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Messages - Slowbrew

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1
Equipment and Software / Re: Burner for anniversary
« on: April 17, 2015, 01:42:11 PM »
Is that copper on the legs?

From the Northern Brewer site, Question and Answer section:

"The copper pieces on the Bru Burner are copper plated, not painted"

So not solid copper but not painted either.  Either way, its a think of beauty.

Paul

2
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Anxiety of Kegging
« on: April 17, 2015, 01:22:16 PM »
Rule #1: The beer in the keg will always achieve the perfect balance of flavor, carbonation, and clarity about 2 or 3 pints before it blows.  ;)  RDWHAHB and build up an inventory.

+1....Totally.
+1

So true.  We were having a party and a guest came up raving about how clear his glass of beer was.  I told him to enjoy it, it's probably about to blow.  The next guy came up and said the O-fest just blew.  Everybody looked at me like I was nuts and all I could do was laugh.

paul

3
Kegging and Bottling / Re: keg conditioning with priming sugar
« on: April 17, 2015, 11:30:06 AM »
I use priming sugar in all my kegs (unless I'm in a major rush) and it works fine.

I add 1/3 cup of corn sugar after boiling it to a 5 gal keg.  All I ever do is pour the sugar water in the empty keg and rack the beer in on top.  Close up the keg and seat the lid with CO2.  Then I just put in the storage coloset until I need it.  I have only had one or to not hold their seal and they have leaky poppets that needed to be fixed.

YMMV

Paul

4
I'm not a expert in any way on plastics but that looks like a stress fracture to me. 

It's hard to imagine soaking in a cleaning agent could cause that kind of crack.  My first thought when I saw the picture was that they must have had a problem in the mold that left a section weaker than normal or the part was abused in some way (not throwing stones, just thinking about it like a tech).

For their customers sake I hope there contract manufacturer figured out what was causing this to happen and fixed the build process.  Not cool to blame your customers though.

Paul

5
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: almost a lost year brewing
« on: April 15, 2015, 11:44:08 AM »
How long are your mash steps?

I mash in a simple step

+1  - Typically 60 minutes.

The recipe you posted doesn't look out of the ordinary.  Nothing in it should cause the sourness you are getting.

Paul

6
I don't have any real information on this just experience with with large systems and support. 

Standards help avoid mistakes in fast moving environments so making the 2 posts different is an easy way to avoid errors out in the field.  At he homebrewer level it probably isn't important but on the scale these containers were designed for it likely solved some big issues along the way. 

One idea comes to mind might be in a commercial system.  Imagine a restaurant with 15 different sodas on the line that are stored in a room in the back.  The CO2 tank is outside in a cage.  You would need to manage up to 30 lines that may or may not have labels on them.  With identical ends you have no obvious way to identify inputs and outputs.  Maintenance would involve tracing lines (through walls, under fixtures, etc.) every time there was a problem.  At least if you can easily tell the difference between gas and soda you can save some time trouble shooting.

IMHO

Paul

7
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: almost a lost year brewing
« on: April 14, 2015, 12:21:14 PM »
I think we are the ones who are confused by your dilemma.  I know I am very interested in what finally fixes the issues you are seeing. 

This is a tough question to answer on a forum like this so everybody starts grasping at straws.

You mentioned that you know other brewers who are not having this issue.  Have you tried borrowing their brewing equipment and space?  It might just rule out your processes and/or give you another set of data to apply to the hunt.

1) If you can take your ingredients and process and brew on a friends system and don't see a problem, then you know it is location or equipment (and you get some beer :D). 

2) After that, you could take your equipment and brew in different location.  If that works then you know it is something around your home causing it. 

3) If it follows you equipment then you might need to replace all your equipment in one shot (at least all the soft plastic).  I would do the first brew session at the location away from home after replacing everything just to be sure it actually fixes the problem.

I really hesitate suggesting you have a buddy brew with their equipment at your place based on how persistent the problem seems to be.  I wouldn't want to be the one who gives this gift to another brewer.   ::)

Good luck in your quest!

Paul

8
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: almost a lost year brewing
« on: April 14, 2015, 04:37:37 AM »
I admire your willingness to keep going after so many failed batches.  I'm pretty sure I would have given up by this point.

I don't know that it would help but can you post a couple of the recipes you are using and maybe some pictures of your equipment and brewing space?  It might trigger something that hasn't been thought of yet.

Paul

9
Equipment and Software / Re: Refractometer, what am I missing out on?
« on: April 12, 2015, 05:05:59 AM »
I finally spent some real money on a decent refractometer. I can't remember where I got mine now but it cost closer to $80 and is much more accurate than then cheap ones I tried off ebay for a couple years.

