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Topics - redzim

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General Homebrew Discussion / how to long to age a Belgian Blonde Ale?
« on: September 12, 2013, 06:07:35 AM »
I brewed the Belgian Blonde Ale from BCS in hopes of getting something similar to Leffe Blonde. It fermented nicely from 1.065 to 1.011 and I kegged it about 2 weeks ago, it's been sitting on my cooler at about 33F under 10psi.  When is it ready to drink? I'm unfamiliar with Belgian stuff aside from a yearly Wit batch.  Normally I'd drink an American ale as soon as it's carbonated (about 5 days in my system)....


All Grain Brewing / how do you add your salts?
« on: August 19, 2013, 10:32:01 AM »
I'm relying a lot more on BrunWater for my lighter-than-amber beers, and finding that just about every beer calls for some combination of CaCl2, gypsum, and epsom.  Here's my current SOP:I read somewhere that gypsum dissolves better in cooler water, so I've been heating my strike water in a kettle, while dissolving the salts separately in a small beaker of ~1 cup cool water. Then I put strike water and salt solution into cooler box mash tun, and wait until it drops to strike temp, then slowly stir in the grain.

The problem I'm running into is that the CaCl2 does not dissolve very much. (I think it's the CaCl2, because I've never see this problem with some brews that just called for gypsum & epsom.)  It stays all flaky in the beaker; I've tried dissolving it in 2-3 cups water; no dice. When I add that "solution" to the mash tun, the flaky white calcium just drops to the bottom. I'm assuming that it is doing no good, since it's not in solution...

So is this a problem? if not, I'm fine. But if so, how do you dissolve all your CaCl2?


Beer Recipes / a little flaked corn and flaked barley in Witbier?
« on: July 16, 2013, 06:04:26 AM »
I have the Witbier recipe from BCS which I've brewed the last 2 summers and like it. For 10 gal it is 9.5# pale malt, 8.5# flaked wheat, 0.5# light Munich, and 2.0# flaked oats.

I have a half a pound each of flaked corn and flaked barley sitting around with no plans to use them, and was wondering what would happen if I just toss them in the mash, maybe reducing the pale malt by a pound, or half a pound. That would change just 5% of the grain bill, and I probably wouldn't notice it, right? But at least would use up two things that would otherwise just sit around.


The Pub / bacon
« on: June 05, 2013, 01:04:46 PM »
my first bacon-related post. i guess it's hopeless now....

Equipment and Software / sani clean slime
« on: May 08, 2013, 11:11:15 AM »
anyone else every see ropey slimy crap in sani clean after it is a month or so old?  i mix mine into distilled water and try to reuse it for 3-5 batches (for kegging only - I use star san during brewing).  but the ropey stuff has always disturbed me, although I have never had an infection or sanitation issue to date.... 

[crosses fingers] [knocks on wood]

Yeast and Fermentation / yeast re-use
« on: May 08, 2013, 11:06:00 AM »
any one see a problem re-using W-34/70 from a Bo-Pils that was 1.058, to a German Pils that is going to only be around 1.050?   I ask because a couple years ago I reused US-05 from a 1.066 IPA in a 1.045 brown ale....  major off flavors etc occurred, AFAIK because of the yeast dropping in gravity so much.... I am assuming a 1.058 to 1.050 drop is not such a big deal?


Ingredients / Amarillo
« on: April 23, 2013, 04:04:17 PM »
What does Amarillo go well with? I've got about 10oz sitting in the freezer doing not much of anything.  I'm thinking of it a basic American IPA. I'm a big fan of all-Centennial IPAs, what about mixing Amarillo 50/50 with Cents? Or are they best used at a certain point in the boil, like flavor or aroma? 

Other hops I have on hand (in case anyone sees anything that pairs nicely with Amarillo) are Columbus, Cascade, Magnum, Mittlefruh, Tettnang, and Willamette.  (And Saaz but that's going in my Bo Pils this week)


All Grain Brewing / Brun Water question
« on: March 21, 2013, 07:04:10 AM »
Recently started using Brun Water to acidify my sparge water with lactic acid. When I'm doing a brew where I'm building water from scratch, based on distilled water, do I enter the Water Alkalinity on Tab #2, Cell B4, as zero, since distilled water plus gypsum & CaCl2 has zero alkalinity, according to Tab #3, Cell L12? 

And then when I enter a zero alkalinity into Tab #2, it tells me to use zero lactic acid in the sparge water. I guess I should believe this, but am having trouble figuring out why...  won't the distilled water still have a pH of around 7, and I'd like it to get down to 5.5?


Events / noob NHC question
« on: March 11, 2013, 04:55:22 PM »
I'm probably giving myself mucho bad karma by even asking this ... but having never entered the NHC before, here goes....

IF one of your beers wins in the first round and you get selected for the 2nd round, do you have to send in more beer? In other words, should I be saving some of each beer that I submit to the first round, for possible submission to the 2nd round judging? If so, how much? 

