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Messages - seajellie

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottling straight from spigot
« on: December 07, 2010, 08:30:59 AM »
giga, while you're at it, I'd suggest ordering a spigot as backup too. Spigots are a challenge to properly clean and sanitize, given the interior parts that you can't access (on most, anyway). So you might either end up with infected batches somewhere down the road, or (as in my case) broken spigots when I got a bit aggressive trying to kill things. 180 degree water for 30 minutes may sanitize it nicely, but also can warp interior parts and make them unable to hold a seal.

I had an infection caused (apparently) by a bottling spigot that ruined many wonderful beers. That was very disheartening until I figured it out!

Equipment and Software / Re: Stainless Steel bucket fermenter
« on: December 04, 2010, 02:42:14 PM »
I like the looks of those Fusti cans Tubercle - thanks for the pointer. The 30L one weighs 3.7 kilos, so they probably are thinner than the ole Iowa milk containers but should work fine for fermenting.

Here's a link to one with dimensions closer to the home brew bucket size:

Hefty markup for that SS spigot.

Read somewhere that these things take different threads than our typical NPT threads, so a conversion piece is necessary, less than ten bucks.

Now, about that 155$ price... well I take a trip to Italy every 2 or 3 years, will have to see what the local prices are. And maybe some day the dollar will get off its back. Otherwise, I guess I'll plan a trip through some Iowa rural junkyards (a.k.a, my relatives' back yards ;-) sometime to see if any treasures are about!

Equipment and Software / Re: Stainless Steel bucket fermenter
« on: December 04, 2010, 08:36:11 AM »
Paul, I feel your pain as I grew up in Iowa with many dairy farmers in the family -- I have to make it back for next year's family reunion, with a keg or two in tow, and see if I can open any minds!

Thanks for the links 1vertical, that is close to what I'm thinking. The ten gallon corny is a thing of beauty, although a simple SS bucket/barrel would fit my homebrew needs just fine. The whole thing boggles my mind a bit. You can find a beautiful 10 gallon corny adapted to brewing for 250$; yet every time i search for a simple SS barrel in the 7 - 8 gallon size the best prices are... 250$!

There are cheap SS 32Q to 36Q stock pots out there some of which have dimensions close to a bucket. But as I'm looking for a series of these things to replace all primaries and secondaries, all that retrofitting is not in plan at the moment...

search continues....

Equipment and Software / Re: Stainless Steel bucket fermenter
« on: December 02, 2010, 01:41:41 PM »
I've used a SS kettle several times for wine but not for lower alcohol drinks like beer. I think you're right, with care it would work for beer too.

Some advantages, especially if you can find one with the dimensions that work for ya. The downsides are getting an airtight seal if you had visions of racking with CO2 or topping it off with CO2 for use as secondary. I have searched for gaskets before; best I saw would keep it airtight, but not good enough to withstand much pressure.

Still, it's an option, and you get even more possible use out of them since it's a kettle. Would be fairly easy to seal it up and use an airlock (I have various animate objects around the house that would likely disrupt it if I couldn't seal it...)

Equipment and Software / Stainless Steel bucket fermenter
« on: December 02, 2010, 11:44:25 AM »
Has anybody on this site ever been enticed to find or build a stainless steel fermenter designed more or less like the ubiquitous plastic bucket fermenters that are so readily available? If so, where did you find the bucket?

I've searched off and on for a couple years, and the closest I can find is lined steel barrels at either 5 gal or 10 gallon size; unlined and 7 - 8 gallons would be perfect.

Maybe I just don't know how to search for it, but it seems they would already be around given the advantages:

* much lower cost than a conical or a ten gallon corny (which I can only find new for lots of $$)
* easy to clean and sanitize; can use heat, no worry about breakage
* easier to move, similar to moving a plastic bucket, and right-sized to fit in most fridges for fermentation temp control
* could be readily adapted with weldless spigots and CO2 fittings.
* same container could be used for primary or secondary with use of CO2.

The ability to dump yeast with a conical is cool I admit, but not worth hundreds of dollars of expense to me.

Right now I use a combination of five gallon cornies, plastic buckets, and glass carboys for primary or secondary fermentation, but I'd get rid of all of it in a second for a more versatile, durable, and coherent system of ss buckets. And while the corny as fermenter is not bad, getting in there to clean it is not as easy as with buckets, and I'd prefer a more squat geometry for the fermentation. And of course, there is the used keg option, but the half kegs that I've seen take up a huge amount of foot print for 8 gallons, and take more metal work than I desire to do.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Equipment and Software / Re: Auto siphon cracking
« on: November 17, 2010, 06:42:03 PM »
I too am a cave man who regularly breaks or cracks an auto-siphon, and have eliminated them from my life now with one technique or the other.

On those occasions when I have to rack from a plastic bucket, I use a lid with two holes so that I can mimic the carboy cap/sterile filter/stainless steel racking cane method. One hole to blow through a sterile filter, and the other for a stainless steel racking cane. It's worked with every lid & bucket combo I have (except for one where I drilled the second hole a bit too big and the air escaped).

