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Messages - haeffnkr

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Equipment and Software / Help me pimp my new kettle
« on: March 06, 2018, 07:38:30 PM »
I am looking to buy a new 25 gallon kettle.  I will have a Blichman boil element in it. Use a march pump to recirculate during my BIAB mash and whirlpool during the chilling. Will be using an IC to chill.

How long do you typically wait to draw off clear wort after the chilling and whirlpool stops?
How high should the wort take off port be if the diameter is 19.5 and I am looking to get 11 gallons of clear wort into a fermenter?
Where should the whirlpool arm be mounted, ie how far off the bottom of the kettle and were should I have the pump intake for the whirlpool?

Anything else I am missing?

thanks in advance

All Grain Brewing / BIAB wort recirculating pump experiences??
« on: February 24, 2018, 10:26:46 PM »
I brew 12 gallon batches, EBIAB in a keggle. It works out fine but I am looking to get a bigger kettle so I dont have to sparge and hope to run a recirculating pump to filter the wort in the grain bed to get clearer wort.
I tried this ones or twice but even at the lowest out put I could sustain the bag would not flow fast enough and my element started to go dry.
I am hoping with a 25 or 30 gallon pot I can build/buy a basket to fit inside the pot, line it with a bag and recirculate the wort to get clearer wort. The bigger pot and basket will allow much more surface for the bag to drain/filter is my thought.

Anyone have success doing something like this?

thanks in advance - haeffnkr

Just for clarity, I'm only saying that I doubt it's a 1/4 cup of properly diluted starsan that is making 5 gallons of beer taste acidic or sour.
I've never put it to the test, but I've heard people who swear any amount will affect taste and avoid it as a no rinse altogether.  My concern in a keg would be that the foam is so durable, you wouldn't know just how much is really left on there. So youre right, could have beeb more than 1/4c.

Thanks for all the responses so far.
In the past I always poured out the starsan after a day or 2 of the keg being pressurized and then open transferred from the fermenter with a starsan rag over the lid opening.

this time I left it sealed, blew it out and transferred.
I am guessing at the amount.  I put in an inch or 2 in of starsan in the bottom of the keg, pressurized it and then next day I blew it out the liquid line. Some of my kegs have trimmed dip tubes as well.  So not sure of the amount but based on the beer sludge I see in the bottom of my empty kegs, maybe 1/4 cup?

I will experiment with some light beer and add starsan to it to see when I can start to taste it.

thanks haeffnkr

Brewinhard -
That is brilliant !!

I made 2 batches of beer a couple weeks ago and did a closed transfer from fermenter to serving keg with a spunding valve. 
Beers were a munich helles and a light kolsch - so those light beers would not hide any off flavors or acid starsan if that was the problem.
I was thinking that I did not get enough starsan out of the closed kegs and that is causing the sour/acid taste.
After I tasted the yeast left over beer it was great and definitely not like the keg beer.  I have been kegging beer for years and not had this issue as always had dumped the starsan out and did an open transfer.

thanks for the ideas.
If anyone has experience with starsan tastes in beer please let me know.

thanks haeffnkr

Yes, if you just take a mouthful it tastes like flavorless lemon juice. Just the acid, no lemon. Also akin to licking a 9 volt battery that only has a couple volts left. Mine is 6ml in 1 gallon distilled, FYI.

Now if you want to know what iodophor tastes like, you'll have to ask someone else.

Thanks Jim, that is what mine tastes like.   Both the old batch and the new batch.
So if a 1/4 cup is left in the 5 gallon keg, will that will leave no taste in the beer?

I have an slight acid/sour taste in my last 2 beers.  I am trying to figure it out.
The left over yeast cake beer that I poured off the same batch tasted GREAT and no sour taste, beer out of the keg same batch has a slight sour taste.... ugh

thanks Kevin

I just like the title says... I got something going on and trying to figure it out.
I am scrambling to prep for my brew session in the morning.

