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Messages - AmandaK

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Amanda is quite inebriated right now but she did an amazing job on this comp.  I recommend this competition to anyone.


I blame whatever tasty beverage you gave me on my quick trip to drunk town. I hope everyone liked my drunken speech! :)

Do I need to be concerned about any of the other meads you gave me??

All Grain Brewing / Re: Starting with RO Water and adjusting from there
« on: February 20, 2014, 06:06:25 AM »
Yes, the waste water is significant, but I am on a well system, so I can afford to use a fair amount of water, because it only costs me the electricity to pump it. 

I will keep you posted, Amanda, but I doubt that I will have this installed and running until later in March.

Thank you. Waste water is one of my concerns. Where does it all go? What's the RO to waste on some of these home systems? I have a feeling it's like 25% efficient.

Events / Re: NHC 2014 - Lottery System for Registration?
« on: February 19, 2014, 01:47:28 PM »
Anyone considering also including the AHA Forum name for easy identification at the Conference?

If someone can't figure out mine... well, too bad!  ;D

@kcbiermeisters will be live tweeting the results.
Thanks Amanda...I just followed.  Of course I'm going to be at a brewfest on Saturday in Portsmouth, NH so there may be some drunken retweets. :)

Myles (the better half and tweeter of the Bier Miesters) loves retweets. Especially drunk ones! ;D Personally, I'm not sure I understand the Twitter, but whatever works to get the information out!

You'll have to wait for the weekend. :) @kcbiermeisters will be live tweeting the results.


Judging started last night at Cinder Block Brewery. Good luck guys!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Starting with RO Water and adjusting from there
« on: February 19, 2014, 06:08:34 AM »
My friend has this system and says that his filters last almost a year (I think my demand will be greater, but figured that I would give it a try):

I don't have this in hand yet, but am looking forward to installing it, Amanda. 

Hmmm... would you mind taking a picture of the install when you're done? I'm curious to see if this would work in my brewery.

Martin, what type of system do you have? And where are you keeping such a large tank? Are there any upgrades you would need to a 'normal' system to push RO water into a larger tank?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Starting with RO Water and adjusting from there
« on: February 18, 2014, 07:05:59 PM »
Thanks, Martin! I have just ordered a system with a 20 gallon accumulator, based on a friends suggested brand on the internet.  I will shortly be joining your paid group and making awesome water!  I figure this system will pay for itself in a little over a year based on my bottled delivery water consumption in the past for my household.  Hopefully the plumbing is not too friend can help, so I am not too worried.

This forum is great to give me the confidence to do these things.  Thanks, again.

What did you get, exactly?

Pimp My System / Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« on: February 18, 2014, 08:14:42 AM »
No doubt! All they need now is a hydroponic greenhouse for hops and maybe a yeast lab/library

Now that's just too much! :-P

Ingredients / Re: Too many grain bins
« on: February 17, 2014, 09:29:44 AM »
Amanda, I figured from the photos that you had a full sack of everything on the country malt list. Lol. Looks like a LHBS with a learn to brew room.

+1 . No kidding !

What?  I like to be able to brew whatever I want, whenever I want. Is that so bad? :D

One of our LBHS owners was over a couple of months ago and he said I was giving him a run for his money! Funny thing is that I buy everything from him.

Ingredients / Re: Too many grain bins
« on: February 17, 2014, 06:16:44 AM »
I've been toying with the idea of adding Best Malz Dark Munich to the bulk line up for a bit now. But then again, I'm kind of a German lager junkie right now. :D

Pimp My System / Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« on: February 16, 2014, 04:15:39 PM »
Very nice set up Amanda. You gave me an idea on how to use those grain bags I have been saving.

A local brewery uses them as a tree skirt around Christmas time. I wish I had thought of that!

And Scot, I don't think the pink ones would fit him! :)

All Grain Brewing / Re: Starting with RO Water and adjusting from there
« on: February 16, 2014, 04:11:02 PM »
I start from RO and adjust.

I looked into the whole house systems a few months back. If you find anything feasible, let us know.

Pimp My System / Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« on: February 15, 2014, 05:18:03 PM »
Awesome! Im jealous of how much space you have!

Thanks guys!  I'll be posting updates to the brewery projects as they come along.

And in reality, I don't have that much space. My house is a 1500sf split level, with the brewery is in the lower basement and part of the garage. After brewing in apartments for so long, I've learned that organization goes a long way.

Pimp My System / Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« on: February 15, 2014, 03:53:06 PM »
I'm finally doing a Pimp My System thread, now that I've moved out of my long string of little apartments and into a house. Things really have come into their own here in the home brewery in the past few months, enough that I can post it even though there are constant projects and improvements.

So here goes!

The actual brewery is a 2009 Sabco Brew Magic VMS350 that we recently picked up from a friend. It has been quite a learning experience to go from a stovetop-batch-sparging-cooler-system!

Chiller is a MoreBeer 'Chillus Convolutus Counterflow Wort Chiller'. Shown here in cleaning mode.

In moving from brewing on the stovetop to brewing outdoors, water availability became a huge issue. Luckily, my mom knew this would eventually happen. She used to develop all of her own photographs as a professional photographer, so when she quit doing that, she saved her darkroom sink and temperature controlled water valve for me. :) So the sink below is a free sink. Approximately 5'-0" by 2'-0" by 5" deep. All stainless. Hot and cold water is plumbed to it and the valve can control water within 1*F. We've installed this in the garage so it makes clean up incredibly easy. It is amazing in cold weather.

The fermenter in the picture below is a 15 gallon plastic conical with stainless tri-clamp fittings. It is housed in a True Manufacturing commercial fridge that I picked up from craigslist. Dual stage temp controller controls the fridge and a little heater near the bottom. Don't mind the ridiculous amount of buckets laying around. It was cleaning day. ;)

Switching over to the basement, where we have storage and the rest of the fermenting happens. My main set of shelves are below. Picked them up from The Shelving Store a while back. I keep everything from finished beer (in bottles), to empty bottles, to Better Bottles, to a jockey box, to Beer Guns, to bottle trees, to a box of airlocks and more on these shelves. Empty bags of grain hang from the ceiling, you know, for decoration.

To the left of the shelving and below the stairs is a sour beer aging area. I am in the process of moving my sour beer aging from my parent's house to my own house, so there is nothing in here yet. Just a few trophies.  ;D

Obligatory medal/ribbon shot. The framed score sheet is from a Saison-Brett clone judged by Stan Hieronymus. To say that I'm proud of that beer would be an understatement.  8) And yes, that is the German flag on the ceiling. Ich bin 100% Deutsch.

Grain storage. Vittle Vault II. Sometimes found on amazon for $25 or so.

Lagering freezer, named Franz. He can hold four kegs. Empty Boulevard Smokestack bottles are for our wedding toast beer.

Newest freezer - 25CF, a replacement for my older keezer (Hanz - he lives with a friend now). No name yet for this one, but it's a work in progress. We are working on a collar for a through the wall tap system. I'll update with pics when we get around to doing it.

Should hold around 16-18 kegs when we finish building it out. Right now, it's all on Cobra taps.

The little wine coolers. These are tinted-glass front Vissani wine coolers that Home Depot used to sell a couple of years back. I have them hooked up to an assortment of temperature controllers. One is dual stage for the Belgians, the other two are single stage for normal beers. We use the top of the coolers as a sort of table.

A really poor shot of the inside of the wine cooler. These little guys can go down to 38*F if need be, and the one with a ferm wrap in it can go as high as I ask it to. The control is quite valuable.

And finally (for now), no home brewery is complete without a set of his and hers brewery boots.  ;D

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