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Messages - mabrungard

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16
Equipment and Software / Re: Conical Question
« on: January 28, 2016, 09:15:18 AM »
For the small conical kept at proper fermentation temperature, dumping trub is not really necessary. The yeast tend to remain in good shape for a week or two after fermentation and I've found that its not critical to move the beer right after ferment completion. In addition, if you empty the cone, then your racking port can't reach all the beer in the cone and you end up losing that. I typically ferment 6 gallons of wort in my 12 gal Fermenator and I leave the cone full of yeast to allow the recovery of more beer. I only rarely ferment 10 gal of wort and I'm not sure that its necessary to waste any of the yeast in the cone under that condition either.

I think those stainless Spiedel fermenters with the large lid and racking port are probably equal to a similarly sized conical. From what I've seen, their biggest drawback is that they don't seem to be available in larger sizes. But, if they had existed when I was in the market, I would have something like the spiedel since glass and plastic aren't ideal and I feel that having a large opening for cleaning is necessary. 

17
Equipment and Software / Re: Thermowells and temp probes
« on: January 26, 2016, 11:21:38 AM »
I put the sensor underneath an old sponge that I duct tape to the side of my bucket, so that the probe is sandwiched between the sponge and the side of the bucket.

Yep! That's what I do. Took a chunk of foam, cut a groove big enough to fit the probe, and taped it to my conical. I just insert the probe when its time to ferment. I used the aluminum tape and the foam stays put, even when cleaning.

18
All Grain Brewing / Re: 1st time water adjustment question
« on: January 25, 2016, 08:33:10 AM »
The teeny amount of acid that was recommended for the sparging water is an artifact. It's essentially zero and you should treat it as such. There is no need to acidify sparging water that already has low alkalinity (like RO does).

It sounds like it was hectic on brew day with a lot of unanticipated changes. You did what you had to to make it better, but nailing those things down will make your life less hectic. That pH excursion to 5.8 should not have mattered too much, but its good that you brought it down to a more reasonable value.

As you already found, you could not have just added lactic acid and calcium salts to obtain a desirable mash pH with that grist. There was too much acidic grains in there and a bit of alkalinity was necessary for your RO mashing water. There really isn't a better way to better dark beers.

19
Ingredients / Re: neomexicanus
« on: January 24, 2016, 06:35:47 AM »
I had a glass of the Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale with the Neo Mexicanous hop, and I have to say it is a very pleasant hop. Definitely a peach note in the flavor and aroma. I would have another.

20
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: flavor of bicarbonate with acid
« on: January 21, 2016, 06:38:45 PM »
The water with more mineralization will taste more 'minerally' and flavorful. Flavorful may not be a good thing since not all water flavor contributions are desirable. This is especially true when brewing a lightly flavored beer style.

PS: I don't find that sulfate and lactate taste anything alike.

21
Equipment and Software / Re: Therminator Pellet Hops
« on: January 21, 2016, 07:14:26 AM »
Here is what I use to reduce the amount of trub from my kettle. I use a gooseneck manifold that rings the periphery of the kettle bottom and I use a ring of aluminum next to the manifold to help create a 'dam' to keep the trub from getting to the manifold. See below.



The dam is a strip of aluminum flashing that is cut to about 1" wide and is formed into a ring with an aluminum pop rivet.



The gooseneck is copper tubing and it is capped at its end and thin slots were cut near the end.



While the slots alone work fairly well at keeping trub out, I had a piece of stainless hose braid laying around, so I place that over the slotted section to help out.



I hope this gives you ideas!


22
Equipment and Software / Re: pH Meter: Balancing cost and quality
« on: January 20, 2016, 11:28:11 AM »
Like I say: To hit a home run, you have to be in the ballpark. Doing some minimal water adjustments is going to get you much closer to ideal and having a tool that gets you most of the way there is very helpful. Unfortunately, we know all too well that these programs aren't perfect. But you will be closer to your objective with their use than without.

I am firmly in the camp that has to measure pH, but I'm doing it to find problems and improve the Bru'n Water program. However, the sentiment which espouses the use of a known water source and using a reliable program to get you in the ballpark could be good enough for most brewers.

23
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pump
« on: January 18, 2016, 03:32:45 PM »
Deadheading a centrifugal pump for minutes at a time, is perfectly OK. It will not damage the pump in any way. The only way to damage the pump by deadheading is to do it long enough so that the liquid in the volute heats to the point of boiling. That will take a while.

24
Equipment and Software / Re: Therminator Pellet Hops
« on: January 18, 2016, 02:28:09 PM »
Did you make your slotted pipe intake in your kettle?  I think I can visualize this.  I like that idea.

Yep! Works very well. I'll have to take some photos and post them to give you a better idea of how this was executed.

25
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pump
« on: January 18, 2016, 02:21:53 PM »
In order to clean these guys, do you just load the brew kettle up with some oxi-clean solution and just pump it through then rinse it with water the same way?

I only occasionally perform a hot PBW circulation for my pump and piping. Remember, this is hot-side equipment in my case and I don't worry about sanitary conditions on the hot side. However, I do worry about crud. The pump is well-rinsed and drained after every brew session.

26
Equipment and Software / Re: pH Meter: Balancing cost and quality
« on: January 18, 2016, 02:18:02 PM »
The trick to long life is in the maintenance. Rinse between measurements, periodically cleaning and using a storage solution.

Good advice. I assume you are somehow associated with Hanna? You present information that is far above a hobbyist's.

27
Zymurgy / Re: Jan/Feb Issue printing error
« on: January 18, 2016, 02:11:36 PM »
Remember that Zymurgy is published on a semi-monthly basis. You should receive the next issue.

28
All Grain Brewing / Re: Helles water profile
« on: January 18, 2016, 02:10:11 PM »
I use about half of Yellow Full and add all minerals to the mash to get the mash Ca content above 40 ppm. That usually leaves the overall content with about 20 to 30 ppm sulfate and chloride. 

29
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pump
« on: January 18, 2016, 06:54:23 AM »
I've run the same plastic head on my March pump for over 14 years. The secret is to mount the pump and the inlet and outlet lines so that you can't break the nipples off the pump head.  This works very well.


30
Homebrew Clubs / Re: New club advice requested
« on: January 17, 2016, 05:08:54 PM »
Dave brings up another point...fun!

Yes, meetings should be fun and SATISFYING. I mention satisfying as an alternative to educational since not all attendees have a goal to learn anything at all meetings. At both my current club and my old club in Tallahassee (NFBL), we had regular meetings that were never technical or especially educational and then we also had other special meetings that WERE focused on learning something or geekiness.

Since we are dealing with a hobby, fun is a requirement for everything a club strives to do. However, everyone obtains their own definition of satisfaction. That is the balance that club leaders need to strive for.

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