foaming in the line.

Fortunately, the wedding isn't until April so I can do a few more practice runs.

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