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Messages - tschmidlin

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Homebrew Clubs / Re: CSB Community Sustained Brewing
« on: August 17, 2010, 12:09:35 PM »
Do you mean sort of like the Black Star Brewing Co-op?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Growing Hops Alpha Acidity
« on: August 17, 2010, 10:42:03 AM »
That's one way to do it, just estimate, but you never know where you'll be.

Another thing to do is small test boils with hops of known AA.

But the only real way to know is to send a sample off for lab testing, that will give you a good answer for your crop.  It's not worth it to me, but YMMV.

Contrary to other posts, after reading through the chemistry of Star San, and an experiment I tried (left plastic parts in the Star San for a couple months) I beleive the milky coating is actually the surfacants in the Starsan being pulled out by the slighty charged plastic parts.  I have placed hoses in the stuff for months, and the diamters of the hoses have not changed.  The white goo had a distinctly metalic smell to it, but if you rinse off the stuff and let air dry, all of my clear plastic parts have returned to "clear" after a few days of air drying. 
Interesting, but that doesn't explain why my starsan gets cloudy at the same time the hose gets gummy.  Maybe it's just a coincidence though, I don't know.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash temps for a Flanders Red style???
« on: August 17, 2010, 10:05:12 AM »
Hopefully Fedex brings my Roseleare today...   ;D
If they don't bring it, you can always pitch some 1056 or other clean yeast.  Do it without aerating, underpitch, and ferment cool.  That'll under attenuate the beer so there'll be lots of stuff for the bugs/brett to eat when you throw them in.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pumpkin Beer
« on: August 17, 2010, 10:00:30 AM »
(I know Tom Schmidlin is going to be asking himself whether I'm goofing on him again trying to get him to put pumpkins in the boil. I love those kind of answers...)
I've heard of people boiling it, but I'd be worried about it - I don't know how much pectin pumpkin has, but it has some.  Generally we don't boil fruit for that reason (among others), but I'm guessing pumpkin has less pectin than an equal weight of blueberries.

How long did you boil for?  My kettle has a false bottom so I'm thinking chunks of sugar pumpkin roasted in the oven should be stopped as long as I don't boil them too long.  Hmmm . . .

I think I'd boil the roasted pumpkin in a pot on my stove, then dump it into a collander to strain it, take the liquid and add that to the boil.  It would still be a pain, but I think it would be a lot easier than doing it in the kettle.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Fresh Hops
« on: August 17, 2010, 09:51:53 AM »
Typically people only use fresh hops for late additions, because the hops have an unknown amount of alpha acids. 
And yeah, 4-5 times the amount by weight is a good starting point, although I think 5-6+ is a better rule of thumb for my fresh hops, maybe because they haven't been processed at all so the lupulin is not as readily available, but that's just a guess.  Anyway, I stopped weighing them and go by volume now, just because it's easier and more fun for me.

A lot of people call them "wet" hops, which seems really silly to me because they're not wet, they're just not dried.  Like the fruit I ate yesterday, they're fresh.  Or the basil I like on my pizza, fresh, not dried.  No one calls it wet basil, or wet strawberries, and no one says "I'm going to go pick a wet apple off the tree".  Unless maybe it just rained.

My speculation is that once you remove the starsan there is an opportunity for things to grow.  This makes sense from a strictly "what is possible" point of view, but from a "what is likely" point of view it is probably not anything to worry about.  A lot of people do what you're doing without any contamination problems.
Just for clarity I should also point out that I am sure that when he said that he meant that is the case with any product you might use, and not something peculiar to starsan.  Sorry if it seemed like I was saying something different.

I'm not trying to troll or anything, I'm just trying to think the claim through using the science/logic behind it all because it really doesn't make sense to me at first thought. And of course, given I do exactly that, I'd definitely want to change how I do things if it's indeed true that there's a problem. I've searched a little for the interview but no luck, you wouldn't happen to have a link would you?
As far as I know, it was this interview, although I could be wrong.
March 29, 2007 - Sanitizing with Bleach and Star San
Charlie Talley from Five Star Chemicals tells us best practices in using household bleach and Star San in sanitizing equipment.

My speculation is that once you remove the starsan there is an opportunity for things to grow.  This makes sense from a strictly "what is possible" point of view, but from a "what is likely" point of view it is probably not anything to worry about.  A lot of people do what you're doing without any contamination problems.

