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Messages - a10t2

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Belgian Tripel
« on: January 18, 2011, 10:09:10 PM »
You should be able to get very close - most traditional tripels are very simple recipes. 100% pilsner extract, Belgian if you can get it, maybe 10-15% simple table sugar, and the Westmalle yeast (Wyeast 3787 or WLP530). Make sure you make a large starter, or pitch about three packs.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: US-05...Best Deal?
« on: January 18, 2011, 05:32:36 PM »
So its around $50 a brick?  You'd probably spend that much more on the vacuum bags.  That'd take you upwards of $2 a pack.

I haven't priced them out individually, but we just bought 20 bricks and it came to just under $600. So the equivalent of $2 a pack is probably a conservative estimate. That's still half price. Could be a good group buy for a club or something.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: US-05...Best Deal?
« on: January 18, 2011, 08:28:45 AM »
Sean, how long does this keep in vacuo?? I want a goodly stash of s-189,

The rule of thumb is that vacuum packed and at refrigerator temps, viability drops by 4%/month. I don't know that I agree that that's accurate, or at least that it's constant. Our stash of dry yeast at the brewery is closing in on its 2-year date, and I'm not picking up any of the off-flavors I'd expect from pitching yeast that was only ~40% viable. With two years being the published expiration date, I'd say you should be fine for at least that long.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: US-05...Best Deal?
« on: January 17, 2011, 10:19:37 PM »
If you have a vacuum sealer, you could buy the 500 g bricks. They run about the equivalent of $1 a sachet.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Poll: Keezer/kegerator temperature settings
« on: January 17, 2011, 07:19:58 PM »
44°F for me, although depending on the weather it can get a good deal cooler.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Lag time
« on: January 17, 2011, 06:19:44 PM »
I think that strain is one (of many, really) that's slow on the first pitch and improves in subsequent generations.

Ingredients / Re: Substitute for Special "B"?
« on: January 16, 2011, 09:42:30 AM »
I think the closest I've come across is an Extra-Dark English crystal malt, typically about 160 SRM. Weyermann's new CaraAroma sounds like it's supposed to be similar, but I haven't used it yet. Special B is pretty unique. A US crystal malt won't be all that similar IMHO.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Hemocytometer
« on: January 16, 2011, 09:37:52 AM »
To give you a starting point, I've found that diluting 100:1 typically means counting about 100-200 cells.

All Grain Brewing / Re: heatstick/heat exchange
« on: January 15, 2011, 08:28:58 PM »
I don't know anything about commercial PID units, but as a control algorithm I have to think it's overkill for this application. Unless you're going to set up a PWM setup, there's no point using anything other than a basic, linear, thermostat-type controller. Using your 2°F differential, set the target 1°F higher than your desired temp, get a 1-2 kW element and a relay for it to control, and you'll be in business. That's the basic setup we use for temperature control in our 7 bbl brewhouse, and it's all you need.

All Grain Brewing / Re: heatstick/heat exchange
« on: January 15, 2011, 10:28:58 AM »
Is that 2°F? As a practical consideration, I wouldn't worry about variations smaller than that. If precision is a serious concern, though, the Ranco ETC series will let you set a 1°F differential.

I don't think you'll be happy with a 500 W element either, unless all you're using it for is to maintain temps. That will only raise the temperature of a typical mash (10 lb grain, 4 gal water) by 1°F every 1.3 minutes - assuming no losses. Doing a step mash would be pretty impractical.

$70 (or really, $141) for an element seems pretty pricey. It's nice that they're sealed and all, but I'd still go with the $15 one from the hardware store. I'm a tightwad though.

Equipment and Software / Re: Batch Sparge Theory
« on: January 15, 2011, 10:17:15 AM »
Makes me wonder if we need to add a few terms to describe gravity:

How about HG: 20-30°P; VHG: 30-40°P; UHG: >40°P?

Equipment and Software / Re: Batch Sparge Theory
« on: January 15, 2011, 10:15:07 AM »
Nonetheless, being a practical person, I think the hypothetical 3-D MLT design isn't.

I definitely think it would work. I'm less convinced that there would be a benefit over more conventional designs.

If lautering speed is the concern, I think all the same concerns that apply to fly sparging would also apply to batch sparging. The absolute best design is probably a false bottom, since you would effectively be able to drain the entire area of the mash simultaneously. And you'd want the shallowest grain bed possible.

As a practical consideration, I have a lautering system that's optimized for fly sparging. (A slotted CPVC manifold.) Using a March pump, I average about eight minutes from starting the runoff to filling the kettle. That probably means each ~3.5 gal runoff takes about two minutes. I don't see any reason to experiment with other designs.

The Pub / Re: Science Project for my 5 year old
« on: January 13, 2011, 10:39:41 AM »
I guess I'm late to the party, but how about looking at fermentation? No reason to explicitly tie it into beer. Sugar water and yeast in a jar, put a balloon on top. Using different amounts of sugar, show that the size of the balloon is proportional to the amount of food the yeast have. Explain that yeast eat food and expel CO2, just like people do. Tie it into the circle of life on our fragile planet. Science fair judges eat that s*** up.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Swirling The Contents of Your Carboy
« on: January 13, 2011, 10:33:05 AM »
I know htat rousing yeast can be a technique for getting better attenuation in big beers, but do you think it has any negative (or positive) effects on an average beer?

I can tell you it isn't having any negative effects on your beers! I don't see how it could be a problem. Oxidation isn't a concern at that point. There are macro breweries that agitate continuously to speed up fermentation - actually, I have to do it to four tanks today. Stupid Colorado winter keeps crashing my beers...

Fast Fourier Transform?

My brain does that every single time. ::)

WLP002 does not respond well to this type of stimulus.  It has a tendency to stick to the bottom of the fermenter and if you do rouse it, it over attenuates.

Is that based on a controlled test? What is over-attenuation in this context? I don't doubt that agitation could reduce the FG, but when I hear "over attenuates" I think of a beer finishing drastically lower than anticipated.

Physics:Math::Sex:Masturbation ;)

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