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Messages - brewsumore

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1
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg Lid Leak
« on: May 25, 2015, 02:33:39 PM »
I use keg lube on every keg when filled, but a teeny tiny amount run around the lid o-ring between thumb and finger - just so the rubber glistens.  If the lid won't seal at ~15psi, then I add a little more, if necessary initially sealing the keg with high pressure.  Of course certain kegs among my collection are more problematic.

I use it a little more heavily to seal dip tube o-rings.

I normally keep the kegs at 20-30 psi for the first three days, after which reducing pressure normally doesn't cause the same leak I got at low pressure/low lube.

When washing the keg, after soaking in hot PBW or PLC upside down in a bucket, I try to remember to run a wet, soapy sponge or paper towel under the rim of the keg opening to wipe away any residue which is negligible.

I personally don't feel that keg lube when used very sparingly is much of an issue when cleaning kegs.  But when I run out (or maybe before then) I plan to buy CIP Film keg lube since it washes off more easily with hot water than LubriFilm keg lube.

2
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Challenging brew days
« on: May 17, 2015, 10:17:19 AM »
Last Sunday on Mother's day I hurt my back. My mom being the sweet woman that she is offered me up a muscle relaxer. Her exact words were "I take them every day, they don't faze me a bit." Well, mom doesn't drink as much beer and whiskey as I do I guess because I was down all day Monday with what felt like sludge in my veins.

On Tuesday I was still feeling a good bit sluggish, especially my brain.  I brewed a 372 gallon batch of tripel. As I added the last sack of grain I realized it said "Best Wheat" not "Best Pils". I thought, oops. Grabbed a sack of wheat by accident. No big deal. Then, as I was trying to smooth out the grain bed I noticed how heavy and thick it was, unlike any grain bed I had even seen before. Then when I started to vorlauf I noticed how slow and cloudy the grant was. I went back and counted empty sacks - I had doughed in almost 75% wheat. Took me 4 hours to lauter. The weird thing is my brain remembers seeing wheat when I opened the sacks but my brain didn't tell me that I was screwing up.

 The day never got better, and even forgot to add my yeast nutrient and WF.

Keith, that's a sad turn of events.  I hope you are feeling better now.  What are you going to do with your batch of 75% wheat beer?  Will it be a mostly wheat tripel?

Mark, also sad for your bad luck.  I drive my MM 3-roller with a 1/2" DeWalt drill and will be paying closer attention to any stalls that could be related to pebbles!

3
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Empty Keg Storage
« on: May 12, 2015, 09:55:46 AM »
I keep a couple new keg lids, some extra pressure relief valves, lid feet caps, and extra o-rings on hand.  And when I have a problem lid it goes into the "Use as last resort" bag -- gets swapped out.  And when I find a problem (crease, nick, bend) along the rim of the keg opening, I have done my best to bend it back to the desired shape.  The theory is to remove all the defective parts within my inventory (around 22 kegs) so that when one is brought into use I don't have any that leak.

I don't think that I have any ball lock kegs that require a specific lid.  I do carefully seat the lids, sometimes having to reverse the direction the lid sits to get the best seal.  And spray star san when setting the lid under pressure to check for leaks.

4
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Empty Keg Storage
« on: May 11, 2015, 07:58:52 PM »
I clean/sanitize/dry my kegs, and then store dry with the lid on (with painter tape labeled "clean/sanitized"), and quickly re-sanitize and drip dry before filling.  I normally add keg lube to post o-rings when still wet with sanitizer prior to drying/storing them, but wait to lube the lid o-ring until immediately prior to filling the keg with beer.  I don't feel the need to purge corny kegs of o2 prior to filling them (from the bottom with an auto-siphon), but immediately purge and then pressurize kegs as soon as filled.

5
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pics of recent brews?
« on: May 11, 2015, 07:24:10 PM »
"Das ist Gut" German Pils (lagered 7 weeks)



"Helles for Heroes" Munich Helles (lagered just under 4 weeks) - needs more time to clear'



Both taste great!  Tomorrow I start lagering another 10 gal of the same G Pils!

