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Messages - smkranz

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: New to Kegging and have some questions
« on: February 01, 2017, 05:33:51 PM »
The only reason in my mind to prime beer in a keg, would be if you don't have capacity in your system to connect it to gas and get it cold.

Wood/Casks / Re: Care for New Bourbon Barrel
« on: January 24, 2017, 06:24:39 PM »
If you know that the barrel was just emptied a week ago, thats a very fresh barrel.  I've used 3 different small barrels, and suggest your friend just keep it sealed up and cool until his beer is ready to go in.  I wouldn't put anything in it...water, sanitizer, whiskey, nothing.  Also why they would wait 3 weeks after brewing to fill the barrel?  I'd just wait until the most active fermentation is over one week or so, and fill that puppy up.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Drill through Freezer / Fridge
« on: January 23, 2017, 05:31:40 AM »
To solve the problem of the top freezer door knocking open a tap handle, I screwed a short, 1/2" wide flat metal strap onto the front of the 'fridge door close to the handle, such that part of the strap sticks up above the 'fridge door high enough to also engage the freezer door by about 1/2".  This way when the freezer door is opened, it catches the strap and the 'fridge door also opens.  It is unobtrusive and lets you mount your faucets wherever you want on the 'fridge door.

Equipment and Software / Re: Inline Aeration Setup Questions/Concerns
« on: December 19, 2016, 03:52:10 PM »
I have used Blichmann's inline oxygenation kit for 3 or so batches, and I've had no problems yet.  I sanitize my plate chiller and lines by flooding them with hot wort after whirlpooling, and leaving it sit for just a minute before turning on the chilling water, then the pump, and then the oxygen.

With the addition of the inline oxygen kit, hot wort does enter the stone and the O2 supply line briefly until the oxygen is turned on.  This is also mentioned in the Blichmann manual.  I really can't see the stone getting clogged just because of that, if it's properly cleaned and dried after use.  But I could certainly be proven wrong after many more batches.  Any wort that does seep into the stone is already very clear, after whirlpooling and passing through the boil screen in my Blichmann G1 kettle.

I clean the stone as soon as possible after use by dunking it in a fully dissolved hot PBW solution, sucking and blowing on the end of the supply hose to pull hot cleaning solution in and out of the stone a few times, then leaving it sit for a couple hours before a final flush with hot water.  I've done the same thing more than once with my old stone & wand combination which sat in a carboy several times without positive oxygen pressure on it.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Frozen Beer in Bottles?
« on: December 19, 2016, 02:38:04 PM »
I've seen crowns fail before the bottle cracks. Not sure why this is. Maybe in the early stages of freezing the expansion causes some liquid to seep out of the seal. When the liquid there freezes the gal is widened and the crown pops.

This beer was accidentally left in the freezer for too long.  The crown was the only thing that didn't fail.

Equipment and Software / Re: Ranco cool and heat
« on: November 30, 2016, 06:17:29 PM »
Your Ranco will either heat (H1) or cool (C1).

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Mailing again
« on: November 08, 2016, 07:45:28 PM »
One year at GABF, I shipped bottles home to myself.  They were actually cherry juice, not alcoholic.  I went to a Staples, bought a box, wrap, and tape.  Went out to the car to box up the bottles, then brought them back to the shipping guy.  He asked what it was (the store was right near a huuuge liquor and beer store), and I told him it was cherry juice.  He looked at me, I looked back at him, and said open it up if you don't believe me.  And he did.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: bottle conditioning with corn sugar.
« on: October 25, 2016, 07:56:19 PM »
Thanks a lot for the info.

 Now bottle conditioning: Maple Brown Ale, Maple Brown Ale with Coffee.
What would work good with an Oatmeal Stout in secondary besides coffee that won't effect my FG too much?

Cinnamon sticks, Vanilla Beans, Cocoa Nibs?

