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Messages - EThome

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1
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegging/Serving Setup
« on: October 31, 2017, 05:18:25 PM »
You could just go the "set it and forget it" route as opposed to the "crank and shake". I just added a third keg to my 4 tap kegerator last night.

- Turned off the gas to the two kegs already in there (one serving and one carbing - set at 12 psi serving pressure).
- Hit the new keg with the same 12 psi and purged the head space three or four times.
- Turned up the gas to 30 psi and hit the new keg to ensure a good seal.
- Turned the gas off the new keg.
- Dialed the pressure back down to 12 psi serving pressure and turned the gas back on to the two previous kegs.

Tonight after work, I'll relieve the pressure in the new keg and turn the gas back on to it. It will take a week or so before the new keg is carbed sufficiently but I have never had an over (or under) carbed keg going this route.

2
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegs freezing in the winter
« on: September 12, 2017, 05:20:35 PM »
I'm in suburban Chicago with a 4 tap kegerator that I built from our old refrigerator when we remodeled the kitchen a couple of years ago. It has been in our detached, un-insulated garage for the past two winters with no issues.

Granted, the last two Chicago winters have not been of the polar vortex variety, and possibly not as cold as you have gotten, but pretty cold nonetheless.

The only concern I ever had was the taps themselves seizing/freezing-up since they are obviously on the outside of the insulated refrigerator box. But they never did. I just assumed that the insulation wrapping the frig was/is enough to maintain the temp inside the frig.

3
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: want to brew better ...
« on: May 08, 2017, 09:37:56 PM »
I only did my first brew all extract. Definitely go to brewing extract with grains (steeping). It really does not involve much more than what you currently do and you should be surprised with the improvement. I've switched to all grain but still brew some exact with grains when I'd like a slightly shorter brew day.

If your brew kettle is large enough, do full boils too, in lieu of adding water to the fermenter post-boil.

I've added dry hops to the primary and racked off onto hops in a secondary. Both work fine and will typically get you the results you're looking for. Sometimes I think the final clarify seems better when I rack off the trub onto the hops in a secondary.

Most of the time, I let the primary go for two weeks before dry hopping - mostly because it's just easy to remember when it was time and since my primary are buckets, I can't see if the krausen dropped without opening the fermenter. With an IPA, I've usually just gone 2, 2, 2 - 2 weeks primary, 2 weeks secondary/dry hop, 2 weeks carbonation (whether bottled or kegged). It is likely you could shave days off each, but for the directions you posted originally you could go 14 days in the primary and then dry hop #1; go another 9 days and dry hop #2; let it go the final 5 days and package (after checking your final gravity of course).




4
Kegging and Bottling / Re: How often do you clean your beer lines?
« on: April 17, 2017, 05:21:47 PM »
Usually when a keg kicks I run BLC with warm/hot water through the lines and faucets (probably don't have to go the BLC route every time, but I do since I sometimes don't get around to cleaning the line "immediately" after the keg kicks). I use a hand pump sprayer (FloMaster) I picked up from Home Depot fitted with a pin lock QD. Saw a post for making this on another forum. After running the BLC solution, sometimes stopping the flow to allow the cleaning solution to sit in the line for a short time, I'll run hot water through the line and faucet to rinse it.

After I clean the keg, I add a couple of gallons of StarSan to sanitize the keg and then push it out through the beer line and faucet with CO2. Both keg and lines are then ready whenever I get around to filling the keg again.

5
All Grain Brewing / Keg It?
« on: April 10, 2017, 04:39:24 PM »
I brewed a simple all-grain Kolsch recipe last week (4/2). Made a starter with two packs of WLP029 (just to be sure) and have been able to keep fermentation temps to around 60 F with ice bottles and a collapsible cooler. Fermentation started quick and appeared to progress very well.

Typically I just let fermenters sit for 2 weeks. I decided to take a gravity reading this morning (7 days after brewing) when I changed out an ice bottle. I have reached my final gravity of 1.008 (actually a point below expected).

I am planning on lagering for a solid month in the mid-30s while carbonating.

Any reason to let it sit in the primary until the weekend? Or would you transfer to the keg at this point and get a jump on the lagering?

6
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Wort Chiller
« on: October 25, 2016, 09:23:17 PM »
Assuming this is an immersion chiller, why sanitize it in the first place? If it is clean to kitchen standard, just drop it in 15 min before the end of the boil.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk

+1
Just rinse it immediately after each use and next time . . . above.

7
All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mash Batch Sparging?
« on: August 25, 2016, 06:48:25 PM »
Thanks guys. Maintaining the typical batch sparge routine certainly makes it simpler with my setup (single burner, no-heat mash tune, etc).

Any thoughts as to why the guys from Bell's who posted the original clone recipe would suggest the step mash when undermodified malts likely would not be used nor are listed in the recipe?

8
All Grain Brewing / Step Mash Batch Sparging?
« on: August 25, 2016, 03:22:50 PM »
I have been brewing for several years with a couple dozen extract w/grains batches under my belt and have decided to make the jump to all grain (batch sparging). Have already converted a cooler to a mash tun, read up on the process, and have decided on the inaugural brew - Bell's Two Hearted clone. My initial questions come from the recipe published in Zymurgy back in 2011.

