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Messages - Slowbrew

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The Pub / Re: HVAC companies too busy to bother?
« on: July 22, 2016, 12:48:23 PM »
   I spent 28 years working for HVAC/Sheet Metal contractors and never got over how some would routinely ignore calls from potential customers when we were swamped, not even having the courtesy of a call back to explain that we were too busy at the moment but appreciated their call. Then when things slowed down and we needed work they would cry the blues about how unfair it was that we were out of work. They never seemed to make the connection. There are folks in all trades and professions that suffer from this myopia.
   As a side note I did learn to be wary of the guy who can be on your doorstep at a moment's notice when all the other guys are up to their eyeballs with work, there might just be a good reason why he's available.

That was my thought too.  If the market is swamped with work and he's not busy there may be another problem.   ::)

I've called many contractors in many fields and they really run hot and cold.  Some don't call back.  some call back but show up.  Some show up and then never come back with a quote.  A few work very hard to get and keep your business.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why Do You Homebrew?
« on: July 20, 2016, 10:54:03 AM »
A few reasons:

1.  Because I f*u*k*n* love the smell of mashing grains in the air and fresh hops right out of the Mylar. 

2.  It gives me an excuse to drink beer and do something seemingly productive at the same time.

3.  I enjoy making, creating, and innovating equipment used to make beer which provides an opportunity to  combine pure geek (engineering) with something quite cool (beer).

4.  My garage looks like it belongs to a mad scientist, filled with metal canisters, conical vessels, pots with gauges, beakers, flasks, stainless steel tables, etc.  It's fun to freak people out by showing them, especially if they have no idea how technical making beer can get.

5.  I always have something to say if asked "what's one interesting fact about yourself".

6.  Kumquat Kolsch?  Oyster Stout?  Imperial Indian Stout Ale?  Those cannot be readily bought at most bottle shops but you sure as hell can brew them yourself (and they are wayyyy more delicious than they sound.

7.  It sure as f**k beats stamp collecting.

8.  I really enjoy my periodic conversations with our local law enforcement when new neighbors move in.  It's always interesting to start a conversation with "why no, officer, who said I was making meth?"  or "I'm don't know why someone thinks I'm running a still.  That's an immersion chiller, I run cold water through it not steam."


Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegerator frustrations
« on: July 20, 2016, 10:48:21 AM »
I've had that happen on over carbed and infected kegs.  If 2 kegs run really slowly but don't foam I agree with the poster earlier who pointed to the keg. 

I have had to purge the headspace 3, 4, 5 times, over the course of days, with no gas applied between dumps to fix a couple over carbed beauties.   ::)

Have you checked the dip tube and liquid out poppet?  It may be a coincidence that a chunk of s... stuff is causing a problem in the new kegerator.

I hope you find the issue.  I hate new stuff that doesn't work.


You would probably have better luck using the "professional" side of our organization.  the Brewers Association is focused on the commercial side of things.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why Do You Homebrew?
« on: July 17, 2016, 07:20:20 AM »
None of my hobbies - hunting, fishing, photography, homebrewing, etc. - save me any money, but they do bring me a lot of pleasure.

Yeah, if markets work efficiently and there's sufficient demand then none of us should be able to save money by doing something ourselves that can be done more efficiently on a larger scale.

In my mind, the "maker culture" is fueled by the feeling that we can make things that have a higher value to us than similar products that we could purchase. Some of that value may be created by freshness, uniqueness or even just the intrinsic value of the work and care that we put into crafting the product.

That said, I grew up raising cattle and farming. While I love brewing my own beer, I'm perfectly content to drive to the supermarket for my beef and bread ;-)

Me too! I'm a DIYer - do my own house repair/maintenance, veg garden, cut my own firewood, do basic maintenance on my motorized stuff, etc. - but zero interest in raising my own meat!

If I had the location and out buildings I'd raise 5 or 6 sheep.  It would be fun for the kids to see the lambing process and nothing tastes better than fresh lamb, marinated and cooked slow over coals.  If you can find lamb in super market you have to sign a mortgage to afford it.

I wouldn't do cattle or hogs.  Too much feed and too many disease problems to do on a small scale.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why Do You Homebrew?
« on: July 14, 2016, 08:49:58 AM »
Homebrewing to save money on beer works out like buying a fishing boat to save money on fish.

Or any hobby that requires tools and materials to get started.  I do wood working to save money on shelving.  (Hides table saw, planer, routers, bits and blades, jointer, clamps, dovetail jig, air compressor, brad nail gun, pin nail gun, work benches, unknown number of hand tools, sanders, finishing equipment, extra room on back of house to contain it all on retail purchased Gorilla shelve of course)   ;D


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Top Cropping crash course?
« on: July 14, 2016, 08:31:15 AM »

Many brewers skim their crop when the wort hits 50% apparent attenuation.  I recently discovered that this practice is not optimal with true Yorkshire strains.  The mid-head has to be "beaten" back into the wort, or one will end up with a diacetyl bomb.  I am now waiting until the end of fermentation to take my crop when using Yorkshire strains.

