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Messages - dcbc

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Equipment and Software / Re: Motorized whirlpool?
« on: February 02, 2013, 08:12:41 PM »
You can run a paint mix-stir on a drill.  Just run it slow so you don't aerate the wort.  You will get a good spin going in no time.  Won't cost much if you already have a drill.

Pimp My System / Re: Brutus Ten Pressure question
« on: January 30, 2013, 01:32:36 PM »
I found this answer on another forum.  I have taken a KAB4 Banjo Burner, screwed a NG (low pressure) orifice into it, and it functioned just fine.  So the following stands to reason:

High pressure systems are usually above 1/2 PSI and up to 30 PSI as found in most of the portable cookers and fryers. This is an easy and cheap way to go for the makers of the cookers as the higher the gas pressure the greater the heat delivery for a given size burner. The common heating system gas valves are not usable at these pressures and there are no conversion parts to make them safely operate at greater than 1/2 PSI. The main option for safe burner operation at high pressure is to use 2 solenoid valves per burner and an electric ignition control module that lights pilot burner and turns off gas if pilot goes out to prevent explosion.

Low pressure systems have 2 pressure standards in use, 11" WC(water column) for propane systems, and 4" WC for residential Natural Gas systems. The gas furnace valves with standing pilots can be used on brew rigs for burner control instead of 2 solenoid valves with ignition module, and the cost is usually only 25% more than a single solenoid valve. For those that want the bling factor of electric ignition there are suitable gas furnace valves and igntion modules, or the 2 solenoid valves, 1 ignition module method.

Most of the gas burners popular in homebrewing can be operated at either high or low pressure if the correct gas jet is used, as stated before more pressure gives more fire with same size burner. While the multijet burners have their uses you need to know that the multijet burners are only happy at or near wide open and are sometimes used under the HLT. The 10" Banjo/Hurricane burners are able to operate over a wide range of settings and are usually used where flame adjustment is important like MLT and boil kettle applications.

Solenoids for burner control should be able to operate from 0 - 100 PSI as the solenoids that operate at 5 PSI - 100 PSI require at least 5 PSI pressure just to open, if used on low pressure they will not work. The popular solenoid valves in use on the brew rigs are the STC 2W160's as they are more reasonably priced than the equivalent ASCO valves. If you are going the solenoid valves and ignition module control route, the solenoids need to have coils built for 24 VAC to work with the ignition module.

Equipment and Software / Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
« on: January 29, 2013, 02:55:19 PM »
I use a jumper with a T off of my 15 gal. corny to fill two 5 gallon kegs at once.  Works extremely well.  Looking at Dean's setup, I am wishing my chest freezer could hold two of them.

Going Pro / Re: vendors / manufacturers
« on: January 22, 2013, 09:47:43 AM »
As long as you're looking around, check out Newland Systems as well.

Equipment and Software / Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
« on: January 21, 2013, 01:15:54 PM »
I use a 15 gallon corny.  Cut the dip tube off an inch and it works great.  I have the chest freezer with a 12" collar on wheels to move it to the brew stand.  There would be no lifting that corny full over the side of the chest freezer.  Transfer out to a pair of kegs with a Y-jumper line and CO2.  Easy as can be.  To clean, fill with hot PBW.  Benefit over a Sanke, I can see in to make sure I have it clean (requires a little brushing some times).

They are about $250.  So not cheap.  But cheaper than a conical.

Equipment and Software / Re: propane vs natural gas
« on: January 15, 2013, 06:36:56 PM »
That is exactly the photo I was looking for.  I'm going to look at my natural gas and propane ring burners this evening if I remember.  Without directly comparing to my burners, I thing these are propane burners.

Normally, these types of burners burn yellow and orange when on low and only turn blue at the optimal flowrate.  Any kind of non-optimal conditions tend to make these burners burn blue-orange IME such as not enough spacing above and below and proper ventilation.

Very true.  Plus, any restriction in the pipe size to them that chokes them down a bit can cause problems.  They need a lot of pressure to offset the opposing burner and get the air to mix properly.

Brewzor is a good Android phone app you could sideload.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: That German Lager flavor, round 2
« on: December 28, 2012, 12:25:13 PM »
IIRC, Kai's conclusion was that it's the aging.

