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Messages - brewsumore

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Equipment and Software / Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« on: July 04, 2014, 12:54:29 PM »
Hey Denny,

I'm curious how many 5-gal carboys it would hold, or what the actual dimensions of width x length x depth are.  If you are checking that, please let me know.  I know, most people would rather know how many ball lock kegs it would hold, but my interest would be to use it to cold stabilize carboys full of wine.

Maybe you got rid of all your carboys!  I'm not smart enough to do that.

thanks, Steve

All Things Food / Re: What did you cook for the mother in your life?
« on: July 03, 2014, 02:25:59 PM »
Didn't even know about this part of the forum, so going back to May 11th, I made her, plus my siblings and their families:

pan-seared sesame encrusted wild caught chinook salmon with two Asian sauces

main courses:

halibut ceviche


crockpot Mexican red beans


Diana Kennedy Mexican rice (with carrots and zucchini but no giblets)


Diana Kennedy traditional flan

My sis-in-law brought green salad.

It all turned out great, although it also took some day + two days ahead prep.  They REALLY loved the seared salmon appetizer, and this really is the best flan recipe around!   

Equipment and Software / Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« on: July 03, 2014, 02:03:55 PM »
I dont use a well, I tape a chunk of foam to the side of the fermenter and tuck the thermo in there.

IMHO, that works well for carboys, and I've done it many times when using them, with doubled bubble wrap taped over the probe, but I ferment in thick-walled plastic buckets, so use a thermowell.

Equipment and Software / Re: Temp control: Johnson or Ranco?
« on: July 02, 2014, 09:24:45 PM »
I have several Rancos, only one of which is 2-stage.  Since the ambient temp in my basement where I have my fridge ferment chamber doesn't swing much, I generally use a single stage for fermentation, along with a thermowell, to run the fridge in summer, and to power a Fermwrap heater taped to the back of the fridge in winter.  And the fridge door normally stays part way open at times during the ferments in winter.  Sometimes the temp in the basement is just right so that I can ferment in a spare basement bedroom!

Anyway, I have lost 2 or 3 Rancos, normally during thunder storms so be absolutely sure to use a good surge protector since in my experience the Rancos are pretty sensitive to power fluctuation.

Also, I highly recommend that you reset the Ranco's temperature so that it is not powering your equipment before powering it off and/or disconnecting it.  Another good reason to use a surge protector with an on/off switch, as secondary insurance whenever you have to turn off, or especially if you have to unplug your unit.

If you don't do this, it is possible that the unit will go into error mode from which it either won't recover, or will recover partially and be temperamental from that time on.

I don't set my kegerator chest freezer to on/full, so that in the event my temp controller failed on it, it would take longer to freeze all the beer inside, maybe giving me a bit more time to notice the failed unit before all freezes hard.  I like to use electronics, but I also check my temp controllers regularly (when getting my first pour of the day or if in the basement once per day) to ensure they are operating as set and desired.

Also, if using a thermowell, be aware that with the new ones I've found on the market, they recommend that you actually sand or slightly shave the Ranco's probe, otherwise it won't fit into the thermowell.  Guess that's why I always use my older model thermowell.  Go figure!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: secondary regulator issues
« on: June 30, 2014, 06:29:22 PM »
or maybe a hose clamp or oetiker clamp that needs tightening.

Or a loose keg post or leaking quick disconnect on liquid or gas post, or lkeg lid unsealed, on the Belgian.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: secondary regulator issues
« on: June 30, 2014, 06:21:11 PM »
Sorry - just read what I had missed, that you want lower psi thru secondary.  So if you bleed the pressure from the keg on the separate gas line to the Belgian, and appropriately set the screw/knob, the co2 tank regulator should read at 18 psi, since it is the regulator regulating pressure to the keg with Belgian beer.

Unless maybe you have a leak at your connection to your co2 tank, or maybe no teflon tape on your backflow valve under the regulator leading to the Belgian keg?!?!?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: secondary regulator issues
« on: June 30, 2014, 06:07:59 PM »
The secondary regulator is meant for the lower psi beer(s), so first of all I wonder if the gas line through the secondary regulator feeds a "y" splitter or manifold serving your 2 lower psi kegs, as it should.  Then, assuming you have another gas line via a splitter off of your co2 tank regulator, it would go to the Belgian beer and be set at the higher psi.

If you are trying to reduce the psi through your secondary regulator, turn the secondary regulator screw or knob counter-clockwise until it drops down below your co2 regulator pressure, to the desired lower pressure.

