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Topics - wtucker4

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General Homebrew Discussion / Why do commercial brew kettles have lids?
« on: December 15, 2014, 07:09:11 PM »
I've been homebrewing for over 30 years, but I'm still learning.  All my education and information says you don't cover your brew kettle, in order that the bad stuff can evaporate.  But it just occurred to me that every brewery I've every visited has a top on its brew kettle.  Most of them are like an inverted funnel, and I assume they're feeding the evaporate up a smokestack to the outside.  So what is the purpose of this lid/funnel?  Does it contribute to some condensate falling back into the brew kettle?  Does bad stuff fall back into the kettle also?  It is to keep the brewery from becoming too hot and humid, or does it have some other purpose?  Should I partially cover my brew kettle?

Kegging and Bottling / English Beer Engine question
« on: November 16, 2013, 12:20:33 AM »
I have two English beer engines/beer pumps (one is Hi-Gene and the other is Worthside).  After a lot of disassembly and repair they both work well, but if I attach them to a keg with more than 3-4 psi, the faucets drip.  Is this normal?  I realize that bitters are low-carbonation beers, and perhaps that is a designed way to tell you if you have too high a psi.  Or maybe I put them back together improperly, or there is some part not functioning properly?  Anyone have experience with beer engines who can help answer my questions?

Equipment and Software / Reliability issue with Chest Freezer/Keezer
« on: August 23, 2012, 09:41:32 PM »
In the past 6 years I have had two 14 cu ft chest freezers, which I had converted to keezers, fail on me.  Admittedly I bought them at garage sales for <$50 each, but they were running and freezing well.  In each case I used my old Johnson Controls analog controller to keep the temperature 47-52 degrees, and in each case everything worked well for a year or so, then the freezer failed (stopped working).  So the question is:  did they die of old age, or is there something inherently destructive about running a freezer at refrigerator temperatures. Is my experience unique?  Am I doing something wrong?  I should note that I had them on a screened-in porch in southern Arizona, where the summer daytime temp can reach 95F (but its a dry heat!)
I'm really reluctant to buy a new freezer to convert to a keezer if using it this way will cause premature failure.

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