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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * October 10, 2003 * Brew Weekend in review < Previous Next >

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Jeff McClain (206.207.77.117)
Posted on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 01:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well,

Hoody showed up and we finished our 10 gallons each AG brew. He did Skotrat's B-52, and I, DC's Rye IPA. Here are some of the "events" (grin):

1) My march pump impeller locked up about 10 minutes into my Sac Rest mash. Broke it all down and found that the impeller was binding up on the bearing post (some nasty sticky goo-stuff [technical term] was on it). I cleaned it off and got it all going again in about 15 minutes.

2) My new electronic temp controller for the HLT bypass/heat coil solenoids worked like a dream. Dial in the temp, and just make sure the HLT was about 10-20'F hotter, and it was switching in and out and hitting the temps perfectly. I had time to clean 3 kegs, rack 5 gallons of Oatmeal stout to secondary and clean the carboy.

3) Hoody's CFC wasn't quite plumbed right, so we ended up trying to use mine after I ran the IPA through.

4) For some reason, Hoody's dip tube was picking up a lot of hops (he didn't have a mesh screen, just a false bottom) and plugging the ball valve and QD's). So we tried draining it into my mashtun with the SS mesh screen on it from my boil kettle. the ball valve still pluged on Hoody's kettle, so we lifted it and dumped it in. After that, it went ok.

5) We BOTH hit our OG's dead on. And my refractometer was DEAD on with the hydro readings for Initial runnings, Second runnings, Pre Boil, and post boil. I've matched up enough times, that I feel comfortable using it now on most everything besides the carboy OG and FG (those I'll still double check with hydrometers).

Overall, a great brew session. Hope everyone else had a good weekend.

Regards,

-Jeff
 

Jeff McClain (206.207.77.117)
Posted on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 01:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

me
 

Doug E. Fresh (24.34.218.33)
Posted on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 02:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey, the weekend is only 1/2 over!
 

chumley (216.161.217.181)
Posted on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 04:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That looks suspiciously like coffee in the brewer's hand. No wonder there were malfunctions!
 

Jeff McClain (206.207.77.117)
Posted on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 04:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Heheh. Busted. Uh, this was at 8:30AM (I know...no excuse) and we DID break into the Black Butte Porter after lunch with pizza. Grin.

-Jeff
 

Jeff McClain (206.207.77.117)
Posted on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 04:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

And here is Hoody and his setup. I sure hope no one minds us posting pics in here (I guess if they did, they wouldn't let the image thing work).

Hoody

-Jeff
 

Chuck Denofrio (64.12.97.9)
Posted on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 01:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Jeff, Why is that pipe sticking out of the HLT? So high that is.
 

aquavitae (134.84.195.46)
Posted on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 02:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Must double as a shower.
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 05:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

heh.. SweeTA!!
Great job guys!!
Id say your hops problem in your boil keg is due to the false bottom hopping up n down during the boil... find a way to hold it down better..
I use a couple tie wraps around the down tube just above the false bottome... kinda push em down tight against the top of the false bottm ot hold it tight to the bottom..... worked for years for me so far..

chuck.. i know what that tall shower is..;>
Mine has one too.. heh.. its the manifold for returning the wort to the MLT.
It can slide up n down in the MLT so you can always adjust it to return wort to the top of the grain bed...
When its all the way down it prob means youre only brewing 5 gallons of beer.. but when its way up there like that, it means your mash tun is almost full of grain and your brewing up 10 gallons of kick butt stuff..;>

Brew ON!
Walt
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Jeff McClain (206.207.77.117)
Posted on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 06:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Heheh...can't fool Walt. Yup, that "shower head" is my return from the HLT coils to the top of the mashtun. As Walt said, when it is all the way up like that, it means I'm doing a heavy grain bill. This was my highest one yet. 33.5 lbs of grain for DC's Rye IPA. I hit 1.078 OG, but I only get like 65% eff on my mash for some stupid reason, so it takes me a LOT of grain. I even had the LHBS do a double grind on the grain this time and it was still only 65-67%.

Anyway, I think you are right, Walt, about the false bottom boil/popping up during the boil. I don't have the same problem because I use home made SS mesh and I just ordered a Bazooka T as well and another false bottom. It is probably going overboard, and I didn't have any problems with just the whole hops, but pellets do cause my mesh screen to plug, so I'm going to do a false bottom, bazooka-T and then the fine SS mesh inside the bazooka-T. I'll think about what you said, Walt, and maybe put some heavy metal on the edges of the screen to keep it down in place.

