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Messages - AmandaK

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Equipment and Software / Re: Which oxygen stone/wand should I buy
« on: January 20, 2016, 03:15:04 PM »
I have the same setup. I eventually plan to replace it with this
I like the fact that the stone uses a flared fitting to attach to the wand.  A while ago I saw some complaints about other ones where the glue holding the stone to the wand came undone.

This is the setup that I have and it works well.  I also like the idea of being able to easily remove the stone and boil it if it needs it.

Same here. And if the stone ever gets really bad, I can just buy another MFL stone for like $12 instead of replacing the entire wand.

Amanda, any idea how many paid entries are in so far?

I'm hoping to get my <blank> together and get a couple entries out to this.  I can't let Wilcox sweep the cider categories :)

I'm not entering; knock yourself out.  Prizes are tempting though.
I'll head up to judge if possible.


Jumped up 30 entries overnight... someone must have gotten their <blank> together!  ;D

We are half full at this point.

I should note that the winner's prizes are going to be pretty epic this year. We have a $70-150 prize for winning gold in every category, and the BOS prizes are... well... here they are:

1st BOS Beer: WilliamsWarn Counter Pressure bottle filler ($385 value),a lifetime membership to Brewer's Friend and a feature in the Brewer's Friend blog
2nd BOS Beer: Spike Brewing 10g kettle w/ball valve and thermometer ($250 value), 1-year membership to Brewer's Friend
3rd BOS Beer: TBD (depending on something promised, but not yet arrived) & 1-year membership to Brewer's Friend

BOS Mead: Beerbug ($200 value) & 60lb wildflower honey from Dutch Gold Honey ($133 value)

BOS Cider:
Build-your-own jockey box kit (sans cooler) from Kegconnection ($200 value)

Equipment and Software / Re: pH Meter: Balancing cost and quality
« on: January 18, 2016, 10:40:07 AM »
Thermoworks has one. Never used it, but I like my thermopen.

Have the 8689 and love it. It replaced my Hanna pHep5.

3 point calibration, with the ability to have the unit tell you if the slope is far enough off that it's time for a probe replacement - much better than guessing. Probe cap actually is liquid tight, unlike the pHep5, so storage solution stays put. Holds a calibration for about 3 weeks.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Brett.
« on: January 18, 2016, 07:50:25 AM »
Milk the Funk Wiki: Brettanomyces

This is a pretty great resource.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2016 Spring Swap
« on: January 18, 2016, 06:48:38 AM »
The hard part will be finding dry kolsch yeast
Well, I hear that US05 makes a good Altbier. And since we all know that you use Alt yeast to make Kolsch, US05 obviously should make a killer Helles. It's a no-brainer.

Logic checks out.   ;D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2016 Spring Swap
« on: January 16, 2016, 06:54:48 PM »
I'm in. May or may not be in for the challenge beer idea, depending on fermenter space.

Equipment and Software / Re: The Beer Bug?
« on: January 15, 2016, 11:26:41 AM »
We have one for the KCBM Competition's Mead BOS prize. Seems like it is more useful for mead and wine making than brewing. That said, I hope I win it so I can try it out!

Going Pro / Re: Growler suppliers?
« on: January 14, 2016, 11:29:15 AM »

Kegging and Bottling / Re: 80% CO2, 20% N2 - possible, yeah?
« on: January 14, 2016, 11:27:01 AM »
May have to pull the bottles out of the keezer and make some sort of pass through. I remember seeing a thread about that a month or so ago, and I liked Mark's design, but I can't find it anymore. :(

There are pictures of his setup in the following thread:

Thaaaaank you. Was using the wrong search terms over here.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: 80% CO2, 20% N2 - possible, yeah?
« on: January 14, 2016, 08:15:37 AM »
Is it feasible to swap your lines for something that will let you run at a lower pressure?

