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Messages - boapiu

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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

All Grain Brewing / Re: oxidation risk with batch sparging
« on: June 08, 2012, 04:59:13 AM »
Thank you all very much for weighing in. The response appears pretty unanimous and I am relieved of trying to engineer my brewing equiptment too much. Batch sparging yesterday was straight forward and uneventful. Now I can concentrate on all the other details and enjoy the process more.

All Grain Brewing / oxidation risk with batch sparging
« on: June 07, 2012, 05:59:49 AM »
I have done a little of both batch and continuous sparging and am wondering about the increased risk of oxidation when the grain bed is uncovered with batch sparging. I was reading some of the threads concerning fly vs batch sparging and noticed simplicity and wort clarity mentioned but not oxidation. Is oxidation such a small problem that it doesn't out weigh the other benefits? In the March-April 2008 BYO there is an article comparing the two methods and it mentioned a sort of hybrid technique where the wort is drained but not completely, so that the grain bed remains covered and then additional water added prior to draining again. This process is repeated as often as needed until the correct boil volume is obtained. I may give this a try as I no longer have a set up that allows me to both add water and drain simultaneously.

I am curious if folks more experienced with batch sparging have any issues with oxidation.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: when is fermentation through
« on: May 31, 2012, 06:24:58 AM »
Thanks a bunch for the advice. I will wait my usual time frame before I keg and bottle. You shouldn't rush such a work of art.  ;)

Yeast and Fermentation / when is fermentation through
« on: May 30, 2012, 08:00:30 AM »
I have been all grain brewing for almost a year now and, pretty much, always followed a formula of two weeks in primary and one week in secondary and then keg/bottle. I have been reading posts reflecting the opinion that secondary is not necessary, perhaps even unwise, unless conditions such as dry hopping, lagerring or some others dictate it. So my question is how to determine when to rack to the keg based on temperature. I have those stick on thermometer things on both my fermentation buckets and the temperature reads 70 deg F and there is only an occasional bubble in the airlock. I brewed six days ago on May 24 and the fermentation got off to a great start, bubbling away during the first 24 hours. The temperature rose to 74 deg F during the first several days (I was out of town during some of that time). The fermentation chamber is a temperature controlled chest freezer held at 70 deg F, plus or minus a couple deg.
So, should I rack to my keg/bottles or give the yeast more time to clean things up despite the obvious temperature drop?
Thanks in advance.

Equipment and Software / Re: Tired of crappy therm and hydrometer
« on: May 27, 2012, 05:18:01 AM »
Did anyone mention 'THERMOPEN' ? I bought one and it is great. I think there was a thread asking how people liked theirs and it had many posts.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Portable march Pump
« on: May 25, 2012, 11:49:25 AM »
I just finished reworking my pump so it is portable. I will email you the photos, if you like.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: when to add nutrient to starter
« on: May 09, 2012, 08:49:16 AM »
Thanks for the info. i will put the nutrient in with the extract for boiling.

Yeast and Fermentation / when to add nutrient to starter
« on: May 09, 2012, 07:33:55 AM »
I am making my first starter and was wondering about adding yeast nutrient. During wort boiling or when I pitch the yeast. I was thinking that the nutrient should be boiled just like the wort so it is sterilized but, would boiling kill any helpful nutrients? If I add it to the cooled wort am I likely to add contaminants that haven't been sterilized?
The stuff is Fermax Yeast Nutrient by Crosby and Baker, Ltd. I bought at local homebrew supplier.
Thanks in advance.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg & carboy washer
« on: April 12, 2012, 04:55:37 PM »
i got "THE CARBOY CLEANER" which spins around using a drill for rotational power. I only have two glass carboys and use it to clean them but I am sure it would work for my kegs. So far I have nor had to do much more than shake them vigorously and then rinse. Of course, I clean them within a day of kicking. And I do not find much sediment in the bottom. ps. the carboys are for secondary, I use buckets for primary, where most of the mess is more easily cleaned out.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: force carbonation
« on: April 12, 2012, 02:34:39 PM »
thanks. i kinda was figuring on just giving it a go and see how it works out. I have five days and itmis only 2 1/2 gallons. do you think that because it is half the volume of a 5 gallon keg it will take less time to reach saturation? just wondering

Kegging and Bottling / force carbonation
« on: April 11, 2012, 04:51:09 PM »
trying to get a 2.5 gal keg carbonated in a shorter time frame than normal. I figured I would shake it a bit after it reached a colder temp. My question is: how often to rattle it's cage and for about how long. the keg is connected to a Co2 at about 10-12 psi. That is about the pressure I am aiming for on the other 5 gal keg connected to the same system.

So...... how much shaking and how often. I can just use instincts and go with what feels right, but I thought I would ask? Thanks.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash temp too low
« on: March 04, 2012, 02:12:40 PM »
OK...I'm not messing with it.  I'd have a home brew right now but I just bottled my first batch yesterday, sooo...SNPA in a can will have to do!  8)
cant wait for those cans to find their way down here for my next road trip.

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