HOMEBREW Digest #5891 Tue 10 January 2012

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  Target gravity and such (Thomas Rohner)
  fermentation temp ("Greg Hunter")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2012 12:02:28 +0100 From: Thomas Rohner <t.rohner at bluewin.ch> Subject: Target gravity and such Hello all I started brewing in 96 with a couple of extract brews. I was more or less happy with the results, but i found that i like to do things from scratch. (i have yet to malt my own grains ;-) So is started to collect, organize and build my equipment for all grain brewing. After reading almost all books on the subject, i had high expectations on process control. Regarding thermometers, i can recommend the (www.greisinger.de) GTH 175/Pt. I don't know if it's available on your side of the Atlantic ocean, but here it's a good value. I have two of them and checked both of them together in a ice bath, boiling water and around body temperature with a fever thermometer. They all read the same values to the last digit, which is pretty amazing. (the fever thermometer doesn't work around freezing or boiling of course...) I works from -199 to 199 degrees celsius with 0.1 resolution. I used to weigh my malt with a 2kg (4 lb) kitchen type digital scale with 1g resolution when i started. At some point i bought a used professional digital scale that goes up to 30kg with 1g resolution. I was a steal and i can weigh my 10 to 13kg (20 to 26 lb) grist in one go. I have a dedicated (Win98) notebook in the brewery with "Promash" to calculate and keep notes of my brews. I have 3 hydrometers and 2 refractometers to measure densities, but lately i just measure the og with a refractometer for reference. After around 300 successfull consistent batches, i feel confident enough that i could brew with a thermometer only. (The rest are known volumetric constants... good aeration and enough healthy yeast at the right fermentation temperature) It has been done this way for centuries, if not milleniae. The control over unwanted bugs and pure yeast in fermentation may be rather new. I still use my measuring equipment, but i think it is generally overemphasized. It's nice to have, of course. After i tried to brew recipes with with 5 or more different malts and hop additions, i realized that i have to know my ingredients to create what i want. So i started to brew a beer with my base malt only. (Weyermann pilsener malt) Then i did the same with Munich and Vienna malt. Then i went back to pilsener with some light then dark cara, then some carafa and so on. I did the same with one hop variety at different times into the boil, then the next. I like the "old" noble varieties from the region here. (Tettnager, Hallertauer, Saaz and some englisch ones for ales and the occasional late Cascade addition in a wheat beer for the citrusy aroma for the lemon lovers) Get to know your ingredients and equipment, don't change to many variables at a time and brew a lot. Your final judge should be your palate. When i started in electronics, there was a saying that goes like this. "Wer misst, misst Mist." Translated it says about "Those who measure, measure bullshit." This was especially true with old passive analog voltmeters and low voltages. Cheers Thomas Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2012 10:52:07 -0500 From: "Greg Hunter" <greg at hunterdux.com> Subject: fermentation temp I ferment in my basement in NE. Basement temp is usually around 55 degrees and I use an immersion heater in the carboy with a thermometer. I can usually maintain a steady temp and have never had trouble. This technique doesn't work for lagering, but since I drink ales most of the time, it doesn't matter. Greg Hunter Duxbury, MA 02331 Return to table of contents
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