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Messages - brewsumore

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16
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pics of recent brews?
« on: April 09, 2017, 05:19:32 PM »
brewsumore, beers look good. Aside from that, I work at a joint replacement center and hope you don't have any more surgeries for a good while. Good luck!

Thanks Jon.  Keep up the great work my friend!

Steve S.

17
I didn't know it was only 4%. The reason I thought about it was on BeerSmith, in my equipment profile there is a cooling volume loss of around .28 gallon for around 6 gallons of wort. I thought the thermal expansion would be similar. Maybe it is my grain absorption or dead space I have to adjust.  Either way using the Denny method I just have to adjust my spark water and it still works out. Just overthinking it probably.


If your dead space is measured accurately and your runoff volumes are still a little high, reducing your absorption figure is easy enough. A lot of brewers start off using ~ .12 gallons/lb as their absorption figure, and modify as needed until runoff amount is accurate. Probably sounds dumb and obvious, but double check that you're measuring your water volumes accurately. I often round up volumes to even gallons when possible, but when I use partial gallons to mash, I have a plastic pitcher with graduated amounts on it that helps keep me accurate.

Admittedly, I'm OCD (or is it CDO) about my brewing, but not everyone needs to be. A point or two high or low on OG is just not that big a deal. Good luck!

I leave my grain absorption set at .12 in ProMash.  I'm sure that big kernel vs. small kernel malt, addition of adjuncts, etc.  messes with it for different brews.  I am pretty basic in that I use a marked 1/2 gal pitcher to transfer my strike water to my mashtun - typically at least 10 gal of water per brew (I make 10-gal batches).  Like I said, I'm used to minor variance in kettle fill, but it's never a problem.  I use a gradated spoon inserted in the kettle to tell me when the timed boil begins, usually at the first hop addition.

18
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Pics of recent brews?
« on: April 09, 2017, 04:44:04 PM »
I'm recovering from hip replacement surgery (2nd one in 8 months) so didn't spend a lot of time with these, but here they are and they all taste very nice, especially after weaning off of pain pills:

Mexican Rose Vienna Lager, early tapped (currently 3 weeks of lagering)



Czech Pilsner (5 weeks of lagering)


Kaffir lime leaf galangal (Indian ginger) saison (thanks Major - I love this beer)


19
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend?
« on: April 09, 2017, 02:24:12 PM »
Brewed up some Best Bitter yesterday.  I seem to have an innate (ha!) inability to make wort that is over about 1.043.  I wanted to make my regular recipe a bit bigger this time, so I added 2 pounds of base malt to it (5gal batches) and ended up only getting a 4point bump in my OG.  I'm not exactly sure what went wrong, but I did find some dry spots in the mash afterward, even with stirring it after dough in.  I didn't check the mash temp since I usually know where it is going to land, but maybe something was up with that. 

Here is the recipe:
10lb Maris Otter
10oz Flaked Barley
10oz C40
3.5oz Victory
1oz Double Roast Crystal

0.5oz Nugget @60
0.5oz Nugget @5
1oz EKG @5

Wyeast 1968

Based on that malt bill, I was expecting about 1.050 so I don't know what is going on.  I thought all was good, as my refractometer said 1.048, but my hydrometer said 1.043.  The hydrometer reads 1.000 for water, and the refractometer reads 1.005, so I think the hydrometer is right.

The original recipe comes in at OG=1.039, so this will probably just end up like the normal version of it.

Stirring out dough balls at mash in is so important to hitting target OG.  I use a big doweled mash paddle that never misses and always feel kinda bad for guys with smaller mashtuns, like cylindrical coolers, that require a smaller, single-surface, spoon-like mash paddle.  Sounds like you're still in range for a bitter, taht I'm sure you'll enjoy!

20
Distance to a LHBS is also a pretty big factor for me.  Mine is only a 10 - 15 minute drive, very convenient.  And recently I've had a couple recipes I was putting together, and decided to change the ingredients based on additional research, but no biggie - just head back to my LHBS!


21
Equipment and Software / Re: Karate chopping auto siphon
« on: April 08, 2017, 11:17:24 AM »
For the first few years I brewed I manually started siphons. Yuck. Autosiphon makes life a lot easier. I don't transfer under pressure so it's all autosiphon all the time.

+1
He-he-he.  I was in the camp of gargle first with vodka, and don't forget to wet your lips.

22
If you have tried and corrected your estimation, then congratulations.  Of course it's easier to predict the sparge runoff, since the grains have already fully absorbed all the liquid.  After 12 years of batch sparging (Denny-style), i still struggle to hit combined runoffs volume exactly.  I don't worry about it, and am pretty accurate.  Brew on, brew strong!

23
My LHBS (Nu Home Brew, in Spokane Valley, WA) is very reasonable, and equal or cheaper than online for many items, especially ingredients (bulk or weighed), after a 10% discount for current membership in the local homebrew club, and especially if otherwise I'd be paying shipping. 

I buy and freeze bulk hop orders separately which ensures availability of specific varieties, allows me to shop sales, is theoretically cheaper, and allows me to do spur of the moment brews.  In reality, I spend hundreds of dollars for hops this way, that as they age I have to TRY to calculate AA% loss, and sometimes end up still in the freezer 7 years later.  So it's kind of a wash although when brewing ten gallons of hoppy beer I definitely see a savings using hops from my freezer.

