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Messages - neemox

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Drink IPA's Fresh!
« on: December 12, 2012, 08:54:14 PM »
Interesting to read through that list and find out that while before this thread I had never looked at a best by date on a beer, all the breweries that I love most do include brew date info. Perhaps there is a link between breweries that are willing to provide this information and their mentality about producing (and selling) good quality beer.

Ingredients / Re: Topaz hops
« on: December 09, 2012, 06:34:11 PM »
Gonna need to get that book. Going on the list right now.

All Grain Brewing / Re: measuring efficency
« on: December 06, 2012, 09:35:24 PM »
Or is there an easier way?  I have beersmith set at 75% efficiency, and I always come close to the estimated OG.  (1.065 on BS, and I'll hit 1.060) I suppose I could adjust the efficiency in BS to the point where I'm right on, and figure that is my efficiency. 

How do you all measure your efficiency?
I have been doing a lot of efficiency measuring recently just trying to get into the ballpark. After listening to the advice of others, I'm never going to worry about the difference between 72% and 75%, but I was having really low and inconsistent efficiencies. To try and pinpoint what is/was going on in my system and get consistent, I've been measuring all of the components off of Kai's spreadsheet that he linked.

The biggest things I have either measured or started recording that have helped have been the dead space in my MT (very easy to measure, add water to cover the outlet, drain, measure remaining water using something calibrated), which in turn has allowed for measuring my mash volume. This can also be done just by measuring the volume in your boil kettle after collecting (but then you are missing some information about grain absorption). Measuring the run-off gravities (at the correct temp) and the volumes in the MT, kettle, and fermenter have all helped me greatly.

I measure volume in my kettle using a meterstick, multiplying by the surface area of my cylindrical pot, and converting milliliters to gallons. My fermenter is marked and I just trust it enough for my rough calculations.  I calibrated the 1/2 gallon pitcher I use on brew day using a pyrex measuring cup, which so far is working fine for my calculations. Again, not worrying about the 3% difference that will take my beer up or down a couple of points, I'm worried about the 10-20 point variations. All in all, the measurements I take on brew day now add an extra 10 minutes or so, but the information I get from calculating the efficiency has already helped my consistency greatly. Totally worth it to measure the variables, even if you don't need to calculate the values later on. If you end up with the right volume of the right gravity, then your efficiency was pretty damn good. But if not, it's going to be really hard to go back and collect the data you need once the beer is in the fermenter.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg System pressure
« on: December 06, 2012, 06:13:44 PM »
I love that every time I have a question about brewing, their is a scientific solution if there is not someone who has already done the tests. Thank you for pointing out the theory behind my broken keg system. Know I understand the balancing issue, so I'll do some tests on my kegs and system and report back.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2 questions
« on: December 05, 2012, 07:28:42 PM »
If you are interested in non-hop bittering, I would definitely suggest reading up on Gruit. as a starting place.

As Morticai points out, hops is the new comer in beer.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I'm a rebel, Dotty, a loner...
« on: December 05, 2012, 07:11:24 AM »
It does appear as though you are preparing your wort chiller to run through your radiator.... novel concept, I'm game.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg System pressure
« on: December 04, 2012, 06:37:07 PM »
On they have a troubleshooting chart and one of the things they list is:
"Beer foaming in jumper – keg valve seal torn or ripped". When they say jumper, do they mean my dispensing line? I have one clear line and I do see bubbles forming in the line occasionally, but I think this troubleshooting chart is talking about Sankey issues that don't apply??

They do mention getting larger and longer hoses can help this problem. I'll pick up some 3/16 ID and see what happens.

I'll also NOT overcarb this next batch and see how that goes. I have had this problem on commercial kegs as well, which is what made me think it might have been a regulator issue, but perhaps this is all a funciton of overcarbonation and short skinny beer lines

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg System pressure
« on: December 04, 2012, 06:29:40 PM »
rock and roll carbing is great. I do it all the time. but do it at serving pressure. yes 30PSI will get you there faster but it will also get you WAY over your target faster. set at 10, rock for 10 minutes or until it stops refilling. I like to hold my keg by the top handle and the bottom foot with the gas post down gas attached (never had suck back) and shift back and forth on my feet until the gas entry slows way down. It's usually okay after that but it's gunky and cloudy till the next day and the carb is better once it settles anyway.
So do you only rock it for ten minutes, then set it back in the fridge? This sounds like my problem. I have been carbing at 30psi for upwards of 30-40 minutes, til their is no-more gas going in whatsoever.

