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Messages - mabrungard

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1096
Equipment and Software / Re: Thermometer Recommendation
« on: October 22, 2013, 09:27:09 AM »
Those RT600 units sure look good.  Their water resistance is really nice too.  Do be cautious with any electronic or physical thermometer though.  They could lose their accuracy and you wouldn't know it.  Having a certified reference standard is still a good idea for checking that your 'working' thermometers are reporting accurately. 

I have used inexpensive dial thermometers for over a decade and they are quite repeatable.  However, they can easily be damaged or knocked out of calibration.  That is where a reference standard is an important tool to have.  Calibrating thermometers in the mashing temperature range is highly recommended since some instruments can have non-linear response.  That means that checking them with ice-water and boiling-water baths might not be a good enough calibration check.

1097
Equipment and Software / Re: How to Motorize a Grain Mill
« on: October 22, 2013, 06:03:35 AM »
By the way Monster Mill owners, I just performed that retrofit of the new gap adjustment knobs for my MM-2.2.  It was an easy modification, however I'm well equipped with tools and experience.  It does require drilling and tapping 2 holes in the side plates.  I think it was worth it at its cost of about $37 (shipped). 

1098
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Timothy Taylor's Landlord
« on: October 21, 2013, 09:52:10 AM »
If minerally character is desired, then it may not be just a high sulfate content you are looking for.  Boosting the chloride content a bit while maintaining the sulfate content may help produce the minerally character you are looking for.  200 to 300 ppm sulfate with 100 to 150 ppm chloride should help create the minerally character you are interested in.

1099
Going Pro / Re: Sewer ejector system
« on: October 19, 2013, 08:53:16 AM »
+1 on the ability to make a profit at the nano level.  You will be giving your time away with nothing to show for it.  It takes nearly the same labor to produce 1 bbl as 20 bbl if bottling is not part of the equation.  I'm hoping this is going to be a brew pub so that more of the income can be direct and not have a distributor skimming what little profit there will be.

Carl, unless the brewery operations are really tight and coordinated, there is little chance that a brewery can produce a gallon of beer with only 5 gal of wastewater.  Sierra Nevada is around 4 and they conduct extraordinary measures and reuse the WW.  For most small breweries, 8 gal would be more like it and it could be 10.  For homebrewers, we are in the 15 range.

For a small brewery operation, the WW utility is not likely to concern themselves very much with the strength or volume of the wastewater.  In this case, a simple ejector pump and sump that discharges the WW from the low trench drain area back into the building's normal sewer connection will be sufficient.  The sump size will need to be sufficient to avoid cycling the pump too often.  The pump sizing will need to be based on the rate of WW discharge from the brewing operations and it will need to be within the hydraulic capacity of the building's existing sewer piping.  If the discharge will be greater than the building's sewer hydraulic capacity, then laying a new line all the way to the utility's manhole or sewer will be required.  That's when you need to look for another place.

1100
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: jeffy wins pro-am!
« on: October 12, 2013, 04:52:17 PM »
So Jeff, was there any water treatment when you brewed?  Wayne indicates they do no treatment (at least for chlorine removal) for their brewing.  Interestingly, Wayne contacted me a few nights ago and said he enjoyed some beers down in Puerto Rico where he was guest brewing.  He said they were made with built-up RO water.  Apparently he is thinking about including activated carbon in his system.  I wonder if a RO system is in their future too?

1101
All Grain Brewing / Re: Help figuring out an off flavor
« on: October 08, 2013, 05:34:55 AM »
I'm not sure how you would create the water profile indicated above.  The cations and anions aren't balanced.  Its either missing a cation or an anion is at too high a concentration. So the question is: what did you do when you created this water?

Since you mention the tap water is very soft, it likely also has low alkalinity.  That is a good thing and that should reduce the potential for leaching tannins during the sparge.  The only question is how low the alkalinity is.

If your perception is telling you the off-flavor is bitter or astringent, I would delete the magnesium addition to see if that is an ion you don't like in your beer.  Its not needed.

