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  1. TartanSpecial

    Brew Kettle Advice Needed!

    I've got one of these. Only downside is its only 27ltrs so I need to boil 2-3ltrs in a pot on the stove until evaporation makes enough room in the boiler. Otherwise it performes well as HLT/Boiler and is on offer at Homebrew shop.
  2. TartanSpecial

    Hard Water.

    Get yourself a salifert alkalinity testing kit (aquarium shops sell them). Follow the instructions and you'll find out the alkalinity of your water (ppm alkalinity as CaCO3). Then treat the water you are going to use for the mash and sparge with acid solution (AMS/CRS) from homebrew shops (per...
  3. TartanSpecial

    Using Lager Yeast for Ale fermentation

    Yes, did my first brew a few weeks back first gold pale ale using hops from the garden, then got my second brew on today..minstrel pale ale. Fishing is finished for me for the season so back to brewing and thought I'd check out the forum. :thumb:
  4. TartanSpecial

    Using Lager Yeast for Ale fermentation

    snap !... was on the phone and writing when you replied.
  5. TartanSpecial

    Using Lager Yeast for Ale fermentation

    I'd go back and switch it for M54 which is OK at 18-20 C. I have yet to try it but have lager malt and a pack of M54 in the fridge ready for my next brew.
  6. TartanSpecial

    what best cleaning stuff to use

    VWP for heavier cleaning of plastic and glass, then starsan...spray bottle always to hand on brewday. For my stainless fermenter I use pure sodium percarbonate from the Malt Miller to clean it after a brew, then use starsan on brewday. I VWP then thoroughly rinse bottles the day before bottling...
  7. TartanSpecial

    Water chemistry inputs (inconsistent reports) - help please!

    The reason it took me so long to finish the post was due to me checking the molecular weight of Calcium. I always remember carbon and oxygen (used to do a lot of organic chemistry) but always forget calcium.
  8. TartanSpecial

    Good afternoon to everyone!

    Welcome. :thumb: Hopefully we can be more helpful than your friend.
  9. TartanSpecial

    Water chemistry inputs (inconsistent reports) - help please!

    I think the Murphy's Calcium is too low...the total hardness will have contributions form Calcium (mainly) plus other divalent cations (eg magnesium). If the total hardness is in the Murphys report is 308, the calcium should be approaching 120ish. The affinity Calcium in relation to total...
  10. TartanSpecial

    Mash Tun Question

    That looks quite good...and a good price given it has a decent tap fitted... you could always phone the shop re heat loss. The lid is normally the weak point (fill with vermiculite or perlite)
  11. TartanSpecial

    Mash Tun Question

    Go for the 35ltr. I've got a 33ltr and I can manage grain bills up to 8.7kg...for my 8-8.5% abv Scotch ale. If you want to brew stronger you can always do a 4 or 4.5 gallon batch.
  12. TartanSpecial

    1st attempt at growing hops

    I think I planted mine out in April last year, and covered them with fleece when there was any risk of frost.. Dig over your 2foot by X foot bed and incorporate some compost/organic matter. That size bed should be fine. Might be useful to put some trellis or wire mesh (wilko do a good green...
  13. TartanSpecial

    Golden Ale - recipe adjustment advise please

    Sorry I'm a bit late to this one, but last year I experimented with several single hop pale ale recipes where I changed the mash temp and added different quantitees of crystal/cara (200-600grm in a 6kg grainbill)and used different yeasts. If you want to keep the beer light coloured, with some...
  14. TartanSpecial

    Beersmith and batch sparge help

    I boil outside and tend to lose a little more so need to top up in the fermenter (which is fine), I do 22.7ltr batches and tend to have ~6kg grain bills, 2*15-17ltrs strike plus sparge liquor volume, start of boil volume 28ltrs, so for for a 19ltr batch size your figures look about right to me...
  15. TartanSpecial

    How To Use Salifert Alkalinity and Calcium Test Kits

    I used Murphys at first before getting a salifert kit. They said my alkalinity was 235ppm...and I wasn't getting great efficiencies. Then I got the kit and found it is consistently 270-280ppm (Epsom one of the hardest water areas of the country)....added more CRS and hey presto the efficiencies...
  16. TartanSpecial

    How To Use Salifert Alkalinity and Calcium Test Kits

    great thread Steve.. I'm red green colourblind and often go just over the end point. As a student in holidays I used to work at Scottish and Newcastle brewery in Edinburgh and did all the malt nitrogen analyses ....similar colour change and I had to get someone else to do all the titrations...
  17. TartanSpecial

    Redron's inefficient brewday...

    I'm stumped then.... :wha:
  18. TartanSpecial

    Redron's inefficient brewday...

    The only thing I'd look at again is water don't happen to live in the tiny bit of Skye that has the yellow coloured dot ?? (yellow is medium hardness, green soft and red hard) Note this chart isn't very recent. Otherwise I can't explain it assuming your thermometer is OK (test...
  19. TartanSpecial

    Redron's inefficient brewday...

    +1 on the views. I know nothing about BIAB (I have separate mash tun) but when you say 33ltr strike the grain mashing in the full 33ltr without a sparge?? if so it is pretty dilute grain /water ratio. Again..I don't do BIAB but if I run the recipe though beersmith for my equipment I'd...
  20. TartanSpecial

    Rubbish Biab efficiency!

    I think thats a good way to go (plus longer mashing in..I spend 5-10 minutes making sure there no dough balls ). My efficiencies went up alomost 10% when I started grinding my own grain on brewday. Also the whole grain stores for ages without any noticeabe decrease in conversion ability. Malt...