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Messages - narcout

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: CO2 tank inside the keezer?
« on: October 11, 2013, 04:06:33 PM »
In case you are still looking for ideas, here's what I did with my chest freezer.  I mounted a platform under the freezer with casters to make it easy to move.


How is the tank secured (maybe I'm missing it, but I don't see a chain or a bungee cord or anything)?

Ingredients / Re: All Zythos
« on: September 28, 2013, 10:25:43 AM »
Well, I'm finally getting around to brewing this today.  Did anyone else give it a shot yet?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: dry yeast question
« on: August 28, 2013, 12:05:04 PM »
There is absolutely no reason to rehydrate, other than the fact that the rehydration process (in water) allows the dry yeast to re-build cell walls and to absorb the nutrient built into the drying process prior to the metabolic stress of the wort sugars being introduced intracellularly.  The viability is nearly doubled by rehydrating with water.

To me that actually sounds like a pretty good reason to rehydrate. 

I've done it both ways and never noticed a difference in performance.  However, I've never performed the infamous blind triangle tasting either.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: dry yeast question
« on: August 26, 2013, 01:30:40 PM »
For anyone who hasn't seen it yet, this is interesting:

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: dry yeast question
« on: August 25, 2013, 09:40:48 PM »
I doubt temperature was your issue, unless your thermometer is not accurate.

Chris White and/or Jamil (not sure who wrote the section on working with dry yeast in Yeast) recommend rehydrating at 105 degrees.  I've rehydrated many a packet of US-05 at that temperature and never had a problem with it.

Perhaps rehydrating isn't necessary, but it's never killed my yeast.

Ingredients / Re: All Zythos
« on: August 25, 2013, 10:17:13 AM »
I'm going to give this a shot as well; I just bought a pound.

Tentatively thinking:

91% 2-row
7% English dark crystal
2% cara-pils

3 oz. - 60 min
2 oz. - 10 min
2 oz. - 5 min
2 oz. - 0 min
2 oz. - dry hop


Equipment and Software / Re: Colorphast strips
« on: August 23, 2013, 07:15:08 PM »
I don't trust the strips these days... I find that they're in the ballpark for light colored beers after Kai's correction of .3, but they still underestimated pH for dark beers.  This leads to the worst possible "remedy", adding extra alkalinity.  Plus, estimates aren't that helpful.  I either want an accurate reading for a new recipe to make adjustments or I'm going to let it ride.

I've tested them against my meter a few times, and I've found them to be pretty accurate once I apply the correction factor.  Mostly, I just find my meter to be a pain.

When I brew darker beers, I usually don't mash the dark grains; I just add them during the sparge, so it's not much of an issue.  I rarely find the need to add additional alkalinity, even though I mostly brew with 100% RO water.

Equipment and Software / Re: Colorphast strips
« on: August 23, 2013, 06:59:51 AM »
Place I used to get colorphast strips on the cheap says they are discontinued. Anyone have a decent source?

Man, I hope that is not true; I'd have to start using my meter again.

Ingredients / Re: Distilled v. RO water
« on: August 04, 2013, 07:59:35 PM »
5.3 to 5.4 should be fine for an IPA.  But if the hops aren't coming through for you in a beer that you've brewed a couple of times, try bumping the mash pH by a tenth to see if the expression is improved.  I wouldn't go above 5.5 under any condition in a pale style.

Thanks.  Your spreadsheet, along with Kai's, has made it pretty easy for me to hit my desired mash pH, so I will definitely keep that in mind.

Ingredients / Re: Distilled v. RO water
« on: August 04, 2013, 03:55:56 PM »
Ah, yes.  As I suspected, the mash and kettle pH are probably a little lower than desirable due to the lack of alkalinity. That extra tenth or two of pH depression can make the difference in the hop expression. 

Are you saying that a mash pH of 5.3 (measured at room temperature) is lower than desirable for an IPA?

If so, what would you recommend?

Is there a resource available that lists the optimal mash pH by style? 

I've got a Saison planned for tomorrow (apparently like a lot of other people).

I've been getting off track this summer with IPAs and ESBs; it's time to go back to Belgians.

The Pub / Re: I like>>>>
« on: July 28, 2013, 06:17:13 PM »
Lots of honu (sea turtles) here.

I just came back from a week on the Big Island, and we definitely saw some turtles.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Spartanburg SC Beer-Out Plastic Piece
« on: July 23, 2013, 08:37:16 PM »
Is this what you are talking about?

If so, be aware that they come in two different sizes (one is a bit longer than the other, and I believe it can be sanded down successfully if necessary).  My own experience is that the longer keg posts which require the longer spacers can be swapped out for the shorter "Type C" keg posts (available from Northern Brewer, etc.) which take the shorter spacers.

See also:

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Aeration Equipment Question
« on: July 13, 2013, 01:01:51 PM »
I've been using this setup for a couple of years and have been really happy with it.

I can oxygenate around 20 five gallon batches with one of the larger disposable oxygen bottles, which is about a full year's worth of brewing for me.

The only thing you won't get in this setup is a flow meter, but I believe you can add one if you want (I personally don't see the need).

I also use this in-line HEPA filter, though it is likely unneccessary.

Equipment and Software / Re: Buidling a Cooler Mash Tun...PLEASE HELP
« on: June 08, 2013, 02:27:39 PM »
It sounds like the hole for the drain spout in your cooler is larger than the one used in the video.  The mini keg bung should fit pretty snugly on its own without the sealant. 

If it is indeed too big for the mini keg bung, you could use a cooler bulkhead fitting that you could attach a ball valve to. Something like this:

I'd much rather use one of these bulkheads than any amount of adhesive or sealer.

I've never had even the smallest leak.

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