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Messages - kgs

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I'm going to make a checklist...
« on: March 12, 2011, 03:09:36 AM »
As an old freind once said to me "you win some and you lose some".

Sometimes your the bug and other times your the windshield.

Hopefully we can all learn from each others mistakes and make our hobby that much better.  8)

Technically, this is a slip, not a mistake. See  We know not to leave ball valves open. And yet...

There are a number of slips we repeatedly make as homebrewers that prompt design musings. I have more or less trained myself to always check the valve and so far have never left it open, but my day will come. I have thought about putting labels on the mash tun -- maybe even on the *lid* as a prompt before I remove it and pour in water, since this slip happens so much that we obviously aren't looking at the valve area when it happens.  But I have also mulled over an "open by exception" design for valves. Except not being a valve designer I don't know what it would look like.  ;D

The other slip that comes up a lot is not pitching yeast (so far knock wood), which is one of those slips (10 things to do, you do 9) that happens in a busy part of the brewing sequence. I am a big believer in checklists and use one on my brew day, along with laying out all ingredients (except grain) in a sequence of pyrex cups with small slips of paper with the times on them, and setting my iPhone alarm to alert me. Sounds like overkill, except I multitask when I homebrew, and the one time I got lax with that sure enough, I messed up my hop schedule.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Newbie Kegging Kwestions
« on: March 10, 2011, 09:19:40 PM »
Me, too.  CO2 is CO2, no matter what the source.  Priming kegs just makes more sediment.

Maybe euge is just a sedimental kind of guy...

Beer Recipes / JJ's Barleywine (NHC 2010 Strong Ale Category)
« on: March 10, 2011, 03:50:18 PM »
I'm thinking of making a 3-gallon batch. Anyone else (besides the award-winning brewer :) ) make this and can comment? I like English barleywine and want a batch I can lay in til Xmas.

I'm thinking as a 3-gallon batch I could up the 2-row to the maximum I could squeeze into my 5-gallon mash tun... I'm guessing the LME is about mash tun space.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Newbie Kegging Kwestions
« on: March 10, 2011, 12:55:30 PM »
Kgs the "tendency" is my own not that of the brewing community.
Yeah, I haven't seen any polls but from the discussions we've had around here it sounds like most people force carbonate.  I do.

Thanks for the clarification!

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Newbie Kegging Kwestions
« on: March 10, 2011, 10:50:24 AM »
Thanks! I'll take it all under consideration. Either the Tap-A-Draft or the Party Pig might really be up my alley. (Though kegging sounds interesting.)

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Newbie Kegging Kwestions
« on: March 10, 2011, 09:21:45 AM »
This is the best kegging info I've found.  It really helped me when I started out.

Wow, Denny, that's excellent! Thanks so much. This is starting to sink in. (The part about the tubing length making a difference... I'm trying to figure out which professor to ask: math or science...)

I have the weekend to myself and will brew at least once (and clean bottles).

I promised myself last year I'd brew a Christmas barleywine by March rather than waiting til September and realizing once again it was too late. Still haven't picked out the recipe, though Gordon Strong's recent article in Zymurgy had several that looked good. I should buy my stuff by tonight if I'm making a starter.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Newbie Kegging Kwestions
« on: March 10, 2011, 07:03:24 AM »
The tendency is to sugar prime as you may recall.

Hmmm, righty loosey lefty tighty... that's not what I learned in the service... thanks.

More questions ahead...

These responses are all very helpful -- for example, re euge's comment about sugar priming, I didn't pick that up at all from what I've been reading, not that my reading has been at all indepth or methodical. I just checked How to Brew, and as far as I can tell there's no mention of kegging (though the book is poorly indexed). I tend to discount Joy of Home Brewing as being fun but dated, but to my surprise it has an appendix on kegging I ignored back when I was focused on the basics, and the appendix discusses sugar-priming and other methods of carbonation.

The Toobs are highly variable; a two-page PDF from Morebeer never once mentions sugar-priming, though it has some helpful explanations of keg components I haven't seen elsewhere. The Homebrewopedia has this much to say about kegging: "Kegging.[keh'-ging] Drawing beer from a fermenter to kegs." A lot of homebrewing store websites appear to assume people know what they're buying.

