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Messages - Slowbrew

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The Pub / Re: Frozen drain trick
« on: January 10, 2017, 10:32:31 AM »
Depending on how often the problem happens you have levels of effort to think about.

Once every couple, three years?  Wrap the pipes in insulation and make sure the warm side (i.e. the house) is exposed inside the bundle to allow heat to get in around the pipe.

More than once ever year?  I'd install heat tape around the pipe and wire it to switch (maybe a thermostat) in addition to the insulation.

I rented a house many years ago that had a crawl space where the pipes would freeze up.  It was never a good day when it happened.

Good luck Jim!!


Ingredients / Re: How to get gin into an IPA?
« on: January 09, 2017, 03:04:42 PM »
I would add ingredient reminiscint of gin instead of gin itself. Juniper and any botanicals...

Why not just add gin to taste?  That's what I've done.

I have to admit my first thought when I read the question was 'I think I'd try pouring it".   ;D

I've been trying to not be so sarcastic lately though.


Hop Growing / Re: Selling hop rhizomes
« on: January 09, 2017, 03:00:30 PM »
You'd likely be okay selling them locally. 

I would think once you start crossing state lines you might get into some issues with permitting and licensure.  Exporting and interstate transport of living stock can be heavily regulated.

Just a SWAG  on my part.  I'm guessing others on the board know more than me about these things.


Homebrewer Bios / Re: BrewingBrian from CT
« on: January 07, 2017, 02:16:18 PM »
Welcome to the obsessio... uh, I mean hobby and the AHA. 

If you switch to a propane burner you may want to consider doing full boils.  It probably means a larger pot but hop utilization improves with more dilute wort.


Beer Travel / Re: Paris 2017
« on: January 06, 2017, 01:49:40 PM »
Please report back after you go.  I'm planning on going in September. ;)

Yes please let us know what you find. I'll be there end of June.   :)


Equipment and Software / Re: Coleman 52 quart conversion to mash tun?
« on: January 05, 2017, 03:34:27 PM »
I have that same cooler and have been using it for years with a bulkhead conversion and a stainless steel toilet line braid.

It has worked very well.


If the OP really wants to save money, he can skip the bulkhead.  Not only is my method less expensive, I found it works better than a bulkhead.  I used one for a few brews then went back to the bung/valve setup.

I can't disagree.

I built mine with a bulkhead and have never tried using it with anything else.

The bulkhead can cause the inner liner of the cooler to crack if over tightened.  You also may get a very small amount of leakage around the seals that I have never found a permanent way to fix.  I've never seen more than a teaspoon on any given brew day (I've had cars that leak more oil daily than that  :) ).

All in all it works but isn't perfect. 


Going Pro / Re: Helpful Bachelor's Degree
« on: January 04, 2017, 02:11:59 PM »
Janitorial Science and a 12 Step Program 😎

Ha! Too true! Planning on cutting my drinking in half this year. I drink far more now than I ever did before I opened the brewery.

Another good reason to not open a brewery.  If I drank any more I'd be a head brewer looking for AA meetings every night.  Of course, not working IT in a big bank might help lesson the "need" too.  Maybe.  Probably not.


Equipment and Software / Re: Coleman 52 quart conversion to mash tun?
« on: January 04, 2017, 01:40:44 PM »
I have that same cooler and have been using it for years with a bulkhead conversion and a stainless steel toilet line braid.

It has worked very well.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: My Brew Years Resolution
« on: December 19, 2016, 02:16:26 PM »
My first goal for 2017 is to finish the kitchen cabinet I started in August so I can get my brewery/shop cleaned up to brew.

My second goal is to find a brewing schedule that fits in the rest of my schedule to brew more regularly.  Right now I tend have a lot of "Dang it, I have to get something brewed to keep beer on tap" and knock out 4 or 6 batches and then not see my kettle for 4-6 months.

Pretty vague, I know, but it's all I've got right now.  My son is employed as a Civil Eng now, my oldest daughter is doing her student teaching and I've got one in college and one in high school yet.  I can see a light at the end of the tunnel now at least.  8^)


All Things Food / Re: Bread
« on: December 19, 2016, 09:40:41 AM »
I have number of friends who use their bread machines to mix the dough and do the first proof and then take the dough out to kneed and shape into loaves.  The second proof is done in the loaf pan and baked in an oven.

They were tired of the cube bread too.  8^)


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.  :)


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