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WildIslandBrewer

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  1. You'll chew through the sodastream refills. They are about $21 per 400g of co2. That's the only catch.
  2. That's the one! If you want to see hobby creep then dip your toes into photography! An entire industry built on a finely tuned tier of upgrades. I justify my electronic brew gear as a brain exercise - had a stroke a few years back and it's good to tax the mind. That's my story and . . . . . now what was I saying???
  3. Dunno if I'd go that far!! I'm an electronics engineer I guess you'd say - hence the techy stuff. I'm still relatively new to brewing, probably done 20 or so batches but had a decades break in the middle. As soon as I started again the bottles drove me mad. Kegging wasn't readily available in country Oz back in the 80's but it's easy now. I live in Hobart now and the climate is perfect for brewing. I got the minikegs new from RCModel on EBay - they are very well made with good fittings. I got one 19l but it's fittings had to be replaced. I do extract and AG and combinations. Crash and gelatine clarify in the fermenter then condition and naturally carbonate in the keg. Tried pressure carbonation but I find the natural carbonation better, with richer bubbles and head for the darker beers I like. That might just be in my head though. Like OVB said - any crud in the keg is gone in the first pour. I try to not let 'hobby creep' get to me - you know how every hobby can blowout - in both processes and dollars!
  4. I have the 9.5l kegs. I decided early on that I wanted to try many small brews rather than the 19l. They fit better in my 200l kegerator and are easier to lift - only have one arm! Can't recall the beerline - it's a hard plastic 6mm. I started with a sodastream gas adapter but have a 2.5kg cylinder now. I don't drink so much that I need bigger stuff. I kept the sodastream system and I use it for party situations Going with 11l batch size made my kettles cheap - 21L from BigW that I added an element to. I enjoy the DIY stuff and I'm revising them to put a spigot in the bottom rather than on the side. They'll stand on a frame that also has loadcells. I'm making a cbpi controller that will use the loadcells to manage transfers. Over the top I know but I'm a techhead. You won't regret going to kegs.
  5. Thanks @Otto Von Blotto and @Worthog You mean a half cup of the powder? Tks
  6. Kegs! We looked at making a cleaning rack - check out YouTube for designs. There are quite powerful ones that use bilge pumps to push a hard spray into the bottle. It all fits in a plastic storage box and that circulates the cleaner liquid around until they're done. In the end we went to kegs - so much simpler. Probably waste a bit more beer though. Still have my bottles though for Ginger Beer and test runs.
  7. Update After the brew I found the spiral element very hard to clean in-situ and it's a bit awkward to remove to clean fully. Tried dishwasher tablets and percarbonate cleaners but still some crud stuck to the element. I could probably get under it with a toothbrush or loosen the screws to rotate it in-situ for cleaning. We detected a weird odour during the boil and it might have been this crud burning. This might go away when we reduce the boil power. I'm not happy with the AC connections to the element either, might solder on some spade lug males so I can get a firmer connection AND replace the original jug cord with something heavier - gets too warm. If this element has to go then I'm looking at one of those 1" screw-in elements - I think it'll fit the 3/4" brass garden hose screw fittings for the bulkhead. It'll also give me a simpler mount to build a cover around. Kegged the brew yesterday, 9.5l keg with 70gm dex to carbonate. I find that self-carbonate in the kegs is finer bubbled than forced and gives that nice Caffrey's swirl in the beer. I miss Caffrey's - loved it!
  8. Put a real AG brew through my 1/2 batch DIY kettle and it went brilliantly. The $7.90 KMart jug heater element is too powerful, boiling up a real volcano. That also made mash control a bit iffy but found with the lid on it held the temp fine with minimal attention. My end game is to run it all on CraftBrewPI so I'll be able to temp control the mash a bit easier and I'll be able to control the boil max power. Still a small leak around the earthing bolt - I'll hi-temp silicone that. All up I'm pretty happy with it. Next up is to drill it for the thermowell then build the CraftBrewPI controller - gonna be a touchscreen beauty! The batch was an Irish Stout.