I just bottled a dark Belgian quad which I tried to pattern after Lost Abbey's Track #8.  (Recipe is shared on BeerSmith cloud for anyone who might be interested in searching.)  For my 5.5 gallon half of this batch, I added 3 sticks of Saigon cinnamon, and about a dozen dried Japones peppers, broken in half, in a secondary. 

Been brewing for over 20 years, and this is the first time for me using cinnamon sticks, let alone Saigon cinnamon.  They were very aromatic going in, but I didn't think 3 sticks would be too many.  After just 24 hours, I tasted the beer, and pulled the cinnamon out, it was already fairly prominent, but not over-powering.  I left the peppers in for 3 or 4 more days.  Amazing flavor.

Ingredients / Re: When do you add honey?
« on: October 13, 2016, 02:51:38 PM »
  Added after crashing can work out assuming you force carb.

Does it dissolve all the way if the beer is cold?

If you mean cold vs. room temp, yes honey will dissolve if the beer is cold.  Heat the honey jar in a warm water bath, which will make the honey soft and runny, and it'll dissolve into the beer/wort in a jiffy. 

I know there's been data that suggests homebrewing is on the decline and I read feedback that suggests a lot of homebrewers find they have too much beer to consume just by themselves, i figured maybe this could be another benefit as you could meet up with other users and/or just get your name out there to other users who may like your batches and want them on a consistent basis.

Not sure I understand the premise behind this.  Homebrewers who have too much beer on hand, are going to swap their homebrew with someone else for more beer?

I'd also be concerned, as a homebrewing user, that if I trade my homebrews with strangers for commercial beers, some local revenuer with nothing better to do could accuse me of selling my homebrew.  I might be paranoid, but I'm paid to be that way for a living.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Making a Black IPA
« on: September 19, 2016, 01:38:04 AM »
Try a grist with about 5% Carafa III malt.  Very little-to-no roasted flavors.  If you are a Beersmith user try searching for Black Friday IPA, I think I made it a public recipe.  It is scaled to my BrewEasy system.

Equipment and Software / Re: Keg Post Won't Come Off
« on: September 11, 2016, 04:06:10 PM »
I occasionally need to use a hammer and tap the wrench while holding the keg down firmly on its side, to get a post to loosen.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Reviews on all different Ales!
« on: September 09, 2016, 09:13:52 AM »
Shouldn't this go in the Commercial Beer Reviews board?

Homebrew Competitions / Maryland Microbrewery Fest. Homebrew Competition
« on: September 02, 2016, 07:11:58 PM »
Greetings, this is a plug for the 2016 Maryland Microbrewery Festival Homebrew Competition.  In its 9th year, the competition is an integral part of the annual festival by the same name.  The festival and competition will be held on Saturday, September 24, 2016 on the beautiful grounds of Union Mills Homestead in Westminster, Maryland.

Entry registration will be open for one more week, and closes at the end of business on Saturday, Sept. 10.  As of this writing, there are about 25 entry openings left.

We also have room for additional Judges, including novice and Provisional judges.  Judges get breakfast and lunch, and free admission to the Festival.  It's an easy judging point, as we have one morning round of judging and then you are free to enjoy the afternoon at the festival.

Question is:
1.   I'm worried that running boiling wort through my pump, the CFC, and back will dissipate so much heat that I will have a hard time keeping the boil up. I do use natural gas though. Does anyone do this and have any experience?
2.   I often use a large amount of pellet hops especially in whirlpool. I usually just throw the hops right into the kettle and do not use a spider or bag. Has anyone had any major problems with the CFC clogging?
3.   Any other better ideas for my system or anyone have a great way to do all this?

1.  The volume of your boiling wort should be plenty to keep any slight heat loss from circulation, from killing your boil.  Dial the valve off of the chiller back to a very slow flow.  All you need to sanitize the chiller and pump is heat, not a lot of flow. 

2.  If your chiller is a plate chiller, use a hop spider or a boil screen to keep as much of the hop residue and trub out of the chiller as possible.

3.  There are other ways to sanitize your chiller...boil it...put it in the oven...soak in StarSan.

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