Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - kgs

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 64
31
Equipment and Software / Re: Electric Brew In A Can (BIAC)
« on: December 31, 2016, 07:53:56 PM »

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).
Here is a solution to your lifting concern.

http://www.brewinabag.com/collections/frontpage/products/pulley-metal-ratchet-250-lbs-capacity

This is assuming that you are brewing in the garage or basement (or your wife will let you put a eyebolt in the kitchen ceiling).  I use one of these for BIAB, works great.

Took me some head-scratching to figure out my response. Well... I'm a wife in a two-wife household... But back to brewing... I'd prefer to find an equipment design more mobile than one requiring a fixed winch. When I can't get to sleep I mentally work on the design of a mobile, highly accessible all-electric brewstand. I ask myself,  if I had very limited mobility, how would I move grain and fluid through this process? It's an interesting workflow problem. Pumps, gravity, and placement seem important to the design.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

32
Will do. My research so far says fair use but I'm playing it fast and loose by doing pictures and such long portions.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
As a librarian, I'd say so far ok, but at some point (and it's a fuzzy line) this will go beyond fair use. It's about the proportion of material used relative to the text. If it were just you and me, no problem.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

33
My opinion is that the default batch size of 5 gallons is an impediment to bringing new people into the hobby and keeping them brewing. While there are small-batch entry-level kits and plenty of ways to start small and keep going that way, the 5-gallon batch is the implicit default batch size, and it drives how long a typical brew day is, the average cost of a homebrew session, and what kind of equipment is needed to manage the process, from extraction to carbonation. It also assumes that there are points in the process where the homebrewer can successfully lift very large quantities of liquid and/or wet grain or acquire the equipment to do so.

The hobby seems much more open to smaller batch brewing than when I started brewing in early 2009, but there's still that 5-gallon mindset. It's as if the bakers on that British baking show had to not just bake really great cake, but bake a cake the size of a small shed.

You're gonna love our new book!

It sounds like it's either on smaller/more accessible brewing, or baking really large cakes :-)

34
My opinion is that the default batch size of 5 gallons is an impediment to bringing new people into the hobby and keeping them brewing. While there are small-batch entry-level kits and plenty of ways to start small and keep going that way, the 5-gallon batch is the implicit default batch size, and it drives how long a typical brew day is, the average cost of a homebrew session, and what kind of equipment is needed to manage the process, from extraction to carbonation. It also assumes that there are points in the process where the homebrewer can successfully lift very large quantities of liquid and/or wet grain or acquire the equipment to do so.

The hobby seems much more open to smaller batch brewing than when I started brewing in early 2009, but there's still that 5-gallon mindset. It's as if the bakers on that British baking show had to not just bake really great cake, but bake a cake the size of a small shed.

35
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/

36
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?


37
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.

38
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).

39
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.

40
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

41
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

42
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.

43
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. :-)

44
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.

45
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.

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 64