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Messages - Hydro

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General Homebrew Discussion / Refractometer - Which one is best?
« on: December 12, 2010, 10:53:29 PM »
There has been two threads talking about how to use a refractometer although I have not seen any reference as to which refractometer works best and consistency.  I used one when I was assisting another brewer and it seemed to be a bit difficult to work with since I wear glasses.  The price range is broad 14 - 95 dollars.  What are you thoughts?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Kegerator Construction Issue
« on: December 12, 2010, 07:32:42 PM »
There are several examples of how build a collar on a keezer, which I and others have commented on in the past.  Visualize your kegerator as a vertical keezer.  Use 2" x 8" s to build a collar or use 2" x 10"s, whatever you prefer.  Remove the front door.  Attach the collar to the Kegerator using deck hardward brackets you can pick up at Home Depot.  Add 1/2" thick solid core foam insulation to the inside of the collar to help the cooling ability of your kegerator.  Use white lightening caulk to fill the seams.  Over lap the ends with 2 " wide tape.  Spray with a krylon appliance paint that matches your appliance color.  Mount the door back onto your kegerator.  Drill a hole for you CO2 line and one for each cornie you can squeze in there.  One, maybe two, depends on how big you make your collar.  You can use your freezer shelf to store your hopps in a well sealed plastic bag.

Hope this helps.

Equipment and Software / Re: How many BTU's?
« on: December 10, 2010, 01:54:31 AM »
I built mine using these . Will heat 10 gals to a rolling boil in about 30 minutes.

NOW WE'RE TALKING..... I've seen those for a LOT more...... They're listed for natural gas, but I bet I can get them set up for propane.....

Natural gas is a lot better priced.  Do you not have access to natural gas?  The price for this burner does sound good.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Secondary Regulator in the Kegerator
« on: December 10, 2010, 01:34:25 AM »
Fantastic then, at least it's an easy fix.  Looks like I'll be moving the regulator to the outside of the keezer and drilling 4 more holes in the collar.  Although it was 34.8F in my garage last week . . . :)

Dang, that is almost as cold as the inside of my keezer and my regulators are inside also.  I would rather not move them.  Oh well let me think about it.

I have never had the Celebration, and may not ever; although it amazes me that someone would consider an over hopped IPA the best Christmas ale. 

Not to ruffel any feathers.  It just does not compute!!!!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: mash thickness
« on: December 09, 2010, 01:21:39 PM »
How much will the effeciency of a mash be effected at 1.0 qt's per pound of grain vs. 1.25 qts per pound of grain vs. 1.33 qts per pound vs 1.5 qts per pound of grain.......

My mash tun size restrictions are a bit of a pain in the a$$ for me at the moment.

Thanks for your replies!!

Since $$ and size are the issues for you.  I would recommend for you to add as much water to the mash to get to the 1.5 qts per pound of grain as you can.  After the mash has set long enough, start to slowly drain out a portion of the wart while adding more water to the top of the mash.  Stopping periodically to stir and give it time to rest.   Try to keep the grist covered with hot water at all times, while you are in the mashing process.  Once mashing has completed, drain as normal.  Yes you will suffer a bit of efficency.  You can only do what you can do with limited equipment you have.  Don't worry, have a home brew and relax while your working through this part of your brew process. 

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Too Cold?
« on: December 09, 2010, 12:40:41 PM »
Build yourself a fermentation chamber.  It can be as elaborate as you want or as simple as you can afford.  You need a cabinet that is tall enough that you will be able to put a carboy with an air lock on top of it.  It would be nice to be able to fit several carboys inside.  A cheep kitchen sink cabinet purchased at home depot will work well, or build your own.  Put what ever type of counter top you want on it, ie formica or plywood.    Pick up a small electric ceramic heater at home depot.  Purchase a Ranco Digital Temperature Controller - Wired.  The Ranco along with the ceramic heater, will help you control the temperature inside the cabinet when it is too cold in the garage, so that you will be able to maintain the proper temperature range for your lagers and ales.  You can also use the Ranco to control a refrigerator or freezer to have a fermentation chamber during the summer.  I also use a Ranco to control the temperature for my Keezer.  For storing and serving from my cornie kegs.

Ranco Digital Temperature Controller - Wired
Now you can precisely control the temperature of your fermentation, or a pump...
Read More

Price: $99.95

I believe a Pumpkin Ale is an absolute must have for a seasonal October through New Years brew.  I actually look forward to brewing it all through the year.

Pumpkin Ale can be served along with a slice of pumpkin pie and you will truly enjoy the complimentary flavors the beer and pie have for each other.

Here is another way to serve your Pumpkin Ale, that maybe, you have not thought of before.

Get a 13 oz Margarita serving glass.  Nice wide open glass with a thin stem.  You can purchase these glasses at Walmart 2 for $4.99.  Good price, has a great presentation.  Get several for serving your friends and family.

