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Messages - kgs

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Brewing today after a year off.
« on: September 18, 2016, 04:17:02 PM »
Good for you to get back to it. Today was your trial run where you figured out what, after a year away, needs fixing/rethinking, and got a reminder of the process, which you know so well but you're rusty at. Next week you'll start with fresh grain (and batteries). I can't brew right now due to a heavy load of school and work with lots of deadlines, so I'll watch for your next brewday. Have a good one!

Equipment and Software / Re: Fermenter Recommendations
« on: September 16, 2016, 06:38:54 PM »
That's weird...I don't have any trouble wiht the lids on mine.  Must be a different brand.

Or you've just got powerful hands...

Or I've broken too many parts of my hands over the years and/or I'm doing it wrong.  8^(

The buckets I currently have use lids that look like paint bucket or 5 gallon drywall mud buckets.  They seal well but are a bear to remove.


I wouldn't be able to open my buckets without my bucket-opener. I firmly pry, pry, pry for at least half the lid. then I gently lift off. I am drilling my buckets for spigots because that "pry, pry, pry" sloshes things around just enough that I get too much trub when siphoning. But otherwise: buckets. Cheap, functional, versatile.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: carbonating keg in 48 hours
« on: July 23, 2016, 12:20:37 PM »
Ok so there isn't one psi I can leave it at for 48 hours to get it reasonably carbed up?

I thought I have seen on brulosophy that they carb at 50psi for 24 hours of something.

Ok, for 48 hrs, I leave it at 30psi/40F. That gets it close, then I drop down to serving pressure. As for the 24 hour plan, 40psi won't vent the regulator but I do know that some regulators will let you go higher. 30psi x 2 days or 40psi-ish X 1 day would be safest. Or the shake method which I'm not a huge fan of.
I agree, no shake for me either

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I had done "set and forget" for my first three kegging experiences (I tried shaking the first one and it just seemed awkward), but this time tried 20 degrees psi for 2 days, then turned it down to 10 psi. The only drawback was that the keg hadn't cleared as much as it would have if I had ignored it for a week.  But it's a 2.5gal keg and it was really carbed up by the first day.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brewing as you age
« on: July 22, 2016, 05:59:54 AM »

...The only lifting I do is to dump the RO water into my BK and lift the filled carboy about 6" to get it into the fridge. Post-fermentation I lift the carboy about 3 feet straight up onto a counter high enough that I can siphon into a keg and the keg into the keezer. Cut the lifting and manually moving by 2/3. Yea, I know more limitations will come, but I got a young neighbor that I can draft to help for the cost of a few beers, Life is good again.

What size batches are you doing? How do you lift the bag from the BK?

If your young neighbor develops a bad back or runs off to join the circus, you could use a pump to move liquid from the carboy into a keg. With that, you still have a couple of steps that require lifting 5 gallons of liquid (ca. 40 lbs), if you're doing full batches. Part of the reason I do small batches is that until I build a pump-driven system, I need to limit myself to how many gallons of liquid (or pounds of wet grain) I am moving post-boil. Everything pre-boil (including mashing in a cooler) has easy workarounds.

If I read the posts correctly, in the first experiment the gelatin was added when the beer was 50 degrees f, and in the second, the beer was 32 degrees f. Could the lower temperature have played a role in creating the blob of coagulated gelatin shown on the side of the carboy?

Not relevant to these two experiments, but I would wager that gelatin would perform less satisfactorily as a fining aid when fresh (unboiled) fruit puree from figs, kiwi fruit, papaya, pineapple and prickly pears is used, as "These enzymes have a softening effect on gelatine and prevent it from gelling properly" ( ).

Good experiments!

Ingredients / Re: Bru'n water versus a brewing book recipe
« on: July 04, 2016, 10:15:42 AM »
Martin, thanks. Your answer helped a lot.

Ingredients / Re: Bru'n water versus a brewing book recipe
« on: July 03, 2016, 11:24:55 AM »
In situations like this, I'd think of it as Bru'nwater is telling you what to do from a theoretical perspective.  Gordon is telling you what to do based on his experience with and tasting of the beer.  I know that I often tweak Bru'nwater recommendations when I rebrew a recipe, based on my own experience and tastes.  I think in this case, I'd follow Gordon's advice.

Definitely good advice, it's just that the delta between his information and Bru'n Water surprised me. Gordon writes, "I adjust my RO water with 10% phosphoric acid to produce brewing liquor with a pH of about 5.5 when measured at 68 ° F (20 ° C)." All of his recipes specify 1/4 tsp (1.2 ml) of phosphoric acid for 6-gallon batches.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that following Gordon's advice produced really outstanding beer. But unless I'm using Bru'n Water wrong (which again, I wouldn't rule out), regardless of the recipe, I don't see how Gordon gets to 5.5 ph with 1/4 tsp of phosphoric acid per 5 gallons of water. The only thing I can think of is that you don't have to be precise with phosphoric acid to get good results.

Ingredients / Bru'n water versus a brewing book recipe
« on: July 03, 2016, 09:49:14 AM »
Sometime soon I will be using RO water and additions for a half-batch (3 gal) of Gordon Strong's Landlord Tribute recipe from Modern Homebrew recipes. It's my first effort at using RO water + additions. The LHBS had 25% phosphoric acid so that's what I bought. My grain bill will be 5 lbs Golden Promise and 1.5 oz debittered black malt.

For a six-gallon batch, Gordon specifies RO water treated with 1/4 tsp 10% phosphoric acid per five gallons, plus 1 tsp CaCl2 in mash, 0.5 tsp CaCO3 in boil.

