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Messages - jjflash

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61
do wish that Blichmann (or someone else) would produce an efficient plate chiller which homebrewers could (1) afford and (2) take apart to clean.

+1 there.

I use a commercial homebrew hopback. It lets this hop debris get into the Therminator. Tried the oven heating trick to clean the Therminator. Works somewhat, but still not great. I think a good pre Therminator screen will be required to stop this problem.

62
All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash recirculation
« on: May 12, 2013, 03:37:07 PM »
Before I automated, I used a Blichmann kettle on my kitchen gas stove, wort continuously circulated by a March pump back into the mash. Used one of those aeration tips to disperse the wort over the grain bed. Work very well with tight temperature control and manually adjusting flame.

63
All Grain Brewing / Re: DO meter accurate?
« on: May 11, 2013, 03:35:47 PM »
Are your DO meter readings accurate?  The DO meters I used in laboratories had a built in stirrer because they did not work properly unless the water was circulating.  I'm not sure what type of DO meter I was using or whether chemiluminescent DO meters need moving water to work properly.

The DO meter is in the glass carboy as it is being filled by pump, so it is always in well circulated wort.  This is a very high quality Hach LDO. Even if it was off a point or two, doesn't change the trend of sudden oxygen desaturation, of a high gravity wort, in very short period of time. I will run this experiment over the next several brew days to confirm this finding. 

My current message to myself on this - I should pitch yeast immediately upon completion of wort aeration/oxygenation.  My previous method was to fill the carboy, stop and do a yeast count, calculate my pitch volume, then pitch the yeast. This all the while the wort was desaturating....

64
Thought about using Five Star Acid Cleaner No. 5 ....

Then send an email to Dan Blichmann, here is his response:

Do not use the Acid cleaner. This could damage your Therminator. I would try and bake it if you are not getting the Therminator as clean as you would like. You can bake it in your oven at 300 degrees for a couple hours. Following the bake you should flush it clean. We have had great luck with getting the debris out.
 
Sincerely,
 
Dan
Blichmann Engineering, LLC

65
Been using this Blickmann Therminator for a couple years now.  I run 5 gallons of PBW at 140+ degrees then 5 gallons rinse water via pump to clean, then back flush till clear.  I thought all this time I was giving this plate chiller a really good cleaning out. Finished brewing last week and cleaned the plate chiller as usual.  Unplugged the unit and set it in the sink to drain. Everyday this week I have run the back flush hose and I am getting quite a bit of grain bits/whole cone hop debris.  I think I must have never, really cleaned this chiller out completely!

I am trying to come up with a good way to totally clean this plate chiller out spotless.  I have heard of brewers putting these in the oven and literally baking the thing.  Seems to me this would only burn the debris to the plates.  Thought about using caustic.....

Anyone got a great, sure fire, total clean method for plate chillers like mine that must be encrusted with barnacles of brew kettle debris? 

66
Equipment and Software / Re: Cleaning of equipment
« on: May 05, 2013, 07:38:48 AM »
I use PBW hot, 140 - 160 degrees for lines and plate chillers that I can recirculate solution. Doesn't seem to work as well at room temperature, and doesn't seem to keep its cleaning ability very long.

I use oxyclean at room temperature to clean everything else. Really does a nice job on glass carboys. Keep a 5 gallon bucket of solution at all times and toss in the dirty equipment to soak. Seems to last longer.

67
Equipment and Software / Re: Cleaning Mills- Barley Crusher
« on: May 05, 2013, 07:29:00 AM »
I condition my grain with water before I mill to get finer crush - .026.  The water makes the grain a bit sticky to the roller mill.  I take a wire brush and clean the rollers as needed. Occasionally need to spray the rollers with fine mist water to get a stubborn spot. Then clean and lube the bushing.

68
All Grain Brewing / Re: observation of dissolved oxygen loss in wort
« on: April 29, 2013, 06:41:33 PM »
I think yeast oxygen toxicity is a wildly propagated urban myth for brewers.  No doubt you can kill most anything with excessive oxygen.  However, with our brewing practices this is unlikely to happen and needless worry. Excessive oxygen, in my opinion, is rarely a problem.

I do believe you can use excessive oxygen that negatively affects beer flavor, producing fusel alcohols and acetaldehyde.