Assuming I don't win anything in the first round, then I'll at least have some of each beer to drink while I ponder the 1st round scoresheets, so I guess it would be worthwhile saving some in any case...


All Grain Brewing / adding sulfate to my SNPA clone
« on: February 25, 2013, 08:04:31 AM »
My water profile, which I've used for Pale Ale in the past, is as follows (all ppm): 56 Ca, 10 Mg, 15 Na, 7 SO4-S, 28 Cl, 172 bicarbonate, 141 Alkalinity.

I'm thinking about looking to get a little more sulfate crispness in there.  How about adding a few grams of gypsum to the  mash, which would get me 89 Ca, and 99 Sulfate (according to Kai's worksheet), while leaving everything else alone (of course it will reduce the RA a bit)...

Sound like a good idea, or not?

Also, would this be a good idea for an IPA and/or Rye IPA?


Events / NHC entry registration - how fast does it fill up?
« on: February 23, 2013, 06:31:53 AM »
this may have been asked/answered elsewhere but I can't find it....   how fast do the slots fill up when the bell rings at 3pm EST next Tuesday?  do i have a day, or 6 hours, or only 1 hour???

FYI, I live in NY so would have to register in the NYC area?  or can I ship to say, Ohio or Atlanta if NYC fills up?


All Grain Brewing / where do you take mash pH?
« on: February 12, 2013, 06:12:21 AM »
Just suddenly wondering where you guys get the mash sample that you are taking the pH of....  do you scoop off the top, or run some cloudy liquid out of the drain of your mash tun, or what?  And does it make a difference? 

FWIW I take a cloudy sample out of the mash drain about 10 minutes into the mash, and I have lately been getting within +/- .2 pH pts of what Martin's and Kai's worksheets predict....  but of course I always like to second-guess my SOP.


Equipment and Software / chilling a 30-gal batch
« on: January 24, 2013, 08:06:27 PM »
Anyone here brew 1-bbl batches?  If so, how do you chill the wort...  large immersion chiller, or some kind of plate chiller?

If IC, what length and diameter is the coil? 

If plate chiller, any info on make, model, # of plates, and what pumps (if any) you use, would be appreciated.


Ingredients / boil volume question
« on: January 13, 2013, 11:39:42 AM »
OK from this previous thread ( I am realizing that my processes are a little abnormal compared to the average homebrewer. To recap, the main issue is my large kettle which has a huge (30-40%) boil off rate, which caused me (up until my most recent brew yesterday, Maibock) to oversparge... that is, collect 16-17gals to boil down to 11gal.  This caused astringency in many beers even though I got great efficiency.  Then the astringency from oversparging got further concentrated by the boil.

So based on suggestions from this forum, I sparged only until I collected 12gal (which would put me in the ballpark of other 10gal brewers, I guess), then I added 5 gallons water to the kettle before starting the boil (for various reasons it is basically impossible to reduce my boil off rate, in case you're wondering). (I also acidified my sparge water with lactic acid for the first time, getting in from ~7.5 down to ~5.7, which will help astringency also)

Now I use Kaiser and Martin's water spreadsheets heavily. What I did yesterday was add minerals to the "dilution" water (which I added to the kettle pre-boil) in the same proportions that I did to the mash and sparge water.  Thinking about it more, I think this may be wrong?  If I enter data into those spreadsheets as if I'm collecting 12gal pre-boil, that obviously makes my mash pH and everything work out, as well as setting the flavor profile.  So if I add more minerals preboil, I am now thinking, that screws everything up and sort of "concentrates" my minerals. Perhaps what I should be doing is adding distilled water as my dilution, so the minerals don't get played with... because the only reason I'm adding water to the boil is so I have enough wort to ferment after the boil.... so it just be be distilled that evaporates off... correct assumption? Or am I off here?  (previously, I entered data in the water spreadsheets as if I was collecting 16-17gal, and they nicely gave me lots of stuff to add to my sparge water, which again got concentrated in the boil...  if Martin or Kai could clarify how their sheets work it would help here... I guess they assume most people have a "normal" boil off rate)

So that got me thinking further: I bet I'm messing with my hop utilization by having such a big preboil volume....  so maybe instead of adding 4 or 5 gallons right at the start of the boil, I should add it a half gallon at a time during the boil, so I never have more than maybe 12-13 gal in the kettle...  this would then let me mimic the average homebrewer who boils from 12 gal down to 10.5, or so... 

any thoughts?

Going Pro / vendors / manufacturers
« on: January 09, 2013, 09:23:18 AM »
Just kind of blowing smoke out my ear at this point but where would I start looking to get a quote on equipment for a 7bbl or 10bbl brew house, that would include MLT system, mill & auger, wort chilling system, and 2-5 (or more) tanks for fermenting, lagering, and serving,and anything else I have forgotten?

I am looking for both:

1) manufacturers of new equipment

2) forums where I could keep tabs on used stuff being sold


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