The ability to get a quick OG reading is invaluable for me since I have a lot going on during brewday, especially since I often have 2 brews going on at the same time.

one of the things you have to do is cool the sample first, I use a metal spoon and pull a few teaspoons out, blow on it and then put it on the sight glass, blow on that again and then close the lid and it sit a few seconds to stabilize.

I always use a hydrometer to check for FG because I want to be sure my reading is accurate.

During the Winter at least, I take a sample with my brewing spoon and then pull a couple of cc's into a plastic pipet.   I cap the end of the pipet with my finger and stick the bulb in a snow bank.  Then I shake up the sample and add it to the platen.

Paul

10
I try not to eat anything crazy spicy too soon before bedtime. Not from gastric distress but from the stimulant effect. I'll toss and turn all night. It's like drinking coffee.

I guess I'm one of those lucky souls who are not bothered by caffeine.  My body has given up complaining about hot and spicy foods too.  It used to drive my wife nuts that I could drink 4 cups of coffee at a party and then fall asleep before her.   ;D

Paul

11
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Propane Tanks in the Garage
« on: April 09, 2015, 02:07:25 PM »
I stand right next to him and watch the scale.
The scale is in a little dark shed, I should memorize the tank tare and see where it is set.

Edit - I have a respect for gas and gas over liquid tanks under pressure. I worked in a setting where even though I did not use much of what was in our lab, we had to watch the safety training films. Safety rules are there for a reason. Stuff happens, the results can be bad news. It doesn't happen all the time, but the results can be very bad.

So how many of you have been through the safety training and videos and still store your tanks inside?

I will shut up now.

Son of a firefighter here.  Seen pretty much all of it on safety.  I am willing to bet that more houses burn down from Christmas trees each year than propane leak fires (of course most propane fires are caused by ignition from the operating device, rather than the tank leaking when disconnected).  I agree that we should be safe, just that storage of a propane tank and lawnmower gas, chainsaw gas and weed whacker gas in my gararage away from combustion sources is a reasonably safe practice IMHO.  And as always, reasonable minds may differ and I am okay with that.

Especially if yo have a live tree with LP powered twinkling lights.   ;D

In all seriousness, I do worry about our Christmas trees.  We go out each, stalk, corner and then kill our own tree each year (kids took a picture one year while I cutting one down and labeled in online "The year we lost Dad.  Christmas was never the same").  They are beautiful and make the hose smell awesome but they would make good kindling by the end of the season.

I've never spent too much time worried about my tanks leaking enough to cause a fire.  Guess I've lived a charmed life. 

Paul

12
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Twisted Pretzel
« on: April 09, 2015, 01:58:42 PM »
Shocktop is hurting their brand significantly. If I was just getting into the beer world and enjoyed Shocktop, I would be pissed after wasting money on this other crap. I'm sure newbies like Blue Moon and 312 just as much and will expand on those brands (though Goose Island and Shocktop are owned by the same company).

I was faced with a choice between Blue Moon and Miller Lite a couple weekends ago (was helping run a charity auction).  Actually blue Moon wasn't too bad for a long night being an auctioneer's mule.

Paul

13
In addition to increased cell count, a starter improves yeast vitality and acts as a crude viability check - if the starter ferments out, you have at least some healthy yeast. That's particularly important with the White Labs vials.

One cup of DME and two cups of water.

Just wanted to point out that that should be two *quarts* of water.

I was chewing on that one too.  1 to 2 would be be a powerful starter.   :)

Paul

14
The Pub / Re: Modern work ethic
« on: April 09, 2015, 01:51:45 PM »
At the company I work for as long you put in your 70 hours a week they're happy.  At least it's down from 80.  Corporate IT will take anything they can get and toss you as soon as you let up a little.

I was service manager for a company once where the boss hired a kid who showed up still drunk each morning for 2 weeks straight.  He didn't last long enough to even get sent to training. 

Paul

15
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer Swap Idea
« on: April 09, 2015, 10:29:39 AM »
I have nothing in bottles and this time of year have no time to get that done so I'm out.

The shipping rules are based on export licenses and such.  Both UPS and FedEX will ship alcohol from companies across state lines that have export licenses but their rules for consumers specifically disallow alcohol shipments.  It's more a matter of not wanting to cross the Feds and the states and end up in court than anything else.

In my opinion, ship it anywhere you want as long as you don't get asked any questions.   8)

Paul

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