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Old 10-23-2013, 09:37 PM   #1
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Default Im obsessed

let me start by saying this post has no point other then to share...

so i came here about two months ago with the intentions of learning about home brewing, i have been laid up whit a broken ankle and having o have surgery. well i have literally spent 15-16 hours a day for two months, doing nothing but reading as much as i could. so now i have a problem (not exactly asking for a solution just a rhetorical problem)

before i get into the problem i must say that being all to familiar with forums and the etiquette within them about asking a question rather then searching. because of this i always use a method of opening a word document and every time i read something that created a question in my head, i write it down. inevitably when i look for the answer to this question it creates more questions for me to write down and look up. well by the end of two months of reading and youtubing i have 6 pages of topics with urls to the sources of the questions and answers.

now to the problem

like many readers here we want to get into home brewing as quickly and cheaply as possible to enjoy good brew. but due to my reading and my inability to just dive in head first, i have created requirements for myself that are slowing my progress.

by this i mean i started trying to piece together a simple system but i refuse to make an ok beer with simple tools that will later be upgraded when i know if i use some of my new found knowledge i could make a great beer and start on a better foot. so of course i started sourcing water filters, getting water testing done at ward labs, looked into a freezer and controller for stable fermentation temps. purchased beersmith, researched all the different methods form standard 3 vessel, to HERMS, to BIAB. dip tubes vs bottom drain with CIP, Propane vs electric (already partly set up to do electric so would be super simple), No chill vs standard chilling, bottling vs kegging, and all sorts and manor of techniques and tools in between.

with all this said i now have a plan but have created like i said, a requirement to get more equipment then my wallet allows for a start up set. now i know what many of you think, just get a good starter setup and see if i like it. well i am already a huge craft beer geek, and due to a past hobby, have tons of experience in this type of hobby. so i know that this will be something (as long as life allows) that i will truly love. also i hate when i get into something cheaply and easily and have to sell most of it later to get the upgraded features (waste of money)

anyway like i said at the start, this had no true purpose only to say i have learned so much and appreciate all the input everyone has... but man i hate you all for taking over my whole life and making me so obsessed. lol

i guess i have 3 more weeks of not being able to walk without crutches, so im sure i can break my bank account by then. and hopefully shortly after be able to finalize a plan that is a good starter set and easily upgradable without wasting to much money

anyway ill be posting tons as my "brewery" takes shape. so I look forward to sharing...

cheers

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Old 10-23-2013, 10:14 PM   #2
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The thing about smaller systems is that almost everything can still be used when you scale up to a hardcore one. I still use most of the items that came in my starter set, (tubing as so forth has been replaced) even though almost everything has been doubled, upgrade, expanded. I still use the 16qt pot I got to start with for other things, including heating my strike water.

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Old 10-23-2013, 10:22 PM   #3
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I know exactly how you feel! "Broken Leg Brewery" came about because I broke my leg in a hockey game and was in a wheelchair for 18 months, off and on. I was bored and out of sorts, so started brewing in my kitchen to pass the time and give me something interesting to do. Before that, I was doing "Beer Machine" batches, and a little winemaking, but I really wanted to make good quality homebrew to match commercial beers I liked.

When I starting brewing in my kitchen, I could only stand briefly with crutches, and most of the time was in a wheelchair. It was challenging, but I did it and enjoyed it.

It's fine that you want to start with a big system, but I have to say honestly that my beer isn't any better with my pimped-out all electrical system than it was when I brewed in my kitchen in a 30 quart part and a cooler. It certainly is more fun and convenient, though!

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Old 10-23-2013, 10:36 PM   #4
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:49 PM   #5
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i say, get a 20 gallon pot .... like bayou classic

and a big cooler to start. you can brew propane until all the electric parts come together. and then if you don't use the cooler any more, you can put bottled beer in it. or make a jockey box.

either way i hope you rock it out when you can walk it out.
cheers.

