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Messages - AmandaK

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Share Your 2015 Brew Season Stock Up
« on: September 30, 2015, 06:48:54 AM »
We always keep sacks of malt around, usually Best Pils, Best Munich, Best Dark Munich, Dingemanns Pilsner, a Maris Otter (this time it's TF), and a wild card malt (sometimes 2-row). Hops are always around too. Yeast is the only thing I don't stock year round.

For stock ups this winter, I'm going hard on mead and cider and leaving Myles to do the brewing outside in the cold if he wants to. Picking up 3 gallons of honey this weekend while judging the Sower's Cup in Lincoln. I also grabbed 15 gallons of raw cider from a local mill on Saturday. That was made into a cyser, a table cider, and I'm freezing about 6 gallons of it to make an ice cider. Pretty stoked.  8)

All Things Food / Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« on: September 30, 2015, 05:37:26 AM »
I highly recommend this variety of blackberry:

It was our first year with it, but it grew really well in less than ideal conditions, and the berries we got this year tasted incredible.

From Norse, I'm assuming you're getting bare root plants? And you got berries the first year? When are you planting? I ordered currant plants in pots to cut down on the planting to fruiting time and will be planting them tomorrow so they can get established (still mid 80s here for some reason). Thoughts on planting times for blackberries/raspberries? (Also thinking about picking up some Heritage raspberries.)

All Things Food / Re: Growing food - The Garden Thread
« on: September 29, 2015, 05:16:24 AM »
I picked up a couple black currant bushes for the garden.  8)

I think next year I'll plant more things that don't need processing. I was overrun with tomatoes this year - I think 8 plants is too much for the both of us. I just can't put up any more marinara sauce with all of our other activities. So I'm going for more things that can either be stored on their own or frozen. I liked the spinach, snap peas, peppers, peppers, peppers, potatoes, carrots, etc. I'll probably do a bit more of those and less tomatoes. I'm also thinking about getting more blackberry plants since I have a good amount of open space.

I consider myself extremely lucky to be homebrewing at a time where brewers like Denny and Marshall (as well as their experiments) are so accessible to the community. It certainly encourages me to do my fair share of experimentation, and I'm a better brewer for it, too.

Same here.

Something I wrote and sent to Denny a few months ago as a 'life lesson in brewing':
Quote from: AB
Think critically and think for yourself. You can learn a lot from forums, the internet, and books but nothing is going to help you learn better than thinking critically about what you've learned and seeing how it applies to your brewery. My brewery is not the same as Denny's brewery and it's not the same as yours. Think about cooking, for instance. If a recipe says that you should bake the cookies at 375F for 20 minutes but your oven runs hotter than the recipe tester's oven, would you take the cookies out of the oven before they burn or wait the full 20 minutes because the recipe said to? That same critical thinking process should be applied to your brewing.

Wholeheartedly agree Marshall & Denny. Thank you for what you guys do - and for taking all of our comments & suggestions in stride.  :)

All Things Food / Re: Chipotle Salsa
« on: September 23, 2015, 06:39:05 AM »
That reminds me, I need to make sauce out of our metric crap ton of hot peppers. Looks good!

Equipment and Software / Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
« on: September 23, 2015, 04:39:09 AM »
Can I ask you two a newbie question?

What is the main advantage of the DPDT relay? I've been talking about this project with our lead electrical engineer here at work and he seems to think that having a breaker(s) is the simpler way to go.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Swap-toberfest '15
« on: September 22, 2015, 05:26:35 AM »
I'm excited! I'll have to ask my receiving person if they like sours or not...  8)

Equipment and Software / Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
« on: September 20, 2015, 09:12:06 AM »
Steve/Mark, I am following every post in this thread. I may just end up giving this whole "build the control system myself" thing a go. As always, thank you guys. You are both helping me see that maybe this electric thing isn't really that hard.

