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Messages - erockrph

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976
All Grain Brewing / Re: Double Crushing Grain
« on: October 18, 2014, 11:27:07 AM »
Depends on the mill. If the mill is set well, a double crush should not be necessary.

Yep.

In general, I would say that your efficiency can increase by as much as 10-15% with a double crush if a single crush on the same mill is subpar.  YMMV
Sounds about right to me. Before I got my own mill my efficiencies would run from 72% up to 86% depending on where I got my grain from.

977
All Grain Brewing / Re: BIAB Water volumes
« on: October 17, 2014, 07:04:15 PM »
I just read that with no sparge BIAB I'll need to use more water than BIAB, is this true? If so, I didn't think Beersmith accounted for it. Any insights into a calculation or online calc?
That doesn't make much sense to me. First of all, true BIAB as it was initially developed is the no-sparge variety. Secondly, the whole idea of no-sparge is simply to use your full volume of water all at once. There really shouldn't be much difference. If anything, no-sparge may use a little less water, since the extra thin mash leads to less water retention by the grains.

978
Equipment and Software / Re: PSA, don't use scotch brite sponges on SS!
« on: October 17, 2014, 06:59:31 PM »
Forgot that those green scotch brite sponges will make micro scratches in SS. Probably doesn't matter a damn, but thought I'd mention...Nice patina on my new kettle!
I use the blue ones for my stainless and plastics. Those are much gentler and won't scratch the metal. I've also used some natural, bamboo-based ones with similar results.

979
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast starter time question
« on: October 17, 2014, 06:57:23 PM »
OK, time to put some of this new knowledge to practice. I have a 3L starter going now of 1.052ish wort using about 100mL of 3-week old slurry of WY1968 from a 1.045 batch. The batch I'm pitching into will be just under 3 gallons of ~1.088 Baltic Porter. It is right about 18 hours in and I still have a good krausen on the starter. But, despite all my reservations,  its's going in the fridge anyways. Wish me luck.

Important consideration - when attempting to cold crash an active starter, make sure you take it below the low end of the yeast's active range. I had no idea that WY1968 would still ferment at 48F, but 7 hours later in my fridge it still had a thick krausen and was holding a couple of degrees above ambient with no sign of flocculation. Moved it to the 36F keezer and will check back in the morning.

980
All Grain Brewing / Re: Crushed Grain Shelf Life
« on: October 17, 2014, 06:41:53 PM »
The sooner you can use it the better, but a few weeks up to a month or two is fine. Specialty grains tend to do better over time than base malts.

981
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Airlock blow out
« on: October 17, 2014, 06:40:12 PM »
Phew that's a relieve. To be honest this is only my 3rd brew and it's never happened before. I'm not 100% clear what the airlock is for except to keep wondering bacteria out?
For active primary fermentation that's all it is for. A lot of times I'll just use foil loosely over my carboys and Better Bottles at the beginning of fermentation.

For extended aging, then an airlock serves the more important function of allowing CO2 to escape without letting oxygen in.

982
It's more than just color to me. Dunkelweizens are richer than a straight up hefe. I like about 30% Munich, a half pound of CaraMunich III and then a dehusked roast malt to adjust for color (Carafa Special or Midnight Wheat).

983
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast starter time question
« on: October 17, 2014, 10:13:26 AM »
OK, time to put some of this new knowledge to practice. I have a 3L starter going now of 1.052ish wort using about 100mL of 3-week old slurry of WY1968 from a 1.045 batch. The batch I'm pitching into will be just under 3 gallons of ~1.088 Baltic Porter. It is right about 18 hours in and I still have a good krausen on the starter. But, despite all my reservations,  its's going in the fridge anyways. Wish me luck.

Good luck!

How much slurry did you have available?
I had a lot of trub so it's all guesswork, but I had a total of 3 jars with the equivalent of 80-100mL of thick slurry (a blob actually, this is Fullers :) ) in each. I pitched the jar that seemed to have the most slurry of the three.

984
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Yeast starter time question
« on: October 17, 2014, 09:50:05 AM »
OK, time to put some of this new knowledge to practice. I have a 3L starter going now of 1.052ish wort using about 100mL of 3-week old slurry of WY1968 from a 1.045 batch. The batch I'm pitching into will be just under 3 gallons of ~1.088 Baltic Porter. It is right about 18 hours in and I still have a good krausen on the starter. But, despite all my reservations,  its's going in the fridge anyways. Wish me luck.