I've noticed this with thin PVC tubing I use for racking and stuff. after a few weeks sitting in a bucket of starsan (don't ask) my tubing has gone a bit milky and sort of feels a little gummy, but I'm not really sure of the science of it all, or what's happening. Anyone smarter than me care to explain? In any case, with the beer line I use, I don't notice any of the milkiness or anything, everything stays crystal clear (and also sits for months at a time), so I'm assuming it's not doing the same strange gummy thing - but you're right, I'm not opening up my tubes or touching the inside. again, hoping someone smarter than me can explain potential problems - but as far as I can tell it sort of seems ok?
The starsan is acidic enough to slowly dissolve the tube.  The beer line that I use is 3/16" pvc from morebeer (  Maybe the line you get isn't pvc, the website doesn't say.  Either way, if it isn't a problem for you don't worry about it.  :)

I'm a little disappointed in this thread and feel like some of this might be misinformation. I keep a keg full of starsan around, just like wayne, and have never had any problem with sterility. I also don't see how it's possible that a keg sanitized and full of starsan could 'become unsanitary', even if the starsan lost some of its sanitizing power over time. No air or anything else would be getting into the sealed keg, so it seems like the environment would have to remain sanitary. besides, starsan sanitizes based on its acidity correct? I'm not sure what would cause the ph of the solution to change...
Sorry for the misunderstanding.   :)  First, we were referring to empty kegs that had been sanitized becoming unsanitary, not kegs full of starsan.  Second, I am just reporting what someone from 5-star said in an interview.  It doesn't bother me if you don't believe it, and if it works for you then great.  The only evidence is what the manufacturer claims. <shrug>

Also, I have stored "empty" cleaned keg lines full of star san ever since I started kegging. Routine is, fill a keg with hot PBW solution, run it through the lines, let it sit a day, then run a fair amount of starsan through them to 'rinse' them out, then hang the lines full of starsan to dry. I've never noticed any 'gumminess' or off flavors with any of my kegged beer being run through these lines. could you please somehow substantiate the claim that starsan breaks down beer line? I'm using - pretty standard afaik.
As for starsan breaking down beer lines - really the easiest way to substantiate it is to throw a chunk of line in a bucket of starsan for a couple of weeks and see for yourself.  Maybe you haven't noticed it because it's not an issue with the small quantity that actually fills a line, as I suggested.  Or maybe because it is gummy on the inside, and you don't actually touch the inside of the line.  It's probably one or the other of those things, and seriously, I'm glad it's not a problem for you.  But a line in a bucket gets gummy, and that's been a problem for me in the past.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Missed Mash out Temp
« on: August 16, 2010, 09:27:16 PM »
I've always mashed long and I've never checked ph.
Denny was talking about pH and temperature - you can boil grains and not get tannin extraction as long as your pH is in the normal mash range.  If it is higher, like towards the end of sparging, then you can get tannin extraction above 170F or even lower.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pumpkin Beer
« on: August 16, 2010, 09:24:46 PM »
I would just use pumpkin pie spices and dose it into a strong malty amber colored ale that is lightly hopped.  Using actual pumpkin doesn't add too much to the flavor, and is quite a pain.  You can add the spices to the end of the boil, but use restraint - there are easy ways to increase the impact of the spices after the fact, not so easy to decrease their impact.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Direct heat step mash - info for first-timer.
« on: August 16, 2010, 06:36:16 PM »
For those who worry about very specific (accurate and precise) temperatures in their mashes, I just have one question: do you have a consistent temperature reading throughout your mash? 

Great point Gordon.  I've done it and it's not pretty.  I mash in a direct fired tun.  I know my malt temp and how much water I'm using.  I calculate what temp the water needs to be to hit my mash temp, then heat the water to that.  I stir really well to make sure the water is well mixed, then add my malt and mix as best I can.

For a batch or two I was stressing because the temp in the tun was off, so I fiddled with it - more heat, cold water, whatever to try to get the temp.  I made some beer that was not so great.

Now I just trust physics - once I mix in the malt I don't pay too much attention to the temp.  The last batch I brewed was 6 degrees under when I put the lid on the tun, but I left it alone.  Trying to stir my mash with a thermometer sticking 1/3 of the way into the tun and a false bottom with more than a gallon of water under it just doesn't work that well.  Physics works though, I stick with that.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash temps for a Flanders Red style???
« on: August 16, 2010, 06:23:33 PM »
So, is 154f a good place to start then?  
That's what I do.  The rest of your stuff looks good too, so I think at this point you need to just brew it and RDWHAHB.

The Pub / Re: Favorite mixed drinks
« on: August 16, 2010, 02:55:12 PM »
Ill never turn down a good long island
I've never had a good Long Island.  I've heard they exist, but I'm skeptical.

Equipment and Software / Re: How do I cut a keg?
« on: August 16, 2010, 02:06:32 PM »
Did you check the bottom flange that sits on the ground for holes?

Most kegs have them, but a few do not.  get a little moisture in there, add heat and BOOM!!!
I know of 1 case where shrapnel wen flying for this reason.


Wouldn't it be best then to drill holes in it, so any moisture that may get in can drain, and any that boils has an easy escape route for the steam?

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