Sometimes I'm organized enough to have the cane in there during the fermentation, and when ready to rack I only have to pull out the air bubble lock to insert the sterile blow apparatus. Gotta watch the sanitation, but it's way easier for me than dealing with the siphon pump.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Odd precipitate
« on: November 11, 2010, 03:41:02 PM »
Did you use isinglass? I've had coagulated stuff after using it, just like you described. If so, beer was fine, lasted until I drank it all (a year in bottles).

Equipment and Software / Re: Cleaning immersion chillers
« on: November 10, 2010, 09:49:06 AM »
Interesting idea Euge. I'm so indoctrinated with the "boil for 15 minutes" idea that your technique never occurred to me.

Very handy too, as I've moved up to 10 - 12 gallon boils and I'm trying to keep my old chillin' equipment serviceable for another year (or until Christmas ;-)

So without a pump and parts I can add your idea to the list:

* add sterile ice blocks
* add chiller at flame out
* use a gravity-fed hopback for the extra aroma, and maybe kick off a few degrees too.

Must search, there may be a good thread for other ideas.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Will Mold be a problem?
« on: July 22, 2010, 12:51:26 PM »
I think you'll be fine too. Like Tygo says, the best thing you can do is keep that dehumidifier going, always.

I've been brewing for four years in a house with a (sometimes) bad mold problem. If we go away for a couple months and the dehumidifer consequently has to go off, well, the basement walls are quite disgusting when we get home.

I triple sanitize, fwiw. After the PBW clean, if the gear can handle it, I do bleach solution, 180 degree + water, and star san. Never a problem with mold.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP 820 rate of Fermentation?
« on: July 17, 2010, 01:58:42 PM »
LD79, I hope whatever magic happens ... is good magic!

I love the intense aroma and nice flavor from 820. But it's also the consistently worst performing yeast I've ever experienced. Every two years or so I get psyched again to try it. If I decide to use it again, I will buy two tubes and build a single yeast starter using both. I've simply had too many fail to get going properly. Absolutely everything must be sterile when starting this yeast; don't let any wee beasties have an opportunity during the long lag time.

Absolutely Denny, education (or not) of the palate is one key to this, along with our inherent, natural, genetically-based taste sensitivities. I once read that women (in general) can detect a certain substance in beer at lower thresholds than men can (in general). Wish I could remember what it was -- anyone know?

Personally, though I sense little or no diff in a decoction vs. non-decoction brew (excluding wheat or a few other particular malts), I can tell FWH in all of my brews, even at low amounts, in one sip. I don't like it, and sit there wondering what that strange lingering bitterness is, until I go and look back at my recipe. And I bet people detect diacetyl at different levels, too.

Great thread and info! Thanks.

When I started to homebrew, I was under the tutelage of two pros both of whom were Siebel Institute grads, one of which had been home brewing for 20 years before that. They told me double decoction was the way to go, and so I went, no questions asked, always on German lagers and wheat beers (rarely if ever on ales). My third brew day was a double decoction, which turned out fine.

Well, somewhere around brew day #75 I got tired of the work and time. Tried an infusion mash on a German lager. Dang it. At least as good, if not better, than all the decoctions!

Anytime I feel like an argument, I now know how to start one and with whom. Similar to the HSA stuff. Some pros may think some techniques make a difference, and my first guess this is due to transportation and equipment issues they have to deal with. On the home brew side, I gotta say that I just don't see it. I rarely do decoctions anymore except for wheat beers.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Oxidation Flavors
« on: April 03, 2010, 06:46:14 AM »
Can't help with the flavors of oxidation timetable, but this novice agrees with the Dr. and Denny; I've done things that must've put a ton of oxygen into my wort, at temps both above and below 100 degrees.

Never had an oxidation problem that I or friends could detect after fermentation, even with beers aged a year or more at cellar temps.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Oxygen; too much, or not enough
« on: March 19, 2010, 06:42:04 PM »
Thanks for the info guys, I'll give my next bigger beer (a Belgian ale) a bit more aeration like this.

The good thing about experimenting with Belgians, ya' can always just claim that "it's character, not a mistake."

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Oxygen; too much, or not enough
« on: March 19, 2010, 07:05:51 AM »
Has anyone experimented with "intermittent" aeration during early fermentation?

By this I mean occasionally aerating the wort with air pumped through a sterile filter. This would be through a pre-drilled hole in a bucket lid, so no need to worry about repeated risk of infection.

The point would be to potentially make up for the limits of the initial aeration of this system (say 8 - 10 ppm), to use on bigger beers, and do it (for example) for ten minutes twice a day up to the point of high krausen starting to form (or before). In red wine making for example, many authors say to not create an airtight primary so as to ensure oxygen for yeast, and of course there are all the commercial breweries that use open fermentation. I don't have such a sanitary condition in my basement, so that's a risky option to say the least...

A post Kai made in another thread got me thinking about this. His original post was in regards to the good results he had from continual aeration of starter wort (although I don't remember that he performed a taste test  ;)

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