You would first have to bleed off excess pressure thru the secondary to read lower pressure after adjusting the screw/knob.

I hope this makes sense to you.  :D

Beer Recipes / Re: Blind Pig IPA clone
« on: June 29, 2014, 05:22:52 PM »
yeah, thanks.  I guess the jitters are from knowing how completely different the purposes and attributes are of using oak during the ferment vs post-ferment for wine.

Beer Recipes / Re: Blind Pig IPA clone
« on: June 29, 2014, 03:08:39 PM »
When my buddy brews this recipe he adds the oak chips (sanitized of course) directly to the fermenter along with his wort for the entire primary fermentation time.  He believes it adds a smoother, more rounded oakiness which complements the malt and hops.  Plus the yeast get to play around in wood too!

Yeah, I was afraid that I missed the boat on that aspect.  Per the linked thread I gave above, Brandon said he added them dry to the fermenter - I wasn't sure if that was pre- or post-ferment.  I wonder if I should pull them from the keg.  Since they didn't go thru ferment I wonder if they will actually detract from the beer added post ferment.

I'm just so used to the way you normally use toasted oak, which is normally in secondary or keg, so I misinterpreted the use of untoasted oak.

However, I did read an online article about use of oak in beer that identified untoasted going in post-ferment.

Beer Recipes / Re: NB's Plinian Legacy
« on: June 28, 2014, 09:43:57 PM »
U-rock Eric!  Thanks for the explanation, on a Sattidy nite even.


Beer Recipes / Re: Blind Pig IPA clone
« on: June 28, 2014, 09:03:57 PM »
Additional info regarding a verified clone recipe:

Purportedly per “Hops” book, and per Vinnie as written in Zymurgy:
For 5 gallons...

4.44 kg 2-row = 9.8 lb
185 g Crystal 40 L = 6.5 oz
142 g dextrin malt = 5 oz.
Mash at 153-154 F

0.25 oz CTZ (16%) and 0.5 oz Chinook (13%) @ 90 min
0.5 oz Amarillo (7.5%) @ 30 min
0.5 oz each Cascade, Amarillo, Centennial, Simcoe @ 0 min
0.5 oz each Cascade, Amarillo, CTZ dry-hop for 10 days

California Ale Yeast

OG 1.057, FG 1.013, IBU 62

and the thread I referenced:

Also, I did add untoasted oak chips.  Lacking marbles (that's right, I've lost my marbles :o) I steamed a couple shot glasses with the oak chips, and used one in each nylon hop bag to weight down the oak chips to below the surface of the beer in the keg.

I didn't want to chance adding the oak chips dry as I've seen reported by another brewer.

Beer Recipes / Re: NB's Plinian Legacy
« on: June 28, 2014, 08:19:41 PM »
Interesting, I thought that the whole discussion about hop bitterness not exceeding 100 IBUs was related to human perception.

How else is bitterness measured (besides calculation) so as to identify its maximum at 100 IBUs, if calculated it's much higher?

Beer Recipes / Re: NB's Plinian Legacy
« on: June 28, 2014, 05:42:37 PM »
I'd be happy to post my Blind Pig recipe if you care to see it.

Cool, please post.  I've never had blind pig though it is supposedly on tap at a bar in my neighborhood.


Beer Recipes / Re: Blind Pig IPA clone
« on: June 28, 2014, 04:54:48 PM »
Oh yeah,  I treated my mash and sparge water, hitting very close to Bru'n Water's "Yellow Bitter" profile, with ~5.35 pH for the mash.

Beer Recipes / Blind Pig IPA clone
« on: June 28, 2014, 04:38:31 PM »
I told Narcout I'd be happy to post this adaptation, and I think this is worth sharing.  I based it on other threads from folks who communicated with Vinnie, as well as from the Zymurgy clone recipe, so kudos to Brandon and others for their talent and notes to forums.  I'm a batch sparger.

I just racked to kegs and added the dry hops, and it tasted phenomenal already.  I pitched yeast at 64F, held it there for 30 hrs, then up to 65F, and after 7 days up to 66F for 79% attenuation.  The West Coast Ale yeast is very clean/neutral, and flocculates better than US-05, although much slower to attenuate.  It takes a full 2 weeks to ferment dry.  Still, it will be my new house yeast for IPA and PA.

