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Messages - mabrungard

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All Grain Brewing / Re: C40 + C80 = C60?
« on: October 02, 2015, 06:20:29 PM »

I think that's a lot of why I prefer UK crystal malts overall. Much broader flavor.

Exactly. That is why the Simpson products are presented as a color range. Just looking at the mix, you can easily see the differing levels of kilning. That provides a more interesting range of flavor.

While 40L + 80L will produce a color around 60L, the flavor will be quite different from 60L crystal.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: US-05 at low temp
« on: October 02, 2015, 01:30:31 PM »
I like US-05 in a number of beers. I've used it to finish a Berliner Weisse, cold ferment a Munich Helles wort, and of course for hoppy PAs and IPAs. I think it is an incredibly versatile yeast.

However, I do agree with Mark that there can be 'something' in some strains that you may not like. I'm not a big fan of S-04 and for some reason, I very much dislike the flavor of WY 1007 beers. Its just me. So I can't fault Mark for his dislikes either.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Shaken not stirred lager starter?
« on: October 02, 2015, 01:24:19 PM »
has anyone tested this out with a lager yet?

I sort of have. I just made a Munich Dunkel with WY 2308 and first created a 2L starter that was fuller fermented out and then chilled and decanted.

I use an in-line oxygenation system. I ran off about 4L of oxygenated Dunkel wort into the 6L starter vessel and spun up the stir plate for about 15 minutes. That wort was probably around 70F. I can attest that I had one angry and ready to go army of yeast in about an hour or two.  The subsequent fermentation was very active at 50F.

Equipment and Software / Re: Digital Thermometer
« on: October 01, 2015, 05:44:37 AM »
While I will agree that my Thermpen was a money burning a hole in my pocket purchase, I love the thing.  I have found all kinds of uses for it.  I do not know if the other Thermoworks products do, but the Thermopens come with a certificate of calibration.

Excellent point. Most thermometers work, but are they actually accurate? Having that certification helps a lot. I don't know that an electronic thermometer can or will shift its calibration, but I suppose its possible. Mechanical thermometers such as dial thermometers are certainly subject to falling out of calibration. Having a certified mercury lab thermometer that serves as a calibration check is still a good idea for checking your 'working' thermometers. I employ that approach.

By the way, my RT600c and RT301WA thermometers both indicated within 0.5F of the calibration standard when they were new. I'm pretty sure that Thermowork's QA is fairly good. 

Equipment and Software / Re: Digital Thermometer
« on: September 30, 2015, 01:12:42 PM »
Thermapen is nice, but not worth the cost. That manufacturer's other products are much better values with not much lost in speed or accuracy. I own several of their other thermometers.

Beer Recipes / Re: Schwarzbier
« on: September 28, 2015, 10:01:52 AM »
That is one of the styles that can benefit from the late mash addition of roast.

Unless your club is generating significant income, there is no need to go through the time and expense of getting registered as a non-profit entity.

With respect to incorporating, yes you need to. Otherwise all of your club members are equally liable for any loss the club is cited for. Incorporation protects the majority of members, but places a bit more responsibility on club officers. Having insurance is an important need and AHA now has an option for clubs.

Equipment and Software / Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
« on: September 23, 2015, 05:55:35 AM »
I just use 2 regular SSRs to control both legs of my 240v heating circuits. The control wiring is just piggybacked  to both SSRs for control. Using a breaker is too manual for me.

By the way, I use the big 30a and 50a dryer plugs and receptacles on each of my heating circuits and on the connection between the spa panel and the brewery control panel so that I can always have a true disconnection to meet my lock-out, tag-out mentality. I find there is no need for the more expensive twist-lock plugs and receptacles since the dryer plugs are pretty hard to separate as they are. If you can easily pull one of those plugs out, you are more of a man than I am.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: PBW Alternative?
« on: September 23, 2015, 05:46:55 AM »
A chelating agent is only necessary if you are using hard water to create your solution. If you use softened water or RO water, the benefit of the chelating agent is moot.  Maybe this is why some Oxiclean users report no problems.

Equipment and Software / Re: Chinese beergun
« on: September 19, 2015, 07:05:57 AM »
Yep, a knockoff. The question is "is it worth Mr. B's time and money to go after those folks?"

Do yourself a favor and support the folks that support your American homebrewing hobby, not some rip off.

Equipment and Software / Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
« on: September 19, 2015, 07:02:06 AM »
Volt and amp meters are useful in that the voltage fed to one's house can and often does vary.

While supply voltage (and subsequent amperage through your brewing system) can vary, I'm not sure that it matters. For example, when operating in a RIMS mode with my PID controlling the temp, it just means that the unit has to cycle faster or slower to meet the temperature goal. For my boil controller, it just means that I have to turn the pulse percentage up or down a notch to produce the boil vigor I am looking for...very subjective.

Volt and amp meters are 'nice to have', not 'need to have' items.

Equipment and Software / Re: Counter top RO, not so RO
« on: September 18, 2015, 05:56:11 AM »
Steve, excepting for the alkalinity, that tap water is already fine for brewing. No RO needed. A little acid was all you needed. However, it is nice to have a clean slate for some styles.

Equipment and Software / Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
« on: September 18, 2015, 05:53:17 AM »
If you are trying to control the heating of a RIMS circuit, you have to have a regular PID with the temp sensor mounted immediately downstream of the heating element.

If you are looking for boil control, a PID is a waste of money. You have to have some sort of proportional control to throttle the power to the element. A pulse-width modulator works well, but the unit shown below works really well and has a nice LED showing what your power percentage is. It's inexpensive too.

Equipment and Software / Re: Counter top RO, not so RO
« on: September 16, 2015, 09:23:30 AM »
You should be seeing at least 95% reduction in the total dissolved solids. Some of the ions are removed at a higher rate, so the overall performance should be 95 or higher.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Most likely culprit of a slight banana ester?
« on: September 15, 2015, 05:30:28 AM »

Banana is the compound known as amyl acetate, which is the condensation product of 1-pentanol (five carbon atoms, C5H11OH) and acetic acid.  The alcohol 1-pentanol is one of eight pentanols that are known as amyl alcohol.  It is also a component of fusel alcohol.

Truth be told, a lot of British strains are POF+ (phenolic off-flavor positive) and throw amyl acetate when the conditions are right (a few throw sulfur as well).  These compounds are usually a sign of stress.
You're a genius and I love you.

+1  Having great minds on this forum is a real bonus.

While I suspect that the temperature was a little too high, another aspect that could create yeast stress is if there weren't enough micro-nutrients in the wort. I brew with RO water and have recently started using yeast nutrient at the recommended dosage to help assure that my zinc level is somewhere around the right level. 

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