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Messages - mainebrewer

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Equipment and Software / Re: Digital refractometer
« on: January 15, 2013, 05:45:30 AM »
When I first got mine, the reading were erratic. I could test the same sample three times and get three readings.
Two things I learned, one, when the instruction say fill the reservoir full, it means completely full, not just covering the little glass window and two, after filling the reservoir wait 30 secs and let the temp stabilize before hitting the READ button.
Using the default correction factor built into ProMash, I am always within 1 gravity point of my hydrometer.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2013 Brew Year's Resolutions/Goals
« on: January 08, 2013, 07:06:07 AM »
1. Keep working on my processes so I can get predictable results.
2. Pass the BJCP tasting exam (I'm on the wait list for an exam scheduled for later this year).

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Off taste in new keg system - cleaning?
« on: January 07, 2013, 07:40:29 AM »
I had a similar experience a couple of years ago with some beer line from MoreBeer.
Couldn't get rid of the plastic taste and MoreBeer replaced the line for me.
The new line is fine.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Over-carbonation
« on: December 26, 2012, 06:01:27 AM »
I don't think the problem is incomplete fermentation.
1.5 - 2 weeks in primary is usually plenty of time to complete fermentation.
Do you check final gravity a couple of times before bottling?

Equipment and Software / Re: Digital refractometer
« on: December 05, 2012, 06:15:25 AM »
I have the Hanna.
I like to use the refractometer during the brewing process because it's quicker (smaller samples, don't have to wait while the sample cools, etc.)
I've seen Sean's spreadsheet and it works.
I just use the hydrometer for the FG reading because I always have!
Besides, then I can drink the hydrometer sample! 

Equipment and Software / Re: Digital refractometer
« on: December 04, 2012, 06:28:21 AM »
I have a digital refractometer, not the brand that the OP referenced but similar.
I've found it works very well and, after comparing a reading from it and a hydrometer for several batches, I've found that the two are always within a gravity point or two of each other.
I don't use the refractometer for the FG reading due to the alcohol.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Out of ideas.
« on: November 21, 2012, 12:46:24 PM »
You said in the first post that "this tank has been going strong for months". Question, going strong for months with this new regulator?
My experience has been that when there is a leak, even a small one, the tank is empty in just a few days.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Out of ideas.
« on: November 21, 2012, 11:51:58 AM »
Not sure about the Taprite brand but not all regulators need a washer.
Some have the "washer" built into the connection.

How long has it been since you pitched the yeast?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: One Week Fermentation = Mistake?
« on: October 29, 2012, 06:08:44 AM »
I don't know if it was a mistake or not but you did hurry the process.
S-04 does run through the active fermentation phase pretty quickly but generally speaking most yeast needs a few days after the active phase to finish the process.
Did you taste the beer while you were bottling?
If it wasn't doen fermenting, the beer will be over-carbed and you'll have gushers.
Anyway, at this point you won't know how the beer turned out until you open the first bottle.

Ingredients / Re: Falconer's Flight
« on: October 09, 2012, 04:49:22 AM »
I've used this blend a couple of times in an IPA and they have been good.
I can certainly taste the Simcoe.

Ingredients / Falconer's Flight
« on: October 08, 2012, 12:33:43 PM »
Does anyone know what hop varieties are used in this blend?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: surprisingly low wort fermentability
« on: September 11, 2012, 05:00:56 AM »
When I was an extract brewer, occaisionally, fermentation would stall.
I found that 1/2 tsp per 5 gallons was enough to get the last few points that I wanted.
Never had issues with "bottle bombs".

Ingredients / Re: determining alcohol potential using Promash
« on: July 23, 2012, 05:36:54 AM »
Since the OP is trying to predict the ABV and the lactose/milk sugar has little or no fermentability, then reducing the gravity points that Promash predicts it will add should bring the Promash prediction of the ABV closer to actual.

The standard 'fridge with freezer on top, as noted by Euge, uses the freezer to cool the refrigerator compartment.
Set both controls (freezer and refrigerator compartment) to max cold.
The probe from the external temp controller would be located in the refrigerator compartment (ideally attached to the fermenter or using a thermowell) will control the temp in the freezer and 'fridge compartment.
The freezer will be the same temp as the refrigerator compartment.

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