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seen Mar 29 '11 at 1:38

Software Engineer. All-grain brewer for over 7 years. Certified BJCP Judge. Member San Luis Obispo Brewers (SLOBs) Local food enthusiast


Dec
30
comment What are some popular methods for measuring boil and HLT volume?
@thebeav - no, you're not wrong. I don't think the expansion is quite 10%, Experimentally I see about 4-5% contraction. I also know how much loss I experience from my kettle to my fermenter in hoses, chillers etc. For my setup, I know if at the end of my boil I'm at 5.75 gallons on my 'stick', I end up with about 5 gallons finished wort in the fermenter. There is a good discussion of this at the aha forums:homebrewersassociation.org/forum/…
Dec
30
comment What are some popular methods for measuring boil and HLT volume?
Nice, I like the idea of a copper pipe over the wooden dowel I use, which I have to replace periodically due to warping and other wear and tear.
Nov
16
comment What wattage element is needed for hot liquor tank/heat exchanger, and what about brew kettle?
@thebeav. Yeah, I was just trying to make an example comparable to a typical propane burner setup. I'd probably be ok with 30 minutes myself. You can also start the heating as soon as the sparged wort runnoff is covering the element to reduce the 'perceived' time to boil. Another limiting factor is going to be available amperage at the breaker box to wire in the element.
Nov
14
comment Boiling with lid on or off?
@Greg - yes, you're right, I misspoke. A hydrometer (generally what most of us use) measures relative density vs. water. So if DMS affected the density in a large way, it'd show up in the reading. I highly doubt it has any significant effect though.
Nov
14
comment What are some methods to increase extraction efficiency and consistency?
there are many variables that can affect this. can you edit your post and describe your setup? stainless mash tun vs. cooler? How are you monitoring mash temperature? 60-65% efficiency on a batch sparge is pretty normal. Fly sparging usually ups it to between 70-80%. The biggest thing is achieving consistency so your brews are more predictable.
Nov
13
comment How do you cool wort?
You forgot plate chillers, such as the Blichmann Therminator or Shirron chillers, which are usually the most efficient. They are also the most expensive option, and demand similar levels of care and sanitizing fastidiousness as a counterflow chiller.
Nov
13
comment Why is our Original Gravity low?
Another note, the wort will take up less volume as it cools, so if you measure it as 5 when it's boiling, it'll likely condense to 4.X after it cools. This might be the case if your OG was higher than the recipe, for example.
Nov
13
comment Why is our Original Gravity low?
Yes this. Or you could not be boiling long enough or vigorous enough. a lower OG indicates you have too much water for the given fermentable sugar content of the recipe.
Nov
13
comment Boiling with lid on or off?
Yes, definitely keep the lid off; primarily for DMS elimination as sgwill said. @Greg, DMS won't affect the gravity; it's just a compound. Gravity is a measure of the dissolved sugar.
Nov
11
comment What can I do with my spent grain after mashing?
That's why I only use it for no more than, say, 1/3 of the dough. I haven't tried this yet, but I bet if you dried and milled the grain it'd be less husky and gum cutting.
Nov
11
comment Permanent Bottle Labels
that's kinda awesome. How did the chalk handle bottle condensation?
Nov
9
comment Any good iPhone/iPad apps for brewing?
I use BeerAlchemy Touch extensively during my brew day, and love it. I have a few gripes about the number of taps I have to make when moving between a recipe screen and the calculators, but otherwise, very handy, and I don't have to schlep my laptop to the garage.
Nov
9
comment Tap Water: Safe to use without boiling?
Boiling can remove chlorine, but you have to boil it for a while, 15 minutes at least from what I understand. You can also let it sit for over 24 hours to naturally 'off gas'. However, if the municipality is using chloramine, it can't be effectively boiled off and you'll need to use carbon filtration. You can detect chloramine by placing a large volume of water in a white bucket...it'll kinda have a green tint to it.
Nov
9
comment Reusing Yeast From previous Fermentation
This can also be kinda cool; you are applying selection pressure to your yeast, and essentially you are developing your own 'house strain' over time.