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Messages - rjharper

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1
Parts came in! Super fast shipping from Brewers Hardware. SS Chugger and various TC fittings. I'll be doing the build in two phases. The first being minimal but functional. No fancy hard plumbing, silicone tubing mostly, no sight gauge or inline oxygen.

Watching this with interest. My 2 cents are to skip the hard plumbing. I hard plumbed, and it's nice, it looks good, and the whole path is stainless or teflon now, but my configuration is fixed. I have a single tier, batch sparge with a single pump, and I cant' begin to clean the mash tun until I've chilled and pumped out my wort. Even if I add a second pump to switch to fly sparge, I'll still need to reinvest in more stainless line, and possible more valves. My buddy has the same setup with silicon hoses. He can start clean up early. If he wants to mix up his brewday with a partigyle, he can run a hose wherever.

In short, I think hard plumbed looks good, and is all stainless but is expensive and restrictive. Silocn hose is cheap, flexible, and you don't need the complexity of a sight gauge!  My next equipment upgrade will probably switch to hoses.

2
Homebrew Competitions / Re: Final Round Scores
« on: June 25, 2015, 12:15:11 PM »
Anyone seen their scores online yet?

3
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Liquid Yeast > Dry Yeast?
« on: June 23, 2015, 11:34:39 AM »
I use US-05 as my house yeast for most ales, and W34/70 for all my lagers, but I still haven't found a good dry for hefe, wit, Belgian etc.  I've tried WB-06 for hefe and it's just lacking, and T-58 isn't so good either.

T58 works great for my wit but maybe it is just my palate. It's the only style that seems to work for that yeast in my opinion.

To the op, I use dry yeast for 90% of my brews but mainly because I do a lot of American styles or lagers. Fermentis was supposed to announce two yeast strains available in 11.5 g at nhc which I am excited about. K97 German ale and s189 lager.
I'm really excited about this, especially the K97. I'd definitely work up a house altbier recipe if I could keep a couple of packs of German ale yeast in the fridge at all times.

Good to know about T-58 and wit. I used it in a Belgian Blonde and it underattenuated horribly (although that was an extract batch so who knows what else went wrong there!)

4
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Carbonating aged beer
« on: June 23, 2015, 11:32:12 AM »
I would suggest kegging both. That way you can force carbonate to appropriate volumes, then fill the bottles from the keg.

5
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Liquid Yeast > Dry Yeast?
« on: June 22, 2015, 07:41:04 PM »
I use US-05 as my house yeast for most ales, and W34/70 for all my lagers, but I still haven't found a good dry for hefe, wit, Belgian etc.  I've tried WB-06 for hefe and it's just lacking, and T-58 isn't so good either.

6
Wood/Casks / Re: How to proceed with oak cubes?
« on: June 22, 2015, 10:08:46 AM »
don't use cheap vodka!

you aren't going to get the same character adding the soaking liquor alone. The process of the beer soaking into the oak is going to create new flavor compounds.

add a few ounces of cubes to your beer and taste until it tastes good. then remove the oak.

and use a nice bourbon or something with flavor to 'sanitize' your cubes.

This +1. All you are adding right now is the vodka tincture of harsh tannins, which is why you don't like the result.

7
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Pulling Keg off of CO2
« on: June 19, 2015, 12:22:51 PM »
I do that all the time. I've never had a problem.

8
Equipment and Software / Re: Beer Line Management
« on: June 19, 2015, 12:21:44 PM »
Good idea Paul - I'll have to remember that option

9
Equipment and Software / Re: Beer Line Management
« on: June 19, 2015, 10:33:55 AM »
I run 9' lines at 3/16 - I've always found that 2 psi/ft restriction a bit liberal, more like 1.25-1.5 which makes a difference.  Here's my setup with 7x lines, held with 1.5" pipe hoops.

https://twitter.com/AngryScotBrew/status/460576796560224256

Question for you and anyone else that has built a something like this: do you have any problems going without insulation inside the collar?

The plans I was following call for gluing insulation sheets inside the collar, but I was wondering if that was just going to be a breeding ground for mold. The other thing that's nice about no insulation is having the collar available for mounting hardware.

So how is it working out for you?

I've never really noticed an issue. I like the mounting options, and it's a cleaner build.

10
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: My fermentation...oh my!
« on: June 17, 2015, 08:27:36 AM »
OK so 1.055 OG, and now reading a calculated 1.028 SG based on a refractometer reading without accounting for the alcohol? 1.028 OG would be equivalent to around 7.25 Brix of unfermented wort, however the presence of alcohol as a result of fermentation messes with the refractive index.

Using 1.055 OG, and 7.25 Brix post fermentation calculates to 1.012. Sound better?

hey man, can you explain your equation please?

thanks everyone....BTW

this is the problem with refractometers once fermentation has begun. it's not even a straightforward equation. Sean Terrill has a tool here http://seanterrill.com/2012/01/06/refractometer-calculator/ it's pretty accurate if you know your wort correction factor. however you have to take a hydrometer reading of OG to know that.

I used BeerSmith's built in tool. This one from Northern Brewer gives a good approximation.
http://www.northernbrewer.com/learn/resources/refractometer-calculator/

11
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: My fermentation...oh my!
« on: June 16, 2015, 01:42:17 PM »
OK so 1.055 OG, and now reading a calculated 1.028 SG based on a refractometer reading without accounting for the alcohol? 1.028 OG would be equivalent to around 7.25 Brix of unfermented wort, however the presence of alcohol as a result of fermentation messes with the refractive index.

Using 1.055 OG, and 7.25 Brix post fermentation calculates to 1.012. Sound better?

12
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast propagation at White Labs
« on: June 16, 2015, 12:31:50 PM »
Actually, a shaker table is the preferred laboratory device for propagating yeast.  What shaking does is aerate the culture in a low stress way.  Spinning the stir bar fast enough to aerate a culture on a stir plate can place significant shear stress on the cells, resulting in an unhealthy culture. That's why many stirred cultures smell foul.

Very interesting. I'm certainly not going to go against your yeast advice Mark. And I only push the stir bar fast enough to get things moving and roused, not to force a maelstrom in the flask!

13
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast propagation at White Labs
« on: June 16, 2015, 11:01:57 AM »
It's a lot easier (and cheaper) to put a dozen flasks on a shaker table, than line up 12 spinning magnets. I did notice they still use foil crimped around the mouth of the flask, just like us!

14
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Sour Gushers
« on: June 16, 2015, 09:26:48 AM »
Prairie has received a lot of flack for their poor bottling practices. Their beers are known gushers around here. Many people (including myself) won't buy Prairie anymore over the gushing and the fact that the owner declines to respond to anybody about it.

I'm surprised you had that problem with the Cascade. I haven't heard that happening much. I would reach out to them and let them know. They might be more responsive.

There's a reason Prairie never tries to brew the same beer twice...

15
Events / Re: 2015 NHC Impressions
« on: June 16, 2015, 08:08:54 AM »
The rates that you are seeing are non-conference rates.  GSA rates are not conference rates.

I realize that so I've got my fingers crossed. In my industry, I've rarely ever seen event rates beat GSA rates, since GSA is normally about as low as hotels are willing to go. GSA was cheaper than NHC in San Diego this year.

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