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Topics - In The Sand

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Beer Recipes / Mild Brown Ale
« on: July 31, 2013, 03:59:06 PM »
We've been asked to brew a couple of styles for an event at my day job.  I'll be serving to people that I have no idea if they like craft beer or not.  So my thoughts were a citrusy/fruity IPA and a Brown Ale.  I've never done a brown ale, but I've read up on the style.  I think this would be a nice alternative to those who don't care for IPA's.  I'm not sure about the specialty malts here.  Have I overdone it?  I've never used Victory or Amber so I'm not 100% sure if both are needed or if the flavors will be complimentary.  Also, could use suggestions on yeast strain.  I figured something with low esters like 1056, but there may be a better alternative.  So from what I've gathered, I'm thinking the brown would look something like this:

Batch Size: 10.00 gal     
Boil Size: 12.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.048 SG
Estimated Color: 15.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 18.8 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amount        Item                                                         % or IBU     
14.00 lb     Standard 2-Row (2.0 SRM)                            75.68 %       
3.00 lb       Amber Malt (22.0 SRM)                                 16.22 %       
0.50 lb       Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)            2.70 %       
0.50 lb       Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)                            2.70 %       
0.50 lb       Victory Malt (25.0 SRM)                                  2.70 %       
0.50 oz       Warrior [15.00 %]  (60 min)                         14.1 IBU     
1.00 oz       Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %]  (15 min)           4.7 IBU       
1.00 oz       Williamette [5.50 %]  (0 min)             -           
2.00 items    Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min)         
2 Pkgs        American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056)         

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 18.50 lb
Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time     Name               Description                         Step Temp     
60 min        Mash In            Add 9.25 gal of water at 164.0 F    154.0 F       

Equipment and Software / Carbonating with Diffusion Stone
« on: July 30, 2013, 11:52:59 AM »
I recently purchased a 0.5 micron diffusion stone to use for force carbonating kegs.  I've used it on about 3 batches so far and it works great!  I can carb a beer in 2 days, rather than 2 weeks.  I just use a short piece of 1/4" tubing with the diff stone on one end and shove the other end on the gas in post.  I followed the instructions for the carbonating lid, since it's the same concept.  My question is, why do they suggest starting at 2 psi and gradually raising the pressure to serving pressure?  If it is cold (at serving temp), why not just set at 10-12 psi and leave it? 

The first batch I did according to their directions.  The second batch I was a little more aggressive and started at about 8 psi, then bumped up to serving pressure within 12 hours.  Beer was ready in the same amount of time.  The batch I kegged last night I did the same way.

Equipment and Software / Hop Blocker/Stopper Mesh Size
« on: July 23, 2013, 12:27:38 PM »
I brewed last week with my Blichmann plate chiller for the first time.  I used a homemade hop spider which consisted of a PVC coupling, 5-gal paint strainer bag, and hose clamp.  It worked okay I guess, but it is hard to keep from floating to the top.  So this week I'd like to try something more solid, like a stainless mesh wrapped around the dip tube.  I've seen them made before and before I drop another $60-$75 on a pre-fab one, I'd like to see what I can do that will suffice.  So my questions is, what mesh size is sufficient for keeping pellet hop particles and hot break material out?  I found these, which are cheap and I thought I might be able to modify them a bit to make it fit my dip tube by cutting the mesh out of the filter.  The 100 mesh looks like it may work.  Thoughts?

Edit:  Or are these things tiny??

Other Fermentables / Cider done?
« on: July 23, 2013, 01:14:25 AM »
I made a hard apple cider on May 20th. The current SG is 1.000 but it's still very bubbly. Is it still fermenting or can I move it along to crash cold then keg?

Equipment and Software / First brew day on unistrut
« on: July 19, 2013, 09:07:27 PM »
So far so good. Pilot test last night yielded some valuable information. Leaks and such. Thanks again for the idea Drew.

Brew partner weighing kettle additions.  Note the BA shirt!

