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Messages - gsandel

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Events / I am declaring right now!
« on: June 16, 2011, 04:48:59 AM »
as I sit here feeling sorry for myself for not going to NHC in San Diego, Seattle Beer News announced that NHC 2012 is in the Seattle area.  After 18 years with this hobby all alone, I have decided to announce that I am attending my first NHC in 2012.

Please join me.


Denver, CO.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: kegged beer storage
« on: June 15, 2011, 02:48:52 AM »
you could build yourself a cold box out of 2x4s and insulation and mount a small air conditioner in it.....I actually saw on craigslist someone getting rid of 2 year old 5000 btu AC for $20.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Corny Keg Pressure Relief Valve Leaking?
« on: June 15, 2011, 02:42:24 AM »
I have a similar problem.  I bought a used keg with a leaky valve, replaced with new valve but still leaks.  My thought is that it was the wrong valve installed in the first place.  The kind I have/had is like the type A, and on most web sites, I see a type C....but is there a type B?...and how do I know what I need?  I would hate to order a type C if i need something else.


All Grain Brewing / Re: direct fire mash tun
« on: June 13, 2011, 03:12:04 AM »
before I went to a herms system, I ran a RIMS with direct firing of the mash tun....I was never satisfied with the results.  I had temp gauges on the outlet and at the top of the mash, but could never get the two to diverge at a set temp....I would wildly overshoot.  I would suggest decoction for more control (like adding boiling water, but instead boiling some of the mash).

All Grain Brewing / new lessoned learned
« on: May 01, 2011, 03:41:28 AM »
made a marathon 2 batch day (24 gallons total)....the beers were both easy drinking summer brews...but I learned that remembering all the lessons learned from last time could be easily be applied....I think I actually became a better brewer by meticulously planning a two brew day and applying what I learned in brew 1 to brew 2....I internalized a lot, stayed focused, and actually had an easy day (oh, and everything worked, too).

I am set for summer....or the first third, at least.

With bottles, I used to say "returned clean" (after proper instruction on cleaning of course) or no more beer for you.....

now, I tell them to bring their own growler over for a fill.....and if they don't have one, I suggest they get one next time we are out at a local establishment....I haven't yet encountered one, but i won't fill, nor clean a dirty growler, either.
seems to work.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Getting started with kegging
« on: April 22, 2011, 01:22:10 AM »
I agree....this is not bad at all, and if you have the extra $10, I recommend upgrading to the 10lb will save you time, trips to the refiller, a few choice swear words once in a while, and $$ (filling 10lbs cost less than filling 5lbs twice).


Kegging and Bottling / Re: new bottle of CO2....regulator issues
« on: April 21, 2011, 01:33:09 PM »
It may be normal. I don't know how you're set up but sometimes it takes a while for things to stabilize.  If your previous tank was low (and why wouldn't it be if you refilled/swapped it?) then your regulator was likely putting out a higher outlet pressure than when your tank was full (this is normal, if inlet pressure decreases a lot, outlet pressure a point).  If your keg(s) got carbed up to this level, then when you swap out the tank the regulator will go back to the lower pressure output but the 'overcarbed' keg will tend to slowly creep the pressure up.  You may have to vent the keg a few times a bit to get it back down to your target carb level.  In any case, try to take everything else out of the equation; i.e. use just the tank, reg, and close the reg outlet valve.  Many of these regs are not self-venting so you may have to vent via a QD/poppet or relief valve whenever you reduce the regulator setting.  Also, if you 'quickly' vent a line the reg will often overshoot on recovery (which might lead you to believe the pressure is too high so you reduce the reg, then it stabilizes too low). HTH.

This sounds like what is happening, or a decent explanation....part user error is always my first suspect. 

Kegging and Bottling / Re: new bottle of CO2....regulator issues
« on: April 21, 2011, 05:07:25 AM »
I can't verify it's accuracy, but I can't dial it in to any specific number on the low pressure gauge.....frustrating, but really it doesn't ruin my day.

Kegging and Bottling / new bottle of CO2....regulator issues
« on: April 21, 2011, 04:29:05 AM »
I got a new bottle of CO2 (my first trade in) and all of a sudden, I can't seem to dial in the pressure on my regulator.....I have gotten to the point of it being two psi low or two psi high....luckily it only gives a little more head (who of us would complain about a little more....).  I bought my regulator used (really, really used) and it has me shopping for new regulators....

is this normal or is there some other factor (like the higher pressure in the bottle)?  Should I relax (not my style, although I try)? Should I buy a new regulator?  If so, what is the best regulator (or what to look for)?


Equipment and Software / Re: Stainless head "chugger" pump
« on: April 13, 2011, 02:26:12 AM »
can you guys give more info on this so that we all can evaluate? What's a "chugger" pump?

All Grain Brewing / Re: When is your beer ready? Poll
« on: April 13, 2011, 02:23:03 AM »
you have to watch and taste and brew, brew, brew to really know, but my experience with my brewery is two weeks in primary (usually done before then, but I work on beer on the weekends), and then it never tastes quite right until about 3-4 weeks....less for lighter beers, more for darker....and the when it has gone bad is the same....sooner for the wheat beer, over a year for the Porter.

My dark lagers have never gone bad, they have always run out before I got to their limit.

Equipment and Software / Re: March Pump Switch Suggestions?
« on: April 08, 2011, 03:59:48 AM »
My suggestion is to cut the cord.....I went with all waterproof housing and the plastic toolbox I had around the house.  The pump is always situated below the kettle, tun, or HLT....I can't tell you how many times this thing got wet by accident....boiling liquids, electricity, and (at least) two guys drinking to build safety into the system somewhere.

Oh, and don't forget the GFI circuit if your circuit isn't already wired so.

more at

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Corn Sugar Priming by Style
« on: April 06, 2011, 01:10:38 PM »
1. Just as much as force carbonation....except you can't adjust it mid way through.

2. Palmer and Zainashelff's Brewing Classic Styles has a chart and instructions how to determine the right weight of sugar (for corn and cane) for any given volume/temperature combination, and then discusses the volumes of CO2 for each particular style.  Most styles are around 2.5 volumes with the exception of bitters (lower), and belgians (higher).

3. the actual proper amount of carbonation is the amount that you think tastes the best for any particular style of your beer....if for competition, use the book above.

Equipment and Software / Re: Kegerator
« on: April 02, 2011, 08:50:40 PM »
Rock on Oscar! Rock ON!  The best I am doing is about 95 cents a pound on base malt (in my case, 2 row, Western)...I would love to hear where you are getting for less..I was 2 inches shy of starting my own brewery, and then I found a paying that time, I checked out pricing for grains wholesale....they run about 45 cents a pound for 2 row....of course, if you buy tons, it is less, but 45 cents for a pallet and 43 cents for in excess of 10,000 lbs....and that is if I pick it up myself.....which, living in Denver, (close to coors and a gazillion micros.....).

I calculated my costs at about $0.35-$0.50 a 12 2010 batch average was 0.46 cents a 12 ounce bottle.

Even at that, I didn't include labor costs (hey, its a hobby, ain't it?) and figured that below 50 cents a bottle is pretty good if you are going to compare with over the bar business model was 100% over the bar sales (with some discount for growler sales).  My ultimate assessment was that small local brewery with only over the bar sales (and no restaurant) is the way to go.  Launching into production brewery is suicide.

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