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Messages - kgs

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1
All Grain Brewing / Re: no sparge
« on: January 31, 2016, 01:37:46 PM »
Denny, on adding the remaining water after the mash is complete: for my workflow this would work almost as easily as adding all the water at once, which is what I do now, so I'd be curious to know your rationale (efficiency, flavor, etc.). I think someone else in this thread mentioned doing this too.

  Also, I like to stay in a somewhat "normal" mash ratio range.  Now, that may be misguided, but it's my theory.  And it works.

Same reasoning for me.  I don't want to thin out the mash too much for the enzymes to do their work.

Thanks. It would be easy enough to try, and I could do a rebrew of one of my favorites. A small change to the process. At mash temp or at higher "mash-out" temp?

2
All Grain Brewing / Re: no sparge
« on: January 31, 2016, 09:35:53 AM »
For me, no sparge efficiency depends on the OG.  My "normal" is about 83%.  No sparge on a big beer (1.100) I get in the 55-65% range.  No sparge on a small beer (1.045ish) is more like 75-80%.  But I use different no sparge techniques on each of those.   For the big beer, I add no additional water after the mash...simply run it off and that's my boil volume.  For a small beer, I mash at maybe 1.75-2 qt./lb.  After the mash is complete, I add in the amount of water I need to hit my boil volume and run it all off once once.  To me, both of those are ways of doing no sparge.

Denny, on adding the remaining water after the mash is complete: for my workflow this would work almost as easily as adding all the water at once, which is what I do now, so I'd be curious to know your rationale (efficiency, flavor, etc.). I think someone else in this thread mentioned doing this too.

3
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Eve of First Kegging
« on: January 31, 2016, 09:29:14 AM »
Thanks, both posts are very helpful.

4
Kegging and Bottling / Eve of First Kegging
« on: January 30, 2016, 08:00:30 PM »
I have everything ready for kegging tomorrow afternoon. I cleaned and sanitized the keg and its parts, put it back together, stuck the lid in loosely, and put a paper bag over it. I double-checked that the QDs for the gas and beer lines worked. I took the Taprite regulator out of its box and looked at it for a long time, and realized a) it has a check valve so I didn't need to buy one (confirmed when I looked it up), and b) it arrived set fully open at the shutoff valve and at the red center knob -- something good to have realized. I set it to fully closed.

I put the fermenter in my auxiliary (landlord-gave-us-an-old) fridge, set to 42 degrees; the beer had been ca. 60 degrees, and though I wasn't sure about this, it seemed right to get the beer to serving temp and then carbonate at that level rather than keg warmer and cool down. (It's an oatmeal stout so it's pretty happy at a wide range of degrees.)

So tomorrow afternoon I will connect the CO2 tank to the in valve, let it run for 5 or 10 sec, turn off the regulator (at both the shutoff valve and red knob?), rack the beer into the keg, lock the cover, set the regulator to 5 psi, open the shutoff valve, fill the keg's headspace with CO2, then reset the regulator to somewhere between 6.6 and 7.7 psi and listen for the CO2 to stop flowing. I could hasten carbonation by agitating the keg for up to 15 minutes (it's a 2.5 gal keg, so perhaps less time?), or I could be conservative and use carbonation over time.

Here's a really basic question I'm almost embarrassed to ask. The 1995 Zymurgy article says "so I set the keg back upright and disconnect it. After a few hours the beer settles and is ready to serve." Later on the keg is reconnected with the CO2 canister. Then "when you are done serving" it is disconnected. At what point in the process is the CO2 canister connected/disconnected? I had assumed it stayed connected the whole time.

5
All Grain Brewing / Re: no sparge
« on: January 29, 2016, 07:27:26 AM »
I recently put together a larger mashtun out of a Coleman square cooler and now have the capacity to deal with more larger amounts of grain than before.
What are the best beers to do a no sparge on?
Is it okay to do a second runnings and put it into the fridge for a week or three and then boil?