If you mix what I think is the approved ratio of a fuzz less than a 1/4 oz starsan concentrate to a gallon of RO/DI water, mix it, should there be ANY taste if you try a tiny bit?
I got taste....

thanks Kevin

I think vinegar and bleach = toxic gas.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I wouldn't mix the two.

Source -

The numbers Charlie Talley gives in the podcast are:
Standard bleach is 50000 parts per million of the active ingredient.
1 oz of bleach  in 5 gallons of water = 80 parts per million of chlorine
80 ppm is all you need provided you match it with vinegar (equal measures).  This should be white vinegar preferably.
So the ratio is 5 gallons water: 1oz bleach:  1oz vinegar.  Never mix bleach and vinegar together before adding to the water because you will produce chlorine gas.  This is why people are afraid to use bleach- people get scared, but if you mix the bleach into the water, and then add the vinegar, this is perfectly safe.  Personally I think this is simpler than the brewing process itself.

thanks haeffnkr

Yes, provided you follow the right procedure. I regularly use the same bottling equipment between clean, sour and brett beers. It's all plastic. No problems with crossover after sanitation. You need to use a base sanitizer rather than an acid sanitizer like star-san because a high ph will kill off bacteria and yeast but acid sanitizers are far less effective on yeast. Bleach is an easy base sanitizer. If you have idophor, that will also work.

I use 1 tbsp bleach to 1 gallon of water. Sit twenty minutes, then rinse with hot water. Soak in hot water with a crushed campden tablet per five gallons of water for twenty minutes. Rinse and let dry. The campden will remove the chlorine from the plastic so there's no carryover flavor/aroma from the bleach.

I have read that adding vinegar helps change the ph and makes the solution even more effective in sanitizing.
Do you add it also?

thanks haeffnkr

I use a scale and love it. Calculators exist to estimate the weight factoring for ABV.

Beer out the liquid isn’t the end of the world, but it will get your gas disconnects, and possible lines, dirty

thanks for the ideas.
I will try and setup something like the pic above and have a separate "spill over" keg with the spunding valve on it with dedicated lines as to not contaminate my serving gas lines.

Hoping the effort keep oxygen exposure very low and that will make the beer taste better, especially the hoppy ones.


I have tried a digital scale a while back... it was a pain and not real accurate and still had beer coming out the prv and or the gas port.

If beer goes out of the gas post for a bit Is it any worse then having beer go out the liquid side normally?
I originally thought that it was bad.... but not sure now?

thanks again haeffnkr

Are you carbonating in the fermentor?

No - in the kegs.

If the beer isn't carbonated at the time of racking, I don't know that there's any advantage to pressurizing the receiving keg. 

You could just purge it fully (by filling completely with sanitizer and pushing it all out with CO2) and then rack in through the liquid post while running some tubing off the gas post into a container of sanitizer.  It helps with the purging if you trim the gas dip tube.

This is what I want to do and is shown in the pic.
How do you know when to stop filling the keg before beer shoots out the gas tube?


Are you carbonating in the fermentor?

No - in the kegs.

NO -- I have ruined MANY batches using permanently contaminated plastic buckets.  Need to replace them every so often, or switch to glass or stainless.  Some plastic maybe can be sanitized, but some can definitely NOT.  It's just not worth the risk.  Replace and be done with it.

This is not entirely true.  I've had an infected batch in a better bottle and have used it many times since.

You need to take care when cleaning and sanitizing to be sure you're thorough and also to make sure you're not scratching the plastic.

I personally would not switch back to glass.  Not worth the risk IMO once I cracked one real good while cleaning it.

Did you also use a bleach solution to recover the better bottle?

thanks haeffnkr

I want to do something like this and push beer from my fermenter into pressurized kegs.

Is it OK to fill the keg until beer comes out the gas post?  Seems not very sanitary??

Any other ways to fill a pressurized keg besides a scale? Of course you need a spunding valve to release the pressure.

thanks haeffnkr

thanks guys... I figured to replace but wanted to be sure I was not missing something.

To Note - the bad beer was not coming from the fermenters, as I had one batch go bad in a brand new fermenter.

thanks haeffnkr

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