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Messages - brewsumore

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Equipment and Software / Re: Chest Freezer Question
« on: April 04, 2015, 05:12:01 PM »
Picked this up today...

to use as a fermentation chamber. I plan on primarily fermenting ales and will most likely use this for about a week- 10 days at a time every other month.

When I'm not using this freezer for fermentation should I be unplugging it? Keeping it open? What about something for dehumidification? Obviously I want to avoid any mildew/mold.

A very popular dehumidifier among homebrewers for their kegerators is the Eva Dry 500.   A little bit spendy but they last for many years and work great -- completely worth it IMHO.  And if you go to a kegging system it could come in handy.  One would keep your empty, unplugged unit perfectly dry.

I keep two of them in my 7.0 cu ft kegerator and even when it is full of kegs (6), it keeps the inside bone dry - free of condensation.  I end up recharging the units (takes just few hours) every month or two.

Ingredients / Re: EXP 7270 Hops
« on: April 04, 2015, 02:39:16 PM »
Haven't used them. I'll wait on some other reviews before I buy some. Good to hear that the onion garlic thing ages out, but when I hear even loose comparisons to Summit, it's usually a negative for me.

Yeah, I know that I won't be using summit again, maybe unless for bittering which supposedly does not give the onion/garlic flavor.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Repitching Lager Yeast
« on: April 04, 2015, 02:16:43 PM »
I have gone to half a cake or better yet harvesting into a graduated 2 liter Ehrlenmeyer flask and measuring out the pitch using Mr. Malty (and adjusting for thickness encountered).  I have really liked those results.

I did this recently except using a sanitized measuring cup.  I took into consideration the amount of dead yeast and  trub mixed in with remaining live yeast of the yeast cake after the first ferment.  So where Mr. Malty Yeast Calculator recommended 7 oz. of yeast slurry (I assumed Jamil means from a recently completed starter), I took ~12 oz. from the bottom of the bucket, and added all of that into the second batch in a clean bucket.

I monitored and per the same cool pitch / gradual ramp temp-controlled process that I had used on the previous batch of the same SG, it took a similar time (3 days) for a healthy krauesen to visibly form on the surface of the second batch.

So my assumption was that this equated to a fairly equivalent "appropriate pitch" since I calculated the first batch also per Mr. Malty, but for rehydrated dry yeast.

I DO appreciate the different responses identifying that either way (whole or partial yeast cake) generally provides high quality results.  I'm taking that into consideration for future opportunities!   :D

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Jocky box?
« on: April 04, 2015, 01:43:42 PM »
Not a traditional jockey box, but some good ideas for an easy build on a different forum thread at:

Mine from that thread as shown on the last page, I use quite a bit and it works great.

The caulk/adhesive I used to seal the cut hole into my cooler has remained 100% rock solid adhered and waterproof.

Just some ideas...

Kegged an APA tonight. Funny, I hadn't brewed a full batch APA in a year though I do 1 gallon APAs to try out hops fairly regularly. But I loved Mandarina and did a 5 gallon APA with it, and recently used Azacca/Cascade in 5 gallons, the one kegged tonight. Gonna do either a German pils with all Best malz (and 2124) or an all whirlpool Kiwanda style cream ale tomorrow, the other next weekend. That should give the pale warm weather beers a good start.

So what did you think about the taste sample at racking of the Azacca/Cascade?  I suppose you'll know for sure once it's carbed and matured a bit.

I am thinking of using my Fermentis 34/70 yeast for one more generation while my tap water (city supply ground water) is still cool.  So far I did 10 gal of German Pils (split with a friend new to brewing who's gotten in a few batches and wants to learn from me), am currently fermenting 10 gal of Munich Helles using the 2nd generation, and am considering a marzen for the third use.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Trub vs. No Trub
« on: March 25, 2015, 07:32:08 PM »
A little break material transferred to the fermenter is ok.  A lot is not desireable.  I use a keggle with no screen inside and run off via ball valve through a sanitized fine mesh kitchen strainer.  As hop debris and break material begin to coat the inside of the strainer, I roll it around, NOT shaking it, to get the remaining wort in the strainer into the bucket fermenter.  Then I shake the remaining film of detritus into a garbage can without contaminating the strainer, replace it over the bucket and continue the run-off, repeating as many times as needed.  Some folks prefer using a china cap.  It removes the hop pellet material and a majority of the break material, and is simple and easy.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: step infusion mash for german pils
« on: March 25, 2015, 12:22:14 PM »
FWIW, when I did the same, I think I used ~ 1.3 qts/lb for the 145 rest, then slowly added the boiling water to raise to the 158 rest.

Thanks for the tip!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: step infusion mash for german pils
« on: March 25, 2015, 12:14:14 PM »
[quote author=denny

When I do step mashes, I don't bother with calculations since I have yet to be able to find a way to do it accurately.  I just stir in boiling water until I hit the temp I'm going for.

