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Messages - harbicide

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While I do not necessarily pitch at high krausen when stepping up, I feel the 48 hour process is growing fresh yeast.  In fact, I pitched 3 gallons of starter into 15 gallons of 1.122 gravity wort and the resulting beer did well at the NHC finals last year.

After emailing with Wyeast a few years ago the only time I decant is if I am doing a delicate style or a volume that is approaching the limits of my fermenter.  For 20 gallon batches I generally make a two step, two gallon starter, beginning 48 hours before brew day, on a stir plate with constant O2 feed.

The Wyeast pitch calculator is a great tool:

Equipment and Software / Re: 55 gal SS drums
« on: April 02, 2012, 06:45:41 PM »
I picked up a surplus power transformer shell at the scap/recycle center last week.  It is painted stainless steel, 47 gallons and never used.  The scrapyard attendant thought it was carbon steel and sold it to me for $20.  It is going to make an awesome boiler!   ;)

Transformer steel is often called Silicon Steel - up to about 4% Silicon and 93-96 Iron with minor (< 1%) additions of Nickel, Chromium, Aluminum, Titanium.  If it was painted it is very likely not Austenitic (300 Series) Stainless.

Ingredients / Re: Post your water report
« on: April 02, 2012, 09:46:05 AM »
FYI - you may already know this, but sulfate reported as SO4-S is just for the sulfur, and needs to be multiplied by 3 to get sulfate, so your total sulfate is 117 ppm.

Good catch.  However I used Denny's report as a template, which shows "SO4-S".  Mine was reported as SO4.

Ingredients / Re: Post your water report
« on: April 01, 2012, 06:47:42 AM »
Westview Water Authority, which pulls it from the Ohio River a few miles downstream from Pittsburgh.  Westview will switch over to chloramine April 30.  Analysis shown is from March 14.

pH 8.6
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) 117
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 236
Sodium, Na 18
Calcium, Ca 52
Magnesium, Mg 22
Total Hardness, CaCO3 74
Nitrate, NO3-N 1
Sulfate, SO4-S 39
Chloride, Cl 50
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 30
Total Iron, Fe 0.016
Free Chlorine, Cl2 1.5
Pittsburgh Trout, 0

Ingredients / Is Flaked Barley Worthwhile when Using Oatmeal?
« on: March 31, 2012, 10:57:49 AM »
I made 15 gallons of RIS on Wednesday, and in cleaning up today I noticed that I forgot to add 3 lbs of flaked barley.  I'm actually kinda glad since I still ended up with an excrutiatingly slow run-off with the 3 lbs of oatmeal.

General Homebrew Discussion / Oxygen Needed for 15 Gallons
« on: March 24, 2012, 06:14:56 AM »
For my next batch of RIS I plan on using pure O2.  I am looking for some guidance on how long of a shot of O2 do I need.  Also, since this will be a big beer, I am thinking of giving it a shot of O2 8 to 12 hours after pitching.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: On This Day in 1989...
« on: March 18, 2012, 06:12:40 AM »
Early in 1992.  A 'Basic Ale' from the Whip & Spoon.  One can of 'light hopped' extract, one pound of Dutch light DME.  1/2 oz Hallertau for 30 minutes and 5 minutes each.  Whitbread pack.

“Brewing is mankind’s oldest biotechnology. These days it is a sophisticated operation, based on an in-depth understanding derived from a range of scientific disciplines. Yet it retains the charm of an art form appreciated by billions of people the world over.”   Join Dr. Charlie Bamforth as he expounds on his premise and continues the research

General Homebrew Discussion / Sunleaves Oxystones Usage
« on: March 15, 2012, 09:17:25 AM »
I am looking for a better oxygenation stone and found a 2" one made from Sunleaves.  As is was "Quality Manufactured in China" I am hesitant to put it in my beer.  So if anyone uses one of these and hasn't grown a third arm I'd like to know.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Chloramine
« on: March 15, 2012, 09:13:10 AM »
My club just had a guest speaker from Calgon talking about water, filters, etc.  As chloramine addition is a recent hot topic in W. PA the question was asked about carbon filters and their ability to take out chloramine.  He said some carbon filters (Centaur?) specifically list chloramine as being able to be taken out.

