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Messages - Slowbrew

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1486
The Pub / Re: Blue Rhino
« on: November 22, 2011, 01:58:17 PM »
I always get my propane filled at Pacer, they supply the places I used to buy from so I cut out the middle man and saved money.  It's 3 blocks further, but hidden back in an industrial area. ::)  Right near my welding gas place though. :)

I only exchange propane in an emergency, because they rip you off on the fill and charge too much.  I exchange my CO2 preferentially because they fill the tank and charge a decent price, and I don't have to come back in a couple of days.

If the CO2 place filled on the spot for a good price I might not exchange, but that's not the way it works here.  Nobody fills at their location, they send it all to a central place (that is too far for me to conveniently go to).

They also exchange propane tanks at the CO2 place, but I get it cheaper at the propane place.

We have one place in town, a dive shop, that will fill CO2 while you wait.  The guy who runs it is (I'll be charitable) a bit disagreeable.  I find the nice, happy and friendly atmosphere of the fire supplies place far out weighs the need to go back in a few days to pick up the tank over getting b!@#ed at about my "apparently illegal" activities.

Paul

1487
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Is PBW safe?
« on: November 22, 2011, 09:59:24 AM »
A few years ago on the brewing network a guy from five star drank star san...
Is he still alive?  :)

If you're afraid of StarSan, you'd probably better stay away from Coca Cola.
StarSan makes my skin itch like mad if I expose my hands to it too much.  It's certainly not pleasant to drink, in my opinion.

I've never had any issue with either product.  I will agree that I wouldn't choose to mix drinks with Star San but I have never been concerned when it comes to incidental ingestion.

My hands get very dry just from washing things up (dishes, clothes, brewing equipment).  I've always just assumed it was the detergents and left most of that work to my slaves, uh, I mean my children.   :D

Paul

1488
The Pub / Re: Blue Rhino
« on: November 22, 2011, 08:17:20 AM »
I've always had an issue with giving my nice, well cared for and purchased brand new tank away in exchange for a tank of unknown age or condition.  I have a couple of fill places to choose from close to home so I use them exclusively.

Exchange stations like Blue Rhino haven't ever made me feel comfortable with just exchanging my tanks.  I don't do CO2 exchanges either.  It's my nice shiny tank, why would I want that scraped, scratched, and corroded one?

It's probably just me.  Glad to hear people will get at least some compensation though.

Paul

1489
Equipment and Software / Re: pickup tube
« on: November 17, 2011, 01:18:59 PM »
I had this same problem. I assume that you have female, half couplings welded to your kettle.

I ended up making my own fitting by brazing a copper tube inside a male nipple that screwed in from the outside. My ball valve then screwed onto this male fitting. Strange looking, but it works.

I think I can see how that would work.  Don't you lose a lot of space in the connector?  Seems like this would drop 1/2" port down to 3/8" or 1/4" pretty quickly.

The idea about running a tap all the way through the coupling seems like a good one.  Assuming there is enough sidewall to support threads both internal and external.

Paul

1490
Equipment and Software / Re: Adding ball valve to brew kettle
« on: November 17, 2011, 11:12:25 AM »
I made my pickup tube out of copper tubing and used the weldless bulkhead that NB sells.  You'll need a 1/2" MPT  to compression fitting connector to connect the pipe.

How thick is the wall of your kettle?  I would love to add a valve to my kettle but am a bit nervous about drilling the hole because the wall seems so thin.  It appears to be 1mm or less thick and I'm not sure I could get a seal.

It's probably just my paranoia about drilling a hole in a $100+ piece of equipment.

Thanks!

Paul

The sidewalls aren't very thick on my pot.  It shouldn't matter, really.  The weldless fitting seals on the inside and you can crank the nut as tight as you need to regardless of how thick the walls are.

Good to know.  I may be putting one on my list to Santa.

Paul

1491
The Pub / A tragic accident on Iowa today
« on: November 17, 2011, 10:57:06 AM »
Okay not so tragic.  A Bud truck tipped on its side on I-380 today.

http://www.kcci.com/automotive/29794758/detail.html

Driver is okay with some minor injuries.  Univ. of Iowa students saved from one load of Bud-Light.

Paul

1492
Equipment and Software / Re: Adding ball valve to brew kettle
« on: November 17, 2011, 10:49:14 AM »
Bargain fittings has a nice copper pickup tube.

http://www.bargainfittings.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=174

You can get everything you need from them.  Bulk head kit, and add a SS ball-valve for $11 (only $5 more than their brass valve)  Then the pickup tube will just screw into the coupling on the inside of the kettle. 

http://www.bargainfittings.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=46&product_id=91


Don't be afraid of drilling.  Just get a step bit, go slow and use some kind of oil/lubricant.



