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Messages - tschmidlin

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Equipment and Software / Re: Heating a Fermentation Fridge
« on: October 22, 2010, 04:05:33 PM »
The first thing I would do is get a digital thermometer that has a memory and will record the high and low temp.  I'd monitor the temps in the fridge and see how much the temp drops overnight, and I'd want to know the high and lows in the garage as well.  The garage will mitigate some of the temperature swing outside, and the fridge will mitigate some of the temp swing that the garage sees.  It's possible that the problem isn't so severe or frequent that you need to do anything really.

If you do though, yeah, a 2-stage controller is the way to go.  A light bulb in a coffee can should do the trick, or a reptile heating pad.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 5 gallon sanitizing bucket
« on: October 22, 2010, 06:48:09 AM »
It helps if you build a little wooden tray to hold it, since the plastic ones can be flimsy.

I've found that if you stack 2 or 3 of them together they hold up pretty well on their own. Still wobbly, but manageable.
Good call.  The hardware store where I found one long enough for keg dip tubes only had one.  And I found it, they didn't even know it was there.  I think I paid $0.50 for it.   :)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 5 gallon sanitizing bucket
« on: October 22, 2010, 05:16:08 AM »
I'll also throw in my little tip I picked up from a friend

wallpaper trays. Work like a charm for long things.
Absolutely, they work great.  It helps if you build a little wooden tray to hold it, since the plastic ones can be flimsy.  But you need a lot less starsan, like making one out of 4" pvc tubing with a cap on the bottom.

Other Fermentables / Re: Toping off carboy
« on: October 22, 2010, 02:57:40 AM »
How long has it been fermenting?

If you add fresh juice after a couple of days you're adding O2 which could lead to oxidized flavors in the finished cider.  If it's been less than 24-36 hours it will probably be ok, but after that I wouldn't bother.  It's only 1/3 to 1/2 gallon, I don't think it's worth the risk.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Overshooting FG
« on: October 22, 2010, 02:12:43 AM »
I just took a gravity reading on the ESB I brewed a couple weeks ago. It was 1.011, but was estimated to be 1.018. Other than the higher alcohol content, is there any thing to worry about in over shooting the FG?

My OG was 1.059 and FG is 1.011 for and ABV of 6.26%.

Besides the higher alcohol, you can expect a thinner body.  You may also find a higher than expected perceived bitterness, and decreased malty flavors among other things.  It will probably still be good though, so RDWHAHB.

All Things Food / Re: Ethnic and Regional Cooking
« on: October 22, 2010, 02:07:34 AM »
Tom ...I knew I could count on you to keep me straight.  Thanks.  ;)
Someone has to, right? :)

The Pub / Re: Babalu
« on: October 22, 2010, 01:52:59 AM »
That's really great news, thanks for the awesome update!

Ingredients / Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« on: October 22, 2010, 01:48:24 AM »
Tom might know what they do in the PNW.
I know what some say they do :)  I was on a tour once at a brewery nearby, and the tour guide told me that they distill all of their brewing water.   ::)  They surely filter it to remove the chlorine, but there's no way they distill it.  Not even RO, with the water we have (very soft water with low overall mineral content).

I've never taken a formal survey or anything but from random conversations over beers I can say that, like homebrewers, their procedures seem to vary.  Some are much more rigorous about mineral additions, others are not.  A lot depends on the personality of the brewer and when/where they got their training, not to mention the recipe they're brewing.

I'll be at the Washington Brewer's Guild meeting in a few weeks, if I remember I'll ask a bit more in depth and see what people are doing.

All Things Food / Re: Ethnic and Regional Cooking
« on: October 21, 2010, 08:29:22 PM »
Logging in after a couple weeks travelling the West

I was wondering what happened to you.  

C'mon Nic....Don't you know you have to let us know when your going on vacation.  ;D
He did, you just weren't paying attention.   ;D

Those look great!  I think the most I've smoked is 4 hours and I didn't see much coloring, except for maybe a slight darkening of the pepper jack (that may've been my imagination).  These pics make me want to do some straight away, but alas, I have to go on a lovely two week vacation this morning, at 6AM, driving across the southwest to california and back, seeing 5 national parks and generally relaxing, so it will have to wait til I get back, for shame.   ;D

Ingredients / Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« on: October 21, 2010, 08:26:34 PM »
My tap water has 36 ppm calcium, I've brewed beers with as low as 10 ppm. Commercially, several Bohemian beers are brewed successfully with low calcium as well as beers in, say, Portland Oregon.
My water has 15 ppm Ca and it generally converts fine when I don't add calcium.  But by adding calcium to 50 ppm I'm giving myself one less thing to worry about.  I don't treat my sparge water, so the ppm drops down again in the boil.  I don't think I've ever said you have to hit 50 ppm or it won't convert, but if I did somewhere it's withdrawn  ;)

Amylase requires calcium to work, so having more calcium will help make more of it active, to a point.  But I haven't done the experiments to figure out a curve of ppm Ca+2 to time when converting a mash.  Maybe it's just that 50 ppm is recommended so you can be sure to have finished converting within 60 minutes for most malt types, I don't know the research behind it.

BTW, here is a link to another forum where a user got a water analysis from Briess. Not pretty.
Looks like the same one I linked to above.  :)

Ingredients / Re: Water Profile help for FW Union Jack-extract
« on: October 21, 2010, 08:10:26 PM »
Just because you're using distilled water doesn't mean you'll have low mineral content.


Do you mean after the addition of the extract, or before the addition?
Really, you need to ask?  ;D  After of course. :)

All Things Food / Re: BBQ Style
« on: October 21, 2010, 08:07:40 PM »
Yeah, I was trying to think of how to fit a grate in there and then thought, I don't really need a grate at all.  It worked really well with stuff I had lying around.  The top picked up a lot more color than the bottom, and the chunk of gouda (not pictured) that I threw on was a bit too close to the heat source and got a tad melty in spots, but nothing terrible.  Looking forward to trying it after I let it rest for a week or so.

Other Fermentables / Re: Milk?
« on: October 21, 2010, 07:09:25 PM »
My brother who works for one of the pharmaceutical companies told me that they are looking hard at the organisms in kefir. They are thinking about drugs to replenish healthy bacteria in the body that gets killed off in people that are taking heavy doses of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill everything even the natural healthy flora in the body.

Thats pretty interesting.
Really, drugs to help replenish the healthy bacteria?  Why not just feed the people kefir and yogurt?  That's what I do when I'm on antibiotics, it helps with some of the digestion side effects I get. :)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 5 gallon sanitizing bucket
« on: October 21, 2010, 06:23:57 PM »
I would use a food grade bucket, an old fermenter that is too scratched for brewing works well, even if it has been contaminated.  It's ok (but not ideal) if the scratches have stuff growing in them, you're not putting your spoon in the scratch.  Any contamination that comes out of the scratch into solution will be killed off by the starsan.

Even without a food grad bucket though, it will probably be fine.

All Things Food / Re: BBQ Style
« on: October 21, 2010, 05:33:02 PM »
I couldn't get it to stay lit for more than a couple of minutes no matter where I put it.  It needed a flame to keep burning.

Thanks for the link bluesman.  It's possible that the density of the wood is the problem, although it could also be the consistency of the dust.  They weren't obviously that different, but I didn't look too closely and definitely didn't screen them or anything :) 

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