6
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: NOOOOO - NHC disaster
« on: May 10, 2015, 09:23:26 PM »
Wow, I'm sorry for your loss... of beer.  I almost suffered a similar fate recently, although it had nothing to do with beer for a comp, especially the NHC!

I never got around to posting about it, but a week ago before tapping a helles that had finished lagering, I swapped out one of my kegerator liquid lines for a longer one (doubled the length to 10 ft), and same time added a spare, clean ball lock liquid side QD (black) before tapping the keg.  I hooked up the keg, looked at the QD and thought that the little bit of liquid on top of it was what I just spritzed from my star san squirt bottle.

I went and mowed the lawn, and two hours later came back and decided to peek in there again, just because.  I found that beer had been leaking out the QD and collecting on the bottom of my kegerator.

The problem was that when cleaning the spare QD weeks before, I had taken it apart, and then put it back together loosely so it would dry out better.  So the QD cap was on but not tightened down with a screw driver.

I only lost about 20 oz beer from the keg, and after tightening the loose cap on the QD just unhooked and removed the several kegs from my kegerator, cleaned out the spilled beer, and then replaced/reattached all kegs.

So my lesson learned is DON'T FORGET to check/tighten my QDs anytime I attach a spare one, before applying gas or beer.   

7
All Grain Brewing / Re: Pliny the Elder with Amarillo?
« on: May 03, 2015, 10:05:57 PM »
Yeah, thanks Ultravista!

8
Today I brewed a variation on Mullerbrau's Two Hearted Ale clone (11 gal), and my first single hop ale using centennial.  I decided to use up some ingredients at home, so for his recipe's vienna I subbed mostly munich with a little victory, and for his crystal 20 I used a little less crystal 40, making up the difference with carapils.  And the nearly amber color is a contrast to the other 30 gallons I have going that are all light-colored beers, mostly German Pilsner and Munich Helles. 

Also, I used some frozen/vacuum-sealed fresh centennials from last September a friend gave me for the 15, 10 and 5 minute additions.  I used new pellet hops for the 75 and 40 min. additions.  In ProMash I calculated the fresh hops at 2% AA, and based on tasting the hydro sample I think I came close to hitting the calculated 50 IBUs.  I used nearly quadruple the amount of fresh hops as recommended for dry hops, not having any idea what %AA the fresh hops were, and boiled an extra minute on each of three additions while stirring.

Also, I ended up hitting 1.066 SG instead of Greg's 1.072 SG, an anticipated shortfall because I really knew that I had overestimated my brewhouse efficiency.  The 23 oz of fresh hops soaked up a lot of wort but I still got full volume into the fermenters plus a little.  US-O5, pitched at 62F and will ramp up to 65 over the next few days and then keep it at 66 - 67F.  I'll dryhop in the keg with 1 oz pellet hops per keg, or more depending on the taste when I rack to kegs.  It's only my second fresh hop beer; I was very pleased with results so far.

9
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Anxiety of Kegging
« on: April 21, 2015, 10:38:38 PM »
Sometimes, when I tip a keg and see that it is very low, I'll bottle the remaining beer and put it in my beer fridge or cellar it, or to just have an alternative to what remains on tap, and/or to share with friends.  It also helps to get rid of the anxiety of "will I have room for the next two kegs almost due to fit in here?" 

I went on a fishing trip last weekend and before heading out had a low keg of Dubbel and was bottling other beers too to share with a fishing buddy from another state, and so bottled what I figured would be two or three beers left of the dubbel, but ended up bottling eight of them.  No big deal, I keep lots of empty bottles and caps on hand for just such situations.

10
I'm going to brew an IPA, using the base recipe from Experimental Homebrewing: 88% pale, 8.8% crystal 60, and 3% carapils. Plus Denny's Favorite yeast, FWH, @5, whirlpool and dry hop.  Any suggestions wrt hops , oh ye Hop Gods? I have Chinook, Mosaic, Amarillo, Columbus and Citra. I might split up the batch into 2 or 3 for different dry hop combinations.

