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Messages - nateo

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Buying Beer
« on: March 28, 2012, 06:15:28 AM »
It is interesting how times have changed.

When my wife and I were still dating we brewed extract batches together. Then I got into all grain, and pH adjustment and water chemistry, and she lost interest. She'll still help out if I need it, but it's more technical than she really wants to get.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: When is too late to top off?
« on: March 27, 2012, 11:00:18 AM »
Put 8 0z. in a metal cocktail shaker and put it in a bowl of ice water.  Swirl it around.  In a minute or so, it will be in the 60s and you can take an accurate reading.

That's a good idea. I'm thinking I could add my -60min hops, boil for 30min, check gravity, if it's low, plan on boiling longer. I don't think you'll get much more bittering at -90min vs -60min. If it's too high, I could add the top-off then. Sound good?

Woops, Major beat me to it.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: When is too late to top off?
« on: March 27, 2012, 10:51:28 AM »
well, theoretically at least, you are breaking up the colloids which can affect mouth feel if you water down any beer post boil. Maybe it is not a genuine concern. I personally feel that you are best topping off before flame out if ever.

How accurate do you think it'd be to use the temp correction tool in beersmith to measure gravity on the wort during the boil? Or should I cool the sample down before measuring? I usually don't check the gravity until it's chilled and in the fermentor.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: When is too late to top off?
« on: March 27, 2012, 08:05:35 AM »
+1. Watered down beer sucks.

Sorry to revive a dead thread, but I thought I'd add my $0.02 in case anyone reads this later. I've topped off my beers at all the different stages (during primary, during secondary, or at bottling) at one time or another, and never had any ill-effects that I could tell.

I recently made a special bitter with an OG that was too high (1.052, diluted to 1.040), and topped that off with water at bottling. The beer definitely tastes watery now, and it's bumming me out. So I would say use caution when topping off low gravity beers, and don't worry about topping off higher gravity and fuller-flavored beers.

Ingredients / Re: White Table Sugar
« on: March 26, 2012, 12:55:00 PM »
I have found no difference in the end result between using inverted or non inverted sugar.  It seems to be an issue where theory is overwhelming simply tasting the beer and deciding.

The only reason I'll invert my sugar is for ease of handling. I really can't tell a flavor difference between invert and plain. I have noticed a difference between dextrose and sucrose, though. A large amount of dextrose with phenolic yeast (I've only tried it with T-58 so far) gives the beer more clove. This is only apparent in large amounts (like 20% of fermentables). I might be completely wrong and it's just coincidental.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Table Sugar Starter
« on: March 26, 2012, 12:44:44 PM »
ETA: I did some starter trials a few years ago. All else being equal, using DME grew 93% more yeast than sucrose.

On "another" brewing forum, someone was arguing that pure sucrose would work just as well as a malt-based starter medium. It's nice to see some numbers support my position. My gut told me sucrose wouldn't work as well, but I didn't have any numbers to back it up.

Going Pro / Re: Looking into starting a meadery
« on: March 25, 2012, 12:14:56 PM »
Last night I ran out of homebrew. I've spent every free day over the last few months working on business plans and doing research, and haven't had any time to brew. It occurred to me that if I did get the meadery off  the ground, I probably wouldn't be able to brew recreationally more than a few times a year, if at all. It also occurred to me that I don't really want to spend the next decade in Missouri, and if we have kids, I really don't want to raise them here.

At this point I'm putting the meadery project on the back burner, and I'll revisit it later if my life situation changes.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: IPA or IPL?
« on: March 25, 2012, 06:56:52 AM »
I'm not convinced the yeast know if they're supposed to make lagers or ales. S. bayanus and S. cerevisiae had a baby, and we're supposed to act like they're all completely different from each other? If it looks like a duck. . .

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Doomsday yeast vault?
« on: March 24, 2012, 07:34:58 PM »
I refuse to live in a world without 3787. My doomsday plan is a single bullet.

I ordered some caustic potash so I'll try that on the next batch.

Ingredients / Re: soaking oak chips in red wine
« on: March 23, 2012, 12:43:55 PM »
40% ethanol was bactericidal with a 1-2 minute contact time in this particular study and found a MIC of 10% for the aerobic bacteria tested and 8% for anaerobes.

Am I missing something? Here's what I saw "The aerobic and anaerobic MIC of ethanol for growth was 10 percent and 8 percent; 50 percent inhibition of growth rate occurred at 3.7 percent and 2.8 percent. Ethanol (40 percent) was bactericidal within 1-2 min, but 10 percent had almost no effect.

If I'm reading that correctly, at 10% you won't get bacterial growth, but it won't actually kill it. 80 proof will kill bacteria quickly, though.

So I guess the OP shouldn't count on the wine killing anything on the wood to begin with, and I can start using bourbon for mouthwash.

Ingredients / Re: soaking oak chips in red wine
« on: March 23, 2012, 08:42:04 AM »
The optimal concentration of alcohol to kill most microbes is 70% (140 proof), but it is effective at a wide range of concentrations.

Do you have some reference for % bacteria killed vs alcohol % vs time? I'm still skeptical that 80 proof is actually adequate.

All Grain Brewing / Re: metric nerdery please: calculation question
« on: March 22, 2012, 12:46:12 PM »
I'm pretty sure most of the probrewer world uses Plato, and wine guys use Brix.

The imperial system makes so little sense to me, I do all my measurements in metric. I couldn't tell you how many ounces are in 3 pints if my life depended on it.

Equipment and Software / Re: Anyone else using Yeastcalc?
« on: March 22, 2012, 06:58:07 AM »
I would take slight issue with the use of the word doublings 35 b doubled twice is quite a bit more than 100b

In White and Zainasheff's Yeast they make the same mistake, using "doubling" when they meant "multiplication factor." They do that in a few places throughout the book, so I wonder if that's just some yeast guy convention that makes no sense. 

In case anyone else wants to try using calcium hydroxide, I'd say use with caution. I ended up using a bit too much and the mead ended up seriously insipid/flat from low acidity. It had a pretty strong "mineral" fault. My wife said it tasted like a pepto bismol chew tab.

FWIW I ended up adding about 0.75g/L over the course of fermentation to keep the pH in the proper range. This is equivalent to adding about 400ppm of Ca.

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