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Messages - kgs

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61
Equipment and Software / Re: Something to help with lifting
« on: April 07, 2013, 01:50:48 PM »
Alewyfe, what's your brewing process?  Also, are you seeking a temporary remediation of a problem or are you seeking to make your brewing more accessible in general for the long haul?

My own solution, which isn't for everyone, is to brew small. I also have a pump, which is great but as you point out only goes so far. My Radio Flyer is also handy. I just bought a small fridge and eliminated a big PITA for me which was lugging fermenters down stairs and then down a ramp and into a garage (and then up again). My dream is an all-electric mobile brewstand that is energy- and water-conscious and eliminates all heavy lifting. But I don't keg, which is one more thing to fit into the accessibility scenario. Use smaller kegs and more of them?

(And I drool over gymrat's hoist... just wouldn't work for my scenario. Though I keep trying to justify it... I guess I could buy a slipcover for it ;-) )

62
Equipment and Software / Re: Height, Depth of Danby DAR440
« on: April 07, 2013, 01:32:05 PM »
Update 1: Purchase done! Had a rebate check from CostCo so the fridge cost me about $100. Big thanks to the stranger who volunteered to muscle the fridge into my car.

Update 2: no mods needed for my purposes! Without removing anything other than the main shelves:

* A 5-gallon food-grade bucket with a standard airlock fits with plenty of clearance all around.
* A 5-gallon Better Bottle would fit if it had a silicon airlock.
* Two 3-gallon Better Bottle fermenters with silicon airlocks would work side-by-side, though with limited clearance between them.

Modding the door would allow more stuff to fit... can always do that someday. Met my primary goal, however.

I even put back most of the door shelves, since I will probably use the fridge to chill other things (Fermcap, etc.). I'm letting the fridge settle for a day before I turn it on (getting it home and into the apartment was its own interesting project). Next stop: temp controller!

No more dragging buckets up and down the stairs! Hello locked-in-temps! Guten tag, lagers!

63
Equipment and Software / Re: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« on: April 07, 2013, 01:13:16 PM »
To minimize space and water use, you could use a plate chiller and fill your HLT with ice water to recirculate as chilling water. You'd need two pumps for that though. One for wort and one for ice water.

In this scenario, would a utility pump work? I already own one.

64
Equipment and Software / Re: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« on: April 07, 2013, 08:20:26 AM »
I too am about to descend into a period of No Life for a long while (PhD program)...
In?

Managerial leadership in the information professions (aka organizational leadership for librarians)
Wow!  Who knew such a thing existed?  I'm glad there are people who are interested in that. ;) ;D

Some people say that to me about homebrewing. :-)

65
Equipment and Software / Re: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« on: April 06, 2013, 07:03:20 PM »
I too am about to descend into a period of No Life for a long while (PhD program)...
In?

Managerial leadership in the information professions (aka organizational leadership for librarians)

66
Equipment and Software / Re: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« on: April 06, 2013, 09:04:10 AM »
actually, my kettle is not getting used for a while ( i have my 10 year boards coming up that i have been studying for.) i would be happy to let you try my electric kettle and see.

That's a long way to send a kettle (and back), but that's a very kind offer. And funny enough that if you're up for it, message me. (The Sister and Brotherhood of the Traveling Kettle?)

I too am about to descend into a period of No Life for a long while (PhD program)... I'm finishing up some projects because of that. I'm thinking that with my "free life" over soon, in the next several weeks I'll get fermentation temp control out of the way first and do a small-fridge conversion. If I end up not brewing, I'll store beer in it!

67
Equipment and Software / Re: Height, Depth of Danby DAR440
« on: April 06, 2013, 08:53:05 AM »
Buuuy it!

It's tomorrow's task! I found a thread on HBT that had very clear photos of the conversion. It looks like the interior door panel needs to be cut away, not unscrewed, so I have to figure out if I need the tool described in the thread or can get away with something else for a one-shot job.

68
Equipment and Software / Re: All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« on: April 04, 2013, 10:58:17 AM »
kgs
as an also small batch and electric brewer. i don't think i would use an element in both kettles.  i heat my water up in the boil kettle and pour it into the mash tun.  i usually prep more water than i need and do in fact drain this to either another kettle or cooler if i need it.  i can always heat it back up. in the boil kettle if i need to but i really haven't had any problem

Interesting and useful input from both of you. weithman5, do you have a picture of your setup? mtnrockhopper I could see a second pump in this scenario.

