There will be a grain group buy scheduled in the next week or so. For those who are planning on brewing club beers for morel fest and aha this may be a good opportunity to pick up some bulk base grains. Check the Chicago homebrewers group or contact me if you are looking for more info.
Learn how to judge beer competently and confidently from a professional and experienced beer judge.
Monday, March 6 to April 3, 6 to 9 p.m. (no class May 29)
Attention Home Brewers:
I am happy to announce that I have booked John Mallett to be our keynote speaker at the awards dinner immediately following the Charlie Orr Memorial Chicago Cup Challenge on March 25, 2017.
As you probably know, John Mallett is the head brewer at Bell’s Brewing and also the author of the book “Malt”, by Brewer’s Publications. I saw him speak at an advanced home brewers conference I attended in Milwaukee last January, and he is a rock star. This is going to be a great talk!
Speaking of the competition…don’t forget that registration for entries as well as judges and stewards begins tomorrow February 11th and continues to Saturday March 11th.
Register early to secure a spot for your entries and make plans to attend our awards banquet to hear our amazing speaker!
Ok, here are the mockups for my system.
Please ask/critique away:
Why not go 220?
Also, I’d consider lockout/interlock protection to prevent accidentally powering on the unit with the elements in the on position.
Good article on it here: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/control-panel-safe…
Yeah, I don’t have automatic interlocks, thought about that. If I do I’ll have to incorporate some sort of contactor/relay logic. That is why I opt for individual on/off switches on each powered leg with lights to show where the circuit is powered.
With 220 you could get by with a single SSR and element.
220v LED’s are available for about the same price as 110v (~$6 on amazon)
220v SSR’s are about $20 on Amazon or $40 at McMaster carr. (or this hybrid relay that doesn’t require heat sink is REALLY interesting!)https://www.mcmaster.com/#8670k3/=162xu2l
1 SSR instead of 2 and associated wiring, switches, receptacles etc.
That being said, I may take some time and run the full numbers for a 220v system and get a good comparison, especially if the smaller heaters will struggle to do what I need.
I hesitate to post this as I do not want to cross the line of advertising, however, I think that this one sentence deserves consideration from all brewers. I’ll add that after tracking 150+ batches the AVERAGE kettle efficiency is 78.5%
I’ll let the moderators decide if the statement has the potential to change the processes we all accept as common and accepted knowledge.
“The use of a true filter – not the persnickety volatile grain bed – changes the dynamics of the brewing process and allows maximum conversion and extraction with a fixed pH and total capture of available wort.”
Need some advice here. Going to use the same yeast for 3 different brews. How long do I need to let the starter ferment before pulling the 500ml to start the next starter? I was thinking 48hrs, is that right or am I ok with only 24hrs?
John Marlovits instead of a normal starter, you can use the yeast normally, and start with a gallon or so of wort for a few days, then add the rest of your wort on top of it.
Homebrew Conference is in Minneapolis this June, below is some info from one of my favorite sources.
I plan on going and would like to see a PALE presence this year
Beer infusion question, when infusing beers with coffee in a bottle share, how should the coffee be? Or how does that process work?
Doing a bottle share coming up and we are going to try infusing the beers with stuff. I have a friend who lives by intelligentsia so I’m going to ask him to bring some coffee so can he just buy the beans and that’ll work?
Justin Carrol shared Funk Factory Geuzeria‘s post.
Instructions on how to modify a barrel for primary fermentation or easier fruiting.
Latest brew gadget.
Neighbor was tossing a reverse osmosis system. Oh yeah, a dual cartridge filter system for the cost of a couple of fittings a new filters. No more chlorine flavor!!!!
Spontaneously fermented sour that is the base for a blueberry sour. Final acidity is 2.77. Bracing but delicious. Very puckering.
Here’s what I love about brewing. The infinite possibilities of creativity. A few weeks ago (month ago?) I went blueberry picking with my sweetie (no, not Ian, Kari). I used some of those berries, about half a pound, to make a starter from the wild yeast on the skins. It took about 10 days to get going, but the final product was awesome. Nothing off or foul. Four days ago, I started a sour mash using Omega Yeast Labs Lactobacillius Blend, starting acidity 5.39. Today, the mash had a pH of 2.80. I mashed out with boiling water, boiled with a slight hop addition (15 IBUs using French Aramis), pre-boil pH was 3.10. Then pitched my wild starter. 10 hours later, we have bubbles in the airlock. Once primary is done, I’ll puree about 8 pounds of hand picked blueberries and add to the brew. Once that ferments, it’ll go in a french oak red wine barrel. This should be good.
Beer Evaluation course
Learn how to judge beer competently and confidently. This course is a unique opportunity to explore how to evaluate beer with a professional, experienced beer judge. Students identify various beer styles from around the world, and discern both common and uncommon aromas, flavors and textures in beer. Instruction also includes vocabulary specific to beer evaluation.