985
Kegging and Bottling / Re: b0ttle cap issues
« on: October 17, 2014, 03:36:28 AM »
You get what you pay for. Some hand cappers suck, and others work without a problem. Some bottles seem to work better than others for me as well. One thing I do is if a cap doesn't feel like it's going on well once I start to put some pressure, then I ease up, turn the bottle 90 degrees and give it another go. Usually that does the trick.

As far as the O2 caps go, from what I understand you're fine. They do become activated once they're wet, but it takes a while for them to start working (like up to 48 hours, IIRC). They won't get all used up in an hour or so of bottling.

986
Equipment and Software / Re: Online fermentation using Tcontrol
« on: October 17, 2014, 02:10:12 AM »
I really dig the gadget end of things, but I'm in the camp that enjoys learning to leave it alone. I used to baby sit my fermentors, checking on them daily and sometimes multiple times each day. I can obsess if I don't check myself. So I've found that set it and forget it is good therapy. Lately, I peek the day after I pitch just to make sure. Then I don't open the freezer again till its time to pull tge first FG sample.
I'm firmly entrenched in the "leave it alone" camp myself, but it's mainly because I don't have time and I'm lazy. If I had a way to both monitor and adjust temps on the go, I would most certainly make use of it.

987
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Storing kegged, carbonated beer for later use
« on: October 17, 2014, 01:29:32 AM »
That makes sense.  Guess I need to look for a second co2 tank.  Thanks for the info!
Or just get a distributor box. Or a dual regulator if you want different pressures on each keg.

I just have a single tank/regulator myself. If I'm carbonating one beer while I have another on tap, then I leave my gas on the beer that's carbonating, then just "top off" the keg I'm serving from as I need it.

If you're carbing multiple kegs at once, then you can just hit each keg with gas a couple of times a day at a higher pressure than you're carbing to. I start with 30 PSI the first day or two, 20 PSI the next few days after that, then 15 PSI. It's not ideal, but it lets you make do with what you have.

988
The culture that I subcultured this evening is one of those strains.  It is also the most box of chocolates-like culture that I have propagated thus far.  I only know its genus (Saccharomyces), species (cerevisiae), and its anonymized source (ale, England, beer).   I have absolutely no idea of how the beer is going to turn out.  Heck, I may have spent the better part of a C-note on a Whitbread B culture.

Well, the mystery strain is more than likely not Whitbread B.  It an extremely flocculent strain.  The cells stick together like glue.
Sam Smith's? WLP037 is ridiculously flocculant.

989
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First brew day check
« on: October 16, 2014, 11:06:22 PM »
Ok i opened my first bottle. (Maple syrup Ale) Nice dark color and carbonation was ok. Maybe a little light.  The taste was pretty good but i thought i was a little watery. As i have had a few over the past few days i think maybe not. Overall i am quite happy with my first batch. I am going to keep a 6 pack for 6 months to. evaluate it later. My wife wants me to do a pumpkin ale next. She wants strong pumpkin and cinn flavors. Anybody have an extract kit recipe that they have kicked up? As for me. I want to try a stronger thicker more alcohol content. Extract. Im thinking a stout but would like to get some opinions. Thanks to all and i cant wait to do this again.

How long has it been carbonating in the bottle? Most bottles are drinkable around 2 weeks in, but carbonation will continue to develop for 3-4 weeks. You should notice an improvement over time (if it lasts that long :) )

Congratulations on a successful first batch!

990
All Grain Brewing / Re: Hop stand newbie advice
« on: October 16, 2014, 11:02:47 PM »
Sounds like a plan  :)
Just remember that each gram of hops added will soak up around 15ml of wort. You may want to adjust your recipe to account for this and ensure you end up with the amount of beer you desire at the end.
Good luck.
Good point here, although that estimate seems a bit high. That works out to almost 2 gallons for a pound of hops. I've stuffed a pound of hops in 1 gallon before and was still able to wring out a few pints worth into the fermenter. I'd say a gallon per pound of hops is closer to what I get.

But that brings up another good point. You will have a LOT of hop material in the kettle, and you will want to keep as much out of your fermenter as possible. I'm not sure what your rig looks like, but a hopback (or something equivalent) will be really helpful.

I brew 3 gallon batches (2 gallons for IPA  ;D ), so this may not work as well at different scales. What I've done is rack to my fermenter through an autosiphon. I stuff a nylon stocking with an ounce or so of whole cone hops and zip-tie it to the outflow from the tubing. This is a great filter bed and it catches most of the gunk flowing through from the kettle.

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