I also typically outside source specific brand equipment, including new or used kegs, but I certainly don't fault the LHBS for having some higher priced items - that's how businesses need to operate! 

Through my LHBS I can call him a day or two before his weekly order to order items, including Wyeast liquid yeast, that he will sell me even if he has some older yeast of the same kind in his fridge.  I find that level of customer satisfaction awesome.   

24
Kegging and Bottling / Re: American Ales - CO2 Volumes
« on: April 07, 2017, 08:53:08 PM »
All good explanations and I know how it works.   Just a thought that popped in my head, and how do we really know it's actually at that volume without a flow meter. 


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

As I understand it, Paul Dirac combined the equation for quantum mechanics and Einstein's formula for special relativity and the new Dirac Equation confirmed the existence of anti matter, which at the time (1928) had not yet been discovered.  My point is that math efficiently predicts physics when applied correctly.  So just follow the carbonation chart, set your temp controller to the minimum temp swing, and have faith!   8)

25
Kegging and Bottling / Re: American Ales - CO2 Volumes
« on: April 07, 2017, 06:17:39 PM »
I go higher...2.6+
+1

I like to hold at 34F at 11 psi = 2.69 volumes

26
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend?
« on: April 06, 2017, 01:01:59 PM »
Looks good Chumley.  The special roast looks good too, although i guess it doesn't fit the Baltic Porter style.  It looks looks like you'll have a nice full-flavored porter!

27
All Grain Brewing / Re: Traquair House Clone boil down process
« on: March 30, 2017, 04:09:31 PM »
I appreciate the feedback, I don't know why I thought the boil would happen quickly, but it makes sense.  I hope to pick up a sack of golden promise at my LHBS and give it a try this weekend.  I will be using a spare 5 gal pot using my primary burner to get it started while Sparging and moving to a camp stove with both burners going to finish it off.

-Tony

Sounds like a good plan Tony.  Golden Promise is the way to go fer sher.  I've seen Denny and others post about keeping the ferment at the very low end of the range for the finished beer to pick up good yeast-derived smoky flavor.  Also, based on Skotrat's advice to use Northern Brewer hops I always have and they're simply awesome.  I currently have this beer on tap and everyone who tries it loves it, even after numerous months in the last (2nd) keg I have left.

Last time I finished the syrup in a large frying pan, but wished I'd had a big pot - I came close to boil-overs on numerous occasions and it just wouldn't reduce much further at the late stage, as previously mentioned.




28
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Ethyl acetate or fusels?
« on: March 25, 2017, 02:31:15 PM »
Yep, it's usually fusels due to too hot a pitch and/or ferment temp, especially within the first 0 - 48 hrs, and for many beginners might also involve poor yeast health from pitching less than the recommendable amount of yeast.  Some additional band-aid flavors can come from chlorine or chloramines in your tap water if brewing with that, which is simple to remove via one crushed campden tablet per 20 gal water, stirred in prior to heating the water.

29
All Grain Brewing / Re: Traquair House Clone boil down process
« on: March 25, 2017, 02:15:38 PM »
I boil down 2 gallons of first runnings down to about a quart - a nice thick brown syrup.  The best way is to get a much deeper (read that as "BIG") pot than you think you'll need, since as the wort boils it foams quite a bit, and gets slower and slower to reduce as time goes by.  In my experiences it takes longer than 90 minutes to get it boiled down enough to create the caramelized syrup that, once re-added to the boil, will provide the brewer with the great signature flavor you should be (IMHO) looking for.

I run off the mash into the syrup pot and the rest, plus the sparge, into the kettle, and actually start boiling the syrup for 1/2 hour before even beginning the kettle boil.  For me that works about right, although even this way I've gone a good 2-hour boil total for the full volume boil.

Good luck.  It's worth it - a great beer.

Sorry, a gallon or so of wort is correct for 5 gal of beer.  I forgot that for me I boil down 2.2 gal of first runnings wort for 10 gal of beer.  So your reduction boil time would be different than mine.

Also, I brew outside and so set up a separate propane burner in the same brew area to make the syrup, so I can keep a close eye on it.

30
All Grain Brewing / Re: Traquair House Clone boil down process
« on: March 25, 2017, 02:12:09 PM »
I boil down 2 gallons of first runnings down to about a quart - a nice thick brown syrup.  The best way is to get a much deeper (read that as "BIG") pot than you think you'll need, since as the wort boils it foams quite a bit, and gets slower and slower to reduce as time goes by.  In my experiences it takes longer than 90 minutes to get it boiled down enough to create the caramelized syrup that, once re-added to the boil, will provide the brewer with the great signature flavor you should be (IMHO) looking for.

I run off the mash into the syrup pot and the rest, plus the sparge, into the kettle, and actually start boiling the syrup for 1/2 hour before even beginning the kettle boil.  For me that works about right, although even this way I've gone a good 2-hour boil total for the full volume boil.

Good luck.  It's worth it - a great beer.

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