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Messages - rjharper

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Pimp My System / Re: Compact Fermentation Chamber Heater
« on: March 12, 2015, 10:54:54 AM »
I put an aquarium heater in a pitcher of water, foil over the top to minimize evaporation, does the trick.

cool idea

Doesn't this encourage mold growth?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Long Draught line balancing, Please help!
« on: March 12, 2015, 08:01:46 AM »
You are doing an apples to orange comparison because of the 5 foot drop. 

Also the Draught Quality manual ( has the following resistances:
3/16: - 3 ft/psi
1/4" - 0.85 psi/ft
5/16" - 0.4 psi

Yes you can use 3/16" at the end to create the desired pressure drop.  Anyway check out the manual.

I think that the claimed 3 psi/ft drop for 3/16" is vastly overrated. I typically see closer to half that. I'm running 8' lines at 14 psi for a smooth pour.

Events / Re: How is the hotel for NHC San Diego?
« on: March 11, 2015, 07:47:03 PM »
I'm a hilton frequent 'flyer' so we're staying at the Doubletree and bussing it probably.

Ingredients / Re: Pellets vs whole hops
« on: March 10, 2015, 01:29:32 PM »
I pretty much use whole hops exclusively; however, then again, I also use a false bottom in my kettle.  Whole cones, a false bottom, and an immersion chiller allow one to drain clear wort from one's kettle.  Whirlpooling helps to reduce, but does not completely eliminate hop material from entering one's fermentation vessel when using a ball valve-equipped kettle.  A good compromise that I have seen used in several craft breweries involves using pellets in the boil and whole cones in a hop back while casting out the wort.

Just dont combine whole hops and pellets if you have a false bottom. Everytime I do that I get a total clog!

Beer Recipes / Re: 11B Southern Brown
« on: March 07, 2015, 12:24:24 PM »
Interesting; that's certainly not what I want to brew! Mann's is only 2.8% abv so I can see how it's hard to get much body in that. I'm going to stick to the almost-Jamil above, and see what happens.

Homebrew Competitions / Re: Aaaargh!
« on: March 07, 2015, 10:15:58 AM »
Now that all 50 states allow homebrewing....... I wonder if this would not be something worthwhile for the AHA to pursue.  I think all of us know that "technically" we maybe should not be shipping alcohol.  I wonder if AHA could ever work with UPS or FED EX, and states that may or may not prohibit alcohol shipping/delivery so that homebrewers could ship beer for judging on more than a "Don't ask/Don't tell" basis...... which seems to be the sort of unwritten rule of at least my UPS shipper.

For your specific situation.... I agree - find out the facts if it could really impact your entire livelihood.   Or......... do you have someone who would ship it and it would not endanger their job or livelihood if somehow the worst situation arose and they became someone prosecuted for shipping a few bottles of homebrew to a competition...... has anyone ever actually been charged or gotten in trouble for this??? 

Definitely don't do it if it could really impact your life to that extreme.

I've never had to tell so FedEx have never asked. Mind you, I have a FedEx account and prep the shipment from home (including weighing and labels etc) so all I do is drop the box off at the local store and it's good to go. Generally when it's already packed up like that they don't give it a second thought.

Beer Recipes / Re: 11B Southern Brown
« on: March 07, 2015, 10:01:49 AM »
12 lbs                Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM)            70.1 %       
1 lbs 12.0 oz       Caramel/Crystal Malt - 90L (90.0 SRM)   10.2 %       
1 lbs 4.0 oz         Special Roast (50.0 SRM)                     7.3 %         
1 lbs                  Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) 5.8 %         
12.0 oz               Pale Chocolate Malt (180.0 SRM)           4.4 %         
6.0 oz                Carafa II (412.0 SRM)                          2.2 %         
2.00 oz               Fuggles [5.30 %] - Boil 45.0 min          18.2 IBUs     
2.0 pkg               SafAle English Ale (DCL/Fermentis #S-04)

Here's the tweaked recipe. Dropped the Biscuit. Dialed back the Sp. Roast slightly, and upped the C-90 and Carafa II a touch to bring it a little closer to Jamil's, while shooting for the drier end of the style range with a little less Crystal and a touch more Sp. Roast than BCS, and mashing high to keep the body).

