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Topics - blatz

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General Homebrew Discussion / Whirlpool "Strength"
« on: January 25, 2013, 09:52:16 AM »
Hey guys

Am still perfecting my whirlpool.  I installed a whirlpool arm in my kettle and while on the last brew session it worked well, it formed more of a 'pancake' than a 'cone' in the middle.

But I was thinking maybe the pressure of the return is not enough?  Currently, I am pumping (with a high flow March 809 pump) from the kettle, then through 2 Chillzilla counterflow chillers and then back to the whirlpool arm.

Would it behoove me to not pump through the 2 Chillzillas during the whirlpooling?  Would that make it faster?  It seems like it would, but how much I don't know.


General Homebrew Discussion / Calculating Losses to hoses
« on: January 16, 2013, 08:31:56 AM »
How much wort am I losing to 30' of 1/2" ID tubing?

Classifieds / FOR SALE: Hop Stopper
« on: January 15, 2013, 06:07:58 AM »
Looking to sell my Hop Stopper - doesn't work on my system.

As pictured

Make an offer.

Yeast and Fermentation / Forgot how active the second step can be...
« on: January 09, 2013, 02:17:23 PM »
Just a story to share - I'd forgotten how active the second step in a 2 stage starter regimen can be - last night, I decanted and poured the slurry of 833 from my 2L flask into my full 40df 5L flask, set it on the stir plate and went to bed - came down to the kitchen this morning and there was beer on the counter and the crackle of the krausen pressing on the foil covering the flask.  Gotta love it!

General Homebrew Discussion / 2013 Brew Year's Resolutions/Goals
« on: January 04, 2013, 07:46:40 AM »
- figure out a hop filter/screen that works for my new system
- streamline my cleanup process in the new brewery so I can be done sooner
- judge in at least 2 out of town competitions
- dial in/master my West Coast IPA - my regular IPA is more Celebrationesque - amber, maltier.  I'm working on something that is more WC flared.
- brew the following styles/recipes:
   Wookey Jack clone
   Blind Pig
   Pliny (been a while)
   Janet's Brown Ale
   Golden Bock
   Double Stout
   Baltic Porter
   San Diego Session Ale

Of course I'll be brewing many other styles as well, but I've been wanting to do all of these.

How about you?

All Grain Brewing / Hockhurz Step Mash: Check my Process
« on: January 02, 2013, 08:22:57 AM »
Hey guys,

I did a Hockhurz decoction mash a few years ago, but it was on a friend's system and I didn't take good notes as it wasn't my brew.

I want to attempt a step mash Hockhurz on my next brew session, a vienna lager.

I have read through Kai's blog again, but I want to double check the specifics with you guys:

Mash in at 145 and hold for 30 min (beta)

Ramp up (via HERMs) to 158 <--- this will probably take about 20 min to do so.

Hold at 158 for 45 min (alpha)

Ramp up to Mashout.

Am I missing anything?  Is the alpha rest too high (or too low).  Are my times too long?

General Homebrew Discussion / Just for You tomschmidlin...
« on: December 28, 2012, 11:53:05 AM »
Quote from:
Wet Hop versus Fresh Hop
Over recent years, there has been some confusion about the difference between fresh and wet hops. While it may seem like semantics, to us it’s an important distinction.

Wet Hops are un-dried hops, picked and shipped from the growing fields within 24 hours.

Fresh Hops are the freshest dried hops to come from the fields, typically within seven days of harvest.
Over 90% of the world’s hop harvest happens between August 31 and October 31, and these hops are used throughout the calendar year. Can hops possibly be the same on November 1, one day after harvest, as they are on July 25, nearly one year after growing in the fields? The answer is no. We think of hops like dry kitchen spices—the flavor of thyme or rosemary right after the jar is opened is far more intense than it is six months later. The same can be said for hops. There are ways to control the way hops age and to reformulate and readjust as some of the aromas fade, but there’s nothing like the magic of the first bales of hops as fresh as can be. That is the stuff dreams are made of!

I mean, they put it on the internet, it has to be right...


Ingredients / Water Check - not Happy with "Pale Ale" profile
« on: December 21, 2012, 08:29:31 AM »
Hey all -

I've always used the "Yellow-Bitter" profile, but on a whim last time, I used the "Pale Ale Profile" in martin's sheet last IPA and I don't think I really cared for it - beer tasted a bit too minerally, sharp and the body was not what I was used to.   Could be other factors, but I am a little gun-shy to use that profile again.

Am brewing IPA again today and tomorrow for a big local festival, and was thinking of this instead:

8gal Mashwater:

starting with RO: add 10gm gypsum, 4.4 epsom, 2.6gm CaCl

resulting profile:

101.5 Ca
14.3 Mg
8.0 Na
242.0 SO4
46.1 Cl
16.0 Bicarb

Expected pH 5.3

I like the initial look of this prior to brewing since i still get a high Sulfate vs. Chloride ratio and more importantly, the bicarb is low while in the PA profile its almost 110. 


Other Fermentables / Water Profile For Mead
« on: December 19, 2012, 07:47:58 AM »
So...I'm making a traditional mead with orange blossom this weekend.  I use RO water - should I be adding any salts to the water?

Also, does mead create a large krausen?  Concerned about having enough head space in my fermenter.


Pimp My System / Blatzhaus Electric Brauerei
« on: December 12, 2012, 06:57:29 AM »
Some of you have seen my brew stand build, but now I think I'm ready to show off the whole brewhaus, in a brew day illustrative...

