I thought my local water company wasn't very good. But this is bad.
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I've been hanging around a brewer at a brewery lately, and he's been helping me a lot. But I still have some questions about things he's told me, and just some general questions.
1) He said he ferments his ale's at 32F, so that when you pour the beer and the people drink it at higher then 32F you don't get precipitation. I'm trying to figure out how to clarify my beer, and I know I can use..."something"...I can't recall the name of the product you can use in the kettle to coagulate the proteins so they sink to the bottom.
That's awfully cold for fermentation. Maybe after fermentation he might store it that cold to get precipitation before bottling. There are multiple things to add to aid clarification. Try some Irish Moss at the end of your boil.
2) If you are making a 5 gallon batch of beer, how to you calculate how much water you should use? Or do you just start with 2 gallons, boil your wort, then add cool water to the wort until it reaches desired gravity/Plato? Where can I find a Plato meter to purchase online? It's generally preferred to put as much of your water in the boil as possible. I loose about a gallon/hr so 6 gallons in the kettle for 5 in the fermenter. While you're starting out, stick to gravity (remember it changes with temperature).
3) Plato vs. Gravity. Which is better, I'm told Plato is more like working with metric (ie: C), it is more precise then gravity. Again stick with gravity. On the net there's plenty to read about Plato - & that'll be what he uses in a brewery, but at home, it's much simpler to take a gravity.
4) How do I control the thickness of the head on the beer? I'm finding my beer's carbonation has big, round bubbles, and I would like finer bubbles, and a thicker head on the beer. How do I manipulate this? There are several discussions on foam/head retention, read up on those. My advice is focus on cleanliness and temperature control.
...I think that's it for now
How much of a height advantage do you have? I'd say you want the kettle 2-3' above the chiller and the chiller 2-3' above the fermenter to get decent flow.I'd agree. I think you need the height advantage. How small is the tubing you're going through? There's a limit to how much flow you can get just using gravity.
...The reason I ask is if it's only certain wavelengths, this might be another reason to consider LED lighting for reach-in coolers...more energy efficient, less heat output, and the possibility to select LEDs that lack the offending wavelengths.
I got a bit of a clarification today. It seems to have something to do with the judging being in a public area. Beyond that, I dunno.