Frost the glasses and fill with Pumpkin Ale within 3/8's of an inch to the top of the glass.
Top with whip cream from the can in a spiraling pyramid shape.   Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice on top and garnish with shaved/grated Hershey milk chocolate. 
My wife absolutely loves this.  You can actually serve this with a meal, along with a desert, or just by itself.   Everyone that I have served my Pumpkin Ale to like this have been totally shocked and truly enjoyed the drink.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Best Brew Software??
« on: December 09, 2010, 11:25:43 AM »
Beersmith has a lot of features and simplicity of use that I like.  It is great for being able to share brew recipes.  You can export or import files easily.  Scale the batch size to meet your brewing style.  If you want to, Beersmith gives you the ability to customize a lot of elements of the brew process.  It is a cool program. 

To be fair, I have not used any other brew software.

Works well for me.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Greenish tint to my first batch
« on: December 09, 2010, 10:27:03 AM »
That would go great for St. Patrick's Day!!!!

Are you racking from the primary to a secondary, and then to a batch priming container with an auto siphon?  If so pay close attention to avoid getting your cane into the trub at the bottom of each of your carboys.  I like to slightly tilt the carboy while it is fermenting, which allows the trub to settle at the bottom on one side.  Then when I start to rack it out of the carboy on the opposite side from where the trub is.  I make sure my cane is not in the trub.  As the last of the beer approaches the bottom of the carboy I will allow the carboy to gently straighten up and I am able to siphon a good amount of brew from the carboy without sucking up hardly any trub at all.  You can also use this same technique using CO2 and a few extra attachments to push the beer out of the carboy to another carboy and eventually into a cornie keg.   Later on you may be interested in going to kegs verses bottles.
Hope this helps. 
Good luck. 

Pimp My System / Re: My Brewery and Alehouse-Shed
« on: December 05, 2010, 07:07:18 PM »
Hope this info helps !

Hi Chris,
Thanks for your response. 

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Taking apart a regulator
« on: December 05, 2010, 06:18:49 PM »
Hi James,
I hope you have resolved your problem with the regulator by now.  I know it must be vary frustrating to not be able to do what you want to do.  At least you gave me an excuse to go down into my basement and check my keezer.  I went ahead and poured a Cross Roads Pale Ale while I was down there.  I have six regulators in it from Micro Matic.  I looked at the paperwork and they are discribed as Economy Standard Regulator.  They are bright red in color with the gauge on top and the exact configuration you are describing as far as the connections go. At this time, I have all of my regulators in a dazy chain connected to each other, so that I can feed from one CO2 tank.  The Micro Matic has a threaded plug on the left side which uses an allen wrench to remove the plug.  It rotates in a counter clockwise direction in order to remove plug.  You may have to mount the regulator to something solid, so that you can apply the necessary force to release the plug.  Hopefully you have the proper sized allen wrench, so that the plug does not get stripped.  It is a rather large one.  I keep it right inside the lip of my keezer, unfortunately I do not know the size.  Do you have a vice grip set of plires.  If not, you may want to invest into one.  Attach the vice grip plires to your allen vary snugly.  This will enable you to apply enough force to break the threaded plug loose from the regulator.  Cross you toes, because you are going to need your fingers.  Apply counter clockwise pressure.  That's it, vary simple. 

Again I do hope you have already solved your problem and moving on to bigger and better things.

Pimp My System / Re: My Brewery and Alehouse-Shed
« on: December 03, 2010, 08:52:44 PM »
What have you done to protect the wall from the heat being emitted by the burners during the brew process?   It looks like the brewing station is backed up vary close to the wall.  I can see SS, could you please explain.  Have you installed a fire break or barrier on the other side of the SS?   I am in the process of planning a brewing area in my basement.  Any advise and comments you have in regard for safety would be considered and appreciated.


I do like skyler's idea of adding the Orval.  I went down and purchased the last 5 bottles that Total Wine had on hand.  I do not plan on adding the Brett to this brew as of now.  May plan another brew in the future.

For the Love of Beer,

I went to Beer a day website to learn more about the beer.  Looks like they add Brett to their beer at bottling.

Orval adds brettanomyces yeast to the beer at bottling. Brettanomyces — or simply “brett” if you’re on a first-name basis — is a wild yeast that creates the unique flavor found in Belgian styles such as Lambic and Gueuze, but also the “off” taste you might get from wine gone bad. Perhaps this unique approach happens at Orval because instead of relying solely on the monks, the brewery from the very beginning hired from the laity. According to the Orval website:

Set the temperature to 75 Degrees.

For the Love of Beer,

Pimp My System / Re: My Brewery and Alehouse-Shed
« on: December 02, 2010, 10:55:10 PM »
That is a great layout.  

Looking for a place to squeez in a small cooktop / oven combo.  

I love to cook and feed my fat face once in a while also.

Is it there, or am I over looking it?

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