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Messages - BrewQwest

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General Homebrew Discussion / using gravity to keep track of boil off
« on: March 03, 2010, 10:16:16 AM »
Is it possible to keep track of your boil off (or the amount remaining in your kettle) taking various samples during the boil? Either by cooling the wort and using a hydrometer or by using a ATC refractometer? Won't the readings linearly increase as the boil off occurs so that you could compute your volume remaining?  This would hopefully prevent my erroneous readings using a stick skewed by bubbles from the boililng wort...

Equipment and Software / Re: Refractometer errors?
« on: February 23, 2010, 08:23:54 AM »
Ok, on the morebeer site I downloaded the spreadsheet and the formula for the BRIX to SG conversion.  Unfortunately, it appears that whichever formula one uses, will determine how far off their conversions will be.  Taking the lower variables from my original formula and the newer formula (from morebeer spreadsheet) and applying them, morphs into yet another formula which further adjusts the conversions getting my readings closer to what my hydrometer is saying. Since I am no mathematician, I found myself wanting to further 'enhance' the formula so that my refractometer actually equates with my hydro reading.  Fortunately, I caught myself, and now am wondering why they just do not make a refractometer that reads gravity like a hydrometer.  Wouldn't that be the best of both worlds?  Is that even possible?   :)

Equipment and Software / Re: Refractometer errors?
« on: February 21, 2010, 10:44:04 AM »
Thirsty, I believe you are correct in that I am using the wrong conversion table.  After watching the morebeer video, it stated that 15 Brix = 1.060 gravity.  According to my chart, I show 15 Brix = 1.062 gravity, while the older chart showed 15 Brix = 1.063 gravity.  On my chart, 1.060 gravity = 14.5 which is darn well near the 6 Brix I am always off.  What formula or what chart is everyone else using??   :-\

Ingredients / Re: rice hulls
« on: February 20, 2010, 06:52:43 AM »
thank you for the help.  Is a couple of handfulls for 5 gallons, correct? So I should have only used about 4 handfulls? Would it be the same for brewing a rye also (thinking about denny's rye ipa here) ?  thanks again.

Equipment and Software / Re: Refractometer errors?
« on: February 20, 2010, 06:40:16 AM »
I think you have issue with your conversion formula because 12.6 Brix is about 1048.
What formula are you using?

Thirsty_Monk, that could be.  I tried using a chart on another forum but it was further off than the following formula. I searched the net until I found the following formula which I have been using:

SG = 1.000898 + 0.003859118*B + 0.00001370735*B*B + 0.00000003742517*B*B*B

B = measured refractivity in Brix
SG = calculated specific gravity at 15 C  (59F)

any further help would be greatly appreciated.. thank you

Equipment and Software / Refractometer errors?
« on: February 19, 2010, 08:24:52 PM »
I thought I had this figured out but my last couple of batches are falling way short from my stated SG.  My last two batches were identically 0.6 too low in gravity as read with the refractometer.  For example, I read 12.6 Brix (approx 1.052) with my refractometer but the hydrometer reads 1.049 (approx 12Brix).  My starter read 1.032 (approx 8 Brix) with the hydrometer but reads 8.6 Brix (approx 1.035) with the refractometer.  Can't I just 're-calibrate' my refractometer by dialing in an 8 Brix reading when I read my starter which was at 8.6 Brix??  ???  please help, and thanks, cheers!!

Ingredients / rice hulls
« on: February 15, 2010, 07:13:31 AM »
I tried a search on the topic but only came up with a thread in all grain for malt conditioning. I apologize if this has been asked before.  I am still rather new to all graining..I made a 10 gallon batch of wheat beer and had no idea how much rice hulls to place into it. I ended up dumping in a pound to alleviate the visions of stuck sparges dancing in my head.  Wow.. talk about my grain absorption rate going through the roof (didn't know at the time I should have presoaked them).   :o ..Two questions, would this much rice hulls have lead to a slight "greyish tinge" in the final color of my wheat?  It still tastes great..  and just how much rice hulls is enough?  Would an amount eqivalent to 1 ounce per pound of hull-less grain be appropriate?  thanks all....

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First Wort Hopping ?
« on: February 14, 2010, 09:38:14 AM »
I think it will really depend on the type of hops and the style of beer you are trying to use and brew.

I agree. I tried it because I heard of SMOOTH bitterns.
I used it in Czech Pilsners and Alts.
May be it is my process but I come to a different conclusion.
I would not count it as 20 min addition.
I would say it was more like full boil time addition (90 min for me).

