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Messages - dean_palmer

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31
All Grain Brewing / Re: Switching to All Grain
« on: March 14, 2013, 08:10:10 AM »
Follow the simple and humble guidance on DennyBrew.com and you'll be well informed.

Literally all you need is a cooler to soak/mash the grains and some way to filter them out of the resulting wort. No multi-cooler "all-grain kit" or special equipment needed. Keep it simple as it is only difficult if you make it that way :-)

Almost 10 years ago I ran out to the hardware store and bought a cooler and some parts and have never looked back. Never started with extract, and was sparging into a bucket, and using the brew kettle (turkey fryer pot) to heat the water. Then poured the wort into the kettle for the boil. Simple, basic, cheap.

32
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New Member
« on: March 14, 2013, 08:02:26 AM »
Welcome!

33
Not sure what they mean by "hospitality night" but there are many events around my area where homebrew clubs are invited to set up to serve their beer and promote the hobby and the club. Most of these events are excellent, and some clubs cover the cost of ingredients for the brewers who donate a keg of their beer. It's usually a great way to promote the hobby, but unless the audience is really geared to home and craft beer folks, it can be that you are just handing out free beer to folks who could care less about homebrewing or the club. Find out the details and go from there :-)

34
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: maintaining temps in freezer
« on: March 12, 2013, 06:17:42 AM »
The Brewers Edge heater looks like just the perfect thing. Can be stuck to the wall of the chamber and takes up no room, and no exposed elements.


35
All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Tun: Temperature Uniformity
« on: March 08, 2013, 08:06:34 AM »
When using my cooler (round, orange) I preheat a bit with some hot tap water and then add the strike water, then the grain. Like Denny I stir until the temp stabilizes. After that I'll stir about every 15 minutes and add hot water if I lose temp from said stirring. Stirring seems to help the efficiency a bit as well.

When using my direct-fired stainless tun with RIMS, I also stir until the temp is stable and then let the RIMS system keep it there, but still give a full stir about every 15 minutes.

36
I assuming that the Ranco controller controls the heat element in the rims tube?

Do you have any controls for modulating the element on and off or do the wires from the controller go straight on the leads for the element?

 
<edit> just installed the full electric panel with 240v for all elements and PID control.


37
Equipment and Software / Re: Chiller to pond pump question
« on: March 06, 2013, 07:34:32 AM »
As for the pump, don't buy a little "pond pump" unless that sucker is at least 1/3HP. Get a "submersible pump" with at least that rating. If you cannot get the velocity of flow through your chiller, you are not using the whole chiller capacity. It can make a big difference, especially when you have had the opportunity to use the proper setup.

38
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: maintaining temps in freezer
« on: February 26, 2013, 10:48:11 AM »
A regular incandescent bulb works fine for this. The danger comes from full spectrum bulbs or bulbs that emit UV light.

I'm using a small space heater on a second Ranco controller for the few times I may need heat, but that's rare here in Florida. You can see the little purple heater in the lower left corner and the controllers upper left side. I'm considering some sort of heating pad attached to the fermenter itself as soon as I find one capable that doesn't shut off automatically.


39
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Beer Line Cleaning
« on: February 25, 2013, 08:28:34 AM »
The best thing to clean the lines with is Beer Line Cleaner, and if buildup has become an issue, use an Acid Line Cleaner first. Now being that StarSan is an acid, and PBW is kind of a caustic, you may get some results, but probably not the best results as you would using the proper chemicals in the right order. Using the right chemical for the job will always give the best results.

There is also a new chemical called Desana Max that I will be testing as soon as my lines need cleaning and it is a one-shot color-indicating chemical that is supposed to be the best yet, we'll see how that goes in real-world use.

As for getting the chemical into the lines, the best thing truly is whatever you have laying around that can be connected :-) If you put 1/4" flare connections on the ends of your lines, you can connect anything. I use a corny keg and pressurize with C02 or if I'm feeling cheap just clean compressed air. Garden sprayers are cheap and work great and the hose can have flare fittings attached as well.

40
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Need to clean bathtub...
« on: February 22, 2013, 08:43:49 AM »
Get a faucet to garden hose adapter and make yourself a filler hose setup with a short length of garden hose so you can fill from the sink and not have to have the vessel actually in the sink. Get a tub to sit the items in so you are never abusing your sink or bathtub.

41
Equipment and Software / Re: chilling a 30-gal batch
« on: February 15, 2013, 03:10:56 AM »
dean, do you have any clogging issue recirculating through the therminator when sanitizing?  how do you manage hops going through the plate chiller?

The keg kettle has a false bottom and I usually use whole hops in combination with the pellets and it sets up a nice filter bed so not a lot of hop sludge goes through the chiller. I also use nylon paint strainer bags for large pellet hop loads. In many years I have never had an issue with getting the plate chillers clean enough.

I backflush well with tap water in both directions after use and that seems to be fine. Sometimes when I have time I recirculate hot PBW and always get some debris and green color, but nothing major enough to be of concern. I have never had a clogging issue.

To sanitize I start recirculating wort 15 minutes before the end of the boil as best I can and it gets the whole setup above 180f in all places. Even if there was residuals in the chillers nothing will be alive in there :-)

I'm playing with a canister filter from Brewer's Hardware to eliminate the need for the false bottom and plan on whirlpooling alone to control the debris with my new kettle (20gal from Stout Tanks). Unfortunately I have only been able to get the filter to work after the pump and not right out of the kettle so far, so not yet optimum.

42
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lager chamber
« on: February 15, 2013, 02:54:11 AM »
Strap it to the side of the fermenter in some way and a little covering to insulate doesn't hurt. Even an old washcloth works for that so no need to get fancy. The point is to always measure what you want to control and that is the liquid temp of the beer, not the air temp of the fridge.

43
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sanitizer in the Fermenter
« on: February 14, 2013, 01:02:03 AM »
I have put 10 gallons of fresh wort onto 2 gallons of star-san, and it came out fine. The iodine in the sanitizer will evaporate fairly quick, especially if there's any significant CO2 generation. If you're really worried about it add some fresh yeast a day before bottling.

StarSan and iodine sanitizers are two different animals, with iodine being a poison. 2 gallons of any sanitizer, or anything other than the beer into a 5 gallon batch would be a drain pour in my book. I don't think you'd want more than a trace residual of even the iodine sanitizer remaining, never mind ounces of it.

44
Equipment and Software / Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
« on: January 28, 2013, 01:28:44 PM »
I bend the diptube up and away from the bottom center and that seems to work well. You can cut them too, but I have never wanted to do that, not that I see myself using them for serving in the future :-)

Sometimes you may get debris and yeast at the start but it has never really been an issue considering how well they work otherwise. I usually rack to a conditioning/bright tank before then going to a final serving keg, so the last debris settles out there anyway. If you don't plan on moving your serving vessels you don't even need to worry about the middle step as it is preference.

45
Equipment and Software / Re: What 10 gal fermenter?
« on: January 28, 2013, 09:15:12 AM »



Have you ever experienced any clogging using the gas disconnects?
[/quote]

No, not even the most crazy blowoff has caused the gas connects to clog and I have found the blowoff bucket full of solids after some larger batches with reduced headroom. It simply pumps out whatever happens. Originally I took out the spring and plunger inside the connectors and the poppet in the posts, but after years of doing that I simply stopped as it proved to be a waste of time. I'm sure someone will have had something different, but I've been doing this for a long time now with no issues. I don't change anything in the keg or with the connects. Most batches are 10.5-11 gallons when they hit the fermenters, so that's a lot of headroom to compensate for krausen.

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