Apologies to 5 gallon batch brewers - I am sharing this as an 11.5 gal batch, since the ingredient amounts aren't so fractional this way.  Although I had planned to leave behind 1/2 gal of wort in the kettle along with break material and hop spooge, I ended up collecting most of the wort, first carefully strained through a fine mesh strainer to omit most break material from entering my fermenters.

I think I will now go add the oak chips since I want to see what that adds.  I've never used untoasted oak before.

The IBUs are in line with previous brewers' take on bumping up from Blind Pig's actual, which I believe is 61 calculated IBUs.  Based on my taste of it today I'm glad I did.  I let the 0 minute hops addition steep 10 minutes before chilling the wort.  Pre-dry-hop it still isn't over the top hoppy.  I'm going to keg hop 4 days at 65F and then 4 - 5 days at 35F.

The reason my hop alpha %'s are odd is because I use the potency loss function in ProMash. 

Based on my own tastes I slightly decreased the amount of chinook as bittering hops from the Zymurgy clone, and increased slightly the carapils since I like a bit of body even in my IPAs, both ideas that Brandon also suggested he might try in future brews of his take.  :D  From what I've seen, the wheat malt is optional.  I left it in there for what I still believe adds foam positive results.

Here's mine:

06-15-2014  Blind Pig IPA Clone

A ProMash Brewing Session Report

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal):        11.50    Wort Size (Gal):  11.50
Total Grain (Lbs):       24.00
Anticipated OG:          1.060    Plato:            14.69
Anticipated SRM:           5.7
Anticipated IBU:          82.2
Brewhouse Efficiency:       78 %
Wort Boil Time:             60    Minutes

Actual OG:  1.059   Plato: 14.51
Actual FG:  1.012   Plato:  3.07

Alc by Weight:  4.85      by Volume:  6.20  From Measured Gravities.
ADF:            78.9      RDF         65.6  Apparent & Real Degree of Fermentation.

Actual Mash System Efficiency: 78 %
Anticipated Points From Mash:  59.79
Actual Points From Mash:       59.69


   %     Amount     Name                          Origin        Potential SRM
 85.4    20.50 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row)              America        1.037      2
  4.2     1.00 lbs. Wheat Malt                    America        1.038      2
  4.2     1.00 lbs. Crystal 40L                   America        1.034     40
  6.3     1.50 lbs. Caramel Pils Malt             Belgium        1.034      2

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.


   Amount     Name                              Form    Alpha  IBU  Boil Time
  2.10 oz.    Chinook                           Pellet   7.56  32.4  60 min.
  1.10 oz.    Columbus                          Pellet  13.94  31.3  60 min.
  0.50 oz.    Cascade                           Pellet   4.12   2.1  30 min.
  1.90 oz.    Amarillo                          Pellet   8.25  16.3  30 min.
  2.00 oz.    Amarillo                          Pellet   8.25   0.0  0 min.
  2.00 oz.    Cascade                           Pellet   4.12   0.0  0 min.
  2.00 oz.    Centennial                        Pellet   7.80   0.0  0 min.
  2.00 oz.    Simcoe                            Pellet  13.00   0.0  0 min.
  2.00 oz.    Amarillo                          Pellet   8.25   0.0  Dry Hop
  2.00 oz.    Cascade                           Pellet   4.12   0.0  Dry Hop
  2.00 oz.    Centennial                        Pellet   7.80   0.0  Dry Hop
  2.00 oz.    Columbus                          Pellet  13.94   0.0  Dry Hop


  Amount      Name                           Type      Time
  1.25 Tsp    Wyeast Yeast Nutrient          Other     10 Min.(boil)
  1.50 Unit(s)Whirfloc                       Fining     5 Min.(boil)


Mangrove Jack M-44 U.S. West Coast Ale

Mash Schedule

Mash Type: Single Step
Heat Type: Direct

Grain Lbs:   24.00
Water Qts:   40.17 - Before Additional Infusions
Water Gal:   10.04 - Before Additional Infusions

Qts Water Per Lbs Grain: 1.67

Tun Thermal Mass:      0.00
Grain Temp:              65 F

Saccharification Rest Temp: 153  Time:  75

Sparge Temp:                168  Time:  10

Total Mash Volume Gal:    11.96  - After Additional Infusions


To soften hop edge/punch, you can add 1 oz untoasted American oak chips/cub
es per 5 gal, although adding oak has been discontinued by Russian River. 
Steam them for 15 minutes and add in hop bag to keg ~10 days.

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