  9. I'm building an electric 1/2 batch BIAB kettle. Has a BigW 20Lpot, K-Mart 2200W kettle heater, a spigot/tap/bazooka and I'm just waiting for a thermowell for temp control. I think I've spent about $60 on it all up with the bag all new. Here's a pic of the inside just before the test boil- I've got a false bottom to go over the element etc. Having some slow leak issues - but not at the element, at the bulkhead. Might silversolder it in.
  10. @Shamus O'Sean do you find it accurate across different coopers cans? I did a similar thing and worked back a correction but if I correct for a eg MrBeer can, for a Lager can it's about 10% out. This was using the ibu/kg figure. I then created a fake hop variety to see how that works rather than hopping the extract. I set it up so you enter the can ibu/kg as the hop weight and then back-calculated the AA content to give the right end ibu. Again it differs across cans. It's probably close enough but I'd like to get it right.
  11. @Otto Von Blotto (tks @NewBrews !) I leave about 1/2-1L in the fermenter, depending on how much crud is in it. That the loss I was thinking about - either the batch is smaller and IBU is right or dilute the batch a bit to compensate. I use 9.5L kegs so a ferment is generally 10L. When I'm playing recipes I want to be able to get an IBU throughout the software that I know is close so I can compare tastes to other beers - without spinning up a batch. And currently BT is out by 10:1 using Coopers' figures and the US formula. I know why they are out but not how to fix them yet - with science, not just back-calculations.
  12. Otto (dunno yet how to tag) BT is a bit like BeerSmith but it's open source and free. Free for me is not the point - coming from a past computing and IT era I don't like subscription and/or cloud software as IMPO it's a business risk just waiting to happen. After much reading and head banging I have some info. Apparently this IBUs setting was a problem in BeerSmith too. The Coopers figure is the total of AA's in the can so it's meaningless if the weight is not normalised, giving a AA count per a particular weight. This is what the Coppers calculations do - convert it to AA's per Litre of beer. First, you must convert the Coopers can IBU number back to a 1Kg amount. Some cans are 1.3Kg, some 1.7Kg and (I read in NZ) some 1.8Kg. So a 1.3Kg Mr Beer NW PA at 390 IBU is 300 IBU/Kg but a 1.7Kg Coopers Lager at 390 IBU is 229 IBU/Kg. If we look at the final batch IBU using the Coopers calculation, the Mr Beer NW PA is 1.3 * 390/8.5 = 59.65 IBU. The total AA's in the batch has to be adjusted for losses too. So if you lose 1L in your brewhouse, the total AA's from the can are spread out over 9.5L of beer. I don't know if BT (or BS) adjust for these losses. If it doesn't then the end IBU's should match the Coopers calculations. If it does then your end IBU will be lower. To enter these into BT you need a normalised IBU/Kg and a scaling figure that takes into account the US IBU calcs used and (possibly) the brewhouse losses. The BT (and BS) figures are in US IBU * Gal/Lb which is a fixed bitterness 'count' in the same style. as IBU Just gotta determine now how BT does it's calculations.
  13. The Coopers formula makes sense and should give 53 but is that what I get in my glass?? This is the only calculation that makes any sense. I have 3 other formulas to convert SI to the seemingly stupid ibu*lbs/gal and they are inconsistent. I just want to understand how BT gets 6.5 so I can get a picture - for my tongue!
  14. Hey all - new here - but have been brewing for a few years now, wanting to get more science into my recipes. I'm trying to get BrewTarget to add Extract IBU's to my recipes. Coopers list their extract packaged IBU's and say to divide it into the batch volume to get the real IBU. Same for their colours too. So using Mr Beer NW PA and nothing else - it's 1.3kg, IBU 390 to make 8.5L batch - I do 9.5L When you divide that out : 1.3/9.5 * 390 = 53. However BT calcs this as 6.4 IBU. The BT entry field for IBU says the figure entered should be the bitterness of the pre-hopped extract but I'm unclear on the units. Nothing I use seems to make sense. Any ideas. TIA
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