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Messages - TrippleRippleBrewer

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Ingredients / Gambrinus Honey Malt
« on: May 22, 2012, 12:23:54 AM »
I want to try maybe 4% Gambrinus Honey malt as an addition to an IPA. I've never used this malt but I have a pound of it and the description sounds like it would be a nice contrast to a heavily dry hopped and heavy late addition IPA using C hops.

Please share your thoughts and opinions if you've used this malt.


I used a stainless pot scrubber for years with a counter flow chiller and it worked well. I used it so trub and hops wouldn't clog my CFC during run off.

It will dramatically slow down wort flow as you get down to the last couple gallons depending on what you're brewing however. The most noticeable slow down is with an IPA or beer with many hops additions using pellets.

I've since switched to using a pump and an immersion chiller and don't use any filtering at all. Immersion chills the wort and it clears sufficiently that most of the hops debris and break settles in the kettle. What does make it into the carboy is unimportant to me generally. I don't harvest my yeast from my carboys and my opinion is the break and hops are relatively harmless to my beers. I just try to avoid getting most of it.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Melanoidin Malt - I added too much?
« on: May 21, 2012, 12:00:11 PM »
Red color?
In the glass it definitely does not look red at all.
It's just gold. A carboy full of it looks almost amber though.
It has a rich color and a fair amount of body for the style.
It's not quite as crisp and refreshing as I would like.

I don't believe there's quite enough hops bitterness here either.
2oz of Tettnanger in 10gal is just not quite enough particularly with all the added Melanoidin and Munich adding flavor and body. It's a bit sweet and rich for what I wanted but it's drinkable. I don't mind the malty flavors though.

I don't blame the style at all. It's my fault for not adding quite enough IBU and blowing the character grains math.

I want to use a similar malt bill for another 10gal batch but hop it up with some Magnum for bittering and maybe a blend of Tettnanager and Hallertau or Saaz for flavor and aroma. Go for around 30 IBU and brew a Pils style instead with this grist.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Melanoidin Malt - I added too much?
« on: May 18, 2012, 06:33:02 PM »
This turned out GREAT. Still some time needed to clarify a bit more but I'm drinking it as-is. The Melanoid malt added an interesting richness to the beer that's hard to describe but I really like it.

This is my first Helles and about the only thing I will say is strange when I drink this beer I'm expecting a hit of Saaz in the finish and it's not there, because there isn't any! I'm so used to Bopils  and German Pils that I just naturally expect it and Helles doesn't have it. The beer is still great.

I plan to brew another lager soon.

Pimp My System / Re: Backwoods Brewery
« on: May 18, 2012, 01:57:25 AM »
Nice build man. The controller and solenoids is way cool!
The BBQ paint is nice because if it ever starts to rust through, it's super easy to sand down and repair. I've used that stuff for headers and side pipes many times. Lay on 4 or more coats. Use a couple cans and it will last longer!

Impressive stuff - the build that is.

Pimp My System / Re: New Brewstand being built
« on: May 18, 2012, 01:50:49 AM »
OK well it's finally done....mostly completely.
Filter mounted, pump shield mounted, switch wired and mounted and rear wheels mounted.
I can brew on it. I will brew on it soon. Yeah the HLT valve and thermometer are kind of backwards oriented but that's how I needed it for the previous setup and this will still work so......

Now I have to plan the first recipe for it and christen it!

Filter: - The hard line just reaches inside the HLT and I could tweak it inward about a half inch but it's actually fine as-is.

Switch: - I took this rocker out of an outdated office machine that was torn down for scrap. Ultimate recycling!

Pump shield: - Made from aircraft grade .040 thick aluminum I had lying around. I bent it up on a cheap Harbor Freight metal brake.

Rear wheels: - Just lift the front and roll it on the rear wheels. Works really well and I can leave the kettles on it without a problem. Can't leave the MT cooler though. It will slide away. Wheels are lawn mower wheels from the hardware store with half inch hubs. I used half inch bolts and nylock nuts.

