Author Topic: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me  (Read 48189 times)

Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #45 on: April 26, 2019, 09:35:13 am »
Ok...glad I asked.  I thought part of the point of the brewjacket was not needing and immersion cooler. 
  it's meant to keep the beer at a desired temp, but only once you're already there (or close).
drats...it was much easier to chill 1 gallon of wort in the sink with a ice bath (other than getting yelled at for using all the ice in the freezer)
was really hoping to not to have to deal with an immersion chiller
What about plate chillers?
So leave on stove for xxxx mins
  just leaving the pot on the stove to cool in the air is likely to take overnight.  not sure how viable that is...

bummer...was part of my plan
something i did was to carry the pot to the bathroom and put it in a tub filled with cold water. 
dude...not doing that
but really, an immersion chiller that you hook up to your sink or garden spigot is the way to go.
sounds like it
I'm not ready to set up the mash tun and such yet
I know that is the advantage of the two ports on the kettle...
sorry, i don't quite follow the "advantage of the two ports"... please explain :)
I thought I could get a false bottom in there and some tubing and a pump to do the sparge/mash in the kettle...was that wishful thinking?

So top one for temp...bottom one for spigot
what should my expectations of the versatility of having two ports on a kettle
On that note.  I got the Big Mouth Bubbler with the spigiot at the bottom  Didn't think about how that's kind of a liability in the brewjacket
how is it a liability?  does it get in the way of the BJ?
I find it hard not to think of Space when someone mentions BJ's on this board...kinda wish that wasn't the case as it's starting to ruin it for me ;)

what I was getting at is that little spigot on the bottom of the BMB is sticking out and you have to insert it in and out of the BJ jacket while it's full of 5 gallons of liquid.  Seems like it's going to get caught or break because of some weird pressure
Should be fine, just seemed like it'd be easier to get in and out of the BJ with nothing protruding on the bottom

On that note...the expectation is I can use that spigot on the BMB to transfer to my Kettle to add the priming sugar prior to bottling
I have a strong desire to get away from the siphon...but is the problem that I'm going to pull in all the crap at the bottom of the fermentor?  also will I be aerating my beer too much
I could probably use a tube to stop excess aeration
I was thinking that I could easily take it from the fermentor to a sanizied brew kettle to add the priming sugars then use the ball valve to connect a tube to bottle
that's a great idea, never thought of using a kettle for bottling!

i highly recommend getting a bottling wand.  makes bottling soooo much easier.  you might need to mcguyver some way to attach it to your spigot.
I have a siphon with a tube and a clamp...hate it
and with the mess that has created in the past ...that I had sworn would be my first purchase
Luckily a cheap purchase

only headache is I was hoping to brew this weekend...so no online ordering and slimmed to selection/price of my LHBS
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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #46 on: April 26, 2019, 09:59:28 am »
man...need to pony up some more bucks to make this happen
1 bottle of IO Star Iodophor
1 Copper Immersion Wort Chiller
some tubing
bottling wand
put this protect over budget!
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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #47 on: April 29, 2019, 11:46:56 am »
Made it through my first batch. It's all in the fermentor happily bubbling away at a constant 70 degrees
The Immersion chillier was purchased and really worked out great, wastes a lot of water tho.
It was hotish in the house on brew day (almost 80) so it was nice to add to the brewjacket and come back the next morning to pitch the yeast at the perfect temp


They should really make a door on the BrewJacket so you can easily check activity...but that would have added to the cost

Man that kettle is HUGE...wont even fit in my fairly large kitchen sink ;(
Thinking I might need to eventually get an outdoor burner and do this outside
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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #48 on: May 01, 2019, 08:40:04 am »
What is your opinion of the BrewJacket could help a lot during fermentation

if you need both heating and cooling, brewjacket is an excellent investment.  i was about to purchase some myself, until i figured out that i don't need cooling (my basement is a large walk-in fridge, year-round).  will definitely improve your beer.  an issue to keep in mind is that the brewjacket isn't compatible with all fermentors - glass carboys are a no-go.

