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Topics - rayallen

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All Grain Brewing / Mash tun, all grain?s
« on: May 13, 2014, 02:26:53 AM »
Guys I'm finally getting around to all grain. This is basically a two part question. For now I'd prefer to go the less complicated route just to get some all grain batches under my belt.

1st- to batch or fly spare? For a newbie to all grain would one method make more since over another?

2nd- the mash tun itself. I was thinking of a 10g blue igloo cylinder with a false bottom. However is a bazooka screen better or perhaps a rectangular cooler with screens or manifold.

I am aware of that I will get many opinions. At the moment I do not have a marsh pump but will be purchasing one eventually. Haven't decided on a 3 tier gravity system, or with marsh pump and then there the side by side which takes up less height.

Any opinions, advice, recommendations welcome.

Kegging and Bottling / keg slush
« on: June 13, 2013, 02:05:08 AM »
Guys ive kegged many beers but this is a 1st. My pale ale and Wit are slush!. I've raised the temp in my keezer to 40 and they are slowly thawing. I also turned off the Co2 so at the moment they are not carbing up. Im hoping the beers will be ok. I opened one of the kegs making sure my hands were sanitized to check on the thawing. This really suck. Not sure why it happened. The keezer stays above freezing. Had to be a combo of the keezer and the cold Co2, but its never happened before.

Anyone ever have the happen and still have a good beer?

Kegging and Bottling / Carb question...
« on: June 06, 2013, 04:40:38 PM »
Guys I kegged my Pale Ale and Agave Wit on June 3rd. Set the Co2 to 27 psi and left it at that.

Noticed yesterday my gauges were at 0. Ran out of C02. Anyhow the kegs have the C02 in them that was left. Is it a problem to leave them be until this Sunday. I do not have the time to go to any of the C02 suppliers until this weekend. Figured when I got back Sunday I could just hook it back up at 27psi and leave it for a couple of days and then lower it down to say 8psi or so and let it age for 3weeks.

See any problems with this...

General Homebrew Discussion / Back in the saddle
« on: March 05, 2013, 06:08:49 AM »
Hi guys!

I am ready to get back into brewing. Life has a way of side tracking things and I have not brewed in at least a year now, actually longer. Time to break out my brew equipment thats been stored away.

Not sure if anyone remembers any of my post but i brew in converted 15.5 g kegs. I actually have three converted kegs. 1 for hot water, 1 mash tun and boil kettle. I also built a keezer which I do have a thread on here somewhere and keg my brew in 5g corny kegs.

Previously I was brewing only mini mash kits, but im ready to start back up and shoot straight to all grain. My goal is to finally build my 3 tier brew stand and make my mash tun soon.

What is the best way to make 1 of my converted kegs in to a mash tun. I do plan on insulating the outside of it for temp control. I feel like a novice all over again. I know I can go out and buy another simple mini mash kit, but i just do not want to do that again.

Any advice on making a keg mash tun, 3 tier gravity stand and all grain will be much appreciated. Ready to get these feet wet, hell ready to jump in head first all over again. Breaking out my books for a refresher.

Ray    8)

General Homebrew Discussion / finally brewing with gas
« on: October 24, 2011, 08:01:53 PM »
I have brewed several batches on my electric stove which in my opinion is a pain in the arss. Finally bought a weldless fitting for one of my keggles, a burner and stand and took the brewing process out of the kitchen. Actually did it right on the front porch because my bar, keezer and fermenting area is in the entry room of my home.

I have to say it went so much smoother, cleaner and was so much faster to boil and hold stable temps. I will never brew in the kitchen again. I own three keggles just need to get them all ready to use at once on a brew stand I have yet to build. After the holidays it will be done, maybe sooner. Doing a 3 tier gravity system with a HLT, Mash Tun and Boil tank all with nice large keggles.

Anyways a quick pic of this weekends simple setup. I brewed a Citrus IPA and a Lemongrass Wheat. YUM!

Beer Travel / DENVER
« on: May 26, 2011, 07:41:22 PM »
 My wife and I + a couple of Close friends are taking a vacation In August. August 26- Sept 3

We are stoked about the trip. We are all lovers of good craft brew and Ive heard that Colorado is suppost to have some great beer and pubs.

Any recommendations, we wil be renting a car so are not limited to strictly Denver.

Equipment and Software / Single Tier 3 15.5 Sanke Build, Need Help
« on: May 23, 2011, 02:45:17 PM »
Ok, I will be drawing up plans here soon to build a single tier brew system.

Plan on going to All-Grain in the near future.

I know I will use direct fire because of simplicity, ive been reading but still do not yet completely understand everything.

What I know.

1.) I will have a Mash/Lautner Tun for steeping the Mash/grain to release all its sweet goodness. Will have a stainless kettle screen
2.) I will have a boil kettle to obviously boil the ready wort and hops
3.) I will use a food grade pump to circulate wort from one kettle to the next.
4.) I will have 3 burners ran by a propane tank.
5.) I plan on using somekind of quick disconnects with silicone seals.
6.) I will be using silicone hoses.

What I dont know.

1.) What is the use of the third Kettle the Hot Liquid Kettle aka HLT?
2.) Is a electric panel a must, or does it just make life a little easier + it looks cool.
3.) Food grade pump. Can one pump run the entire system or will I need 2.
4.) Id like to make this a safe indoor setup. what the best way to do so
5.) Is it in order of MLT, HLT then Boil Kettle? Or HLT, MLT, Boil Kettle? Im sure this will be answered when I know exactly what the HLT is for?

Ive been reading about sparging using a system to sprinkle water but ive noticed most home-brewers do not do this, usually only brewing companies. So I assume this is not needed.

