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Messages - a10t2

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Ingredients / Re: What should I have on hand?
« on: May 09, 2011, 03:12:37 PM »
this would be a good name for a honey brown ale

I swear I'd sue you. ;)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Do you give your beers a name?
« on: May 06, 2011, 07:20:27 AM »
A lot of times a name actually inspires a beer.

I'm the same way. Frequently, I try to come up with a pun, the worse the better, then build a recipe around it. The only exceptions are my American IPAs, since I almost always have one on tap and it just got tedious to try to name them after a while. The current one is labeled "IPA #18". Some recent beers, in no particular order:

Sex in a Canoe (American Blonde)
Big Dump Barleywine
Loosely it's a White with Lime Puns
Man in Black Lager
Caramel Chameleon
Llama Llager (quinoa adjunct lager)

If the SG reading on some hydrometers is "useless" it is because it was done wrong, like a measuring tape where each foot is 13 inches long.

That's a great analogy to these refractometers, and I'm going to steal it the next time this comes up. ;)

The Pub / Re: It's Started Already...
« on: May 05, 2011, 07:27:16 AM »
Colorado has Western rattlers, which get big and mean, but they don't live above about 6500 feet. Timber rattlers have been spotted as high as 10500 ft, but generally live below 9000, so I'm pretty much in the clear when out hiking.

It's actually against the law in CO to kill a rattlesnake that isn't directly threatening human life or property.

Fun facts about rattlers: they're one of the few reptile species that give birth to live young. And like all pit vipers, they will bite and inject venom when a warm object is placed in front of the pits, even if the snake is dead.

Beer Recipes / Re: Oktoberfest 2011
« on: May 04, 2011, 07:41:27 AM »
Wyeast 2206 w/ 600ml starter
-I assume it's OK to make my lager starter at Ale temps, so my starter is ready in a day or two(?)

Yes, but you'll probably want to make a much bigger starter than that. Starting with a fresh smack pack, MrMalty says about 3.0 L on a stir plate, 4.5 L shaken. (5.25 gal, 1.050 OG)

Lennie, if you found a way to make your beers even better, I think it's time to plan another trip out that way. ;D

Your tripel was one of the best I've ever had, and while moving this week I found my last bottle of your IPA. Still delicious.

This is a question that I see all the time on homebrew forums and nobody seems to have a definitive answer for yeast count per unit volume of settled yeast. Or at least the ones that claim to don't agree.  We have yeast count but then we also have viability and non-yeast percentage numbers and everybody seems to be guessing at all three.  It seems the yeast count of settled yeast part should be straightforward enough.  Guessing at two variables is better than guessing at three.

There was a pretty good back-and-forth on the NB forum a couple years ago.

By a couple different methods, I concluded that a fully packed slurry will be about 4.3 billion cells per mL. Jamil Zainasheff, who's probably as much an authority in this as anyone, says 4.5 billion/mL. So I think you could take that to be fairly accurate. Similarly, if you're rinsing the yeast with sterile water, it seems to me - at least visually - that the non-yeast portion drops pretty darn low even after a single cycle. So figure 0-10% on that, make your guess at viability (25% loss per month, refrigerated and stored under beer/water is a pretty well-established figure) and you'll probably get your overall cell counts within ±20% or so. That actually compares pretty favorably with typical use of a plate hemocytometer, and is good enough for our purposes IMHO. It's only beer.

He claims that it's impossible to have an ATC refractometer measure both.
I totally disagree.

Your friend is right, although he probably doesn't know why. A refractometer can only *measure* the refractive index. ;)

Questions about the forum? / Re: CSS, no list styles?
« on: April 28, 2011, 09:13:28 AM »
There shouldn't be any CSS involved anyway. Or rather, there could be since you can div anything, but li and ul are both implemented in straight HTML:

You're right, though, it does look like those tags have been CSS-ed out. Someone should either enable them or remove the icon from the WYSIWYG menu.

Equipment and Software / Re: Refractometer.....
« on: April 27, 2011, 06:03:41 PM »
I bought mine off ebay as well.  The SG scale is generally 3-5 points over my hydrometer and worse as the gravities get higher.  I've used it for the last 10 batches or so and the variance has been there every time.

Are you applying a wort correction factor? Typically you'd subtract 4% from the raw Brix reading to account for the different refractive indices of the wort sugars.

Zymurgy / Re: May/June Issue, already?!
« on: April 27, 2011, 03:11:48 PM »
Sweet. I've been checking the mail almost every day waiting for this one. ::)

Equipment and Software / Re: SG/Brix refractometer completely useless?
« on: April 27, 2011, 03:09:51 PM »
I think I'm the one who started this...

With the caveat that I've never actually used one of these and and am working entirely from the pictures I've seen online, yes, the SG scale is inaccurate. The manufacturer appears to have used the "multiply by four" rule, rather than an actual Brix-to-SG conversion. So the Brix scale should be just as accurate as any other refractometer, but the SG scale will only be within one "point" up to about 1.050. As far as I know, the Brix scale is still a pure sucrose measurement, so you'll need to apply a correction factor when measuring wort.

This post has some general information on how to use a refractometer, as does the September 2, 2010 episode of Basic Brewing Radio:

For FG estimation, I have a recently updated spreadsheet, which glastctbrew linked to earlier:

This *should* give better results than the MoreBeer/ProMash/BeerSmith/what have you formula, although that's also included so that people can verify it for themselves.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mashing for high gravity
« on: April 27, 2011, 09:00:45 AM »
You might want to use DME instead of LME and the lightest you can get as well. when doing a high gravity the LME can add a lot of unfermentables that can result in an overly sweet beer IMO.

I think that in general LME would be more fermentable, actually. I don't have any personal experience, but that was Ray Daniels' conclusion in Designing Great Beers. He found only one manufacturer's (M&F) syrup was less fermentable than their DME.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Maintaining water temperature...
« on: April 26, 2011, 03:05:54 PM »
I was wondering if my soupy mash contributed to the rapid heat loss.

I think it's more likely that you actually just didn't have a uniform temperature at the beginning and so it was lower overall than the spot you checked. I have that same cooler and I've never seen a mash drop more than ~2°F in an hour.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Forgot mash-out
« on: April 26, 2011, 11:50:53 AM »
That's what I have understood to this point. That's why batch sparging results in small loss of efficiency isn't it?

Right. The more you divide up the sparge into smaller and smaller batches, the more thoroughly it's possible to rinse the grain bed. When fly sparging, the number of "batches" is infinite, so efficiency is maximized.

Well, I think a mash out and sparging with water to keep it just below 170F helps a lot, at least it has in my experience.

That's what I was wondering about - once the mash has fully converted, I'm not sure what the mechanism would be that would improve lauter efficiency based on temperature. Kai even did a batch sparge using cold (15°C) water and the efficiency compared to the hot sparge was about the same. It sounds like your results were different, though. Were the batches otherwise identical?

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