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Messages - hubie

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« on: April 25, 2013, 07:12:51 AM »
What is your anticipated level of involvement?  Do you want to buy an off-the-shelf system, or are you willing to build your own?  If you want to be more on the build-your-own end of things, check out BrewPi (,, which is software that runs on a raspberry pi or an arduino.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Whirlpooling
« on: April 22, 2013, 09:17:43 AM »
The kettle height to diameter is important.  I use a turkey fryer kettle and I cannot get any kind of a cone to form.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: PH adjustments
« on: April 10, 2013, 11:51:48 AM »
I was thinking more along the lines of the case where I wanted/needed to adjust the mash pH after the water has been added.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: PH adjustments
« on: April 10, 2013, 05:49:16 AM »
In a practical sense, what is the best way to add acid to the mash?  Since it would be such a small volume of liquid, do you put that on top of the mash and stir the heck out of it, or do you run off some volume of liquid, add it to that, then dump that into the tun and stir?

Equipment and Software / Re: Something to help with lifting
« on: April 10, 2013, 05:43:50 AM »
The fiance' tends to volunteer for this work - lucky me!!  ;D

My wife would probably get pretty mad if I got me one of those...

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Anyone tried the WLP860 Munich Helles?
« on: March 26, 2013, 02:52:45 PM »
How did your Maibock turn out?  Anyone else use this yeast?  I just picked up a vial myself but haven't used it yet.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: homebrewed soda recipe???
« on: March 21, 2013, 06:20:09 AM »
I've never used the gnome stuff.  Looking at their web site ( it looks like you add somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.8 to 1.0 lbs per gallon.  I'd mix up whatever amount you're thinking with about half the amount of sugar to start.  Then you and your kids can add sugar to taste.  They'd probably get quite a kick out of being part of the process and giving their feedback.  You can also cut them off if their palate tolerates much more sweetness than yours.  As for syrup, all their 5-gallon recipes seem to call for 4 oz syrup.

If you have access to Zymurgy, you might be interested in an article that Drew Beechum has in the March/April issue dealing with some very interesting sodas you can make.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Carbonation (Henry's Law) question
« on: March 21, 2013, 06:00:28 AM »
I wouldn’t worry too much and base the calculations on the current temperature of the beer. If the beer has been warmed up before that and lost CO2 then it will also have reabsorbed the CO2 as it cooled down. One issue here is that as it absorbs CO2 from the headspace it would pull air into the airlock and thus lower the CO2 pressure in the head space. This will lead to less residual carbonation.

That is the part about Henry's Law that I'm not sure about.  Since my chest freezer is holding CO2 in, let's assume that when the beer cools back down and when it sucks gas back through the airlock that it is all CO2 coming back in.  The part I was wondering about is after the beer warms up and loses CO2, when it cools back to its original temperature does it pick up the same amount of CO2 that it lost, or is it a lower amount because the beer was originally sitting in a supersaturated state?  Since the CO2 partial pressure is the same before and after in this example, I suppose Henry's Law says that it would eventually take up the same amount of CO2.

I guess another way of looking at it is, say I have two beers that have just finished fermenting.  One I leave undisturbed and the other I use a wine whip and degas as much CO2 out of it that I can.  If I let them both sit under the same amount of CO2 headspace pressure, do they eventually end up with the same amount of dissolved CO2, or does the undisturbed one hold more because it started from a supersaturated state?

Kegging and Bottling / Carbonation (Henry's Law) question
« on: March 20, 2013, 06:49:03 AM »
I have a question for those who are more chemistry-aware than I.  When bottle conditioning, I understand the reasoning behind calculating the priming sugar based upon the warmest temperature the beer had been at, namely that warmer liquids hold less CO2 than colder liquids.  I was wondering about the setup I have, which is a small chest freezer.  I have an ale that has been fermenting in the low 60's, and I let it warm up to the upper 60's for a few days.  If I cool it back down, for all intents and purposes my chest freezer is filled with CO2.  When the beer cools back down, does it take up the CO2 again in any significant amount, or do I still use the higher temperature in my carbonation calculation?  For the ale it is largely an academic question because the difference isn't that great, but I will be getting into lagering for the first time soon and there it can have a larger difference.

I can convince myself that the beer wouldn't take up additional CO2 because when it was colder it was in a supersaturated state and I wouldn't think the CO2 would diffuse back into solution such that it returns to a supersaturated state; however, at this point I'm arguing from the gut because I don't have much of a chemistry leg to stand on.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Switching to All Grain
« on: March 14, 2013, 08:00:09 PM »
I never understood the mystique of all-grain.  When I started out I read up a lot on brewing and scouring the brewing boards and mailing lists, and many times people would make it out like it was one of the labors of Hercules, something that "I'll move up to when I'm ready."  If you are not intimidated in the kitchen, if the idea of making a loaf of bread from scratch doesn't worry you, then you'll wonder what all the fuss was about too.  Look at it like making cookies from scratch verses using the refrigerated dough from the store; making from scratch involves a bit more work up front and a bit more work in the cleanup.

Grab a recipe for whatever style you like making from extract.  If you don't want to commit to a bunch of equipment at first, do a brew-in-a-bag.  If you don't have a large boil pot, scale your recipe down to whatever your current boil pot holds and make a small batch.  If you already have a decent sized cooler sitting around, try out a batch sparge session.

Equipment and Software / Re: Hoses....
« on: March 08, 2013, 07:48:09 AM »
I rinse them in StarSan and hang to dry.  Blowing them out with a hair dryer or air compressor I would be worried about traces of oil from the compressor or who-knows-what coming out of the hair dryer.  If you're worried about getting the water out of the hoses, you could pour a little rubbing alcohol through them to get the residual water out.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Souring a Berliner Weisse
« on: March 06, 2013, 01:52:12 PM »
I recall there was some interesting information on this in the Berliner Weiss part of the Fuhmentaboudit podcasts:

and a bit on kettle souring:

It has been a while since I listened to them, so I cannot recall any specific advice.

Equipment and Software / Re: Chiller to pond pump question
« on: March 06, 2013, 01:23:34 PM »
1/3HP will make a big difference compared to a 1/5HP?

In principle, it should have 5/3 more flow.

You will be fine regarding the O2 you're dumping into the garage.  What I'd be more concerned about with the close proximity of the heater is the potential for doing something careless like moving or laying down the wand too close to the heater while the wand is putting out O2.

Ingredients / Re: Maris Otter
« on: February 25, 2013, 11:48:03 AM »
If you're lucky to be near a homebrew shop, the next time you're in simply taste the malts.  I get more grainy out of regular 2-row.  I love the taste of Maris Otter (I could simply dump milk on it and enjoy it for breakfast!).  I really enjoy the side-by-side tasting of the grains when I go to the LHBS.

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