Full shot complete:

For the record the Miller Lite cans in the background are my wife's. Not that there's anything wrong with Miller Lite........
Note the bottles....those would be some of my latest samplers. Lagunitias, Bells, Founders, Bells, and Bells.
Did I mention Bells?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Consensus on racking out of primary?
« on: May 15, 2012, 07:35:06 PM »
What about dry hopping?  Can you do that in primary or is that a qualifier for secondary?

FWIW, I still consider myself somewhat of a novice when it comes to homebrewing, but I've never used a secondary (thanks largely to the great advice everyone has provided here). I'm a huge hophead, and I generally dry hop the hell out of my beers. I've used both pellets and whole cones, no hop bags, and just sprinkle them right into the primary. The results have been great. Unless I start harvesting my yeast, I don't think I'd ever bother with racking to a secondary for dry-hopping.

To quote the late Slim Pickens from the movie Blazing Saddles, "Ditto".

I follow the same protocol. Beer goes straight off the yeast into a keg. If I'm dry hopping, I do it in the primary and/or the keg. Loose in the primary and in nylon bag in the keg, or in an infuser.

Per Denny's advice and Jamil and John's great book on brewing classic styles, I quit racking to secondary years ago. This isn't a set in stone procedure for all beers, but it works for mine.

Additionally when I used to rack to secondary I ruined many beers in the past ( it's been awhile ) by sloppy racking and aeration during racking. I thought the beer tasted bad ( oxidized ) because it sat on the yeast for too long. I then found out it was OK to let it sit for up to a month and realized it must be something else.

I tried skipping it once and the first time I did it my beer was so much better I was amazed. You could say I turned the corner at that point but later learned my racking procedure was the culprit more than letting the beer condition in secondary.

Pimp My System / Re: New Brewstand being built
« on: May 13, 2012, 01:51:25 PM »
Shelves and pump mounted. Have to wire the pump and mount a switch, add the carbon filter and fill pipe for the HLT and put some casters on it.

For the pump mount, I had a piece of 2.5" square aluminum tubing lying around so I cut a bracket out of it. I screwed it to the stand using 10-24 stainless button head screws, tapping the holes with a tap. Worked really well. Again I just had a box of these lying around so I used them. The back of the pump is supported by the bracket and has some weather stripping between the pump and the bracket.

Close-ups of the pump and bracket. I taped up the vent holes in the pump to keep metal shavings out of it.

Pimp My System / Re: New Brewstand being built
« on: May 11, 2012, 02:16:34 PM »
I had trouble with engine paint, had to go to the 2000 degree stuff. Keep it going.

Where are you using it?
I have no intention of painting anything that's going to get hot because I hate the smell when the paint burns off. The rusty look is pretty unavoidable in areas where the burner cooks it. We'll see because I now anticipate some of this near the HLT burner. The wheel paint probably won't stand up to the heat and if that happens I'll have to go with the high temp exhaust paint. BBQ black will likely fit the bill.

More shots to come as I've mounted the HLT burner, MT shelf, cut some diamond plate and will have that riveted in place tonight. I should have some more pics in a day or so. Ordering casters today.

Pimp My System / Brewstand progress
« on: May 10, 2012, 02:22:41 AM »

A shot of some of the construction before paint.

More of the same. You can see the aluminum gussets.

Burner mockups. I plan to add some sort of fastening to keep the Hurricane burner fixed in place on these lower rails. The SQ14 burner for the HLT will be simply screwed into the rails using hex head sheet metal screws.

This is something nobody else is going to easily find. Under the cooler mashtun is a stainless steel scale platform top from a shipping scale. It's rigid enough to bolt to the stand on one side and be supported by a single tube on the other. At least that's what I'm going with for now. It is very strong.

I had a full can of automotive wheel paint. I wiped it down with paint thinner to get all the rust proofing grease off the tubing and as much silicone as possible but plenty of fisheye in the paint in various places. I'm not concerned as it looks good enough for brewing beer!

I'll follow up with shots of the completed stand in a few days. I need to mount the pump, add some diamond plate shelving and the stainless shelf for the MT cooler, add the burners, some more supports, and casters to the legs. I want to add some sort of hooks to the top shelf to hang and store hoses, the brew spoon, mash paddle, etc. I have to mount the water filter and add a fill pipe for the HLT.

