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Big Sarge

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Posts posted by Big Sarge

  1. I've been studying water and messing with all of the calculators out there over the past few days. I realize that I only have a few options moving forward:

    1. Go with what I've been doing for the past 5 years or so. I make good beer, right?

    2. Trust the highly generalized aquifer water profile data that I found on the Internet and attempt to make adjustments from there. I don't think I'm going to do this. I wish I could get an accurate test from my Podunk water department, but my inquiries have been fruitless. Additionally, the mineral content and hardness are so high, and adjustment with salts has a second order effect on one of the other elements to undesirable levels. I've pondered buying on of the Brew Lab kits to test my own water, but I'm still left with the liquid rock that comes out of my faucet. 

    3. Build my water profile with distilled water and salts. Seems like the easiest and least expensive (short term) option. I'll obvious use my local hard water to brew those styles commensurate with it, as all the other historical brewers have done throughout time around the globe. 

    4. Buy an RO machine. Daddy ain't that rich. 

    The great thing about being in the army is that I will move again, probably soon. I hope to at least go somewhere that I can get a water report when I ask for it. In the end, I just want to learn more. I'd also like to apply it through practical application as well. My biggest push for trying to figure things out is my plan to brew a kolsch this weekend. Not really a beer that benefits from additional bitterness. I'm cutting my water with distilled water, which should help. I'd build a desired water profile if I could get ahold of the salts from the LHBS, but a round trip up there takes a whole day. 

    My beer is good. I look forward to making a beer that will jut knock my socks off one day. 

    I guess I better get back to work...

    • Like 3

  2. 14 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

    I ordered 40’ of beverage line. I switched one line from the 3’ to 10’ and left my psi at 10, let the line cool for a bit and guess what? I poured a perfect 🍺. I guess I was wrong and now I will be switching all my lines over. Thanks boys!

    Nice! It definitely beats purging gas to drop the pressure before serving, especially if you want to push it back up after drinking. 

    • Like 2

  3. 45 minutes ago, D Kristof said:

    A guy at my LHBS demonstrated this calculator to me. Seemed simple enough. https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/ez-water-calculator-3-0.261001/

    Yeah, I've been toying with that calculator. I've been trying to make adjustments to my current water, to defray the cost (a whopping 69 cents per gallon lol) and the headache SWMBO gives me in grief for loading up the shopping cart with distilled water lol. 

    • Haha 1

  4. So I attempted to contact my backwoods water department, to no avail. The best they could provide were the quality test reports showing they meet EPA regulations for arsenic and other radioactive stuff. 

    I plan on cutting my mash/sparge water with a 50% dilution of distilled water to balance out the profile a little bit. With the levels I'm at, certain salt additions will drive up some of the levels that are too high (like magnesium). 

    My beer is good, but I want to see if it could be better. And I'm doing a kolsch next, which would benefit from a solid water profile. I could build my water completely, but I'm not ready for that just yet. 

  5. 34 minutes ago, Cato said:

    I just ordered an assortment of 41lbs of grain. Pils, wheat, briess 2 row, Maris, golden promise, and a little melanoiden.


    With what I've already got on hand in base and specialty, plus hops and yeast, I should be set for a few months.


    First will be an Irish red and a witbier back to back, then probably shift back to a couple larger repeat batches of Altbier and a Pale Ale like my Night Moves or depending on how well it turns out my Wiscohops PA.


    I'm excited to get brewing again after the holidays and looking forward to rebuilding my pipeline.

    Hell, I'll let you rebuild my pipeline with all that grain!

    • Haha 3

  6. 8 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

    You could just tee the line. If you have the space for two kegs. 

    otherwise, what i do is fill keg, purge a few times, then crank it up to 20 to set the seals. Then i store it away. It wont be fully carbed but youll be a day or two closer. 

    Putting a tee in the line is definitely a great recommendation. How likely am I to find a tee barb at Ace/Lowe's/HD? 

    If I cranked it to 20 on day 1, then popped another 20 in there 2-3 days later, do you think I'd be closer still? 

    Hell, I just need to get a manifold lol

  7. So since I'm yet to get a manifold and provide multiple gas outlets, I have a little question since I'm about a week out from having two full kegs in the fridge. How much should I crank the second keg to, taking it off gas while I drink the other? I'd obviously dose up the CO2 intermittently, just to keep it working on carbing. I know this isn't an exact science type of question and could prove otherwise blasphemous. I would just like the second to carb up some while off gas so I can swap back and forth at some point. If I'm chasing my tail, just let me know. 

  8. So my 3 gal corney keg came with some CO2 cartridges (16 gram) and a dispenser to hook up to the gas connector. Since I was hesitant to use it on something with beer, I decided to try it out in flushing my beer line/cobra tap during cleaning. It works, but it kinda smelled burnt when I purged to open the lid. Does anyone have any experience in using those little bottles/cartridges?

