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Messages - kgs

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31
Equipment and Software / Re: Using a heater
« on: December 30, 2016, 11:29:55 AM »
Since my chamber temperature is thermostatically controlled, I just put a heating pad in the chamber when its not warm enough.

Got out the heating pad, plugged it in to test its temperatures, went away for a bit... one little problem... https://www.flickr.com/photos/kgs/31948393166/

32
Equipment and Software / Re: Using a heater
« on: December 29, 2016, 03:11:30 PM »
Why would you plug the fridge in to the wall? Single stage (heat only) should do well, but a dual stage controller might be better. ...

To address those crazy temperature swings that can have us in teeshirts by mid-afternoon. But maybe not needed?


33
Equipment and Software / Re: Electric Brew In A Can (BIAC)
« on: December 29, 2016, 03:09:04 PM »
The Q&A section on the product page is filling up. I saw a few regarding capacity.

Thanks, I missed that. Some good discussion. I can guess the next version will have markers for smaller batches.

34
Equipment and Software / Re: Electric Brew In A Can (BIAC)
« on: December 29, 2016, 02:24:31 PM »
Yeah, I wonder about the quality too.  They don't show many (any) pictures of the build details.  Williams is a quality outfit IME.  You could send it back if it was poor quality.

I returned something to Williams once and they were fine about it. Another time I ordered a lb of crushed 15L and they sent 20L (or maybe it was the other way around) and they were incredibly responsive about my complaint, even though I noted that it made very little difference in the finished beer.

This is very tempting because I do own a pump, and can see this taking the place of the brewstand I was thinking of building. I have several questions for them (is the thermostat adjustable, can it handle smaller batches, etc.) but I'm definitely interested. I'd also like to figure out if I would be able to lift a basket of wet grain at or near max capacity, which at 16 lbs dry would be about 30 lbs wet, if the guideline that a lb of grain absorbs .1 gallon water is correct (16 lbs grain --> 1.6 gallons water --> ca. 15 lbs; + 16 = 31 lbs).

35
Equipment and Software / Using a heater
« on: December 29, 2016, 02:10:12 PM »
My winter fermentation challenge is that the fridge I have available for fermenting won't maintain a high enough temperature, particularly at night, even with a Johnson controller. The room it's in doesn't go to freezing, but it is cold enough that the fridge never makes it past the high 50s. I use 5-gallon buckets for 3-gallon batches and have a Danby no-freezer small fridge. Am I correct that I'd plug the fridge into the wall for normal operation, plug the heat source into the controller, and put the heat source on the inside wall of the fridge, with the probe taped as usual to the fermenter with a little styrofoam or other padding over the probe?

I'm looking at this:

https://www.williamsbrewing.com/BREWERS-EDGE-SPACE-HEATER-P518.aspx

Thanks in advance.

Good price, if it does what I need it to do. I'm just confirming this setup.

36
All Grain Brewing / Re: Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« on: December 28, 2016, 10:52:15 AM »
Water: "bring to a boil and hold for 5 minutes" -- I usually get my water ready to boil the night before, so this step would be simple enough. Can this step be done a few hours earlier than the brew, or would oxygen sneak back in during the dead of night?

Mash: "drain wort into kettle" -- sometimes I mash the night before, drain into the brew kettle, put the lid on and then turn the BK on as soon as I wake up. Would holding the wort overnight reintroduce oxygen?

SMB -- sodium metabisulfite -- to be clear, this is what's in Campden tablets, right?

I'm not the expert, but I don't think either of those practices is compatible with low oxygen brewing.

I believe some Campden tablets are SMB and some are potassium MB.  According to the original lodo paper, one campden tablet contains 440 mg of SMB.

Thanks. I think I must know a chemist or two to answer the first question.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
No, sorry these are not compatible with Low oxygen. The whole mantra is to get in and out as fast as you can with as little disturbance as possible. You will be fighting against Henry's law.

I'll set aside the early mash question. Thanks for SMB info.

if I preboil 4 gallons of water in a 5- gallon SS kettle, what is the formula for how much o2 is reintroduced over time? If I know this, it should be a simple if casual (aka non-rigorous) home experiment, given other available data and equipment.  The null hypothesis would be that over x hours o2 is reintroduced at quantities below recommended thresholds.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

37
All Grain Brewing / Re: Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« on: December 28, 2016, 09:26:17 AM »
Water: "bring to a boil and hold for 5 minutes" -- I usually get my water ready to boil the night before, so this step would be simple enough. Can this step be done a few hours earlier than the brew, or would oxygen sneak back in during the dead of night?

Mash: "drain wort into kettle" -- sometimes I mash the night before, drain into the brew kettle, put the lid on and then turn the BK on as soon as I wake up. Would holding the wort overnight reintroduce oxygen?

SMB -- sodium metabisulfite -- to be clear, this is what's in Campden tablets, right?