Equipment and Software / Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
« on: September 18, 2015, 01:59:27 PM »
You guys got me thinking (as usual) - looking at PIDs and such really isn't that big of a stretch. I almost understand this, but I'll get there - maybe with pictures:

If you want PID control and easy manual control, what you really want is a PID and the unit that Martin has linked.  All you need to do is to use a double-pole double-throw switch between the +/- control output connections on both units and the +/- control inputs of the SSR.

Back to our OP: so Steve, do you have a wiring diagram in mind for your K-RIMS?

Equipment and Software / Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
« on: September 18, 2015, 08:58:09 AM »
Way too many options here.

Agreed. I've gone from wanting to convert the Sabco to electric (which would cost about as much or more than a BrewEasy), to wanting a PicoBrew, to eBIAB, to a modified eBIAB, to this K-RIMS idea.

For those who haven't studied the BrewEasy manual, here is the TL; DR version of K-RIMS:

That's a bit nuts at $75

Yeah, right??

Equipment and Software / Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
« on: September 18, 2015, 08:44:21 AM »
Steve, I am in the process of researching a tiny electric brewery for winter time and pilot batches.

One word....Zymatic.
Trust me, I've looked at it. There are many, many pros. However...

- It is not able to be used outside of WiFi and the proprietary website. IF Pico goes out of business, I have a $2000 brick on my counter. This is the opposite of appealing. Or if they don't update the web based software in the future, there are potential issues there too. This is my #1 concern. Having a system that cannot be used with only my input is just asking for it to be outdated within 5 years. (Same reason I don't have a smart watch - real watches are obviously a more long term purchase.)
- It's $2k plus shipping.
- It only makes 2.5g of beer at a time (but this is also a plus in some cases).

Equipment and Software / Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
« on: September 18, 2015, 06:51:53 AM »
Martin, I'm looking for precise mash temp control - so we would 'need' the PID - as well as a somewhat manual boil control - the rheostat. I am also electrically challenged. I just figured out how to wire a temp controller last year. So the High Gravity EBC-SV, while pricier than doing it myself and may not have the bells and whistles of others, will save me a lot of time and trouble. Plus, I'm going for an electric system that brews faster than the Sabco (we are running at ~7 hours from lighting the first burner to clean up), is marginally cost-effective, has a small footprint, and works well.

If I do end up with the High Gravity controller, I really only have to worry about moving wort around during the mash effectively (I think). I'm thinking of making/buying something similar to this for the false bottom. BTW - when I first got into brewing, these things were not as expensive! And that was only ~5 years ago!  :o

Equipment and Software / Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
« on: September 18, 2015, 05:38:38 AM »
I should note, I am looking to stay at 120V and use the 2250w Boil Coil for this. I'm not interested in running more 240V at this time.

Based on the calcs on the Blichmann website, the 2250w element should be able to go from 70f to 160f in about 30' and 168f to boil in about 15'. That's faster than a 10g batch on the Sabco so it is more than acceptable here.

Equipment and Software / Re: K-RIMS / Breweasy
« on: September 18, 2015, 05:35:50 AM »
Steve, I am in the process of researching a tiny electric brewery for winter time and pilot batches.

I'm currently leaning towards what you're talking about, which is basically making a "cheap BrewEasy".

For the PID/rheostat, I think the High Gravity EBC-SV ($395) will work perfectly with this. I also think a kettle with a boil coil (or similar element) will do well for heating/maintaining temps.

As to your question on the manifold... this is probably the part I have the most questions about. I know that recirculating can be a tricky beast (as evidenced by our Sabco), so having a proper manifold/false bottom/bazooka screen is a huge factor in how well this system will work. Obviously, the Blichmann false bottom is some of the tops in quality and efficiency - but can you find a cooler it that will work with? Bazooka screen, that will create channeling. Most other 'manifold' type setups will also create channeling but to a lesser degree. I think I'm looking at finding a round cooler and getting a perforated false bottom with a center pick up to eliminate as much channeling as I can an promote even mixing as much as possible.

Anyway, it sounds like we might be attempting very similar projects! Looking forward to seeing what we come up with.

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