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Messages - Slowbrew

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The Pub / Re: Windows 10
« on: October 08, 2015, 04:05:10 AM »
We have it on 4 laptops at home.  The extent of my assessment has been "it works".  I expected more problems and unlike others have said, the 2 machines I use seems a bit slower than the version 7 they had before.  So far I haven't run into anything software that doesn't run.

I wish MS would stop moving all the configuration tools around.  They used to all be in one place.  Now they are spread out 2 or 3 places.  And why somethings work one way and a completely different way is a mystery to me.

Overall, it seems to be a good OS so far.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Infection
« on: October 08, 2015, 03:57:41 AM »
That regime should be more than enough to clean the glass.  Glass doesn't normally have nooks and crannies or fine cracks like plastic so it cleans up pretty easily.

It always sucks to lose a batch.


The Pub / Re: New wireless router...
« on: October 07, 2015, 02:03:42 PM »
In general SOHO (Small Office Home Office) routers tend to lose signal strength over time.  The transmitter components wear out.  Normally it's caused by the cheap electrolytic capacitors the manufacturer used.  It's the same issue every amplifier and radio built in the last 30 years has had.  There are lots of articles on the web about people replacing all the caps to "fix" their router. 

Sometimes the flow solder systems do a bad job of affixing the chips so they start to fail with heat and dust over time.  You can maybe fix this by taking the board out of the router and baking it at 500 to 600 degrees but not always and you may destroy the board in the process.

The average lifespan of a SOHO router is only 2 years or so.

I have a Netgear wireless router (can't remember the model right now) that supports 802.11n and it does work well.  Not all devices support every 802.11n connection even if they say they do.  All 6 cell phones in my house say they support N but only half them work when connected the N network.  Sometimes laptops say they have a chip that supports N but the manufacturer chose to not install the chip and antenna that makes it work (I have two of these) from Acer and the label on the top stating it has 802.11n support.   >:(

As for the Genie app?  Ya, it makes setting up the router easy but Netgear requires you sign in on an external site to configure the 802.11 network with a different user ID and Password than you use to login on the router locally.  That's kind of a PITA to me.  On top of that, when all the browsers disabled Adobe Flash for security reasons, you could no longer connect to the external site and configure the 802.11N connection.  Flash is a POS and full of security holes but to maintain your network, Netgear makes you use it.  Sorry, kind of a raw nerve.

Maybe all the routers I've had in the last 8 years were too cheap to be expected to work well and last but it's been a long time since that first Lynksys router lasted for 9 years with no issues.   ::)

Oh well, I hope the NightHawk works well and for a long time for you.  Let us know if you start to see any issues creeping up.


Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: New Guy - In deep
« on: October 02, 2015, 09:28:12 AM »
Generally you will hear the following advice:

1) Be patient, the beer will get done when it gets done.

2) You can speed it up a bit after the gravity gets down by warming it up a bit.  Raising the temp won't hurt at the end of the ferment.

3) There really aren't a lot of reasons to rack off to a secondary.  There are many good reason to leave it in the primary longer.  The main one being that it will give the yeast time to clean up after themselves.

4) When you do get to packaging, pull some samples and do controlled additions of the extract in small amounts of beer.  A couple os ounces of beer at a time and add extract with a dropper.  Each drop has a standard addition measurement (I don't recall it right now but others will).  Guessing can get you in trouble when adding fruit flavorings as they cannot be removed.

Over all it sounds like you are doing very well with the batch.


All Things Food / Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« on: October 01, 2015, 01:52:55 PM »
Bell peppers are finicky as heck to grow. I grow a few different pepper varieties and most either do not flower during the hottest part of the summer or the blossoms drop off because it's too hot (much like tomatoes). I've tried growing them off and on for a few years. I finally found a plant that seems to tolerate the heat here but like most of my pepper plants they only develop fruit in the late spring and fall.
One thing I learned about peppers is that you will have problems with them flowering and fruiting if the temp gets below 50. Around here that means not planting until June and still covering them once or twice.

I also didn't plant until it was about 65-75+, which really allowed them to take off once they got outside.

But... I have real problems with pepper diseases, which is why I switched to drip irrigation. Too bad it rained and rained and rained and rained here, so I lost a couple plants/fruits to a bacteria spot. The hot peppers didn't seem to mind, my one large bell pepper plant nearly died (Red Beauty), and my little lunchbox sized bell peppers did quite well despite the disease they had early on in life. I'll be saving seeds after this year from the ones that did well and trying out another variety or two of bell peppers. We make a bell pepper soup that is freakin' awesome, so I have to figure out a way to grow more peppers!  :)

Thanks for the info on the bells.  We've always grown bells and jalapenos along with many other things when we had garden space.  Now that we are trying to do container gardening I'm having to completely relearn how to grow plants.

Our yard doesn't have any spot in it where we get enough sun for a garden anymore as the trees have gotten too big We have 5 - 45+ year old maple trees on a 1/2 acre lot (I didn't plant them they were here when we bought the place).  The grass struggle too.