Maybe use all 5 of those hops.  Chinook for bittering.  Columbus at 30 min and dry hop.  The other three at 5 min and 0 min plus a bit more for dry hop, plus a 45 min hop stand.  I haven't done so but it sounds intriguing.  I know lots of folks warn about +3 hops, but depending on the combo/amounts used I like the complexity of 5-hop IPAs.

11
Equipment and Software / Re: Refractometer, what am I missing out on?
« on: April 12, 2015, 10:48:39 PM »
I trust the accuracy of my narrow range hydrometers for OG and FG, so as to correctly calculate ABV.  I figure that guests like a number they can trust, mostly for gauging how much they might consume before driving home.  That is, for each tap I show the beer name, the ABV, and the IBUs.

I batch sparge and use an $80 refractometer to check combined mash and sparge runoff in the kettle pre-boil, to compare it against the calculated pre-boil SG, to see if I am on track / want to make adjustments during the boil.

12
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pics of recent brews?
« on: April 11, 2015, 09:10:52 PM »
My Weizenbock



Looks fantastic!

Yeah, and the beer looks fantastic too!

13
I liked a recent German Pils enough (like it a lot in fact) that on Saturday I'm brewing it again, and again with all German hops:  Magnum for bittering and some mittelfruh and spalter spalt at 30 and 5 minutes.  Single infusion @148 - 149F with target OG of 1.051.

14
Ingredients / Re: Is German magnum a noble hop?
« on: April 07, 2015, 03:03:15 PM »
Yeah, but if you talk to a couple German brewmasters they are most likely to tell you that using the nobel hops for bittering is a waste of hops (and wort!).

Boy! I used that same line in that discussion with AJ and he just poo poo'd that notion. If nothing else, AJ is consistent. Give him only the true German methods! Fingers in ears for anything contrary.

I met AJ and talked with him a couple / few times when I belonged to Brewers United for Real Potables (BURP) out in the MD/DC/VA area.  That club is the one I've belonged to whose membership constituted the most talented brewers overall compared to other clubs I've been able to join.  And AJ is like yourself, a pioneer in brewing chemistry.

Martin, I put my fingers in my ears when someone recommends to me brewing water software other than Bru'n Water.  Just when I learned v3.1, out comes the new one.  I LOVE it!

15
Ingredients / Re: Is German magnum a noble hop?
« on: April 07, 2015, 11:32:37 AM »
Noble hops are Hallertau Mittelfrueh, Tettnanger Tattnang, Spalter Spalt, and Czech Saaz. There are others sometimes thrown in, like Herrsbrucker, but the 4 above are not debated.

You missed Hersbruck Hersbrucker.

Galena is the mother plant for Magnum.  I like Galena more than I like Magnum.

No, I maybe spelled it wrong, but it was mentioned as a sometimes included. The first 4 are the classics, Hersbrucker, is sometimes called a noble hop, as are Fuggles, Goldings, and Styrian Goldings.

Jeff (or anyone),  for the GP recipe that I provided a link above, it calls for Spalter Spalt for a 30 min and a 5 min addition.  I have some Spalt Select on hand, but also have access to buy Spalter Spalt.  If you were in my position, which would you use? 

I brewed one batch and liked it so well I'm going to brew another, so I'm thinking to be safe I'll buy addiitonal Spalter Spalt as used before, but don't want to ovethink it.  The Spalt Select are fresh, sealed YVH hops.

Just degrees of gray where true noble hops are involved. 

My understanding is that the Spalt Select have a taste a little more like hallertau mittelfruh, the other parent for the disease resistant cultivar.

Edit:  I'e answered my own question:  Since the other hops in the recipe are hallertau mittelfruh, I'll buy more splater spalt hops to get a better range of hop flavor.  It's just a few more dollars!

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