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Messages - duboman

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151
Beer Recipes / Re: Hard Root Beer - Anyone have a recipe?
« on: December 15, 2015, 12:09:52 PM »
Stores can't keep it stocked still? Over the last year friends constantly sent me articles regarding the hype, which I suspect to be manufactured, but I see it every time I'm at the store. I have a harder time finding SN Celebration than NYFRB.

Tried it once and that is all I need. I would likely get sick if I drank two.
The company is based in Waukonda, IL so for me its local in stores and several bars have the 10% on tap keeping it at the forefront but I know sales have slowed. I really think it'll prove to be a fad, not sure what Pabst paid , not sure it will prove to be worth it...

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152
Beer Recipes / Re: Hard Root Beer - Anyone have a recipe?
« on: December 15, 2015, 11:11:17 AM »
Yes, forgot to mention, if you do keg a root beer you definitely will then have a designated keg and lines for that, essentially permanently. IME, even swapping out seals and such does not remove the root beer taste from the keg, same goes for the lines. Mine is on tap year round so it's not an issue but if you don't plan on doing that you will be swapping everything out for new.

As for the commercial ones out there, I know of Sprechers and Not your Father's Root Beer. Sprechers is meh, don't really know anyone that cares for it. The 10% Not Your Father's is usually what everyone tries to clone and what got me going on mine. There are serious rumors though that this version is not a 100% malt beverage as they claim and there are actually a few articles on this. They also supposedly have a 30% version with the same claim and it's really impossible that it's true. The 6 pack version is 5-6%, bought by Pabst now for distribution and I find it has a really weird aftertaste, not a fan but stores can't really keep it stocked. Curious to see how it continues to do or if it turns out to be a short lived fad.

153
Beer Recipes / Re: Hard Root Beer - Anyone have a recipe?
« on: December 15, 2015, 06:09:32 AM »
I've spent 1.5 years working on this recipe and countless 3 gal batches and according to all those that drink it, I've succeeded. Everyone likes it better than the ones on the market.

The recipe is for a 10% Hard Rootbeer in a 5 gallon batch so you'll have to scale and figure things out for a lower ABV but here ya go: 80% efficiency assumed on my system

85.94% 2 Row
3.94% De-bittered Black (added for color)
2.18% Crystal 120
5.74% Table Sugar (added to simply raise gravity)
2.18% Lactose
Approximately 40grams Malto Dextrine
Us-05 yeast
Gnome Root Beer Extract-add as necessary to desired taste in finished batch

You need to keg this and at kegging you add in 1.5kg table sugar simple syrup to back sweeten the batch, add this before the extract or you'll never get the flavor right. The malto dextrine helps with head retention and doesn't really affect flavor. The lactose creates a creamy root beer feel. There are other extract manufacturers but I have found Gnome to be the best, truest root beer. I will say it is a bit wintergreen so if you are not a fan of that substitute it with another.

If you have any questions let me know. If you give it a try I'd love to know anyone's thoughts on it. I basically have it on tap year  round and easily go through 15-20 gallons per year

Cheers!
Gary

I'm going to try a variation on this first. I may try to get the gravity lower and up the lactic to try to get a lower ABV. Thanks for the recipe!
Good luck with it Keith! Any questions let me know. Curious to see what you come up with.

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154
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pics of recent brews?
« on: December 15, 2015, 06:08:10 AM »
Foam is excellent on that, Gary.  Looks great !
Thanks John, took a long time to figure that part of the recipe out!

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155
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pics of recent brews?
« on: December 14, 2015, 07:18:39 PM »
That looks fun! Excellent contrasting head and body.
Thanks! Super tasty on a chilly day

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156
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: wheat beer with fruit
« on: December 14, 2015, 07:15:57 PM »
I found a pick of my raspberry ale. I had it on tap last Christmas.


Wow, that looks delicious!! Saw your comment on the peach wheat you made, try using 10lbs of apricot puree next time. Surprisingly apricots taste like peach in the finished beer and retains its flavor much better!

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157
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pics of recent brews?
« on: December 14, 2015, 07:09:04 PM »
Here's my hard root beer, 10%

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158
Beer Recipes / Re: Hard Root Beer - Anyone have a recipe?
« on: December 14, 2015, 06:56:05 PM »
I've spent 1.5 years working on this recipe and countless 3 gal batches and according to all those that drink it, I've succeeded. Everyone likes it better than the ones on the market.

