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jswordy

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This coffee urn filter should make the process a lot easier! I need to shorten the legs about 1/2 inch so my pot lid fits down snug. Not hard to do. Will get to try it this coming weekend or the one after, I hope.

Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 3.20.33 PM.png
 

jswordy

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A question borne of ignorance but, what are you going to use it for?
Brewing beer using the Brew In a Bag method but with this instead. Easier. Steep covered and swaddled in towels, off the heat, at 164 down to 152 (90 minutes or so). Pull it out (I'm gonna rest it on two PVC pipes over the pot), sparge the grains right into the pot, take a reading, adjust if needed and go on with the boil. It'll be more efficient.
 

jswordy

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Finally got the legs shortened today. Fits the pot nicely. Was hoping to use this the first time tomorrow, but might have to wait until next weekend. Depends on how I feel in the morning.
 

jswordy

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Are you still making wine these days, or are all your efforts focused on brewing beers?
Bernard, I have not made wine in 6 years, since I had a cellar full of my past creations (I still have ~ 130 bottles) and I am extremely limited down here in what I can get to make it from. This an all-craft beer area, so juice buckets, grapes, etc. – nobody has them, can get them, or even knows what you are talking about. There are no winemaking clubs to put together an order (lots of beer clubs). So I was limited to fruit wines and native grapes. I do love scuppernong and muscadine wines, but that's about all I could do here from grapes.

As my tastes have expanded over the years, I began to really enjoy French Bordeaux and many Australian wines, especially their shiraz. It just got to be easier to buy those and cellar them, though I kept looking for sources of grapes and buckets, etc., here. Zilch.

Interestingly, I happened across a 2017 post on this site just the other day about Walker's, and I am again contemplating making some wine from juice. I hope to order some juice from them soon to eventually create my own red blend. I wish I had a way to get the California and Chilean buckets, or even better the grapes, but alas, there is none I have found unless I want to invest 12 or more hours driving both ways.
 

BernardSmith

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I understand.. Sadly, I understand. And if if you have a cellar-full of wine then you might want to slow down when it comes to native grapes, but what about country wines or mead? Not perhaps a Syrah or a Pinot Noir but Skeeter Pee can be very drinkable as can be elderflower or elderberry. And I have a gallon of parsnip wine nicely clearing while I recently started a rhubarb wine and am about to pitch yeast into a few gallons of dandelion must. Waiting for our mulberry tree to bear fruit and will make a few gallons of mulberry wine (quite delicious - made my first batch last year. Don't get me wrong: I like a good dark beer but beer fills me up in a way that a wine does not. :b
 

jswordy

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I understand.. Sadly, I understand. And if if you have a cellar-full of wine then you might want to slow down when it comes to native grapes, but what about country wines or mead? Not perhaps a Syrah or a Pinot Noir but Skeeter Pee can be very drinkable as can be elderflower or elderberry. And I have a gallon of parsnip wine nicely clearing while I recently started a rhubarb wine and am about to pitch yeast into a few gallons of dandelion must. Waiting for our mulberry tree to bear fruit and will make a few gallons of mulberry wine (quite delicious - made my first batch last year. Don't get me wrong: I like a good dark beer but beer fills me up in a way that a wine does not. :b
I am uninterested in "wines" like Skeeter Pee, don't care for mead, and have just made so many different "country wines" over the years. I have medals from Los Angeles, Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, and more I can't recall. The high point was medaling in LA with a MUSCADINE - in the land where no one ever had it before! Heck, I even won a Winemaking Talk contest. :) So, I ran that course pretty well.

I want to move on into vinifera but can't (outside of kits) with the resources available. So I just buy it. These years of collecting and drinking European and Australian wines have really shown me new venues, too. Going to try Walker's juice, though, sometime soon here. I want to make 48 of my own red blend. That would be a challenge.

I do hope to make some scuppernong if it works out this year. I medaled with that in the past, too.

I don't make dark beers, though I have. I've evolved to brewing light, Germanic lagers that are gluten free, malt-forward and low alcohol (around 4.2-4.5%). These are my own recipes, unobtainable anywhere else other than out of my fermenter. They are easy drinking, won't beat your taste buds down with hops, and don't get you knee-walking drunk if you have a few. For now, that's where my challenge and interest lies. Unless I can actually GET some vinifera buckets or grapes! :)
 

jswordy

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I am waiting for the wort to cool down now. Here we are when I was all ready for sparge. I took this recipe from an old home brew book, and it needs an upward adjustment of the base barley for BIAB. Ended up having to boost it some with DME and all I had was dark. So this will be darker than I intended, for sure. Learn by doing. Drink my mistakes! :)

