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Messages - micsager

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1
Hop Growing / Re: Thinking about growing hops
« on: May 21, 2015, 08:43:25 AM »
I bought coir twine this year, $30 for 450 ft, and used most of it.

Homegrown hops are the most expensive ones I use.

Here's a source for 4X that amount, for less money:

http://www.growerssupply.net/index.cfm?id=8&group_id=twi2226

(when they have it in stock)

2
Hop Growing / Re: Container hop growing
« on: May 20, 2015, 09:25:56 AM »
So after a couple years, what the best thing to do? Dig them out, cut the rhizomes back and replant a small rhizome?

The planters I've got are pretty large, each one took an entire 64-quart bag of potting soil, with room to spare. My wife and I are stuck in a condo for at least a few more years, hoping that the planters can work for a while yet.

I have four varieties, in four half-whiskey bbls.  After three years, they all become quite root bound.  What we did a few months ago was dump all barrels (1 at a time) onto a tarp.  cut out as many rhizomes as we could, then cut the crown in half, and replanted.  My fuggles are 4 feet tall at this point.  and the others are just barely behind that.  Last year, I got over ten pounds of dried hops.  Or at least what I THOUGHT were dried.  They became moldy, and I had to throw them out.  This fall, I will dry them well past when "I think" they are dry enough.  Maybe do that weight process to make sure. 

3
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Five Star acid wash #5
« on: May 14, 2015, 10:18:33 AM »
I have a 1bbl system with a Blichmann tower of power.  I think I'll give this a shot this weekend. 

(and thanks for the safety advice)

4
General Homebrew Discussion / Five Star acid wash #5
« on: May 14, 2015, 09:49:17 AM »
I've got a jug of this to try.  All the instructions talk about it working great on stainless steel of course.  Mostly in a re-circulation mode.  The only way I could do that is with my march pump and silicon tubing. 

Will it be ok on those non-stainless surfaces?  I would certainly rinse well as soon as complete.  I sent a note to Five Star yesterday, but thought I would post here as well. 

5
Events / Re: A favor to ask of the conference staff
« on: May 01, 2015, 01:34:08 PM »
I imagine a lot of people will be flying to San Diego. It would be a very nice touch if the conference could provide a scale to weigh our luggage at the hotel(s). I'm sure some folk on the conference committee would have access to one. While not 100 percent accurate of course, attendees packing beer in their suitcases could have an idea if they're over or under weight before finding out the hard way at the airport.

Another way to handle this is checking full cases of bombers as luggage.  Most airlines will allow.  When in the bay area last year, we strapped two cases of Pliney together, and it was only 48lbs.  Cost us $25.  Well worth it. 

6
Events / Re: A favor to ask of the conference staff
« on: May 01, 2015, 08:48:52 AM »
I imagine a lot of people will be flying to San Diego. It would be a very nice touch if the conference could provide a scale to weigh our luggage at the hotel(s). I'm sure some folk on the conference committee would have access to one. While not 100 percent accurate of course, attendees packing beer in their suitcases could have an idea if they're over or under weight before finding out the hard way at the airport.

When NHC was at the Town & Country a few years ago, I asked at the front counter, and they let me use the scale on their loading dock. 

7
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Homebrew + sanke + EV
« on: May 01, 2015, 08:41:15 AM »
Hello hive mind -

A local pub wants to put my beer on tap. Hooray! Of course, their bar draft system is all sanke fittings and I use cornies at home. I read through some of the threads here about the challenges filling, cleaning, pressurizing a sanke at home but didn't see anyone reference the EV Container kegs that seem to resolve some / all of those issues.

Who here has used their sixth-barrel option? Pros / cons?

We use EV kegs for one account that didn't want to convert a tap to cornies.  We are hobby brewers, and are fully licensed by the state and feds.  The EV kegs work well for us as we don't have the water systems to wash normal sanke kegs.  Initial purchase price is lower than a new corny, but the liners are single use.  So that does add some expense.  But for us, they are great.  (we have a 1bbl system)