General Homebrew Discussion / Oxyclean and Therminator
« on: July 19, 2013, 01:40:25 AM »
Is it okay to run oxy thru the Blichmann Therminator? Planning on using it tomorrow for the first time and don't have any PBW for a backflush after the brew.

Yeast and Fermentation / 1056 Smack Pack Viability
« on: July 17, 2013, 01:58:42 PM »
I ordered two packages of Wyeast 1056 smack packs on 5/28/13.  When I received them they were inflated, so I followed the directions on Wyeast's website and put them in the fridge because I wasn't going to use them for awhile.  They subsequently deflated and there they have remained ever since. 

I am planning on brewing 10 gallons of an IPA on Friday, 7/19/13, and planning on pitching both packs.  I don't have any wort to make a starter and am concerned about the yeast viability.  Although I do have a pound of Gold DME, but have never made a starter.  Should I take them out of the fridge the day before and let them get up to room temperature?  Will the bags reinflate, or should I trust that the yeast is still good?  I have some dry yeast as well, but really wanted to use the liquid on this batch.  Projected OG is around 1.060 on this batch.

Beer Travel / Mobile, AL
« on: July 11, 2013, 10:43:27 PM »
Any good pubs or taprooms here?

Equipment and Software / What type fittings are these?
« on: July 10, 2013, 06:25:49 PM »
The ones on either end of the sight glass holding it in place.

Equipment and Software / Sight Gauge Fittings
« on: July 09, 2013, 01:13:35 AM »
I'm looking at getting a short run of sight gauge glass to go from my O2 injection, to ball valve, to fermentor.  This is the sight glass I'm looking at.  What fittings do I need to buy to go from the O2 (which is stainless steel, 1/2" FPT) to the sight glass and back to a stainless ball valve?

Ingredients / Amarillo
« on: June 19, 2013, 11:52:55 PM »
The past few IPAs I've made have a sort of dank/BO/shoe(according to my wife) flavor right at the end.  The only common denominator I can pinpoint is that I've used Amarillo in the last 10 minutes and at KO in all of them.  I'm not sure if I can say it's necessarily a bad flavor, just different.  They're definitely still good beers.  Just wondering what everyone else's experience has been with that confusing flavor profile I just outlined.


Going Pro / O2 Carbonation Stone Sizing
« on: June 11, 2013, 06:39:20 PM »
Looking at inline oxygenation system and trying to figure out which pore sizing for the stones is best. I'm thinking 0.5 micron is better than 2 micron since the bubbles will be smaller and dissolve quicker.  However, the inline system from includes a 2-micron stone, which is apparently not replaceable (at least not by them, according to their customer service).  Any thoughts?
Also, I'm brewing on a nano-nano system (10-gal). I have a Chugger pump I use for transferring from HLT to MLT.  Should I use a pump to transfer wort through plate chiller and oxygenation system, or will gravity work?
Thanks in advance!

Equipment and Software / Inline Aeration
« on: June 10, 2013, 06:39:44 PM »
I've recently made some upgrades in equipment.  Bought a Chugger SS pump and a Blichmann Therminator plate chiller.  I'm now looking into oxygenation choices, so I have a shorter lag time to drink.  I've was looking at this one and am curious as to its application and efficiency/ease-of-use.  I plan on chilling prior to aerating.  Should I pump the wort through the plate chiller at a low flow rate so I don't get backflow into the O2 line?  Also, is the 2-micron stone sufficient, or does anyone else have suggestions on a different inline system around the same price?

(BTW I know there are lots of threads on aeration, but I couldn't find something along these lines)

Thanks in advance.

Equipment and Software / Therminator
« on: June 05, 2013, 11:33:06 PM »
Got mine today. Ordered the quick connects and ball valve too. Any advice to keep this thing operating well and keep from clogging?

Beer Recipes / Good Ale for BMC Drinkers
« on: May 31, 2013, 07:03:30 PM »
Thoughts on malts & hops for my BMC friends to ease them into craft beer?  I'd like to do an ale, since I only do ales and don't have a lager fridge.  Not sure what hops would be well suited for this style.  Any ideas would be appreciated.  Thanks!

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