Can you elaborate on this? What causes the diacetyl to form if you don't beat the mid-head back?

My guess on this:  The diacetyl formed during the mash and fermentation which is normal.  Removing too much yeast may lead to incomplete cleanup by the yeast after fermentation is complete. 

My understanding is the after the sugars are gone, the yeast clean up their leftovers for us.  If we remove too many they can't clean it all up.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Why Do You Homebrew?
« on: July 13, 2016, 02:09:22 PM »
I brew for obvious reasons:

1) I like beer
2) My friends like beer
3) I like the variety brewing allows. And that if I don't like something, I can change it.

I also brew for reasons that a bit more complex:

1) Brewing a batch has a defined start and end.  I know when I'm done and that gives a sense of closure.  My j-o-b in the IT department of a large bank doesn't really offer anything in the way of feeling like you finished something.  Most work we do either goes on forever with new releases and the HW/OS upgrade treadmill or the funding gets cut and everything just stops.  Most projects end long before anyone really says they're done, they just kind of fade into the back.

2) Along the same lines as #1.  I get real feedback from people who use my product.  They like it or they don't.  They don't keep coming back just because I'm the only place that, kinda, gives them what they need.

3) It gives "quiet time" where I can focus on doing one thing and no one interrupts me, unless it is really urgent.  Not business "urgent" like "I changed my requirements and never told you so you didn't give me what I wanted, now fix it" urgent. Really urgent, like "Dad, the car's on fire", urgent.  Just me, my radio and the brewing.  All the minor stuff can wait.

I'm not really antisocial but I'm still trying.  I can get there.  8^)


Equipment and Software / Re: New Mill Rollers
« on: July 12, 2016, 04:02:29 AM »
I returned my Barley Crusher to have the rollers replaced last year.
The only cost to me was the shipping to them.
They paid the cost of the return shipping.

The mill works better now than it did when it was new.
How long did it take before you got it back from them?

It took about 4 weeks from the time I shipped it until I got it back.

And, Jeff, yes I flipped the roller around; several times now over the last couple years.

I'm thinking it took about about 3 weeks.  It was a while ago so I'm a bit fuzzy.

In terms of warranty, it has a lifetime warranty and pretty much everything that can go wrong with it is a "wear and tear" issue.  BC was happy to repair, I was happy to have it repaired.  Seemed like a good outcome.


Kegging and Bottling / Re: keg temperature for storage
« on: July 10, 2016, 04:53:10 AM »
Storing it at cellar temps should be fine.  Storing at 70ish degrees won't hurt it in anyway.  I do this all the time.


Equipment and Software / Re: New Mill Rollers
« on: July 10, 2016, 04:48:56 AM »
I returned my Barley Crusher to have the rollers replaced last year.
The only cost to me was the shipping to them.
They paid the cost of the return shipping.

The mill works better now than it did when it was new.


I sent mine in a couple of years age.  They rebuilt it at no cost and shipped it back.  It's been working great.


Equipment and Software / Re: MW102 pH meter issue
« on: July 03, 2016, 04:38:38 AM »
Mine did that pretty quickly after I had purchased it.  It got to the point it wouldn't lock at all.  I replaced the probe and everything works like a champ again.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Best way to store empty kegs?
« on: June 27, 2016, 03:26:17 PM »
It must be one of those days.  My first thought was put beer in them.   8)

I clean, rinse and pressurize them.  As was stated earlier, if they aren't under pressure when I pull them out of storage I have a leak to find.


The Pub / Re: What's the Weather Like Where You Are?
« on: June 21, 2016, 12:33:08 PM »
Everything is a month early this year.  February felt like March.  March like April, etc.  June has been averaging 85F+ and we have gotten almost no rain.  Can't wait for July to be the oven of August and probably no rain then either.

The farmers are starting to get worried.  without rain, there won't be much of a crop, any crop.  Glad I do IT work and don't have to live with the stress of farming.


Equipment and Software / Re: cleaning immersion chiller
« on: June 21, 2016, 12:23:31 PM »
Every so often I drop mine in the StarSan bucket for 30 minutes or so when I'm ready to replace my StarSan mix.  It comes out so shiny nothing could be left on it.  It might be a quick way to make sure it starts clean.

Every so often isn't more than every 1 to 2 years though.  As long as you rinse it well after use and boil for 15 in each beer you shouldn't have issues.

I'll warn you, the smell of the combination of copper and StarSan is not pleasant.  Just saying.


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