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Messages - leejoreilly

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1
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg Lines
« on: May 27, 2017, 06:17:19 AM »
I have one of those homemade pumps for beer line cleaner (small pressure sprayer from Home Depot with a liquid-out post attached). When a keg blows, I'll run some beer line cleaner through the line and the tap for a minute or so. I'll leave the residual BLC in the lines until I hook up the next keg, which could be minutes if one is waiting, or a couple of weeks, depending on brewing schedule.

I'll also break down the entire "wet side" of the system, clean the parts thoroughly, and maybe replace the lines, but I only do this maybe every year or so.

2
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I can make some delicious wort
« on: May 18, 2017, 05:19:48 AM »

But, I may have just gotten sloppy on fermentation. I have been cutting the time in the fermenter lately.  I looked at my notes and the blonde was in the fermenter for just 6 days. That's including a 24 hour cold crash. That may not have been enough time for the yeast to clean up. I have noticed fast flocculating yeasts (WLP041 in this case) sometimes leave behind diacetyl and need a rest. I may have rushed it.

The Kolsch was in the fermenter 10 days. But, it took 36 hours to Krausen and then I cold crashed 24 hours on the back end. I wonder if that was too fast, also.


To each his own, but that's a LOT less fermenter time than I usually allow (I brew all ales, BTW). I don't even check my gravity until my wort has been in the fermenter for two or three weeks or so. Even longer for higher ABVs. It can be hard to be patient, but I've found it's worth it.

3
My mash tun is a cooler, so it only takes a quick rinse and a swipe or two with a sponge to clean it. My kettles (I use two on a stove top) only need a rinse (though a more vigorous one than for my cooler) and a few wipes with a green scrubby. So I haven't seen the need for a more elegant solution. But then again, I brew in my kitchen, so the sink is conveniently nearby; brewing outside could call for a more inventive cleaning process.

4
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Uses for a corny that won't seal?
« on: March 23, 2017, 05:53:33 AM »
Is there a preferred orientation for ball locks?  For consistency, I put the "in post" to the left when viewed from the top and I use red o-rings on the "in posts" for my kegs, so I don't mix them up as badly when hooking lines up. 


I don't orient them left-to-right consistently, but I do use colored o-rings - green for "gas" and blue for "beer".

5
All Grain Brewing / Re: No Sparge Single Infusion Efficiency
« on: March 20, 2017, 05:56:18 AM »
So shiny...

Back when I tried running my system like a BrewEasy (or any other BIAB system), I was getting around 80%.  The big things, I think, is the recirculation of the whole thing.  With the stuff just sitting there and no agitation, the efficiency drops notably.  I have considered "investing" in the doo-dads I need to run my system recirculating.  But, that is just more stuff to clean and to leak and to <blah blah blah>.  Eventually I'll cave and do it.

For me, a consistent efficiency is more important than a higher efficiency. I can certainly see the value of high efficiency to a commercial brewer, no question. I can also see the value of indulging an attraction to shiny brew-dads, and adding more "advanced" equipment/techniques (forgive me, Denny). So my consistent 70% might cost a couple of bucks in additional base malt to get to the same OG as compared to, say, 80%, but I'm happy with my equipment and process.

That having been said, a consistent high efficiency is pretty cool, too.

6
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Uses for a corny that won't seal?
« on: March 20, 2017, 05:36:01 AM »
I had a problem with a leaky keg a few years ago. I bought an oversized 0-ring for the lid, and that fixed the issue. I'm sure they're widely available, but here's one source:

https://www.williamsbrewing.com/OVERSIZE-KEG-LID-SEALING-O-RING-P58.aspx

7
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: It begins...
« on: March 19, 2017, 07:25:38 AM »
Do pro brewers have some sort of responsibility to provide their customers with detailed recipes that will allow us to copy their commercial products? While I do deeply appreciate those pros who do share (I just brewed a Black Butte clone from a recipe that Deschutes shared in "Brew Your Own"), I consider that a generous gift by the brewer rather than my "right" as a consumer. I don't expect my favorite Italian restaurant to provide me with a detailed recipe for their famous red sauce...

Nobody is suggesting there is a right to a pro recipe but it has been the norm for a long time that when you buy a recipe kit that it comes with the recipe. To not offer the recipe makes the kit less valuable.

Sorry, that came across as a challenge and I meant it more as a question for discussion.