So far been very happy with this purchase.
Yesterday got home and the room the fermentor was in was clocking in at 83 degrees!
but the Brewjacket was humming away at 70 degrees and the yeast was happy

I do think the BrewJ may have caused the heat to rise a little in the room, but just a few degrees
I'm happy to have temp undercontrol with very little effort

my only gripe would be I can't see what's going on or access the spigot to get a sample for gravity readings
on that note, been reading mixed reviews on going the refractometer...
the good: only a few drops are needed to keep taps on gravity
the bad: complicated with conversion charts and temp (how come they all come in Celsius...)
was reading that the good old hydro is the best bet for accuracy and simplicity
If I had a spare $150...might consider the Tilt Hydrometer...pretty darn cool


 in typical US fashion...we are like the only one in the world not using metric

well we have good company with Liberia and Myanmar

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sweetcell

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #49 on: May 01, 2019, 05:49:27 pm »
The Immersion chillier was purchased and really worked out great, wastes a lot of water tho.

i collect some of the water in homer buckets and use it later.  the "first runnings" are pretty hot, so i save that for cleaning my mash tun and kettle (if my picnic cooler is available, i sometimes put the hot water in there to keep it hot).  water that isn't so hot, or has had time to cool, is used for watering plants, washing brewing equipment (or anything, really), soaking labels off of bottles, etc.

tip for improving efficiency of an immersion chiller: create movement within the kettle.  if you don't mix the wort during chilling, only the stuff close to the chiller will cool quickly.  by slowly mixing the wort with the chiller itself, you'll help spread out the cooling.  if you have a pump, you can "automate" this: pull wort out through your ball valve, go through pump, and return the wort to the center of the immersion chiller.  this will force the liquid to go from the cooler center of the chiller, through/around the chiller, and to the warmer edge (where the valve is).  the logical extension of this technique is the whirlpool immersion chiller.

Thinking I might need to eventually get an outdoor burner and do this outside

yeah ya do.  a propane burner can pump out a lot more heat than a stove-top so you get to boil faster.  also gets you out of the kitchen, so others can't complain about the smells (if they aren't into them) or your hogging of the space.
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sweetcell

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #50 on: May 01, 2019, 07:15:17 pm »
I do think the BrewJ may have caused the heat to rise a little in the room, but just a few degrees

it most likely did.  a brew j is a heat pump, so it cools the beer by kicking out the heat into its surrounding enviro, i.e. the room.

my only gripe would be I can't see what's going on or access the spigot to get a sample for gravity readings

if it's important to you, i bet you could figure out a way to cut open the cover, sew up the edges and create a flap.

however: please consider making it not important to you, AKA stop taking (constant) samples.  wait for visible activity to die down completely (no more air lock bubbles, krausen gone, etc.), wait another 3 days, then take your first, and ideally only, sample.  what's the point of knowing that yesterday you were at 1.042, and today you're at 1.038?  are you going to do anything differently?  the yeast know what they're doing, let 'em finish their work.  each sample taking = risk of oxidation and/or infection (small risk, but risk nonetheless). 

i mean i get it, it's fun to interact with the brew as it's developing, but i compare constant sampling to helicopter parenting: it makes the parent (brewer) feel more at ease, but isn't in the child's (beer's) best interest.  let go...

on that note, been reading mixed reviews on going the refractometer...
the good: only a few drops are needed to keep taps on gravity
the bad: complicated with conversion charts and temp (how come they all come in Celsius...)
was reading that the good old hydro is the best bet for accuracy and simplicity

i love my refractometer on brew day - so quick and easy to get OG, no wasted wort, etc.  i also take gravity on first runnings, lets me know how my mash went.

where have you read about temp affecting a refractometer?  most nowadays have auto temp compensation (ATC), even the cheap ones.

refractometers become complicated once alcohol is present.  you need to use a calculator to correct your readings, and even then it's only a best-fit estimate.  so being lazy i don't bother and just use a hydrometer - when i bother taking FG at all.  i often skip it if the fermentation went as expected, i'm pretty confident that the beer ended where it should.  the difference between 1.10 and 1.012 is imperceptible to me, so...

If I had a spare $150...might consider the Tilt Hydrometer...pretty darn cool

looks cool indeed.  can't say it's at the top of my gadget shopping list, but i certainly wouldn't throw it away if it was given to me.  i've been reading that krausen can cause readings to be off.  i think the main value of the tilt isn't to get exact gravity readings, but rather to see the trend.  once it shows several days with no change in gravity, your beer is ready to package.

unrelated, a cheap stir plate: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072K24X5P/.  If you're a DYI kinda guy and are handy assembling simple devices, you can build a stir plate quite easily using a computer fan, a potentiometer and a case of some sort (like a cigar box).
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sweetcell

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #51 on: May 01, 2019, 07:56:52 pm »
new book about to be published: Simple Homebrewing: Great Beer, Less Work, More Fun

haven't read it yet, but the authors are well-known and dispense very practical advice. 
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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #52 on: May 07, 2019, 11:45:51 am »
saw this book just was released by your buds at Sapwood