Denny, does that include at dough-in?

No, using Promash and my experience I can get very accurate strike temps.  But after that, the cooler's design to eliminate temp differences means that no software I've tried has been able to accurately predict water (or decoction) volumes and temps.  At that point, it"s easier to just heat up more than I need and add as I watch the temp.

doh!  That was the obvious answer.  I would just need to calculate a low qts water to lbs grain ratio at dough-in, to ensure that I end up with an estimated full ending mash volume based on the number of step infusions.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: step infusion mash for german pils
« on: March 25, 2015, 10:47:11 AM »
[quote author=denny

When I do step mashes, I don't bother with calculations since I have yet to be able to find a way to do it accurately.  I just stir in boiling water until I hit the temp I'm going for.

Denny, does that include at dough-in?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: try at batch sparging
« on: March 23, 2015, 11:16:25 PM »
I have done some batch sperges. The efficiency was about the same.

As for time savings, these were 10 gallon batches, so the BTUs I can apply is the same, and it doesn't save any time to get wort into the kettle quicker.

I believe the people who experienced a large time savings by switching to batch sparging did not take advantage of the fact that one can start bringing the wort up to a boil the moment the first runnings touch bottom of one's kettle when continuous sparging.

My keggle serves as both my hot liquor tank and boil kettle.  I run my mash runoff into a 10 gal cylindrical cooler that gets set aside until after the sparge water goes into the mash/lauter tun.  Then a quick stir and vorlauf, and the sparge runoff drains very quickly directly into the kettle from one side, while the mash runoff goes into the kettle from the other side, with both containers sitting on top of cold BBQ grills on wheels, with no propane tank attached.  Quick and easy. 

I've only batch sparged and honestly am very happy with it, for reasons as mentioned by others including consistent predictability for hitting OG and ease of water chemistry.

Four 20's and one 40 for me.  I use up the 20's and refill all at the same time, with the big one always there as back-up.  Two of the 20's also get swapped to 2 BBQ's.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: step infusion mash for german pils
« on: March 23, 2015, 10:36:37 PM »
FWIW, I just racked my first German Pils to kegs yesterday.  I used Kai's GP water profile, with 75% RO water so as to hit the numbers.  The grist was 96.7% Bestmalz pilsner malt, 3.3% melanoidin.  I did a 90-minute single infusion mash at 149 - 148F at 1.71 qts water per lb. grain, crushed till scared, yeast nutrient, 3 min straight o2 wort aeration, a healthy pitch of 2.5 packets (rehydrated) of Saflager 34/70 per 5.5 gal of wort, cool fermented, and went from OG 1.051 to 1.009 after a month in temp-controlled primary fermenters.

It tasted great at racking, and with the few mentioned supporting BMPs, the highly modified malt did fine with a single infusion mash, at least to get the desired attenuation.

I mash in a picnic cooler and do 10-gal batches and so far have mostly avoided step mashes.  I do that to keep from getting screwed up, since I can control a single step quite easily, and calculated additions (infusion water volume + temp) in the past for multiple infusions, as calculated in ProMash, didn't come close enough to hitting the targeted mash temps the first try.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Biggest mistake I ever made:(
« on: March 21, 2015, 07:28:21 PM »
Nope.  That doesn't qualify as a mistake.  Rather it was production maladies until the equipment failure issue was detected.  Sorry, no suggestions but I feel your pain.

Tomorrow I'll be brewing 10 gal of Munich Helles.  Same day I'll be kegging some German Pils and re-pitching its 34/70 yeast slurry into the Helles.  I've heard that this yeast is actually better 2nd pitch and then for a few more generations.

Looking at a calm sunny day per the weather report.

All Grain Brewing / Re: efficiency observation
« on: March 15, 2015, 02:02:44 PM »
So Denny, is it mash efficiency that is achieved at 100% by SN, rather than the more comprehensive brewhouse efficiency?

My understanding is that high mash efficiency isn't that unusual, but brewhouse efficiency is a different number, difficult to achieve above 90%, and not desirable for the reasons stated by DM Taylor, essentially less flavorful beer.

Granted, my knowledge of any differences between mash efficiency and brewhouse efficiency is not enough to weigh in competently.

I wish I could provide solid references, but I do know that over the years this issue has been debated a number of times (including in brewing books?) with a common hypothesis being that beer flavor suffers once brewhouse efficiency gets too high (maybe +90%?)

My intuition tells me that I am about where I want to be at ~78% brewhouse efficency for 1.055 beers, and more or less going higher or lower OG.

In other words, I think DMTaylor's comment on % of sugars vs. other components from your grain bill means that you will lose desired flavor/malty components if there is minimal malt in your grain bill when achieving 95% brewhouse efficiency.

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