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Messages - tschmidlin

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Really Denny, a rye APA - you?!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: A 30 Year Beer
« on: August 08, 2010, 05:15:18 PM »
Even just one extra payment per year would cut it down to about 23 years, so there's that.

I agree with The Professor - why limit yourself to one?  Make a few different things, they're more likely to last 30 years that way :)

Oh, and have good place to lose them - I recommend a crawl space that's kind of a pain to get into. It helps me keep my hands (lips) off of stuff I want to store.

The Pub / Re: The Demise of TechTalk
« on: August 08, 2010, 05:09:09 PM »
I'm new to this forum, but not to forums in general.  I've enjoyed techtalk, but it's ok with me if it disappears.  One problem with techtalk from my perspective, is that it is never there when I want it to be, and stale by the time I get to it.  I don't usually learn that much from it, but I like answering questions.  But when it arrives I don't have time to read through it.  When I have time to read it, it either hasn't arrived yet or I figure Houseman's answered that question already.  On the forum I know I'm not wasting my time because I can tell who hasn't had questions answered yet rather than on TT where you often see 5 replies that say more or less the same thing.  Plus it's a lot easier to go through old topics and pick up bits of information.

There definitely seems like there's a way to keep TT around for a lot less money than the AHA is spending on it, and I'll probably subscribe to any alternate solution the AHA may come up with.  But I consider my move to the forum to be permanent.

Beer Recipes / Re: brewing light beer
« on: August 08, 2010, 04:15:14 PM »
You can also think about doing a Scottish 60/-.  I recommend Jamil's recipe from Brewing Classic Styles.  I made it once and served it to my neighbor who's from Belfast.  I didn't tell him what it was, but he said it reminded him of the beers he would drink when he would go see friends in Edinburgh.  Low alcohol (mine was under 3% abv), very easy drinking, but with really good flavor.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Britsh Ale Yeast Questions.
« on: August 08, 2010, 04:06:56 PM »
Yeah, as babalu said, warming it up will help.  Since you're not planning to do anything with it for a while, I'd get it up to the low 70s and let it go for a week and see if you get a drop in gravity.

If you're worried about getting viable yeast in each bottle, I would make sure to pick some up with the racking cane when racking to a bottling bucket.  It will mix in while you rack and give you some in each bottle, and you really don't need that much.  If you're worried about viability though, you should add some fresh yeast at bottling.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegerator Questions.....I need help!
« on: August 08, 2010, 04:00:53 PM »
Standard ball lock disconnects can be disassembled easily - there is a slot on the top that you put a flathead screwdriver in and give it a twist.  The whole thing comes apart for easy cleaning.

And yeah, the kegs dribble a little bit right when I pull the liquid out fitting - I keep a paper towel handy to soak up the beer, and a quick spray with starsan helps.  But mostly what got rid of the mold problems in my coolers was getting some damp-rid.  At least where I live, you really need to have something to dry out the air.

Equipment and Software / Re: refractometer spreadsheet
« on: August 08, 2010, 05:42:56 AM »
Hey wingnut, all good points, thanks.

I think the ambient temp is pretty consistent, around 60-70F.  If it's 95 here I'm unlikely to be outside brewing!  But you're right that these temp changes can make a difference, I'll have to note the ambient temp more carefully.

When I take my measurement it is post boil, post chiller,so there shouldn't be an issue there.

It's weird that your spreadsheet and mine differ.  The link to download the spreadsheet on the page I linked to says the spreadsheet is updated, maybe that's where the discrepancy is.

Ultimately I don't worry too much about FG, as long as the beer tastes right.  But since this one tastes under attenuated to me I checked to see how far it had to go, only to find the refractometer says it's more attenuated than expected, and here we are.  I'll let you know what a hydrometer says.

Equipment and Software / Re: refractometer spreadsheet
« on: August 08, 2010, 04:09:42 AM »
Good idea - it's been a while since I calibrated it, but I found it was reading about .25 high.  So now it's even drier.  I remeasured and now it's reading sub-10 brix.

I gave a sample to my wife and, unprompted, she said she thought it was sweet.  Maybe it would be ok if it was colder and carbonated, but I want to check it with a hydrometer first.