Wednesday, July 13 to Aug. 10
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Been getting this email towards the end of the month for the last couple of months, but a discount is a discount. If you are not BASSET certified and would like to be, this discount is good until Thursday. Crucial part of email:
SAVE 20% with Promo Code: CUBS20
This Code Expires on June 30!
I will be brewing a Double IPA in a week or so. What kind of yeast have you used for your Double IPAs? I plan to make a starter for this beer as well. I’m hoping for an O.G. at around 1.095. Thanks in advance for the input.
John Marlovits wyeast 1056
Proof of concept experiment. My lime saison randelled through my ManCan with mixed frozen berries and coconut. Works great. Thanks to Jacob and George at Chicago Brew Werks for helping me nuke this out.
For those interested .. here is what Ken McMullen is thinking for the wort for BigBrew next Sat
77% Canadian Malting Superior Pale Ale Malt
12% Thomas Fawcett Rye Malt
8% Great WesternCaramel Malt – C40
3% Canadian Malting White Wheat Malt
20Gal Pot on sale for ~$42Good for brewing and start-up food trucks!
Food for thought….3V Recirculating Systems need Larger crush and wider mill gaps, not smaller!!
I’ve been brewing a long time. 7 years now. I brew all-grain with an average # of batches a year of ~15, maybe more. I’ve been brewing 10 gallons for 4 years now. That’s a lot of beer a year!
I use a custom built HERMS systems, 3 vessel Keggles. (We can debate the brew bag later, but for now, I’m just concentrating on brewing 3v setup)
So, here is something that I’ve just recently figured out, which seems counter-intuitive to everything we learn as all-grain brewers…a smaller crush, tighter mill gap, will help expose more of the endosperm, allowing more conversion and better efficiency isn’t really true, not all ways. I’ve read people use gap sizes as small as .25″ at times, but most around .28 or .30. I was at .32″…
I’m going to tell you, based on my experience, this is wrong!
But, here are the conditions.
1) You brew all grain brewer
2) You adjust your mill gap, but either get no change, or WORSE
3) You notice that the smaller your crush, the worse your HERMS performs
This is what was happening to me.
Do I adjust pH, yes
Do I adjust water minerals for type, yes
Do I try to stay on top of all the variables of brewing as I can, yes
But Every time I brewed I was no where near what I thought I should be at for conversion.
Sparge with more water and boil longer…didn’t help
Lengthen the mash…didn’t help
On top of everything, my recirculation kept getting slower and slower, and sometimes would even get stuck. I don’t get it, what was I doing? Stir the mash to reduce dough balls. Add rice hulls for wheat beers, should I do it for normal beers too?? Don’t touch the grain bed once I mash in. But still. But still, Lower and Lower efficiency.
Then, I read the following 2 articles:
If you don’t want to read them, long (but interesting) story short…WIDEN your mill gap! It will help with flow, the recirculation is constantly rinsing the gain helping to convert the malt, and you leave less liquid in the Mash Tun dead space because its freer to flow.
Here are my results on my last 2 beers
Previous Vienna Lager:
1.046 ~ 70% efficiency
Previous Czech Pils:
1.048 ~ 70% efficiency
This years results
1.054 ~ 85% efficiency
1.055 ~ 87% efficiency
Ended up with 82% efficiency. Still above 80 and i’ll take it!
I still have 2 more beers to brew before the end of May to get ready for summer. I’m going to start estimating around 85% based on these last 2 beers.
If you bothered to read this, then you are probably thinking “Um, this seems wrong” or “I need more than 2 examples. You can get lucky” or “I’m sure you changed something, this seems a bit crazy”
So, before making your judgements, I’m going to be brewing a cream ale and belgian blonde over the new few weeks. I’ll update this post with results from those beers. But, If I get similar results, and then brew my IPA (high gravity, less sparge water) and still get the same encouraging efficiencies, I’ll be even happier.
Thoughts?? Anyone with similar experiences??
I like the idea.
I have a design laid out for an all in one RIMS and plan to spray the water over the grain bed as well as bubble water up through the bottom to agitate the mash and increase efficiency.
If you can’t move water past all the grain, then yeah, you will get localized spots where the water around the grain is saturated and will extract much less sugar.
Damn I really have to get this system of mine moving
This helped a lot back when I was having trouble. Those articles are a good read.
Two final gravity readings of a Mosaic IPA. I brewed two separate 5 gallon batches. Final gravity was projected at 1.020. Beer is good. Brewing beer is awesome!
brew day with “The Brew Bag v2.0”
Moutueka / Citra Pale Ale
Racking the New Year’s Eve stout to a Journeyman Rye barrel, with a little bit of Jack and Maker’s to supplement. Should be ready for consumption sometime around July.
Yeastie boys charging!!
For years I’ve allowed primary fermentation of mead to go for 45 days based on best practices and past experience. This is the first time I’ve used a Beer Bug in mead. WOW does it go slowly. This is 10 days of fermentation with wine yeast and staggered nutrient addition and de-gassing.
First batch in the fermentation chamber. Of course the wort was right at 68 when I put it in.