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Messages - jjflash

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop addiction
« on: November 25, 2015, 07:11:51 PM »
During the great hop shortage of 2008 I freaked out and bought about 20 pounds of hop pellets.  I have no idea why I bought so much.  They now sit at zero degrees in the freezer.  Open packages are in CO2 filled PET bottles.  I am amazed how well they have kept over the years. Use them all the time for bittering and aroma additions.  Seems to have minimal degradation.  For aroma I use leaf hops that I use up rapidly.  Have not tried storing them long term.

Bought several of the Arbor Fab hop filters couple years ago.  They are the best.  Little pain in the arse to keep clean, but well worth the investment.  I even throw whole piloncillo sugar cones into them and they dissolve without burning.  Two thumbs up on this product.   

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sanitizer Comparison
« on: November 23, 2015, 10:01:23 PM »
Broke down and purchased a 5 gallon bucket of powdered peracetic acid last week.
Awaiting delivery now.  Will report back once I have a used this.

Equipment and Software / Re: pH meters
« on: November 15, 2015, 03:52:34 PM »
Your water may be close enough to give you good results.
It is just another tool to aid us who are always in search of perfection.
"My next beer is going to be even better than this one."

My water is very hard with pH 7.2 - 7.8 depending upon season.
It requires significant phosphoric acid to get anywhere near ideal pH for conversion.

Equipment and Software / Re: Milwaukee pH meter drift issues
« on: November 15, 2015, 03:45:59 PM »
Milwaukee MW102 has ATC, that is why there is a "temp probe".
All samples are at room temperature.

Equipment and Software / Milwaukee pH meter drift issues
« on: November 15, 2015, 12:51:51 PM »
I have use this Milwaukee MW102 pH meter for the last three or more years.
I immerse the pH probe and temp probe into the solution, wait for the hour-glass symbol to stop blinking, take the pH reading.
I have noticed if I leave the probe in the solution, the reading will drift upward in all solutions I test.
Checked my water pH last night, initial pH 6.6, hour later 7.2
Checked my sparge pH this AM, initial pH 5.7, hour later 6.2
The electrode probe was change out early this year.
Meter is calibrated before every brew session.
Not sure what to think about this.
Is first reading correct, or is last reading correct? 

Equipment and Software / Re: New Bottle Filler Northern Brewer
« on: November 13, 2015, 07:42:58 AM »
Video has been posted. It seems like a pretty solid design and breaks down well. He does mention setting the pressure to 8 psi, which is far below my normal serving pressure.

Thanks for the video post.  I was considering purchasing this product until I viewed the video.  I always cap on foam to limit air in the bottle.  As the video clearly demonstrates a substantial amount of air gets pulled back into the bottle when you remove the instrument.  A design flaw in tip fillers in my opinion.  I suppose you can pull it out of the beer, then shoot more CO2 into the bottle.  Think I will stick with my Blichmann.   

Equipment and Software / Re: Any US source for peracetic acid?
« on: November 07, 2015, 09:26:08 AM »
I've not seen any, but ask "why?" - the stuff is nasty smelling.  I'd rather use iodine or even bleach.

Peracetic acid is superior to other disinfectants.
Yes, liquid peracetic acid has offensive odor - strong acetic acid smell.
Powdered peracetic acid is ideal.

Powdered peracetic acid:
Practically no odor
Strong oxidizer
Broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity – effective bactericide, fungicide, and sporicide
Rapid on-contact efficacy under a wide range of conditions
Low corrosiveness on stainless steel
Removes mineral deposits !!!  (unlike bleach or iodine)
Removes biofilm and organic deposits !!! (unlike bleach, iodine or StarSan)
Decomposes rapidly to water, acetic acid and oxygen
Environmentally friendly, (unlike bleach and iodine).
Used in food processing, beverage, medical, pharmaceutical, textile, pulp and paper
Rapidly gaining popularity as a sanitizing agent in the beer & wine industry

One US source I have found:
Five gallon pail for $140.
Little pricey, but then again would probably last me a lifetime of brewing.

Equipment and Software / Any US source for peracetic acid?
« on: October 31, 2015, 08:21:56 AM »
Has anyone found a US source for small quantities of peracetic acid, about one liter size or so?
It is available to commercial breweries in 4.5 gallon size ($$).
I have found it in several non US homebrew shops easily.


If I were to use peracetic acid instead, how would I go about making such a solution and where would I source the acid from?

