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Messages - rob_f

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Ingredients / Re: Do I need any additives for my water?
« on: May 23, 2016, 07:15:09 AM »
The salts in the wort that produced the extract have been concentrated, so ideally you would use distilled water to reconstitute the original wort.  In practice, if your water isn't too hard or alkaline, it will work for extract.  If you're not getting enough hop presence in your pales and ipa's some gypsum might help.

I've dumped a couple of batches long ago for band-aid wild yeast flavor.  Lately I'm seeing a lacto sourness showing up in some kegs after several months and I keep drinking those until I need the keg.  Right now I have and English Pale that is starting to sour and I like it.  I am working on isolating the problem.

Ingredients / Re: water for 1800s IPA attempt
« on: May 18, 2016, 06:42:57 AM »
Steve, your water looks like surface water. You get the low numbers during monsoon and the high numbers during drought.

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Ingredients / Re: Hop storage lifespan ?
« on: May 18, 2016, 06:11:01 AM »
I've had hops from 2014 in Food Saver with success, metallized vacuum seal would be even better.

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Ingredients / Re: Hop storage lifespan ?
« on: May 18, 2016, 05:49:47 AM »
Martin, are you using metallized vacuum seal or zip-lock?

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Equipment and Software / Re: Calibrate those thermometers!
« on: May 18, 2016, 05:38:40 AM »
I had the same thing happen on my HLT thermometer. I had been doing cold sparges before Marshall made it cool. It was 50 degrees off. I keep it out in the garage and I think the temperature swings over 15 years messed with it. I calibrated it to my Thermopen.

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Equipment and Software / Re: pH meter ?
« on: May 10, 2016, 11:49:17 AM »
Typical brewing salts such as gypsum, epsom salt, and calcium chloride all reduce the mash pH by reacting with phytin to release free protons (acid).  You can reduce pH with acid as well.  Most folks have some alkalinity in their water, so reducing pH is the typical path.  Less choices for increasing pH: sodium bicarbonate, pickling lime, and pretty worthless calcium carbonate.  Download Bru'nwater and it will all become clear.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2016 Spring Swap - Official Thread
« on: April 27, 2016, 09:46:58 AM »

Got the goods from fmader. What a haul! Thanks, man.

@redzim - UPS says yours was delivered this morning as well.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Great little lost oddity
« on: April 23, 2016, 08:25:04 AM »
My big sister and her family used to live in Milwaukee.  I remember visiting back in the 70's and they took us to Mader's.  I guess it was one of those institutions you took out-of-towners to.  Growing up in a very Irish family, it was a blast of German culture.  Fond memories.

Equipment and Software / Re: Brewing Water Filter or RO System
« on: April 22, 2016, 08:18:21 AM »
You have very good water for brewing. It would be a waste to go to RO.  Just get a carbon block filter and dilute with distilled for pilsners.  I just put a loop of metal strapping on my brewstand and drop the canister in that.  I can leave it wet through the cool months, but once it gets hot I have to take the filter out and let everything dry.  I learned that by having to trash a moldy filter and tubing.

Equipment and Software / Re: Plastic Buckets vs Inox Fermentor
« on: April 10, 2016, 07:02:44 PM »
Conicals do have an advantage with the bottom dump valve.  You can dump cold break, yeast, dry hops for more dry hops, and so on.  Yes, you can use it as a bottling bucket by mixing in priming sugar and bottling through the racking port.

Equipment and Software / Re: need help choosing a pump
« on: April 06, 2016, 12:43:14 PM »
If you plan to control the glycol flow with actuator valve, go with the magnetic drive. If you plan to turn the pump on and off, the cheap 24V pump would be a good choice and buy a spare.  As the cooling demand changes during fermentation, you will need to control the coolant flow.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Flare washers
« on: April 06, 2016, 12:22:47 PM »
If you back off your tubing so it's not snug against the flare nut, you can just push the nut down the stem and the washer will come out.  Or you can dig it out with a nut pick or a small screwdriver.

I usually have 6-8 homebrews on tap, and I'm pretty much the only beer drinker in the house. So some kegs get pretty old.  Sometimes they sour, but mostly have just gone meh. I'd rather have the empty keg than these, so a couple of gallons gets dumped several times a year.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Belgian Saison fermentation temp and recipe
« on: March 31, 2016, 11:25:53 AM »
My method is to put a heat wrap and controller on it and just follow the temperature up as it rises, just don't let it fall as fermentation slows.  That has even kept the Dupont yeast from going to sleep early.  I've had them go as 86 F and have good ones that went into the 90's.

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