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BernardSmith

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Trying to make sense of the image. This is a filter, yes? But it is holding the wart with no seepage? There is no glass container that the filter is sitting inside, yes? How does this work? Magic?
 

jswordy

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Trying to make sense of the image. This is a filter, yes? But it is holding the wart with no seepage? There is no glass container that the filter is sitting inside, yes? How does this work? Magic?
Yes, it is a filter. The wort is actually dripping out the bottom. I don't know how much you know about Brew In A Bag brewing, so I'll basically go through my process. You start out your water and get it up to 164 F for a lot of recipes. The coffee filter is in the pot at this time. Then the pot is removed from heat and the grain goes inside the filter that is inside the pot for the steeping process – called mashing in all-grain brewing – to make the wort. I wrap the pot with towels to hold in the heat. Most beers mash at about 152 degrees F but recipes differ. When I add the grain, the temp will fall from the 164 to the correct range, and towels will hold it at 152 for the mash, which can be as long as 90 minutes or even longer, depending on recipe.

Once the time for that portion of the recipe is over, you get to the stage I show here. The filter basket is on top of the pot with the grain in it. This is the start for the sparge, where hot water (or recycled hot wort from the pot, depending on how you do it) is trickled over the grains to strip off any mash converted sugars remaining on them after they have drained.

Once this process is complete and I have a closely approximate volume of the wort that I need to arrive at my final volume after the boil, I take a specific gravity reading to see how well I have converted the sugars. If I need to, I adjust to achieve the starting gravity.

The boil commences and hops are added along the way per the recipe. Then the wort is chilled to 70 degrees or less and poured off into a fermenter. Then yeast, and in my case Clarity Ferm, are added. Seal it up and let 'er rip. I put the fermenter in a freezer with a temp controller set to run at the midpoint of the temp recommended for my lager yeast.

7-10 days later, it is ready for secondary in a carboy. A week to a month after that, most recipes are ready to bottle. Since I bottle condition and don't use CO2 in a keg for bubbles, I add dextrose (usually; some recipes use other sugars) and rack it over one more time to a clean carboy. From that, I bottle.

Lots of people skip the secondary and racking process altogether, bottling right off the fermenter, but I like to do it since it results in clearer beer and most importantly, less sediment in the bottle bottoms for a bigger pour before I have to stop to keep sediment out of the glass.

A week later, the beer should be carbonated and ready for cold crashing or cold storage, or else simply storage in a cool place, depending on the brewer's preference. From a month to three months after that, most beer recipes will have matured to their final taste.

The main difference between brewing and winemaking is that most of my work is done upfront with brewing, whereas most of the work is later in the process with wines. Plus, the process is longer with wines to final product.
 

BernardSmith

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aha! I thought that you were brewing the wort in that filter and that lighter area towards the top was fermentation but now I understand that you had drained the wort and were about to sparge the grains to extract every last ounce of sugar from the grains. Truth be told, I don't brew very much and when I do I brew a gallon or two at a time and only use BIAB methods. I use a 2 gallon bucket whose bottom I have drilled with holes for sparging.
 

jswordy

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aha! I thought that you were brewing the wort in that filter and that lighter area towards the top was fermentation but now I understand that you had drained the wort and were about to sparge the grains to extract every last ounce of sugar from the grains. Truth be told, I don't brew very much and when I do I brew a gallon or two at a time and only use BIAB methods. I use a 2 gallon bucket whose bottom I have drilled with holes for sparging.
If you've brewed before, you "get it." :D What I learned was that the all-grain recipe needs to run about double the grain to come out OK with the lower efficiency of this BIAB method. I have it worked out now so I shouldn't have to boost it in the next batch.
 

BernardSmith

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That's the kind of "efficiency" that was more common in the middle ages. Why is your ability to extract sugars so relatively inefficient. Is it the kind of grains you need to use to get a gluten free beer? Is there any value in the use of amylase to help break down the starches?
 

jswordy

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That's the kind of "efficiency" that was more common in the middle ages. Why is your ability to extract sugars so relatively inefficient. Is it the kind of grains you need to use to get a gluten free beer? Is there any value in the use of amylase to help break down the starches?
BIAB is generally less efficient than all-grain. So is using a hot water sparge vs. recirculating wort. It goes along with me not wanting to buy any more equipment. Easily fixed by recalculating the grain bill to 12 pounds barley from 7.5, which I did not do for this batch. No worries, a lil DME boosted sugar and all is well except that all I had was dark DME so the color is darker than planned. Even all-grain brewers have to boost now and then.

Gluten free beer (< 10 ppm) is achieved by the addition of Clarity Ferm to the ferment.
 

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