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Messages - ajk

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Equipment and Software / Hoses....
« on: March 08, 2013, 06:51:48 AM »
Use softer water, a cleanser that contains a chelator (like PBW), rinse with something like StarSan (which is a mild acid), or some combination of the above.  I use water from my Culligan softener and rinse with StarSan.

Old Ale with rye. No chill.

Events / Re: NHC Direct links email
« on: February 26, 2013, 02:25:33 PM »
Was anyone able to get their entries marked as paid?  I'm having the same problem others have mentioned—404 page, credit card charged, but entry not marked as paid on the registration site.

Yeast and Fermentation / wlp001 for Scottish 60/ or 70/
« on: February 25, 2013, 06:30:18 PM »
I brewed a split batch of 70/-, fermented half with Wyeast 1056 and half with Safale US-05. When they finished, they tasted so similar I blended them back together. I entered the resulting beer in a (small) competition, and it won best of show.

Yeast and Fermentation / Best Beer for S-23?
« on: February 09, 2013, 07:41:12 AM »
Mine was so weird I sent some to John Palmer who said it tasted like Bartles and Jaymes Passion Fruit Wine Cooler!

I'm still surprised John would admit to having tried Bartles and Jaymes Passion Fruit Wine Cooler.

All Grain Brewing / 100% munich
« on: February 09, 2013, 07:33:51 AM »
Tasting my first 100% munich APA.

What brand/color of Münich?

General Homebrew Discussion / Signs of Infection
« on: January 31, 2013, 05:28:24 PM »
I've had beers get infected before, but it has never been visible.  I've always detected it by smelling or tasting the off character (most commonly sour or band-aidy).

This thread has a quote from a StarSan employee stating the solution must have a pH below 3.5 AND be clear.  Cloudiness indicates the surfactant has reacted with minerals in the water and become ineffective.  The surfactant renders more permeable the cell walls of the unwanted flora, and the low pH then kills them.

If that's true, I might consider switching back to Iodophor for everything.  I sanitize my kegs with star san and push it out with CO2 to purge all the oxygen, and by the second keg it's already cloudy.  I have relatively soft water (Ca 28, HCO3 59), and I'm not going to buy 5 gallons of distilled water just for sanitizing.

I use "softened" water (from my Culligan system).  I keep the mixed StarSan solution in a corny keg, and it lasts for anywhere from weeks to months.  A solution made with distilled water would surely last even longer.

The Pub / Forced inventory control
« on: January 05, 2013, 08:49:32 PM »

Mostly some crappy bottles of mead, but also the last bottle of a really good oatmeal stout.  Worst part has been cleanup.  The concrete floor is easy, but it went under all my refrigeration units.

General Homebrew Discussion / How to become a better recognizer of flaws
« on: January 05, 2013, 03:49:33 AM »
It helps to know the limitations of your own palate and how to work around them.  I used to be unable to smell or taste diacetyl, so I had to get it from the slick mouthfeel. Through practice, I eventually learned to perceive both the aroma and flavor of diacetyl.

Oxidation is another one.  I never get papery/cardboardy.  What I get is a honey-like or overly caramely character.  Either that or a sensation I think of as (but would never write on a scoresheet as) "tin can".  Don't let other people's descriptors limit your observations.

Learn how you perceive by correlating those perceptions with what you already know about the beer.  To paraphrase Gordon Strong, your palate is the best instrument you have, so trust it.

This thread has a quote from a StarSan employee stating the solution must have a pH below 3.5 AND be clear.  Cloudiness indicates the surfactant has reacted with minerals in the water and become ineffective.  The surfactant renders more permeable the cell walls of the unwanted flora, and the low pH then kills them.

Equipment and Software / Blichmann beer gun stopper issue
« on: January 02, 2013, 12:29:32 AM »
Inspect the stopper closely.  Is it torn?

All Grain Brewing / 5-gallon vs. 10-gallon cooler?
« on: December 23, 2012, 05:53:38 AM »
My only concern with using the 10 gallon cooler for partial mash small beers is that you may end up with the grain bed too shallow to reasonably act as a filter.

I haven't seen anyone mention the coffee lid trick in response to this concern.  Just throw a coffee can lid on top of the grain bed and pour any liquid you want to add to the mash on top of the lid.  The lid will disperse the impact of the liquid.

If you batch sparge then bed depth won't matter and a 10-gallon cooler will work fine for smaller batches.

True, but you may still need to reintroduce liquid into the mash during vorlauf.  I batch sparge, but I use the coffee lid for this vorlauf step.

As for tun size, considering my 48-quart cooler can be a bottleneck for really big beers, I recommend the 10-gallon at least.


All Grain Brewing / dark malts on sparging
« on: December 23, 2012, 05:39:37 AM »
What kind of flavor difference do you get here? Significantly less acrid/roasty character?

I've been thinking about trying this with an existing recipe, but I want to make sure I account for it in my recipe.

Kyle, I suspect you and I have similar, highly alkaline water profiles.  I too have considered the cold-steeping method, but I think I'd then have to adjust my water to lower the mash pH—I feel like we get that adjustment for free with dark malts.

Still, I'd like to triangle-test two beers made both ways (one pH-adjusted by dark grains in the mash, the other with dark grains cold-steeped or added during the sparge and pH-adjusted by RO dilution or acid additions).


Ingredients / Storing HOP Pellets
« on: December 11, 2012, 02:21:48 AM »
So, how does the oxygen that is in there get purged?

like any standard pin lock - depressing the poppit in the middle.
He said "oxygen."  When you have liquid in the PET bottle you can squeeze all the air out before capping it with the carbonator, then add CO2, but with hops, I don't think you can do that, so there will be some O2 in there, but very little.

I have always assumed that the idea is to fill the container with co2, wait a bit for things to settle down in there and then purge through a top opening which should get most of the o2 out as it will have migrated to the top portion of the container. still some o2 but a lot less

That's not how gases work.  Otherwise, basements would be deadly. :-)

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