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Messages - philm63

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Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Thank you!
« on: January 11, 2014, 06:31:26 PM »
As long as the final gravity is in-line with what is expected, the slightly higher OG will result in a slightly higher ABV - not a bad problem to have, me thinks!

Equipment and Software / Re: Plate Chiller and Hops
« on: January 11, 2014, 06:25:38 PM »
I use a stainless filter for everything that goes in the boil (, so I never get any vegetal material coming through.

Question: Do you use pellet hops, or whole leaf hops with this filter?

Like the OP; I've been researching filtering systems that would work for a "plate chiller w/pellet hops" set-up, and the one referenced in your post was a nice looking option until I learned they were designed to work with whole leaf hops and while it may work as well for pellet hops, what I read was that "if using pellet hops, some material will pass through this filter".

The Hop-Stopper, however, will work with pellet hops. When I went straight to the manufacturer (Innovative Homebrew Solutions) they said, and I quote the manufacturer: "As for performance, the Hop Stopper will work great with your plate chiller. Plate chillers are the most efficient products for chilling available to homebrewers, but, as you well know, their Achilles heel is that even the smallest piece of debris will clog them. The Hop Stopper is designed to effectively filter any debris that might clog your plate chiller, even pellet hops."

These guys did an experiment with a BUTT-LOAD of pellet hops and even when the Hop-Stopper had a couple of inches of hop-sludge on it, it still managed to allow almost all of the wort to be pulled from the kettle.

When I start using my new plate chiller; I'll likely go with the Hop Stopper so I can run straight to the fermenter instead of recirculating (with my IC) like I do now.

Equipment and Software / Re: good place to buy perlick faucets?
« on: January 09, 2014, 04:50:08 AM »
Good advice to go the few extra $$ for stainless. I even went a few bucks more and got the Creamers - very happy with them for over a year now.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Cake in beer
« on: January 08, 2014, 01:42:44 PM »
oh good, your subject line made me think you were going a different direction.
It made me want to experiment... Next time I have left over cake I know what I'm going to make a 1 gallon batch of!

I'm still trying to figure out how to add cake as in ingredient in BeerSmith... (I guess it'd be a Specialty Grain?)

Equipment and Software / Re: Pump advice
« on: January 06, 2014, 08:23:23 PM »
...Personally id go with center inlet over inline but yet again, pick what feels right:)

Having just started using a pump and still not knowing that much about them; can you tell me what the major differences would be with a center inlet? I looked at those but couldn't argue with the price of the Chugger at the time.

Equipment and Software / Re: Natural Gas Burner Cost
« on: January 06, 2014, 11:42:00 AM »
@ euge - How much would you charge me to do MY garage? Got a hot water heater gas line near by...

Just kidding. Well, maybe not...

Please remember safety when messing with gas lines - it only takes one mistake and, well... you know.

Equipment and Software / Re: Pump advice
« on: January 06, 2014, 11:32:52 AM »
Just tried my pump for the first time yesterday - handled all kinds of boiling gunk with nary a problem. It's a Chugger and has a stainless steel head so there's no worries about hot stuff affecting it.

Thermometer for the plate chiller is on the way along with a Tee and cam-locks so hopefully my next brew will incorporate this new chilling system and I can run straight to the fermenter.

My first attempt yesterday was with just the pump and an immersion chiller in the kettle. I also had my Hop Rocket after the pump, and it had a 5-gallon paint strainer bag stuffed in it as sort of a filter. The hope was that while recirculating and chilling, I'd also be pulling all the gunk out of my wort leaving a nice clean wort into the fermenter. Nope, sorry, nothin'! Darn thing clogged within a couple of minutes and I had to pull it out of the circuit and continue chilling/recirculating without it. Next time maybe I'll try 3 or 4 stainless steel scrubbies stuffed into the Rocket and slow my flow down a little bit.

Let me add; I do not (as of yet) harvest my yeast so I'm not that worried about the yeast after fermentation - mostly concerned with flavor/haze/fermentation issues, if this helps.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend 1/4/2014?
« on: January 03, 2014, 12:40:22 PM »
American IPA with about a pound of 2012 Falconer's Flight I have left in the freezer (5-gallon batch). Trying to blow-out my old stock.

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?

All Grain Brewing / Re: All grain brewing - pump or no pump?
« on: January 02, 2014, 03:31:11 AM »
I'm just now adding a pump so I can pull the wort through my system w/o gravity. I'm sure my back will appreciate the gesture.

One of my goals is to be able to filter the hop sludge and break material so I can get cleaner wort into the fermenter. I did notice something in this thread...

...(more hoses, trub filter and chiller)

Trub filter? I'm thinking of using my Hop Rocket stuffed full of hop-socks. What do you use?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Single Infusion Mash Time
« on: January 01, 2014, 07:02:55 PM »
Seems pH is more important than I originally thought regarding conversion. I normally mash for 60 minutes but for some reason the last couple of batches have come up short on gravity points into the kettle.

Not sure if I'm not converting fully or if it is a sparge issue - I haven't changed my sparge process but I have been playing with water chemistry and my last couple of batches came in at pH 5.2 in the mash, so conversion is my prime suspect. Maybe I'm not mashing long enough?

I read something to the effect longer mashes can increase fermentability, so I'm trying 90 minutes on my next brew this weekend - I figure it can't hurt as long as I'm keeping the pH in check.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beers planned for 2014
« on: December 31, 2013, 09:08:08 PM »
Just got the yeast today for a HUGE American IPA set for this weekend. First beer of the year, and first time using my new pump and Hop Rocket, and my new silicone hoses and cam-locks. Mop is at the ready...

Equipment and Software / Re: Organization
« on: December 30, 2013, 02:37:31 PM »
With those corny's stacked like that, I'll bet it sounds awesome during an earthquake... (sorry - cheap California joke - I used to live there, too!)

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