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Messages - kramerog

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sour Worting
« on: July 25, 2012, 08:12:44 AM »
No, I'll taste. I just want to get below 4.3 ph so the bad bugs can't reproduce.  The last experiment was a little unsettling and I don't want to repeat it.  The smell has ruined my Igloo and I'd feel better knowing those bugs are not going to be a problem.

I've reused a mash tun that contained a mash that smelled like vomit without problems.  Others have too.  I even made a no boil Berliner Weiss using the mash tun.  Just clean well and use some sanitizer.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Sour Worting
« on: July 20, 2012, 08:28:08 AM »
If I recall Wild Brews correctly, Lacto Delbruekii, which I assume is what you got, produces 1 molecule of CO2 for each molecule of lactic acid.  I'll try to remember to check at home.  Different lactos do different things so experience with yoghurt may not be that helpful.

Anyway Igloo coolers generally allow air in and out so you can drain cold water through the bottom tap.  So I wouldn't worry about the lid blowing off unless you did something to block the vent.

At the risk of revealing my ignorance, why not use Mr Malty's calculator,

American Pale.  What is the boards thinking about 10% of grain bill being 40L caramel?  I'm pretty sure that is what Brewing Classic styles uses since the recipe is adapted from BCS.  I may dryhop with fresh Cascades from garden as they look like they will be ready next week, which is unusually early for me. 

Equipment and Software / Re: Half Barrel Brew Tower Design
« on: July 18, 2012, 11:59:20 AM »
I think your 2-tier system will meet your objectives, setting aside construction issues that I'm not qualified to evaluate. 

I'm thinking though you could build a 3-tier system that would operate entirely by gravity and do away with lifting and pouring of wort into the boil kettle.  The 3-tier design would probably be a little taller than your current milk-crate system.  You could save some height by converting a cooler into your mash tun.

Equipment and Software / Re: Half Barrel Brew Tower Design
« on: July 17, 2012, 09:52:46 AM »
Is this meant to be a three tier gravity system?  Where is the mash tun, HLT, boil kettle and burners going?  I don't want to make any assumptions.  Will you have access from all four sides?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Simplifying Recipes
« on: July 16, 2012, 10:58:05 AM »
Perhaps Mark was intending to refer to Randy Mosher instead of Ray Daniels.  Anyway, the first book I read that said to keep the recipe simple was Brew Like a Monk.

Ingredients / Re: Calcium Carbonate
« on: July 12, 2012, 02:30:14 PM »
I wasn't expecting you to say lake or that the water tastes fine.

Some quick internet research leads me to believe that your water may be fine for IPAs but should probably be diluted 1:1 with RO or distilled water for most other styles to lower the sulfate and magnesium levels. See

You should run your water profile through one of the water spreadsheets to see roughly what adjustments you might need to make to get a suitable mash pH.

Ingredients / Re: Calcium Carbonate
« on: July 12, 2012, 01:11:33 PM »
OK, here's what I just got from our city water report. Now can someone tell me what the heck it means?  :) And, more specifically, any help with what this means for water treatments I should be using?

Total  Dissolved Solids   591
Phenolphthalein Alkalinity as CaCO3   13
Total Alkalinity as CaCO3   36
Hardness as CaCO3   228
Calcium as CaCO3   130
Hardness in grains per gallon   13
Bicarbonate Alkalinity as CaCO3   10
Calcium as Ca++   52
Magnesium as Mg++   25
Sulfate   211
Chloride   125
Bromide   <0.25
Fluoride   0.54
pH (Std. Units)   9.8

Sulfates and chloride are really high!  Where do you live?  Where does your water come from?  How does it taste?  Your water might be unsuitable for brewing or limited to certain styles.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Shandy advice
« on: July 11, 2012, 01:24:37 PM »
Make a Berliner Weiss instead.  You could add citrus zest to the secondary.  If you must, you can add some sugar-free lemonade powder dissolved in a little water with bottling sugar shortly before bottling.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer and ice
« on: July 09, 2012, 07:41:00 AM »
Keep some mugs in the freezer if you must cool your beer.

Equipment and Software / Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
« on: July 04, 2012, 09:41:19 AM »
Are you sure that it's 5.0 micron?  I have seen 0.5 and 2 micron stones.

Oh you're right.  It's a 2 micron stone. So do I really need a 0.5 micron stone for O2?
No, unless you want to duplicate exactly what someone else is doing and that person uses a 0.5 micron stone to sparge oxgen into the wort. If you are just planning to fill the headspace of a carboy with oxygen then there is no difference.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Carbonation fineness/coarseness?
« on: June 28, 2012, 12:11:14 PM »
If co2 is disolved in a liquid it's disolved. I don't see how the method of disolution or the length of time it has been disolved would have an effect.

Scientifically, CO2 dissolves into water as as dissolved CO2 initially before becoming H2CO3 or HCO3-.  "The hydration of CO2 and dehydration of H2CO3 are surprisingly slow reactions" per my analytical chemistry textbook.  Empirically, I've observed changes in flavor from carbonating water over several days as the amount of carbonic acid increases.

I don't believe that nucleation sites are necessary for effervescence caused by a sudden release of pressure.  The only nucleation sites that I've observed are scratches in glassware.  Work does not permit me from observing a beer at this moment.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Carbonation fineness/coarseness?
« on: June 28, 2012, 08:56:20 AM »
I think most of the beers are bottle-carbed, though a few are kegged. Does that make a difference, or does it still take time?
As to bottle-carbed beers, I would expect the bubbles to be finer if the bottles are refrigerated for several days or more before serving as opposed to just overnight.  If you ever make sparkling water by kegging, you can taste the water developing bite over several days even after disconnecting CO2 supply as CO2 becomes carbonic acid.

Equipment and Software / Re: Aeration? How important is the method?
« on: June 27, 2012, 10:45:36 AM »
And I use a $3 paint stirrer for my drill. Works well and is a multitasker.

Euge, do you ever use your paint stirrer to decrease cooling times with an immersion cooler.  Or did you mean "multitasker" to mean stirring paint with your paint stirrer?

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