The recipe calls for a step mash; 45 minutes @ 150 with 4.5 gallons of water then ramp to 170 by infusing with 2.5 gallons of boiling water for 10 minutes and then vorlauf. The recipe calls for collecting 6.6 gallons total (I will probably collect more like 7 gallons based on my actual boil off numbers) from the mash and sparge, sparging with 175 degree water.

If I use the average absorption of 0.1 gallons per pound taking up 1.22 gallons (12.16 lb grain bill X 0.1) with the 7 gallons total in the mash that leaves only 1.22 gallons needed for the sparge. (7 gallons (4.5 strike and 2.5 infusion) - 1.22 = 5.78 expected from the mash; 7 - 5.78 = 1.22 gallons required for the sparge)

So is that all the sparge water I should heat up - just 1.22 gallons?

Or should I heat up and actually sparge with more and just collect the 6.6 or 7 gallons? If more, is there a limit to how much more I should sparge with?

Or am I not figuring something right?



9
Thanks Blair.

Nope, didn't leave anything in the kettle. May have boiled a bit vigorously but not anything more than I have in the past. It was cool with a low dew point and humidity outside.

I'm going to start watching boil-off a little closer the next few batches, adjusting as necessary with boil rate, time, etc. Had I cut the boil off short of 60 minutes in this case once I hit 1.045 or so, would I expect any issues with not boiling the full 60 as typically recommended? Is boil time more important than the targeted S.G. or vice-versa?

Question using the calculator you pointed me to: until I make the move to all grain, is there an efficiency that should be "dialed in" for extract w/grain brews?

10
I have been brewing only extract with grains recipes since I started several years ago. Have 30 batches done with the majority turning out really well. I haven't paid too much attention to the original gravity estimations that most recipes come with. Sometimes I get really close or right on - other times just close. I usually just measure O.G. and F.G. to get an idea of ABV at the end of it all. 

Over the weekend I brewed More Beer's Blonde Ale.
7lb Ultralight LME
8oz Crystal (steeped)
1 oz Willamette @ the full 60 min boil

The estimated O.G. is listed at 1.044 - 1.048.

My actual came in at  1.054 - both with a refractometer and the hydrometer.

I do full boils and there was 6.75 gallons in the kettle after adding the LME and 5 gallons in the fermenter at the end of the boil before pitching.

I'm not all that worried about the final product or the potential uptick in ABV, but anyone have an idea why the O.G.s would be so far apart?

11
Kegging and Bottling / Re: leaky keg when disconnect is attached
« on: April 30, 2016, 06:44:06 PM »
Goschman -

Not sure if you've already fixed your leak issue but I had the same issue when I first set up my kegerator. I have 4 pin locks (couldn't pass up the deal at the time) and was seeing leaking (flowing more like it) from under the QD unless it was seated just right. The slightest bump from a line or whatever would start the flow again.

After researching I found that the O rings were indeed the issue and are different than for ball locks. Here is my post when I figured it out.

Found out that pin lock vs ball lock o rings are just slightly different. From other forum posts I found a discussion about Danco #10s (1/2 in. I.D. x 11/16 in. O.D. x 3/32 in. wall) at Home Depot and picked up a pack of 10 last night on the way home from work.

Replaced the rings on both posts of the four kegs I have. You could tell that the original o rings (purchased "blindly" months ago as part of a keg re-furb package - no idea what the size was) were "stretched" more around the notch in the posts and when I took them off were slightly thinner than the new #10s.

Immediately I could tell that the seat/seal was better when I re-attached the QDs. After turning the gas back on I even jiggled the QDs a bit - no liquid or gas leaks at all.



12
Equipment and Software / Re: Growler Filler
« on: January 31, 2016, 08:11:33 PM »
Haven't needed to use keg lube at all on the O-rings for the filler. I have Perlick 630 faucets and the growler filler insert fits easily and perfectly. Will likely lube the rings over time just to keep them softer and pliable but have not needed to do so thus far and have used it quite often over the last 2 - 3 months.

13
Equipment and Software / Re: perlick 630ss
« on: November 30, 2015, 05:46:37 PM »
Yep. $5 cheaper than when I purchased 4 of them back in August.

14
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Anyone share this issue with pin lock QDs?
« on: November 24, 2015, 09:56:14 PM »
Yep, Home Depot. I think it was $2.27 for 10 by me (Chicago area).

15
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Anyone share this issue with pin lock QDs?
« on: November 24, 2015, 06:18:20 PM »
Yep, found out that pin lock vs ball lock o rings are just slightly different. From other forum posts I found a discussion about Danco #10s (1/2 in. I.D. x 11/16 in. O.D. x 3/32 in. wall) at HD and picked up a pack of 10 last night on the way home from work.

Replaced the rings on both posts of the four kegs I have. You could tell that the original o rings (purchased "blindly" months ago as part of a keg re-furb package - no idea what the size was) were "stretched" more around the notch in the posts and when I took them off were slightly thinner than the new #10s.

Immediately I could tell that the seat/seal was better when I re-attached the QDs. After turning the gas back on I even jiggled the QDs a bit - no liquid or gas leaks at all.

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