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Messages - gsandel

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316
Equipment and Software / Homebrewing not at Home
« on: December 31, 2010, 02:26:20 PM »
I have been thinking of this for a while.....has anyone ever thought about renting space to brew in?  I would figure finding some small warehouse nearby and renting 100 or less square feet of it (for a couple bucks a foot per year) if it had water and electricity and a roll up door....

I have a small house, and it would be worth a couple hundred bucks a year and a few hundred bucks to wall it off so I don't have to pack it all up everytime I want to brew.

Has anyone ever done this?

317
Equipment and Software / Re: Software
« on: December 31, 2010, 02:20:58 PM »
On the other thread it mentioned qbrew on Linux, but didn't know if was on windows....it is, and that is what I use.  It is basic and free (both are pluses for me).


318
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2011 Brewing Goals
« on: December 31, 2010, 02:13:43 PM »
1. put together my kegerator (have all of the parts just sitting there) by January 31st.  And keep it full/clean.
2. Brew 12 or more times this year.
3. Reduce brewing time and mistakes by better organization of brew day.
4. No failures because of stupidity (discovering that you forgot to clean your only transfering hose during last session on a Sunday when brewstores are already closed)....see #3.
5 Drink less commercial beer.....unless it is locally made.
6. Buy American.
7. Brew with more other people (I have never brewed with anyone that was more experienced than I)
8. Investigate local homebrew clubs....any suggestions in Denver?

319
Kegging and Bottling / Re: cleaning? How often?
« on: December 30, 2010, 04:50:26 PM »
thanks.  To start, I have one faucet and one picnic tap.  I had the thought of just throwing the picnic tap into a cup of starsan after each pour....and either spray or hold a cup of star san up to the faucet after my pour or at my last pour of the day.  I think if I have two taps it might not be such a pain to break one down each time a keg kicks before I hook the next one up.

I am kind of strict about cleanliness.  Hell, you can clean (soak) while having a beer easy.


320
Kegging and Bottling / cleaning? How often?
« on: December 30, 2010, 02:28:21 PM »
As I set up my first keggerator, how often should I be doing routine cleaning, how often do I strip it down to soak and clean, and how often should I replace my tubing?...or a better question would be, how often do YOU do these things.

Any tips, tricks, or pitfalls would be sincerely appreciated.

321
Equipment and Software / Re: March Pump Setup Help
« on: December 28, 2010, 04:17:50 PM »
I use 1/2" barbs and silicon hose....but to answer your question,

the march pump head is 1/2" MPT (male pipe thread).  So you need on the inlet to the pump at the very least a 1/2" female pipe thread to 3/8" hose barb.  On the outlet of the head you need a coupler (1/2" MPT coupler, ($5 for SS see bargainfittings.com)), a ball valve (for pump control), and a 1/2" MPT to 3/8" hose barb, and a couple of hose clamps (for both barbs).


322
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Shoot first, now asking questions
« on: December 28, 2010, 04:05:15 PM »
Thanks KDS I thought about the energy savings, too, but you even quantified it for me..keeps getting even better....my chest freezer isn't energystar rated, but isn't very old, so running my chest freezer with my controller at 38 degrees (or whatever I decide) is going to cost me so much less than that beast I dumped.....I ran that old fridge for an hour to make sure it still worked after I moved it and it could keep a beer cold if the beer was sitting on top of it.....it was so uninsulated.  I probably saved myself an additional 50 bucks easy....we can call my purchase "virtually" free.

Life is good.

Although, I have been soaking and scrubbing everything, and I am nervous about using the old sankey coupler and beer faucet.  I have opted to replace the hoses and the chrome plated brass fittings (the chrome is all worn off).  As I put real beer on this system, how often should I break it all down and clean, and how often do you all replace your lines?  Do you also replace the gas lines?  Can anyone give me any comfort about the old faucet and shank and coupler?  What am I forgetting?

I am getting sort of excited to put it all together.


323
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Shoot first, now asking questions
« on: December 26, 2010, 06:41:09 PM »
...and it gets better.  The fridge was a beat up beast....although it was 4.5 feet tall it was as wide as....well a wide fridge and weighed well over 200#....no way it was going in my basement like originally planned....so it went back on craigslist.  Sold for $50 in 1 hours time. (and had gotten a few other calls so, perhaps I should have charged more?)

So, I need to build a collar on my chest freezer that I use for fermentation (already has a nice controller installed), and maybe eventually replace the tap faucet for a few perlicks....and I have a working homebrew/sankey system for less than I can shake a stick at.

I should do this more often.  Thanks for all the info, peoples.

324
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Shoot first, now asking questions
« on: December 24, 2010, 01:11:18 PM »
I feel pretty good this morning about my $100 kegerator.....the fridge, however is too heavy and big to fit in my basement.  I did go to the beer store and replaced my hoses gaskets and select fittings....but then I went crazy!!!!  I went and bought a corny keg and all the fittings and tap handle to run both the sanke and a corny.....and expand to 4 taps with a splitter......now I am in for a more normal amount of $$$ but all I need to do is buy or make beer (preferably both) and put it all back together.  If it wasn't christmas eve....all of this would be done by tomorrow.