The recipe is for a 10% Hard Rootbeer in a 5 gallon batch so you'll have to scale and figure things out for a lower ABV but here ya go: 80% efficiency assumed on my system

85.94% 2 Row
3.94% De-bittered Black (added for color)
2.18% Crystal 120
5.74% Table Sugar (added to simply raise gravity)
2.18% Lactose
Approximately 40grams Malto Dextrine
Us-05 yeast
Gnome Root Beer Extract-add as necessary to desired taste in finished batch

You need to keg this and at kegging you add in 1.5kg table sugar simple syrup to back sweeten the batch, add this before the extract or you'll never get the flavor right. The malto dextrine helps with head retention and doesn't really affect flavor. The lactose creates a creamy root beer feel. There are other extract manufacturers but I have found Gnome to be the best, truest root beer. I will say it is a bit wintergreen so if you are not a fan of that substitute it with another.

If you have any questions let me know. If you give it a try I'd love to know anyone's thoughts on it. I basically have it on tap year  round and easily go through 15-20 gallons per year

Cheers!
Gary

159
Equipment and Software / Re: Blichmann Breweasy reviews
« on: December 14, 2015, 06:09:17 AM »
For Steve, hopefully you can answer a few questions I have:

The first on the orifices. did you stick with the 1.5 size throughout the process. I have read an exhausting thread on HBT regarding various sizes and switching to the smallest one for draining the MT into the BK which seems to me to be a painfully slow option, is it really necessary? Which orifice have you found to be the best at maintaining proper balance between the two kettle volumes.

I used the 1.25 orifice for the first batch, then stepped up to the 1.5 orifice.  I plan to try the 1.75 at some point but just haven't done it yet.  Also, I don't see any reason to change out the orifice when draining the mash.  The manual suggests that you might get slightly better efficiency if you slow down the flow when the wort volume is about at the level of the valve, by just cutting back the valve on the output of the mash.  Another thing I do, assuming there is some head space in the mash tun to do it, is to raise the level of the AutoSparge float valve during mash-out and basically top-up the mash tun prior to draining.  I figure that because this puts more volume of hotter wort above the grain bed prior to draining, this hotter (and thinner) wort would drain more thoroughly through the grain bed.  I don't know if it really matters.

Second, at what level do you set your sparge arm? I have read for it to be a bit above the grain bed, like an inch or two? Seems right but not sure.

That's about right.

Curious to know what you are experiencing in boil off rate, my old set up with a wide low pot was 2 hours over 60 minutes and I thought (Incorrectly) that the taller narrow kettle would be less and boy was I wrong! I know there are various factors that play into this and plan on running a batch of water prior to my next go around but thought I would ask.

I have the boil-off set in BeerSmith set to 1.5 gal/hr.

I am starting all my recipes at 65% assumed efficiency and was curious if you have found any ways to improve on this. Ideally I would like to get closer to 70% since my last set up was 80% consistently, dropping 15% is a lot to swallow......I am already aware of water chemistry and use Bru'n water with great success. I am thinking orifice selection can help from what I've read and proper mash out. All the other typical items like crush and pH I already have accounted for.

It seem to me that you have it all pretty much covered.  I have not tried slowing down the flow while draining except for the last couple of gallons.  Without sparging, all I think we can do is gain slight improvements doing all the things you have touched on.  I knew going in, that I was sacrificing efficiency for simplicity, which is a trade-off I'm happy to live with.

Good luck with your new system!
Thanks for the added tips, it's nice to hear some confirmation on my thoughts to dial in the system. I've got a 10 gallon IPA set for Wednesday so we'll see how it goes with these adjustments.

I too knew some efficiency would be lost but hopefully I can get some improvement on this next batch! So far I'm enjoying this set up

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160
All Grain Brewing / Re: My Brew Day
« on: December 13, 2015, 10:41:29 AM »
Haha, that pic reminds me of my very first.........and last batch I was ever allowed to brew indoors:(

161
Equipment and Software / Re: Blichmann Breweasy reviews
« on: December 13, 2015, 10:25:37 AM »

Thought I would add a photo of the rack system I added to the cart to keep all my equipment close by for brew day. I really like the small footprint, fits snug into the corner of my garage and I can still get both SUVs parked in the winter, one being a Suburban!

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162
Equipment and Software / Re: Blichmann Breweasy reviews
« on: December 13, 2015, 10:21:53 AM »
I decided to purchase the 10 gallon Brew Easy for my upgrade complete with the TOP and the gas version. To date I have only brewed one batch and it was a 5.5 gallon proven recipe that I thought would be a good starting point and have a couple observations from one batch in: Sorry for the length of the post......

