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Messages - wingnut

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Hop Teas and other Hoppy techniques
« on: February 12, 2015, 05:56:43 AM »
My opinions... (ask 5 others and you will get 6 more opinions)

1.) I do not like the strategy of having the wort less than boil and above 170 for an hour... that is asking for off flavors.  10 to 15 minutes would be plenty. 
2.) I would add charges at 10 minutes of boil, 5 minutes of boil and 0 minutes of boil, and see what that does.... the charcter of adding hops is differet depending on the time you drop them in... and I think you need a RANGE of character to get the full hop effect you are looking for. Adding a bunch at one shot, give you a limited range of hop character.
3.) Compare finishing gravity of your beer to your favorite beer.  You may need to get your beer dow to 1.008 or below to get the mouth feel you are looking for.  (get the body of the beer out of the way a bit so the hops shine through)
4.) your more hops idea is probably a good idea.  I think you get everything out of the hops in about 10 to 15 minutes...once the stuff is in the wort, the green stuff is just taking up space.  (again opinion)  The hop stand you are doing at the end between boil and 175.... is a good thing, just not for an hour.  No added benefit for going past 15 minutes, and there are some cons that make me wrinkle my nose at the idea.

Equipment and Software / Re: Submersible pump keg cleaner
« on: February 06, 2015, 05:26:22 AM »
I've used the one that many homebrew suppliers sell.  I use as hot as water as I can.  In 3-4 years, never a problem. 

Same story here... bottom of line submersable pump... cleaned kegs for three years in as hot of water as my hot water heater will put out.... probably 60 keg cleanings... an hour or so running water through a piece.... and the pump still hums along.

Just make sure to plug it into a GFCI for safety!

Equipment and Software / Re: 2 brew kettle questions
« on: February 06, 2015, 05:22:34 AM »
The mesh will work.... but as others have indicated... it is likely to deform over time and reduce the space between the kettle and the bottom of the grain bed... essentially collapsing over time. (time might be minutes into a batch, or 50 batches...) 

I use some stainless screen in my 1 gallon setup (igloo jug.... probably about 2.3 gallons in size if I recall correctly) and that works ok, but due to the design, I have a two inch long, half inch nipple on the inside of the cooler, and that helps keep the mesh from collapsing by the spigot.   (I only brew on it once or twice a year... it is kind of my pilot system for making starter wort or for experiments with yeast/hops)

For a five gallon batch, I would spring for the stiffer perforated stainless, or put in a copper ring with slits cut into it with a hacksaw.  (if you are in a shop with stainless mesh, you might have stainless, copper, or aluminum tubing that would work for this)

Good luck!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: PBW and teflon
« on: January 22, 2015, 06:14:34 AM »
Working in the Automation industry, I have spent a lot of time with hydraulics.  The oil used in hydraulics can and does break down teflon tape over time.  (I have retrofitted many 1000 ton or larger presses that have the pickup screen clogged to some extent with the tape residue...but that is not normal) 

(Note, I am in the boat that thinks teflon tape and the Limited contact time with PBW.... will not result in any issues.  If left in constant contact with PBW for MONTHS...yes.  But not for the few hours of soaking)

The "best practice" in the industry, however, is not to abolish teflon tape all together.  Rather it is just to make sure it is not preset on the first two threads.  Essentially, if you dont have it exposed and "flopping around" it stays in place perfectly.  The tape when lodged between the threads, does not degrade.

With that in mind, I would use teflon tape wherever I needed a good water tight seal, and just make sure to apply it so that it is positioned in the threads and not exposed.   

(Assuming you are worried PBW will effect the tape )
In the kettle, I see white tape exposed... I would re-wrap the fitting so that it is not exposed to the kettle, and I would keep the first two threads clear of tape as well.... since it is being inserted into the coupling.

I can say that I have tired my pickup tube in my kettle with and without tape.  I had issues getting an air tight seal with my tube without the tape... but even without tape, enough gunk built up in the threads and fittings, after about 5 or 10 batches, that it became air tight.

I have since re-built the pickup tube and always use tape.

Good luck!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Fermentation Experiment
« on: January 20, 2015, 10:04:08 AM »
It looks like a very well done experiment, and the results are in line with my experience with the yeast strain.   However, for English strains such as WLP002... a more dramatic difference becomes apparent. 

At 55-58... fairly clean.  (Clean enough the Bud drinkers in my family think the cream ale is a lager) At gets very estery.    I often use WLP002 in my Jannets Brown recipe at 58 and get a very clean beer, I also use the yeast at 68 to 75 in my english ales... and like what I get there as well (very different! Much more fruity esters)

Good news is.. if you want to brew Kolsh or clean ales,  this experiment clearly shows that WLP029 is a VERY forgiving yeast and will supply very clean characteristics over a wide range of temperatures.... so if you don't have a temp controlled fermentation, this yeast will certainly help provide clean beers at higher temps!

Equipment and Software / Re: OxyClean vs. PBW
« on: January 20, 2015, 06:14:29 AM »
PBW - RIses nice, gets a bit more grime off my stainless pans that my daughter has burned spray oil onto over and over. (compared to the other options).  In the brewery, other than it rinsing nicer than Oxiclean, and disolving better than one step... it cleans the same as far as I can tell.