Can't help you on the second runnings question (one reason I am 100% no-sparge is so I don't have to, well, sparge) but oatmeal and milk stouts and porters come out very nicely. I also liked how a California Common came out; it was different, but in a nice McCommon sort of way.

6
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Perlick Flow Control to QD Adapter
« on: January 23, 2016, 01:10:20 PM »
I was interested in this for my first kegging setup, but went with a cheap picnic tap because of the comments about the Perlick faucets on an earlier thread:

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=25626.msg330321#msg330321

I'll wait... starting with the basics won't kill me. But it looks nice.

7
Equipment and Software / Re: Mash Paddle
« on: January 20, 2016, 08:52:09 PM »
I have a 22" stainless steel whisk purchased at a restaurant supply store. I use it to stir the mash because it breaks up small clumps I might not have detected. It's also a gorgeous piece of hardware.

8
Ingredients / Re: Coconut
« on: January 20, 2016, 06:53:34 PM »
I made a coconut porter a couple of years ago with flaked coconut from an organic cooperative; I added it to the fermenter a week in, I believe (didn't think to toast any of it, though I will next time). The beer was delicious, though the coconut absorbed a lot of the wort, so it was a small batch made smaller. My one regret was not realizing how delicious the wort-soaked coconut would be. I had a couple of tastes before I chucked it, and wished I had asked friends over to have some of it over vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

9
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Hose on first?
« on: January 19, 2016, 07:45:59 AM »
The fellow who sold me the keg threw in ball lock disconnects plus two 45g canisters of co2 and a charger. He explained the last two were for dispensing on the go, not really for kegging. :-)

That would be my assumption as well. One of the 2 main benefits to kegging for me is being able to force carbonate (the other being only cleaning and sanitizing 1 vessel vs 50). I wouldn't think the c02 canisters would contain enough c02 to do the job right. Maybe I'm mistaken.

Based on threads on other fora, I think it's possible the canisters could force carb one 1.75 or 2.5 gallon keg. I don't know how *well,* but the "Paramount Kegging System" (I love that Williams named this package--kind of genius) isn't targeted at competition-league brewers. If it's good enough to make the brewer happy and impress friends and family, then a compact, self-contained kegging setup that can fit in just about any fridge and doesn't require expeditions for CO2 may have a home in the homebrew universe, not to mention the holiday shopping universe.

What my CO2 project made me reflect on is the potential of the *packaging* aspect of homebrewing being a hurdle for maintaining the hobby. Planning for a brew day (recipes, starters, etc.), and then mashing and brewing, are the fun parts of the process; and especially for new brewers, fermentation continues to be fun (at this point I just tuck the beer in the fridge, set the controller, and check in every few days). You can't say that about bottling; it's laborious, and it's not like you feel "wow, look how well I bottled that beer, like I bottled the last 20 batches." But bottling is also easy and inexpensive, with very few moving parts. The alternatives to bottling are either low-end dispensing systems (Tap-A-Draft, Party Pig)--been there, meh--or kegging. Companies such as AIH have figured out there's a market for packaging up kegging components and selling kegging kits to those of us with no kegging experience. But there's still a learning curve and there's still the hassle of finding and then replenishing CO2, and indeed there are hoses and clamps and the CO2 canister to deal with. it was a question I set aside for over a year while I dealt with other things in my life, including moving from a city where CO2 was a hassle to procure, to a larger home in a smaller city where I am one mile from a friendly and courteous purveyor of the same. Most homebrewing inventions and new methods seem to be related to ease of use. I would predict seeing more inventions related to dealing with the packaging aspects and marketed at new/casual/urban brewers. Thus endeth the Reflection. :-)

10
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Hose on first?
« on: January 18, 2016, 07:32:12 PM »
It would be an interesting conversation to have with Williams. I can see this for the occasional small-batch urban brewer with a busy life and without easy access to CO2, spare fridges, storage space, etc. I can see why hoselessness is appealing -- one less thing to worry about. Like prewashed lettuce.