I am also just figuring out that all that discussion about "ball lock" and "pin lock" refers to two different types of gas-in and beer-out connection points, if I'm right (I do get that used Cornie kegs generally have one or the other style, and that new kegs appear to be all ball lock). The lid of the keg appears roughly equivalent to a large bottlecap that isn't ever removed. The picnic tap is like a garden hose sprayer.

So there are several ways to carbonate beer in a keg. Ok. Now I'm trying to work out in my head the... physics??? of what's going on during the dispensing of a glass of kegged beer. Is it displacing the volume of beer dispensed from the keg with CO2 so that the keg remains full and the beer is always blanketed with a non-oxidizing gas? Does the CO2 help push out the beer from the keg, essentially displacing space in the keg so the beer has to come out of the keg via the line?

Re the total weight and my fridge capacity... I brew small batches because that's what I can easily lift and move, and I'm the only one in this home who likes beer. Even as separate components, I don't have the space or desire to be juggling 60 lbs + 20 lbs. Several homebrew stores sell 3-gallon or 2.5-gallon kegs, and some homebrew stores sell alternatives (I don't know how well they work) to the large CO2 containers. Through a miracle, we rent a place with a humongous, fairly new Kitchenaid fridge. I cook a lot and the two of us still don't fill that fridge, which means we're wasting energy chilling space. Having a small keg in the fridge at all times would be environmentally responsible!  ;-)

Kegging and Bottling / Re: From swigtop to capped bottle
« on: March 09, 2011, 09:52:48 PM »
In the past for our competition this would be allowed for general judging and providing feedback, but it would be ineligible to advance.


Kegging and Bottling / Re: Tap-a-Draft
« on: March 09, 2011, 09:41:42 PM »
Mini kegs can work well, also.  Not sure about the Hieniken ones, but the style Bell's uses can be reused easily.

You can build your own tap, or buy one (Phil tap, among others).  You can also force carbonate in these if you build your own carbonator (basically a schrader valve on a hose barb).

I believe NB forums has a long thread on using these and building taps that is very current.

Thanks -- wouldn't mind a link or two. Reading up on kegging, still very unclear on the concept!

Kegging and Bottling / Newbie Kegging Kwestions
« on: March 09, 2011, 09:40:43 PM »
Reading up on kegging, and feeling confused.

So I brew beer, ferment it, rack it into a keg, attach a CO2 source, and force-carbonate for a week or so. Do I put all this gear in a fridge? If I have a 3-gallon keg, can the keg and the CO2 source fit in my kitchen fridge? Or should the keg be at cellar temp like the rest of my beer (a closet in the garage, which is chilly almost year-round)? Then what? How do I know when it’s done? How do I chill it?

How do I get the beer out of the keg? I know that sounds really stupid. Is that what the picnic tap is for? If I serve some of the keg but I have beer left over, how do I turn off the tap?

What exactly am I regulating with those regulators, and why? (Pressure of the Co2 canister, pressure of the keg?)

For CO2, I see big canisters, paintball canisters, proprietary small canisters... lots of choices. Weight is an issue for me. At the high end, what does a 5-gallon keg plus a large Co2 canister weigh? What about a 3-gallon keg with a paintball canister?

Why is there air? Oh sorry. Another forum. Thanks for any help you can provide!

Ingredients / Re: Centennial delivery
« on: March 08, 2011, 11:40:40 PM »
Are these recipes on the AHA brewing wiki? I ask because I spent 3 years in Florida and one of the few things I miss in NorCal is Bell's. Love that Centennial.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Tap-a-Draft
« on: March 07, 2011, 07:51:32 AM »
Thanks, all. I do like to tinker though these days my day job cuts into my tinkerability time. Tap-A-Draft is about $65 for a startup kit -- not bad, for what it does. What I'd really like is one of those 2.5-gal keg setups designed to coexist in a home fridge. But $$$.

Kegging and Bottling / Tap-a-Draft
« on: March 05, 2011, 03:03:57 PM »
I only see two posts on the Forum about Tap-a-Draft. I'm a homebrewer in an urban apartment -- as in, limited space. Bottling suits my needs for the most part (good for gifting, good for portion control :) ), but I wouldn't mind an affordable alternative to use for the occasional block party or holiday open house.

Any thoughts about this system, or alternatives to it?

nothing this weekend except bottle-cleaning, but brewing a Xmas barleywine next weeken, I hope. still pondering recipes.

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