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Messages - Slowbrew

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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.


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Final Gravity Estimation
« on: June 20, 2016, 04:11:20 AM »
It is the only thing that you can count on providing that all of your measuring equipment is properly calibrated.

Using culture tubes to collect and chill samples eliminates the evaporation while cooling issue, (cooling a sample on a spoon will result in a high reading, due to evaporation.) and makes chilling easy. They're borosilicate glass, so I just run them under cool water for a few seconds. Their volume is so small it takes no time to bring it from boiling to room temperature.

Good tip.

I do them same thing with 3cc plastic pipettes.  Pull out 2cc or so, crimp the end of the pipette and run under the faucet or stick the bulb in a snow bank.  Cools it off quickly and doesn't allow evaporation.


I'm doing an English Golden Ale and a Blonde tomorrow.

I'm seriously behind on brewing so I'm trying to knock out 6 batches quickly.  Last week I did a Sour Mash and an American Wheat.  I have a Belgium Ale and another Wheat on deck in the next couple of weeks.  I had a new "wanna-be" brewer along for the Sour Mash so killed 2 birds with that one.  8^)

All the beer I have currently is in the kegerator and a family reunion is coming in July.  Two graduations and whole lotta other stuff really slowed me down this Spring.


My first thought was after a 3 month break it probably wouldn't matter what I started with because it would end in "too much".   :-[

If I had to choose it today I'd grab a pint of my English Golden Ale.  Very fine brew that would invite a second.


Equipment and Software / Re: My Ugly Keezer
« on: June 14, 2016, 08:45:59 AM »
Any functional keezer is beautiful keezer.   ;)

Good job!


Equipment and Software / Re: GFCI Outlets
« on: June 03, 2016, 04:25:51 AM »
And, any outlet downstream from the gfci on the same circuit is also protected.

This makes finding the problems in new construction fun sometimes.  In our addition the outside outlets are wired in the same circuit as a GFCI inside the basement of said addition.  The first time an outside outlet (on a different level of the house) didn't work it took a bit of searching to find the popped GFCI.  Keeps life interesting.   ;D


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Doh! Yeast starter blunder.
« on: June 03, 2016, 04:16:08 AM »
After reading your description of the problem I realized I've this many, many times and never considered it an issue.  I haven't seen any evidence of cross contamination either.  Personally, I think the difference in cell count between the two would negate any need to worry about it.

IMHO, YMMV, IANAbC(biochemist)  8^)


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Denny hits 500 today...
« on: June 02, 2016, 01:49:08 PM »
Wow!  500 batches.  Way to go Denny!

I just plugged batches 250-255 into my recipe list last night.  I've got a ways to go.  I hope to start brewing them next weekend.


All Grain Brewing / Re: where did I go wrong
« on: May 24, 2016, 04:17:04 AM »
milling was done at the store when I bought the grains. I took the pre-boil G directly from the mash tun right before I started sparging. So is a pre-boil really needed for anything? Oh and should I toss the entire thing and try again or is there anything I can add it has only been 24 hours so far.

Taking your reading at that point would give a number more akin to first runnings.  The sparging process would dilute things from that point. 

I always take my pre-boil reading immediate after the hot break in the kettle.  Not technically pre-boil but is worked me.


Amanda and I have decided this thread is full of liars.    ;D
at the very least you guys are entering competitions a lot less frequently than those making the infected stuff I keep running into at the judging table.

Sure, I've tossed batches.  Certainly more because of oxidation or just being tired of it, but infections happen.  Occasionally the effect is lovely, and sometimes others don't even notice it.  Friends couldn't detect the mouse in a batch of cider, but it was there, and I didn't keep that **** another day.

That's probably a good working theory.   ;D

For what it's worth I have never entered a competition.  Just isn't my idea of fun.

I was told once by an owner of a brewery here in Des Moines that he thought my beers were awesome.  Didn't find out who the guy was until weeks later so that's the sum total of the appraisal.   ::)

I'm sure some have had infections but they were not so obviously terrible they got thrown out but I would never intentionally tell you guys lies. ;D


In 18 years I've had a few infected bottles but I can't specifically say I've had entire batches infected.  Some where just "not quite right" and we drank them faster than we normally would, just in case.

I have had absolutely awful beers because of bad temp control and messed up processes but nothing I would write off as "infected".  The problem kids have always been my fault.    ::)


I agree with the others.  Get the Perlick's. 

I put the chrome type on my keg fridge at first and later bought the ones I should have.  It doesn't take very long for the cheaper kind to stick so bad you will swear the lever will break off before they open.  Not worth the hassle IMHO.


I keg.

But, I like bottles because they create a natural stopping point. 1 bottle is 12 oz. I will drink 1 and stop.

With kegging I serve a pint. Then sneak a few more ounces. Then a few more.

Makes watching my weight more challenging.

+1 (or more)

Where I used to have 1 or maybe 2 bottles of beer I now find myself finishing 3 or maybe 4 pints and wondering where those extra pounds are coming from?   ::)  It can be too convenient some evenings after work.


My experience was that I got tired of bottling.  It was nice to take a 12 pack to a party but you always had to deal with the dregs on the bottom of each bottle.

That's what I say today but the deeper truth is I thought it would be really cool to have beer on tap in the basement all the time.   ;D

On the other side kegging means some relatively expensive equipment for the convenience.  Taking beer to  a party is now hauling a keg and CO2 tank/regulator, ice and an "Ice Cube" cooler with you.  It makes you popular but also can be a pain in the tail.

I don't normally force carb my kegs.  I'm not in a hurry since I usually have more beer on hand than I can consume anyway so I still carb with priming sugar.  If the keg is over carbed, I can de-gas it.  Under carbed and I can let it sit a few days.

I hope this is useful.


Our local Hy Vee grocery is one of their new buildings.  Massive, with everything you can imagine in it from groceries to a beer bar to a deli and full sit down restaurant.  The craft beer cold section is a wall of coolers about 50' long with 5 or 6 shelves.  Then they have a couple of 25' aisles with warm cases and 6 packs.  The BMC beers are in a 2 sided 25'-ish cooler aisle. 

The selection we have of craft beer now is sometimes overwhelming.  Like the going a wine store that has 100+ of every variety.  Where do you start?

It's been amazing to watch the shift from all BMC with a 6' cooler in the back for "other" to what we see today.


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