I do believe that consistent control of dissolved oxygen in wort is critical to steady yeast growth and yeast production of desirable flavor compounds.

Low gravity beers <1.060 are very forgiving of mistakes and this information is not as applicable to these beers. High gravity beers >1.080 are much less forgiving of mistakes and this information is more important for their success.

69
All Grain Brewing / observation of dissolved oxygen loss in wort
« on: April 28, 2013, 06:50:30 PM »
Just finished brewing today and have an interesting observation to share/discuss.

Brewed an Imperial Stout OG 1.094. I use an in-line oxygen system into a 7.5 gallon glass carboy with a Hach luminescent dissolved oxygen meter in the carboy.  Wort is at 65 degrees.  I use the standard 1ppm/degree Plato oxygen per the "Handbook of Brewing", Priest and Stewart.  I have been running this identical oxygen set up for about 2 years now.  I run the wort into the carboy and adjusted the oxygen flow to hit my desired number, then immediately pull the Hach LDO out of the carboy.  Today for the first time I decided to leave the LDO in the carboy and take a few readings over the next couple hours. Initial reading upon filling the carboy 20+ppm O2. Did not pitch the yeast.  Over the next hour the oxygen saturation is down to 5.2!  No yeast, carboy sitting at 65 degrees in the refrigerator.  I was blown away how quickly the oxygen came out of solution. Pitched the yeast and thirty minutes later oxygen saturation of zero!

Appears to me that my in line oxygen set up is near worthless as most all the oxygen came quickly out of solution in the carboy. I always thought an in line oxygen system was the most efficient method.  I now suspect any other delivery system would suffer this same problem. Perhaps a better way is to rack to the carboy and run a very slow, continuous oxygen flow via airstone into the carboy for the first 24 hours?

70
Repeat short compressor cycles are suppose to hasten the demise of refrigerators/freezers.  For digital temperature controllers I program in two degrees which gives a four degree variance.  For my analog temperature controllers I always put my temperature probe in a PET soda bottle full of water to help prevent rapid cycles.

71
How do you control the freezer temperature?

72
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Begian Dark vs Quad
« on: April 14, 2013, 03:56:34 PM »
What we need is Gordon Strong at a time like this.
He would have the definite answer.
Mr. Strong you in town?
 ;)

73
All Grain Brewing / Re: calcium carry over to kettle question
« on: March 06, 2013, 08:04:31 PM »
So my error in thinking is that I want a final 100ppm calcium in the kettle?
I should be satisfied with 25-35ppm?

I thought yeast perform best with about 100ppm calcium in the fermentor?
Do probrewers then add kettle calcium chloride solely as a flavor ion?

I have to admit I have read the Colin Kaminski/A J DeLange/ Kai thread (all 222 replys) at BN at least two dozen times trying my best to understand this concept and still don't have it. Granted they are very smart fellows and and I am just an ordinary, average guy (Joe Walsh).


74
All Grain Brewing / Re: calcium carry over to kettle question
« on: March 05, 2013, 07:31:02 PM »
I wouldn't worry much about it. The calcium recommendations for water already take that into account.
Kai

Kai I don't understand this statement.
I have been using Brun Water for calculations.
I don't see where calcium carry over loss is accounted for in this, or any other water program.
Seems like I am coming up short on kettle calcium without a kettle addition.

75
All Grain Brewing / calcium carry over to kettle question
« on: March 04, 2013, 08:00:59 PM »
The numbers I find quoted are 25% - 35% calcium carry over from mash tun to kettle.
I have assumed the spread may perhaps be related to some brewers using calcium additions to sparge water -> maybe.
I have also seen quoted that probrewers like to use 2/3 calcium in the mash and 1/3 calcium in the kettle.
How much all this is true I don't know but these numers seem to come up most frequently in my research.

So I have been shooting for 100ppm calcium using both calcium chloride and calcium sulfate at various ratios depending if it's a malt forward beer or a hop forward beer.
Mash tun 100ppm calcium
Sparge water 100ppm calcium
That means my kettle carry over is down to 25 - 35 ppm calcium.
Seems to me I would top off my kettle with 65 - 75ppm calcium to hit the 100 ppm mark.
That's a 57:43 ratio vs recommended 67:33 ratio - but close enough I believe.

Is this a reasonable conclusion?

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