I'm not the expert, but I don't think either of those practices is compatible with low oxygen brewing.

I believe some Campden tablets are SMB and some are potassium MB.  According to the original lodo paper, one campden tablet contains 440 mg of SMB.

Thanks. I think I must know a chemist or two to answer the first question.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

38
All Grain Brewing / Re: Brewing Science vs. Citizen Science
« on: December 27, 2016, 09:53:00 AM »
Should home-brewers be concerned with scientific literature from the pro brewing industry regarding brewing chemistry?   In general, I think the answer is no. Most home-brewers have more basic things to focus on to improve their beer.

I'll admit to bringing up some more involved concepts in threads where it doesn't belong, especially where beginning brewers are involved. Intermediate to advanced brewers should take in all sources on brewing science though. It all applies at every scale. You may need to tweak it to be applicable but the concepts are scale invariant.

 
If the brewer goes through the beer quickly or doesn't care about competitions or wants to make the best beer with the least amount of expense and effort and have fun at the same time then the answer is still "No." 

I push back on this because applying advanced concepts won't take any of the fun out of brewing. Yes, it may add some equipment costs (upgrades, automation, etc.) and it may take an incremental increase in effort to accommodate, but it shouldn't be inherently less fun.

But that assumes we're all in agreement on the definition of "fun." Qualitative research in hobbies shows that people vary widely in their motivations and in what determines for them what "fun" is. I found "Homebrew All-Stars" interesting because it classified homebrewers by type of motivation, which could be an auspicious direction for future research into sustaining homebrewing as an active hobby in between beer crazes (and perhaps keeping homebrewers in the hobby during the life periods when they tend to drop out, and attracting new demographics). Clearly there is room in this hobby for the "advanced concepts" crowd, and I'm guessing this crowd benefits the rest of us by findings that eventually improve homebrewing overall. But homebrewers who prefer to direct their time, effort, and money in other directions aren't wrong. I wrote elsewhere once upon a time that "the user is not broken," and in this case, the homebrewer isn't either.

39
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Another newbie...
« on: December 27, 2016, 08:20:33 AM »

Sometimes bucket lids don't seal properly and it is easier for the gas to escape through the leak than the airlock. From the sounds of it your beer is fermenting away. Get a rubber mallet and gently tap around the bucket lid and see if it will seal.

In the past I have used my hands or a mallet. This morning I became concerned because I hadn't seen any airlock activity on an ESB brewed two days ago, and I've never not observed ANY airlock activity in 8 years of brewing. I used my hands and the bucket lid seemed tight. The bucket is on the floor (in the best spot in the house to keep it between 66 and 68), so I gently applied my knee in several spots. On the third or fourth try, I heard a soft click. I generally avoid opening buckets during fermentation, but just to make sure, I briefly opened the bucket and could see the yeast was very busy. I used my new "knee to the bucket" method to ensure a tight seal once I closed it up, and the airlock immediately began clicking away.
I recently ditched the bucket for fermenting. Soeidel makes a nice setup with screw to lids and gaskets.
category/speidel-plastic-beer-fermenters.html

Was there a reason to move from buckets to the Speidel? I went from buckets to Better Bottles and back to buckets (I use 5-gal food grade buckets for 3-gal batches). My last tweak in the process was to drill a couple of the buckets for spigots so I can now drain directly from the bucket into the keg.
You dont have to kneel on the lid to close it.

Eh, to each their own. :-)

40
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Another newbie...
« on: December 26, 2016, 07:32:09 PM »

Sometimes bucket lids don't seal properly and it is easier for the gas to escape through the leak than the airlock. From the sounds of it your beer is fermenting away. Get a rubber mallet and gently tap around the bucket lid and see if it will seal.

In the past I have used my hands or a mallet. This morning I became concerned because I hadn't seen any airlock activity on an ESB brewed two days ago, and I've never not observed ANY airlock activity in 8 years of brewing. I used my hands and the bucket lid seemed tight. The bucket is on the floor (in the best spot in the house to keep it between 66 and 68), so I gently applied my knee in several spots. On the third or fourth try, I heard a soft click. I generally avoid opening buckets during fermentation, but just to make sure, I briefly opened the bucket and could see the yeast was very busy. I used my new "knee to the bucket" method to ensure a tight seal once I closed it up, and the airlock immediately began clicking away.
I recently ditched the bucket for fermenting. Soeidel makes a nice setup with screw to lids and gaskets.
category/speidel-plastic-beer-fermenters.html

Was there a reason to move from buckets to the Speidel? I went from buckets to Better Bottles and back to buckets (I use 5-gal food grade buckets for 3-gal batches). My last tweak in the process was to drill a couple of the buckets for spigots so I can now drain directly from the bucket into the keg.

