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Messages - Jimmy K

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Equipment and Software / Re: Canner
« on: May 10, 2013, 12:32:19 PM »
Besides the cost, the other problem is I don't think anybody sells low run cans. You'd probably have to buy a full pallet. It would be cool though!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Starter: Step Up or Two Separate
« on: May 09, 2013, 09:10:54 PM »
I'm looking at a chart in "Yeast" showing growth achieved from different inoculation rates. The ideal pitch rate (for cell growth in starters) is 50-70 billion cells/L which means a single 100billion cell package needs a 1.5-2L starter for optimum growth.  Above that concentration and yield decreases because there are not enough resources for cells to divide.  At 100b cells/L you get 50% less growth. At 200b cells (a 1/2L starter) you get 90% less growth. Lower than ideal pitch rates will get you more cells overall, but starter efficiency sufferers. For instance, pitching 25b cells/L means your using twice as much starter but only getting 50% more growth.

So that's all a long way of saying that a multi-step 2 liter starter starting with 2 packages of yeast is not going to grow much initially, and with each step the pitch rate just gets higher, resulting in even less growth for that step. So two starters (or one 4L starter) would be ideal.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Sticky taps
« on: May 09, 2013, 04:51:17 PM »
It is beer drying on the internal parts that makes it stick. I keep a squirt bottle of sanitizer to rinse taps with - that helps too (and there is no beer going stale in there). Plugs also help.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Give this guy some beer
« on: May 08, 2013, 06:33:01 PM »
In only drink Busch (preferably camo cans) before 10am ... or coffee stout.

Homebrew Clubs / Re: Do other clubs have this problem?
« on: May 08, 2013, 01:32:20 PM »
It generally seems to be that no matter the club size, 20% of the membership do the lions share of the work to keep the club going. Acknowledge the folks who do, do what you can, and plan events that reward those who participate.

We have around 40 members. 20 show for meetings and about 4-5 people volunteer to do stuff when asked.
Those percentages sound about correct - if not high, for brewing and non-brewing activities I'm involved in.
As for getting people to rejoin - most people react to reward the best. Plan something early in the year that members must be renewed to participate in - like a spring BBQ or brewery tour.  Punishments, like threatening to drop status, doesn't work as well. And if it does, it only works if members care about the threat. So think about it from their perspective - What is the reward for renewing? If there is no reward, then it's always something that they can do "later".

My chest freezer is now 9 years old, it runs in my garage which routinely hit 110F in the summer and low 20's in the winter.  I didn't insulate the collar, and I even sheathed it in oak plywood, something I since learned is very bad.  I keep my temp probe in a sealed, dry, empty water bottle.
Why is that bad?

Pimp My System / Re: Finished 1BBL system
« on: May 08, 2013, 12:54:53 AM »
Very nice. One thing that I noticed is the the pump should be oriented horizontal with the outlet pointing up.
Walter says vertical with the head on top is fine.

All Grain Brewing / Re: REALLY no sparge
« on: May 07, 2013, 11:33:35 PM »
I do a no sparge, no boil, no hops to make my Egyptian historical brew. Just mashing baked grain breads with dates and chamomile. I sulfite it to kill the bugs, then pitch my starter. Over time it turns beautifully clear, and is a light bodied summer brew with notes of the chamomile and dates. Oh, and it keeps winning golds in 23A  ;)

So yes, it can definitely be done.
Fascinating - can you post a recipe?

I'm not certain, but I bet the relationship between density and temperature is not linear. So the corrections used near 60F would not be valid at higher temperatures.  It shouldn't take too long to cool a sample down either.

Equipment and Software / Re: Starsan temp.
« on: May 07, 2013, 11:23:03 PM »
May be true, but it is approved by FDA as a no-rinse sanitizer at the labeled concentration. They'll never tell you to use a different concentration, it would be illegal for them to do that. Can't tell you what the effect would be, but it may have nothing to do with yeast health or flavor.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Outdoor draft system
« on: May 07, 2013, 09:45:44 PM »
Maybe part of the answer is how often will the taps be used. If they were used for a few events per year with lots of pours at each, you could build something like a jockey box outside - run the beer through coils in ice before serving - to rechill if needed. If you'll be pulling off one or two beers scattered though the week, this is not so practical.

A pipe filled with liquid would keep the beer cold if the liquid is cold - but I'm not sure how that would happen. Eventually the liquid will be at ambient temp and it will actually warm the beer faster because of the higher specific heat.

I stuck my probe in a block of solid foam insulation. The effect is the same as sticking it in liquid - the controller is slow to react to temperature changes - but without the mess of liquid.  This is in a keezer, not a fermentation chamber.

Equipment and Software / Re: Brew kettle issue
« on: May 06, 2013, 07:59:48 PM »
Most metal stretching companies use a white/opaque liquid lubricant when forming their pots.  this can become mixed with metal flakes.  it was probably what you where wiping out of your kettle when you cleaned it for the first time.  As long as you cleaned your pot well with some sort of basic degreasing agent ala soap, you should be fine.  I would recommend getting a small jug of PBW to use on any new stainless items:D
That was my thought. Many metal products have a film after manufacturing.  It is probably washed off of consumer products when the customer might examine it before purchase, but possibly not for an online purchase.

All Things Food / Pastrami
« on: May 06, 2013, 01:58:53 PM »
I made some pastrami for Big Brew Day

Now I'm hungry again

If I have 4 oz of cocao nibs that needs to be added two weeks before bottling, do you still suggest leaving everything in the primary and just add these nibs once I am a couple weeks away from bottling?
That would be one of the times it's appropriate - to add fruit/spices or for extended aging. Though if you were ever in a bind (like all your fermenters were full) you could add the nibs to primary with no worries.

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