Equipment and Software / Re: Thermometers
« on: December 04, 2012, 06:26:21 PM »
So when you strike, you just account for the heat loss to your MT instead of pre-heating it? Seems like that could take a little experimenting, but save a lot of time.

I ended up getting a relatively cheap commercial digital thermo. I was totally happy with it when I brewed this weekend, but now I understand the desire for fast. I have always left my dial thermometers in whatever I was measuring, so response time wasn't an issue, and I can't do that with this little one (as easily) means I lost another degree or two in my mash due to checking temperatures.

Just signed up for the thermapen e-mail list. Great suggestions. Thanks.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg System pressure
« on: December 04, 2012, 06:06:54 PM »
Thanks Tom

The beer pours at 40°F, the keg line is 4 ft of 1/4"id hose, in the fridge entirely.

I force carb, and haven't ever looked at volumes of CO2 very accurately. I just rock the keg at 30 psi til it stops chirping (I chill the keg first) and then let it sit. I vent the excess pressure and then *try* to serve at 10 psi.

I'll check out that link right now and see what i can figure out.

As to the overcarbonation, I have had the gas low enough that it could essentially be off. I've had to deliver at pressures around 1 in order to not just blast beer/foam all over the place. Which now that I say it, makes me think that overcarbonation could be a very real issue.

Perhaps my problem is in carbonation, and not in the keg set-up.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: 1 step closer!
« on: December 04, 2012, 07:38:59 AM »
Grab one of these and hook it up.

It turns out my kegerator costs me less than a buck a month usually, which gave me leverage to pick up a freezer without worrying about the power consumption anymore (About the same as her hair dryer ;D)

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegging without a fridge
« on: December 04, 2012, 07:32:25 AM »
My wife wanted to get me something brew related for xmas but adding the fridge puts it wait out of our price range for now.

I don't know what exactly the price range is, but for me, the hardware for the kegging and serving was way more expensive than the fridge. Lots of people will give away fridges for scrap that are capable of holding 45° but may not be able to hold the 34 they were shooting for. In the same day I found a fridge to build into my kegerator and another to use as a cheese cave on craigslist. IIRC, spent less than 50 bucks on both, both are still working great (and relatively efficiently because I leave them much warmer than they are designed to go. Something to look for anyway.

Kegging and Bottling / Keg System pressure
« on: December 04, 2012, 07:26:57 AM »
Everything I have read says to push beer at around 12 psi out of my cornies, maybe a bit higher for commercial kegs. Problem is, from effectively 0 all the way to 15 psi, I get nothing but foam. It settles out eventually, and I have poured a half glass, but it is really getting frustrating.

I'm wondering if my regulator might be lying to me? I've noticed that after I've poured 3 or 4, the foaming goes down a lot and I'm able to pour a relatively decent beer. This makes me think that my regulator is over carbing my beer, but even if I have it set to a pressure low enough that beer almost doesn't flow and I purge the keg, I get foam coming out instead of beer.

I'm guessing this is one of those things that everyone else has learned and I haven't caught onto yet, so I'd love even the basic advice.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First Batch
« on: December 04, 2012, 07:12:04 AM »
Perfect, this seems to be simple and efficient.

Euge brings up a point I've often thought about but never done anything about. When trying to chill my wort, I usually stir, but in the process, it feels like I am subjecting myself to HSA and increasing the haze of my beer down the road. Does everyone stir their wort post-boil? Does no-one stir their wort post-boil? Does the cold break just fall out of solution once I get it in the fermenter?

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Well...I drank my first homebrew
« on: December 04, 2012, 07:07:31 AM »
1.010 is not to low for a lightish ale.

Ahh, yup, my brain put another Zero in there.

Does anyone have any idea how much oxidation can play a role based on headspace? I know I want to limit headspace in a secondary, but If it's not mixing, how much headspace is too much?

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