The one spot that gets some sun also flip flops from a swamp to a desert 10 or 15 times a year so it didn't work too well either.  We decided to plant a tool shed and try containers.  Last year worked pretty well but the abnormal weather in Iowa this year confused everyone's gardens.  Tomatoes were small and subject to more blight than normal.  Peppers would blossom and then a blast of heat would knock them off before the set fruit.  Even the flowers didn't grow normally.

The largest tree also has some serious rot going on since a storm 14 years ago tore it up pretty badly.  My wife and keep looking at it dreading the price of having to take it down.  The bright side would be that we could probably make a garden again.  The dark side is we would have to grow our own food to afford the tree removal.   ;)

Oh well, there's always next year!


All Things Food / Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« on: September 30, 2015, 08:51:38 AM »
We are finally getting some peppers from our container garden.  We put in Jalapenos and a type of bell pepper but we didn't get any blossoms until mid-August.  It's been a very strange year for growing in Iowa this year.


Kegging and Bottling / Re: kegging for twerps
« on: September 30, 2015, 04:55:30 AM »
I agree with Jim on sanitation.

Like anything else in this hobby, if it isn't clean, it's a problem.


Equipment and Software / Re: Advice for a Newbie
« on: September 28, 2015, 08:22:50 AM »
The simple advice I give people is buy a Homebrewing Starter Kit.  Don't bother with the "Advanced" version with the secondary until you really need a secondary.  And go buy a 20 qt. or larger stock pot to get started.  It doesn't have to be a great pot, one from Sam's, Walmart, Bed, Bath and Beyond are good enough.  The kits contain all the minimum amount of do-dads they need to get batch #1 under their belt and they can add things as they learn.

Another good purchase is a two of three cases of good beer in reusable bottles.  Drink two cases of the good beer so you will patiently wait for the first batch to get done and then use the bottles to package that batch.  Drink the third case while you wait for it to carbonate.  Then start the next batch.

The hardest part of the first few batches i waiting until they are actually finished before tasting them.   ;D



Awesome, Marshall and Denny. You guys are some of the giant dwarfs on whose shoulders I stagger!
Did you just call me a dwarf?

Okay everybody sing... "Whistle while we slurp..."  ;D

Completely agree with keeping an open mind and trying new things.  My brewing procedures are totally different now than when I started.  I brew better beer faster and with less effort than I ever thought I would. 

Without mavericks like you two (and others) we would all be much worse off.


All Grain Brewing / Re: thermal mass for Gott 10gallon?
« on: September 23, 2015, 05:56:48 AM »
I preheat my 50 qt cooler with 2 gal of 180 degree water.
It sits in the cooler while I get everything else ready to mash in, maybe 15 min.
It reduces my thermal mass to "0".

I do pretty much the same.  I run about 4 gallons of water heater hot water (I haven't checked what that temp is) into the cooler and let it sit while the mash water heats up.  I drain it right before mash in. 

Works great!


The Pub / Re: Fractional grain amount
« on: September 22, 2015, 11:12:28 AM »
Unless I'm remembering this wrong, you really don't want to mispronounce "Boatswain" either.   ::)

Think Bosun not boat-swain.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Roommate drinking all the beer :(
« on: September 21, 2015, 04:06:51 AM »
You need to host the picture on an online photo site and then link to it using the "Insert Picture" button (button is right above the "winking" and "really happy" emoticons above).


Equipment and Software / Re: Boil Kettle Question
« on: September 17, 2015, 01:47:05 PM »
Bar Keepers Friends works well too. It comes in powdered or liquid form at your super market.  It really helps clean up stainless steel and is supposed help it passivate the kettle.

It has always worked well for me.


Aren't there laws against monopolization?  For when survival of the fittest one is less desirable than survival of the fittest several?  I know nothing about this but seem to recall such a thing.
In the US, that is called antitrust.  In Europe that is called competition law.  I can't see how this merger would be allowed to happen without divesting some major brands and some breweries in the US.  I'm not sure how dominant the these companies are in other countries, but I believe Heineken is independent of these two, so I'm not sure what would happen in Europe and other parts of the world.

If I was a beer distributor, I'd be freaking out.

Distribution will be next in line for consolidation.  Some will have to survive due to the 3 tier system in many states.  I can see the day when all of today's major distributors are reduced to one per major area.  As far as I can tell Des Moines already only has 2 or 3.  It has caused many problems from what I've heard for the craft brewers here.  One major one being the restrictions on growler sales which technically have to go through the 3 tier system for customers to take them home.  This may have been fixed but I haven't checked in a long time.

At one time several breweries downtown couldn't get any distributor to deal with them since the volume was too small to be worth the time.  With only one in a given area it would be even worse.


The Pub / Re: Ten Drinks a Week
« on: September 16, 2015, 09:19:05 AM »
You need to get out on those beautiful Oregon trails Denny.

Yeah' but that's not as easy as walking into the guest room and getting on the treadmill.  I need something so easy that I can't make excuses not to do it.  Besides, rainy season is starting!

I don't know.  Our treadmill is in the basement family room and I still do a fine job of avoiding it regularly. 


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