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Topics - whitey

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Pimp My System / My Keezer
« on: April 22, 2012, 11:07:22 AM »
I started brewing almost 2 years ago, and I found out very soon just how fast it can go from a hobby to a full blown obsession. The thing that flipped the obsession switch for me, was an article here about called

"The Amazing Transformation of Ross' Kegerator"

I had up until that point had the usual set up; you know, the 4 kegs in an upright fridge with picnic taps. In truth, my mind had begun to wonder about how to use a freezer, and then I stumbled on to Ross' Kegerator.

Suffice it to say I was blown away by what I saw, (I was thinking of putting S/S Towers on the lid of the freezer) They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I hope Ross feels that way.

While not as Aesthetically pleasing as Ross' is, yet. It is super functional and I'll work on the aesthetics in time.

Here's my version:

The victim was an all metal chest freezer that has to be as old as I am (I'm 42), made by BF Goodrich of all places

After putting some casters on the bottom, I decided to put a 10" collar around it. My logic was to increase the height of the taps, I thought that from that vantage point, it would be easier to see how your pour is going.

The casters are really great for wheeling it out of the garage for cookout's and the like

Here it is, with the collar and primer. Yes, I planned to put 7 taps on the thing.  ;D

Painting it, I'm a welder....not a painter. :)

Painted, and sort of looking ok.

This is the thermostat I used. I got it from the Chi Company, I think it cost $40 and works like a bomb

Running the lines, this was probably the most challenging part. Chest Freezers, apparently, aren't designed for people to crawl around it, let alone wield power tools.

I decided to use secondary regulators to run the ales, and initially I had 4 kegs up and running.

The label solution was a bit tough. Like Ross, I decided to use wooden legs from Lowes which once stained, worked really well. Ross used some picture frames to house his labels. I didn't really account for the width of those when I drilled the holes for the taps, that and I couldn't find any frames the right sizes anywhere. So instead, I got some sheet metal, cut them out to size, then printed the labels on magnetic print paper to fit. It works well.

Here's the final front end. Apologies that it's a little out of focus, but you can see all the pretty taps, including my personal favourite: the stout faucet, and on the far right, a tap that I plan to use for generic crap for the poor people who drink that stuff. I have a sanke connector on that tap, and a 1/6 keg which I can use for my stuff if I needed to.

Here's the final arrangement inside. I have a 10lb C02 tank to run the ale/lager/generic side, and the 5lb tank is fullled with beergas, to run the stout faucet.

Close up of the two tanks, with sanke connector.

This build took me a while, my work and family take up a lot of my time, but it was a lot of fun, and not to difficult. I've learned a lot of things along the way, and if I ever were to make another, there are a few things that I would do differently.

Hope everyone enjoys my musings. If anyone is planning on building something like this, I'd be happy to share my limited knowledge with them.

Kegging and Bottling / Naturally carbonating a stout in a keg
« on: November 17, 2011, 11:14:31 AM »
Is there anything different than mixing it with an appropriate amount of dme? like a standard tap vs a stout tap?

Classifieds / WTB: Entry Level Stout Faucet
« on: October 27, 2011, 06:30:38 AM »
Looking for a entry level stout faucet, doesn't have to be new, or SS. Just needs to be clean and useable. Shoot me a PM with what you have including shipping to 43420.


Ingredients / Starter Store of grains
« on: October 24, 2011, 10:56:47 AM »
Whats a good starting collection and amount of grains to have on hand?

Ingredients / First crack and my own beer idea
« on: September 24, 2011, 11:45:04 AM »
Ok, so I got an idea for a unique beer concept. Partly because I wanted to, partly because I want to enter it into a local beer competition once I'm happy with it, partly because my nieces asked me to make her a special beer for her 21st.

I remain a rank amateur at this who has progressed to partial mash kits, and have made 3 or 4 non kit recipes from scratch.

This beer of mine, is a Mango & Jalapeño Ale. I used a Belgian Wit extract kit as a base for ease of use and because it's a first draft. If it tasted awful, I wouldn't feel bad tossing it.

So, made the kit, let it run thru primary ferm, racked it onto 7 skinned and cubed mangos and one jalapeño for secondary, got a small secondary ferm lift off. Left it there for a week and a half. Went to rack it to a keg, and saw the Mango was a brown color not the bright orange when it went in, I took that as a good sign. I could smell citrus and the jalapeño, and after a night in the fridge, I tasted a small smaple.

I like what I tasted, a bit dry, a bit bitter with a slight jalapeño flavor and a very very little hint of heat, although there isn't much of the mango coming thru. I would've liked to have tasted more of the mango. So I was thinking of perhaps fortifying the beer with some mango vodka on my next attempt.

As always, I welcome any thoughts or opinions on this, or the whole concept.

Kegging and Bottling / Kegerator best practices.
« on: September 23, 2011, 07:04:45 AM »
Recently added a few taps tp my fridge, wasn't sure if there's anything I should be doing to the taps and/or lines if I go a week or two between getting brew out of them. I do not have soothers.

Kegging and Bottling / priming 3 bottles before kegging
« on: September 07, 2011, 01:34:45 PM »

I've got an Oktoberfest that I'm getting ready to keg. I have a quart bottle and 2 12oz bottles that I'd like to rack the the beer to before I keg it.

I've worked out that I'd need 1.5 tsp of priming sugar for all three bottles. My question is, how much water do I need to disolve the sugar in?

