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Messages - johnnyb

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Purging Keg
« on: July 06, 2015, 02:51:50 PM »
Well I tried the method with the scale today but it would help to have a scale that doesn't automatically shut off after a certain amount of time.  :P

It worked out fine just following the condensation and coldness as it krept up the side of the keg.

Thanks for all the comments re: calculating FWFs as 60 versus 20 minute additions. Clearly the evidence shows both the IBUs and the perception is closer/slightly over a 60 minute addition.

I'm still surprised that the several AIPAs and APAs that I brewed with FWFs calculated as 20 minute additions did not taste insanely bitter to me.

I can't understand how FWH can have roughly the same IBUs as a 60 minute addition. I've always calculated IBUs for FWH as if they were a 20 minute addition, which I thought used to be the rule-of-thumb everyone followed. You would think those beers would be overpoweringly bitter, but they're not.

Jeez you take a two year break from brewing and it's surprising how many things change, or are at least disputed.


I think that a lot of whole leaf hops we get as homebrewers are not stored well and are starting to oxidize.  At this point, I only dry hop with pellets.

If your homebrew shop repackages their hops into 1 oz baggies, you're pretty much at their mercy as far as oxygen pickup.


And my system works better with leaf hops, so I try to get all of them in bulk in the fall soon after the new crop is available. Then I keep them vacuum sealed in the basement freezer. I don't trust leaf hops from my LHBS.

They are much cheaper in bulk too, but I lose some of that savings because every year I throw away the hops that I haven't used that are greater than about 2 years old. Although I opened up some old hops this year and they still smelled great.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Purging Keg
« on: July 05, 2015, 12:50:57 PM »
Cool - I'm going to go for the scale method because I usually tip my better bottles up sideways prior to racking so marks wouldn't help. Thanks!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Purging Keg
« on: July 05, 2015, 10:37:14 AM »
You could also put a quick disconnect on the gas side and run some tubing into a small bucket of sanitizer.

With a closed off keg, how do you guys know when it's full? I've done only one push with CO2 to a keg, but I ended up taking the lid off so I could see when it was just above the 5 gallon line.

Equipment and Software / Re: Chest Freezer Question
« on: July 05, 2015, 08:00:06 AM »
Ok so I've received the Eva-500 yesterday and put it in the kegerator directly in front of the computer fan. I'll give it a few days and see if it makes a difference. If not, I'll do some work to see if I have any trouble with leaks. I think I sealed up everything pretty good, but it's possible it needs more work.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Another efficiency thread
« on: July 03, 2015, 06:48:59 PM »
First off, congrats Joe. Looks like, all in all, things went pretty well. I don't use the strike water temp calculators - I have better results on my system/cooler by adding 15 or 16 degrees to my target mash temp to figure strike water temp and usually get within a degree or two F (sometimes on the high side). I'd rather be a little high than low, because a few ice cubes will cool you to target quickly and easily. Sounds like your crush was good. Do you use Bru'nwater or similar to predict pH? PH in the good range helps with efficiency, as does being able to drain all the sugars possible from the tun. I prop up the end of the cooler with a piece of wood and, when the cooler runs dry, I move the hose at the valve around several times to encourage it to drain thoroughly. Wort (ie., sugars) will trickle out for a few minutes after the steady flow stops. More sugars obviously = higher efficiency. I think you're on the right track !

I do my strike water calcs as a 2 step process.

My spreadsheet calculates the water temp to add to the cooler based on all the usual info. (i.e. - pounds of grain, volume of water, thermal mass and weight of mash tun.) I have my calculation add 1 degree to the "book' estimate to account for time stirring in whatever water salts I'm adjusting with for that batch.

Then I have a separate calculation that tells me at what temp to actually mash in at. I'm usually right about there when I'm done stirring in the salts, but sometimes it's a little high. I can adjust this quick with ice cubes. Then when I mash in I'm almost always dead on my desired mash temp.

I'm pretty sure for most people the problem with missing mash temps are issues with estimating the thermal mass and weight of the mash tun. Once the tun and water are actually at the calculated strike temps the book calculations seem to be very accurate.

r1 and r2 make sense but then I can't figure out the reason for r0.

r1 and r2 don't set the maximum/minimum allowed temperature, they set the max/min *setpoint*.