Plenty to do before I can brew on it but I'll gitter done.

Pimp My System / Re: New Brewstand being built
« on: May 08, 2012, 07:24:21 PM »
It's on four legs with supports for both burners installed. I hope to get more work done tonight, take some pics, and then upload. Bought some tread plate aluminum today too.  :D

Couple tips:
  • Get Cobalt bits in the size you need whether using rivets or screws. They are harder and better for steel and they will last a lot longer if drilling lots of holes.
  • Make sure to clean the grease and rust proofing off the tubing if using plain steel. I used paint thinner. This will allow the silicone adhesive to grab the surfaces much better.
  • Use a small framer square to keep things as square as possible. Even then you'll have trouble keeping things true and square

Once I have the primary tubes and fabrication done, I'll be de-greasing the whole thing and shooting it with silver automotive engine paint. I expect it to rust a bit eventually but I really don't care too much. I just want it to look reasonable.

Casters are expensive! Looking around for deals on those next.
Pics on the way, possibly this evening.

Equipment and Software / Re: Boiling out a ball valve
« on: May 05, 2012, 12:27:58 AM »
A coupe years ago I contaminated about three batches before I discovered my ball valve was the culprit. Mine was a two piece stainless and boiling the whole thing for 15 minutes before putting it on the kettle did a great job. I did this for about a year.

These days I use a the Blichman three piece stainless ball valve and I take it off the kettle, disassemble it and soak in PBW between every brew session. I use the hottest tap water and PBW does the rest. I let it soak for three or four days before rinsing and there is NOTHING left. PBW is fantastic.

Anyway, if you plan to stick with brass I would soak it in super hot water and PBW with it open, remove and put the valve at half open and soak again, then close all the way and soak again. Rinse thoroughly with hot water later and move that valve around a lot to clean out all the residual PBW. That should do the trick and boiling the wort should add enough heat to kill any funky bugs.

Good luck and cheers!

Pimp My System / New Brewstand being built
« on: May 05, 2012, 12:08:10 AM »
OK so this won't feature polished anything but it will be a metal stand using 16 gauge 7/8 square steel tubing and some spray paint. I'm replacing my wooden all gravity stand and building this unit with one raised shelf for the Mashtun cooler and the other two with burners on the same plane. There will be some use of diamond plate aluminum for shelving and other surfaces. This will be a NO weld assembly. Instead I had some five inch triangular gussets made at the local metal shop. I'll be riveting them in the corners using silicone adhesive for strength. Pics on the way but for now all I have is tube steel and the gussets along with a design.

Don't use U-bolts.  I use large hose clamps and wooden saddles (matching the diameters at the attachment points) that encircle the motor can and pump magnet housing.  You do not want to put too much pressure (especially if its uneven) on the motor can or you will deform it.  This mounting has worked for over 10 years.

Clever idea!
I have some 1/2" UHMW plastic I could use for saddles too. Then there's a need to shield the motor from fluids. Brewstand upgrades never die, they just grow new ones.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lalleman Go Ferm
« on: April 24, 2012, 06:10:47 PM »
Well that's interesting to hear. At least I have something go by that tells me the issue isn't necessarily the GoFerm nutrient. The yeast wasn't old but the ferment probably wasn't ideal. I did not let run long enough or take gravity readings before bumping the temp for a daicetyl rest, and I may in fact have caused it myself by doing so. I might have also stressed the yeast during rehydration and left them in the flask too long. I spent a significant amount of time trying to slowly drop the temp of the yeast down to within 5 degrees of the wort and this took about 30 minutes or so.

Perhaps I shouldn't write it off as the nutrient. At the same time if I don't need it, I'm not going to add it. I'll save it for something where it's appropriate.

Not only that, I'm going to try brewing with White Labs and making starters for awhile anyway.

I want to try brewing a few APA, IPA, and perhaps Porter using WLP028.
Gotta get off the S05 train for awhile.

Thanks guys!

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