At this point I'm seriously wondering what sources of error there may be, what might be in a beer besides water, sugar, and ethanol that can affect the refractive index.  I can't imagine there would be enough of any compound besides those to really depress the refraction, but . . .

Equipment and Software / refractometer spreadsheet
« on: August 07, 2010, 11:23:31 PM »
Has anyone used the morebeer refractometer spreadsheet to monitor the gravity of their fermentations?

I broke my 100th hydrometer so I'm giving it a try, but I don't trust it yet.  My SG was 20 Brix, 1.083, and it's dropped to 10 Brix, which is 1.014 according to the spreadsheet.  The problem is that's an 83% apparent attenuation, and the yeasts I used are Wyeast 2308 and 2007, which have AAs around 70-75%.  Plus, the beer tastes much sweeter than I expect something that dropped from 1.083 to 1.014 to taste.

Obviously I need to get a new hydrometer or borrow one to test it, I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience with it.


Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegerator Questions.....I need help!
« on: August 07, 2010, 11:12:00 PM »
For the contamination problems, I would completely disassemble and clean the lines from keg to tap, including all of the faucets.  Nuke them with PBW.  Then put it all back together.  I keep a spray bottle of starsan next to my taps and normally spray up into the faucet (perlicks) after each beer, because I can't always be sure I'll be back for another beer that night.  The little bit of residue left could be a place for bugs to grow, and from there they can get in your lines.

For the carbonation/foaming problems, your lines sound too short to me.  They give you the rating for the hose in terms of psi lost per foot based on friction, but I've found I need more length to reduce it down enough to give me a good pour.  Start with something like 6 feet and see how it goes, and cut it down a few inches at a time until you get the pour you like.  It's kind of a pain, but once you do it for one the others should all be the same.

For the saison, yeah, if you're pushing it with 12 psi it will get flatter as you go.  If you're using a splitter to push from multiple kegs, you could take the other kegs off and push it up to 24 psi again for a few days to recarbonate it, but then you'll need to blow off pressure again to serve at 12 psi or it will come out too fast, unless you swap out the hose, but then it will be too slow as the pressure in the keg drops.  It's a total pain, but I've done that juggling act.  I just got a 5-way secondary regulator though, so now I can push my kegs at different pressures.  The cost hurt, but I'm going to be happy with the flexibility.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Confused brewing
« on: August 07, 2010, 08:14:07 PM »
Let us know how it turns out, I'm getting thirsty thinking about it.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Missed Target Gravity, want to supplement
« on: August 07, 2010, 08:12:52 PM »
Yeah, add it before high krausen in case you are introducing any more O2 to the batch, and make sure you have enough room for how much you plan to add.

As for missing your gravity, if you followed your normal procedures I'd look at your crush for starters.  I just did a batch and missed low by a few points, and looking at the grain in the tun there were some uncrushed grains mixed in.  My LHBS just got a nice 3-roller Monster Mill, but they've been fiddling with it and I think they have the gap too loose.  I should have checked when I milled the grains.

You can also slow your sparge or go with hotter water - I always sparge with 180-190 degree water because I get a pretty sizeable temperature drop from my sparge arm and the mash never gets up above 165 unless I use near-boiling water to sparge.  It all depends on your system.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Confused brewing
« on: August 07, 2010, 08:06:34 PM »
I think it won't be very hoppy for an American pale ale, especially with 24# of malt, but maybe that's just me.  You can call it a pale ale though, it will just be on the lower end of hop character.  Or you can double the hops added at flameout, and add some with 10 minutes left or so too.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Does more Ca in the mash = better conversion?
« on: August 07, 2010, 08:01:42 PM »
You MUST have calcium in your mash, otherwise the amylase enzymes won't work at all.  That being said, there may be enough calcium in the malt to supply the amylase so any in the water is a bonus.  But the calcium in the water is important for other things as well.  I usually adjust mine to at least 100+ ppm for the mash and then don't do anything to my sparge water.  But I get good conversion even when I don't do it, and my water has 15 ppm Ca according to Ward Labs.

Beer Recipes / Re: Maple Porter
« on: August 07, 2010, 04:18:37 AM »
I tried to get maple flavor by using some fenugreek seed in a witbier. Worst idea ever.

Can you elaborate on that?  I've heard it works well, but haven't tried it. How did you do it?

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