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Old 10-23-2013, 11:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cpl-america View Post
i say, get a 20 gallon pot .... like bayou classic

and a big cooler to start. you can brew propane until all the electric parts come together. and then if you don't use the cooler any more, you can put bottled beer in it. or make a jockey box.

either way i hope you rock it out when you can walk it out.
cheers.
well its like this. i already have a keg so a keggle is just obvious. however i want to do bottom drain CIP so i cant do propane, so i either set it up for propane and then get another later for bottom with electric or just go electric from the start.

and then to keep cost down i could do an easy 1in adapter for the element but I'd rather get one of the nice electrical enclosures from bobby at brewers hardware. which of course now needs the PID controller (like i said im already half way there)and then a sight glass and ball valve add to as well

then i wanted to go BIAB but rather then lifting the bag i wanted to get a custom hop basket from Chad and of course a hoist for lifting easier.

so as you see its not necessarily a matter of wanting a big bad system as it is getting the right tools from the get go to aid in usage and efficiency

it jsut seams that no mater how i streamline things there is always a better way of doing even the simplest task.

like fermenting. sure i could just do an ale in my garage but getting a fermentation chamber with the ebay aquarium controller just makes more sense.

IM OUT OF CONTROL and i haven't even started. lol
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:23 AM   #7
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First off, there is a huge difference between textbook brewing and real-world brewing. It pays to practice the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle at first, which usually means starting with basic extract-based recipes and incrementally adding complexity to one’s brew house.

Secondly, I urge you to forget about using brewing software until you master basic brew house mathematics. While rewriting brew house equations requires one to have a working knowledge of algebra, anyone with at least a fifth grade education can master the application of basic brew house equations.

For example, I have lost track of the number of amateur brewers on this forum who cannot calculate strike water temperature for given a volume of water and N pounds of grain at a given temperature without resorting to using brewing software. Determining strike water temperature is a basic brew house applied thermodynamics problem.

When mashing-in*, we desire to hit a temperature (strike temperature) by mixing a volume of hot water at a specific temperature (strike water temperature) with an amount of grain at a given temperature. In order to hit our strike temperature, we need to determine our strike water temperature. Water and grain have different specific heat values (a specific heat value is a numerical weighting factor that denotes a material's heat capacity). A gallon of water has a greater heat capacity than a pound of grain; therefore, we assign the value 1.0 to our strike water's specific heat value. One gallon of water has a much heat capacity as 20 pounds of grain (i.e., it takes twenty times more thermal energy to raise a gallon of water one degree Celsius than it does one pound of grain); therefore, we assign the value 0.05 to our grain's specific heat value.


water_specific_heat = 1.0 x water_volume_in_gallons
grain_specific_heat = 0.05 x grain_mass_in_pounds

total_water_degrees = water_specific_heat x water_temperature_in_degrees
total_grain_degrees = grain_specific_heat x grain_temperature_in_degrees

mash_temperature_in_degrees = (total_water_degrees + total_grain_degrees) / (water_specific_heat + grain_specific_heat)


Let's rewrite the equation above to solve for strike water temperature.

multiply both sides of the equation by the term (water_specific_heat + grain_specific_heat)

mash_temperature_in_degrees x (water_specific_heat + grain_specific_heat) = (total_water_degrees + total_grain_degrees) / (water_specific_heat + grain_specific_heat) * (water_specific_heat + grain_specific_heat)

which reduces to

mash_temperature_in_degrees x (water_specific_heat + grain_specific_heat) = total_water_degrees + total_grain_degrees

subtract total_grain_degrees from both sides

mash_temperature_in_degrees x (water_specific_heat + grain_specific_heat) - total_grain_degrees = total_water_degrees + total_grain_degrees - total_grain_degrees

which reduces to

total_water_degrees = mash_temperature_in_degrees x (water_specific_heat + grain_specific_heat) - total_grain_degree

We now have total_water_degrees on the left-side of the equation. What we want is water_temperature_in_degrees. As total_water_degrees is the product of water_specific_heat x water_temperature_in_degrees, we divide both sides by water_specific_heat, leaving us water_temperature_in_degrees.

(water_specific_heat x water_temperature_in_degrees) / water_specific_heat = (mash_temperature_in_degrees x (water_specific_heat + grain_specific_heat) - total_grain_degree) / water_specific_heat

which reduces to

water_temperature_in_degrees = (mash_temperature_in_degrees x (water_specific_heat + grain_specific_heat) - total_grain_degrees) / water_specific_heat

Applying the equation above to real-world mash problem


grain_mass_in_pounds = 10
grain_temperature_in_degrees = 68F

water_volume_in_gallons = 3.125 gallons (1.25 quarts per pound)

mash_temperature_in_degrees = 153F

water_specific_heat = 1.0 x 3.125 = 3.125
grain_specific_heat = 0.05 x 10 = 0.5

total_grain_degrees = 0.5 x 68 = 34


water_temperature_in_degrees = (153 x (3.125 + 0.5) - 34) / 3.125 ~= 167F


The strike liquor temperature above assumes that one’s mash tun will absorb no heat. In real-world practice, we either need to preheat our mash tun or adjust our strike water temperature up to accommodate for the loss.