69
All Grain Brewing / Re: Extreme Efficiency Boost!
« on: April 04, 2013, 09:02:56 AM »
Are you absolutely sure you weighed out your grain correctly -- didn't lose your train of thought and add another pound?

70
Just "research" with a colleague at SF's City Beer Store while my Janet's Brown Ale ferments away.

71
Equipment and Software / All-electric 3-gallon brewstand design
« on: April 04, 2013, 05:26:52 AM »
So I'm mulling over this design (something to do when I wake up too early and want to think through something relaxing rather than start charging through the day's work). It's designed to be an all-electric urban brewstand that can be used indoors; minimizes lifting, hoisting, or back strain; and is sensitive to water use.

One two-shelf rolling stainless-steel cart, ca. 48" w, 18" deep
Two 8-gallon stainless steel brew kettles, drilled for ball valves and heat elements; one is a dual HLT/chiller, one is a brew kettle
Two 1500w heating elements
One 9-gallon rectangular cooler MLT
One March pump
One... hmm... plate chiller? Plus a submersible pump? Immersion chiller?
Hoses, clamps, quick connects, GFIs, rocker switches, and other kibbles and bits

The two kettles are side-by-side on the top level.  The left kettle is the HLT and chiller. The right is the brew kettle. The mash tun is on the lower level.

Cooler is filled with grain and slid onto the lower shelf;
HLT fills the cooler (water pumped under the grain);
Mash tun is pump-drained up into the brew kettle;

Post-boil (chilling) is where I get stuck; I can't visualize what needs to happen. Something with pumps and cold water.  ;) Then again, this whole design may be off... this kind of thing isn't my strong suit.

Once the wort is chilled, it drains into a fermenter sitting in a manually-operated fermenter-mover (aka Radio Flyer). After yeast is pitched and aerated, the fermenter is then rolled to the front door and lugged downstairs. This last part (the lugging) will change when I get a small fridge and modify it into a fermenter... then there will be a minimum of lifting in this whole process.

My thought is to manually manage temps and so forth at the beginning, and only introduce fancier controls downstream if need/interest warranted.

Thoughts? Logic missing here somewhere?


72
Beer Recipes / Re: Rough Draft
« on: April 04, 2013, 04:45:22 AM »
de nada! Every time I read that hop schedule my mouth waters. I look forward to hearing how it turns out.

73
Equipment and Software / Re: Height, Depth of Danby DAR440
« on: April 04, 2013, 04:30:44 AM »
This fridge turns out to be $149 "cash and carry" at our local Costco. I didn't have a fermentation bucket with me, but I did study it a bit. If I could remove and replace the door panel, it wold work. Hmmm.

74
Beer Recipes / Rough Draft
« on: March 31, 2013, 09:28:53 AM »
Is that third addition actually at 10 minutes?

75
All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash-in
« on: March 30, 2013, 07:33:05 AM »
I just upgraded to a larger mash tun (moving from a 5-gallon round cooler to a 9-gallon Coleman) and for my maiden voyage I wish I had held back a third or more of my strike water before adding the grain. To my surprise, the temperature didn't drop as much as I am used to (I am guessing because there was more hot water... this was also my first no-sparge batch... so it was a large amount of water, at least for my typical brews... cue foreshadowing music...).

Edit: the other change was that to fill my orange cooler, I would pour in a gallon of hot water at a time. To fill my new cooler, I drained directly from the liquor tank via heat-resistant hose... no doubt also contributing to less heat loss.

Obviously I should have said to myself, "Self, you are introducing a new variable [edit: TWO new variables...] -- use a little judgment and think through what might happen," but instead I found myself trying to quickly push the temp from 160+ to 154 in my now-almost-brimming MLT at the same time that the guys from Home Depot suddenly showed up to take away the old dishwasher that had been sitting in the kitchen all week and I was locking up cats, lowering the temp in my MLT, etc. (The Home Depot guys never asked why I was pouring water into a cooler filled with "stuff.")

I ended up with too much wort, which instead of holding back I drained into my kettle... forcing me to bail some out and then tinker with the too-low gravity... it was one of those brewdays. When I give talks about organizational leadership I use homebrewing as an example of "give yourself a safe place to fail." Homebrewing has been that for me and then some. Of course, now that I have a blue cooler, that will be a buffer against some of my brewing escapades.

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