41
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Another newbie...
« on: December 26, 2016, 10:10:51 AM »

Sometimes bucket lids don't seal properly and it is easier for the gas to escape through the leak than the airlock. From the sounds of it your beer is fermenting away. Get a rubber mallet and gently tap around the bucket lid and see if it will seal.

In the past I have used my hands or a mallet. This morning I became concerned because I hadn't seen any airlock activity on an ESB brewed two days ago, and I've never not observed ANY airlock activity in 8 years of brewing. I used my hands and the bucket lid seemed tight. The bucket is on the floor (in the best spot in the house to keep it between 66 and 68), so I gently applied my knee in several spots. On the third or fourth try, I heard a soft click. I generally avoid opening buckets during fermentation, but just to make sure, I briefly opened the bucket and could see the yeast was very busy. I used my new "knee to the bucket" method to ensure a tight seal once I closed it up, and the airlock immediately began clicking away.

42
All Grain Brewing / Re: Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« on: December 24, 2016, 10:28:23 AM »
We crafted the website to serve as the comprehensive, digestible guide. There are individual posts going over many of the process points.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Re the website -- lots of good info! Take the following with a huge grain of salt--just one brewer's take. Consider moving the section that has a "simple list of areas of improvement in equipment and process" toward the top of the main page, preceded by a one- or two-sentence explanation of dissolved oxygen, culled from the paragraphs on DO:

This website offers techniques for minimizing dissolved oxygen (DO) in the homebrew process. Controlling DO preserves the fresh malt flavors inherent in the grains by guarding them against oxidation.

Save Winston Churchill and the paragraph that follows for elsewhere on the website, maybe a "mission statement" page. The list of questions is good, but it makes more sense if it follows what you're arguing (controlling DO is good) and the basic outline of your method (here's how to do it).

But it's just my 2 cents (or 2 grains)... I have been working on a huge writing project for an eternity, with two advisors who are keen-eyed journal editors... I cannot read anything without wanting to take out my red pen.

43
All Grain Brewing / Re: Low Oxygen Conclusions?
« on: December 24, 2016, 10:16:51 AM »
Very helpful and clear synopsis of one brewer's approach to LODO. I already do some of these steps, including draining into the tun through the ball valve and doing a no-sparge mash. If SMB is what I think it is, I use that as well.

Water: "bring to a boil and hold for 5 minutes" -- I usually get my water ready to boil the night before, so this step would be simple enough. Can this step be done a few hours earlier than the brew, or would oxygen sneak back in during the dead of night?

Mash: "drain wort into kettle" -- sometimes I mash the night before, drain into the brew kettle, put the lid on and then turn the BK on as soon as I wake up. Would holding the wort overnight reintroduce oxygen?

SMB -- sodium metabisulfite -- to be clear, this is what's in Campden tablets, right?

44
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My Brew Years Resolution
« on: December 22, 2016, 07:13:44 AM »
Years ago, I had a goal for 2017 to build a pump-driven, all-electric, mobile brew stand. But it's possible we'll be moving (in the same town, most likely) and after changing homes twice since I started brewing in 2009, I know that what I need for effective brewing changes with every home.

My goals are to brew more frequently (I should be able to do that by March) and start playing with water. Every time I say I'm going to do that (get RO water, use various salts, etc.) I chicken out and go for filtered water from our fridge dispenser with a piece of Campden tablet. I don't know why I have such a mental block. Yes, it takes a while to get enough water through that dispenser, though I brew 3-gallon batches, and it's faster than driving to the store for spring water.

I was going to get in a brew last Sunday but we didn't get to the LHBS in the city we were in on Saturday, which scotched that plan. But I'm off for 12 days starting tomorrow and at least one of them will be a brew day.

45
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lallemand London ESB Premium Yeast
« on: December 17, 2016, 10:09:32 AM »
I'm going to try this yeast tomorrow, assuming the LHBS carries it and the other stuff I want. I adapted the following recipe from Brewing Classic Styles. ESB is the first style I ever brewed, from an extract kit I bought in Jan 2009.

I'm mulling over buying RO water and then treating it. Regardless, it will be beer. There is one process change: fermenting in a bucket with a spigot, so I can drain directly into a purged keg.

Interregnum ESB (2.5 gallons)

6 lbs Golden Promise
4 oz Crystal 15L
2 oz Crystal 120L
.75 oz Kent Goldings 5% AA 60 min
1.25 oz Kent Goldings 5% AA whirlpool
1/2 tab whirfloc
1 packet Lallemand London Premium ESB Yeast
Campden tablet in bottled spring water

Mash 152 (no sparge)
Ferment 68
Carbonate 1.75 vol
Maybe toss .5 oz hops in the keg in a small weighted bag
I would suggest mashing a little cooler, 148 maybe.  I did an ESB with that yeast and mashed 152-154.  It fermented out a bit sweet for my taste.  This yeast doesn't ferment maltriose.

That's very helpful, thanks!

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