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Messages - passlaku

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's Brewing this Weekend? 01/18/2014
« on: February 09, 2014, 02:19:25 PM »
Brewed 10 gallons of American Pale Ale. 

Other Fermentables / Re: First Cider
« on: January 09, 2014, 03:21:47 PM »
I made grocery store cider using 15 quarts (5 bottles at 2.50 each) of Walmart brand cider.  I used S04 yeast, yeast nutrient, and added pomegranite juice at kegging.  I thought it came out great, very quaffable.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Magic Hat Mix Pack
« on: December 28, 2013, 05:17:08 PM »
There are four beers in this pack. It has a dark saison, an IPA, an Amber, and the #9.  There are no beers in this pack to get excited over.  All the beers are slightly below meh. I have even considered pouring a couple down the drain but then I reconsider, thinking that they'll get better if they warm up.   I'll have to remember that Magic Hat is an amazingly mediocre brewery next time their beer is on sale. 

I bought the FermTech Wine Thief and never really used it.   I also got those BrewBalls for Christmas one year but never got around to using them either. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Grain Mills
« on: December 26, 2013, 02:47:09 PM »
The Barley Crusher is a great design and now you can find several knock offs being sold by homebrew shops (Adventures in Homebrew, Rebel Brewer, and N. Brewer/Midwest).  I think AIH has the best deal at $99 with free shipping ( for their version of the Barley Crusher. 

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Storing an empty keg
« on: October 24, 2013, 09:27:20 AM »
Is it bad to leave StarSan in the keg for long periods of time?  Say 2 weeks or a month?

Classifieds / Johnson Analog Controller - $45 plus shipping
« on: September 04, 2013, 07:05:00 PM »
I have a Johnson Analog Controller for sale.  $45 plus shipping.  Looks like the one at this page:

The Pub / Re: Budweiser Isn't what it used to be...?
« on: July 28, 2013, 04:45:58 AM »
I remember reading in Charlie Bamforth's book (or maybe heard it in his lecture series) about how Bud cryogenicly freezes beer so that they can compare their product from year to year.  He said that they found a significant bitterness drift towards less bitterness over the long run but less from year to year.  So I guess Bud hasn't changed much from this year to last year but has changed significantly from 1980 to now.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Trader Joe's Prost
« on: July 05, 2013, 08:31:06 PM »
I wonder who contract brews it for them?  I think the IPA and APA is brewed by Firestone Walker.  Those are always excellent beers, especially when you consider the price.  I remember their Belgian Christmas beer from a couple years ago was brewed by Unibroue (spelling?). 

Commercial Beer Reviews / Yellow Hammer White
« on: June 22, 2013, 09:02:55 AM »
I had this beer at the Bandido (S. Memorial PKWY) in Huntsville AL yesterday and it was quite a treat.  The aroma was of fresh pear with a very slight hint of spice.  The taste was refreshing with fruit/pear/citrus coming through.  This just may be one of the best Wit's on the market. 

The Pub / Re: OnTap Liquid Beer Enchancer - WTF?
« on: June 08, 2013, 06:21:32 AM »
I met the guy who was developing this product at NHC in San Francisco (he was on the Iron Liver tour with us).  Seems like a crazy idea.  I think he was initially talking about it as a way of making diet craft beer since you can turn Bud Light into SNPA or Celebration.  If it taste alright I can see this product doing really well oversees like at a PX on a military base or in countries where craft brew does not have a lot of space in the supermarket.  But there really is no need for a product like this if you can get $6 six packs of BLVD or Schafly!

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WLP630
« on: June 07, 2013, 06:37:03 PM »
When I made a Berliner Weiss I pitched a sachet of Nottingham and the 630.  I pitched both at low ale temps and let the temp rise.  I was concerned that at high temps the ale yeast will produce fusel (hot) alcohols which make for bad drinking and gnarly hangovers.  After the initial yeast growth about 2 or 3 days I kicked up the temp and thought the lacto would kick in.  My experience was that I got almost no lacto tartness at bottling and even after conditioning I got little or no funk at all (it tasted like liquid Wheaties or maybe muslix).  Given my experience, I'd pitch in the 80s and just let it sit for several months - let it get nice and tart.  Please report back with results.

I was using an analog therm controller but based on recommendations from a previous thread here I upgraded to digital - in hopes of making my new chest freezer last a long time.  I am using it in a serving freezer and was wondering what you guys recommend in terms of settings.

SP - set mine to 42
Dif - 3
ASD - 10
OFS (temp offset) - 0 default setting (not sure what this does)
SF - not sure I got to this one yet.

Thanks guys!

Pimp My System / Re: Show us your Son of a Fermentation Chillers!!
« on: April 30, 2013, 06:26:40 PM »
What about the impish bastard son of fermentation chiller:

This is actually a very tricky topic to get into..... I'm in the HVAC business as well as I work on small appliance such as chest freezers. the biggest problem is that the compressor and system in general is meant to be run at below 32 degree f. It contains a what is called a low temp compressor which means that above that 32 degree ( or actually lower ) you are in essence making the unit work harder which you would think the exact opposite as you would think higher temps would equate to less work. the short answer to your question without getting into thermodynamics and the actual amount of cooling capacity of a compressor based on cubic footage is to #1 insulate to a ridiculous amount around the collar if you have a keezer #2 try to keep the ambient outside air as close to the temperature of the internal temperature without going below the compressor oil tolerance and #3 get the unit serviced like call someone in to check the refrigerant charge and to clean the evaporator coil etc... as the old saying goes proper prevention prevents poor performance.  best of luck !!!

Thanks.  You cleared up many of my questions. I wonder if a new freezer would have died just like the older used ones, considering that I didn't follow any of the three tips you offered to extend the life of the compressor. 

I'll look into, either a regular fridge, or into the $35 chest freezer from Sears :)

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