1102
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Flaked Oats
« on: October 04, 2013, 04:56:13 AM »
Aren't the quick or instant versions just 'pre-gelatinized' ?  I don't use oats often, so I haven't deciphered a difference with those versions and the regular oats.

1103
Equipment and Software / Re: Aluminum vs Stainless Steel Boil Kettle
« on: October 03, 2013, 12:11:40 PM »
+1 on what slowbrew said.  Plenty of pluses for aluminum as long as you care for it properly.  Don't use harsh chemicals in it and leave the interior dull.  My kettle has a nice 'tea-colored' staining in it.  I just give it a scrub to remove any trub after the brew and put it away to dry. 

Do get the biggest diameter kettle you can afford.  I typically brew 5 gal or 10 gal batches, so I have a 15 gal Al kettle.  It has a larger diameter than the typical keggle and I feel that this helps me keep more of the trub in the kettle and out of the fermenter.   

1104
Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Entry Limits for 2014
« on: September 30, 2013, 01:52:30 PM »
One thing I worry about is the entry fee.  I know some want it to be $30 so people limit their entries.  I was fine with the increase last year but much higher and I'll  just not bother sending entries.

I know they were working on NHC last year, but I hope Philly is a 1st round site this year.  Two years ago, they did an excellent job!!

Wow! Would someone actually send in entries if it cost $30 each?  That is steep, but clearly the demand is high and the amount of support the AHA can provide to the judges is limited.  $15 may be a little low, but $30 is really pushing it.  I do think that pricing should be increased to help moderate the demand and allow the AHA to better support the judges that otherwise donate everything to do this 'service' to their fellow homebrewers. 

Another thing that I would like to see are incentives for judges to participate in the first round competitions.  Incentives such as: reserved entries in next year's competition or reservations to this year's convention (you would still have to pay for them) might be more prized by the judges given the difficulty in getting those slots.  These are NO-COST incentives for AHA and they could have an effect on getting more and better qualified judges to the competition sites. 

1105
Beer Recipes / Re: American Black Ale Recipe (water profile?)
« on: September 30, 2013, 01:41:35 PM »
Be careful with the sulfate level if the beer will have much roastiness.  That is its own form of dryness and a high level of sulfate may be too much...leaving you with an overly dry beer.  300 ppm may be too much, but I haven't tried it and can't offer much help beyond the caution above.

1106
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison Dry Yeast
« on: September 30, 2013, 10:17:15 AM »
2 weeks?  That is not ripping.  My typical ale ferments are done in less than a week. 

But with respect to the results above, my 1.069 batch did finish out in 2 weeks.  Maybe that is typical.

1107
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Belle Saison Dry Yeast
« on: September 29, 2013, 02:02:15 PM »
At 1.069, I wish I had pitched 2 packets.  I don't think a single was enough.

1108
The Pub / Re: In need of some advice...
« on: September 29, 2013, 02:00:53 PM »
Oh come on! Tune yourself out of that situation.  You can be a fair-weather fan of some other team until you have something to cheer about on your team.

1109
All Grain Brewing / Re: Conversion at 5.2PH?
« on: September 28, 2013, 02:00:17 PM »
There should be no problem with conversion. If anything, the low pH may promote excessive conversion and produce a bit thinner beer.  It will still be beer though!

1110
Equipment and Software / Re: Choosing The Right Brewpot
« on: September 27, 2013, 10:29:55 AM »
Good point Jeff.  I do use a counterflow chiller and forgot that a thermometer could be useful for those using immersion chillers.  I sometimes hang a thermometer in my kettle to allow me to gauge when the boil is about to happen, but I'm not sure that its really necessary.  I generally don't leave my system when brewing and I'd probably see the boil activity soon enough. 

For those conducting BIAB in their kettle, clearly a thermometer is needed.  Wouldn't a kettle-mounted probe get in the way of the bag?

Thanks for pointing out the occasional utility of a kettle-mounted thermometer.

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