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Messages - jimrod

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All Grain Brewing / astringency and over sparging
« on: April 10, 2012, 08:04:21 PM »
I have also been getting some overly astringent beers and I am wondering if I am over sparging. What is over sparging? I'm usually brew 10 gal batches.

Currently I fly sparge. I strike at 168* to get the the mash to 150*-154*.  When the mash gets below 150. My Ranco starts the pump and recirculates the liquid through the HLT and moves it back on top of the grain to bring it up to temp. The pump isn't always recirculating but it could be on periodically throughout the 60-90 min. mash time.

I'll drain slowly for about 30-45 min into the boil tank while adding 180* water over the top of the mash. I'm careful to keep the pH of the mash around 5.4 using lactic acid if needed. I usually add about 3 ml. of lactic acid per 6 gal of sparge water for tap water that has a pH of 8.0.

Does it sound like I'm doing it right?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Supplier...Stir plate...Erlenmeyer flask
« on: April 10, 2012, 12:51:34 AM »
Don't try to build your own stir starter and expect to save money. If you do it right, they give you the schematic if you need one, you'll spend more money and only create a headache for yourself.

I built 2 but if I were to do it again I think I would just pay the guy the money and have it shipped to me.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: can you repair a beer
« on: March 01, 2012, 09:55:38 AM »
I have been using this HERMS for about 2 years or roughly 20 batches. All the pots are converted kegs.

I've looked back on my last 6 brews and discovered low efficiency in every one (mid 60s). This one was very low. I buy and crush grain at 3 LHBS which all give me low efficiency so I don't think it's the crush.

I had the same idea about denaturing the enzymes so I watched the temp of the HLT to make sure it didn't get over 160. The only other thing I can think of is watching the pH.

I think there is something simple I"m missing that's why I need help.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: can you repair a beer
« on: February 29, 2012, 09:02:45 AM »
The IBUs on this beer rose to 51 because of the lack of ABV. Originally a 41 IBU IPA.  57% efficiency.

This has happened 2 of the last 3 batches. I am using a HERMS. I was very careful not to over heat the mash during recirculation.

Could a low pH of 5.0 - 5.2  cause this low efficiency ?  I used the Bru'n water program to calculate the amount of lactic acid to add but a paper test showed the pH to be lower than calculated.

or   Should I mash for longer than 60 min. to ensure more conversion ?

I want to do another 12 gal batch this Saturday and I want to get this problem corrected.

Yeast and Fermentation / can you repair a beer
« on: February 28, 2012, 01:00:01 AM »
I started to brew an IPA Saturday but only came up with a OG of 1.050. I was shooting for 1.068 What a disappointment. Can I do anything now to save it?

It has been fermenting for only 2.5 days.

It took 29 lbs of grain for a 12 gal batch. Calif V yeast. and I kept that mark of 153 exactly for 1 hour.

Yeast and Fermentation / lager starters cooled?
« on: February 22, 2012, 09:38:11 AM »
Do you grow your starters at room temps or are they grown at ferm temps?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Mr malty
« on: February 21, 2012, 09:56:08 AM »
mtnrockhopper.....Not only is the starter huge but a 8 liter flask is huge as well. The estimated OG is 1.056 with a stir plate. I just got the stir plate but have not used it yet.

Do you have to keep the temperature at 50 for starters also or do you ferment and decant at room temperature?

And do you use an air lock?

Why do you have to sleep with it?

Yeast and Fermentation / Mr malty
« on: February 21, 2012, 09:20:13 AM »
Am I using this calculator correctly?

Mr. Malty calls for a 4 quart starter with 7 vials of White Labs liquid yeast. The batch size is 12 gal. of lager using a stir plate for an OG of 1.056.

Does this sound like a lot of yeast?
That is a huge starter?
That is about $45 wort of yeast.

If you wanted to use only 3 vials of liquid yeast Mr. Malty calls for 3 gallons of starter. WOW! That is 25% of the entire batch.

Who has a starter flask this big?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: mr malty question
« on: February 14, 2012, 03:59:07 AM »
Does that make sense?  For a 1.054 lager with a stir plate it calls for 7 vials of White Labs per 3.5 quart starter. WOW.
I only have a 2000ml flask.

 Is that right 7 vials at $7 each.

Equipment and Software / Re: Iodaphor vs. Star San
« on: January 27, 2012, 09:15:26 AM »
It is cheaper.. a lot cheaper.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: serving pressure
« on: January 23, 2012, 02:21:02 AM »

Kegging and Bottling / Re: serving pressure
« on: January 20, 2012, 11:22:29 AM »
According to the carbonation chart on, with a fridge temperature of 38 degrees needs 14 psi to give the beer a 2.7 volumes of C02. A typical American Lager needs 2.4 - 2.7 volumes.

Bluesman's calculation of L = (P - 6) / 0.7.........would be 14 -6 / 0.7= 11.5 feet of tubing

Does that sound right 11.5 feet of tubing?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: serving pressure
« on: January 20, 2012, 03:03:27 AM »
"I recommend using 3/16" I.D. tubing with about 6ft of length. It's always better to start with a longer line as you can always cut it shorter if need be.

For normal pressures I'd start out even longer than that. In theory, the length needed should be:   L = (P - 6)/0.7
Where L is the length in feet and P is the pressure in psi. For 12 psi, that's about 8.5 ft."

Is this the formula for 3/16" or does it matter if I use 1/4"?
I am using 6 foot of 3/16" now.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: serving pressure
« on: January 18, 2012, 10:23:50 AM »
 it doesn't' have a device that restricts the flow only a slight reduction in diameter at the nozzle. I  flows too fast, if I change the pressure to make a good pour then the keg goes flat.

I wish I knew how to put a pic in this post. I could add a picture so everyone could know what I'm talking about.

Kegging and Bottling / serving pressure
« on: January 18, 2012, 01:30:52 AM »
I've been having trouble with my serving pressure. I keep the beer in the keg at 38°F with a pressure of 11 psi to
maintain 2.5 volumes of CO2 as the beer is served....

BUT...I am using Euro Alpha faucets. These faucets have a 1-1/2" Stainless tube at the end and I think the inside diameter is smaller than a normal faucet. This choke point causes the velocity of the beer to increase and rush out quite fast sometimes causing it to over foam or de-gas the beer.  If I turn down the pressure for a good pour then the beer eventually gets under carbonated. 

Any advise........I already read the link on the previous thread.....Can I lower the pressure at the faucet by increasing the length of the beer line? Say, 10-12 feet. Right now I'm using about 6 feet on each faucet.

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