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Topics - philm63

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Yeast and Fermentation / YeastCalc's Website is Down?!!
« on: January 24, 2014, 01:13:43 PM »
Anyone have any ideas on why YeastCalc's website is down?

I've seen bits and pieces of information on this forum and in other sources concerning cold break in the fermenter, and it appears there are varying opinions on whether or not this is OK and if so, how much is OK.

To get a handle on controlling the temperatures with my new chiller set-up, I'll be recirculating with a filter (Hop Rocket) between the pump and chiller until I hit my pitching temp, meaning I'll trap most of the cold break material before I switch hoses and run the wort to the fermenter.

Question is; when I decide to remove the training wheels and run the wort through the chiller directly to the fermenter w/o recirculating, all of the cold break is going to end up in the fermenter, no?

I know some break material is good for the yeast, but are there any other concerns?

Got my Chugger pump a couple of months ago - still setting up the lines and fittings - and Santa just left me a shiny new plate chiller! Woo-hoo!!

For those of you using a plate chiller AND a pump; it looks like there are a couple of ways to set it up - running from kettle to pump to plate chiller to fermenter; or from kettle to pump to plate chiller and back to kettle until temp is reached, and THEN running it to the fermenter. So, the question:

Which method do YOU use, and why? Are there specific advantages/disadvantages to each method?

Wasn't sure how to search this one, so I figured I'd just toss it out there - how much beer can one expect to lose in the pump and lines?

I ask because I am adding a pump to my system (5-gallon batches, 10-gallon cooler for the tun, 10-gallon BK) and my initial use will be to circulate the wort during chilling (using an IC) and introducing my new Hop Rocket to the mix as a filter at first - just to get used to working with a pump.

I'm adding a ball-valve near the top of my BK for a return. A hose will go from the bottom of the BK to the pump, then to the Hop Rocket, then back up to the BK. My total line length will be about 12 feet.

Is there a "standard" procedure to get that wort out of the lines and into the kettle once the pump is turned off? Or is anything left in the lines considered "waste" and just dumped during the cleaning process? If so, I can note how much is lost and add it to my batch size to compensate - just wondering what other folks are doing.

General Homebrew Discussion / Coolest Wife Award?
« on: September 14, 2013, 12:08:26 PM »
Check out what the wife did for my birthday...

The Hop Rocket she also got me doesn't suck either...

General Homebrew Discussion / Who Uses a Blow-Off Tube and When?
« on: August 13, 2013, 08:41:46 AM »
Had a major blow-off on my Hefe - thought "No way - I pitched at less than 60 F and set the ferm-fridge to 62 F!" What a mess! It was WLP300.

OK, so I need to get a blow-off tube, and my question is this: Who uses a blow-off tube and when, and for what yeast strains or beer styles?

Yeast and Fermentation / Pure O2 - Is a Sanitary Filter Really Needed?
« on: August 10, 2013, 06:54:13 AM »
Just got my O2 system set up and will be using it this weekend for the first time. I have the tank, regulator with flow meter, a length of flexible tubing, and one of those nifty Williams sintered stones on a long metal tube (sintered stone-pop?) Not being 100% sure, I went ahead and purchased an in-line "Sanitary Filter" as well.

For pure O2, do I really need the sanitary filter? I'm pretty sure they are needed for aquarium-pump aeration systems (you never know what's in that air!)

My thinking is that my sintered stone has 0.5 micron holes, and sanitary filters for beer filtration systems run around 0.5 microns, no? meaning anything that might be in my "pure" O2 that could give my chilled wort grief would not make it passed the sintered stone.

Does this sound right, or should I just err on the safe side and use my in-line filter?

Yeast and Fermentation / Low Fermentation Temperature for Hefeweizen
« on: August 10, 2013, 06:18:24 AM »
Brewing my first Hefe this weekend and will be using WLP300. Not wanting a banana-bomb, I'm aiming at a low pitch and initial fermentation temperature - thinking of pitching at 60 F and letting it go to 62 F for the first 3 or 4 days, then raise it up to finish it off at 68-70 F.

My concern is the low pitching temp (60 F) - even if I oxygenate with pure O2 and have a very healthy pitch, can I still anticipate a sluggish start?