In the end, I bought a used 2.5 gallon Italian keg today from someone in the local brew club, who had been using it as part of a camping setup using a converted cooler etc., and I visited Mathesons (just 1.1 miles from my house) and the guy there let me see and lift a 5-lb CO2 canister (or whatever they are called). Somehow the CO2 issue had become larger and larger in my head, and seeing and touching the gear in real life was helpful. I can go with a basic picnic tap + hose and clamp; Taprite regulator + hose & clamp; and a new canister. Where I live right now and for the foreseeable future, that will work. When the Intertap flow control faucet becomes available, I'll get that.

The fellow who sold me the keg threw in ball lock disconnects plus two 45g canisters of co2 and a charger. He explained the last two were for dispensing on the go, not really for kegging. :-)

I think the first batch I keg (an oatmeal stout) will have to be called "Third Base..."


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11
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Hose on first?
« on: January 17, 2016, 03:22:23 PM »
You're right about that faucet -- Williams doesn't seem to sell the Intertap faucet with flow control separately, only the Perlick. I don't have any insight into the two brands.

In these parts there are several gas and welding shops that seem to be popular sources. Two are less than 3 miles from my house.


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12
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Labeled bottles.
« on: January 17, 2016, 07:49:00 AM »
I'd do you one better and just mark the caps with a serial number of sorts that matches your brew log. CSxxxxx or something like that.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Also, I write a slash on the cap for the last bottle or two, when a little air sometimes gets in the wand. I reserve these bottles for personal consumption. 

13
Questions about the forum? / Re: Characteristics of AHA Forum users
« on: January 16, 2016, 04:11:11 PM »
I believe maybe Gary has some data about that.  Maybe...
I seem to remember the results of a survey being posted but IIRC it had more to do with the AHA as a whole, not just the forum.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk

There's a nice high-level infographic here:

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/membership/homebrewing-stats/

I'm guessing there's more detail available. The delta between the Forum crowd and the general AHA crowd would be interesting (to me, anyway). 

One good outcome of moving from the TechTalk discussion list to the Forum is the threading, which allows posters to cluster in affinity groups.

14
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Hose on first?
« on: January 16, 2016, 11:15:13 AM »
I don't understand how those setups can produce a good pour, and finding a place to fill or swap CO2 tanks is pretty easy in most places.

Check to see if there is an Airgas branch in your area: https://www.airgas.com/

Airgas is in my area but the local homebrewers advise it is very expensive compared to other local options. That doesn't mean I won't go the refill route, just an observation. I could certainly try the mini-regulator idea and if it seemed impractical I'd still have a device I can use for portability. (Thanks to Tony's input since I started this post about 45g cartridges not lasting long.)

For the faucet, the proof would be in the pour, methinks. I am weak in science, but if I read the Brewsmith article about balancing lines correctly, the length of the beer line is used to regulate tap pressure, with length of the line increasing friction and therefore modulating the difference between the beer coming out of the keg and the beer coming out of the tap.

My guess is that the practice of using the length of beer line to manage tap pressure is an outcome of using hose in the first place as a way to deliver the beer, not vice versa. I'm willing to believe devices other than hoses could regulate tap pressure.

15
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Hose on first?
« on: January 16, 2016, 10:00:52 AM »
My first thought was the expense of the CO2 cylinders for day to day use.  The cost of those add up quickly.  It's an interesting idea for taking beer to parties or a cabin but I don't believe it is replacement for a keg fridge at home.

Paul

Right, in the balance of convenience and cost, traditional cylinders win out for most homebrewers who are brewing regularly and kegging. It's the untapped demographics -- ouch, that was an unintended pun -- the Williams setup is angling for. For occasional small-batch brewers disinterested in hunting down CO2 or without ready access to it, the gas-side part of this setup could be very appealing.

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