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

Yes, but I hated the lines. I can use the normal ol' vinyl lines (1.4" ID, 1/2" OD), but they have a LOT of flavor carryover from beer to beer to mead to cider. I also had to dump the first 1/4-1/3 of a beer due to 'line beer'. I am not willing to compromise this. I run Micromatic Brewmaster II barrier lines and have absolutely zero issue with flavor carryover. Hell, I can run water through the lines after running a berry-laden hydromel through them and have no flavor carryover into the water. And that makes me happy.

Yes, I am very picky.  ;)

Side bar: I'm kinda surprised that there isn't a gas vendor lurking on here. Still curious about the 80/20 CO2/N2 blend question.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: 80% CO2, 20% N2 - possible, yeah?
« on: January 14, 2016, 07:48:58 AM »
Yeah, we're wrong. Blender might be your best option.

I'm leaning this way, but I don't really want to have another thing to tinker with.

I have a 70/30 N2/CO2 bottle (kinda beer gas) and a 100% CO2 bottle. The CO2 bottle has a dual pressure regulator on it (and two manifolds for what is 100% CO2 now). What I'm thinking is that I'll use a gas blender for my "normal beer manifold", blending the beer gas and the CO2 for my "normal beer manifold". Then I'll have straight CO2 for my "high carb manifold". Then have the beer gas straight for my stout tap. Ugh.

May have to pull the bottles out of the keezer and make some sort of pass through. I remember seeing a thread about that a month or so ago, and I liked Mark's design, but I can't find it anymore. :(

I don't think many companies would want to bottle custom blends for a homebrewer, and if they did the price would likely be insane.

I suspect this is actually the reason it 'can't be done', but being the person I am I want to know precisely why.

I'm sure if you had a draft technician out they've helped look at those things, though.


Not sure of total length, but I know she is running up 1 floor and not directly above IIRC from her There's always a project at the Redbird brewery thread in pimp my system. I think she has a pretty unique system that fits her needs and requires special consideration.  I don't have the answers she needs but do "think" I remember those facts from that thread

Pretty good memory, Frank! It's about a half a floor (split level home), but otherwise spot on. Link is in my signature.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 2015 Hop crop
« on: January 13, 2016, 07:24:25 PM »

By no means that this is an attack at Amanda. She's awesome. It's just my rebuttal. I feel abliged to defend my LHBS. It's my grain haven. I buy my hops from several sources and including Yakina Valley who offers a quality product.

I appreciate the level response. I only used to buy Eclipse kits there, so that is my only experience. (I buy bulk hops from YVH and bulk grain from my LHBS.)

I am pretty curious about the real story as well.

Edit: my actual ordering experiences with them were painless and usually cheap. My original comment pertained to their email correspondence. Wonder if I still have some of those or if I deleted them all.

Kegging and Bottling / Re: 80% CO2, 20% N2 - possible, yeah?
« on: January 13, 2016, 05:28:27 PM »
I think the issue with using regular beer gas is that it's 75% nitrogen and 25% CO2.  AmandaK is looking for 20% nitrogen and 80% CO2.

Kegging and Bottling / 80% CO2, 20% N2 - possible, yeah?
« on: January 13, 2016, 02:04:16 PM »
Long story made real short:

I have a custom long draw system that essentially requires that I keep my beers at 17psi in order to serve them. If they are any lower than 17psi, the system coughs and sputters. This has been verified twice now by a certified draft technician. Obviously, 17psi is over carbonating the beers.

What I want is an 80/20 mix of CO2/N2 to keep the pressure up at 17psi, but only keep 13-14psi of actual CO2 on the beers. Draft tech confirmed this was my best route.

I asked for this at my usual gas supply and they looked at me like I was crazy. I asked for an explanation as to why this wasn't possible, and he said it 'just isn't'. 'I just can't put nitrogen in a CO2 bottle' was his main caveat, which I then asked if he could do it in a N2 bottle. That didn't fly either. I understand that N2 is bottled at a higher pressure than CO2, so I'm not sure I understand why an N2 bottle cannot be used.

So... question is: is this possible or can someone explain why it isn't possible?

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