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Messages - dcbc

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211
Equipment and Software / Re: Digital Mash Thermometer Suggestions
« on: March 10, 2011, 05:57:07 PM »

212
Equipment and Software / Re: growing my home-brewery
« on: March 09, 2011, 10:46:51 AM »
Based on my experience, ideally go with the 70 qt or larger cooler, a 20 gallon kettle for your boiler, and a 15 gallon kettle/keggle for your HLT.  You can do it with a 15 gallon boiler and a 10 gallon HLT, but you're pushing the limits, particularly on the 15 gallon boiler doing 90 minute boils and trying to get 11 gallons into the fermetner.  If you, for one reason or another, wanted to do some longer boils, say for a Bopils, a 15 gallon boiler won't cut it. But even for 90 minute boils, the extra room in a 20 gallon kettle is a wonderful luxury.

I have done it both ways and if I had it to do over again, I would have only upgraded equipment for 10 gallon batches once.  :o 

213
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: AAU and IBU
« on: March 09, 2011, 10:39:35 AM »
Looks like there is a big update for Beersmith coming soon.  Brad has been working on it for a couple of years now.  Multiplatform support among other upgrades.  I have always been impressed with the level of support offered for this software.  He is very active on his forum and seems very eager to help users and improve the product.

214
Ingredients / Re: Updated water calculator
« on: March 08, 2011, 06:55:44 PM »
Good deal, Kai.  Can't wait to try it out!  Thanks for all of your hard work!

215
Ingredients / Re: Post your water report
« on: March 08, 2011, 06:45:06 PM »
I get my water from two lakes. It has varied a bit over the years, but has always made for great brewing water.  

From my 01-31-2011 report

Tyler TX

pH 7.3
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est 116
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.19
Cations / Anions, me/L 1.5 / 1.6
ppm
Sodium, Na 9
Potassium, K 3
Calcium, Ca 16
Magnesium, Mg 3
Total Hardness, CaCO3 53
Nitrate, NO3-N 0.2 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 8 (SO4 = 24)
Chloride, Cl 17
Carbonate, CO3 < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 34
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 28
"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit

216
Equipment and Software / Re: Kettle Question
« on: March 03, 2011, 10:37:56 AM »
I have bought one of those kettles from that ebay seller before.  They are fine, but not what I would call high quality when compared to the likes of the B3 kettles or the Megapots.  It is not as heavy duty as those kettles, but is perfectly functional.  I used it for a while as a hot liquor tank and then sold it for $75 on ebay when I upsized my home brewery.  

217
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: High Final Gravities
« on: March 02, 2011, 09:59:37 AM »
I ran into this on my last two batches after upgrading my kettle from 15 to 20 gallons.  Increased my boil off percentage from 10% to 12% for my most recent batch and hit my numbers precisely.  You didn't mention any equipment changes.  But consider your boil off  rate.

218
Equipment and Software / Re: Building a new mashtun!
« on: February 17, 2011, 12:07:01 PM »
The problem I had with a bulkhead was that it held the braid off the floor of the cooler, and I didn't get a siphon to empty out all the wort.  But I assume different coolers will work in different ways.

Not much dead space in a Coleman Xtreme.  I tried the braid for a few batches, but ultimately switched to a bazooka screen.  I know you tried both and reached the opposite result. 

219
Equipment and Software / Re: Building a new mashtun!
« on: February 17, 2011, 10:40:50 AM »
Different setups work better for different people.  For me, the bulkhead was easy.  The parts on weldlessfittings.com are reasonably cheap, too.  I have a quick disconnect on my ball valve that allows me to swap hoses easily whether I need them in another part of the brewery or to clean them. 

220
Equipment and Software / Re: Building a new mashtun!
« on: February 16, 2011, 10:03:03 AM »
If I can offer some advice on the conversion.  You will want to use a longer pipe nipple than the one in the lustreking link.  I think it's 1.5".  Also, I would suggest using the white gasket on the coleman xtreme cooler rather than a red silicone ring.  I have never had the red rings seal well on this brand of cooler.  The white gasket on the coleman, however, works like a charm.

Good luck!

221
Classifieds / Re: Items Wanted in Texas
« on: February 11, 2011, 08:08:47 PM »
I have a 25' wort chiller from morebeer.  It has brass hose fittings and the whirlpool recirculation arm installed. Email me at dnortonames(at)gmail(dot)com if interested. In Tyler, but frequently in New Braunfels.

222
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Another Acetaldehyde Question
« on: February 10, 2011, 09:53:58 AM »
I do quite a few light lagers and always cold crash before transfer and have not (knock wood) yet had a problem with acetaldehyde.  I had a buddy who always, by my standards, transferred his beer too quickly and he routinely had issues with it.  I don't know what is causing it in your case because incomplete fermentation (or at least time for it plus cleanup) doesn't seem to be the problem.

223
Equipment and Software / Re: Fermenting Warm in Cold Temps - My Setup
« on: February 04, 2011, 08:03:53 PM »
I have checked my fermentation chamber a lot in the past few days.  The current setup is a dual stage temperature controller from Ranco.  The hot side is plugged into a 40 watt bulb that is clipped onto the side rack of the chest freezer.  The probe is under some bubble wrap on the side of the 15 g corny keg fermenter.  Temps were spot on using the light bulb in the chest freezer.

In the past, when I only had a single stage controller.  I just left the light bulb on in the chest freezer.  The freezer kept up and temps held solid, but it was obviously more work and there was a lot of condensation in the freezer from the heat during cooling.

224
Pimp My System / Re: Kegerator Showcase
« on: January 29, 2011, 11:28:31 AM »
I guess I'll add mine. Before you ask: It was the wife's idea to put it in the kitchen when we remodeled!







Excellent.  Mine did the same thing, but she just wanted it out of the laundry room.  So we had it built in to a buffet in the dining room.  Well, it's a buffet when there's food on it.  Otherwise, it's pretty much a bar. :)

225
All Grain Brewing / Re: More about water
« on: January 29, 2011, 11:25:33 AM »
I would add that zinc is a very important mineral for yeast health in fermentation.  If your water tastes that bad and you don't want to blend it with distilled water, I'd suggest a yeast nutrient like Servomyces added with about 10 minutes left in the boil to be sure you have some zinc in your fermenting wort.

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