Scott has been reading papers on hop chemistry, and interviewing hazy-IPA brewers since well before we opened. Finally his book, The New IPA: A Scientific Guide to Hop Aroma and Flavor is almost here! We've already put many of the things he's learned into practice. It'll be available as an eBook or paperback, and of course you'll be able to get a copy at the brewery!
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sweetcell

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #53 on: May 07, 2019, 01:02:33 pm »
saw this book just was released by your buds at Sapwood

Scott has been reading papers on hop chemistry, and interviewing hazy-IPA brewers since well before we opened. Finally his book, The New IPA: A Scientific Guide to Hop Aroma and Flavor is almost here! We've already put many of the things he's learned into practice. It'll be available as an eBook or paperback, and of course you'll be able to get a copy at the brewery!

been waiting on this one for a while.  scott is about to drop some SCIENCE.

his blog, where a lot of the book's content can be found (but spread across a multitude of blog posts): http://scottjanish.com/
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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #54 on: May 09, 2019, 11:42:01 am »
since this is kind of the 'sweets' tread

Sweets....Your state has your back (and front:) ) for the hard work you do day in and day out

Washington State Strippers Are Officially Getting Workplace Protections
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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #55 on: June 27, 2019, 09:21:10 am »
so far so good on the new equipment.
Did an extract oaked Imperial stout that came out great...still a little young, but definitely a brew I can be proud of


saw this and drooled a little The Stasis
An "affordable", compact temperature control solution for homebrewers that harnesses the power of glycol.
can do two fermenters at the same time with different temps
fast chilling...reduce temps 30degres in 1 hour


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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #56 on: July 28, 2019, 10:22:45 am »
Takin' it outdoors for brew day now!

Borrowed a propane burner from a co-worker who 'used to homebrew'
Picked up a nice BAIB
and DIY made a pulley system with an A frame ladder to lift the bag at the end of the mash

brewing an Oatmeal Stout

Grain bill

10 lbs Pale Malt
12 oz Biscuit
12 oz Crystal 60
12 oz Chocolate
12 oz Roasted Barley

2oz fuggel hops at 60min  (recipe called for Willamette...but they were out)
60 min mash at 148 and 60 min boil
US 04 Dry yeast

First
There was 1 lb 8 oz Flaked Oats...but the instructions I had were super brief and didn't mention when they are added...so I didn't add them (now it seems like they should have just gone in the Bag with all the other gains during the mash)

In my internet search, seems this won't really make a big deal in flavor, more mouth feel. 

The other thing
The OG was supposed to be 1.062 and came out at 1.050
Does that have to do with the lower efficiency of BAIB?
Should I be concerned
If done again, how can I ensure I get to the OG?

I tried to keep the temp during the mash around 148...but it ended up varying between 140 to 160 due to my trying to figure out the new equipment

Also loving the brew jacket as I can only get it so cool with my immersion chiller
So put it in the fermetor and throw the brew jacket in to get it to 67degrees before adding the yeast

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sweetcell

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #57 on: July 29, 2019, 12:37:36 am »

Takin' it outdoors for brew day now!

nice :)  it's the next natural step  in your evolution...



2oz fuggel hops at 60min  (recipe called for Willamette...but they were out)

your choice of 60 minute (bittering) hops doesn't matter much, since it won't add much taste - so good substitution.  you could even same some money next time by getting one ounce of something with twice as much AA% as the quoted fuggles.  in the end, you mostly care about IBUs.


brewing an Oatmeal Stout
(...)
There was 1 lb 8 oz Flaked Oats...but the instructions I had were super brief and didn't mention when they are added...so I didn't add them

then you're not brewing an oatmeal stout, are you? ;D


(now it seems like they should have just gone in the Bag with all the other gains during the mash)

yup.  no need to crush (mill) them, just add 'em whole.

In my internet search, seems this won't really make a big deal in flavor, more mouth feel. 

yes, they contribute that silky, almost oily mouthfeel you get with certain stouts. not sure about the flavor contribution, because i can't remember the last time i made a stout without oatmeal - so i have nothing to compare it to.


The OG was supposed to be 1.062 and came out at 1.050Does that have to do with the lower efficiency of BAIB?Should I be concernedIf done again, how can I ensure I get to the OG?

BIAB can be very efficient, especially if you sparge.  but the thing about efficiency is that everybody's is different - so you have to adjust recipes according to your efficiency. a recipe is essentially saying "i took this amount of grain, and got this OG".  if you want to hit that same OG, you need to reverse-engineer it: "for my setup, with my efficiency, how much grain do i need to achieve that OG?"  leave the specialty grains alone, and vary only the base malts.  you need to do several brews to determine your efficiency, given that this was your first one

alternately, have some DME extract on hand.  if you miss the OG, dump some in until you hit your numbers.



