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Messages - narcout

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« on: October 29, 2015, 09:12:40 AM »
Martin, wouldn't it be quickly buffered out once the grain is added? I thought carbonic was a pretty weak acid, and if its reading 5 in RO it seems like theres really not that much there.

I'm wondering the same thing.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Brew Boss COFI
« on: October 28, 2015, 10:58:57 AM »
Stirring, both to break up dough balls and to even out the temperature, seems like it would be a good idea.  It's definitely required on my (non-recirculating) system.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Brew Boss COFI
« on: October 28, 2015, 10:19:55 AM »
From the pictures on the website, it looks like the entirety of the grain is to be fully submerged. 

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Brew Boss COFI
« on: October 28, 2015, 09:13:24 AM »
It looks like the "central infusion tube" is only used during the mash.  Channeling during re-circulation of the mash shouldn't cause efficiency issues should it?  Channeling during fly sparging would be a different story.

I've never tried using a light bulb, but this this stuff works pretty well:

You can tape it to the inside of the refrigerator so that it heats the whole space up rather than wrapping it around just one carboy.

Is your temperature controller dual stage?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: RO water pH of 5 good for brewing?
« on: October 27, 2015, 09:57:00 AM »
Any information would be appreciated.

If you download Bru'n Water and read the "Water Knowledge" tab, you will be well on your way.  RO water is good for brewing, but you will want to add minerals back for a variety of reasons.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Sour Beer Tastings
« on: October 26, 2015, 02:52:41 PM »
I'm reading American Sour Beers (excellent book so far) and following the author's recommendation to keep a tasting log of commercial sours.

Fortunately, my local liquor store has a wide selection of at least 40 different sours.  Unfortunately, they are all pretty expensive.

Yesterday, I picked up these:

Below are my tasting notes on the Citra Sour.  The second beer is a sour ale aged in Bourbon barrels with cherries.  I'll try that one later this week.

Disclaimer:  I'm pretty sure my palette kind of sucks.

Almanac Brewing – Citra Sour (10.25.15)

Description: American blonde ale fermented with house sour culture, racked into used oak wine barrels for several months and then dry hopped with Citra; abv 7%

Appearance: Hazy, dark straw/golden color, effervescent, minimal head

Aroma: Slightly sour, light malt, and citrus (lemon and grapefruit)

Taste: moderate sourness with no funk; fizzy grapefruit, lemony (slight mouth puckering); perhaps light vinegar; light malt; light hop bitterness (not really noticeable); hint of light berries?; dry finish

Impression: Enjoyable, would buy again, definitely sour but not overpoweringly so

Equipment and Software / Re: New Pico Brew
« on: October 26, 2015, 11:08:11 AM »
It appears that the boys at PicoBrew applied for and were granted patents on most of its design.  I am certain that a patent attorney could find loopholes, but it looks like they own this market for the foreseeable  future.

There are already similar products being developed. 



Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Starter/Multiple packs with Saglager?
« on: October 25, 2015, 04:15:52 PM »
In case this is useful...

I pitched 2 packets of rehydrated 34/70 into 5.25 gallons of 1.050 wort Saturday morning around 7:30.  After 12 hours there was no airlock activity (I did not check to see if krausen was forming).  After 24 hours there was no airlock activity and no real krausen (just a couple of yeast clumps floating on the surface).  After 36 hours, the airlock was bubbling and there was a thin krausen that didn't quite completely cover the surface of the wort.

I'm going to harvest some slurry from this batch, pitch it into a small starter, and pitch that at high krausen into 5.25 gallons of 1.053 marzen in a few weeks.  Hopefully, that will get off to a quicker start.

Edit: I forgot to mention that I pitched the yeast at 55 degrees, and the beer has been held between 53.5 and 55.5 degrees.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Adding gypsum
« on: October 24, 2015, 07:26:13 PM »
Has anyone tried adding gypsum dry, directly to their grain prior to dough in?

Yes, I used to do that regularly, and it works fine.

These days I add my minerals to the strike water, but I can't say I've noticed any difference.

Beer Recipes / 100% Golden Promise
« on: October 24, 2015, 10:54:25 AM »
MacLeod Ale Brewing Co. in Van Nuys brews a beer they call a Yorkshire Pale Ale that is 100% Golden Promise with 3 hop varieties and clocks in at 4.2% ABV.  They told me what the hops were, but it was a few months ago and I can't remember exactly.

For a 6 gallon batch, I was thinking:

8.5 lbs. Golden Promise
2 oz. EGK - 60 minutes
.5 oz. Fuggles - 10 minutes
.5 oz. S. Goldings - 10 minutes
.5 oz. Fuggles - 2 minutes
.5 oz. S. Goldings - 2 minutes

That should put the calculated IBUs around 30.

I'm thinking the water should be low in minerals and balanced between sulfate and chloride.  I'll probably target a mash pH of 5.4 and employ some 10% phosphoric acid if necessary (haven't run this through Bru'n Water yet).

For yeast, I was considering 1275, 1318 or 1469.  Any thoughts?

Equipment and Software / Re: Grainfather
« on: October 24, 2015, 10:36:57 AM »
Well, I was all set to brew last night, but I was not too excited about it - even considered pushing it back again. 

Then it turned out to be one of the easiest, most relaxing brew sessions I've had in a while.  Go figure.  Guess I can hang onto that $900 for the time being.

Equipment and Software / Re: Grainfather
« on: October 23, 2015, 02:59:09 PM »
The boils is really a strong simmer, but I haven't noticed a lot of difference in the final product vs. my Brew-Magic.

I think a strong simmer is likely all you need (the Zymatic doesn't boil at all), though you could probably increase the vigor if you used some reflectix insulation.

It looks like the European version has a 2000 watt element as opposed to the 1600 watt element in the US version.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Starter/Multiple packs with Saglager?
« on: October 23, 2015, 09:58:09 AM »
I'll be using that yeast myself for the first time this weekend.

Other people's experiences seem to indicate that on the initial pitch you can avoid a long lag time and a sluggish fermentation by pitching near the "standard" rate and fermenting around 54-55 degrees.  I hear it performs better on repitching, but I have no direct experience.   

I'm going to try 2 rehydrated packets in 5.25 gallons of 1.050 pilsner and see how it goes.

Equipment and Software / Re: Grainfather
« on: October 22, 2015, 10:15:17 PM »
Yeah, they are currently out of stock but supposedly will be available again in a few weeks.

I'll probably just daydream about it for a while, watch a bunch of videos on YouTube, and decide that I don't actually want one.

I'll be curious to hear your thoughts if you ever end up with a demo unit though.

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