I answered my own questions about co2 with my LHBS.  They send out kegs for testing for $20 (which sounds reasonable), and refill co2 ($45 for a 20#, which sounds too high)....I will check welding supply next week.  Now I just need to know how soon I will run out of my co2.....since the gauge reading 500# doesn't mean much....I wish I knew what an empty steel tank weighed....anyone?  There is no tare wt listed on my tank.

Thanks for everyone's responses.

325
Kegging and Bottling / Shoot first, now asking questions
« on: December 23, 2010, 08:55:39 PM »
I found an old kegerator on Craigslist for $100 and I leapt before I looked.  Now, I need to ask a million questions about it.

The set up included an old school (1940's or earlier) Fridge (it works), an empty but beat to hell keg (1/2bbl B,M, or C) (dented bottom and side), a 20# co2 tank with 500# pressure in it still, a two gauge regulator, a chrome plated faucet (assume it is the cheapest), a sankey tap, old hoses, and a stainless steel drip tray.

To me it looks just like the deluxe fridge conversion kit from Northern Brewer for $263, but the tank is 20# instead of 5# with a little co2, the hoses will be replaced, and I got a beat up but working fridge.  First off, do you think I got a deal?

Second, how do I rehab this?  I figure toss and replace the hoses, and I intend to soak the tap and faucet in PBW and scrub....but what else do I need to do?

Also, it occurs to me that I will need to refill the co2 tank, but how long will a 20# tank last with 500# psi left in it last?  When I go to refill, how will I know if I need to get it tested?  What does testing cost?  Does anyone know where I can get testing and fill in Denver area?  Should I wait until it is empty until I do this or just get the refill now (since I have no beer for it right now)?  what besides homebrew corny kegs (with washers, etc), ball locks for kegs, and new hoses do I need to convert to homebrew use?

And in light of all of this, was this still a deal?  I figure that compared to the $263 for new, plus I have a working fridge and a little co2 to boot, it would seem like a deal....but if testing costs more than a new tank.....perhaps not.

Oh, and the beat to hell keg.....can I trade it in when I purchase a new keg of beer?

thanks.

326
Equipment and Software / Re: On a mission from beer......
« on: December 22, 2010, 09:02:02 PM »
Scmods?

Yeah, State, County, Municipal, Data System.....Scmods.

327
Equipment and Software / Re: dehumidifying a keezer
« on: December 19, 2010, 10:59:28 AM »
If you are to believe their website, the unit is reusable for ten years and would save hundreds over continuous use of damp rid....just plug in and it dries out.  Even though the website says that it lasts 30-60 days and is sized for a 500 cubic foot space, in the relatively humid and cool environs of a 7.0-15 cubic foot area it may need recharging more often....even so, if it works, it sounds like a good deal at $25.

How long (and how much moisture) does Damp Rid last and cost?

I think I will try it and report back if no one else has bad experiences to share....who knows maybe two would work better?

328
Equipment and Software / dehumidifying a keezer
« on: December 18, 2010, 08:35:36 PM »
This unit looks nifty for inside a chest freezer kegerator.  Has anyone ever tried it?  If it works, it seems like it would be better than damprid.

http://www.amazon.com/Eva-dry-EDV-Renewable-Wireless-Dehumidifer/dp/B000H0XFD2/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

329
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegs: New vs. Used
« on: December 17, 2010, 11:07:28 PM »
Thank you all so much, Gentlemen.

It sounds like used kegs are the way to go.  I have no fear about working with them, just wanted to make sure there wasn't a dark side.  So, tell me, is there a preference or preponderance for types (ball or pin locks)?  Or is one rarely avaliable compared to the other? Should I buy an expensive quality stainless faucet or just a cheapo party tap?  I eventually will build a collar on my temp controlled chest freezer, but was just thinking of going with the cheap party tap until I got the hang of the process.

Do you prefer force carbonation or adding priming sugars to keg for carbonation?  I kind of like the idea of using priming sugar for carbonation.....is it a romantic notion I ought to abandon for quick and easy force carb?

 

330
Kegging and Bottling / Kegs: New vs. Used
« on: December 17, 2010, 07:39:50 AM »
After being satisfied to bottle for hundreds of batches over the last 15 years, I woke in the middle of the night convinced to start Kegging next year.

Nowadays, I have more money than sense (or time), but not a whole bunch of each.  I am interested to hear experiences with new vs. used kegs and kegging equipment.  I like the idea of new, but hate the price.  My heartburn is that anything my beer touches I keep spotless...and I am skeptical unless I have kept it clean for its entire life.

Replacement parts, things breaking unexpectedly, what can I expect from used vs. new?  How often do you guys replace gaskets and parts?

Also, my thoughts were that I would keg condition (carbonate) in the keg....my thinking is that secondary fermentation will allow yeast to clean up after themselves.  I don't filter, never will....a few turbid pints wouldn't bother me either.  What are pros/cons of force vs. conditioning for carbonation?

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