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Messages - smkranz

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Equipment and Software / Re: Inline Aeration Setup Questions/Concerns
« on: December 19, 2016, 03:52:10 PM »
I have used Blichmann's inline oxygenation kit for 3 or so batches, and I've had no problems yet.  I sanitize my plate chiller and lines by flooding them with hot wort after whirlpooling, and leaving it sit for just a minute before turning on the chilling water, then the pump, and then the oxygen.

With the addition of the inline oxygen kit, hot wort does enter the stone and the O2 supply line briefly until the oxygen is turned on.  This is also mentioned in the Blichmann manual.  I really can't see the stone getting clogged just because of that, if it's properly cleaned and dried after use.  But I could certainly be proven wrong after many more batches.  Any wort that does seep into the stone is already very clear, after whirlpooling and passing through the boil screen in my Blichmann G1 kettle.

I clean the stone as soon as possible after use by dunking it in a fully dissolved hot PBW solution, sucking and blowing on the end of the supply hose to pull hot cleaning solution in and out of the stone a few times, then leaving it sit for a couple hours before a final flush with hot water.  I've done the same thing more than once with my old stone & wand combination which sat in a carboy several times without positive oxygen pressure on it.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Frozen Beer in Bottles?
« on: December 19, 2016, 02:38:04 PM »
I've seen crowns fail before the bottle cracks. Not sure why this is. Maybe in the early stages of freezing the expansion causes some liquid to seep out of the seal. When the liquid there freezes the gal is widened and the crown pops.

This beer was accidentally left in the freezer for too long.  The crown was the only thing that didn't fail.

Equipment and Software / Re: Ranco cool and heat
« on: November 30, 2016, 06:17:29 PM »
Your Ranco will either heat (H1) or cool (C1).

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Mailing again
« on: November 08, 2016, 07:45:28 PM »
One year at GABF, I shipped bottles home to myself.  They were actually cherry juice, not alcoholic.  I went to a Staples, bought a box, wrap, and tape.  Went out to the car to box up the bottles, then brought them back to the shipping guy.  He asked what it was (the store was right near a huuuge liquor and beer store), and I told him it was cherry juice.  He looked at me, I looked back at him, and said open it up if you don't believe me.  And he did.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: bottle conditioning with corn sugar.
« on: October 25, 2016, 07:56:19 PM »
Thanks a lot for the info.

 Now bottle conditioning: Maple Brown Ale, Maple Brown Ale with Coffee.
What would work good with an Oatmeal Stout in secondary besides coffee that won't effect my FG too much?

Cinnamon sticks, Vanilla Beans, Cocoa Nibs?

I just bottled a dark Belgian quad which I tried to pattern after Lost Abbey's Track #8.  (Recipe is shared on BeerSmith cloud for anyone who might be interested in searching.)  For my 5.5 gallon half of this batch, I added 3 sticks of Saigon cinnamon, and about a dozen dried Japones peppers, broken in half, in a secondary. 

Been brewing for over 20 years, and this is the first time for me using cinnamon sticks, let alone Saigon cinnamon.  They were very aromatic going in, but I didn't think 3 sticks would be too many.  After just 24 hours, I tasted the beer, and pulled the cinnamon out, it was already fairly prominent, but not over-powering.  I left the peppers in for 3 or 4 more days.  Amazing flavor.

Ingredients / Re: When do you add honey?
« on: October 13, 2016, 02:51:38 PM »
  Added after crashing can work out assuming you force carb.

Does it dissolve all the way if the beer is cold?

If you mean cold vs. room temp, yes honey will dissolve if the beer is cold.  Heat the honey jar in a warm water bath, which will make the honey soft and runny, and it'll dissolve into the beer/wort in a jiffy. 

I know there's been data that suggests homebrewing is on the decline and I read feedback that suggests a lot of homebrewers find they have too much beer to consume just by themselves, i figured maybe this could be another benefit as you could meet up with other users and/or just get your name out there to other users who may like your batches and want them on a consistent basis.

Not sure I understand the premise behind this.  Homebrewers who have too much beer on hand, are going to swap their homebrew with someone else for more beer?