8
Equipment and Software / Re: The ethics of keggles
« on: April 30, 2015, 12:49:41 PM »
Bump for input,
     At work today, I found 2 old Hudepohl brewing Company half barrel kegs. They are left over from a company picnic at least 10 years ago. One is actually still about half full and pressurized. I also found a 20#(I think) tank of beer gas: labeled "compressed gas, N.O.S."
    So I have a few questions, as the brewery is operated by a different company now than when these were used at the party. I know there is a link in here for returning kegs, but at this point, is it worth it? Is it ethical to keep them? The second part also involves the question, They are metal, with rubberized tops and bottoms. Besides re-filling with beer, are they functional for anything around a home brewery? They have a metal American sanke head, and may just be rubber coated(and that is my guess) Can this rubber coating just be removed? I already have a 15 gallon boil kettle and use either a 48 or 70 qt cooler for batch sparging, so really no need for a keggle anyways. Also, any thoughts on the tank of gas? Is looks like on the other side of the label it says "Ultra mix" maybe. Can it be switched over to CO2 when I start a draft system?
     Any thoughts or suggestions anyone has would be most appreciated. Not looking to game the system, just looking for suggestions. Let me know what you think...

The only thing I can tell you is that "compressed gas, N.O.S." only means that it is non-flammable.  It's probably CO2 but you can't tell from just that label.

As for the rest of your questions... I'll leave those to others because I'm not sure where "found" 15 year old kegs fall on the ethical scale.   ::)

Paul

I'm pretty sure that N.O.S. means nitrogen.  Not sure of the safety life of a keg, but my guess is it's past.  I'd contact the brewery and see if they even want them back.  If not, and given the rubber, I'd bring to my local recycle center. 

9
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg Coming....Now What?
« on: April 27, 2015, 12:22:19 PM »
I've never swapped a tank. Any place I've been will fill it on the spot, usually. I won't leave the tank or exchange.

I lost a nice new one the first time I exchanged.  But big deal.  I use the Co2, not the pretty tank.  Plus, if I want my own tank filled, it's a 70 mile drive.  To exchange it, is less than 5 miles.  Pretty simple.  The thing that gets me, is a 5lb tank cost me about $18.  A 20lb tank is $21.  That's why I have been slowly selling my 5lb ones.  Just need two for the kegerators.  But for carbonating, and such, the 20lb is the way to go.  (at least with a 1bbl system)

10
Equipment and Software / Re: Kegerator Thoughts
« on: April 24, 2015, 08:47:27 AM »
I have two, 2 tap homeowner style kegerators.  Costco was clearing them out many years ago.  They were originally single tower, but I changed that.  Two corny's in each one.  That's plenty of capacity for me.  They work great.  I bought them before I was even homebrewing.

If all you need is one or two taps, then go for it.  But as others have said, sometimes two just isn't enough.  I had a chance to buy a True commerical style kegerator about a year ago for only $200.  Nice little machine, but was very loud.  I passed. 

11
Hop Growing / Re: 2015 Hop season
« on: March 26, 2015, 07:42:19 AM »
Cascade about two foot, Willamette and Centennial are about a foot. Giving them a few more days then hacking them down. I don't trust that spring is here just yet.

Well, over here on the wet (I mean west) side of the cascades, mine have been sprouted, but only a few now have leaves.  But let me ask, I've always cut the first growth much smaller than 2 feet.  Why wait so long?  I've read somewhere, that once they have two set of leaves, it's time.  But you're much closer to Yakima, than I. 

12
Homebrewer Bios / Re: Our first commercial beer
« on: March 20, 2015, 10:22:44 AM »
I'm just glad I actually was able to get a photo to work! 

13
Homebrewer Bios / Re: Our first commercial beer
« on: March 20, 2015, 09:49:22 AM »
We have a 1bbl blichmann system.  Top tier and tower of power.  5, 42 gallon conicals. 

We have a great time.  And it certainly pays for itself.  But only because of some "strange" things.  Our brewery is an outbuilding on our residential property.  We are outside city limits, and the zoning was already in place.  Plus, the LHBS and I combine orders for some savings there.  Getting licensed was actually fairly easy.  It's the monthly reports to the state, and quarterly to the feds that's a PITA. 

It's a hobby, not a business.  We're still homebrewers really, just licensed to sell the stuff.  When I look at the "pimp my system" board, many folks have fancier stuff than we do. 

14
Going Pro / Re: Good Resources for Exploring Going Pro.
« on: March 20, 2015, 08:55:22 AM »
We're just up in Washington.  Port Angeles to be specific.  If you ever venture a little north, come by and say hello. 

15
Homebrewer Bios / Re: Our first commercial beer
« on: March 20, 2015, 08:49:08 AM »
Very cool.  (not so much the picture, but that it actually worked)

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