Oxiclean with TSP - I have done this once or twice (only with brewery equipment) and it works just like PBW fin my opinion.  Rinses nice, get the labels off, cleans the kettles nicely...

Oxiclean only - Does not do as good a job on getting labels off as PBW, does not get the black grime off the pans as well as PBW.  But for the brewery, cleans equipmet plenty good.

Onestep - I bought a 5lb bag a couple years ago, and will not buy it again. (still have half the bag left)  It just seems that there is always a significant percentage of it that does not dissolve and keeps floating in the tub.  No amount of mixing or agitation will break up the "stryofoam beads" that float on the water and cling to the kettles/kegs as you pull them out of the water.   It rinses nice, but does not clean as well as oxiclean or PBW.  The white beads may be usefull in giving a visual on if you have actually rinsed it well enough... but I hate the beads clinging to my "clean" equipment.  :P

---- In my brewery I have 10lb of PBW and a container of Oxiclean.    For small batch cleaning I do all PBW.  (it is just easier, and I know it will work)  When I fill the utility tub to clean 5 or 6 kegs... I use about a 50/50 mix of PBW and Oxiclean.  That seems to get me everything I want, and saves a few pennies for my equipment addiction.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water options
« on: January 14, 2015, 05:21:41 AM »
My humble opinion... a tablespoon of each for 5 gallons is actually a tad on the high end.  So for 2.5 gallons, maybe just a teaspoon of each is all you need (a teaspoon is 1/3 of a tablespoon).  Somewhere in there.  It's all good.

Yep,it scales linnearly.  I use a tablespoon because it is easy to be consistent.   Going down to a teaspoon per 2.5 gallons should work ok.   

Try it,and if the ph seems to settle in ok, go with it.

Equipment and Software / Re: Immersion Chiller Solder
« on: January 11, 2015, 05:58:56 AM »
I my opinion, the fact that they took the time and effort to stabalize their chiller is a big plus.   the style chiller depends a bit on having the tubes spread out... but if you spread copper tubing out... it acts more like a slinkey.

i would keep it! 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Star San Question
« on: January 10, 2015, 06:32:07 PM »
never had an issue. 

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Air distribution manifold expansion
« on: January 10, 2015, 06:44:13 AM »
no problem doing this.  The plug is the same thread as the other ports.

teflon Tape all connections... and put shutoffs with check valves to make sure the air pressure of the kegs are isolated.  (otherwise a leak in one, or a pull off of the other kegs... leaving 5 flat kegs. 

I put 6 into my fridge, and put two other ports (one for my beer gun, and one for a keg outside of the fridge for times when I needed to pressurize before storing)

The other option is to get another two port or more maifold and connect it to the plug port.

Just make sure if you have taps out the front of the fridge, you look to see if you have spaceing for it.   I put 6 kegs into my fridge, bought 6 taps... and just did not have a wide enough front on the fridge to make it look good.  (So I only have 5 on tap through the door)

Equipment and Software / Re: Ventilation for Indoor Brewing
« on: January 09, 2015, 07:50:54 PM »
The bigger the opening, the more volume (bigger fan) you will need to draw the air up.

For the electric system you are looking at, a standard overn hood that is vented outside should work well.  You may wish to bump up the fan size on a standard kitchen fan.... if you go with one of the big gormet oven hoods, you will have plety of draw, but a lot of those are 6" duct rather than the 4" duct you have with the dryer.

Equipment and Software / Re: Weldless fittings
« on: January 04, 2015, 08:28:18 PM »
All the ones I have work without drips....

All of mine have an o-ring on the outside between either a ball valve or washer and the pot.  Make sure you are compressing the o-ring slightly and you should be good. 

I would also check the holes you drilled and make sure there are no burrs in the holes.  I have had burrs create enough of a bump along the o-ring to keep it from sealing properly.

Good luck!

All Grain Brewing / Re: 3 Hour Mash What Happens
« on: January 03, 2015, 09:59:49 PM »
might be because its my first day back at work and my head is fuzzy- but how did you end up with 17 gals post boil for 12.5 gal batch?

im thinking the grains "drip dried" the extra...

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How best to lager
« on: January 03, 2015, 09:43:08 PM »
I lager as I carb every time. No worries.

same here

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water options
« on: January 03, 2015, 09:24:33 PM »
Do you need to add the Gypsum and Calcium Chloride to both mash and sparge water?

I  add to both.  I batch sparge now vs fly sparge (as I used to)... and I have always added the salts to the grain for the mash, and then again when I add the rest of the water.  (Either when I start to fly sparge or when I add the second batch of water to batch sparge)   PH comes out at 5.2  for all styles.

I read somewhere that the grains help the salts disolve, and after adding the salts to the water a number of times and finding a lot of white residue floating on the  bottom of the pots...that is what I do.  (granted, If the salts do not dissolve in the grain... I would have no way of knowing).   

Ever since adding to the mash tun, however, the PH comes out the same each time.  (It may be a coincidence, but if it works...who am I to argue?) :-)

Good luck and enjoy!

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