That has been my conclusion as well.  The only German lager that I have ever done late hops in was the pilsner and schwarzbier.  Even my bohemian pilsner gets hopped at FWH, 80, and 30.  I haven't noticed too much of a difference in decocted beers and those that are temperature controlled through a Hochkurz schedule of 142/158/168 (apart from my level of exhaustion on brew day).  For most styles though, single infusion works well.  I reserve the Hochkurz for the bopils.  All ingredients are important, naturally.  Continental malt, hops, and yeast with low carbonate water (I'm lucky in that regard). 

Pitch cold, and let it slow rise a few degrees to your fermentation temperature (48--50 F; 45 for bopils).

But with all of these things nailed down, these beers are always better if given time to age.  The hop bitterness drops a little and every gets that  nice blend of flavors that.  For lack of a better description, early on, one flavor or another tends to be more pronounced; after a time, everything is more subtle and in balance.  I have found that at around a month in the keg is where they really get good.

Not being able to get fresh German beer here is what drove my brewing habit early on.  I have sought to perfect these styles for years.  It is a long road, but as my beers have improved, it has been worth the effort.

The bopils I have on tap right now is probably the best I have brewed yet.  I will miss it until I can get another one on.

Going Pro / Re: getting 30 bbls on line
« on: December 21, 2012, 10:39:51 AM »
White Labs provides pitchable quantities to breweries based on batch size.  If you pitch on the first out of two batches going into a fermenter, would you only need the pitch the quantity White Labs suggests for the first batch size?  In other words, if I'm fermenting an ale in a 30bbl fermentor using two 15bbl batches, would I buy the 15bbl batch size from White Labs and just pitch it to the first batch?  That would seem like a really good way to cut costs in an efficient way.

drauflassen - Thanks Nateo!   ;D

My friend pitched enough for the whole 30 bbl batch.  For the big beer he was brewing, This was two of the WLP pitchable collapsed milk carton looking containers.  In speaking with him recently, he said that, now, he brews one of his smaller gravity beers on his first pitch of the cycle so he doesn't have to buy as much yeast to get enough cell count as he does for the larger gravity beer we happened to brew that day.  Much less expensive.  After the first batch, he can harvest as much as he needs for whatever is next on the schedule and resuse it for ten generations or so.

Going Pro / Re: getting 30 bbls on line
« on: December 17, 2012, 07:10:47 PM »
My buddy's brewery runs a 15 bbl brewhouse into 30 bbl fermenters.  I did back to back brew days with him.  Pitch on the first batch.  Brew the next morning and fill her up.  Pretty important to hit that knock out temperature on the nose on that second batch.

Equipment and Software / Re: Rolling boil gathers no moss...?
« on: December 16, 2012, 10:34:00 AM »
Is DMS an issue with extract?

Equipment and Software / Re: Upgrading Equipment vs Learning Your System
« on: December 15, 2012, 05:24:41 PM »
The most valuable upgrades were my two chest-freezers, a digital Ranco and a Johnson analog controller. I would implore anyone without the elusive "year-round cool spot" (does it really exist?) that can do ales and lagers perfectly to make these their first major capital outlay. Not a bigger kettle, large burner, pump or brew sculpture. Not a kegging system. Controlling your fermentation temps will be the single most important thing one can do to improve and achieve consistency in the finished product. Without ferm control everything else goes out the window.

Ain't that the truth.  Where in Texas are you?
I just picked up a chest freezer and a Johnson controller.  Will probably wind up being the single best investment I could make into my beer ($250 or so for both, brand new).  Since I'm now in TX, it's basically a MUST have setup to do beer at all, because it's way too hot here in the summer to brew without some form of temp control.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water profile: Can someone just tell me what to do?
« on: December 15, 2012, 05:10:29 PM »
I agree water shouldn't be an obsession.  But it should be understood (not saying you don't understand it).

I am fortunate to have some pretty low mineral water to use as a canvas.  Just takes some minor adjustment for mash pH and flavor and I don't have to worry with it or think about it, certainly not obsess about it.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water profile: Can someone just tell me what to do?
« on: December 15, 2012, 02:07:48 PM »
I like to do my mash and sparge water adjustments with acid (my water is pretty soft and it doesn't take much ordinarily).  I add flavoring salts to the boil kettle.  It's easier for me not to worry about what my mash adjustment salts are doing to flavor, how much are absorbed, etc.  Obviously, for darker beers, I don't use acid in the mash.

Equipment and Software / Re: Pumps
« on: December 12, 2012, 03:11:03 PM »
Denny, I got mine at  At the time, they were running a sale and had it listed for under $20.  Might be more by now, but a great upgrade to the pump.  Holds prime much better than it used to.

Replacement was extremely easy.  My gaskets, etc. looked good to go. 

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