8
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: It begins...
« on: March 18, 2017, 07:08:35 AM »
Do pro brewers have some sort of responsibility to provide their customers with detailed recipes that will allow us to copy their commercial products? While I do deeply appreciate those pros who do share (I just brewed a Black Butte clone from a recipe that Deschutes shared in "Brew Your Own"), I consider that a generous gift by the brewer rather than my "right" as a consumer. I don't expect my favorite Italian restaurant to provide me with a detailed recipe for their famous red sauce...

Further, I think that being able to develop my own "clone" for my favorite brew is one of the most interesting challenges in homebrewing. Although, truth be told, whenever I start out trying to perfect a clone recipe, I always seem to veer off toward my own preferences in version 2 or 3; but I digress. But I'm never gonna exactly replicate a commercial brew anyway - too many variables.

9
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Am I ready to bottle?
« on: September 29, 2016, 06:21:09 AM »
I use refractometer to determine if I'm done, and hydrometer to get the actual number. My refractometer is garbage, so I'd maybe us it if it was higher quality.

This^^^. You're not using the refractometer to MEASURE FG, just to see whether it's stable yet. Taking repeated measurements with a hydrometer uses much more beer (though you can drink the sample after you take your measurement).

10
Kegging and Bottling / Re: CO2 supply source and gas filtration
« on: July 10, 2016, 05:34:59 AM »
I wonder how long it will be before some enterprising supplier starts selling "organic" CO2?

I'm not using it unless it's "artisanal", too.

11
Kegging and Bottling / Re: CO 2 Questions
« on: June 22, 2016, 06:24:34 AM »
CO2 is sold by weight, not fill level; e.g., I have a 20 lb canister, which is 20 lbs of (mostly liquid) CO2. All of the canisters I've seen also have a tare weight (weight of the container) stamped into their sides. So you can measure the fill of your can by weighting it and subtracting the tare weight.

My gauge reads in psi, at about 800 psi new and stays steady as the level decreases. When it gets close to empty, it'll drop fairly quickly to maybe 200-300 psi. I keep a second 5 lb can as a back-up, to use until I can get the 20 refilled.

I also keep the gas connected constantly. And I fully agree with HoosierBrew's liberal use of keg lube - cheap insurance - and the 30 psi seat-the-lid process.

12
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Rut, but ok with it
« on: June 09, 2016, 05:05:27 AM »
Maybe plateau is the proper word, so long as it doesn't imply summit. And it's not a boredom thing, I still look forward to brewing. I'm actually brewing right now. Its more of a plateau/rut as far as trying to learn new stuff, explore new styles, bla bla bla.

The brew day is fun and relaxing, the beer is good, I just don't care anymore about science and proving things.

Jim, I'm in much the same boat, but I think of it as "focused" rather than in a rut. I make the styles of beer that I like, and they're pretty darned good (says he, throwing his shoulder out while patting himself on the back). There are some styles (sours come to mind) that I enjoy occasionally, but I'm not very interested in brewing; those I drink at one of my local taprooms. I do enjoy IPAs and pales right now, plus some sort of Belgian now and then. I have some "standards" that are pretty much always on tap (because my wife, my friends and I like 'em). When I want to do something a bit different, I'm likely to try something like Denny's Rye IPA - not a big departure from my "usual", but I can be pretty sure I'll enjoy it. I love brewing and my beers, and that's what it's all about for me.

13

Yeah, keeping the ferment cool is my greatest challenge right now. I try like hell to keep it under 70 and if possible 68 or lower.

Cooling your fermenter (to ale temps) can be pretty simple. I ferment in a bucket; I put the bucket in a Rubbermaid 37 gallon tub (Home Depot, $20 or so), fill the tub with cold tap water up to the level of the wort in the fermenter, and throw a wet towel over the exposed top of the bucket. Drop in a frozen one liter water bottle or two and I can easily keep the water temp at 60-62F just by changing the bottles out in the morning and evening. I keep the full tub in the spare bathtub to make filling and emptying easier.

14
All Grain Brewing / Re: Adjusting IBU's
« on: May 20, 2016, 04:31:50 AM »

Does anybody really know what time it is?  Does anybody really care?  ;)

Nice "Chicago" reference.

15
I think there's some "pride of craftsmanship" or "pure joy of sharing" aspect to posting these videos, too. Sort of similar to our "Pics of Recent Brews" thread that's been active for nearly six years and has over a hundred pages of "pride" pictures. You could argue that there's not a ton of value in them (I do think there is), but nobody requires you to watch them...

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