Here's the brewery - strike water heating up in the Herms to the right.  The two upright freezers to the left hold 14.5 gal conicals

Control Panel:

Here's Brewdog Walden requesting to come supervise

HLT warming up:

Weighing out the grains:

Getting the mill ready:

Mast tun getting ready for strike water and grain...

Moving the strike water to the mash tun and striking in on an American Stout...

Boil Kettle getting prepped for wort...

Spider now in place...

The wort was fly sparged and sent to the boil kettle, now we are just finishing the hot break stage...

Cascades getting ready to swim...

Recirculating chilling and whirlpool going on now, hops removed via the basket - double ganged CFCs - one with hose water, one with recirced ice water - coming out at a nice 55df (though I can get down to 45df if I want...

Now pumping to the conical...

Is it beer time yet?


I didn't take any pictures of cleanup, cause, hey cleanup sucks, but basically dump out the grains, recirc PBW CIP and the fresh water, wet vac out the standing water and we're done...

Brewing's rich reward...

Cheers guys!

*edit* adjusted links.

Ingredients / How to add salts to sparge water when fly sparging?
« on: December 10, 2012, 07:44:08 AM »
Recently switched to fly sparging - third batch this weekend on my new setup.  My question is how do I add my water adjustment salts to my sparge? 

You can't add them to the HLT (not very soluble - they just sink and stick to the bottom of the kettle) and you can't still the mash at the point of sparging since it will disturb the grain bed, plus you still have the first wort in there.

With batch sparging, I would just throw the salts on top of the mash, add the sparge water and then stir.

What do y'all do? 

General Homebrew Discussion / Dryhopping in bags: Am I Oxidizing?
« on: December 02, 2012, 09:05:12 AM »
Hey all - I ferment in conicals and thus have to use bags.  Every other day I use some santized tongs to coerce the hop bags to submerge in the beer, but am I running a high risk of oxidizing? 

The reason I do it is the bags float and there are hops on the top side of the bag not getting wet if i don't flip the bag.

Ingredients / WL833 - Bock Lager - Czech Pils?
« on: November 19, 2012, 02:26:00 PM »
Hey all - I usually use 830 but am looking to experiment with using 833 in a vienna, dunkel and golden bock

But before I get into that series, I was looking to brew a Czech Pils - anyone tried a Czech Pils using 833 - I know its not the ideal yeast, but I was hoping to get a good slurry going and this would be an ideal starting point.

General Homebrew Discussion / Another Whirlpooling Question
« on: November 06, 2012, 09:23:18 AM »
This topic has me fascinated, as you might tell.  Yes, I do have Mitch's book on my nightstand, but I haven't had a chance to crack it yet, and frankly, I think I need to make some time to sit on the porch with a few IPAs in order to get the full effect.

In any event, in looking at some emails from the pros such as this:

Happy to help out. Here's an outline of the recipe. You'll have to tailor it to your brew length and efficiency. Hopefully this gets you close.

S.G. 1.060
IBU's 70

Grain Bill:

2-Row 84%
Pale Ale Malt 13%
Crystal 60L 3%


Bittering - Warrior
Flavoring - Simcoe (added every 5 minutes for the last 30 minutes of boil)
Whirlpool - Santiam
Dry Hop - Amarillo

We use Chico and ferment at 68F.

Let me know if you have any questions.

knowing that pros,in a lot of cases, have separate tanks to do their whirlpooling (and subsequent whirlpool hop additions) adn thus strain/filter the boil before moving to the whirlpool tank, would it make sense to remove or strain out any boil hop additions to more closely mimic this (typically via hopbags) ? 

Also, I am thinking that for instance with the above recipe (for Smutty's Finestkind IPA - a fave) it would hopefully stop the isomerziation of the late boil additions of Simcoe.  This is one thing I have a hard time figuring - if we are getting a bunch of isomerization with whirlpool additions, than aren't any late additions to the boil are also continuing to isomerize?  Thus if you whirlpool for 45 minutes, your 20 min boil additions are really sort of like bittering (65 min) additions?


Equipment and Software / Help!! Pickup Tube/Chilling/Whirlpool Dilemma
« on: November 05, 2012, 01:29:26 PM »
Did my first brew with my new 20gal Blichmann Boilermakers this weekend, and used a Hop Stopper ( . Unfortunately, it clogged pretty severely and I lost about 2.5 gal of wort.

I did not see the warnings about not being able to recirculate wort or whirlpool both of which I did, so it is likely user error, but I do like to be able to recirculate for whirlpooling capabilities and to be able to incorporate 2 stage chilling (1 pass with groundwater, another pass with .

I am doing some research to come up with a better method but I am really confused as to what to try next  :-[

I've come up with some options, and would like some of your input:

1). Continue using the HopStopper, but use as directed - this will not allow me to whirlpool ever, nor even recirculate through the CFC in order to sanitize.  I could then run through my CFC with groundwater and through a second CFC where the water side is being pumped with icewater.  I assume I could still do a hop steep or stand, just no whirlpooling.

2). Continue using the HopStopper, but resort to using hop bags or a hop spider so that I can pull the hops and I assume I can at least recirculate and whirlpool , but hot/cold break may still collect on the HopStopper and clog it.

3). Use no screen at all (naked pickup tube - see pic 7  and use hop bags or a hop spider and pull the hops at the end of the boil.  This would allow me to whirlpool and recirculate. 

4). Use no screen at all but allow free floating hops (pellet and whole), do no recirculation, but whirlpool after knockout with a paddle for 20 min and then start pumping with the assumption that the cone has formed.  I fear whole hops may run a risk of clogging me up though.

5). Use a Blichmann Hop Blocker, but use hop bags when using Whole Hops?

Any other thoughts/suggestions/advice is welcome. 

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