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Messages - rob_f

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Equipment and Software / Re: Garage Setup
« on: January 31, 2013, 07:47:56 AM »
I have a similar setup to yours.  My garage has three windows and two garage doors.  It is insulated and drywalled with a room above and GFI outlets.  I've been brewing in it for years.  My basement laundry room is on the wall of the house that the garage is attached to, so from the start I ran a hose from the laundry sink to the garage for chilling.  Last year I added a SS mop sink with hot and cold water.  The drain line is an open-sight drain into the laundry sink.  I had the plumber put cutoff valves on the incoming water in case of cold.  I'm in Maryland and the garage hasn't gone below 40F with the windows and doors closed.  I don't even try to keep it clean, though, with two cars coming and going. The sink has been great, but might not work in your situation.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Fermenting Temperature
« on: January 27, 2013, 11:53:49 AM »
The beer will be fine from the temporary cooldown.  You didn't mention what kind of fermenter, but you don't want a spotlight shining on a hoppy beer.  It will get skunky.  I put dark T-shirts over my carboys if their not in a dark room.  Buckets don't have that issue.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Adjusting gravity with DME
« on: January 22, 2013, 09:33:19 AM »
I have decided to make some adjustments to my process, however. I'd much rather overshoot my gravity and add topoff water than undershoot and have to add DME.

Diluting your gravity also dilutes your IBUs.  Noted hophead Mike "Tasty" McDole intentionally undershoots and adds DME to every brew.  He buys DME in 50-lb bags.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: 1 step closer!
« on: December 07, 2012, 03:07:09 PM »
My garage serves as a walk-in cooler for the next couple of months.  I'll have a couple of overflow kegs out there.  Some years I have to step up my drinking come spring.

Ingredients / Re: Storing HOP Pellets
« on: December 07, 2012, 02:56:32 PM »
The foil doesn't just block the light, it provides an impervious oxygen barrier.  If I had foil bags for my vacuum sealer, I'd use them for long-term storage.

Equipment and Software / Re: Sparge for Picnic Cooler Tun
« on: December 03, 2012, 08:26:12 AM »
I've been very happy with the Blichmann auto sparge.  I gravity feed my sparge water and pump from mash tun to kettle.

Equipment and Software / Re: Minimum Amps Required For Simple RIMS Setup
« on: December 03, 2012, 08:20:15 AM »
A 240V/4500W element driven at 120V will give you 1125W of heating.  You won't be happy with this if you want to step up the mash temperature.  I know from experience with that exact setup.  I'm going to either upgrade to 240V (need new 240 GFI outlet) or go with a direct-fire mash tun.

Equipment and Software / Re: Digital refractometer
« on: December 03, 2012, 08:12:23 AM »
Far from a piece of crap, that is way overkill for homebrewing.  A purely optical model such as those sold at most homebrew shops will do the job for half the price.  It does look like a nice toy, though.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Help me improve my process (Pictures!)
« on: November 26, 2012, 12:24:51 PM »
I would never put ice cubes made from my tapwater in my beer. My tapwater has so much chlorine in it that I consider it undrinkable.  I don't know how much chlorinated water it takes to get that phenolic taste, but I just wouldn't risk it. 

If your ice cubes are made from good water, never mind.  Just something to check.

Equipment and Software / Re: Better way to rig my mash tun filter?
« on: November 19, 2012, 08:02:19 PM »
I have the same type of setup, but with no hose clamps.  The tubing is long enough that it fits snug between the two barbs when the false bottom is seated.  I've used this mash tun for hundreds of brews over the years and never had a problem with the tube coming loose during a mash.  For cleaning, I turn the cooler over and the false bottom falls out.

Nothing to say about the kegerator, but I've had good experience with Beverage Factory.  I wouldn't hesitate to buy from them.

I used a side-by-side when I first got into kegging.  With two temperature controllers I controlled the freezer side and the fridge side.  The freezer controller turned the refrigerator on and off.  The fridge-side controller controlled a computer fan mounted in the duct between the sides, pulling colder air from the freezer to the fridge.  This worked well for lagers at 36F and ales at 46F.  The lager side also doubled as a conventional fridge for hops, bottles, etc.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Today's brewing disaster...
« on: April 09, 2012, 05:28:20 AM »
I had the hose on my turkey frier burner catch fire at Big Brew last year when somebody moved my tank, pushing the hose up against one of the legs of the burner. The rubber melted and it flamed up.  That was a scary moment.  A buddy turned a hose on the the flaming hose while I closed the valve on the tank. 

I was able to get the hose replaced for less than twenty bucks.  Even after you get your new burner, getting the hose replaced will increase your options.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Carbing and Quitting
« on: March 22, 2012, 09:17:35 AM »
When the beer warms up, Co2 comes out of solution and the headspace pressure increases.  As long as your keg didn't lose any pressure, the process will reverse when the beer is cooled.

Ingredients / Re: Post your water report
« on: March 11, 2012, 01:02:13 PM »
Colesville, MD -- Montgomery Co. 2/2012
Surface water

pH 7.4
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Est, ppm 112
Electrical Conductivity, mmho/cm 0.19
Cations / Anions, me/L 1.6 / 1.6
Sodium, Na 11
Potassium, K 2
Calcium, Ca 14
Magnesium, Mg 5
Total Hardness, CaCO3 56
Nitrate, NO3-N 1.0 (SAFE)
Sulfate, SO4-S 2 (6)
Chloride, Cl 27
Carbonate, CO3 < 1
Bicarbonate, HCO3 34
Total Alkalinity, CaCO3 28
"<" - Not Detected / Below Detection Limit

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