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Messages - bluedog

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Equipment and Software / RIMS and false bottom
« on: September 20, 2010, 07:19:23 PM »
I am currently using a RIMS set up for mashing in a ten gallon pot on the stovetop. I like it because I can step mash and have been hitting 75% or better efficiency routinely. However, I have noticed as I start to increase my grain bill my flow rate becomes a trickle. I am using a perforated false bottom in my mashtun. I thought at first it was because of the flow rate being too fast. But now I think it's because of the added weight of the grain compressing the grist. My last brew was 15 1/2 lbs of grain - I could not get it to recirculate as it kept plugging the screen. Again this has not happened with smaller grain bills (10 - 12lbs) even with more than 50% wheat. I am thinking about getting a Blichmann false bottom. Does anyone out there use one with a RIMS and if so do you like it? 

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast Starter had Zero Krausen
« on: September 17, 2010, 04:31:11 PM »
I brewed my first saison this summer and had the exact same thing happen - activity in the airlock but no krausen in the carboy. I fermented with the Wyeast French saison strain. I usually transfer to a secondary when the krausen falls but in this case I just kept an eye on the airlock and checked the gravity a couple of extra times. The beer finished dry and tastes great. It was kegged so I can't speak for head retention if you plan on bottling. Mine turned out fine.

Equipment and Software / Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
« on: September 07, 2010, 02:30:04 AM »
I brew about every 10-14 days and like some of you, I rinse off my chiller and hang it upside down for storage. About every 5-6 batches I have been cleaning my chiller with Barkeepers Friend back to shiny clean. It sounds like I might be wasting my time if that dark copper color and some grey (water spots?) aren't hurting anything.

Equipment and Software / Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
« on: September 06, 2010, 11:37:44 PM »
Does PBW leave it looking new or is it just a sanitizer? How long of soak do give it? I usually use starsan - I left some brass in there overnight and turned it a cool green color...

Equipment and Software / Cleaning immersion chillers
« on: September 06, 2010, 04:53:24 PM »
So besides a green scrubber, barkeepers friend, and elbow grease - does anyone have an easier way for cleaning a copper immersion wort chiller?

Zymurgy / Re: 2010 Sept./Oct. - Batch Sparging
« on: September 02, 2010, 03:11:38 PM »
Hi Denny,

I have a question regarding your article on batch sparging. I have been fly sparging and anything to cut the time down on brew day would be great. My mash tun is a 10 gallon pot with a false bottom. The false bottom takes 1.25 gallons to fill. If I use this set up to batch sparge how do I account for the extra water in the false bottom. It seems most people batch sparging use a mesh screen instead of a false bottom.

Ingredients / Re: Brewing with Heather
« on: August 09, 2010, 12:31:54 PM »
Did you brew with heather?  I am probably going to this weekend.  If so, any suggestions?

I have not made that beer but I plan to early this fall. If you made one I would be interested to know what you used and how it turned out.

Zymurgy / Re: Aging beer
« on: August 04, 2010, 03:40:21 PM »
In my original post I asked about aging beers and meads. I agree that many beers are ready to drink within a few weeks of fermentation. My question should have been directed to the styles that require/benefit from aging -old ales & barleywines, RIS, Belgians strongs, Ofest's & bocks. I think we can agree that all meads except hydromels benefit from some sort of aging whether it be in the bottle or in bulk. I am wondering what is going on during the process. Someone mentioned oxidation - if that's true how does that occur within a sealed bottle or a carboy with a airlock.

Zymurgy / Aging beer
« on: July 22, 2010, 03:31:27 PM »
I would like to see an article (maybe Geeks Only) on aging beers/ meads. What I would like to see covered is what is actually happening during bulk aging and bottle aging. How is the product changing and why? Is there a way to predict when the beer/mead will be at peak and when will it begin to degrade? I have asked this before and got responses like - if you don't know what you're doing bulk aging is best, and even it's majic. I am looking for a little more science and a little less fantasy. Maybe someone in the community can submit an article on this subject. Or if there has been one in the past can you direct me toward it. Thanks in advance.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash efficiency
« on: June 19, 2010, 07:20:20 PM »
Thanks Kai. If I was able to thin the mash by adding additional water and slowing the sparge rate down do you think extraction would improve?

All Grain Brewing / Mash efficiency
« on: June 19, 2010, 03:29:25 PM »
Why does my efficiency go down when I make big beers? I mashed 19 lbs of grain the other day and got 7 gallons of 1.054 wort. I wound up adding DME to the boil to boost my gravity. Doing the math I should have been in the low 1.090's (post boil) with 75% efficiency. So what's going on? I don't have this issue when I make 1.050/1.060 beers. I usually come in higher than I expected with somewhere like 80% effeciency. I have a RIMS set up and fly sparge. I would add extra grain to the mash if I could but my set up is maxed out at 20lbs.
Thanks in advance...

Equipment and Software / Re: Has anyone tried the Wonder Pump ?
« on: April 16, 2010, 01:29:16 PM »
I have used it and it works fine, but I like the autosiphon better. One advantage is the little cap on the end of the autosiphon that prevents picking up too much trub. Get the 1/2 one and it moves 5 gallons pretty quick.

Other Fermentables / Re: bulk aging meads
« on: April 02, 2010, 12:00:36 AM »
So we're just going to go with "magic" :) for now.....

Other Fermentables / Re: bulk aging meads
« on: March 31, 2010, 11:51:40 PM »
OK, so I have a few meads approx 6 months old in sitting in carboys. They have each been racked 2 times once out of the primary and once again off the secondary. They are all crystal clear and have a tiny 1mm amount of sediment in the bottom. Gravities are in range & no airlock activity. As of last month they still taste hot for lack of a better description. I have some 3 year old mead that was bottled tasting hot after 6 months in the secondary. It has since become very nice. So what happens on the molecular level or otherwise that creates this change? I mean, I get that it happens but what's the process that occurs.

Other Fermentables / bulk aging meads
« on: March 29, 2010, 11:55:02 AM »
Is it better to bottle age or bulk age meads, cysers, pyments etc? It would seem to me that a large volume of mead would take more time to develop the desirable characteristics aging brings versus a small volume. Also, isn't aging a process of oxidation? In theory, if a bottle is sealed no oxygen can be absorbed. So how is it that hot alcohols and "green" flavors become that mellow warming and complex character?
As always thanks in advance

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