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Messages - narcout

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why I'm not a big fan of IPA any longer
« on: February 04, 2018, 07:27:36 PM »
Centrifuges are awesome BTW. My pilsners and Kolsches are crystal clear.

When do you employ the centrifuge?  Can it hold a whole batch?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why I'm not a big fan of IPA any longer
« on: February 04, 2018, 05:36:48 PM »
It's always possible I'm misunderstanding Kunze (and I've only skimmed the portion of Chapter 4 that discusses filtration), but he does say that filtering is done after maturation.  And my understanding is that natural carbonation is achieved during the maturation phase.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why I'm not a big fan of IPA any longer
« on: February 04, 2018, 04:55:18 PM »
Time to let beer settle? Read Kunze.  German brewers (and he considers this ideal practice)  ferment eight days, lager seven to ten, and filter and carbonate.

I think they filter after maturation/carbonation.

If I mash with 3.5 gal at 152*F, then mash out with ~2 gal at near boiling to bring the grain bed to 170*F, then batch sparge with 2.5 gal, how is this handled in the ‘usual suspect’ water calculators?

There is a cell in Bru'n Water that allows you to add all minerals to the mash.  It is cell M24 on the water adjustment tab.

Wouldn’t pH change from one step to the other? I don’t see these options in these calculators. ...and what about step mashes with infusion additions?

I like to add all my minerals to the mash and none to the infusion addition (currently, I don't sparge but do use an infusion of boiling water to raise temp from 148/149° to 162/163°).  This way, you don't need to use as much acid malt (or whatever you are using to acidify) in the mash.

My experience in using distilled water with no mineral additions for the second infusion is that it will cause the pH to rise slightly.  Below are some examples from my last few batches, using 2.5 gallons of boiling distilled water for the second infusion.

Tripel: 5.31 to 5.41
Dubbel: 5.35 to 5.42
Saison: 5.36 to 5.43
APA: 5.3 to 5.34
Belgian Pale: 5.11 to 5.21 (first batch with acid malt; it was stronger than I expected)
British Bitter: 5.27 to 5.37
Saison: 5.22 to 5.33
Belgian Single: 5.31 to 5.4

That can be good if you want to mash at a lower pH and then bring it up a bit before the boil.  Otherwise, you can acidify your infusion and sparge water so that the pH stays constant.

I don't know if any of the popular calculators will help with calculating the pH adjustment at each step, though Big Monk's recently released low-oxygen spreadsheet might.  It just came out, and I haven't had time to play around with it yet. 

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Cleaning OLD Kegs
« on: February 03, 2018, 12:29:36 AM »
Narcout, is this stuff really different from PBW?  A quick look at the msds looks very similar, just National Chemicals version (both 30% sodium metasilicate.)  If it's really better performing, I might try it. I'm just about ready to resupply on PBW.

They're probably pretty similar, but the nice thing about the alkaline wash is that it also works well in cold water. 

To be fair, I never tried using PBW in cold water since the label indicates it should be used at temperatures between 100° and 160°.

Either way it's a great cleaner.  I doubt you will be disappointed.  That said, I do not like the Craft Meister cleaning tablets and wouldn't buy them again (in my experience, they do not dissolve very well).

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Cleaning OLD Kegs
« on: February 02, 2018, 11:26:23 PM »
Are there any cleaning products that you all can recommend?

This stuff is pretty fantastic.  I like it better than PBW or oxyclean.

Also, Barkeeper's Friend with a non-scratch (blue) scrub pad is great for cleaning the outside of old kegs and making them nice and shiny again.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: CO2 Purity and Why It's So Important
« on: February 02, 2018, 06:27:35 PM »
Just did some searching on line and from what I gather, CO2 sold at places like Airgas sell it at 99.98 % pure.  99.99% is for hospital use, and if someone is charging you more for "beverage" grade CO2 rather than "Industrial" grade CO2, they are pulling the wool over you eyes, as they probably get their source out of the same tank.  What most sites in forum on CO2 come up with is more hype and BS than really any truth.

Airgas sells a variety of grades of CO2.  Below is a page from their catalog which lists the purity as well as the concentrations of O2 as ppm by volume.

Here's a link to their pure gases catalog.  Click pure gases under the main menu on the left and then select CO2 from the drop down menu.

Equipment and Software / Re: Ball valves
« on: February 02, 2018, 05:39:47 PM »
I clean them maybe once a year.  There's never much gunk in them when I open them up.  If there was, I'd do it more often.

The Pub / Re: A Guide to The Jamaican Beer Scene
« on: February 01, 2018, 08:25:29 PM »

I was there a few months ago.  The Dragon Stout is pretty good.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottle Cap Ingress: Is it real?
« on: February 01, 2018, 06:18:56 PM »
I wonder what the oxygen ingress is for beers that are corked and caged. 

Kegging and Bottling / Re: CO2 Purity and Why It's So Important
« on: January 31, 2018, 06:28:24 PM »

My readings varied from 4 ppb to 0 as shown here on the tanks we received directly from the welding company

Well, that's interesting.  Thanks for doing that.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: semi no-chill
« on: January 30, 2018, 11:52:12 PM »
I'm not sure just how the water availability will be and I may have to consider doing no-chill. I was wondering if I could compromise and chill to maybe 120-130 with an immersion chiller then let it chill the rest of the way on it's own.

For several years my standard practice was to chill to around 90° and then let the chest freezer bring the wort down to pitching temperature.  I would often brew at night and oxygenate/pitch yeast the following morning.

It isn't compatible with low-oxygen brewing, but otherwise it didn't cause any issues I could ever detect.

These days, I chill to 130° and then recirculate ice water through the chiller using a pump until I get down to pitch temperature.  This has saved a lot of water.

I put in an inch or 2 in of starsan in the bottom of the keg, pressurized it and then next day I blew it out the liquid line. Some of my kegs have trimmed dip tubes as well.  So not sure of the amount but based on the beer sludge I see in the bottom of my empty kegs, maybe 1/4 cup?

In the future, you can just pressurize the keg, turn it upside down, and blow any remaining sanitizer out through the PRV.  Another option is to trim the gas dip tube so that it sits flush with the top of the keg, and blow the sanitizer out by inverting and depressing the poppet (or attach a gas disconnect).

Now if you want to know what iodophor tastes like, you'll have to ask someone else.

It's great - reminds me of an Outward Bound trip where we had to sanitize all our drinking water (from various streams we would come across in the woods) with iodine drops.  After a while it really grows on you, especially when you drink nothing but water for 3 weeks.

Beer Recipes / Re: Getting Close to Chimay Red
« on: January 26, 2018, 07:33:08 PM »
I have heard many people talk about the banana flavors they get from 1214 when fermenting at higher than normal (64 F) temperatures and I am always looking for data points to the contrary, especially since my own experience contradicts that.

Does it even ferment well at 64°?

Do you usually pitch 2 packs of yeast and aerate the same?

Up until about a year ago, I made a yeast starter for every batch.  These days I will often just pitch 2 smack packs for a moderate gravity ale.  I do aerate the same.

This is definitely the best beer I've gotten with 1214.  I plan to use it some more.

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