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Messages - BrewArk

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Equipment and Software / Re: Hand Cranked or Powered?
« on: June 25, 2014, 11:15:35 AM »
I'm thinking the rare, but possible, unanimous decision from this thread to have a powered grain mill  :D

There's a plumbing/electrical supply company down the road from me so I may just stop down to the store and see what low RPM/high torque small electric motors they have.

Ok I'll admit that I hand crank.  I'm a cheapskate.  It feels like I deserve my beer if I'm "working" for it.  ::)

Other Fermentables / Re: Thinking about trying my had at mead
« on: June 18, 2014, 09:10:00 AM »
(Much) Later, when your fermentation is done.  Bentonite has always worked really well to clarify my meads. 

Personally, when finishing, I prefer to add potassium sorbate stabilizer, and then back add some honey to sweeten up my meads too.

My senator & committee chair - check!

Thanks for the update!

Ingredients / Re: Growing your own
« on: May 15, 2014, 01:30:46 PM »
... and maybe grow winter rye as another cover crop. In the spring I'll till, get a soil test, amend the soil and grow something else. If this works I'll keep breaking new ground for more veggies, fruit trees, berries etc. Eventually there will be no grass to mow and we'll have more and more of our own food. I wish I could quit my job!

I grew rye this year for the first time.  Planted the first week in November, it didn't get more than six inches tall until February or March.  Then it took off, it's now up to six feet!  It is still green and the seeds are just beginning to plump up.

It's delaying my spring barley planting. :)

Ingredients / Re: Growing your own
« on: May 13, 2014, 09:34:36 PM »
The packages for mine said 90 days.  I planted beginning of November, and still some haven't dried out.  So read into that what you'd like.

Ingredients / Re: Growing your own
« on: May 13, 2014, 01:04:09 PM »
We're getting that really warm weather this week.  I should be just behind you.

I put mine in a pillow case for threshing.  Just beat it around.  Winnow between two big bowls in the afternoon breeze.  It can be iterative when I'll put the large bits back into the pillow case & beat 'em some more.

Ingredients / Re: Growing your own
« on: May 12, 2014, 09:53:23 AM »
1) Jonathan about my Maris Otter: I got a few seeds from the government, for my "research project".  When I harvest them, I can send you some seeds for next winter if you send me your address privately (they are still green so it won't be right away).

2) Pete: I too am "backyarding" this - so I'm using a food dehydrator.  My first experiment is ready to bottle (in fact, a little late to the bottle).  So, I should have something to report in a few weeks.

Ingredients / Re: Growing your own
« on: April 30, 2014, 01:40:54 PM »
I'm seeing quite a bit of variation.  My The Bere & Excelsior ares nearly completely dried out.  The Maris Otter & Belford are just still pollinating.  My other varieties Hanna & Klages need to plump up more.  My rye is pollinating and is about 5' tall.  The hops are still less than a foot tall.  The hot weather should help. Thanks for the update.

(We too are itching to get planting some summer vegetables.)

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Need Big, 15 gal.? Cooler Mash Tun
« on: March 20, 2014, 09:01:42 AM »
I've seen the 70qt go for as low as $39 w/free shipping from time to time on Amazon (that's where I got mine).  Been xtremely happy with it.

Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: My last negra modello
« on: March 19, 2014, 09:37:22 PM »
XX or stay thirsty my friends

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg... "Logistics"
« on: March 17, 2014, 01:09:35 PM »
I'd have to start by relocating the compressor.  I lose a lot of space because of the lip it puts in the back of the fridge.  It's just something I don't want to delve into just yet.

if the bottom of the fridge was even with the compressor hump would there still be room for the kegs?

My keg fridge has a comressor hump and the former owner built a little platform out of wood that makes the floor level with the top of the compressor.
I was able to do this with mine.  Now I can fit two kegs and my conical at the same time (I put the CO2 outside the fridge just under the drip tray).

Equipment and Software / Re: Burner question
« on: March 14, 2014, 12:30:48 PM »
Lifting is not that much of an issue for me- the low burner I have now (maybe 18" or less at the top) is a pretty good height for me to lift/pour. I do like the idea of a mowing platform, I may put a pump on my list after I get my burner sorted out (1 step at a time).
The counterflow works well gravity fed? I am also looking into my chilling options.
The counterflow works w/gravity if it is long enough & the cooling water is cool enough so that the result is cool with one pass and that the keggle is high enough so that the wort travels downhill to the fermenter.  50' is plenty for me.  I support the hose with a chair, to get it above the carboy.  Then I raise the keggle to be above that.

Get rid of the ferret instead.

Equipment and Software / Re: Burner question
« on: March 14, 2014, 09:36:44 AM »
Since you are gravity fed, I'd say look at the logistics of how you cool and transfer.  Is it better to have your boil on a stand w/legs or is that not necessary.

Personally, I am working the design of my gravity stand.  Until that project is completed, I've purchased the last part of that system which is a hydraulic lift table from Harbor Freight.  I can put the burner & keggle down low during my brewing; then pump it up high enough to drain through my home made counterflow chiller, directly into a fermenter at pitchable temperature.  I got the Blichmann from an outfit in a state w/no sales tax.

My old system was a stand burner that had the whole system up higher.  It was serviceable but inconvienient.

Beer Travel / Re: Las Vegas road trip: where to fill my growlers?
« on: March 09, 2014, 03:09:26 PM »
Our timeshare is walking distance from Ellis Island.  The beer there is cheap (I think is was $8 a growler).  We have one of their growlers every night.  During football games they discount the beer even more.  It was like $2 a pint then.

Not the best craft beer in the world, but they brew it on the premises.

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