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Topics - Will's Swill

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Kegging and Bottling / leaks at low temp
« on: July 11, 2011, 11:31:45 PM »
Freakin' kegging.  I love it and I hate it.  Yesterday I hated it.

I went to pressurize a newly kegged IPA yesterday and all I get is loud hissing from the junction between the regulator and my 5# CO2 bottle.  This bottle has been around a while (that is, I have not filled it recently, or ever actually) and never leaked.  Now it was gushing.  It had been in my kegorator at 34F as all I had in there was yeast I had harvested and was saving for use yesterday in a perry.  I have never had it in the kegorator that cold before.  I took the regulator off, checked the gasket, reassembled, no good.  I took it off again, put on some teflon tape and reassembled.  That helped some, but still leaking badly.  So I set it aside to bottle some other batches.  When I finished those, I came back to the CO2 bottle to mess with it some more.  By then it had warmed up considerably sitting in the house.  Lo, and behold!  The freakin' thing works fine, no leaks.

Y'all ever seen this behavior?  What do you think, replace the regulator gasket?  This really irks me as I like to leave live pressure on my kegs and now I don't trust the bottle not to leak.   >:(

Ingredients / Pilsener malt and hot break
« on: July 08, 2011, 11:33:53 PM »
OK, I never use Pilsener malt.  Let's just get that out of the way.  I always substitute in pale malt because for a while I've had a lot around.  However, I just made a Kolsch last weekend and I went ahead and used Weyermann Pilsener malt just for fun.  Holy crap did I get some hot break!  My hot breaks are usually subtle, but this was out of control!  Gobs of the stuff were still on the surface when I finished the boil and the chill.  To the point that I was trying to hold it back from the spigot with a spoon when I drained the kettle!  Y'all ever seen this?  I should have taken a picture...

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Substitute for Maris Otter extract
« on: July 01, 2011, 11:21:14 PM »
A brewing buddy of mine recently moved and was only able to tale along enough brewing gear to be able to do extract brews.  He wants to make his favorite AG brown recipe as an extract batch, but it called for Maris Otter malt.  There no longer seems to be a supplier of Maris Otter extract, so is there a brand of extract that gets close or perhaps something he can do to doctor an extract batch to mimic one made with MO?

The Pub / beer is not good enough
« on: April 26, 2011, 01:13:03 PM »
Well, I never.  It appears that I shan't be attending the Royal Wedding.  Suds have been banned from the reception because, "beer is not fit to be served in the presence of the queen."  Hmph.   :-[

Zymurgy / Organizing your Gear - Beechum
« on: March 12, 2011, 12:35:25 AM »
Howdy y'all,

I'm a long time brewer, but first time poster to this forum.  Despite decades of homebrewing (well, almost decades), I just joined the AHA for the first time at the last GABF (what can I say, I had had a few) and now I get Zymurgy.  Now for some reason my brewing hobby has started trending toward an obsession in the last year or so - probably due to the fact that I have a couple of neighbors that wanted me to teach them to brew.  Whatever the reason, my process is going through some changes and I'm experimenting more than I ever have with different techniques and equipment.  And just as I'm about to go through my second recent reorganization of my homebrewery, as if reading my mind, Drew Beechum's article lands in my mailbox with the latest issue of Zymurgy (but judging from another thread, Drew has been remiss in paying his dues as he apparently he has not received the issue with his own article...).

So, if you've made it this far, I have comments and questions regarding the article.  First the comments.  I love the idea of the checklist.  I was doing this for a while when I first went to all-grain so I wouldn't have to flip through books while brewing to remember the various temperature rests.  I had a separate checklist of the equipment needed since I have to truck everything from my "brewery" (read: room in basement) to the patio outside where I brew.  But I have a problem with Drew's checklist.  It only has one "Drink a beer" item.  His beer cannot possibly be worth drinking if he's only drinking one.  ;D

The first question was going to be about the 'Skim "scum" ' item.  Never having heard of this, it's a natural question, but doing a little lurking I see that that is currently being covered in another thread.

Since I have to move all my stuff from the brewery room at the front of the house to the patio at the back of the house each time I brew (with the exception of the brewstand, burners, and propane tank which I leave outside) I'd like to organize in a way that makes the moving of equipment in and out more efficient.  Because next to cleaning, set up and tear down are the worst parts of the brew day for me (at least on the days where things don't go rapidly awry).  Any organization ideas here?  I already have one of those tool organizers that fits over a bucket for small items.  And rolling things back and forth over the carpet in the basement will probably not please SWMBO, especially if I track rain/snow back in from the great outdoors so carts are right out.

I was thinking of mounting pumps, valves, water filter, and my CFC in a wooden box to create a diverter panel of sorts so that setup of those items would be 1) carry to brewstand; 2) place on bottom shelf of brewstand; 3) hook up water and power.  The piece I was missing was how to drain the chiller and pump prior to storage again.  In his checklist, Drew puts the genius idea of blowing out the chiller with CO2.  My question is, should I blow out the outer tube (coolant side) of the chiller as well?  Can I blow out the pumps?  What fittings do you suggest to do this?  I'm trying to avoid corrosion of the chiller, or accidental indoor draining of the pumps.

I swear that my posts from here on out will not be this long (mostly...)

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