Working with Bru'n Water, to get my mash water into the "green" (fyi I typically don't sparge) requires I push up the 25% phosphoric acid to at least 1.05 ml/gallon, yielding an estimated mash ph of 5.5. For a 3-gallon batch I mash with around 5 gallons of water, so that would translate to just a little over 5ml phosphoric acid (about 1 tsp). That's a lot more, proportionately, than Gordon recommends. Is that a bad thing?

Adding .25 calcium chloride per gallon to the mash works out ok -- the mash ph stays the same. But adding anything higher than .01 gram/gallon chalk to the boil (with "add hardness minerals to kettle" checked) pushes the estimated ph into the upper limits (orange) range. I am thinking that for this recipe this range may make sense, because the recipe specifies a "minerally" quality--does that seem right?

I'm in no rush, just trying to understand a) this recipe and b) water treatment and c) Bru'n Water. I plan to brew the recipe this weekend with my current process -- using filtered fridge water, no treatment -- then brew it again in a couple of weeks with treated RO water.

I just passed two major milestones in my graduate studies, so I am also thinking "go on, treat yourself to a ph meter." It seems a little odd to make a lot of adjustments and not measure as I go.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Beer quick disconnect leaking
« on: July 03, 2016, 08:08:03 AM »
Make sure you didn't put that plastic pin thing in upside down.

When I opened it up yesterday, I took out all the parts and noted that there is a gasket under the o-ring that was deformed, probably from when I reassembled the disconnect. I took it apart completely. I have a couple more of these so if nothing else this one was sacrificed to scientific discovery. Thanks for all the tips.

Kegging and Bottling / Beer quick disconnect leaking
« on: July 01, 2016, 06:21:47 PM »
It was on the correct post (since I expect that question).  I went into the garage as I was heading to work and saw beer on the floor, then looked in the fridge and saw that beer had been seeping from the top of the QD. I disconnected and turned off gas (simply because I didn't have time to troubleshoot). When I got home, I was relieved to see that I still had some beer in the keg and gas in the canister, so it wasn't a total disaster.

The night before, I had taken apart the quick disconnect and cleaned it before reassembling and attaching. I'm embarrassed to say I had not cleaned the QD before--I only recently realized it could be disassembled. I'm guessing I reassembled it incorrectly--too tight? too loose? I have another new beer line QD in pristine packaging that I'll swap in.

So... when I clean and reassemble this QD... what am I looking for? How do I ensure it won't leak?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Force Carbing and Kegs
« on: June 28, 2016, 06:17:56 AM »
The best info I've seen in one place on how to set a regulator, number of kegs a CO2 cylinder will dispense, temp and psi info, etc, etc:

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That's a good guide worth consulting by keggers-to-be, and I see it includes the typical height of a variety of kegs and CO2 tanks. However, it doesn't have the dimensions or a picture of a tank with a regulator attached. In my case it didn't matter due to a huge [free] fridge and less than prolific brewing output, but I was still surprised at how much vertical height the tank + regulator takes up.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Doctoring an insipid cream ale
« on: June 26, 2016, 10:19:17 AM »
If it's insipid, a touch of lactic acid to drop the final pH may be all it needs. To me, insipid just means "needs acid".

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I was thinking along the lines of this as well. Say goodbye to flab with a bit of acid!

Thanks, I'll keep this in mind!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Force Carbing and Kegs
« on: June 26, 2016, 07:09:04 AM »
Yep - 2 of those will work great for a 5 gal batch.  I would get a small 5 Lb C02 tank and regulator with that - don't mess around with the tiny C02 cartridges, unless you're taking the keg to a picnic.  With the C02 tank, you can also improve your beer quality by using the gas to purge your kegs and secondary fermenters (if you use them) when filling them. Oxygen is your enemy after primary fermentation.

Good Luck!

If you're adding a full 5 lb tank and a standard regulator, figure out where they will go. If you plan to put them in the fridge they will require a few more inches more vertical space than a short keg (I tried uploading a pic to Flickr so you could see how the tank + regulator is taller than the small keg, but Flickr was having issues), and if you don't plan to put them in the fridge, you will need to get the gas line from the tank outside the fridge to the keg inside the fridge.

I started kegging with small kegs this year, but the tank issue was easy for me because our landlord had gifted us with an old fridge we don't use for anything else, so the tank goes inside.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Doctoring an insipid cream ale
« on: June 25, 2016, 09:13:30 AM »
*slaps forehead* That's so obvious and yet, my brain never went there. Thanks Denny.

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Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Doctoring an insipid cream ale
« on: June 24, 2016, 05:43:41 PM »
I wanted to experiment with an all-extract cream ale... My process is good, so it's clean, but it's insipid. (Pilsner LME + rice solids + Saaz + Safale05)  I recently did a partial-mash cream ale and I can really taste the difference.

It's been in primary for two weeks. I can keg it this weekend or next, or I could doctor it a bit. That could include adding fruit peel or puree. It's stone fruit season in California, and we're into strawberry season as well, so I could puree and pasteurize some tasty fruit pretty easily--I made a strawberry sorbet last week that really popped. I'm open to fruit flavors -- I've enjoyed Grapefruit Sculpin and (less so) Pineapple Sculpin, and I like Magic Hat Number 9. But I also don't want something I end up spitting out, as I did when I had Anchor's Mango Wheat, where the flavor felt forced.

With my next batch I'm going back to all-grain, but I don't think I want to blend.


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