If you had sp=40, r0=5, r1=38, and r2=42, the temperature would rise to 45, then the controller would kick on.

Agghhhhh I have it now.

SP can always be set without a code, while all the other parameters can be protected by code. r1 and r2 make sure that someone can't come along and screw things up too much without having access to the code!

Thank you sir!

No experience, but the way it's worded seems straightforward.

r1 and r2 are a dummy-check to keep your set point reasonable. As long as r1 < sp < r2, you're good. If you need to move sp outside that range you'll need to adjust.

c2 and c3 are the on/off times for the failure mode where the probe is disconnected or broken. 5 min on, 5 min off isn't going to be great for a compressor, and since you're running a freezer would probably result in it freezing. I'd change c3 to 45 min, since that's what seems to be working for you.

c4 is the minimum time the compressor will stay on. I don't see any reason to increase it.

c5 is the minimum time between compressor cycles. As above, 10 min is pretty short but it seems unlikely you'll ever cycle it that much.


r1 and r2 make sense but then I can't figure out the reason for r0.

I would never have guessed that c2 and c3 meant broken in the literal sense! I will make the suggested change as it makes total sense now.

I'll bump out c5 to 30 minutes.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Lazy Kegging
« on: July 03, 2015, 04:02:07 PM »
One of the guys at my LHBS has an unemployed 21 year old son who lives at home and goes through each keg pretty quick and does this.
Worded carefully, this could go on his resume.

"Maximized throughput by removing inefficiencies in packaging procedures."


Nobody has experience with this controller?

I've been playing around with it for a few days and with my current settings the compressor kicks on about every 45 to 50 minutes and runs for about 2 or 3 minutes. Does that seem reasonable for compressor life? I only have 1 keg in there at the moment, it may run less when it's full.

These are the setting I'm using at the moment, and they are keeping a glass of water about 40 0F. I should probably adjust the settings to get a little warmer.

SP = Set Point = 42
r0 = Differential or hysteresis = 2
r1 = Lower value for SP = 40
R2 = Upper value for SP = 44
c0 = Minimum stopping time of load = 10
c2 = ON time of fault cycle, when ambient probe is broken = 5
c3 = OFF time of fault cycle, when ambient probe is broken = 5
c4 = Minimum time since compressor start-up until the next stop = 0
c5 = Minimum time since the compressor start-up until the next start-up = 10

I still have no idea what c2 and c3 are supposed to be doing.

Equipment and Software / Re: pH Meter Calibration
« on: July 02, 2015, 12:34:27 PM »
No need to apologize -- it was my own fault! You did say to be very careful. The end of my junction was filthy which was why I decided to pull it out a bit.

My probe is 4 years old anyway, so I'm just going to order a new one. No worries.

And now I'm a little wiser to the whole pH meter thing!

Equipment and Software / Re: pH Meter Calibration
« on: July 02, 2015, 10:49:26 AM »
I looked at my meter last night and did not see the junction sticking out. It is a replacement probe tip so maybe they don't have that option?

I just checked mine too (pH56) and I don't have a visible junction either. This is the original probe, and it's about 4 years old but still works fine. (Was unused but stored properly in the storage solution for several years.)

Edit: I'm a dumb ass. Looked at the picture then got my reading glasses out and low and behold it does have a visible junction. Or should I say it DID have a junction. I pulled it down a little with a tiny screwdriver. It barely went beyond the end of the probe. I went to trim it with scissors and the whole thing yanked out. I cannot get it back in lolz.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cold Crash Question
« on: July 02, 2015, 10:06:25 AM »
There are still cells in suspension.  All crashing does is lower the cell count from saturation to a level where it is difficult to see suspended cells with the naked eye.  It's why one can still bottle condition cold crashed beer.  One has to filter beer to remove all of the cells.

But when we bottle condition we warm the beer up again.

I've always been under the impression that the yeast cells sort of go dormant when we cold crash, even if they don't all fall out of suspension. I would suspect that dormant yeast cells don't scrub O2, but I honestly have no idea so appreciate the opportunity to gain a better understanding.

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