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Messages - leejoreilly

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61
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegerator Build/Set-Up Question
« on: September 05, 2015, 06:00:07 AM »
You should be fine for now, but going forward you're going to want a beer line cleaner. This link has the one I use; easy to fabricate and works like a charm. I use it every time I switch kegs:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=226497

62
Equipment and Software / Re: corny keg noob question
« on: September 04, 2015, 05:03:32 AM »
Silly question: is there a practical way to ferment and store beer in kegs with only one temperature-controlled chest, or is it imperative to have 2 chests?


I'm an all-grain brewer strictly of ales. I ferment in buckets, and maintain my fermentation temps by using a cold water bath with a wet towel covering the top of the bucket and some plastic juice bottles (nearly) filled with ice, as needed. I can easily keep my temps down to 60 - 62F in the dead of summer, in my basement (in Michigan). I transfer from bucket to keg (through a CO2 blanket) just using an auto-siphon. While this may not be a best practice for avoiding oxygen exposure, it has worked well for me so far (years).

I have an old (I mean REALLY old - I think it's steam-powered) refrigerator that I've fitted to hold 4 cornies, with the CO2 tank outside, and three taps on the door (the fourth keg uses a picnic tap). If I have more than 4 kegs ready, the remainder just sit outside the kegerator until one kicks. Serving temp is usually mid 40s F. One minor benefit of the frig is that it has a smaller footprint than a chest freezer would. Also I don't have to lift the kegs as far (I'm not lazy, just, umm, efficient). Also, it has a freezer section on top, which I use to store hops, spices, dry yeast and the unused frozen water bottles.

Now, if I was brewing lagers, I'd probably have to get a bit creative, and either drop the kegerator temp to the lagering range, get a dedicated ferm chamber or some such. But that's not a consideration for me.

63
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Leaking Keg Lid(s) / Newbie Kegger Question
« on: September 02, 2015, 05:35:35 AM »
The StarSan idea is a great one, but instead of pouring it over the lid, get one of these spray bottles to dispense it. Also very useful to sanitize any surfaces too large to drop in your StarSan bucket.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/HDX-32-oz-All-Purpose-Wide-Mouth-Sprayer-FG32HD3-21/205050147

64
Equipment and Software / Re: I finally did it
« on: August 17, 2015, 06:12:30 AM »
Been there, cursed about that, now happily using buckets. As the saying goes "There are two kinds of glass carboy users; those that have dropped one, and those who will.".

65
Do you need to rinse with anything or do you just blow the lines clear with beer?

When I hook up a new keg, I blow out the beer line cleaner with the first few ounces of the "new" beer. It's probably going to be trubby anyway, so no loss.

66
I use a modified garden sprayer. I clean all of my lines at the same time reusing the BLC. I want to build a pond pump based recirculating system, but that is low priority right now.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=226497

The hardest part of the build was finding a liquid post with the right threading. I took the fitting to my LHBS and went through a bin of posts until I succeeded.

I used to keep a spare keg with a gallon or so of Starsan in distilled water, to run through my line now and then. About a year ago, I made one of the above beer line cleaners, which works like a charm. I use it every time a keg kicks, usually leaving the beer line cleaner in the line, maybe overnight. I still have the spare Starsan keg, but only because I haven't used all the sanitizer in it yet, and I haven't needed the keg.

67
Ingredients / Re: El Dorado sweetness
« on: August 08, 2015, 06:49:13 AM »
The last beer I made was an attempt at Stone Delicious IPA, which they said was hopped with Eldorado and Lemon Drop.  I find it surprisingly sweet in spite of a low finishing gravity (split it into two with two varieties of yeast) and almost no crystal malt.  It's nice, but more of an APA than I intended.

I did something similar, but I reduced the OG to keep the ABV in the 5-6% range. I bittered with some Galaxy and used some Lemon Drop for a flavor addition, then Lemon Drop and Eldorado in the whirlpool and dry hop. I really liked the result; I thought the Eldorado worked well off the Lemon Drop. But, then again, I'm not a fan of melt-your-teeth bitterness, I'm more into a pleasant balance.

68
I have one presently that leaks at the PRV and replacing the PRV didn't solve it, so somehow the threads are worn in some way that I will be ordering a new lid to use.  First time for that for me, but I don't want to waste CO2 on that leaker!

Have you tried a bit of Teflon tape on the threads?

69
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Note to self
« on: July 25, 2015, 05:44:42 AM »
I brew in the house so it's bare feet for me. Plus, how else am I supposed to know if I forgot to close the ball valve on my mash tun again?

"Braille Brewing"?

70
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Wort Chilling
« on: July 21, 2015, 06:23:28 AM »
To Pete B. 

Thanks for the info.  I have used bottled water that was frozen with the outside dunked in sanitizer before immersion into the cooling wort.  Same principle as bottle wand, but not as much surface area.

I have a half dozen orange juice bottles that I use this way (filled about 90% with water). They're about 2 quarts or so in volume, so I can drop two in my fermentation bucket once I get the wort down to maybe 80 or so. I use the same ones in my "swamp cooler" to keep fermentation temps down.

71
So an expert is determined to be such only by the consent of the people?

Certainly not by farcical aquatic ceremonies.

Help! Help! I'm being repressed!

72
Equipment and Software / Re: Starting Equipment
« on: July 13, 2015, 05:08:21 AM »
Also, try a local restaurant supply store for good deals on kettles, turkey basters, metal spoons, etc.

73
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Sour
« on: July 11, 2015, 05:29:19 AM »
Look for a place that serves Jolly Pumpkin (or if you are lucky enough, visit one of their tap rooms). I've found that they provide an excellent range of sours, funky sours and bretty "not sours".

74
I don't understand why people don't like BIAB.

Jimmy, I don't think it's so much "don't like BIAB", and it is "don't see enough benefit in BIAB to change". I've honed my process to the point where it's dependable and repeatable, I enjoy doing it, and my beers come out great. There's little to entice me to change it; refine it, sure, but change it, not so much. And cleaning up my mash tun isn't on my "critical path" - I do it during the boil - so I'm not likely to save any time overall. Plus, I've never had a stuck sparge (talk about tempting fate by mentioning it...), so no benefit there either.

On the other hand, BIAB is likely a fine method for a new all-grain brewer to try, assuming your brewery can handle whatever method you use to lift and drain the bag (I brew in my kitchen, could be problematic for me).

75
Equipment and Software / Re: Stir Plates
« on: June 27, 2015, 07:54:13 AM »
A stir plate is an unnecessary expense.  Your money is better spent on other gear.  Perform an advanced search using my user name as the poster and "stir plate" as the search term, and you will discover why a stir plate is little more than home brewing snake oil.

While I agree with Mark that a stir plate may not be "necessary", I also feel that it is certainly convenient, and at the very least does no noticeable harm. I have one and have gotten excellent results from it (which I admittedly might have gotten from the "shake it and walk away" method, too). And brewers love toys, so that's a plus. I recommend http://www.stirstarters.com/

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