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Messages - AmandaK

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151
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Upcoming Rube Goldberg Brewday
« on: November 22, 2015, 05:44:19 PM »
Jim, I'm into my second brew day today. The single infusion was knocked out this morning and I'm just into the beta rest on the Hochkurz step mash version. Once I get the last data set, I'll post it up.

I'm gonna try a fast ferment test for the first time on these two. Wish me luck!

152
Pimp My System / Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« on: November 20, 2015, 11:42:27 AM »
What's your brewing time like?  As you know, I'm considering one of these but want to do 5 gallons sometimes so I'm guessing I would run 2 batches, transfer to fermenter and be done.  Also, it would mostly be for the winter and crappy weather days...I still love my cooler and kettles.

About 4 hours +/- a little bit each way; with a dough in, step mash, mash out. Clean up is about 15(ish).

One thing I'll be trying out is going home for lunch, starting the process, watching it from my desk, and then getting home in time for chilling.

153
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2016 NHC Medal Categories?
« on: November 20, 2015, 11:04:12 AM »
Anticipating the split from APA I've been testing my moderately hoppy US amber in other comps. So far I've gotten 2x "needs more caramel" 2x "needs more hops" and 3x "this is really more of a red IPA".   ;D

...maybe I'll try my brown ale next.

You'll be able to test this at KCBM 33, as usual. I've run through the groupings using our past entries from 2015, 2014, & 2013 and am trying to run close to the "Modified 2008" from the back of the BJCP Guidelines but tweaking it a bit. Amber & Brown Ales (old 10B & 10C) will most likely be their own category, with APA (old 10A) being it's own category. All fruits will go together in ours, and American Wild Ale is out of speciality in it's own category. Ideally, the 'real' Speciality category is smaller than it is with the 2008 Guidelines so it really does capture the really weird stuff.

154
Pimp My System / Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« on: November 20, 2015, 10:54:43 AM »
Ditto. Sorry the Sabco didn't work out. I had a lot of fun brewing on it last weekend and plan to shake out a Helles this weekend. But yeah, it's a high maintenance baby!

No worries. I sold it for what I had in it (which was a steal, just passed the deal on to the next guy) and have traded that money for the Z and sundries. I do appreciate your moral support for the 'high maintenance baby'.  :)

I had a good time with the Sabco, and it certainly served it's purpose well, but it was time to move on. I've gotten involved with a lot more education efforts and party planning efforts with our homebrew club, so it's nice to have the time to do all of the beer related activities for the club/club members as well as the brewing activities that I want to do. Did I mention that clean up takes about 15 minutes and I can wash the bins in a dishwasher? Yeah, that's pretty neat.  8)

155
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: speidel fermenter 60L
« on: November 20, 2015, 09:58:10 AM »
That's the perfect size I need right now. I have a 30 gallon fermenter and a bunch of 7.5ish gallon fermenters and sometimes this size would be just the thing. I really dislike that they have spigots though. To me adding an unnecessary part to a fermenter that is hard to thoroughly clean is not a good idea and then add in the possibility that the spigot is accidently left open.

You can just put the screw cap on the bottom port if you like since they are the same threading.
Thanks, that's good to know. Also, when I make mead with crystallized honey I add very hot water. I learned the hard way that some plastic fermenters can't take hot water. This looks like the type of plastic that can take hot water, is that correct?

That's an interesting question that I can't definitively answer, but can give anecdotal evidence for. They are made of HDPE. HDPE is usually rated for 230F continuous contact. The manufacturer says they are good for up to 140F (which is the same as the Better Bottle type fermenters). When Free State did a wort giveaway, some people brought their Spiedels to fill. The wort was at 155F and nothing bad happened that I could see. So... maybe?

156
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: speidel fermenter 60L
« on: November 20, 2015, 09:35:42 AM »
That's the perfect size I need right now. I have a 30 gallon fermenter and a bunch of 7.5ish gallon fermenters and sometimes this size would be just the thing. I really dislike that they have spigots though. To me adding an unnecessary part to a fermenter that is hard to thoroughly clean is not a good idea and then add in the possibility that the spigot is accidently left open.

You can just put the screw cap on the bottom port if you like since they are the same threading.

157
Pimp My System / Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« on: November 20, 2015, 09:08:01 AM »
Well, to update the thread: we sold the Sabco.

I'm still in the process of putting together all of the bits and pieces to go from a 10g brewery to a 2.5g brewery, but here's a quick pic of our new brewery, aka "the Z":


I'm having a blast with this thing. Brew days themselves went from being a chore (setup to teardown in about 7.5 hours) to something that I can fire off on a weeknight while cooking dinner. All the work is done upfront (recipe design, water treatment, grains & hops) and then chilling is stupid quick with our old chiller. I'm now able to perform experiments with nearly no consequence (little ingredient cost, minimal time spent) and collect the crap out of brewing data.