* The correct general term for combining one’s strike water with one’s grist is “mash-in,” not “dough-in” (“dough-in” is what on does when one performs a protein rest in a step mash).

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Old 10-24-2013, 01:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyAmateurZymurgist View Post
First off, there is a huge difference between textbook brewing and real-world brewing. It pays to practice the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle at first, which usually means starting with basic extract-based recipes and incrementally adding complexity to one’s brew house.

Secondly, I urge you to forget about using brewing software until you master basic brew house mathematics. While rewriting brew house equations requires one to have a working knowledge of algebra, anyone with at least a fifth grade education can master the application of basic brew house equations.

For example, I have lost track of the number of amateur brewers on this forum who cannot calculate strike water temperature for given a volume of water and N pounds of grain at a given temperature without resorting to using brewing software. Determining strike water temperature is a basic brew house applied thermodynamics problem.

.
I need to apologize first off for how the rest of this reply is going to come off. I don't ever mean to offend, especially as so many people learn from comments just as yours.. however...

a few things about your response are fairly evident. first and foremost i understand the KISS method and i don't in any way feel that doing BIAB brewing is complicating anything.

also if you had read my post i made reference to a past hobby i no longer partake in which lends itself to experience in this hobby. anyone here should know that with this reference i have experience in mashing and fermenting.

for you to assume that anyone couldn't come here and do all grain rather then extract is a little arrogant of you. yes i understand that getting your head warped around processes before making the jump to all grain is a good way but that doesn't mean its the only way and not knowing anyone's background means you shouldn't advise against it but rather the differences in it.

telling someone not to use software is also mighty bold of you. i never made reference to making my own recipes. in fact beer smith and its accompanying forums are chick full of ready to go recipes. the software is amazing for a beginner to understand things such as your strike temps and mashing times. it is a tool, no more so then the ball valve on you kettle. its not a necessity but it makes the job easier to manage.

if you look into any of my past posts you will see im vary receptive to constructive criticism. however coming along and trying to give someone an unsolicited CLASS on strike water calculations is mighty presumptuous. all do respect i am a grown man and can easily figure out the basic arithmetic of volume weight and temperature involved in this calculation.

to be quite honest the other comments were far more constructive then you arogant rambalings


to be completely up front your reply to my post comes off as a completly arogant and self assured novice who in no way payed any attentuon to the OP or any of the responses.

you missed the entire point of the post which was to have a ligth hearted conversation as to how adictive this hobby is. you turned my random chit chat that specificly stated i wasnt ooking for advice, into a battle of wites and a measre in futility.

again i am sorry if this comes across harsh but i found your response varry snobinsh and pointless.
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:09 AM   #9
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Whats "math"? Isnt that what computers are for?

Anyways...

There are things learned by starting off with a simple small system. Once you get the basics down pat and you upgrade, you can spend more time troubleshooting/ dialing in your new system rather than also trying to troubleshoot the basics as well.

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Old 10-24-2013, 02:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Denny's Evil Concoctions View Post
Whats "math"? Isnt that what computers are for?

Anyways...

There are things learned by starting off with a simple small system. Once you get the basics down pat and you upgrade, you can spend more time troubleshooting/ dialing in your new system rather than also trying to troubleshoot the basics as well.
oh absolutely i agree with everyone saying this, that's why om going BIAB. i just am trying to dial in a few other factors such as the water chemistry and the fermenting temps and the equipment that accompanies. i don't feel these to things are complicating much and will also be beneficial to think of early on.

as far as going electric is simply because i want to do bottom drain with CIP and i cant justify using my keggle propane with a standard dip tube and then having to get a second keg later for bottom draining.

also like i said i already have much of the electrical stuff on hand i.e a potentiometer based controller. and element.

im sure we can all agree that i could easily complicate this much further if i wanted to with a full on herms system and kegging system, along with RO water and salts. im just doing a simple electric biab.

i just think far to often members of the site are just so used to people with limited backgrounds and experience coming in doing extract kits (as many of the members have started) so i totally see where you guys are coming from and the points being made. but i dont think im starting to big. i think im just starting more precise by trying to control more variables such as the fermenting and water then most do starting off.

see this is why i love this place. everyone is so concerned for everyone else and always eager to keep people from making mistakes.
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