Yeast and Fermentation / Acetaldehyde Aroma in Lt Lagers
« on: March 10, 2012, 09:01:33 AM »
I just kegged a Dortmunder this morning and noticed a slight apply aroma in the beer.  None in the taste, however.  This beer was kept at 55F for 18 days and was oxygenated with filter air.  Any chance that lagering will remove the aroma?

Equipment and Software / Re: Malt Mill questions
« on: March 06, 2012, 10:37:41 AM »
A few years ago I retired an adjustable home-built mill for a non-adjustable Schmidlin.  With a 1/4 hp motor and sheaved at 500 rpm I could mill 50 lbs in 90 seconds.  I have since scaled it back to 300 rpm and still love it.

Walter, I use an MDXT-3 pump that I bought 10 years ago from McMaster-Carr.  The manual shows the maximum liquid temperature to be 190ºF, however, I regularly pump 200+ water through it.  Other than the occassional air lock, what other negative effects should I expect to crop up?

Homebrewer Bios / Bio on Harbicide
« on: March 03, 2012, 07:08:20 PM »
I'm not one to talk about myself, so here goes:

Who Are You (please include a picture):  Lance Harbison (I'm not internet savvy so I can't upload a picture, however, I'm a cross of Roy Scheider (Jaws) and Matthew Broderick (Ferris Beuhler).

Home Town (City, State):  Born and raised in Saxonburg, PA (home of John Roebling, of the Brooklyn Bridge Fame).  Currently living in Gibsonia, PA

Homebrew Club:  Three Rivers Underground Brewers

I've been a homebrewer since:  My first job out of college in 1991 I met some good friends who brewed and turned me onto it.  I brewed six extract batches and switched to all-grain.  This forced me to build my first piece of equipment - a fully adjustable grain mill.

Do you have a homebrewing disaster you'd like to share?  In 2004 I read in Zymurgy the recipe for Fat Tire.  Having never drank it I brewed it and it came out lemony.  I emailed Dana Johnson, the author, about the lemony and it wasn't expected.  I soon made another batch which took on a vinagary flavor which turned out to be beer stone harboring acetobacter in my fermenter.  Since both were 20 gallon batches that was $100 down the drain (in the days before high hop prices).

What style(s) will you never brew?  I'll probably never brew Belgians (other than Wits) cause I can't see myself drinking 15 or 20 gallons of a style I really don't care much for.

What was the first beer you ever brewed?  My first beer was an amber kit from the Whip and Spoon in Portland, Maine.  How did it turn out?  Must not have been too bad since I'm still brewing 20 years later.

Do you have a favorite homebrew trick or gadget that you've found to make your beer better/brewing easier, etc?  I have been fortunate to have 4 gadgets published in various Zymurgy gadget issues:  Sparge Ring and CIP Ring in the 2nd edition, Conical Valve Unsticker in the 3rd edition, Chill From Within in the 5th edition.  I should have filed for a patent for the Sparge Ring as at least one major internet supplier was selling them the next year.

Describe your brew system.  I was formerly the metallurgist and welding engineer for a nuclear fabricator.  I therefore had an unlimited supply of stainless and the best welders in the nuclear industry which allowed me to build a 25 gallon system including conical, HLT, MT, and boiler.

How frequently do you brew (times/month or /year)?  I brew whenever I have 3 or 4 kegs empty.

What haven't we asked that you would really like to answer?  What is my pet peeve?  Being a metallurgist I have etched dozens of stainless samples with oxalic acid; It drives me crazy when someone writes that Bar-Keepers-Friend will passivate stainless since it has oxalic acid in it.  The ONLY way that oxalic acid will passivate or etch stainless is electrolytically.

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