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Messages - brushvalleybrewer

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Equipment and Software / Re: Where to run temperature probe?
« on: August 21, 2010, 12:33:45 PM »
If you've been using it for heating, you will have to switch it internally to cooling mode, otherwise it will never turn on!  ;)


Yeah. There’s a little little shorting jumper inside. It was actually set for cooling when I got it, so I know how to do that. 8)

I’m actually worried that if I run the probe through the door it will mess up the gasket and the fridge won’t be efficient, but if I drill a hole through the fridge I’ll hit a cooling pipe and totally ruin it.

Advice please?  ???

Questions about the forum? / Why sign in twice?
« on: August 21, 2010, 12:26:29 PM »
What is the difference between signing into the main site and signing into the forum?

Equipment and Software / Where to run temperature probe?
« on: August 21, 2010, 12:00:42 PM »
I have a Johnson controller that I use to control a Fermwrap when my basement is cold in the winter. This summer has been so hot, I’m thinking of using it to control the fridge.

I understand you just “run the probe inside and plug the fridge into the controller.”

One question…

When they say, “run the probe inside” do I stick it between the door gasket and frame, or do I drill a hole through the thing?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Your Homebrew Name
« on: August 16, 2010, 08:20:05 PM »
Brush Valley Brewing.

Because I live on Brush Valley Road in Brush Valley (between Happy Valley to the West, Penn's Valley to the East, Big Valley to the South, and Bald Eagle Valley to the North).

All Things Food / Re: Quiche vs Fritatta ?
« on: August 15, 2010, 11:55:15 AM »
Try the ingredients for a Denver Omelette (diced ham, onions, green pepper, and cheddar cheese) in a fritatta some time. Really tasty.

The Pub / Re: "The Denny Level"
« on: August 15, 2010, 11:05:57 AM »
Any chance we could get the lowest level changed to “Mr. Beer”?  :D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Should the AHA Keep TechTalk?
« on: August 14, 2010, 07:28:46 PM »
Is it okay if I like both the Forum and TechTalk? Can I like Ales and Lagers? Is it all right to eat meat and vegetables? Is it acceptable to like wine and mead? Beer and cider? Extract and all grain?

There is a situation called the sucker’s choice. It is when we accept a false choice where no choice exists. It does this by ignoring the third choice. The choice of “and.”

Should the AHA only have a forum?
Should the AHA only have a mailing list?
Should the AHA have both a forum and a mailing list?

I like the third option. I enjoy the Forum and TechTalk (though I have to admit I have replies and image loading disabled so that spammers cannot tell they have reached a valid account and deny them a valuable property to resell to their fellow spammers).

I tend to lurk in both, but I think that is the default behavior on most lists and forums. I have a pretty good system worked out for reading everything on the forum, though I have to remember to use it (that’s the “pull” that people talk about). The mailing list has much more marketing value (that is the “push” that people talk about). It reminds me every day that I am an AHA member in a way that does not get annoying or seem like marketing spam. I don’t know why you would want to throw that away.

If there are labor, skill set, or economic issues, then let’s address those.

Can we talk about beer now?  ;)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Calculating IBUs
« on: August 14, 2010, 12:20:20 PM »
We have been shifting from developing our beer recipes on hopville to calculating them ourselves. Since we have been doing this we have been hitting our targets almost exactly but cant figure out if the IBUs are correct...

What are we doing wrong?

Welcome to the club. I’m making my own spreadsheet, too. It’s a great learning experience.

When you say your IBUs are not correct, what do you mean?

Do you mean that you had your beer measured in a lab and the calculated value is different from the measured value?

The first thing to know is that all methods for estimating bitterness are just that: estimates. Estimates use assumptions. Different people make different assumptions. The AHA has a nice article called "What’s Your IBU?" that goes through some of the more popular methods for estimating IBUs. Some are more accurate than others. Some are more popular, even though they may be less accurate. I use Rager. It seems that tygo is using Tinseth. We will get different answers.

It looks like hopville uses Tinseth by default, but you may have changed it to something else.

Do you mean that the value you calculate does not match the software you use?

It looks like you are using a formula from Papazian’s Book. Is that the same method your software uses? If not, it is understandable that they do not agree.

As a home brewer, the key is to consistently use one method so that you learn what to expect. If you change what formula you use, you’ll get different numbers and they won’t mean anything to you.

Do you mean that it does not taste right?