  9. 56 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

    I looked up my results and then verified through email with the city. Then a friend tested my water for me. Id go with the report but i dont know your water system. In places like cali it changes all the time

    How exactly does a friend test water? You got people in high places?

    • Like 1

  10. 41 minutes ago, Cato said:

    I'm no expert either but I let Beer Smith do the calcs for me. I had been using Deer Park Spring water as it was in their database, but recently started using the Virginia Beach water after I put in their water profile.

    I do use a ph meter though to check the water ph and then the mash ph to make sure I'm adjusting correctly.

    Using the mobile app, I believe all I can do is put the numbers in. I haven't priced spring water options, as I'm just starting to figure this stuff out. Does my water work for making beer? Sure. I believe the mash ph turned out something like 5.4 when I was messing with the calculators. Optimal? Doubtful. I'm sure these numbers aren't very accurate. They differ from the first report I found online from years past. I'm pretty much still just researching for now. 

  11. 50 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

    Where did you get the numbers from? 

    your city should have a public water report. My citys told me everything but the bicarbonate 

    I got them from water reports online from the aquifer that supplies the well water. I could be wrong, but I imagine of I walked into city hall and asked about their water profile, they'd think I'm a terrorist. Those poor ladies that work as clerks there wouldn't know what to do. I just figured o could get close enough with some online research. I might have to go in and scare the blue haired beehives. 

    • Haha 2

  12. So there I was, extremely bored at work today. I decided to do a deep dive into researching my water here in wonderful Oklahoma. This was the best I came up with. I've merely scratched the surface on messing with water profiles and the calculators are mandarin to me. 

    What do I think? I should dilute with distilled water. Am I right? I defer to the experts. I'm not asking you to do work for me, just trying to make sense of this. I don't foresee my back 40 town producing a real time water profile for me, so I figured I'd seek advice before trying to dig deeper. 


  13. 7 minutes ago, Jdub said:

    true. i started with brand new perlick faucets. will have to youtube how to take them apart. can't be that difficult to maintain them. i know that they pour great!

    You're pretty fancy and high society with those perlick faucets lol. I have the standard government issue. I'd have to refer back to the draught manual @RickBeer linked earlier, but I believe they operate differently. 

    Forgive me, I'm still learning. 

  14. 7 minutes ago, Jdub said:

    well, i've only had my keezer up and running a couple of weeks, but I recognize it could get out of control quickly if i don't practice good habits. I have been drinking alot out of it though....lol

    I have no idea how long my one faucet was neglected, but I would take the time to remove and disassemble the first faucet that blows a keg. Seeing what I saw has me paranoid. I know that there's no telling how long it took to get like that, but I don't want to eat it either. At least you can get an idea about the inner workings and see if anything starts forming within a few weeks. I also think that commercial use of draught systems promotes less chance of infection than the common home kegerator use. 

  15. @RickBeer Thanks. I have seen a lot of literature on sanitizing and cleaning draught systems. I can tell you firsthand that the faucets harbor some nasty stuff. When I first bought my (used) kegerator, the first thing I did was disassemble the faucet and replace the beverage lines. The internal parts of that faucet were disgusting! Let's just say I'm glad it's something that I didn't overlook. I knew the guy who had it previously (not a homebrewer) probably didn't pay attention to it much. 

  16. 3 minutes ago, Bonsai & Brew said:

    I tried that with very poor results but will undoubtedly try it again after making sure to cool down the wand first.  I also had too much pressure which resulted in a bottle 3/4s full of foam.  Again, I need more practice with all things kegging.

    Live and learn. I guess I'll concentrate on getting kegging right first lol. 🍺

    • Like 1

  17. I've pretty much seen both. I know that benefit of co2 purging a vessel and figured the beer gun was the way to go. I'm not gonna lie; kegging has made me lazy. I still want to share with people, though. I'd rather use the gun than bottle and prime, although I'm sure there are conditioning benefits for some beers. 

  18. 13 minutes ago, Creeps McLane said:

    One thing to mention with filling from the tap line, is sanitation. I have a ball lock disconnect that screws right into my tap but id never bottle a beer from it cuz I dont trust the tap being clean like my beer gun is. I also have a growler filler attachment for my taps which you could fill a bottle with like @RickBeer said but its not the ideal way to do it. 

    So you have a beer gun and pretty much swear by it? I can see your concerns about sanitation. I've also seen some crazy setup where someone sticks a bottling wand in a cobra tap, turns the pressure way down, and does it like that. I'd like a beer gun down the road, but I can't quite justify the need just yet. 

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