-Jeff
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Sunday, September 14, 2003 - 06:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

i just took a couple pics of my false bottom so you can see what im talking about....
Heres what it looks like..
my picture

When its in the brew kettle, the fb is forced up against the tie wraps like this..keeping it from lifting off the bottom..
my picture

Walt
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Beer_Lifter (66.75.143.228)
Posted on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 03:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Plastic tie wraps in the boil kettle?
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 06:24 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

yup!
Been in there a long time with no problem :)
Hey.. my stirring stick is plastic..;>

Walt
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Denny Conn (140.211.82.4)
Posted on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 09:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Man, you guys, very nice systems! I finally got around to taking some pics of my "system" this weekend...I'll post them soon, but I can pretty much guarantee you _won't_ be impressed!
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 10:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Denny, I too enjoy looking at some of the fine work that has been posted on this board, but I also know it is not essential to brewing great beer. As I have mentioned occasionally, I brewed a NHC second round medal-winning light lager with a $29 canning pot and free (scrounged) homemade plastic bucket Zapap lauter tun. Good equipment can make the process easier and more pleasurable but keeping it simple can still produce a very good product indeed.
 

Jeff McClain (137.201.242.130)
Posted on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 11:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I couldn't agree more, Bill. And that really hurts, having spent all this money and time working on this brew system. ;)

Still, I look at the building of the brew system as almost as much fun as the actual brewing...grin. I can't tell you how cool it was hearing those solenoids snap and divert the flow when my mash hit the target step temp this last weekend...grin.

-Jeff
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 11:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I agree with ya there Jeff!
I had a blast building mine, and deff enjoy all the questions when brewers see my system :)
And i certainly love seeing it keep my grains within + - 1 degree while i sit there and shoot the breeze with friends and tip a few during the 90 mins :)

But can you brew without all this stuff?
Sure!
Lets face it.. all it takes to make beer is to dump some grains into a 155 degree water, wait abit, and then boil it..;>
And ive made some dern good beer doing just that :)

Walt
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Travis Adams (12.225.188.99)
Posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 01:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Jeff - how is that Black Butte Porter from the last brew session? When are we gonna see the report? I brewed my own all grain version this weekend trying to recover from my recent green apple disasters, so I was wondering how yours turned out...
Travis
 

Belly Buster Bob (142.177.106.139)
Posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 01:09 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

stop saying green apple!!
 

Jeff McClain (206.207.77.117)
Posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 01:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Oh, sorry, Travis. I put a post up in reply to the original thread. The Black Butte Porter is, uh, ahem...how to say this, uh, almost GONE! Grin. It turned out perfect and is nice and bitter/strong (like coffee, I guess). I racked 5 gallons to keg which I kept for myself and I bottled 5 gallons as a gift for friends (yea...I know...you should NEVER do that, but I owed one guy a LOT for the great price he gave me on his old corny kegs and CO2 tank/regulator).

And, where have YOU been, anyway, Travis? Grin. I've done TWO more brews since then. The Oatmeal Stout just was racked to secondary and was tasting VERY rich and looking darker than anything I've even seen (yes, even darker than Walt's liver!). I'm looking forward to drinking it with some steak and potatoes (uh, the stout, not Walt's liver..snicker).

You know, if you click on my name above, I have a link to my home page where I keep detailed pictures and reviews of all my brews...grin. Or you can just click http://www.webpak.net/~jmcclain/brew/index.html

Cheers!

-Jeff

P.S. Hope it turns out as well as mine did, Travis. I really appreciate all your feed back on it.
 

Travis Adams (12.225.188.99)
Posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 04:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jeff - as to where I have been it is pretty much all summarized in this lovely thread:
http://hbd.org/discus/messages/1/17803.html?1063376681

I tried again though - brewed 5 gallons of BBP using all stainless fittings and sticking with the original 1318 yeast it calls for = only issue is that I didn't make a starter on the advice of people on the thread trying to make sure I didn't add a step that could lead to an infection. Having poured 25 gallons out now I really don't want another issue - but so far - 24 hours later, no activity.
I am really glad the recipe worked for you... If I brew it again I will follow you with another yeast depending on how mine turns out, but after an all day brew session - 10 am to 10 pm on sunday, I think I need to do some extract for a while. I can't be spending that much time away from my family, even if it is just in the driveway LOL.
And I will never do all grain alone again...that was way too hard.
Thanks for the update Jeff - sorry I missed it in the other thread. So wrapped up in my own zinc issues I didn't pay attention to anything else!
You are gonna love that Rye IPA - having tasted the Hod Rod Rye that Denny suggested I can't wait to get a system up and running regularly so that I can brew this one!
Travis
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 12:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey BBB -

GreenApple

PTA :)
 

Travis Adams (137.161.201.253)
Posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 01:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

OUchy!
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 01:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Haha!!

Outta try making mead, Travis
Ill bet you could make an awesome green apple mead :)

Walt
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Jeff McClain (137.201.242.130)
Posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 04:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Travis,

Swing by anytime, and I'll brew with you. Grin. I did follow your problems/trials in that other thread, and I'm sure sorry that things have been going so rough for you. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you on this latest brew.

Good luck,

-Jeff

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