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Messages - tonyp

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Equipment and Software / Re: Cheap Fermentation Temp Control?
« on: April 27, 2011, 08:11:08 PM »
Luckily my wife had another 48-Gal tote in the garage and after checking it, the buckets I have fit in it perfectly. We swapped and I just got done wrapping it in the reflectix. I didn't have any foam so I fit another piece of insulation on the bottom and it slightly reaches up the walls. The reflectix that i bought was too tall for the tote without cutting it so instead I wrapped the excess around the bottom leaving only a small gap which I covered with another loose piece. The cover is the only part that isn't insulated atm but I figured that wouldn't be a huge deal. I have more than enough reflectix left over to cover the top if need be.

Harbor freight was out of the dollies but i got a rain check for the sale price of $13.

I ordered a weldless SS ball-valve  kit with the mash screen and thermal hoses from northern brewer so  I should be ready to go all-grain sometime this weekend! woot!

Thanks for help Euge!

Oh, i forgot to take pictures, i'll do it tomorrow.


Equipment and Software / Re: Cheap Fermentation Temp Control?
« on: April 27, 2011, 05:38:48 PM »
These huge 30 gallon totes with lids are $10 at walmart. I insulated mine with some extra Reflectix. Holds two 7.9 gallon fermenters. Swap out icepacks or frozen bottles and it stays easily in the mid 60's.

I've since upgraded to a freezmenter but the totes worked really well. Swapped out the frozen bottles twice a day.

Cheap and easy.


Went to lowes and walmart yesterday to pick up the materials to make your fermenter tote. I bought two 30-gal Sterilite Totes for $8 each (the biggest they had) and the Acu-Rite thermometer for $7! woot!

I only have one problem, my 7-gal fermentation buckets don't fit! I knew I should've measured before I left but like an idiot i didn't think about it until i got there. My buckets are 17 3/8" tall x 11 7/8" wide, can you measure your buckets for me if you have the chance?

I'm going to the LHBS this weekend to pickup ingredients, maybe they have shorter/wider buckets.

I also picked up the Reflectix but the dolly was on backorder...

I'm almost there!


GUERNEVILLE, Calif. - Inside a stainless-steel tank at a brew pub here overlooking the redwood-rimmed Russian River, a 45-million-year-old yeast proves its mettle.

Prehistoric yeast takes beer drinkers back in time

Cool article

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Cleaning Bottles - Soaking - How Often?
« on: April 17, 2011, 05:53:57 PM »
I fill a bottling bucket with hot water and oxyclean and fill it with as many bottles that will fit comfortably while i setup the rest of the equipment. I then start taking the bottles out one by one and rinse using a jet bottle washer before throwing into another bucket with star-san solution making a nice little assembly-line process.

I use 1 liter flip-tops for main bottling to reduce the amount of bottles, any leftovers go into 12oz

My son loves using the jet bottle washer so its nice to have a helper!


Yeast and Fermentation / WLP080 Cream Ale Yeast Blend
« on: April 16, 2011, 08:55:32 PM »
WLP080 Cream Ale Yeast Blend
This is a blend of ale and lager yeast strains.  The strains work together to create a clean, crisp, light American lager style ale. A pleasing estery aroma may be perceived from the ale yeast contribution. Hop flavors and bitterness are slightly subdued. Slight sulfur will be produced during fermentation, from the lager yeast.
Attenuation: 75-80%
Flocculation: Medium
Optimum Fermentation Temperature: 65-70°F
Alcohol Tolerance: Medium High

Anyone have any experience with this yeast? I was thinking of brewing up a cream ale and saw this listed and might try it instead of WLP001


The Pub / Re: Brew Your Own place
« on: April 16, 2011, 03:19:05 AM »
I love the idea of promoting homebrewing but to sacrifice quality in an effort to sustain business goes against the very principles by which we stand for.

So say we all!

The Pub / Re: Brew Your Own place
« on: April 16, 2011, 01:58:28 AM »
To keep this on topic, here in south jersey we have a really great BoP place which is also my closest LHBS.  Everyone is friendly, professional and extremely knowledgable. I've never used the BoP but I looked over the equipment and recipes and it seems like a damn good time for a few friends to spend the day doing it.

