Sunday, January 29, 2012

Noisy ASCO valves

Is anyone else experiencing this? I'm a little concerned something may be wrong.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Online/cloud financial software with sync...

In 2012 we ought to be able to do this:

iPhone/Android financial software + Cloud platform for entering transactions from desktop computers anywhere. Why can't we? Let's review the contenders: - I still cannot figure out how to enter transactions and get them to consistently reconcile correctly. Anybody know how to? Feel free to post below. Otherwise, it's a lovely platform to keep track of things. - They have a great online interface, support import/export in a variety of formats, but their iPhone client is garbage - very crashy and unstable. Look at the app rating - two stars at the time of this writing. I've also used their Android app and it's a bit better. Overall, the whole platform is usable on Android, but unusable on iPhone.

iReconcile - This is what I'm currently using, but the online interface is SLOOOOOOOW. Lacks import/export features. No support for your memorized transactions on the iPhone via the web interface. Clunky (and again, SLOOOOOOOW interface).

Also (added later) - - tracks expenses, but can't split things up into accounts (weird).

Loyal reader (singular) what are you using?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sports: Saints figure out how to turn the ball over while on defense

Exploiting a little-known NFL rule, they hope to increase future turnovers by focusing on all 3 phases of the game.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Quick review: Bazooka Screens and their ilk

Recently purchased this. Short version is that it works, but it gets clogged when using it in the boiler. I have not tried it in the mash tun.

Long version is that for beers with highly-converted malts and low/no adjuncts and (probably leaf hops) it performs well. For adjuncts, less converted malts, and pellet hops, it has to constantly be scraped off with a spoon or paddle.

Previously, I just ran from a 1/2" NPT nipple to a 90 degree elbow in the pot and just used a stainless scrubber/sponge stuck on the nipple to strain. This is cheaper, but can still clog.

I remain unsure of the proper answer. I really don't want to spend the time and energy and (lotsa) money to setup some kind of whirlpool. However, when the kettle gets stuck and the wort is coming out of the counter-flow slowly life sucks.

Anybody have a cheap and easy setup that works?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Recipe review: Trappist Crappist

I based this off of a reciped found here. With the exception of software screwups (I usually brew 10 gallon batches and wasn't paying attention to the volumes I was being handed...)

Tasting notes will follow.

Batch 1 of Trappist Crappist
Date Brewed:1 Jan 2012Date Racked:1 Jan 2012
Date Packaged:1 Jan 2012Date Ready:1 Jan 2012

Selected Style and BJCP Guidelines
18B-Belgian Strong Ale-Belgian Dubbel

Minimum OG:1.062 SGMaximum OG:1.075 SG
Minimum FG:1.008 SGMaximum FG:1.018 SG
Minimum IBU:15 IBUMaximum IBU:25 IBU
Minimum Color:10.0 SRMMaximum Color:17.0 SRM

Recipe Overview
Target Wort Volume Before Boil:24.30 qtsActual Wort Volume Before Boil:24.30 qts
Target Wort Volume After Boil:21.13 qtsActual Wort Volume After Boil:21.13 qts
Target Volume Transferred:21.13 qtsActual Volume Transferred:21.13 qts
Target Volume At Pitching:21.13 qtsActual Volume At Pitching:21.13 qts
Target Volume Of Finished Beer:20.08 qtsActual Volume Of Finished Beer:20.08 qts
Target Pre-Boil Gravity:1.064 SGActual Pre-Boil Gravity:-No Record-
Target OG:1.074 SGActual OG:-No Record-
Target FG:1.010 SGActual FG:-No Record-
Target Apparent Attenuation::85.5 %Actual Apparent Attenuation:0.0 %
Target ABV:8.5 %Actual ABV:0.0 %
Target ABW:6.7 %Actual ABW:0.0 %
Target IBU (using Tinseth):19.0 IBUActual IBU:33.9 IBU
Target Color (using Morey):37.8 SRMActual Color:37.8 SRM
Target Mash Efficiency:65.0 %Actual Mash Efficiency:0.0 %
Target Fermentation Temp:64 degFActual Fermentation Temp:64 degF

US Pilsen Malt12.00 lb73.8 %2.3In Mash/Steeped
German CaraMunich I2.00 lb12.3 %13.2In Mash/Steeped
Sugar - Candi Sugar Dark1.00 lb6.2 %52.1In Mash/Steeped
Belgian Special B1.00 lb6.2 %27.8In Mash/Steeped
German Carafa I0.25 lb1.5 %15.9In Mash/Steeped

Slovenian Styrian Goldings4.5 %1.00 oz12.9Bagged Pellet Hops60 Min From End
German Hallertauer Hersbrucker3.5 %1.00 oz6.1Bagged Pellet Hops20 Min From End

Other Ingredients

White Labs WLP550-Belgian Ale

Water Profile
Target Profile:No Water Profile Chosen
Mash pH:5.2
pH Adjusted with:Unadjusted

Total Calcium (ppm):0Total Magnesium (ppm):0
Total Sodium (ppm):0Total Sulfate (ppm):0
Total Chloride(ppm):0Total Bicarbonate (ppm):0

Mash Schedule
Mash Type:Full Mash
Schedule Name:CAP (50-66C/122-149F)

Step TypeTemperatureDuration
Rest at122 degF15
Raise by infusion to151 degF1
Rest at151 degF60

Mash Notes

Boil Notes

Fermentation Notes

Packaging Notes

Tasting Notes

Reviews: BeerAlchemy and BeerAlchemy Touch

I recently switched back to an iPhone from Androids. Why did I switch? Crappy battery life. That's another story for another day. Around the same time, my Dell laptop (which was only a year old) crapped out, so I bought a Mac. I had previously had a Mac but sticker shock drove me away. Anyhoo - I had been using BeerSmith (which is great) but found myself wanting for some OSX brewing software love.

Beer Alchemy has been all the talk lately, so I gave it a whirl. It has the distinct advantage of having an iOS app that can sync with the desktop version (or work on its own). The price is a bit steep at $29.95. It has the usual feature set - nice builtin ingredients list, mash profiles, etc. One thing that BeerSmith has that Beer Alchemy lacks is builting equipment profiles (dead space, thermal mass, etc.).

Clearly, the sync feature is great. The iOS application is very full featured with lots of builtin calculators for refractometer calculations, ABV, etc. One thing that's maddening about the iOS version is that adjustments of recipe parameters (IBU, OG, SRM) are all done with slider bars in the software. This makes it very difficult to get it set to the exact number you want. Also, it lacks a builtin countdown timer which I think would be an awesome addition (and one that I believe some Android brewing software has).

Also - note to others - if you've not used brewing software recently, make sure that the volumes that it's feeding you for your recipe are accurate for your equipment.

I learned this the hard way yesterday when I (ahem) made 3 gallons of dubbel.

Fortunately, topping up with water still got me close to my intended OG.

Would I recommend the software? Yes. Major limitations I've hit are above and workable.