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  1. bobbytuck

    Is 5.4 to 5.6 too high a target pH? Questions...

    So, I came across John Kimmich on this ChopAndBrew YouTube video speaking on all things beer: Of particular interest is the water treatment discussion starting at around the 42:00 mark. But at 43:14, he says something confusing: "If you're not...
  2. bobbytuck

    Convert chugger center inlet to inline?

    Hello, I recently received a chugger center inlet pump. Not what I wanted -- I wanted the inline version. Is it possible to simply unscrew the stainless center inlet head and replace it with a stainless inlet head? Or do I need to replace the whole chugger pump?
  3. bobbytuck

    No-Sparge article in current BYO magazine -- Thoughts?

    There's a great article in the most recent BYO magazine about no-sparge brewing. I know this has been discussed to death here -- no-sparge, fly, batch, hybrid -- but a couple points in the article peaked my interest: - The author talks about how *decreasing* efficiency actually made his session...
  4. bobbytuck

    Confused about optimal mash pH for Ales

    I've been using the Bru'n water spreadsheet with pretty good success for my past dozen or so brews. My mash pH -- at room temperature 70-75F-- has been coming in at 5.2 or so (after about 15 mins into the mash) with a calibrated pH meter. (I calibrate with 4 and 7 solutions before each brew.)...
  5. bobbytuck

    Taking pH of Mash with meter

    I know there are many, many posts atout this -- but I'm still confused about what I'm looking for when folks talk about "mash pH". I found this in my notes (copied from another forum -- not mine -- but I don't have a link): ---- Measuring pH at mash temperature (lets say 65°C) Target...
  6. bobbytuck

    Chcicago / Lake Michigan Water Questions

    I've downloaded the three main water spreadsheets -- Bru'n, Palmer's, and EZ. I've gotten the water analysis for my suburban water (Glen Ellyn, IL via the Chicago/Jardine Pumping station for Lake Michigan) and see that my water is as follows: From EZ: Starting Water (ppm): Ca: 35.4 Mg: 12.3...
  7. bobbytuck

    Gysum and Calcium Chloride in the boil -- Why?

    I've recently started adding 2tsp gypsum to the boil (not mash) of my IPAs. They've been turning out fantastic -- much better *with* the gypsum (hops pop) than without. I've also read that Calcium Chloride can be used. In general, does CaCl accentuate the malt whereas gypsum accentuates the hops?
  8. bobbytuck

    First brew of season -- here's what not to do...

    First brew of the season after the (supremely weird and cold) Chicago winter. Here's what not to do (but of course, I did): tighten ball valves on a march pump without first *removing* the head from the pump. I was checking for leaks as my HLT was heating, saw a leak on a ball valve/hex nipple...
  9. bobbytuck

    Brewpad or Brew belt with Ranco controller?

    My basement is in the low 50's, and I'm looking to ferment in the mid-60's for an amber ale I'm making tomorrow. I bought a brewpad -- one of those blue-plastic heating-pad type things -- and I'd like to hook it up to a spare Ranco temp controller I have. I also bought a brew belt. (Don't plan...
  10. bobbytuck

    Chugger Pump SS: Remove thin film of oil?

    I just got a green Chugger pump SS and installed the plug for a brew session next week. One thing I noticed when I disassembled the pump head is that there's a thin film of oil from (presumably) the manufacturing process. I'm soaking it in a hot water and OXY Clean now -- and have been for...
  11. bobbytuck

    Combination ball valve and sightglass?

    I'm looking for a combination ball-valve and sightglass. I've seen these around for sale on various sites, but I'm not able to find one. Does anyone know a site that sells the combo?
  12. bobbytuck

    Blichmann HopRocket First Use (with photos)

    Just brewed a couple of batches this weekend and used the HopRocket for both. First batch was Denny's Rye IPA, second was a brown ale. I fitted my HopRocket with quick connects. It seems to work pretty well, but several key points I've realized: (a) hoses have to be free of liquid before...
  13. bobbytuck

    Ferment cool for how long? When to let it ramp up?

    I've been fermenting for the past few months with Safale-05. I've used it for nearly every beer I've made this spring/summer (stouts, IPA, IIPAS, cream ales, strong ales) -- except for a couple of spring hefe batches and the Kolsch I just made. I'm using a water cooler and ice bottles...
  14. bobbytuck

    Building whirlpooler w/Therminator and pump

    I've been reading a good bit about whirlpooling after the boil. I've looked at Jamil's whirlpool chiller. I'm using a pump to move my wort out of my BK to my Therminator and then through an inline oxygen injector and finally into my fermenter. I'm usually able to get the temps down to 68F or so...
  15. bobbytuck

    WYEAST 2575 - Kolsch II - How to ferment?

    Just made a Kolsch with the special edition Wyeast 2575 -- "Kolsch II". 9 pounds of German Pilsner, Tradition + Hallertauer hops. Mashed @ 151F for 90 mins. Mash-out @ 170 for 10 mins. 90 minute boil. 60 and 30 minute additions. 5.5 gallons post boil. (I was anticipating post-boil OG of...
  16. bobbytuck

    Safale-05 @ 58F -- What to expect?

    I'm currently brewing a Cascadian Dark/Black IPA, and I decided to use Safale-05 at 55-58F. I pitched @ 62F. Fermentation took about 36 hours to get started, but right now it's bubbling away nicely at 58F. Any idea what I can expect with this temp? I've heard 05 has a 'peachy-ness' when...
  17. bobbytuck

    After Bottling My Beer tastes sweet (yuck)

    I've had this problem on and off for the past two years: straight out of the fermenter, my beer tastes fine. I just brewed the blue moon clone here (for example) -- and out of the fermenter it was dry with a mild grainy taste. To me, this was fine, and I went ahead and bottled it. Two weeks...
  18. bobbytuck

    HERMS process questions

    Over the past couple months, I've set up a basic HERMS system. My HLT is a PolarWare 15 gallon kettle and my MLT and BK are both Blichmann 15 gallon kettles. I'm using 25feet of 3/8" copper coil for the HEX in the HLT. 220V 5500W element in the HLT. 220V 5500W element in the BK. No...
  19. bobbytuck

    Burnham's Courage Brewing

    My labels, my own photos:
  20. bobbytuck

    My Top Tier Review

    (I posted a slightly different version of this on a different forum -- but I'm posting it here because I thought folks might be interested. I didn't see many reviews of the TopTier -- and I wish I'd seen something like this when I was thinking about brew structures.) Purchase I bought it last...