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Messages - hubie

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mashing in coolers what water ratio to use
« on: August 23, 2011, 04:21:44 PM »
If you want to do all those steps, you can still pull it off with a decoction.

If you can run your own web server you might want to give BrewBlogger ( a try.  I run it on my laptop and it is very good.

Other Fermentables / Re: Too much head space in carboy?
« on: August 18, 2011, 09:13:48 PM »
You can certainly rack into multiple smaller containers.  What is nice about that is you can mess around with them individually if you want, such as adding spices or other flavorings.  When I make wine or mead, I typically make a little bit more than I need and keep the extra in beer bottles under airlock (#2, I think).  When I rack, I use the beer bottles to top up.  I don't rack very often, so I don't need that much on hand.  I've also topped up with boiled water.  If you're topping up a 5-gallon batch, the amount you're adding doesn't make much difference in your gravity.  Some people don't want to dilute, so that is why they use marbles or top up with a similar wine or mead.

Other Fermentables / Re: New to Kefir
« on: August 14, 2011, 07:27:16 PM »
I'm going to have 2 to 3 weeks where I won't be able to do anything with my kefir grains.  How do you store your grains long-term?  Should I put them in fresh milk and just put them in the fridge?  I've also heard of putting them in a 50/50 mixture of milk and water; something about not letting the pH get too low or something, but that might have been in the context of really long-term storage.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Using Corks In Bottling Mead
« on: August 14, 2011, 05:11:35 PM »
I have a mead to bottle now as well.  I hadn't thought about waxing.  Do you just heat it up and dip in the bottles?  Is one coat enough?  Where do you get the wax, is it regular old paraffin?  I was going to cork mine, let them sit upright for a few days, then put them on their sides.  Does it matter when in this process you do the waxing?  I would assume after they've sat a few days upright?

Equipment and Software / Re: pH meter - what else is needed?
« on: August 09, 2011, 07:05:05 PM »
I think the temperature dependence depends upon how acidic the solution is, and if that is true (and my subconscious isn't telling me that just to mess around with me), then it should depend upon the mash composition: mashes with highly kilned malts should act different than distilled water.  Of course the chemistry in a mash involves many different compounds with different dissociation rates, some that increase the pH and some that decrease the pH, so the real answer is probably not so neat.

This is why I went into physics.  I much prefer to break the problem down into a simple idealized system:  let's assume a spherical mash tun...

All Grain Brewing / Re: first Witbier
« on: August 09, 2011, 06:30:41 PM »
To understand where Jamil was coming from for the witbier recipe, I was going to suggest that you listen to his podcast on witbiers (, but it turns out that he was out of the country for that show and someone else filled in for him.  You can see what he wrote about for this in his style column in BYO: , but since I don't have his book in front of me, I don't know if the recipes are the same.

Keep in mind that (I believe) BYO recipes assume a 60% efficiency, while his and Palmer's Classic Styles book assumes 75% (or maybe 70%).

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Bottle bombs
« on: August 08, 2011, 06:10:23 AM »
With your final gravity and the amount of sugar you used, my guess is that you had a bad bottle.  However, this is assuming you had 5 gallons in your bottling bucket.  Any chance you had much less beer than you thought?  How many bottles did you end up getting out of it?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Home brewing in Canada
« on: August 07, 2011, 04:47:31 PM »
@gmac:  Excellent review;  I greatly appreciate it.  You had me sold on real cask ale.  I will see if I can add a trip there to my itinerary.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Home brewing in Canada
« on: August 06, 2011, 11:17:53 AM »
Hey gmac,

I've got a business trip coming up in a couple of weeks that will bring me to London, ON.  If I have the opportunity, where would you recommend we dine if we want to experience some good local beer?  I'll be staying down around Richmond and Oxford streets.

I made a number of one-gallon test batches of meads using various honeys, etc.  One of the first ones I did was a simple mead using bulk honey from the warehouse store.  I had quite a bit of trouble getting it to attenuate but it is finally down around 1.010 or maybe a bit higher.  It tastes a bit sweet, but is otherwise unremarkable.  I picked up some nice, fresh local peaches and I was considering racking the mead onto the fruit in a secondary.  I wasn't sure whether I should/need add any pectic enzyme.  I'm not planning on heating the fruit, which I know would set the pectin, but I'm not aware if there is enough pectin in fresh fruit to give me any problems.

The other thing I was considering, since it is a pretty sweet mead, is to add hot peppers or something sour instead.  Any opinions whether adding peaches to a sweet mead would make it too sweet or cloying?  I do have a gallon of a ginger mead where the ginger-ness isn't where I want it to be.  It tastes a bit dull and I might want to add the peaches to that instead, since ginger and peaches are a nice combination.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash rests and timing between steps
« on: August 06, 2011, 06:37:01 AM »
My question is when a recipe calls for a specific time to rest, when does that timer start and stop? What about the time in between when raising the temperature from 122 up to 148 then to 158 (hypothetical but typical mash rests - I'm trying to ask this question style-agnostic) are you running the timer during this 'step up' part as well?

I typically run my timer when I get to the target temperature.  However, in my mind it would depend upon how long it takes you to get from step to step.  When I step mash, I will do it with either infusions, which means it takes no time to get to the next step, or by decoction, which means it takes a long time to get there.  Remember that the enzymes work over a pretty broad range so if it takes you a long time from one step to another, they are actually converting starches along the way.

Just as a background on my mash tun equipment, I use a keggle w/ false bottom and am considering using a pump to circulate the mash while heating up to the next temp. I also have a concern here about the heat melting the tubing connected to the valve at the bottom.
This would depend upon what kind of tubing you are using.  A figure I have in my head, which very well could be wrong, is something like 150 F for standard vinyl tubing.  You can easily get high temperature tubing such as

Also, when heating to the next step and you are beginning to approach your target temp, do you throttle back the heat so as not to overshoot the target?
I don't run a RIMS or HERMs system, but what you are describing is what is known as proportional control and is generally a simple and good technique to use when controlling something.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Saving the Planet, Going Domestic
« on: August 03, 2011, 09:50:02 AM »
Didn't European brewers who immigrated have to start using adjuncts in the 19th century because the North American barley crops were so much higher in protein than they were used to?

That, and everybody wanted to get on the Bohemian lager (Pilsner Urquell) bandwagon.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sample Glassware Sources
« on: August 02, 2011, 04:08:16 PM »
I bought some cheap stanges at Lee Valley but I can't seem to find them now...,104,53217

I bought a dozen for cheap from them. Already broke one... Regardless they are excellent quality glassware! I'm using one right now.

Call them and see if you could arrange shipping and bulk-price for a thousand at a price more to your liking.

Are these real German 0.2 L glasses with the 0.2 L level marked on them?

Other Fermentables / Re: Ginger beer and kefir
« on: August 01, 2011, 01:29:13 PM »
I know what you mean about the consumption.  With my milk kefir, I'm the only one in the house that drinks it, so if I'm falling behind in my consumption I put the milk and grains in the fridge to slow it down.  It doesn't help that the grains grow, which makes the ferment go faster.

That's too bad about GB and water/sugar kefir.  I was hoping that it was like talking about variants on a cultures, so that the differences between them were like talking about the differences between different ale yeasts.

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