I'm definitely not afraid of drilling.  It's a paranoid fear of not sealing that I get hung up on.   ;D

I tend to over think on things like this.

Thanks for the encouragement!!!  I'd love to stop siphoning.

Paul

1493
Equipment and Software / Re: Adding ball valve to brew kettle
« on: November 17, 2011, 10:19:00 AM »
I made my pickup tube out of copper tubing and used the weldless bulkhead that NB sells.  You'll need a 1/2" MPT  to compression fitting connector to connect the pipe.

How thick is the wall of your kettle?  I would love to add a valve to my kettle but am a bit nervous about drilling the hole because the wall seems so thin.  It appears to be 1mm or less thick and I'm not sure I could get a seal.

It's probably just my paranoia about drilling a hole in a $100+ piece of equipment.

Thanks!

Paul

1494
Its an interesting idea.  If you're like me and don't really take very many gravity readings it would give you a much better idea of when the batch is done.  I typically am very short on time at home so by the time I finally get around to checking in on my batches they are done but you never know, I might make time to check if I had geeky toy.   :D

It really would come down to cost.  If the cost is fairly low, quite a few geeks would pick one (or 5) up.  If it is expensive than it becomes one of those things like a conical.  It might be nice but those pesky kids seem to think they need food and school supplies, like every month!

The guys who are trying to build the completely automated brewery will demand you release an API with it so they can program it into the cyborg-brewer they are making.

All in all it could be a nice addition to the brewery.

Paul

1495
Other Fermentables / Re: Dare I ask, "What About Mr Beer" Cider Kit?
« on: November 15, 2011, 07:59:51 AM »
I don't have any experience with any Mr. Beer products so I can't really answer your question directly. 

That being said, why not just scale down one of the recipes you've found on the web?  If the recipe you have makes 5 gallons and you only want 2 gallons you can pretty much multiply the ingredients by .4 (or 2/5) and get your ingredient volumes for 2 gallons.  Cider is pretty straight forward but others with more experience can point out adjustments that might be useful

Good luck!

Paul

1496
All Things Food / Re: KitchenAid 575W Mixer
« on: November 14, 2011, 10:14:51 AM »
I gave my wife one for Christmas about 10 years.  I believe I paid around $300 for it.  i use it more than she does.

Just in case anyone thought the specs might have changed, they seem to be exactly what they were way back when.  Cleaning out my Mom's house, we found a meat grinder attachment that has to be at least 60 years old.  No one else wanted it so I brought it home and it fits our KA perfectly. 

The only thing I have run into that isn't perfect is grease leaking out of the head.  The drive train above the mixer is filled with grease.  If you don't use it a couple of times a months, at least, the grease will start to run past the bushings and make a mess the next time you do use it.  It can actually drip into the food you are preparing.  This can be avoided by using it regularly and if it starts happening it will stop after a few uses.  So use it well and often.

Paul

1497
The Pub / Re: Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season
« on: November 10, 2011, 08:35:09 AM »
For me the social perspective is pretty much just like work.  I work in a building with 1000 other people who don't actually doe the same work I do.  All my communication is via conference call, email and IM.

At home I 4 kids who are in activities that keep me busy and out of the house.  This forum is my only hobby discussion outlet and because of my work environment, feeling like I know people I've never "met" seems perfectly normal.

Paul

1498
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New AHA Story Posted
« on: November 09, 2011, 01:44:22 PM »
Ahhh beer, the cause and solution to all of life's problems.  Homer Simpson.

1499
The Pub / Re: help!i
« on: November 08, 2011, 09:36:57 AM »
Why is it whenever we have a good discussion, somebody starts calling people trolls?

Are we having a good discussion?  I thought you were talking about Macs and PCs.....

Please leave your religion at the login page.    :-\

Commadore 64 was good enough for me and it's good enough for my kids by gawd.    New fangled, cheap crap all the kiddies have today...   ;D

Paul

1500
The Pub / Re: The McRib is back!!!
« on: November 08, 2011, 09:33:06 AM »
You do develop a tolerance to hot spices.  Jalapenos used to seem so hot I couldn't understand how people could eat them.  Now I eat slices as snacks while I'm cooking.  I thought I was going to die the first time I hit a habinero but now they aren't so bad.  I even chewed on one of those dried red peppers they use in angry Thia dishes the other day and didn't realize it.   :o

They still carry a delayed cost but eating them isn't a problem anymore.

Paul

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