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Messages - Slowbrew

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: What's the coldest I can brew?
« on: December 16, 2016, 06:19:47 AM »
Propane freezes at -44F per Google - I've used my gas grill in winter on the coldest of Chicago days with no problem for 20 years.

I boiled outside on the deck recently when it was very cold - other than about another 3/4 gallon evaporation than usual and having to go outside to stir it worked just fine. Was kind of fun watching the cloud coming off the kettle.

Oh - do not try cooling off the wort in a snow bank - it acts as the world's best insulator and sits hot for hours and hours. I didn't have much luck leaving it out in the wind and cold to cool either, and went back to normal wort chiller inside.

I do the indoor/outdoor routine every time I brew.  I mash and sparge in my basement workshop and do all the heating outside on the walkout patio.  I chill indoors with an IC.  I used a flat furniture cart to move the kettle around.  It beats standing outside on sub zero weather.

I have frozen the regulator on my propane tank a couple of times though.  You have to keep an eye on things out there.   :)


Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg Pressure Regulator Advice
« on: December 13, 2016, 03:30:54 PM »
I'm a little confused (not unusual).  You say "After a few days in the fridge the keg read close to zero psi, does this indicate a leak? The keg side reads 600 psi." and I don't think it can be both.  8^)

I'm going guess the keg gauge says 0 and the tank gauge says 600 and that the tank isn't in the fridge?  If that's the case, I would assume you have a leak somewhere on the keg side.  Small enough that it isn't draining your tank too fast but big enough to not allow the keg to hold pressure.  If the tank is chilled now then a reading of 600 may not be that far off.

Is the beer carbonated after sitting on the tank for a few days?  Can you pour normally?  If those are both answered yes then you may have a bad gauge on the low pressure side.

I'm sure others will chime too.


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Is my starter dead?
« on: December 13, 2016, 05:06:09 AM »
Was planning on brewing today but now not sure.

I set up a starter last night using the Fast Pitch canned wort and Omega yeast labs abbey ale yeast.

It's only the second time I have done this as I have always used smack packs in the past.

First time I did this (with London Ale yeast) the starter went nuts and clearly showed bubbling and would froth up when shook. This time there appears to be very little reaction if any at all.

I have read that abbey ale yeast takes longer to get going and I'm now wondering if I'm starting to see some small bubbles in the starter. But don't know if that is just caused by my shaking.

Currently thinking my options are:
- go for it anyway and pitch it - if it doesn't work pick up a smack pack in a few days and add it later.
- assume it's dead and accept the 2 hour round trip to my nearest homebrew store to pick up a smack pack now.
- just wait and brew tomorrow (not ideal but can do)

Advice greatly received!

I typically make my starters days in advance of my brew day and often step it up two or three times to insure a healthy yeast population.  If you are brewing a high gravity beer, you want to make sure you have an abundant amount of healthy yeast cells.
This is good advice.  I will always plan my starters two to three weeks in advance of brewing.

I usually mix up my starters 3 to 4 days before I'll need them.  24 hours seems too short and 2 -3 weeks seems too long to me.  I guess I could be Goldilocks or something.  8^)


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: WHYM
« on: November 25, 2016, 01:30:52 PM »
I watched the video and felt like I watching something from the Onion or a bad "funny or die".  I hope it's a joke because that's just dumb.

The Pub / Re: What's the Weather Like Where You Are?
« on: November 22, 2016, 09:49:46 AM »
The temp finally dropped this past weekend here in south-central Iowa.  Still warm for this time of year but highs in the high 40's to low 50's instead of the high 70's.  Today is rainy and windy.

I'm hoping for one more nice day before it really starts to drop.  I have tickets to the last home game for Iowa State.  My daughter is in the marching band.  It would be great to get in the 50's with little to no  wind.  The predicted temp is about right, at the moment, but still crossing my fingers.  :)


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: FedEx or UPS??
« on: November 17, 2016, 02:37:06 PM »
I haven't shipped any yeast samples via either service but I have also never seen a video on the internet of a UPS driver throwing a flat screen TV over a 6' fence and calling it delivered.   ;)

I've told my shipping horror stories from my personal computer manufacturing days so I won't bore everyone.  Suffice it to say they both have problems now and then and neither one is ever happy to pay an insurance claim (a direct quote "Your packing must be able to survive one, or more, of our trucks driving over it").


All Grain Brewing / Re: Gravity consistently off by 10 points
« on: November 17, 2016, 09:17:17 AM »
I think it's about .035mil
Whoa! That's tiny.

LOL!  I see what you're talking about there... ;)

 ;D  Less than the width of a hair may be a little tight. That made me chuckle.

Might want think about that as .035 inches.  It would be 0.889mm if you want use metric.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Stuck in storage
« on: November 12, 2016, 06:16:47 AM »
Assuming they are in airtight packaging they will be fine.  Room temps for short time frames won't hurt them at them at all.


