Reverse Osmosis Water for Brewing

Sorry for the long absence.  Here’s two quick observations about using reverse osmosis water for brewing. First, I have found that it makes it easier to hit pH targets in the mash with just calcium salt addition (calcium chloride and/or calcium sulfate depending on hopping level) compared to my filtered municipal water, which has some alkalinity.   I used to salt that out the alkalinity with phosphoric acid, but in … Continue reading

Keg Line Cleaner

keg line cleaner

  Based on some ideas on homebrewtalk.com, I made this simple keg line cleaner using a hand-pumped garden sprayer and a couple of fittings from CHI company, which was the only place I found selling both a pin lock liquid out post and a barb adapter for it. It’s a lot more convenient to use this than to deal with pumping cleaner through using a a spare keg.

Calcium phosphate precipitation in brewing water

I’ve been pre-treating my water with crushed campden tablet, phosphoric acid, and calcium salt (chloride, sulfate, or a mixture).  I’ve seen very small amounts of while solid in the hot liquor tank (HLT) and didn’t really think much of it, sort of assuming it was undissolved material from the tablets.  But after seeing this comment by AJ deLange I wonder if it might be precipitated hydroxyapatite or another calcium phosphate. … Continue reading

Brettanomyces IPA

Inspired by the Mad Fermentationist Brett IPA and after a discussion with the brewer from Chocolate City, who suggested the Apollo hops, I made my second India Pale Ale using the Brettanomyces Trois yeast from Wyeast (Wyeast 5526). After pouring the first pint, I am happy enough with it to share it here.  It’s tart and complex with pungent citrus and tropical fruit from the hops blending with the Brett character.

Quasi-high-output USB iPad charger from 12V with extension cable

complete

I was disappointed in the performance of the “high output” dual USB car chargers I found that claimed a total of 4.2 Amps to charge two iPads but in fact could not provide that much current to even one device (failing to keep the iPad charge level from dropping while in use, despite getting an indication showing iPad charging).  Also, I wanted the works on longer cable to get things … Continue reading

Another BeerBug trial

summer porter beerbug

I forgot to deploy the BeerBug in my last batch until the primary fermentation was a couple of days in.  After making sure it was level and relatively well behaved (see the last post on this) I was eager to try the BeerBug but as it isn’t part of my routine now it didn’t occur to me until after fermentation was well underway. Anyway here’s the data I collected, starting … Continue reading

Additional BeerBug Testing and Review: More Stable, Less Drift

BeerBug level tare test

Since my last review of the BeerBug hydrometer I’ve had a chance to do some more testing.  At first the data was pretty poor.  I sent those results to the BeerBug folks who thought it might be because the device wasn’t level.  It seems pretty sensitive to this, as it couldn’t have been more than few degrees off. I got a stick-on bubble level like this one, re-tared, and left … Continue reading

Another BeerBug, Another Review

new tare test

The BeerBug folks were kind enough to send me a replacement BeerBug (with a green LED instead of blue) in view of the problems I had with my early model. I happened to have a beer fermenting so I tried it right away, but had some issues likely related to the line holding the torpedo weight being too long so that the weight partially rested on the fermentor.  And the … Continue reading