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Messages - michaeltrego

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Equipment and Software / Re: Can heater light bulb alternatives
« on: December 19, 2013, 01:40:00 PM »
I use a 12"x8" 16 watt reptile heating pad hanging on the back wall of the chamber. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Bicarbonate HCO3
« on: November 26, 2013, 06:43:21 PM »
I believe that level of HCO3 will be fine for darker styles, but you will likely want to reduce it by dilution for lighter styles.  What did the rest of the Ward Labs report reveal?

Beer Recipes / Re: Munich Dunkel Recipe?
« on: November 22, 2013, 08:40:00 AM »
Last week I attempted my first Dunkel and went with 80% Munich light, 10% Munich dark, 4% Melanoidin, 3% Acidulated, 3% Carafa with 23 IBU Hallertauer on a cake of Wy2124 from previous batch of BoPils.  Step infusion 130/142/156.  The split of light/dark Munich was due to what I had on hand, otherwise I would have used all dark and skipped the melanoidin.  Hit all the pH and gravity targets and it was a beautifully clear, deep mahogany brown.  Can't wait to savor this in the new year.

pH 5.4 with Ca 58, Mg 1, Na 6, SO4 16, Cl 32, HCO3 116, Alk 96, RA 54

Ingredients / Re: Gimme some sugar!
« on: October 17, 2013, 07:40:10 PM »
How about:

Beet sugar
Lyle's Golden Syrup

Ingredients / Re: Hop blending in an IPA
« on: September 03, 2013, 01:18:32 PM »
Hey Denny - great topic!  Recently a friend and I brewed an attempt at a Sierra Nevada Torpedo-like IPA.  I brewed 10 gal. and split the batch to experiment dry hopping with some of the newer varieties on half of the batch.  Keeping with the Torpedo theme, they were named Warhead and Peacehead IPA. 

The grain bill was:

92% 2-row
4% Crystal 60
4% Carapils

Target OG 1.069 / IBU 69.  Mash at 152.

The kettle hops were:

Magnum, 56 IBU, 60 min.
Crystal, 4.5 IBU, 20 min.
Crystal, 1.5 IBU, 5 min.
Magnum, 4.5 IBU, 5 min.
Crystal, 1 oz., Hopstand at 170 deg. for 20 min.
Magnum, 1 oz., Hopstand at 170 deg. for 20 min.
Citra, 1 oz., Hopstand at 170 deg. for 20 min.

Warhead was dry hopped for 5 days with 1 oz. each of Citra, Crystal and Magnum
Peacehead was dry hopped for 5 days with 1 oz. Meridian, 1 oz. Mosaic and 2 oz. Simcoe

Warhead came out similar to Torpedo in flavor (balanced hop/malt and restrained sweetness) and Citra aroma came shining through.  Peacehead aroma reminded me of Hill Farmstead S&S#5 with citrus, grapefruit, some tartness. Flavor was fantastic and hop bitterness danced on the tongue.

We had a club taste-off for NHC first round entry fees and Peacehead won the IPAs, but alas did not advance past the first round.  Will try again next year!

I have also used the Meridian/Mosaic dry hop combo on an IPL (all Hallertau kettle hops) that our club served at club night, which was a big hit.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Refrigerator or chest freezer?
« on: August 16, 2013, 02:31:12 PM »
I went with a used upright freezer for fermentation.  It helps to avoid lifting, and with a dual stage controller (Ranco ETC-211000) you can ale and lager to your heart's content.

Ingredients / Re: Single hopped beer tasting notes - 2013 edition
« on: August 15, 2013, 10:55:02 AM »
I'm really liking Meridian.

More great writeups - thanks!  I'm really liking Meridian as well.  I have used it to dry hop an IPA along with Mosaic and Simcoe, and recently used it to dry hop an IPL at a ratio of 1:1 with Mosaic and it was very nice.

Ingredients / Re: Single hopped beer tasting notes - 2013 edition
« on: August 10, 2013, 07:19:02 AM »
Apollo would be killer in any APA or IPA. I bet it would go real nice paired with some EKG's in an English IPA as well.

