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Messages - dean_palmer

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Equipment and Software / Re: chilling a 30-gal batch
« on: January 28, 2013, 04:00:31 PM »
Currently I use a single Therminator on tap water and when the wort is down to near 100f I change the water source to a submersible pump in ice water. The whole time the wort is being recirculated back to the kettle. It recirculates until sufficiently cold to be pumped directly to the fermenter. Most of the time the minute I connect the ice water pump I can pump to the fermenter. I also have another Therminator that I can run in series with the first running tap water and the second one running ice water, and this can go directly to the fermenter a lot sooner. With the two hooked up, I still recirculate hot wort for a while for sanitation, then turn on the tap water for a while to cool the wort down a bit (no reason to waste more ice) and then kick the ice water pump on and pump to the fermenter. There are lots of ways to use this setup, so this is just my method as needed. One plate chiller does the job well. Both are now mounted to my brewstand (lower right corner).

Without going into the math and physics, one normal plate chiller can chill very large batch sizes if you have the proper velocity of flow of both cooling water and wort. If you have enough chilling tap water flow to return wort to your kettle (wort output) that is the same temp as your chilling tap water (water input), you've used the capacity of your plate chiller properly, and you don't need more chiller. The problem I see most often is when folks refuse to turn up the tap water flow enough, or they buy some underpowered submersible "pond pump" that is not capable of generating the flow needed for the chilling water side.

Equipment and Software / Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
« on: January 24, 2013, 04:21:32 PM »
I have used the 15 gallon cornies for about 8 years now. They are already plumbed and require NO modification. Just pop a hose on a gas disconnect and you have a blowoff tube. I have been praising these as a perfect solution for years now, and have only now just bought a conical for 15g batch sizes.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Calculating Losses to hoses
« on: January 16, 2013, 07:01:20 PM »
I have two plate chillers back to back and was considering forcing out the last of the wort with oxygen. The same oxygen I use with an inline stone mounted in a tri-clamp, but then connected to the hose that came from the kettle to force all possible wort out of the system. At least it would be sanitary as opposed to using compressed air. I'll try it this weekend.

I'm also brewing extra to compensate, and it's about 1/4 gallon lost in my case.

All Grain Brewing / Re: how long with crushed grain??
« on: January 14, 2013, 08:45:14 PM »
I've gone as long as 3 months with pre-crushed grains in a bag and made one of the best beers I've ever made. No worries.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Off taste in new keg system - cleaning?
« on: January 10, 2013, 03:56:39 PM »
If it is not clearly marked as beverage line, it is questionable. As others have stated there have been bad batches of even the good stuff. New lines should need nothing but a rinse with water at most and should never be carrying taste and odor.

Going Pro / Re: Business Plan
« on: January 10, 2013, 03:45:06 PM »
From a competition standpoint I wonder whether the instructors will look kindly on your idea of outsourcing production for most of your product.

Seems to be working for BJ's Brewhouse all over the USA for 100% of their product :-) Most folks think the root beer tank behind the glass is the brewery, and not sure if the root beer tanks are real. The business plan is always based on how you'll make money, so there is proof that success is far separated from the moral dilema that "your product" may not really be made directly by you.

Just added the pic of the new 20 gallon kettle and conical. Probably going with the same company to replace the mash tun and HLT soon!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Re-use of dry hops
« on: January 08, 2013, 02:56:34 PM »
The part that makes them special is now much reduced.  Bittering hops aren't expensive.

+1 After all the control we need to have in our craft,  using previously used hops would add a huge variable for little savings and if the beer turned out great you'd have a hard time duplicating your efforts.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dry Hopping in a corny keg
« on: January 08, 2013, 02:45:39 PM »
I've used pellets in the nylon bags with no issues. When using the fine mesh bags nothing should escape that would cause a clog. Of course there are always variables where someone else may have different results.

It takes a lot to clog a poppet. For example I ferment in corny kegs and use the gas disconnects for the blowoff tubes. Even when there is a lot of blowoff there is never a fatal clog. When pumping out, sometimes there is a lot of yeast slurry before the beer flows, but it still flows.

Avoid the muslin bags and other stretchy larger mesh bags.I'm sure they must be good for grains or something but useless for anything I've used them for. Nylon bags just clean up with the garden hose or in the sink and can last for a long time if cared for. They are also good in the boil for containing pellets when larger loads are needed that can clog the plumbing :-)

Kegging and Bottling / Re: How fast do you carbonate?
« on: January 07, 2013, 07:15:07 PM »
I usually do a rapid force carb following a fairly controlled method, then leave to stabilize for about a day connected at serving pressure. Here's my info

Either set and forget, or follow a structure. If you have variables you will eventually have problems and be the one posting about foamy flat beer problems :-)

All Grain Brewing / Re: Fly Sparging
« on: January 07, 2013, 07:08:40 PM »
  Do most brewers have this layer on their mash?

At least on my system where I'm constantly recirculating the mash, and the last cutting/stirring of the grain bed is probably 15 minutes before I pump clear wort to the kettle, I always see that there is a layer of fine particulate on top of the grain bed. That makes sense to me as the heavier particles may drop out of suspension sooner leaving the finest particles in circulation longer and being the last thing that goes through the grain bed.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dry Hopping in a corny keg
« on: January 07, 2013, 06:56:11 PM »
Bag hung from the pressure nub...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Riddle me this.. Gas Lines Questions
« on: January 02, 2013, 03:36:52 PM »
I went to using the same clear 3/16" ID serving line as the gas lines and can see if and when any beer back up into the gas lines or something may be growing. I have never understood why the gas lines are colored so you can't wee what might be lurking inside. Since using clear lines I'll never go back.

Although rare, even setups with check valves can allow backflow especially if you split the lines after the valve for multiple kegs. When I do a thorough system cleaning the gas lines get a good cleaning as well. Everything uses flare fittings so removal and replacement is simple and all lines are universal for gas or beer.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop Pellets
« on: January 02, 2013, 03:31:42 PM »
For hop pellets there is no reason not to put the directly in the kettle. No bag or gadgets needed!!!

The issue some of us have experienced with pellets is that when enough of them are used they will clog up just about any filter used in the kettle, including a false bottom. If you are using a filter device in your kettle the paint strainer bags are the way to go for larger quantities, and every system is different. For my false bottom setup I can just throw smaller pellet loads in, but for larger quantities I need to mix in some whole hops so a filter bed is set up. My new kettle will have a side pickup and I'll be whirlpooling to settle the debris in the center before draining rather than using a filter or false bottom. That said I'll continue to use the debris filter outside of the kettle so the gunk into the pump and chillers is reduced.

Equipment and Software / Re: Pumps
« on: December 14, 2012, 04:24:34 PM »
Dean, did you get the 815 impeller directly from March?

Nope I got them from Northern Brewer, and then I also bought four of the teflon washers and two o-rings from Tesco. Having replacements is cheap insurance. I have had these pumps for many years but have only recently had to open them up for any reason.

I found the first time that I used the larger impeller in my pump with the poly head that the impeller would stop and had to be restarted and would never continue to pump normally. Of course this only happened when I was pumping into the mash and the process was already underway and not during my tests with water :-( Found that this pump head never had the teflon washer installed from the factory. Checked the Chugger brand stainless replacement head on my other (wort side) pump and it had the teflon part, and thus worked well with the new impeller.

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