The Brewer's Apprentice


The Pub / Re: Brew Your Own place
« on: April 16, 2011, 01:55:14 AM »
And I feel the opposite. I owe everything to Mr. Beer for getting me into this hobby. Had I not been given a kit, I most likely would have never tried brewing. It gave me the kick in the ass that I needed.

Funnily enough, i brewed with some friends for a few years, moved and forgot about it and 12 yrs later a Mr Beer got me back into brewing...Now i have more equipment than room to store it, and i'm loving every minute of it! :)


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Wyeast 2112
« on: April 15, 2011, 08:10:03 PM »
And the yeeeeeeeast shaaaaaall innnnnherrrrrrit theeee earrrrrrrth...

A few weeks ago I bought a Bayou Classic KAB6 and used it for my first outdoor brew session. Having never used it before I adjusted the flame to what I thought was a good mix between flame height and jet-engine sound but I'm interested in hearing how others set their flame height/power, because I don't think mine was set correctly.

There were a ton of variables that day, one of which was intermittent wind gusts. Several times during both the run-up to the boil and during the boil that the flame would get knocked around and was even blown out once. I was steeping specialty grains and found it difficult to hold temp without having to constantly adjust the gas valve and/or the air-intake. I also noticed that the temp was varying a little too much during the boil and while it kept rolling, there were a few times where the temp dropped and the boil was reduced to a simmer before coming back up to temp.

After the whole session was complete, I did notice that there wasn't a lot of boil-off like there should've been, obviously. I started with 6 gal, added 6lb of extract and ended up with over 5.5 gal of wort after cooling. I put all 5.5 gal into the fermenter and pitched.

The fermentation went perfectly and after 3 days of the same FG I bottled as I normally do. The beer is ok but its definitely thin/watery and a little sweet for my tastes (both my wife and 2 other people really like it, go figure). I'm chalking this up to the inconsistent boil and the extra wort volume. Please correct me if I'm wrong about that.

After bottling, but before it was finished carbonating, we found out that our water treatment system was failing and needed to be serviced. We have well water (which i haven't had a water report done yet), a neutralizer and a salt tank. The neutralizer hadn't been serviced in a long time (long story...) and we ran the tank out of salt, both big problems. Needless to say the Ph was waaaaay off and actually caused our pipes to spring leaks 3 times over the last year or so. Obviously this Ph is also affecting the beer that we brewed with the untreated water, but I'm not exactly sure how.

Our water system is now fully repaired and serviced and I can definitely tell a difference in the taste, and now our soap makes suds. yay!

I plan on brewing this beer again (a northern english brown) now that the water is so much better and I also want to make sure that I'm setting up my burner correctly so that I get a full consistent boil throughout the session. As a test, I put the burner in an area outside that was protected by the wind on 3 sides and brought 6 gal of water to a boil. It took roughly 35-40 minutes to hit 100C (212F) and I let it boil for 60 minutes. After it cooled (i just left it sit outside with the lid on for a few hours to cool) I poured it into a fermentation bucket and it measured a tad under 4 gal (less than a finger thickness under the 4 gal mark).

To setup the burner I lit the flame and turned the gas valve until the flames leapt off the nozzle holes, then dialed it back slowly so the flames were actually resting on the nozzle holes. Then I adjusted the air-intake until the flame was a bright blue color with no orange/red at all. Is this a correct setting or do you guys go full balls to the wall with the flames shooting out of the sides of the kettle?

Sorry for the book-length post but i wanted everyone to have as much data as possible to come to a conclusion. I know there are a ton of variables and you should only change one at a time but I think so many of them were wrong that I need to try to get a new base-line.

Thanks for any info/tips you can give.


Equipment and Software / Re: Cheap Fermentation Temp Control?
« on: April 15, 2011, 05:35:45 AM »
fantastic idea euge, where did you get the dolly?

Pimp My System / Re: My setup:
« on: April 14, 2011, 01:56:59 AM »
that control panel is ridiculously awesome, nice work!


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Doctor I have this friend.....
« on: April 13, 2011, 09:07:10 PM »

But taste it before you dump it.  It's the best way to learn from your mistakes. ;) ;D

i know you're kidding but make sure he's not allergic to penicillin before doing that :)

Equipment and Software / The WilliamsWarn Personal Brewery
« on: April 13, 2011, 03:20:06 AM »
Beautiful design, lots of picts and info here:

The WilliamsWarn Personal Brewery

another +1 for the escali

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