Also loving the brew jacket as I can only get it so cool with my immersion chiller
So put it in the fermetor and throw the brew jacket in to get it to 67degrees before adding the yeast

water temps in the DC area is an issue... comes out too damn warm in the summer.  brew jacket does indeed sound like a great solution.
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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #58 on: July 29, 2019, 08:51:19 am »
brewing collected the ingredients for an Oatmeal Stout
(...)
There was 1 lb 8 oz Flaked Oats...but the instructions I had were super brief and didn't mention when they are added...so I didn't add them
FTFMe
Quote
then you're not brewing an oatmeal stout, are you? ;D
was intended, but not actualized...

In my internet search, seems this won't really make a big deal in flavor, more mouth feel. 

Quote
yes, they contribute that silky, almost oily mouthfeel you get with certain stouts. not sure about the flavor contribution, because i can't remember the last time i made a stout without oatmeal - so i have nothing to compare it to.


although this is one of the things I like about stouts...but the ingredients are sealed and will use them for the next stout batch (or maybe breakfast :)

The OG was supposed to be 1.062 and came out at 1.050Does that have to do with the lower efficiency of BAIB?Should I be concernedIf done again, how can I ensure I get to the OG?

Quote
BIAB can be very efficient, especially if you sparge. 
So didn't do a sparge...read a bunch of pros and cons and decided to just let the bag hang for 10-15 and give it a few good squeezes
mostly as I was trying to keep it simple, not sure I'm up for the reverse engineering
Quote
alternately, have some DME extract on hand.  if you miss the OG, dump some in until you hit your numbers.
This idea I like.  So are you doing a Hydro reading pre-boil to determine this?
then you'd add a cup, stir real well and do another hydro reading until you get the desired OG?

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Also loving the brew jacket as I can only get it so cool with my immersion chiller
So put it in the fermetor and throw the brew jacket in to get it to 67degrees before adding the yeast

Quote
water temps in the DC area is an issue... comes out too damn warm in the summer.  brew jacket does indeed sound like a great solution.
[/font]
I had a though here. 
What if you got a second immersion cooler and threw that in a cooler with ice and connected it in front of the other brew kettle immersion cooler?

It really took a long time and about 30 gallons of water (I did collect it and give it to the plants and trees at least) to cool my batch to 100
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sweetcell

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Re: Is that a hydrometer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me
« Reply #59 on: July 29, 2019, 02:39:00 pm »
but the ingredients are sealed and will use them for the next stout batch (or maybe breakfast :)

FYI you can use oats from the grocery store.  "instant oats" are preferable, but just about any will work as long as they look flattened (don't use steel-cut oats).

So didn't do a sparge...read a bunch of pros and cons and decided to just let the bag hang for 10-15 and give it a few good squeezes
mostly as I was trying to keep it simple, not sure I'm up for the reverse engineering

do whatever works best for you.  originally that was the main appeal of BIAB - easier and faster, at the expense of a little lower efficiency.  a perfectly reasonable trade-off: i'll buy an extra 2 pounds of malt, in exchange for cutting an hour off my brew day.

This idea I like.  So are you doing a Hydro reading pre-boil to determine this?

this is the part where you invest in a refractometer. no need to wait for cooling!  otherwise, you need to cool the wort to a reasonable temp before measuring, and even then you'll need to use a converter/calculator to compensate for temperature unless you cool the sample to under 70*F.

then you'd add a cup, stir real well and do another hydro reading until you get the desired OG?

exactly.  i like to mix in cool water first, dissolves easier, then dump in.  one pound of DME into 5 gallons of wort should raise gravity by about 8 points, and 6-7 points if thrown into 6 gallons (1.040-1.044 PPG, points per gallon).  if you're going to do this, you really need a refractometer.  cooling a sample each time you've added some extract gets old real fast.


What if you got a second immersion cooler and threw that in a cooler with ice and connected it in front of the other brew kettle immersion cooler?

serious question: did you think of that all by yourself?  'cause if so, that's impressive - you've just described a pre-chiller.  it's totally a thing that people do in hot climates: link1, link2, more.  apparently adding salt to the water/ice around the pre-chiller increases efficiency.

It really took a long time and about 30 gallons of water (I did collect it and give it to the plants and trees at least) to cool my batch to 100

yeah, i save as much of that water as i can.  some goes into my HTL for cleaning my equipment after the brew day.  rest stays in buckets until cooled and then goes to the plants & trees (like my sour cherry trees - hope to make kriek some day).
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