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Messages - brewsumore

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Today (Saturday) I spent 14.5 hrs working on my 500 - 600 sq ft wine cellar (also beer cellar), and more time the past couple days.  I previously had insulated in the heating/AC ductwork in the basement cellar (radiating residual heat or cold passing through the ducts towards the cellar), thinking it would help warm the cellar in winter and cool it in summer.  It worked fair to support the passive cool in the summer, but I needed consistent temp and humidity, and in winter humidity dropped fast, and in summer the passive cooling temp sometimes fluctuated a few degrees between night and day.

Thursday evening I added a small cheap plywood inside wall section where previously there was only studs, pink insulation and biskween vapor barrier, and then I cut a pattern hole to fit the new self-contained, through-the-wall wine cellar cooling unit I recently purchased.

Friday morning an electrician came over and put in an electrical outlet in the wine cellar and ran the dedicated line to the electric panel.

Saturday i moved the pink insulation from behind all the ductwork, since the new idea is to push the heat or cool that passes through the ducts to the floor above, and NOT into the wine cellar.  For the cylindrical ductwork I just moved the pink insulation to in front of the ducts, and retaped the vapor barrier,  Next, I cut and placed rigid foam insulation to cover HVAC hubs, and also outside the main duct that runs through the cellar.  To hold the rigid insulation in place I concocted an idea that actually worked very well to attach it to the frame pieces.  That is, to insulate over the sides of the ductwork I drilled a top and a bottom hole in each of the lateral 1x2 pieces that hang down nailed into floor joists, and through which I put pieces of tie-off wire.  I poked the wire through the rigid insulation in 2 places per hole to the outside, and then twisted together the two wire ends to cinch the rigid insulation pieces snugly in place up to the ceiling and against the wood 1x2 frame pieces.  Then I clipped the wire ends and taped over the remaining wire twists so it wouldn't poke through vapor barrier when I added that.  Then I cut and taped on pieces of the rigid insulation to cover the bottom side under the duct.  This way I left some airspace in between the rigid insulation and the ducts, just as an additional safety against smoke or fire, although probzbly unnecessary.  Then I taped on vapor barrier over the framed in ductwork, and taped all the seams with heavy duty waterproof duct tape to lock in temp and humidity inside the cellar.

Then I installed the wine cellar cooling unit.  Long day, but it came out well enough for my needs.

I needed to get my bulk maturing wine back in there and cooled down again before it got too warm and expanded too much, causing problems. 

The top tape line is butt ugly - I was past tired by then, and it's a scrabble taping plastic to plastic on a non-flat surface at an angle.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Batch sparging: stir mash midway?
« on: May 18, 2014, 10:03:36 AM »
Thanks guys for your insights.  I learned the batch sparge method from Denny's site back early in 2005, and have very happily stuck with it (with a few equipment modifications), and see that you all likewise have little or no concerns about a few hot or cold pockets in the MT.

At no time did the idea to open and stir sound desireable to me, for all the reasons you captured well.  But I have encountered quite a few examples of people who promote it.

Another good reason to RDWHAHB!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Batch sparging: stir mash midway?
« on: May 17, 2014, 08:27:02 PM »
Interesting.  I might have to try that.  I have two coolers, both Rubbermaids,a 60-qt and a 75-qt.  Offhand as I recall, I get less variation in the the thicker walled one (75 qt), which is a 5-day cooler.

All Grain Brewing / Batch sparging: stir mash midway?
« on: May 17, 2014, 07:59:58 PM »
I've seen where some batch sparge brewers will stir their mash one or more times during the 60 - 90 minutes mash, to  keep the temperature uniform in their picnic cooler mashtun.  Due to temperature loss from opening up and stirring, they have to compensate by adding enough boiling water to get back to the desired mash temperature.  I'm just wondering how many of you do this, or just live with the inevitable range of temperatures inside the mashtun due to hot and cold spots.

I've always just hit my desired mash-in temp, closed the rectangular cooler lid, and left it alone until the mash is over.  As I brew outside, if it is cold outside I throw a couple blankets over the cooler to prevent additional heat loss. 

I believe that I receive the general desired effects from the mash temp I've selected, but I have nothing to compare this to.  My range of temps at the end of the mash due to hot and cool pockets inside the mashtun varies, but can vary by as much as about 3.5 degrees, but normally just 2 to 3 degrees.

Brewed 10 gallons of Czech Pilsner, faux Urquell today.  Ground water temp up to 56F and it was pretty darn warm today so still waiting for the wort in the ferment fridge to get down to 47F so I can pitch.  Drinkin' homemade red wine, it's the weekend, life is good!  Next year it's back to brewing pilsner earlier in the spring, when the tap water thru my IC will get the wort down to pitching temp.

Still, I hit my numbers exactly, have plenty of yeast to pitch, and it was an excellent brewday.

I'll do that!

On Saturday I'll be brewing 10 gallons of a recipe that is pretty much Tomme Arthur's Dubbel as found in "Brew Like a Monk", with one fermenter getting WY 1214, the other getting 3787.

The flameout addition of 10 oz of dark raisins will first be caramelized in a hot metal pan with a splash of cherry port with brandy, and then pureed in the blender before adding to the kettle.

Additional sugar will be 2 lbs of D2 Belgian Candi Syrup also added at flameout.

Ended up with an extra gallon and 1.071 instead of calculated 1.070.  It's nice to get good efficiency (79%).