In the current issue of Zymurgy Gary talks up being able to turn it off on in certain places but only on iPhones.

We Android uses don't get that option.   :'(

It's an OS design thing, not really an app issue.


Questions about the forum? / Re: Giveaways/freebies to existing members
« on: November 08, 2016, 11:54:59 AM »
I think I saw an email on this offer about a week after I renewed my membership.  All I did was chuckle about it since that's hope my timing usually works.  I don't really belong to the AHA for the "gifts" they often have available for renewals.  If I happen to get in on one I don't complain either.  8^)

The one give away I appreciated the most was the GABF baseball cap I got the first year I joined.  I have to admit that may have influenced me to actually pull the trigger on it that year.  I loved that cap so of course I lost it (I got over it. Really).  I think I received a book once and 6oz of hops a couple of years ago.  All appreciated but not required to get me to renew my membership.

Good luck in the drawing!!!  And thanks to the AHA for making me a smarter brewer.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: How Not To Home Brew (Video)
« on: November 08, 2016, 09:41:17 AM »
I suppose being "down under" you can't employ gravity because liquid probably runs up and you'd have to turn your kettles over to catch it.  Just takin the Mickey out of you mate. Watching someone else brew is always a great learning experience. Thanks for your post and welcome to the forum.

I think gravity still pulls "down" but I'm pretty sure you have stir your mash and whirlpool counter clockwise to make things work.



All Grain Brewing / Re: Boil over: foam is good or not?
« on: November 07, 2016, 10:30:55 AM »
You picked a topic that has been discussed (argued over?) many times over the years.  I don't know of any agreed on consensus that has ever been reached.

IMHO - I do not skim off the hot break because, frankly, it seems like too much work.  On the other side of that I don't sweat it if I have a boil over either (except for cussing myself out for making more clean up work).   I don't think it matters enough to make a difference in my beers.

As they say, RDWHAHB.   :)


All Things Food / Re: Beer style(s) for Thanksgiving?
« on: October 26, 2016, 02:04:36 PM »
I know this will sound like heresy here but for the Turkey Day meal we prefer to serve a nice cold Riesling.  Light body, slightly sweet and compliments the turkey and all the calorie laden foods.

Later in the day, it's whatever I have on tap.  Late Fall usually means an American Wheat, Golden Ale, Fat Tire clone, a Sour Mash and/or a RIPA or a Red.  I try to keep a wide range available.  I usually have a bottled Porter or Stout in the fridge.

I just prefer wine with the meal.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Making a no rinse sterilizer
« on: October 26, 2016, 10:57:22 AM »
Is there any good reason to not just use Star-San?  I am a bit wasteful but I know plenty of people who spend practically nothing because they use distilled or R/O water and reuse the sanitizer pretty much indefinitely.

I do this with distilled water.  I can tell you that "pretty much indefinitely" is over stating it though.  Six months is about the limit before it really doesn't work anymore.  Looks fine and acts normal but isn't nearly as effective after that.

I pushed it a bit this and lost one beer due to a nasty infection.  Plus, every year I use the last of my bucket-o-starsan to soak my IC just before throwing out the solution.  This year I think it promoted the growth of whatever was on the coils.  It got nasty.  I mixed up a batch with tap water to soak off the grey/black crude before I start up again this Saturday.


The Pub / Re: Spelling and Grammar
« on: October 26, 2016, 08:05:48 AM »
I think this is a forum about homebrewing.  If there is a proper English forum you may want to seek it out and discuss your grievances.  I for one could care less if someone doesn't practice proper English during informal conversation.  You may call it what you will, but I would bet you a round of beer that you wouldn't correct someone at a bar.  What's the point of doing it here?

Sent from my SM-S820L using Tapatalk

Not every person who reads the forum counts English as their first language. Improper spelling and grammar can be confusing to somebody who is not familiar with common misspellings and incorrect grammar in English. We could certainly scare off some of these readers with:

Let's eat Grandpa!


Let's eat, Grandpa!

My kids all loved that joke.  It usually starts with "Commas save lives..."  8^)

One mistake that used to drive crazy was misusing Affect and Effect.  It isn't all that hard to see the difference but so many people type it incorrectly.

My biggest mistake, generally, is dropping out words as I type.  I think "we cannot go into that" and type "
we can go into that".  Many  a battle has ensued in work emails because of that little tick.  Unfortunately, even rereading the sentence won't always show it to you because your mind fills in what is missing.  That's why you tell kids to read to the wall.

If you want to see pedantic fights get out of hand spend some time on  It used to be a great tech site but has sunk really far in recent years.

I promise to do my best to be clear and ask for forgiveness when I fail.


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