I have only tried it twice... the first time I added it to the wort AFTER I had collected all my runnings and then turned on the burner... The second time I placed them in the kettle BEFORE the runnings and let them steep in the hot runnings as collected.  Needless to say, the second time worked much better  :D

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Help contaminated my Tank
« on: February 07, 2010, 05:17:56 AM »
if indeed you end up taking the valve off, at least shine a light into the tank and visually inspect the interior of  your tank.  Notate anything unusual.  If you ever need to remove the valve again in the future, do the same and compare what you see currently with any previous ones.  In the SCUBA world, this is called a 'visual' inspection....

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottle Color
« on: February 07, 2010, 05:07:54 AM »
brewqwest: i think the problem is that when you're brewing commercially your beer is only under control until it leaves the brewery. once its gone people can do all sorts of nasty things with it, you know, like putting it on a shelf in a brightly lit store at room temperature. unless you box it and it stays in the box until it gets to the consumer's house, light colored bottles will lead to sub standard beer, and probably lost sales.

I totally agree with you zee.... that's what is so thoroughly enjoyable about this hobby... we get to have complete control of our product from ingredients to packaging, to consumption.. As long as our control is careful, it can include any colored bottles you may want to package in.  from clear, to amber, to green, to the darkest brown.. Though I must say, at my age, my eyes can tell the fill-line of the lighter colored bottles much easier than the many overflows I get with the darker ones...  :D matter what colored bottle I use, they get placed in light-tight cardboard boxes after filling... cheers! 

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Bottle Color
« on: February 06, 2010, 05:04:47 PM »
I constantly use green bottles.  I like them much better than the brown bottles because you are able to see the swirl of yeast coming at the end of the pour..There are various 'densities' of brown bottles which are also subjective to quick 'skunking'.  Knowing this, I find it hard to believe anybody leaves their bottles out in direct light.  As long as you keep in mind that light is detrimental to your beer, then it shouldn't matter what kind of bottle you use... Do you drink from only brown glassware??  cheers!!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: adding yeast to bottling bucket
« on: December 30, 2009, 07:27:24 AM »
Unless there is something "special" or "different" that happened in your mash or your fermentation I would suspect that the beer is done.  You can try and add the yeast but I doubt you will see much, if any, difference as a result.  1.084 is not that high of an OG. 


I have only been brewing for 1 year and your post lit a light bulb for my brain cells to see a little clearer Fred.... This was the first brew I made which was intended to end up with this high of a FG.   I mistakenly thought by adding the champagne yeast that it would reduce the 1.022 gravity down further.  I now realize my original yeast had indeed done their job by converting all the fermentables while leaving only the non-fermentables and a 1.022 FG.  Since this was not a 'stuck' fermentation, by adding the champagne yeast to this non-fermentable wort for an additional 14 days, I was just wasting the yeast, right?  Oh well, it did give the secondary an additional 14 days of aging..  :)  I bottled this batch yesterday, and sure enough, the hydrometer still said 1.021 - 1.022 ..... 

Kegging and Bottling / adding yeast to bottling bucket
« on: December 28, 2009, 10:46:00 AM »
I had a high gravity beer 1.084 finish out at 1.022 for a 73.8% attenuation.  The sample tasted cloyingly sweet to me.  In an effort to reduce the sweetness, I added red star dry pasteur champagne yeast thinking to bring it down furher. Do I dare just add the normal amount of priming sugar for bottling? Should I cold crash it first in my cold Minnesota garage for a day or so prior to adding fresh yeast for bottling?  What would the appropriate course of action be for this?    ???   thank you.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 1450
« on: December 21, 2009, 09:58:45 AM »
thanks for the responses denny and bo_,  I like the description you gave denny, it helps tremendously. I believe my next 11 gallon batch will see 5.5 for Wyeast 1450 and 5.5 for my previously harvested yeast.  I can foresee me harvesting the 1450 for future utilization's from now on....  This will be fun for comparisons.... cheers!!

Yeast and Fermentation / Wyeast 1450
« on: December 21, 2009, 08:50:40 AM »
Like many of you, my brewing got placed onto a budget for these economic times. I got my hands on this type of yeast and was just curious as to some of the Fav 50 brews people are brewing with this and the results.. pro or con .. of utilizing this strain(s) with the various styles????    cheers!!

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