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Messages - bluedog

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Ingredients / Re: source for Invert Sugar?
« on: February 04, 2011, 07:08:11 PM »
I was going to start a new thread but saw this and thought I may as well ask here. Do I really need to invert sugar? I am asking because I intend to make some invert sugar tonight for a recipe this weekend. I know that the process "breaks" sucrose into glucose and fructose by using heat and an acid to speed the process. Wouldn't boiling wort do this - it's acidic and hot. And while I'm at it isn't clear (light) Belgian candi syrup just inverted beet sugar? I get there is a difference in the darker Belgian syrups but I wonder if I could save some cash and time by just using cane or beet sugar instead of syrup.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Rice Hulls?
« on: February 02, 2011, 05:38:35 PM »
I split 50 lbs of rice hulls with 2 other guys about 2 years ago. I brewed about 50 gallons of german wheat beers that summer. I threw in a couple of pint glasses worth into every batch and never had a stuck sparge. I also made a wheat wine with over 10 lbs of wheat in a 5 gallon batch - that one got sticky but I got it going after adding a pound of rice hulls and re-mixing. By the way rice hulls come packed compressed - it's like opening a bag of peat moss...

All Grain Brewing / Re: Modified batch sparge?
« on: January 29, 2011, 12:24:07 AM »
I tried this experiment again yesterday and added the correct amount of sparge water this time. I mashed 11.5 lbs in 4 gallons for 60 minutes (21 Brix) then added water to the 9 gallon mark for compensate for displacement and absorption. I should also add my mash temp was at 170 after adding sparge water. Then I recirculated and collected 7 gallons at about 11 Brix which wound up being 1.052 after a 75 minute boil. The original recipe stated a 1.053 OG. I'll have to try this with a bigger beer to what happens. The process took about 15 minutes between adding sparge water, recirculating and running off.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Modified batch sparge?
« on: January 24, 2011, 01:22:48 AM »
I made that APA today - I was expecting a 1.056 OG. I was following a recipe. Total grain was 11.75 lbs. I mashed in with 4 gallons of water and after one hour I checked the gravity of the wort. It was at 20 Brix. I checked the displacement on the sight gauge at the beginning of my mash and at the end. This is where I made a mistake. It was at the 5 gallons mark after adding grain at the beginning and at 4.5 gallons at the end of my mash. I figured on adding another 3.5 gallons to make 8 gallons minus 1 gallon for displacement to get 7 gallons total. I forgot about absorption by the grain. I recirculated and rechecked after 5 minutes. My wort was at 12 Brix  - higher than I expected but I wound up only collecting about 5.75 gallons. I needed to account for displacement AND absorption. After adding water to come up to 7 gallons I was at 8 Brix. I should have added water put the whole volume back in mash tun and recirculated again. After a 75 minute boil, I wound up with 5 gallons at 13 Brix - 1.052 OG. I think I will have to try again and account for water loss due to grain absorption. I usually fly sparge so I don't account for the volume lost during the mash. At 0.1 gallons of water lost per pound of grain, the math seems to check out.

All Things Food / Re: Sausage
« on: January 22, 2011, 03:31:59 AM »
I have been making sausage for about fifteen years and I can offer a little advice. Check out Rytek Kutas' book on Sausage Making - it is the real deal. I would also recommend Bruce Aidell's book and even Emeril has a section in his Real and Rustic book on Charcuterie. Also check out The Sausage Maker Catalog. From experience I can tell you the Kitchen Aid attachment will work if you want to make a pound of brats. But if you want to make more than a pound at a time invest in a sausage press. I bought one after fighting the Kitchen aid and it is money well spent. Think Corona mill vs any of the higher end malt mills. I also recommend mixing any dry spices with ice water before adding them to the meat mixture for a more even distribution of spice.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Modified batch sparge?
« on: January 21, 2011, 11:38:59 PM »
My thoughts are instead of fly sparging which takes 45 - 60 minutes I could save a little time. I could batch sparge but that involves draining the mash tun, adding the sparge water, stirring again, recirculating again, and running off again which could be done in fifteen minutes. Or simply add the sparge water (which has to be heated regardless of the sparge method) recirculate, and drain the kettle. It sounds like David is already doing this and I will try this out this weekend with an APA. Results to follow...

All Grain Brewing / Re: Modified batch sparge?
« on: January 21, 2011, 01:01:50 AM »
I am just thinking about saving some time. I am using a RIMS set-up and if I am adding all of the sparge water to the mash after conversion and recirculate for 15 - 20 minutes, I am "rinsing" the grain bed right? But everything I have read is that the no sparge technique is the least efficient method. I'm not sure I understand why though. After mashing you have a saturated sugar solution  - first runnings. Then you add your sparge water either by fly sparging or batch sparge and extract the sugars that are left behind. With the no sparge technique is it because the extra sugars do not enter the comcentrated solution easily? Or does the no sparge technique have the brewer use all of the water during the mash resulting in a thinner mash and less effective enzyme function?

All Grain Brewing / Modified batch sparge?
« on: January 20, 2011, 07:43:20 PM »
If my mash tun can hold enough water after my mash has converted, would I be able to add and recirculate the entire pre-boil volume and then drain? I have been fly sparging but Santa brought me a new (bigger) mash tun so I am thinking about trying this out this weekend. Thoughts?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: What am I doing wrong?!
« on: October 23, 2010, 07:01:17 PM »
Unless you have a CO2 tank for a paintball gun, you have a leak somewhere - even a 5 lb canister should last you way longer than a couple of weeks. You can check by spraying a little Starsan solution on the connections, it will foam up. Check the o-ring on the lid of the keg and the posts. Make sure it's not leaking between the canister and the regulator. I have lost a couple of full CO2 canisters to leaks and it's very frustrating not to mention expensive.

I use the hot water coming out of my immersion chiller for soaking bottles. If the labels don't come off easily after a soak, they go in the recycle bin. By the way, don't use water at those temps for cleaning a carboy...

I am sorry to hear about your dog. I've had dogs my entire life and have had to make that tough call myself. People who do not own pets have no idea how they manage to become part of your life. You have my sympathies. My contribution to your recipe would be 2 -3 ozs of roasted malt for that red color. I use 3 oz in my Irish Red to give it color without much flavor. In a hoppy American red you probably wouldn't notice any roast character.

Other Fermentables / Re: Lactose
« on: September 22, 2010, 01:50:34 AM »
Sounds like sorbate and honey then...

Other Fermentables / Lactose
« on: September 21, 2010, 07:09:46 PM »
Is lactose truly unfermentable? How many ppg would be in a pound of lactose? I am thought about this as I was backsweetening a mead. Instead of adding potassium sorbate first and then honey, couldn't I sweeten with lactose and not have to worry about refermentation?

Equipment and Software / Re: RIMS and false bottom
« on: September 20, 2010, 10:55:40 PM »
It's looks like this

If it is because of the depth/weight of the grain bed, I'm thinking this will help

The design is different

Equipment and Software / Re: RIMS and false bottom
« on: September 20, 2010, 09:54:20 PM »
I have 2 valves - one on the pot and one on the outlet side of the pump. I usually start with the one one the pot wide open, I have a March pump and it's gravity fed. I usually have the outlet on the pump only a quarter open or less. I run for a while like this and can tell when ther grain bed is set. The flow slows down a bit but stays even. It seems that when I up the grain bill I get a "stuck" recirculation. I am thinking it has to do with the depth of the grain bed.

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