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Messages - kramerog

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Zymurgy / Re: Strutting Your Stuff - Unistrut Brew Stand
« on: May 29, 2013, 10:05:49 AM »
Measure twice, cut once!  Unistrut also has the advantage of being reconfigurable as opposed to a welded sculpture.  I can't think of any particular suggestions for building with unistrut other than the strut is relatively cheap but the strut-specific hardware is expensive.  Anyway been brewing for ~4 years on a 3-tier strut stand.  The stand is built like bookshelves - the tiers extend across the brewing structure.  The bookshelf design has the advantage of ease of making and reconfiguration, but the tiers make access to the tuns more limited.

Ingredients / Re: BERRY, MEAD
« on: May 28, 2013, 11:58:29 AM »
Blueberries generally add little flavor in mead.  I don't have any specific experience with blackberries, but IIRC they don't add that much flavor.  Raspberries do add a lot of flavor.  Assuming raspberries are only a relatively small part of the berry mix (<1/3), I don't think 12 lbs of the berry mix to be excessive.

While berries will add fermentables to the mead, the berry juice is likely to contribute a lot less sugar than the honey unless you are making a "session" mead.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: lacto starter
« on: May 15, 2013, 02:19:27 PM »
The BW appears to have fermented with some kind of yeast lurking in my basement.  The acidity did not increase.  The taste is fairly clean.  I dumped the whole batch as I don't have surplus equipment and time to tie up for an unintended experiment.

I didn't boil the starter following a recent thread here, but I think that was a mistake for making a lacto starter 'cuz lacto is not just not very good at outcompeting other organisms in wort.  Also, I think doing a 3L starter without stepping up to 1L may have contributed.

Ingredients / 2011 NZ Rakau hops
« on: May 14, 2013, 10:44:07 AM »
I was given 4 oz of 2011 NZ Rakau hops last week.  Does it play well with C hops?  What is the best use for it?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: lacto starter
« on: May 13, 2013, 02:19:34 PM »
It has a parmesan cheese smell.  I added some lactic acid to the starter to suppress unwanted bugs and let the starter continue overnight.  I refrigerated the starter, decanted off the liquid and pitched.  So far my no-boil BW tastes clean.  I suspect the starter size, 3 L, may have been too big for a package of Wyeast 5335.

Yeast and Fermentation / lacto starter
« on: May 10, 2013, 04:32:21 PM »
Before pitching a saccharomyces starter, I usually put it in the fridge to drop the yeast out so I can decant the beer off before pitching the starter.  If I put a lacto starter in the fridge, will the lacto drop out like out yeast?  The starter I'm making smells pretty funky so i want to decant it before pitching. 

All Grain Brewing / DO meter accurate?
« on: May 10, 2013, 11:21:01 AM »
Are your DO meter readings accurate?  The DO meters I used in laboratories had a built in stirrer because they did not work properly unless the water was circulating.  I'm not sure what type of DO meter I was using or whether chemiluminescent DO meters need moving water to work properly. 

What's the best way to clean the hoses and the cobra tap?  I clean my kegs with PBW solution and force the PBW solution out through my cobra tap, but the lines are not visibly cleaner even after extended soaks.  Is it possible to disassemble cobra taps?

Homebrew Clubs / Re: Do other clubs have this problem?
« on: May 07, 2013, 12:23:44 PM »
In the last 5 years, one of the clubs I am in basically doubled in size, another was created and is thriving, and a third was born and collapsed a few months later.  You should be seeing new faces at your meetings.  If not maybe there is a new club in your area that you don't know?  Are you seeing new faces at your meeting but they are not sticking around?

All Grain Brewing / Re: REALLY no sparge
« on: May 06, 2013, 08:07:51 AM »
Obviously the beer would be cloudy and have little to no IBUs using traditional technology.  I make Berliner Weiss no boil.  I sparge with cool water so I can pitch my lacto without doing any cooling.  It is possible to buy enzymes to break down the protein and hop extracts and avoid the "need for boiling."  Not sure what the benefit/detriment of no sparge is other than speed vs. efficiency.

One great trick to remove sulfur from beer is to run the beer through a line of copper. You can even take a copper pipe and stir the carboy/bucket/keg.

I heard on BrewStrong that if added post-fermentation, copper can be a catalyst in oxidation reactions.

That is correct.  The copper is oxidizing the sulfur.

Brewing a tripel to be soured in a barrel.  I'm going to do a double mash with the second runnings and make a Matilda clone with 100% Brett fermentation.

Ingredients / Re: Java beans in coffee porter
« on: April 23, 2013, 01:00:48 PM »
I added coffee made in a French press to a porter in secondary and the resulting porter had little head even though it was carbonated sufficiently.  IIRC, I added 16 cups of coffee to 5 gallons of porter.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Topping off a fermenter
« on: April 18, 2013, 10:08:42 AM »
Now that I can do full boils, I don't add water on purpose to a fermenter.  Before I add my immersion cooler to the boil, I will check the volume and top off if necessary.

I used to use tap water, before doing full boils.  If you use a proper starter and your water is satisfactory then you could probably get away with topping the fermenter without boiling.

Equipment and Software / Re: BeerSmith2
« on: April 15, 2013, 08:36:54 AM »
I use BeerSmith 1.  Unless something has changed drastically, BeerSmith2 estimates the OG based on efficiency.  The initial efficiency is just a guesstimate.  If you do not change your process, you should now "program" BeerSmith2 to match your process based on your prior runs, ie, replace guesstimated parameters with averaged data.

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