IBUs do not directly correspond to taste in beer. They are an estimate --- or sometimes a measure --- of the amount of isomerized alpha acid in the boil. Those do taste bitter, but there are other things in beer that also taste bitter. Sometimes stuff in the boil doesn’t make it into the beer. Also, there are things that affect the perception of bitterness. Water chemistry plays a role. You mentioned that you are considering boil gravity. There is some discussion that final gravity has as much to do with our perception of bitterness and some suggest using a “balance value” instead of a bitterness value as being a better predictor of hop impact. Still, bitterness is only one dimension of the hops contribution to the flavor of beer.

Do you mean you’re having trouble with the math?

Like tygo, I suggest you find some brewing software and let it do the math. There are many popular applications for PCs and Macs. A quick search for “brewing software” should turn up quite a few. Some are free or come with a free trial period.

When it comes right down to it, it is hard to encapsulate all of the wonderfulness of hops in beer into a single number. Don’t be surprised if you find it lacking.

Happy Brewing!

Questions about the forum? / Re: Read vs. Unread
« on: August 10, 2010, 11:21:57 AM »
I like the read/unread stuff. Here’s what I do.

Log in. Click on “Unread” in the top right, under your username.

The first time this will show you everything. Go ahead and click "mark all messages as read” because you weren’t going to read them all anyway. Go away and come back tomorrow.

Log in and click “Unread” again. This time, there are only a handful of topics. Maybe two or three pages if it’s been busy.

Open each of the ones you want to read in its own tab, then click "mark all messages as read.” Read the articles you opened.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. :)

I’ve seen some forums where there are multiple feeds to choose from. For instance, if you could somehow satisfy the earlier request for unread “beer related” topics, if we could just get an RSS feed for "beer related” topics, too, that would be great.

Also, in the multiple feeds department, I much prefer the feed where you just see new topics. The signal-to-noise ratio is much lower.

Also…  ;) …the “every single post” feed --- the one you get now --- should (as suggested earlier) be full text. You’re not getting ad impressions, so it would be good to be able to read a thread without leaving my RSS reader.

A mobile theme would be nice. I'm not always on my desktop machine when I need a brewing info fix.

Equipment and Software / Re: refractometer spreadsheet
« on: August 08, 2010, 12:05:34 AM »
I haven’t used that spreadsheet, but I do use a refractometer exclusively.

I use an iPhone app called BrewMath that does something similar.

If I plug in your Brix numbers I get 1.080 and 1.015 (close enough) and 81% ADF. Still pretty high.

Have you calibrated the refractometer? (Does it read 0 with water?)

Ingredients / Re: Could someone please check my water adjustments?
« on: August 07, 2010, 11:31:45 PM »
Thanks guys. It took a bit of slack-jawed staring to figure out what you were saying. :-[

I added the salt to get the Chloride and the Gypsum to get the Calcium.

I ended up with a lot of Gypsum.

I could reduce the Gypsum and get the same amount of Calcium and Chloride if I got it from… wait for it… Calcium Chloride. Honestly, I didn’t know that was even a thing until just now. :o

Does this sound better?

2.25 g Gypsum and 1.25 g Calcium Chloride in the mash (nothing in the boil)?

RA is 46 (still SRM 9-14) and Cl:SO4 of 0.5.

What is Calcium Chloride anyway? Does it have another name?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Brewing programs
« on: August 07, 2010, 05:03:09 PM »
The podcasts at Basic Brewing are good, too.

Ingredients / Could someone please check my water adjustments?
« on: August 07, 2010, 03:59:36 PM »
This will be the first time I am going to try adjusting my water, so I would appreciate it if some kind soul could sanity check my plan.

I am going to brew Jamil's English IPA from Brewing Classic Styles. It is an 11 SRM beer with a BU:GU ratio of 50:62 using 14 lb 2 oz of grain with a 7 gallon boil volume. I am going to batch sparge with 4.82 gallons in the mash and 3.5 gallon for the sparge.

Here is my water report.

pH 7.6
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est 172
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.29
Cations / Anions, me/L 2.9 / 2.6

Sodium, Na 1 ppm
Potassium, K < 1
Calcium, Ca 51
Magnesium, Mg 3
Total Hardness, CaCO3 140
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.3 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 3
Chloride, Cl 3
Carbonate, CO3 < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 144
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 118

Both and say this water has an RA of about 80, which is best for an SRM 12 to 17 beer.

If I add 4 grams of Gypsum to the mash, the RA will be 44, which is best for an SRM 9 to 14 beer. SRM 11 is very close to the middle of that range.

With as little Chloride as my water has, the added sulfate will produce a very bitter beer. To balance it out a bit, I will add 1.8 grams of canning salt to the mash.

During the boil, I will add another 2.9 grams of Gypsum and another 1.3 grams of canning salt.

Does that sound right?

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