Most of my fementations take off within 6 hours or so, and I usually don't go much lower than 4 F below the stated range for a given strain. Should this one be any different being well below the normal operating temperatures for that strain?

All Grain Brewing / Acid Rest Question
« on: August 08, 2013, 05:58:14 AM »
Doing a Hefeweizen this weekend and I plan to mash-in at 111 F for a ferulic acid rest for 10 minutes, then pull a decoction.

My question is this: When doing any "acid rest", the mash will become slightly more acidic, yes? But how much more? Will it keep going, or is there some sort of buffer effect that dictates after it drops a certain amount, it can drop no further?

Bru'n Water calculations show that at mash-in, my pH should be around 5.5, and I'd like it to be around 5.2 during conversion. When I do my rest at 111 F, will I see enough of a drop before pulling my decoction, or should it take longer? Should I just add a few ml of 10% phosphoric instead of waiting around for the pH to drop on its own?

Yeast and Fermentation / Aeration Equipment Question
« on: July 13, 2013, 06:14:42 AM »
I'd like to improve my fermentations by changing the way I aerate my wort (normally I just shake the carboy), and I've been looking at pure O2 equipment.

What I'm looking for here is advice from those who have gone through this process so I don't wind up wasting too much $$$. I do want to get "good" equipment for this, nothing cheap that'll fall apart or give inaccurate readings, as I'd like to be able to control the process so I can accurately track changes.

To this end; I've been looking at a 20 CF O2 tank (welding grade, new) and medical-grade regulators and flow meters. Seems a set-up like this is running around $250-300. I don't mind spending the money, but I'd like to do it once and be done with it.

Anyone gone through this before, and what did you wind up with? Do you use medical-grade regulators and flow meters, or industrial-grade regulators?

Ingredients / Mosaic Hops?
« on: October 28, 2012, 04:44:18 PM »
Where can I buy the new Mosaic hops? I've looked around on-line and have yet to find anyone selling them.


General Homebrew Discussion / CO2 bottle in the fridge?
« on: September 22, 2012, 01:35:30 PM »
Can I keep my CO2 bottle in the fridge with my cornies at 40F or so? Any problems with this?

I don't want to drill holes yet - the fridge is still new - don't have the guts to pop holes in it quite yet...

General Homebrew Discussion / Whirlfloc and Fluffy Trub
« on: September 16, 2012, 01:02:27 PM »
Anybody else have really fluffy trub as a result of using Whirlfloc? I used a half tablet today in a 5-gallon batch of IPA and could only get a little over 4 gallons in my fermenter - the rest was trub - very fluffy trub!

My batches have a 6.75 gallon boil, 1 hour scrubs about a gallon, and I'm used to loosing about a half a gallon to trub which normally leaves me 5.25 or so in the carboy.

This is the second time this has happened - I was thinking the first time it was something I was doing wrong, but the only thing I had changed was to add the Whirlfloc; a half tablet at T-10 minutes - same as this time.


Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Water Profile for IPA
« on: September 14, 2012, 07:58:23 AM »
Doing a partial mash American IPA this weekend and was wondering if there was anything special I should look for in my water profile - anything that I could or should change to make it optimal for an IPA. Currently my water report shows the following (I included only what I thought were the most relevant properties):

Chlorides are 8.3 ppm
Sulfate   is 3.2 ppm
pH is 7.30
Total Hardness is 23 mg/L
Ca Hardness is 17 ppm
Alkalinity is 21 ppm

I've also seen suggestions that where a substantial portion of the fermentables is Extract, it is advisable to use a 50/50 blend of Distilled to Spring Water (I use only bottled Spring Water for my brews currently). Does this sound sensible?

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Dry-Hopping with Pellets - Cold-Crashing?
« on: September 09, 2012, 03:44:44 PM »
Can I cold-crash my IPA to get the dry-hop pellets (bits and pieces) to drop out without dropping too much yeast (I may bottle-condition this one)?

I plan on racking to secondary after a couple of weeks in on the cake where I'll add a couple of ounces of hop pellets and let 'em sit for a week before bottling. Question is; can I drop the temp low enough to get the hops to settle out without causing too much yeast to also drop out? Is so, what is a good temperature to shoot for here?

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