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Messages - leejoreilly

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61
Equipment and Software / Re: corny keg noob question
« on: September 05, 2015, 06:22:04 AM »
So this is what I would have to get for a minimal setup (apart from the keg itself)?

https://www.brouwland.com/en/pdf/058.200.7.pdf

1 x filled, 2 kg CO2 cylinder.
1 regulator with 2 manometers.
2 quick disconnects.
Tube + ‘Picnic’ tap

Plus new o-rings to replace the smelly old ones.

Anything missing? I really don't know anything about this stuff. Is there a good manual somewhere?

I'd recommend ordering a larger CO2 tank. I use a 20 lb tank (which is about 9kg in the rest of the universe, I guess), so I have to change out tanks MUCH less frequently (maybe every 2 years or so). Of course, my tank is external to my kegerator, so storage size isn't an issue.

62
Equipment and Software / Re: corny keg noob question
« on: September 05, 2015, 06:17:05 AM »
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).

+1.  I did the same for a couple years and had good results. Takes a little discipline the first few days of fermentation to keep the frozen bottles changed but I made good beer.

I found that if I changed the bottles (two at a time) morning and evening, my temps would stay pretty constant. Must be the large thermal mass of the water. I usually use this technique for maybe a week or so, then take the fermenter out to sit in the basement (usually about 65-67F) for a week or two longer to finish up.

63
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

64
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.

65
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

66
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.".

67
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.

68
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.

69
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.

70
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?

71
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"?

72
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.

73
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!

74
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.

75
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".

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