I realized that I needed to start adding the D2 and raisin puree at about 10 minutes left in the boil, to get it to incorporate by flameout.  All went really well, and got a nice caramelization on the raisins but nothing burned (used 9 oz of raisins) with the cherry port, plus a cup of wort.  It took the full split of my homemade port, so I ended up adding a few ounces of brandy in the blender to get it to puree, which I did well-blended, so nothing would get strained out when transferring from kettle to fermenters through a strainer, to catch hop pellets and break material.

All in all a great day!

I double fist most days. One glass 1/3 foam and the other a perfect pour.

When I changed my 3/8" beverage tubing from 5' to 6', in a 34F temp kegerator at about 12 psi, it pretty much ended the first glass full-of-foam problem for me, and honestly, besides the increased flow restriction, I believe that the longer tubing holds the cold better too!

I'm in the Morticai camp - much of the time fewer ounces (normally 6 - 9), more pours. 

On Saturday I'll be brewing 10 gallons of a recipe that is pretty much Tomme Arthur's Dubbel as found in "Brew Like a Monk", with one fermenter getting WY 1214, the other getting 3787.

The flameout addition of 10 oz of dark raisins will first be caramelized in a hot metal pan with a splash of cherry port with brandy, and then pureed in the blender before adding to the kettle.

Additional sugar will be 2 lbs of D2 Belgian Candi Syrup also added at flameout.

Ingredients / Re: Experimental grapefruit hops
« on: April 28, 2014, 06:44:22 PM »
I never tried their grapefruit, but my last IPA was a Summit Amarillo Citra, and to add "a little something extra" I used 1/2 ounce of Experimental Lemon hops from Yakima Hops as FWH, another 1/2 ounce at 1 minute, and one ounce in a corny keg along with an ounce of Summit as the dryhops. The beer is delicious. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Gunk above krausen
« on: April 28, 2014, 06:03:33 PM »
If you didn't open the bucket with the dried krauesen much during fermentation, and that gunk wasn't there for much more than a couple weeks, and if you racked out of the bucket very soon after beer rose above the dried krauesen, I would guess that you would have only a slight risk of infecting the beer, especially if it was racked into a keg and the keg was put in a kegerator to chill. 

The alcohol in the finished finished beer makes it less prone to infection than fermenting beer,  and if not much air from outside the sanitized bucket got to the gunk I doubt it would build a lot of bacteria quickly.  Also, if the gunk is hardened and you remove the beer from the bucket before the gunk dissolves back into the beer, again, pretty doubtful the beer that went over the level of the dried krauesen would get infected.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Added a faucet
« on: April 26, 2014, 07:40:01 PM »
I decided that instead of drilling another hole through the collar for a nitro gas lead, that I will put in a gas line quick disconnect outside of the kegerator on the gas line between the kegerator and the carbonating co2 tank, so that I can swap between using the beer gas (nitro) tank and the co2 tank on that line depending on what I want to put on tap for the fourth faucet.  It's a snap to swap the standard faucet for my nitro faucet whenever I want to serve on nitro.

Ingredients / Re: Bine Ripened Summit Hops
« on: April 26, 2014, 07:22:37 PM »
Just wanted to follow up:

I made a Summit Amarillo Citra IPA, and used Summit as the bittering hop, and also an ounce of the Summits per 5-gal keg as a dryhop, in combination with an ounce of another hop.

The beer before dry-hopping was very clean tasting, with no onion-garlic flavor at all, but of course somewhat lacking in hop aroma, although not bad since I did a 45-minute hop stand following plenty of late addition hops.  I always dry hop my pale ales and IPAs.

Anyway, I dry-hopped in a nylon hop sack in the keg for 3 days at 65F and 4 days at 35F, and then squeezed and removed the hop bag.

Following the dry-hopping, the beer had significant savory overtones with a bothersome onion-garlic flavor, although after a few minutes in the glass exposed to air, the onion-garlic would dissipate mostly, making he beer quite enjoyable.

It took the beer approximately 3 1/2 weeks stored at 34F in the kegerator for the onion-garlic to disappear completely, and now it has a wonderful orange flavor that balances well with the other hop flavors, and I have a delicious, juicy IPA.

So the lesson I learned is that with patience, even when used as a dryhop, in moderation, late season, dried-on-the-vine Summit hops turned out surprisingly delicious.  And I didn't get any onion-garlic flavor at all from them prior to dry-hopping, when used as a bittering hop.

Beer Recipes / Re: Dubbel
« on: April 26, 2014, 01:46:55 PM »
I need to brew his recipe sometime. I've started to a couple times and ended up brewing something else. It looks really solid. Last time I started to brew it I went with a Rochefort-type recipe ( ie., bigger).

I just realized that the Fuggle I posted in the above recipe is a sub for the Styrian Goldings called for.  I'm getting together an order to brew it next week.

Narcout - looks great!  Good luck if you take it to comp.

Well, I was one of the 4%, and so happy to have had the opportunity to read the bios / statements by the various candidates.  True, true, true!  Each is obviously generous, talented, well-qualified, above average and good looking.  Seriously, congratulations to all for participating, and big HUZZAH for the winners.

I too wish that I had the wherewithal to be engaged in the national competitions so that I had the chance to meet you good folks!  Home craft brewing (of course pro craft brewing too) has definitely become more and more a passionate activity for many in America and abroad. 

It appears we have a great cross-section to represent the community, education, representation, and yes, marketing that are part of that "growth sector".  I for one, have learned so much, and enjoyed very much participating in the AHA forum, and hope to for years to come.

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