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Messages - boapiu

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Unlabelled Kegs
« on: July 12, 2012, 03:04:22 PM »
Wow! i guess I don't brew enough. I also only own 3 kegs but I don't think I have ever marked a carboy or keg. hmm... wonder if I am doing it wrong?
same here,
but I keep telling myself, "I can remember this." unfortunately, I am not able to remember often enough. I have started with the painters blue masking tape. it goes on easy and comes off - so far.

Ingredients / backwards recipe creation
« on: July 12, 2012, 02:42:43 PM »
Not sure that subject describes the question but here goes: I have a bunch of hops and some yeast and want to make some beer. Is there a web site or something that I can begin with either hops or yeast and come up with the other ingredients for the brew? I am manually searching my back issues of BYO and Zymurgy but it is time consuming and I want to place an order for grain. Oh yeah, that is the missing ingredient and I want to determine how much of what for the grain bill. Thanks in advance.
back to the search.....

Thinking about something like this on my next brew. A pale ale malt bill and two different yeasts. I brew 10 gals and two separate fermenters. Considering a San Fran lager for one and a English ale or London ale for the other. All three are past expiration so a starter is required prior to use. Fermentation temps will be the same unless I figure how to keep one bucket in an air conditioned part of the house and the other in the regulated chamber. Looking forward to it whatever the result. I just hope to make a tasty brew.

Equipment and Software / Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
« on: June 28, 2012, 09:40:28 AM »
Mixstir, paint stirrer, never heard of the first and didn't think of the second. what a great wealth of info these forums are. I will have to give these a try my next batch. Thanks a bunch.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Plate Chiller or Whirlpool
« on: June 24, 2012, 04:55:47 AM »
I use the 50 ft immersion chiller with a 10 gal batch size. My pump recirculates the wort thru the boil kettle. I run ground water from the faucet thru the IC until the temp is nearing 100-110 then pump ice water thru the IC using a pond pump submerged in a deep sink full of ice water. Of course, your mileage will vary depending on the set up but I reach 70 deg in about 25-30 min. The ground water at my house is rarely less than 80 deg so without some means to cool it, ice water, I could never get wort below 80. As to your question, prior to using a pump to recirculate the wort my chilling time was around an hour. A submersible pond pump is fairly inexpensive. Mine was left over from a previous project and this was just a way to put it to use. A secondary immersion chiller could provide the same results, I suppose.

Equipment and Software / Aeration? How important is the method?
« on: June 22, 2012, 01:27:20 PM »
My next system upgrade may be an aquarium pump for aerating the wort. At present I am pouring from bucket to bucket a couple times and results are fine. But along with implementing yeast starters I figured an aeration system would be a logical step. Opinions on pros and cons and good ideas about technique are welcome. I already bought a stone and HEPA filter a while back, got ahead of myself in the beginning. Now with harvesting yeast and making starters to help things get going, well, the hobby can be a self licking ice cream cone. I wonder what kinds of different methods folks are using and what the various opinions are.
ps. My transition to batch sparging has yielded excellent results and I can't see going back to trying to fly sparge. I'm still using my pump to vorlauf and am pleased with how clear the wort is.
Thanks in advance.

I am trying to remember my set up when I used a side by side fridge freezer for fermentation. I think the freezer part was just where I stored some extra grains in zip lock bags to ensure they were safe from bugs. The temp controller could only reliably keep one side at consistent setting. Another thing to keep in mind is that a full carboy or fermentation bucket is probably too heavy for most shelving. In my present incarnation I have a piece of wood cut to length that acts as a brace to support the shelf when I have carboys sitting on it.

I read one of the reviews and it stated the freezer coils are imbedded in the shelves. That means you won't be able to remove or adjust the shelves. Which means buckets or carboys won't fit.

I opted for a stand up freezer. With one temperature controller, that is better than a fridge-freezer combo. And I did not want to lift carboys and buckets in and out of a chest model. Mine holds two buckets on the bottom and two carboys above them on a shelf. There is still storage in the door. Make sure the shelves are removable. Some actually are part of the cooling system and can't be removed.

Equipment and Software / Re: How big for a homebrewer?
« on: June 12, 2012, 03:47:48 PM »
The latest BYO has an add for the Ruby Street Brewing Mega Ruby. It is capable of 20 gallon batches, featuring 30 gallon kettles. I covet this and have slowly been adapting my home made brew stand into something that looks like their product. Of course, I have very limited space.
If I were you and had such seemingly limitless possibilities, I would scourge the NET for examples of systems, brew sheds, etc, etc and realize your dream.

One such link is

Lots of examples of brewing rigs. Good luck.

I don't think it makes better beer but shaves just a few minutes off the brewday. But I made up for that time by NOT using the pump or recirculating icewater. All of this takes time to hook up and monitor. Takes a bit of extra cleaning and tear-down as well. I'm ahead at the end of the day.

I give the wort the stirs it needs and get it as low and as close to my groundwater as possible. In the winter the tap-water is 65F. Perfect! In the spring-summer-fall it gets as high as 88F. :(

Then I make up for the deficiency by placing 2-3 frozen and sanitized 2-liter PET bottles in the wort after I turn the chiller off and stir it a bit.

Making it as simple as possible and headache free is my goal. If it takes an extra 30 minutes to chill the wort the rest of the way with the PET bottles I don't care.

And my beer hasn't suffered one bit.

Curious as to where you live. Ground water temp is so dependent on geography.

Equipment and Software / Re: How's your Thermapen?
« on: June 09, 2012, 02:51:54 PM »
Really like this piece of equip. I bought the flag one and it gives me piece of mind. I check strike temp, already okay with the dial thermo. Then I check mash in temp, already okay with the dial thermo. Then I check the temp during mash, already okay from the dial thermo. I don't really take time to check the boil until I am chilling but the pen verifies my dial thermo when I am cooling wort. Really sets my mind at ease during the brew day. LOVE IT!!!!

Since this was my first with new technique I tracked the progress. Took my first reading at about 195. Then the temp vs time went as follows.
3 min - 165
6 min - 138
9 min - 122 switched from ground water to secondary chiller in ice bath after this
14 min - 100
17:30 - 90 started pumping straight ice water through the chiller using my pond pump
21 min - 80
24 min - 70
Stopped at this point and began whirlpool. Temp drop about 100 in first 15 min and 30 during remaining time, using much colder water. Oh well, that must be the law of thermodynamics.

Living where the ground water is rarely below 85 deg F I have had trouble getting my boil cooled to pitching temperature. Yesterday I rigged my pump to recirculate the wort in the boil kettle and nearly halved the time it took to reach 70 deg F. I still used ice to get the ground water cooled, but not until around 100 deg F. Previously it would take nearly an hour to reach this temperature.

Just about the best advance in my brew session yet. ;D

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