Kegging and Bottling / Has anyone else had this problem?
« on: August 27, 2011, 05:56:42 AM »
90% of the brews I've thrown into a keg taste great for the first week or two. After that, there's a really bad taste that develops. I've transfered the beer in the keg to a clean one, and the taste is gone for a week or so, then it's back. I've noticed that the dip tube in the keg appears to be picking up yeast that falls out of the beer over time, and gathers in that convex 'bowl' at the bottom of the keg. The dip tube sits really close to the bottom of that bowl

I usually let the beer sit in the primary for a week, sometimes two, and then in a secondary for at least another two before I rack to a keg.

Has anyone else experienced this? if so, what have you done to solve it?

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / First partial mash....and Im confused.
« on: August 03, 2011, 06:07:39 AM »
So, I did my first partial mash yesterday. Pumpkin Ale kit from Austin Home Brew. Followed the recipe, and ran into some problems.

1) I had pellet hops, and a new plate chiller. In the past, I was cooling the wort in an ice bath, as a result the hops residue and other trub settled below the valve in my brew pot. So when it came to pour off, I didn't have a problem with the residue getting into the primary. Now, running hot wort thru the plate chiller has the problem with trub and hops still in the mix. What's the best way to address this?

2) Recipe called for a combination of 3 gal of liquid once sparge and addition before boil. Once boiled, i was left with 1.5 gal in the  primary, and easily a gallon below the valve in the pot. Does the liquid requirements on paper need to compensate for this difference?

3) After the mash I added 4 lbs of LME, and once my 1.5 transfer was done, I began to add the water to get my OG. I was only able to add 1 gal before I hit OG. So I have 3 gal of wort tormenting. Not cool. Clearly, I didn't mash quite right. So, is the 1 gallon of liquid that was below the valve in my pot the reason? Do I need to add 1 extra gal initially to compensate?

Looking forward to the input.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Leaf Hops
« on: May 11, 2011, 05:23:26 PM »
Would someone mind explaining to me the best way to use leaf hops so that it doesn't clog up every orifice that I try to get wort out of?

Thanks  ;D

Kegging and Bottling / I'm confused
« on: April 06, 2011, 04:11:04 PM »
A few months ago, I made a 3 5gal corney kegs of beer, Belgian Triple, Alt and an Oktoberfest. After sitting for a few weeks, 2 of the three developed what I could only describe a very strong taste that overpowered everything about the beer. I thought that I had screwed up the recipe, so the next few batches I made I bottled, and they turned out fine.

I made another 2 batches a few weeks ago, cleaned and santised the crap out of everything and kegged them again, with the intent of having them available for National Homebrewers day. I sampled it last Saturday, and it tasted awesome. I also noticed that my newly refilled CO2 was almost empty. There was a noticible lack of carbonation, but it still tasted fine.

By Sunday, the tank was empty, so I took it to be refilled on Monday. Got it back on Tuesday, hooked it up and discovered a leak at the regulator/tank connection. Sorted that out and let the Beer (Belgian Tripel and Dark Wheat) sit for a day at 12psi (apparently the middle ground for all beer). Sampled the Belgian Tripel and that strong overpowering taste is back.

So I'm begining to wonder if there is such a thing as too much carbonation, and if so, would it impact the flavour as violently as this?

Thanks for your time.

Yeast and Fermentation / Noob Question
« on: March 08, 2011, 02:04:36 PM »
Hi. I've been brewing kits for the past year, in an attempt to get the process down before I move on to more technical stuff.

I've been using Brewers Best kits.

I'm getting ready to throw together a Belgian Tripel.

I've read people lauding the benefits of wyeast smack packs, so when I bought the kit, I asked the guy at the brew store which wyeast I would need to substitute for the standard dry yeast packet in the kit. He pulls out some chart, looks up Belgian Tripel and says that 3944 Belgian Wit is what I need.

So, I smack the pack and it's starting to inflate like they say it will, and while I'm waiting, I start browsing the internet looking at double pitches etc. Out of the blue I stumble on a Q&A at wyeast .com talking about high gravity beer and what's supposed to happen to the amount of yeast pitched.

here's what I found:

Do you need more yeast for high gravity fermentations?

Yes, anytime you are pitching yeast into a harsh environment (high gravity, low temp) you need to add additional yeast.  A rough rule of thumb is to double pitch rates above 1.065 and triple pitch rates above 1.085. Or, more technically, a million cells per milliliter are needed for a 20degree plato (1.080 specifice gravity) beer, or 3 Activator packages for a 5 gallon batch.  It is also important to remember tht it is more difficult to get oxygen into the solution in a high gravity wort.

The OG on the kit is 1.083-1.086, which puts me right into the ball park this thing is talking about.

However, it seems that only one dry pack of yeast is needed, and comes with the kit.

What do I do now? I'm gonna be supper cheesed off if I've wasted time, money and excitement on this wyeast pack.

Here's the recipe for the Tripel

Thanks in advance.

General Homebrew Discussion / No Foam with Star-San
« on: February 27, 2011, 07:41:48 AM »
Hi. I'm using Star-San for the first time.

When I mixed it, there was no foam. Water turned a very very slight opaque, but still clear.

this will still work....right?

Yeast and Fermentation / does the yeast define the brew?
« on: December 11, 2010, 06:13:40 AM »
Hi. Im a beginner, I don't do a lot of brewing, largley to time constraints,  so I've been making kits in order to learn and understand the process. Last weekend I made my first lager kit. Its a Vienna Lager kit made by Brewer's Best. It had a yeast pack that the intructions said would work well as lager or ale, and that I could brew this beer as an ale.

I want(ed) to brew this a lager to better understand the difference in process. So mixed it up. And pitched the yeast as intructed, and was told to keep it at 48F-58F to ferment, which I did......and nothing happened. I left it at about 57F for two days and nothing. So I pulled out to 67F and vola,  fermentation.

Does this mean that I now have an ale and not a over?

and I wanted opinions from you....

CO2 tank,,,inside the fridge or outside?

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