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Messages - denny

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Brand new keg from
« on: February 18, 2013, 12:56:27 PM »
Wow, nice!  Glad Ralph likes it, too!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Accurate thermometer
« on: February 18, 2013, 12:53:58 PM »
" I finally gave up and bought a calibration thermo that I use to calibrate my brewing thermos at 150F." -

Denny- can you explain....not sure what you mean by calibration thermo?

It's a tested, calibrated alcohol scientific calibration thermometer.  Requires immersion up to the point you're reading.  I use that to double check my "lollipop", then use the lollipop to calibrate my other thermometers.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Accurate thermometer
« on: February 18, 2013, 11:07:19 AM »
My elevation is 210f for boiling. And no, there is no knowing for sure, but it's the best I can do or anyone can do without a calibration block - exactly why the reason I started this thread. Within a degree is the best I can hope for with these tests.

Anyway, apparently nobody can say there mash temps are dead on ( w/o calibration device) and if there thermometer is accurate after months or years of use.

"Its easy enough to add 150F to 180F water into an insulated jug or container and insert the reference and working thermometers."  - Mabrungard, can you explain how you go about doing this... Thanks.

I have personal experience with thermometers that were on at the extremes but off at mash temps.  I finally gave up abd bought a calibration thermo that I use to calibrate my brewing thermos at 150F.

Ingredients / Re: Polenta
« on: February 18, 2013, 10:59:45 AM »
I made a popcorn beer many years ago.  It was very interesting to watch the popcorn dissolve into the mash tun!

Equipment and Software / Re: Zip ties in the brew kettle
« on: February 18, 2013, 10:47:34 AM »
I used zip ties all the time with no problem but changed to a small spider because fishing out the bags was a pain in the ass. Was adding bittering hops and then fishing out the boiling hot bag to add flavour hops at 30, 15 and 5 min not workable. The spider makes sense to me. I do still use the nylon zip ties when I need to dry hop a beer.

I use a separate bag for each addition.  I hang them from a spoon laid across my kettle so they're freely suspended and I don't have to fish for them afterwards.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Can I vacuum seal yeast?
« on: February 18, 2013, 09:50:18 AM »
Do you mean a yeast slurry?

Yea, the yeast I pour off from the bottom of the fermentor, to use on the next batch.

I don't know about your equipment, but my vacuum sealer doesn't do well with liquids.

All Grain Brewing / Re: My First Batch Sparge
« on: February 18, 2013, 09:42:07 AM »
From John Palmer's How to Brew Chapter 17:

"Sparging is the rinsing of the grain bed to extract as much of the sugars from the grain as possible without extracting mouth-puckering tannins from the grain husks. Typically, 1.5 times as much water is used for sparging as for mashing (e.g., 8 lbs. malt at 2 qt./lb. = 4 gallon mash, so 6 gallons of sparge water). The temperature of the sparge water is important. The water should be no more than 170°F, as husk tannins become more soluble above this temperature, depending on wort pH. This could lead to astringency in the beer."

For one thing, John is talking about fly sparging, not batch sparging.  For another, I have hundreds of batches that disagree with him.  ;)

All Grain Brewing / Re: My First Batch Sparge
« on: February 18, 2013, 09:40:19 AM »
A mashout really doesn't matter in batch sparging, and unless you hold a temp of 170 for 20 min. or more you aren't really doing one.  I usually use sparge water around 185-190F so that I can be sure I've gotten complete gelatinization and conversion, not for a mashout.

I thought you don't want your water to be higher than 170 to prevent extracting tannins...

Tannin extraction is pretty much dependent on pH, not temp.  Think about a decoction boil the grain and don't extract undesirable amounts of tannins because the pH is low enough to prevent it.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Manufacturer Attenuation Figures
« on: February 18, 2013, 08:44:23 AM »
Agreed with the other posters here.  The number is apparent attenuation, but it's more if a relative measurement.  You could likely get close to that if you mash at 150°F, pitch 10 million cells per ml into a 10°P wort and ferment at 20°C, but chances are that's not the beer you are going for. 

Recently I did a matrix of 40 fermentations with wort gravities from 3°P to 15°P and inoculations rates from 30 million per ml to 120 million per ml and was quite surprised by the variation in attenuation.

Data will be on my blog soon.

Looking forward to seeing it.

All Grain Brewing / Re: My First Batch Sparge
« on: February 18, 2013, 08:42:10 AM »
Am I correct in presuming because of the highly modified grains we use that mash out isn't really a necessity? I'm currently in the early stage of my 90-min 148F mash and looking at all the time information from brewsmith 2, it seems to want a 2 tier mash out/rinse schedule. I've fly sparged previously because I was using a round cooler, but moved from the 5 gallon system up to a 52-qt and will be doing batch sparging for the first time today.


Nope, it really doesn't have anything to do with modification.  It's becasue in batch sparging you get to a boil much more quickly than in fly sparging.  Keep in mind that Beersmith is a toll to help you brew the way you want to brew, not instructions about how to brew.  You don't have to use the steps it defaults to.  Unless you can't fir all the sparge water in your cooler at once, I'd advise you do do the mash runoff, then all all your sparge water in one step.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: cornelius vs firestone
« on: February 17, 2013, 12:49:40 PM »
What do most homebrewers use... ball or pin lock soda kegs?  What would you recommend I purchase?

I think ball lock are more common.

All Grain Brewing / Re: 10-gal Batch with 2 different OG's
« on: February 17, 2013, 12:06:07 PM »
That's what I'm thinking. Is it possible that the higher gravity portion would sink to the bottom? That's where his came from and mine came from the top.  You wouldn't think so though after a 90-minute boil.

It doesn't seem possible and I've never seen it happen to me.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Accurate thermometer
« on: February 17, 2013, 11:41:46 AM »
At work we have a NIST-traceable calibration block that is used to cal all the thermometers used at work, so I can check mine in that block.

But that's a pain  :) so I just got one of these:

$30 for a waterproof nist-accurate 10" probe lolipop thermometer. works great.



All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Tun
« on: February 17, 2013, 11:40:01 AM »
I wait until the runoff stops, then tilt mine.

All Grain Brewing / Re: 10-gal Batch with 2 different OG's
« on: February 17, 2013, 11:39:17 AM »
When did you split into two batches?  Did you split the grain into two mashes or the wort into two kettles?

I assume the first, since the second would have to have the same OG.  The first would have two different OGs because you're two systems have two different efficiencies.  Things like dead volume, sparge volume, mash thickness, mash time and mash temperatures can all affect the efficiency from an otherwise identical bag of crushed grain.  That is assuming you split grain from the same crush, otherwise, crush tends to be the overwhelming variable.

It was all together. Same mash, same crush, same boil. The place it was separated was into 2 carboys for fermentation. It was a 10 gallon batch. Full boil.

Something's gotta be wrong because that's nearly impossible.

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