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Messages - AmandaK

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241
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.

242
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.

243
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.

244
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.

245
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!

246
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.

247
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.

248
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.

249
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.  ;)

250
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.

251
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: June BJCP Exam Results
« on: November 19, 2015, 06:52:39 AM »
Yeah! Good work!

Does that push you up in rank?

252
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Playing around with final beer pH
« on: November 19, 2015, 06:49:06 AM »
Interesting stuff Amanda. Thanks for posting. Maybe over time we'll find some more rhyme and reason. For now all I know is that it depends on the beer. If it seems dull, lowering seems to brighten it. If it seems sharp, raising seems to round it.
Indeed. I think I may mess with the beers I have on tap and see what's going on with them. I have a couple of Kolschs and a Festbier (that I never really liked) and can report on my fiddling.

253
Saving... ;)

254
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Playing around with final beer pH
« on: November 19, 2015, 06:29:37 AM »
I'll be curious on the porter, too, Amanda. It seems like dropping the pH even after the mash could bring out the acrid character from the dark grains - but I don't know that in this case. I wonder if Founders actually adjusts pH in the kettle on this beer or if the acidity of the dark grains gets it there ? Interesting.

That's what I would think too, but if the actual Founders Porter (which is the exact opposite of acrid or harsh) is at an ending pH of 4.41, what then?

This may be one that I let ride throughout fermentation and then blend/acidify in the glass.

255
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Playing around with final beer pH
« on: November 19, 2015, 06:15:07 AM »
Jim, I did a lot of tracking and fiddling on my brew last night. Brewed an altbier, 3 gallon batch.

4.5lb Best Pilsner
2.75lb Best Munich
6oz Best Wheat Malt
4oz CaraMunich III (80L)
1oz Carafa II
------
Herkules, 0.5oz @ 60', 15.8%
Vanguard, 0.25oz @ 15', 4.8%
Vanguard, 0.5oz @ 5', 4.8%
------
1L, shaken not stirred starter, in 5L flask - WY1007 from July 2015

Water profile, built from RO: Ca 51ppm, Mg 8ppm, Na 83ppm, SO4 55ppm, Cl 55ppm, SO4:Cl 1.5
Brunwater Profile: Amber Dry
Mash: Dough In @ 104F, hold for 10'. Ramp to 145F, hold for 40'. Ramp to 158F, hold for 20'. Ramp to 175F, hold for 10'. Conversion efficiency: 92%.

Actual mash pH: 5.51, taken 10' into the beta rest. I wanted 5.42, but I let it ride.
Starting boil pH: 5.45.
Arbitrary target was between 5.1 and 5.2, so I worked off of the "0.15mL of 88% lactic per lb of grain to drop by 0.1 pH" suggestion from you/Kai. With 7.94 lbs of grain, that worked out to 2.4mL lactic. Injected it inline and then waited 10' for it to stabilize throughout the system.
Adjusted pH came out to 5.01. I let it be.
Ending boil pH rang in at 4.99.



So, I think this is neat and I'm going to keep fiddling with it. I'll try doing a smaller portion of the lactic acid that I think I need from the above ratio and then remeasure and adjust if necessary.

My next brew day (maybe tonight? probably tomorrow?) is going to be a "Founders" Porter type beer. I will be keeping the mash pH at my usual for this beer (5.6), but am now curious if this is a technique that I could or should use on a porter. First pass at it said not to fiddle with it, but I pulled a sample of the actual Founders Porter and took a pH reading - it's at 4.41. Huh.

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