From my post two days ago on peracetic acid (PAA):

Max limit suggested is 500ppm without rinse.
In limited data it seems breweries and wineries use 125 - 250 ppm.
Five Star and Birko sell this in 5 gallon size ($$) which is much to large a purchase for my experimentation.
I either need a source for smaller quantity or produce PAA myself.
I have found this recipe:
H2O2 5% 125ml + white vinegar 3% 75ml = PAA 200ml

I have no idea how to convert this to ppm.
Everything seems to indicate this is a "weak solution".
I have been unable to find a US source of small quantity.

Equipment and Software / Re: Effectiveness of EvaDry 500
« on: October 25, 2015, 12:22:12 PM »
I tried chemical based dehumidifiers years ago and gave up on them for use in my freezers that house my barrel collection.  Have been using several of the Eva-Dry 1100 Petite dehumidifiers.  These are very small electric units I put in my 20 cubic feet plus freezers. I set them with timers to come on/off during the day.  I have been most pleased with their performance and durability for an inexpensive little unit. 

This discussion has sparked my interest to try peracetic acid (PAA) after further researching.
Max limit suggested is 500ppm without rinse.
In limited data it seems breweries and wineries use 125 - 250 ppm.
Five Star and Birko sell this in 5 gallon size ($$) which is much to large a purchase for my experimentation.
I either need a source for smaller quantity or produce PAA myself.
I have found this recipe:
H2O2 5% 125ml + white vinegar 3% 75ml = PAA 200ml
Can I convert this into an equation to calculate PPM?
Does anyone have a better method of production?
As already noted this must be used in well ventilated area.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: New starter procedure trial
« on: October 01, 2015, 09:40:33 PM »
For my starters <1.040 I hit them with air stone & pump till foamed to the top then onto the shaker table.
For my starters >1.075 I hit them with O2 till foamed to the top then onto the shaker table.
Been very pleased with my yeast performance this past year using this new technique, especially with big beers >1.080 OG and Belgian yeasts.

Equipment and Software / Re: Orbital Shaker
« on: June 30, 2015, 07:33:47 PM »
Can you describe your process (do you oxygenate or aerate the starters prior to using the shaker, how vigorous is the agitation, do you decant the supernatant, etc.)?

I get White Labs yeast and make a one liter starter with 1.040 canned wort.  I decant, add glycerin to the yeast and place in sterile Falcon Centrifuge Tubes 50ml.  These go into a Styrofoam ice chest into the freezer.  When I decide to brew I pull out a stored yeast from the freezer and thaw.  In the Fernbach I add 1/2 quart 1.040 starter, air pump oxygenate with s/s stone till foamed to the top, then add yeast. Run on the shaker 36-48 hours at 100-125 rpm.  Pop the flask into refrigerator at 36 degrees.  This flask may sit in the refrigerator for a few days.  On brew day I decant this flask, add 1.070 wort, add oxygen (not air this time), until foamed to the top, and return to the shaker at 100-125 rpm.  By the time I am done brewing the yeast starter is at full krausen and ready to be pitched.  Please note I only make big Belgian style beers and this is my technique for big beers >1.080 OG.  If I was making small beers, (haven't done that in many years),  I would not do #2 step up.

Equipment and Software / Re: Orbital Shaker
« on: June 30, 2015, 07:12:32 PM »
I just looked that model up.  It appears to be a well-built orbital shaker for the price, even if it is made in Taiwan.  DOTMED is selling the Gemmy VRN-360 new for $330.00.  That's still a lot of money for a home brewery, but it's a lot cheaper than the U.S. and European-made orbital shakers.

They look great on the outside.  Adjustable RPM with gauge.  Bought mine used and disassembled to clean them up.  Look rather whimpy inside, small motor in big housing.  Runs the Fernbach's with ease for 48 hours.  The 5L Ernlenmyer I fill to max 3L, which are quite heavy.  Loads the motors but still running strong and yet to burn one out.  Will see what kind of mileage I get out of these. 

Equipment and Software / Re: Orbital Shaker
« on: June 30, 2015, 07:03:48 PM »
Do you experience any over-foaming problems with your Fernbach flasks?

Never had over-foam issues with these Fernbach flasks.  I use them for the first and second step propagation so my max volume in 2.8L flask is only one quart.  I can wort starters in quart jars so that is the max volume used in these flasks.  Third step up is in the 5L Erlenmeyer flask which uses a portion of the wort from the intended beer.

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