Here's a screen shot of my last brew day from their website/software:


I exported that data and overlayed the SG readings I took throughout the mash, just because I can:


We are also getting back into bottling. With the variety of beer that we can brew now, we can't keg it all and keep it on tap with just 6 taps. So we're in the process of donating two of our kegs to "bottling buckets" and bottling in a minimal oxygen environment with the Beer Gun hooked up to a keg that has the priming sugar and finished beer in it. One keg for clean beers, one keg for sours. I'm in the middle of setting up a little table that will be our "bottling suite" to make it easier/quicker. I've gotten rid of the 15 gallon plastic conical, but kept the commercial fridge ("Jurgen") that we had. Jurgen now has shelves and is now our cold bottle storage, which is something I've been wanting for a while.

We are also switching from Better Bottle type fermenters to Spiedels and doing closed transfer on anything that moves after primary fermentation, because we can with minimal effort.

Should be a fun little transition! I'll update with real pictures when it's not such a mess around here.

158
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: speidel fermenter 60L
« on: November 20, 2015, 08:28:21 AM »
I heart these fermenters. I have 3 of the 30Ls and 2 of the 20Ls. I may even get some of the little 12L guys for some tiny batches.

The air locks are HUGE, I'd estimate about 7-8" all told. I would imagine that you could replace the orange bung (with the huge hole in it) with a 1 gallon jug bung and put a normal airlock in it though.

159
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Playing around with final beer pH
« on: November 20, 2015, 07:03:15 AM »
Must... collect... more... data.  ;D

This is great, my day job and hobby are finally colliding into something we all may be able to use. Maybe. If the data supports it.

Side bar: I think I'm going to screw with some people tonight at the homebrew club meeting. Dose one of my on tap beers to a different final pH and see what people perceive... muahahaha.

160
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Upcoming Rube Goldberg Brewday
« on: November 19, 2015, 05:08:26 PM »
As for 2F, I totally agree - except sub 150 where I think the difference is more noticeable. Anyway, all good.

It probably is more noticeable, but I've only ever mashed as low as 149F. And those are my Belgians, which are pitched with higher attenuating yeasties... so it could be a combination of things. Anyway - I'm excited about all this learnin' I can do! :D Yay!

161
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Upcoming Rube Goldberg Brewday
« on: November 19, 2015, 04:56:31 PM »
I'll be curious to see what you think too, Amanda. Disclosure - I'm primarily a single infusion guy and mash North  German pils @ 148-149F/90 mins. If you think the 150F has too much body, I'd be curious to see what you think at a lower temp. I think my pils compares favorably to step mash pils I've had from step mashing friends.

I honestly don't think that 2*F makes that much of a difference in fermentability (and Kai's data points to lower than 149F actually decreases fermentability strangely enough), but I didn't want to do too low so as to throw off the comparison just in case. It is also something I am going to be testing at a later date.

162
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2016 NHC Medal Categories?
« on: November 19, 2015, 04:52:52 PM »
So 29A Fruit Beer is totally separate (29B & 29C are in Speciality?), with approximately 120 entries each of the last two years, and American Wild is shoved into Specialty, with approximately 140 entries in each 2014 and 2015 NHCs.

163
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Upcoming Rube Goldberg Brewday
« on: November 19, 2015, 04:34:28 PM »
I'll be adding another data point to the step mash vs single infusion mash here soon. Myles (out of habit with a 10g brewery) bought me two packs of WY2206 for an upcoming Pilsner. I think the only logical thing to do is to brew a Hochkurz mashed German Pilsner in the morning and a 150F mashed German Pilsner in the afternoon. Worst case is I have 5 gallons of Pilsner.  8)

I'm curious mostly about efficiency on this new system, but I'll also be monitoring fermentability (with FFTs) and aroma/flavor. I've been doing Hochkurz mashes because of Kai's website, so I'm curious if it makes a difference to me.

164
Equipment and Software / Re: Anvil Kettle Dimensions
« on: November 19, 2015, 03:24:16 PM »
I'm so torn between a Breweasy or Zymatic for my winter brewing.  Both are definitely a chunk of change so I want to make sure I choose correctly.

I'm going over to see a friend's BrewEasy on Sunday. Shoot me an email if you want to talk about the Zymatic, so I don't sully the thread.  ;)

165
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Playing around with final beer pH
« on: November 19, 2015, 03:07:56 PM »
I'm not convinced that kettle adjustments are all that necessary for many styles, maybe any styles. And I don't know how post boil ph actually effects final beer ph, because the yeast will adjust the ph to what they want, if they can. I understand the idea of helping get the ph to where they want it, but not all ideas pan out. I do know that on occasion an adjustment of the final beer can greatly improve it. So if one repeatedly brewed a beer that was so so at, for instance, 4.4, but awesome at 4.3, it may be worth exploring what would get the beer to hit 4.3 on its own. That might be a whole slew of things...

They may not be, especially for a style like porter. But I'm certainly going to tinker with it in the glass!  8)

I'm going to really start tracking pH throughout the process, just like I have started tracking the SG throughout the entire mash process to see what happens during the mash and at what temperatures... but that's for another thread. ;) I'll keep these posts to pH related shenanigans.

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