Nice experiment - great information - thanks!  I was originally planning to use a little Amarillo to augment the Willamette/Golding in my upcoming English IPA, but now I might consider Apollo.  I grabbed a pound of it in the last HopsDirect sale for some Topper-inspired DIPAs.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sparge water dilution ? Lactic %88
« on: July 19, 2013, 10:53:22 AM »
+1 Bru'n Water

To reduce from 7.2 pH to 5.5 pH would take 0.09 ml/gal of 88% Lactic acid.

It's going to depend on the amount of alkalinity more than the starting pH.  In BrunWater, I put in 215 ppm for alkalinity in the sparge water acidification tab (263*50/61 to convert from bicarbonate ppm, according to Palmer).  For a desired water pH of 5.5, it calculates 1.21 ml / gal of 88% lactic acid.

You can also do this in Kai's water calculator; just set the sparge water volume to the desired amount of water to treat and scroll down to the "sparge water acidification" section.

You're right - I overlooked that point.  My alkalinity is low, so it requires less adjustment.  Thanks for clarifying.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Sparge water dilution ? Lactic %88
« on: July 19, 2013, 08:51:30 AM »
+1 Bru'n Water

To reduce from 7.2 pH to 5.5 pH would take 0.09 ml/gal of 88% Lactic acid.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: not all RO water created equally
« on: May 15, 2013, 12:58:40 PM »
Realized this weekend that not all RO water fits the profile in brunwater.

At the bottom of the water adjustment sheet you can modify the values of the built in RO profile to match your RO water, no?

My RO water came back from Wardlabs as:
pH 7.8, TDS 26, Ca <1, Mg <1, Na 6, SO4-S <1, Cl 7, Bicarbonate 3, Alkalinity 3

Going Pro / Re: Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery (2nd Edition)
« on: May 09, 2013, 06:25:15 AM »
I'm not planning buy this book from any retailer at the moment so the price difference doesn't bother me in any way. 

That said, the dues we pay to the AHA are used for far more than discounts on books.  I pay my dues because doing so supports a team of people who have our backs as home brewers.  Without them many of us would be brewing illegally in our home state.  We would not have access to the resources we currently do to improve our craft.  The book discounts are nice but not the reason we all joined the AHA.  Please keep in mind that in the grand scheme of things the AHA is a tiny organization with limited resources doing a very good job on executing on their charter.


+1...agree with all of your points! 

Going Pro / Re: Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery (2nd Edition)
« on: May 09, 2013, 05:28:12 AM »
I was curious and asked the AHA the same question when the IPA book was pre-released at a 46% discount on B&N vs. 40% discount at AHA.  They responded that they have no control over those retailer's prices.  And they pointed out that the AHA ships the book 4-5 weeks before other retailers.  Thus giving members the first opportunity to read the book.  So the decision becomes how much do you value the exclusivity and the support of the AHA.  I bought the IPA book from the AHA since the price difference was literally only a few dollars and it felt like the right thing to do.

I think the real question is why this pre-release is only a 25% discount vs. 40% discount we have see on the last several books.  That makes the gap between the AHA's 25% and the retailers 43% a lot harder to justify.

Equipment and Software / Re: March Pump Heads
« on: April 24, 2013, 10:58:21 AM »
AFAIAC, the gold standard is the March 809 HS.  Although there's another version with a larger impeller that's probably even better.  I intend to upgrade the impeller in my 809.

The March 809 impeller upgrade to the 815 makes a huge difference in priming and volume flow.  Worth every penny.  Here is where I found it:

Beer Recipes / Re: Hopping a Kolsch
« on: April 18, 2013, 11:23:52 AM »
I just kegged a Kolsch last week.  This time I used Crystal instead of Hallertau, and I went with 24 IBU total as well:

FWH Crystal 5 IBU
60 Min Crystal 14 IBU
10 Min Tettnang 5 IBU

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