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Topics - theDarkSide

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The Pub / Geothermal Heating and Cooling
« on: February 11, 2011, 04:28:37 PM »
I figure Hombrewers are a geeky bunch ( or some of us ) so I want to ask you all this question.

Does anyone here currently use geothermal heating and/or cooling in your home?  If so, can how well does it work, what climate are you in, was it insanely expensive to install, etc?  Any info would be great.

I put a pellet stove in years ago to offset the cost of propane but now pellets are getting up in price as well.  My current propane heating system is going on 18 years old and I've been thinking about a geothermal system. 

Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.

General Homebrew Discussion / Frigid Weather Brewing
« on: January 20, 2011, 04:43:19 PM »
I know I'm going to get a lot of "Suck it up" and "Be a man" responses to this so go right ahead if you feel so inclined.

I haven't been able to brew since October and would really like to brew this weekend.  Saturday is out so I'm left with Sunday ( since there is no real football to watch this weekend anyways  :P ).  Unfortunately, the low Sat night into Sunday is 0 F, and the high is only supposed to be 13 with very light wind ( 9mph ).  I'm an all grain brewer so I'm outdoors for the boil at least.

What kind of issues am I going to run into with weather this cold?  Am I going to use a whole tank of propane just to get a boil going and hold it?  At least the chilling part would seem to go faster.  I'd probably turn on my outside spigot for my wort chiller...I just have to make sure I turn it off when I'm done.

I'm curious what you cold weather folks do.


Commercial Beer Reviews /
« on: December 08, 2010, 08:04:03 PM »
I heard these guys on The Brewing Network last Sunday.  Their site allows you to setup a login, search and rate beer ( 1-5 mugs ) and it will give you suggestions of beer that it thinks you will love or like.   There is also an option to follow you friends who are on it and see how they rated stuff.  The more you rate, apparently the more accurate it will be.

I may not be for everyone, but it gives me an opportunity to find out about other beer that I never hear of because it's not available where I am.

The site is:

The Pub / The Doghouse!!
« on: December 07, 2010, 03:07:02 PM »
A co-worker sent this to me this morning.  Appropriate for this time of the year too!!  Enjoy and beware.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Sam Adams Winter Classics
« on: October 29, 2010, 08:40:07 PM »
They are including Chocolate Bock this year!!!

Woohoo!!  Usually only get that every other year.

The Pub / Android Battery Drainer
« on: October 15, 2010, 06:23:19 PM »

Free game available for Android phones.  This is similar to the castle game someone posted on here earlier this year, but you launch birds at the buildings to try and kill the pigs.

It is Friday afternoon afterall!!  Enjoy.

The Pub / How do you tell people where you are?
« on: September 16, 2010, 01:04:11 PM »
I've been using Fourquare because my son thinks it's cool to check in to places and become mayor.  I'm curious what everyone uses, if one is better than the other, or if you even care.

Other Fermentables / Moonlight Meadery Article
« on: September 09, 2010, 05:25:36 PM »
This is an article from the local newspaper in Derry, NH regarding Michael Fairbrother's company, Moonlight Meadery.  Sounds like he's doing well ( I've sampled a few bottles myself ).

All Things Food / The Homebrewed Chef with Sean Paxton
« on: August 12, 2010, 12:32:40 PM »
I'm sure there is some rule against Justin posting this here since he is a GC member, so I'll do it.  This show on The Brewing Network sounds like it's going to be a winner.

The Brewing Network is proud to present the show for beer lovers and foodie's alike! The Home Brewed Chef with Sean Z, Paxton is the only show of its kind focusing on cooking and pairing with craft beer. Sean is the leading chef in this field and is constantly reinventing the way we look at craft beer as an ingredient in our food, and companion at our table. Tune in to each episode and learn to recognize compatible flavors, pair gourmet food with world class beer, and cook with your favorite beverage. Beginners and experts alike will learn to enhance their dining experience with The Home Brewed Chef.

First show is Thursday, August 26, 2010 at 6pm Pacific and available later in the archives.

Ingredients / Anyone Else's 1st Year Hops Not Up to Snuff
« on: August 09, 2010, 03:45:40 PM »
I planted 2 cascade and 2 centennial in a nice sunny spot, mounded hill to allow for runoff, water everyday sometime twice.  The height they have grown range from about 6 feet down to 3 feet ( funny because it goes left to right in height it kind of looks like those cellphone commercial with the bars ).

I actually have a few flowers on them but they never did climb to total length of the rope ( approx 13 feet ).  I've been trimming away the other bines that I didn't train up the trellis and there doesn't seem to be any damage from insects or disease.

We have had an unusually dry summer this year ( as my lawn is evidence of that ), but I've been watering everyday and fertilize on a regular schedule.

Is this somewhat normal, and should I see better results next year?  I know a lot of the first year growth is root structure, but I've seen a lot of postings on other forums where people said their 1st years hops grew 12+ feet.

The Pub / The Demise of TechTalk
« on: August 05, 2010, 12:35:33 PM »
Hope this is allowed here, but WOW...what a response the email from Gary got about removing techtalk.  Some of the posts in yesterdays email were entertaining and some annoying ( like the constant plugging of ).

I understand the issues some people have with losing this, but since the forum started I barely skimmed the topics on tech talk since I could get an almost immediate answer from the forum.  I also like the back and forth conversation in case something wasn't clear and I didn't have to wait another day to find out the answer.

And I don't agree with the posts about making the forum available to paying members only.  I would guess that any serious homebrewer on the forum would sign up for a membership when they realize what the AHA has to offer.  I would hate to turn away someone who is looking to get into homebrewing because they'd have to pay up front to get the information they need.  This is what makes the Brewing Network and Basic Brewing Radio/Video such great resources.  They provide their content for free but you can support them if you feel the information warrants it. ( Corporal in the BN Army ).  Just like I support the AHA with my membership.

Just my take on it...opinions may very of course.

The Pub / Star San for treating Powdery Mildew
« on: August 02, 2010, 04:14:41 PM »
Last night I was watering my pumpkins and noticed a white, powdery substance on my pumpkin leaves. I'm assuming it's powdery mildew since it's been pretty humid here lately. I was reading up on it and see that some people spray them with a milk/water solution because the low ph of milk kills the mildew.

So I was wondering if Star San would be a good solution to this because of it's low PH? Anyone use Star San on their plants to control this stuff? I know some will pour their spent Star San on their flowers as a fertilizer, but I'm not sure if 12ppm Star San is harmful.

I had a spray bottle of SS so I sprayed a couple plants this morning to see what would happen.

Kegging and Bottling / CO2 showing almost empty
« on: July 08, 2010, 12:16:29 PM »
I kegged a beer on Saturday and my CO2 tank was reading in the green area on the gauge.  I checked all connections with Star San from a spray bottle and no leaks.  My pressure was set at 11 psi for the newly kegged beer and 1 other connected to the CO2 but that was fully carbonated before.

Last night I check the tank and the gauge is in the red zone stating it is almost empty.  I checked again for leaks and didn't find any.  I turned the pressure up a little and can still hear gas flowing, then turned it back down to 11 psi.  My tank sits in my kegerator with the kegs at 40F. 

Do the gauges read incorrectly if they are in the kegerator because of the cold?  I can't believe this tank went from green to red in 4 days when I can't find a leak. 

Also, is there a good way to tell if a tank is empty?  It is a 5lb, aluminum tank.


The Pub / Trademark Silliness
« on: June 22, 2010, 02:25:55 PM »

Boy, the Pacific NW is sure taking a beating lately.  Two pointless cases of trademark infringement, and one from another craft beer company which shocks me.

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