The auto sparge arm is a bit short, my guess is about 2-3" as it had a hard time maintaining proper recirculation with the smaller mash volume and kept wanting to just drop straight down. I fixed this by unscrewing the arm and the float for this batch but a longer arm is on my list for future 5.5 gallon batches

You will need to bend the heat shields under the BK spout in order to actually get the hoses hooked up due to the height and location of the spigot on the BK, it's not a big deal but with Blichman engineering I would have thought they would take this into consideration, just a small gripe:) You will also want to use the 90 degree connector to deflect your tubing away from the heat source and it fits better!

On the TOP if you get the Therminator, which I did, and mount it the way it is designed along with the pump, it is very difficult to hook up the water out line due to the proximity of the pump. I am also finding that if you want to swap out to QDs they actually will wind up right against the pump housing making for a difficult connection as well. I had to drill some new holes in the mounting bracket to create a better offset on the mount.

There is definitely a loss of heat through the recirculation and the actual mash temp in the MT which needs accounting for when you set the temp on the TOP, in cold weather, which I have yet to deal with, I am anticipating a larger discrepancy between the two readings

Beersmith now has equipment profiles for these units but I have found the basic set up to be off a bit. Be sure to account for your actual boil off. Also for  your losses be sure to account for wort left in the tubing as there is quite a bit depending on the length of your tubing runs along with your typical kettle losses in the BK and MT

I am really happy with the purchase even though my first batch was a disaster! I totally over shot my mash temp, had issues as described with the recirculation and short sparge arm, miscalculated my boil off and tubing losses and couldn't really get a handle on the various orifices to select  but being my first batch on the system I wasn't expecting perfection and knew there would be some things I had to dial in.

For Steve, hopefully you can answer a few questions I have:
The first on the orifices. did you stick with the  1.5 size throughout the process. I have read an exhausting thread on HBT regarding various sizes and switching to the smallest one for draining the MT into the BK which seems to me to be a painfully slow option, is it really necessary? Which orifice have you found to be the best at maintaining proper balance between the two kettle volumes.
Second, at what level do you set your sparge arm? I have read for it to be a bit above the grain bed, like an inch or two? Seems right but not sure.
 Curious to know what you are experiencing in boil off rate, my old set up with a wide low pot was 2 hours over 60 minutes and I thought (Incorrectly) that the taller narrow kettle would be less and boy was I wrong! I know there are various factors that play into this and plan on running a batch of water prior to my next go around but thought I would ask
I am starting all my recipes at 65% assumed efficiency and was curious if you have found any ways to improve on this, Ideally I would like to get closer to 70% since my last set up was 80% consistently, dropping 15% is a lot to swallow......I am already aware of water chemistry and use Bru'n water with great success. I am thinking orifice selection can help from what I've read and proper mash out. All the other typical items like crush and pH I already have accounted for.

Thanks for any help!
Gary

163
The Pub / Re: Shipping Unshippables
« on: December 13, 2015, 08:05:27 AM »
I prefer Fed Ex, print label on line and drop off, never questioned, never had an issue. Proper packing is the key to successful shipping:)

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164
The Pub / Re: Is anyone here into low voltage outdoor lighting?
« on: December 10, 2015, 02:17:18 PM »
Yup, LED are a bit pricey, especially good contractor/commercial grade, I think I know your sprinkler guy;)

Like I said, you can certainly buy other fixtures and swap them in to existing wiring without issue. Like anything else though, there is good LED and not so good, also for the durability of the fixture itself.. My guess is if what you're looking at is that inexpensive then neither the quality or durability isn't there and you'll probably be replacing them sooner rather than later:( kind of a pay me now or pay me later scenario......



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165
The Pub / Re: Is anyone here into low voltage outdoor lighting?
« on: December 10, 2015, 12:13:59 PM »
What's up with the fixtures? I buy the new LED bulbs that just screw into regular fixtures. They are great. Is that something different?
These are low voltage outdoor lights for path and accent, not the same as indoor line voltage fixtures

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Gotcha. I do recommend the new LED bulbs with the soft light, they are fantastic, and it appears (although I haven't isolated other factors, such as not needing to dehumidify the basement as much the last couple of months)that they are using significantly less energy.
Agreed! I've been switching to them as well, room by room when I can find the good ones on sale and you can dim them:)

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