Thanks for the feedback everyone!   

Beer Recipes / Re: 11B Southern Brown
« on: March 06, 2015, 08:52:37 PM »
Special roast is intense. That much paired with the biscuit malt might be overdoing it a little.

+1.  That's all I'd do, Ross - ie., drop the biscuit. That Special Roast will do it. Looks great.   

EDIT -  And MO is kind of biscuity, toasty to me, too.

Makes sense to me. I'll drop the Biscuit and sub in another pound of MO.

Beer Recipes / Re: 11B Southern Brown
« on: March 06, 2015, 03:33:26 PM »
Special roast is intense. That much paired with the biscuit malt might be overdoing it a little.

I was unsure if I even need the Biscuit with the Special Roast. So dial back Special Roast, drop the Biscuit, or both?

Beer Recipes / 11B Southern Brown
« on: March 06, 2015, 03:07:48 PM »
Looking to brew a southern brown this weekend. How does this look? GF likes malty, brown and sweet hence 11B over 11C, but admittedly this recipe might be a bit of a hybrid. I like to keep things simple and I think this might be too messy. Was also planning to split half the batch onto roasted pecans. Mash at 154F?

Batch Size (fermenter): 11.00 gal   
Estimated OG: 1.042 SG
Estimated Color: 23.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 19.0 IBUs

11 lbs                 Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM)               64.7 %       
1 lbs 8.0 oz          Caramel/Crystal Malt - 90L (90.0 SRM)      8.8 %         
1 lbs 8.0 oz          Special Roast (50.0 SRM)                        8.8 %         
1 lbs                   Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM)                           5.9 %         
1 lbs                  Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM)     5.9 %         
12.0 oz               Pale Chocolate Malt (180.0 SRM)               4.4 %         
4.0 oz                Carafa II (412.0 SRM)                              1.5 %         
2.00 oz               Fuggle [5.30 %] - Boil 45.0 min                19.0 IBUs     
2.0 pkg               SafAle English Ale (DCL/Fermentis #S-04)     


Homebrew Competitions / Re: Aaaargh!
« on: March 03, 2015, 06:42:15 AM »
A friend's brother works for a certain three lettered delivery company. We paid him and a couple of his coworkers to help us unload the trucks when we moved to Indy last year. First thing he says to his buddys, "remember this is not work. Be careful with his stuff".  :-\

Equipment and Software / Re: Barrels
« on: March 02, 2015, 12:22:52 AM »
I also had to ask myself if I could really tell the difference between oak chips and barrel aging. My palate is not keen enough to spend the hassle and expense. Besides, I have about 15 pounds of medium toast French chips left from when I was fermenting 1500 pounds of grapes a year.

There is a difference. The oak chips add oak flavor while aging in a barrel gives almost a sense of sticking your nose in a barrel. Smell your chips, then smell the inside of a barrel and see if you don't think there is a huge difference.

Agreed, but I get round that by soaking the oak in liquor. At any given time, I've proabably got jars of 2oz of oak cubes each, filled with bourbon, spiced rum or cherry brandy etc. I'll just dump the entire contents into the keg when I want that particular flavor.

Equipment and Software / Re: Speidel staining
« on: February 27, 2015, 04:42:22 PM »
I've never had an issue with staining or smells on plastic that a good soak (and I only mean an hour or two) with PBW wont shift.

You stop listening halfway through many brewery tours and just read signs, record boards, and box labels.
Or you are muttering to yourself every time something is wrong and your wife gives you the "don't be that guy nudge".

My better half rolls her eyes and squeezes my arm every time she sees me starting to twitch on tours...

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