List of parts needed

I have 3 cut and drilled 15.5 Sanke Kettles

Need Weldless therms and spiggots with ball valves
Stainless steel screen for mash tun.
silicone hosing
gas burners and lines
Electric panel of somesort if I deside to do so.

Sorry if this comes across as a little slow, so far ive only done stove top brewing. If I can Id like to get this as close to correct on the 1st go. Like ive said ive been reading but obviously im still unclear on several areas.

Any Answers, thoughts, ideas and suggestion are most welcome.

Happy Brewing  :)

Equipment and Software / New stuff!
« on: May 22, 2011, 03:06:38 PM »
I haven't posted at all in the last several weeks, but ive been busy finding some great stuff.

1st- My wife and her pretty face scored me 3 free Ballock kegs in excellent condition. She walked up to a vendor with a smile at a festival here in San Antonio and said hey my husband uses those to brew beer. The guy had hundreds and said tell him to stop by on the way out and have can have three of them. Woo Hoo!

2nd- Bought some new fermenting buckets, so that I can have a few beers going at once. From Austin homebrew, great store.

3rd but not least. For the deal of the year I scored three 15.5g Keggles from a guy in Austin. He already cut the tops open and drilled them for the fittings. He never got around to all-grain and decided not to use them. Get this, I paid $130 for all three! Easily saved me $100s. Just need to buy some weldless fittings.

Going to build a brewing station, with three gas burners. Pics to come later.

Beer Recipes / Porter Recipe?
« on: March 16, 2011, 07:02:25 PM »
Im wanting to make my 1st porter using a recipe with extract. Sorry havnt gone to all grains yet, but have done mini mash when brewing my wit.

Anyone put me in the right direction for a good recipe that is tried and true. Ive found several online, but like to go to my fellow brewers to get the best opinion. Trying to get to where im creating my own recipes but still do not know quite enough about the many strains of hops and yeast to do so.


Equipment and Software / Kettle again...
« on: March 11, 2011, 04:34:08 PM »
Ok im pretty sure im going to buy a Bayou Classic Stockpot 60qt They seem to be a good quality and the prices are not bad. $110 and up depending on where you buy.

that will enable me to do 10g batches later on. My question Stainless or Aluminum? Aluminum seems to be cheaper no matter what brand and it does conduct heat better than steel. Ive noticed though that alot of brewers prefer stainless. Is this because it last longer than aluminum?

My plan is to go to my brew shop and get the drill bit to install weldless spigot and therm. DIY

General Homebrew Discussion / AAU and IBU
« on: March 09, 2011, 04:23:03 PM »
Ive been reading my book How To Brew by John J Palmer.

I have to say there are a lot of Math equations in brewing. I understand how to come up with my AAU but the IBU seems to be far more complex.

I was a ok math student but its definately not my favorite subject.

Can someone break down the IBU in laymen's terms.

I know with me being a newbie its not super important for me to know this but when I start creating my own recipes its good to know.

Yeast and Fermentation / Wyeast
« on: March 04, 2011, 05:50:07 AM »
I brewed a Belgian White tonight and in my haste managed not to read the directions on the wyeast packet.

Tells you to burst the pouch on the inside, shake it together and let it sit for a while and swell before putting it in the wort.

What I did open the packet poor it in and then notice the pouch. So I burst the ouch open poured it in the wort. I capped the trub and gave it a real good shake. Hope that did the trick.

Anyone else use Wyeast see this as a problem?

Previously I used a different brand of dry yeast and wasnt expecting this. Only my 2nd brew so im learning as I go..

Equipment and Software / Kettle ?
« on: March 03, 2011, 04:41:26 AM »
My next Big purchase to be made is buying my kettles and burners, Id like to build a brew station.

Im either buying a 40qt or 60qt $$$ permitting. May even buy to 40qts.

My question, whats the deal with the false bottom some people are using. From what I understand its not a must have. Is it simply to stop the grains from flowing out of the pot?

Im thinking I could go with 2 40qts both with spigots and thermometers. 1 for steeping and the 2nd for boiling, I can simply open the valve to the steeping pot and then it could drain into the boiling pot.

Kegging and Bottling / C02 tank and force carbonating
« on: March 02, 2011, 01:27:24 AM »
Ok my keezer is setup and going

If sanitzed everything and my beer is in the corney keg.

1.) How do I set the CO2 tank? Ive already put teflon on all the fittings and the regulator is on. The gas hose is connected to the manifold and a gas line from the manifold to the keg which is securily seated. Now what?

2.) How do I force carbonate properly?

Pimp My System / Keezer build
« on: February 27, 2011, 06:23:27 AM »
Made a post in the equipment section and got some much needed advice. I have to say you guys on here make a newbie feel welcome and not stupid to ask question. I have to admit im one of those guys who will walk around a store for a hour before I cave in and ask for help, my wife loves it ::)

Drove up to Austin, TX and visited Austin HomeBrew Supply, excellent place and customer service.
Had a little shopping spree and spent approx $750 another $200 on the Chest Freezer. Got everything I need to build a sweet keezer.

Plan on dressing it up a bit and it will have a collar with 4taps to start.

A list of things I bought

New 7.0 Chest Freezer (will hold 5kegs and my slim gas tank)
4 taps and shanks
Lots of hose
2 ball-lock corneys
new slim 7lb CO2 tank
Regulator with 2 gauges
Johnson Digital Temp Control
4 line manifold
All the fitting and parts needed for the hoses/kegs etc..
New copy of John A Palmer's Hot to Brew
Also got the ingredients to make a Belgian White

Some Pics :D

Will be taking a trip to lowes tommorow for lumber for the color and a 7/8" bit.


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