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Messages - narvin

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Burners for 10 gal batches
« on: November 11, 2010, 11:35:38 AM »
I use the square frame bayou classic with 12 gallon batches (  This should be the same burner as yours, and I have no trouble getting the water heated quickly.  I definitely don't need to turn it up to full blast to keep a good rolling boil.

Awesome!  I'm gonna put on my members only jacket and head over there to check it out.

Thanks to John for his time.

The Pub / Re: Mystery Contrail
« on: November 11, 2010, 11:11:20 AM »
Clearly a chemtrail released to fluoridate our precious bodily fluids...

Equipment and Software / Re: Cutting a hole in my kettle
« on: November 05, 2010, 06:51:27 PM »
Are you pushing too hard?  I drilled a hole in my 20 gallon kettle with my 12 volt cordless Black and Decker and a step bit I got online for 10 bucks.  The drill would occasionally sieze up, but reversing and pressing gently would get it going again.  Let the tool do the work!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Ridculous old wives' tale.
« on: November 05, 2010, 06:44:11 PM »
I have not heard this, but I have heard that bottles with insufficient head space do not carbonate as well.  This could actually be plausible, due to the fact that a gas buffer is more compressible and will allow CO2 to be released from fermentation without increasing pressure on the yeast, and gradually equalize between the liquid and the gas.  This is still just speculation, though.

All Things Food / Re: Ethnic and Regional Cooking
« on: November 04, 2010, 09:29:29 AM »
Thang Long Pho works for me, haven't been there in a while.
Try Pho King.  It's excellent.  :)

The result of Pho King is often unicum...

All Grain Brewing / Re: ph balance
« on: November 02, 2010, 06:58:03 AM »
Very low pH can inhibit yeast activity, however, I doubt your wort pH would be low enough to prevent fermentation from starting altogether.  I have heard a few theories that part of the problem with the Dupont yeast (WLP565/WY3724) stalling at high FGs can be due to low pH, but no one has really done any true experiments with this.

He's definitely sparging, because he pumps the wort back into the kettle with the remaining water and then rinses the grain with the "diluted" wort, by recirculating. Unless I'm misunderstanding what's he's doing. I've used buckets to collect wort and that works as well. This could be a nice twist on the procedure, assuming you have a pump.

It is no sparge, in essence... all the water is used in the mash runoff, and there is no separate sparge.  It is no different than dumping all of your remaining water into the mash tun before vorlauf.  It requires a pump, though, but the tradeoff is that you can use a smaller mash tun.  And it is also susceptible to channeling issues like fly sparking.

All Things Food / Re: Fruit... pathetic
« on: October 29, 2010, 02:24:55 PM »
The average American male has 5 lbs of undigested red meat stuck in their bowel by the time they are 50.

I know you're being facetious, but people who say this seriously are people who use pseudo-science to justify their bizarre obsession with their anus   ;)

We're using a 10 gal gott cooler with a false-bottom for the smaller batches and a 80 qt rectanglar cooler with copper grid false bottom for the large batches.  Channelling hasn't been an issue as the diluted wort is pumped onto the top of the grain bed and then gravity fed into the kettle.

Channeling depends on the layout of your mash tun.  If you have a false bottom or copper manifold designed for fly sparging, you should get good efficiency with this method. Batch spargers with only a braid or bazooka T could see lower efficiency.

No-Sparge is supposed to create very high quality wort for rich malty beers, and I think this is basically the same thing.  You could do a fly sparge with the same mash tun size, but you would need a third vessel to hold the sparge water, so this actually does make it easier.  Perhaps this is something that most fly spargers should look into...

If you're having problems with wort quality with a regular sparge, I would definitely look into the bicarbonates in your water and possibly add acid to your sparge water to keep the pH down.

So, you're basically recirculating all of your mash and sparge water through the grain bed, just like the vorlauf step in a no-sparge.  Seems like the advantage here is that you don't need as big of a mash tun to do no-sparge.   I think the disadvantage would be that since you don't stir all of the water in, water channeling in a setup with a braid could create lower efficiency.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
« on: October 29, 2010, 05:54:36 AM »
My OG was 1.082... FG was 1.014... off the top of my head.  It turned out to be a 8.6% ABV beer.

Even with good attenuation, you're left with a lot of maltiness in an 8.6% beer.  I would definitely sub in some sugar for a crisper beer when making an imperial ipa.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
« on: October 28, 2010, 02:31:05 PM »
Yeah, it is :)

He's using a tablespoon which is right around 30g, but some of that will be left in the mash.  Still, there should be plenty of sulfate.

The salts used for water adjustment range from 1.8 - 4.5 grams per teaspoon, according to Palmer, so I doubt he used 30g.  Maybe 10 - 15 g.

Also, the morebeer description doesn't look quite right.  Why is carbonate in there?  I think they mean Chloride.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Ph question for IPA recipe
« on: October 28, 2010, 07:02:45 AM »
The range of appropriate mash pH is the same no matter what the style of beer is, it's the pH required for good conversion of the starches to sugars.

We'll need a full recipe, as well as the amount of Burton salts you're adding to the water, then we can talk about crispness.  Everything from malt and mash temps to yeast and fermentation temps.

The range for mash conversion is the same, and it's pretty forgiving .  However, the pH of the wort going into your fermentor has a flavor impact as well.  A lower pH seems to impart a smoother bitterness and prevents wort darkening during the boil.  On the other hand, beers like farmhouse saisons tend to have a higher pH pre-fermentation that lends a dry, slightly harsh bite.  I've also had more success with the Saison Dupont yeast when aiming for a higher kettle pH.

The Pub / Re: Distilling
« on: October 23, 2010, 09:17:40 AM »
I'm salaried, and I don't mow lawns or babysit on the weekend for extra cash. The opportunity cost of brewing, watching tv, or laying in bed all day is the same - $0.  That said, I still wouldn't brew if I didn't like beer and didn't like creating things.  At this point, I could take or leave the process and all the cleaning though.

Plus, if I wasn't spending my hobby money on brewing equipment, I'd probably be doing something else costly would my time like collecting old pinball machines or antique wigs.

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