I'd also be concerned, as a homebrewing user, that if I trade my homebrews with strangers for commercial beers, some local revenuer with nothing better to do could accuse me of selling my homebrew.  I might be paranoid, but I'm paid to be that way for a living.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Making a Black IPA
« on: September 19, 2016, 01:38:04 AM »
Try a grist with about 5% Carafa III malt.  Very little-to-no roasted flavors.  If you are a Beersmith user try searching for Black Friday IPA, I think I made it a public recipe.  It is scaled to my BrewEasy system.

Equipment and Software / Re: Keg Post Won't Come Off
« on: September 11, 2016, 04:06:10 PM »
I occasionally need to use a hammer and tap the wrench while holding the keg down firmly on its side, to get a post to loosen.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Reviews on all different Ales!
« on: September 09, 2016, 09:13:52 AM »
Shouldn't this go in the Commercial Beer Reviews board?

Homebrew Competitions / Maryland Microbrewery Fest. Homebrew Competition
« on: September 02, 2016, 07:11:58 PM »
Greetings, this is a plug for the 2016 Maryland Microbrewery Festival Homebrew Competition.  In its 9th year, the competition is an integral part of the annual festival by the same name.  The festival and competition will be held on Saturday, September 24, 2016 on the beautiful grounds of Union Mills Homestead in Westminster, Maryland.

Entry registration will be open for one more week, and closes at the end of business on Saturday, Sept. 10.  As of this writing, there are about 25 entry openings left.

We also have room for additional Judges, including novice and Provisional judges.  Judges get breakfast and lunch, and free admission to the Festival.  It's an easy judging point, as we have one morning round of judging and then you are free to enjoy the afternoon at the festival.

Question is:
1.   I'm worried that running boiling wort through my pump, the CFC, and back will dissipate so much heat that I will have a hard time keeping the boil up. I do use natural gas though. Does anyone do this and have any experience?
2.   I often use a large amount of pellet hops especially in whirlpool. I usually just throw the hops right into the kettle and do not use a spider or bag. Has anyone had any major problems with the CFC clogging?
3.   Any other better ideas for my system or anyone have a great way to do all this?

1.  The volume of your boiling wort should be plenty to keep any slight heat loss from circulation, from killing your boil.  Dial the valve off of the chiller back to a very slow flow.  All you need to sanitize the chiller and pump is heat, not a lot of flow. 

2.  If your chiller is a plate chiller, use a hop spider or a boil screen to keep as much of the hop residue and trub out of the chiller as possible.

3.  There are other ways to sanitize your chiller...boil it...put it in the oven...soak in StarSan.

I have sent Jenny an email asking for a copy of the Master Policy, so that I can make an informed recommendation to my club.  Couldn't West, or the AHA, simply post it?  Their FAQ says participating clubs do not receive the Policy, but rather a certificate.  That doesn't help an insurance claims guy like me assess what is and isn't covered, and what terms, conditions, exclusions, definitions and limitations there are.     Thanks.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Which counter-pressure bottle filler?
« on: July 03, 2016, 02:24:43 PM »
Getting a bottle filler to gratify your non-brewing friends is a generous act.  If that is your main purpose, then I'd recommend going with a bottling cane (with a spring-loaded valve at the end) shoved into the end of a picnic faucet.

But if you will also be bottling for your own use, I join those who recommend the Beer Gun.

Note that it is not a "counter-pressure" filler.  It allows you to purge air from the bottle and fill on CO2, but it does not fill under pressure.  I've had several CP filler models over the years (all no longer available), and the results I get with the Blichmann Beer Gun are at least as good, with 25% of the hassle.

I've not tried any of the morebeer type of CP fillers.

Events / Re: Free State Homebrew Guild at Craft Beer Kickoff
« on: June 04, 2016, 08:16:27 AM »
The Guild is an un-official "umbrella" group of stand-alone homebrew clubs throughout Maryland.  I am not on the local committee, but the AHA asked if Guild member clubs would consider pouring on Thursday during the Kickoff party, because they ran out of available space for Club Night.  We were each given the option to switch nights.

I believe that all of the Guild member clubs except us (Midnight Homebrewers' League) are pouring on Thursday instead of Friday.  We opted to stay with Friday, because a few of our members who have beers being served at Club Night, will not be in attendance on Thursday.

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