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Messages - Slowbrew

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Equipment and Software / Re: false bottom, bazooka, BIAB?
« on: August 20, 2015, 04:25:20 AM »
It would make a great batch sparge mash/tun.  All you need is a single braid.  Checkout

You could also build a screen using PVC or copper pipe and use it for fly sparging. 

The only one I would probably eliminate is BIAB since the whole idea with that is to only use a single vessel.

Years ago Denny's testimonials about batch sparging convinced me to give it a try and I've never gone back to fly sparging.  It really is cheap and easy.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Beer Writer Needs Your Opinion
« on: August 18, 2015, 09:48:27 AM »
I don't really think brewing beer can be called cheating anyway you choose to do it.  If you want to grow your hops, grow and malt your own grain or buy a turn-key, push one button and make beer system they are equally valid ways to to brew.

Brewing is very much trial and error no matter how you do it.

My own system is strictly batch sparge.  A cooler, a boil kettle and chiller IC.  Pretty basic.  Someday, when the kids are grown and through college I might think about more automation in my brewery but that's a cash flow question more than a right or wrong thing.  Pretty/shiny is usually pretty pricey.  Cheap works, most of the time.


All Grain Brewing / Re: color of Susan
« on: August 18, 2015, 07:50:02 AM »
Kind of looks like orange soda.  No idea how you get that color though.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: It's Official
« on: August 15, 2015, 05:53:33 AM »
Welcome to your new home.   :)

When I think about how to open a brewery cans always seem like the way to go to me.  Less packaging weight, no light enters the packaging but the main reason is that in Iowa, no glass bottles are allowed in the state parks.  Campers, fishermen and just people spending the day at the park or the beach are a large summer market here.  Seems like a slice of the market I wouldn't want to leave behind.

Some beers deserve bottles but a guy who will only buy bottled beer because he refuses to buy new ones has a very short sighted perspective.


The Pub / Re: Retirement
« on: August 11, 2015, 02:42:11 PM »
I retired early, and am still in the same place. One more brutal winter and I might change my mind.

One tax strategy that I read about is to retire in Vancouver WA, no state income tax, and then shop in Portland OR, no sales tax.

You can do the same thing in South Dakota (no income tax), Minnesota (no sales taxes on non-food items) and Iowa (no sales tax on food).  Lots of land around, Sioux Falls isn't too small but the Winters are brutal.  And for gawds sake don't move there with kids who are still in school, no taxes mean the schools are terrible.  Roads are in bad shape and not getting any better.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Viable yeast in Vegemite?
« on: August 11, 2015, 02:34:26 PM »
First they came for the Vegemite and I didn't say anything ...

Just like a government to blame the product and not the underlying causes.   ::)


The Pub / Re: Retirement
« on: August 11, 2015, 09:34:53 AM »
For a long time my dreams were northern South American locations.  My wife has started mentioning European cities.

Odds are we'll end up right here in Central Iowa, assuming my kids stick around and start generating grand kids. 

It's an interesting thought exercise but still 15 years away for me at this point.


All Grain Brewing / Re: 50:50 or 60:40 Wheat to Vienna for Hefeweizen?
« on: August 07, 2015, 02:46:04 PM »
It should taste great but with that much wheat don't rush the sparge.  It will work but it will be a bit gummy.  To me it falls in the "patience grasshopper" category.   ;D


Years ago there was a lot of talk about leaky kegs.  Folks posted the McMaster Carr numbers for 100 small o-rings at a time for cheap, cheap, cheap.

I finally ordered a set of each kind of small ring.  It's easier to just replace all the o-rings than spend anytime trouble shooting.


Going Pro / Re: Tell me what you think
« on: August 05, 2015, 12:02:03 PM »
Yeah, that is my next step.  I have the name trademarked, and I don't see how someone could trademark an anchor.  It would have to be identical in every respect.

IANAL - but it seems like the standard used for these things is if the image is close enough to confuse the average (i.e. not so bright) person then it is an infringement. 

My first thought when I looked at the logo was "Anchor Steam may have an issue with that" and I don't live in a place where their beers are even sold.  That doesn't really mean anything though, I'm a worrier by nature.  "Every silver lining has a tough of gray" seemed like a so obviously true statement that there was no need to write it down.  ::)


If it was actively producing CO2 you have nothing to worry about.  Infection bugs and oxygen don't swim up stream so the CO2 being released show keep it out.  I would only be a little concerned if your temp dropped a good amount and caused pressure to decrease in the carboy.  Even then I would sweat it too much.


Pimp My System / Re: Poolside Brew Shed
« on: July 30, 2015, 12:20:47 PM »
Very nice!  I'm always amazed by skill level of everyone on this board!!


Nice write-up. 

It is challenging with kids ( I have 4).  I became an early morning (like 4AM) brewer when the kids were in sports and such.  The last few years I take off a day and brew while they are all in school.  Two batches a day and a bunch of time alone not at work.

I also had to fight the urge to make a joke about not hitting my numbers because the crush is too course using kids.  8^)


Ingredients / Re: Downey Mildew and Michigan Hops
« on: July 28, 2015, 11:19:27 AM »
Have you tried milky spore?

I am going to apply the beneficial nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora in my hop yard, gardens, and around the ornamental trees that Japanese beetles love in September.  Heterorhabditis bacteriophora is a hunter-killer nematode that is supposed to be effective against Japanese beetle larvae.   I used beneficial nematodes to take care of a massive flea infestation that I had in my yard at my prior residence.  The nematodes made quick work of the flea larvae in the soil, putting an end to the life cycle.   The problem never came back. 

With that said, Japanese beetles are not fleas.  The Japanese beetles in my area have been subjected to  pesticides long enough that they are difficult to kill.   PyGanic is supposed to be an effective contact killer.  However, it appears to be ineffective against the Japanese beetles in my area.  I personally witnessed Japanese beetles survive for hours after direct application.  I do not know if PyGanic eventually killed the beetles because the leaf on which they were feeding was skeletonized by the next morning.

The main problem I am up against is that I live in a semi-rural area where the farmers practice no-till farming.  No-till farming is good for the soil and Japanese beetles.
I tried Neem Oil with moderate success, but it needs frequent reapplication (especially after rain). Eventually my J-Beetle problem resolved itself after I started treating treating my lawn for grubs (non-organically).

makes sense.  June bugs are the adult for of the lawn grub.  Get rid of the grubs and you thin the June bug herd (your neighbors have help to eliminate them) and get the moles to stop digging up your yard too.  Moles eat the grubs.


Classifieds / Re: Brewer wanted
« on: July 28, 2015, 11:12:52 AM »
$12 and maybe benefits is about as good as it gets for an entry-level brewing job, *and* you get to work with Denny?!
Most would pay $12 an hour to brew with Denny
But he counts it like a doctor where an hour is only 50 minutes.

Could be worse he could bill like a lawyer and charge 15 minute minimums.  6 phone calls in 15 minutes?  1.5 hours billable baby.  Kha-Ching!!


Used to install and setup "Time Accounting and Billing" systems in law office 25 years ago. 


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