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Topics - Gribble

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Equipment and Software / Hop Rocket
« on: January 15, 2012, 08:14:10 AM »
I just got my new Blichmann Hop Rocket yesterday, and had a chance to try it out tonight while kegging my Ordinary Bitter.  I put two ounce of hops in, 1 ounce of UK Goldings and 1 ounce of Fuggles, and it worked flawlessly.  It worked great as a filter, trapping the little bit of yeast and trub that got sucked up as I was adjusting the racking arm, and it gave the beer a great aroma.  I'm really looking forward to using this product again, though this time I'll be hopbacking it out from the kettle.

Equipment and Software / Plastic Conical Fermenters
« on: January 11, 2012, 06:13:25 AM »
I have been using 15 gallon plastic induction tanks for about a year now with great success.  The only modification I have made to them is using LD Carlson's Better Bottle Racking Adapter installed just as you would in a better bottle carboy.  I have not had a problem at all with this system as the racking adapter is easily removed for easy cleaning.  The only downside to these induction tanks is that they are not able to be pressurized, but on the small scale it is not that big of a hassle.  However, I am currently putting together all of the equipment needed for my 3 bbl brewery. 

Due to the low cost of these tanks, along with the approval from the Washington State Dept. of Ag, I have been thinking about using them.  Here's where I run into problems.  I'm fairly positive that I can get these to seal where they could hold up to 20 psi.  The problem lies in the holes that I'm going to have to port into a tank.  One for the racking arm, one for the thermowell, two for the immersion chiller, one for the co2 port, and one more for the cip.  That's six hole that are going to have to be drilled with at least two of them below the liquid line.  Times six fermenters, thats 36 holes I have to worry about sealing, not to mention the 12" lid. 

I have found some very nice SS pieces that are very sanitary that would work great, but I'm just worried that some time during the course of using any one of the tanks that I might run into problems with and I really dont want to have that happen with 100 gallons of beer sitting in it.  Anyone have any advice for me?  I really dont want to have to spend $1900 a pop for SS fermenters if I don't have to right away.


Equipment and Software / Immersion Chiller Efficiency
« on: December 31, 2011, 09:22:24 AM »
I'm getting ready to start putting together an immersion chiller for my fermenter (basically using the brewhemoth immersion chiller as a template) and I got to wondering which way the flow is the most efficient.  Either running all the way to the bottom and then up the coil, or down the coil and straight up.  Any thoughts?

Equipment and Software / Brewery Control System
« on: December 10, 2011, 08:40:08 AM »
I don't know if anyone has seen this before, but I thought it was kind of cool.

Going Pro / First Festival
« on: November 15, 2011, 07:17:05 AM »
We just got done pouring at our first festival as a brewery, and even though it was a small festival, we were one of three breweries that attended, we flew through beer.  It was so amazing watching people come back again and again for more.  We brought 45 gallons with us of four styles, Stout 5g, IPA 10g, Pumpkin 15g, and IRA 15g, and poured 26g, and surprisingly went through the most of the one we thought people would think was too strong, IRA 8.9% 75 IBU.  They just couldn't get enough.  Did I also mention the festival was also only 3 hours long.  We've already been invited back next year, and are being featured on the front page of the paper.  Sounds like a good impression to me.  I want to hear about other peoples experiences pouring their first time.

Equipment and Software / Blichmann Beer Gun
« on: November 02, 2011, 12:36:13 AM »
I just got my beer gun from Blichmann Engineering today, and I love it.  I've been using a traditional counter-pressure filler for a while now, typically don't bottle but now that we're going pro kind of have too, and in the time it usually took me to bottle a case of 22's with the CPF, I bottled 2 1/2 cases with the beer gun.  It's easy to use with one hand, and no more having to worry about the stopper sticking in the mouth of the bottle or adjusting the filler for different size bottles.  I wanna hear what other people think.

Equipment and Software / 809 March Pumps
« on: October 09, 2011, 07:52:46 PM »
I've been using my pumps for a while now, and they work great.  Both of them are hard piped into my system and have never had a performance issue until last night.  My wort pump seized up in the middle of transfer giving me the "opportunity" to yank it apart, thank god for unions.  I take good care of my pumps always flushing them out and running pbw and acid 5 through them but when I tore the pump head apart i found the shaft and impeller bore coated with a good amount of beerstone.  So I guess pulling the wort pump apart is going to become a regular maintenance item.  I was wondering if anyone else has had this same problem.

Pimp My System / Pilot Brewery
« on: October 08, 2011, 12:12:01 AM »
Here's Phase One of our quest of going pro.  

We needed a walk in cooler for our fermenters and for our grain storage.  We decided to go with an 8' x 8' cooler framed with 2x4's and covered with plywood.

Each 4x8 section once assembled was covered in mylar bubblewrap insulation, similar to the carboy wraps.  Once all the sections were assembled all of the seams were covered with aluminized tape on the inside and carpenter in a can on the outside.

The whole thing is kept cool by a modular 10,000 btu AC unit that we got a Lowes.  This keeps it at a nice 60 degrees without overstressing the unit.  Currently we have five 15 gallons plastic conical induction tanks and about 400 lbs of grain inside.

For our brew system we of course use The Great Northwestern Brew Baron.

Our Mill, a 2 roller Barley Crusher, with the ability to run a 3/8 Drill.  The Barley Crusher is attached to the lid of our grain bucket for minimal dust.

Our workspace.

Not pictured are the two cabinet freezers (one for cold crashing and lagering, the other for bottle storage) and a chest freezer (keg storage) each on their own temp controller.  We also have an area for bottling and filling pigs.  Some of the other stuff that I've built since we started but don't have pictures of is a dual Corney Keg washer which doubles for cleaning out the Mash Tun and Kettle, a basin sink out of a 55 gal poly drum, and various re designs to the Brew Baron.
All together with the cost of the Brew Baron, the walk in cooler, and all the other ancillary stuff you're looking at $5,000+

Pimp My System / The Great Northwestern Brew Baron
« on: October 07, 2011, 11:48:10 PM »
This is the Great Northwestern Brew Baron.  At the heart of this HERMS is the Blichmann Therminator which is used not only for cooling the boil, but heating the mash as necessary by transferring heat from the HLT to the Mash Tun using two 809 March Pumps.  All of the water side is hard piped using 1/2" Copper which use 1/2" Cam Lock fittings to connect to all the hoses.  The kettles also use the same 1/2" Cam Locks.The kettles are all keggles with welded fittings for sanitation.  The Mash Tun and HLT have welded in Thermowells for the Ranco Temp Probes.  The HLT Controller kicks on and off the solenoid valve for the propane, and the Mash Tun Controller kicks on and off the two pumps.  The HLT is equipped with a sight glass and a thru wall thermometer, and the Mash Tun has the same thermometer along with a False Bottom w/ Pick Up tube and a vorlauf with a clip on sparge ring adapter.  Hope you all like it and I hope it gives your guys some ideas for your own system.

Before I built the Control Box everything was manually operated including push button ignition.  Since then the propane system has been upgraded to a pilot light solenoid system and everything can run either on automatic through the ETC's or manually.


Mash Tun

Vorlauf Tube w/ Sparge Ring attached

Flase Bottom, Thermowell and Thermometer probe

Diverter Panel during construction back when each burner was push button ignited.

Homebrewer Bios / Ryan Gribble
« on: July 16, 2011, 11:39:07 PM »
Hey all, just a quick post to let everyone know I am back to the forum.  I started out as IHBHS but since I no longer work at Ice Harbor Brewing Homebrew Shop I started my own account here. 

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