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Messages - evandy

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Kegging and Bottling / Lingering Cola smell...
« on: November 20, 2010, 08:23:34 PM »
I have a couple of kegs that still have a lingering cola smell.  They've all been PBW soaked a number of times, and had complete gasket replacements.  I have served a couple beers that didn't pick up any noticeable cola odor, so it's probably not a big deal.  But does anyone know how to remove this long-lasting odor from the keg?  I've heard both that bleach might fix the problem... and that you should not use bleach in stainless, as it will pit it pretty quickly.  If bleach is the right answer, what concentration should be used?


Kegging and Bottling / Re: Mix & match?
« on: November 13, 2010, 05:53:27 AM »
What's wrong with the wedge valves? I have kegs with both kinds, and am happy with either one.

The part where they are falling apart and will not be working much longer.

Kegging and Bottling / Mix & match?
« on: November 11, 2010, 06:53:11 PM »
I just got a pair of new kegs, both of which say "Cornelius Company" on the side.  However, they have the wedge-shaped pressure relief valves.  Does anyone know if I have a prayer of replacing them with the normal ring-style valves?  The valves on the new kegs (the 2 wedge-shaped ones) are both near dead, so I need to replace them some how.  The seal on one has fallen off, and is litterally just sitting in the bottom of the hole.

Any idea where I can replace these?  Or, alternatively, swap for the commonly available ring-style valves?  Again, these are definitely Corny kegs, but I'm wondering if the lids were swapped for firestone lids before I got them...

Other Fermentables / Pectic enzyme - too late
« on: November 09, 2010, 05:22:54 PM »
I have some cider that's just about done fermenting.  Alas, I forgot to add pectic enzyme, so it's cloudy.  Is it too late to add it to the fermented cider?

Kegging and Bottling / Re: Kegging and CO2 refills/purchase
« on: November 05, 2010, 04:04:54 PM »
Since I prime and carbonate the beer in the keg now and just use the tank to push the beer my usage has gone way down. I filled my #5 tank back February and still have about 700psi in it.  ;D

You do know that, like propane, the only real way to measure how full a CO2 tank is is to use a scale, right?  Like propane, that 5# (or whatever) tank has liquid CO2 in it.  The gas pressure will only vary with temperature until the liquid is gone.  Once the high-pressure needle starts to drop AT ALL, your tank is essentially empty.

Ingredients / Re: Where to buy/order chocolate/cacao nibs from
« on: November 05, 2010, 03:52:51 PM »
For any and all brewing spices, I recommend you check out the two big spice merchants:  Penzeys and "The Spice House"  (,  You will find very high-quality spices at extremely reasonable prices.

If you're in the Chicago/Milwaukee area, you can stop by one of the spice house's stores.  Penzys has some here and there as well.  Personally, I prefer The Spice House, because they'll sell you bulk spices without any jars/etc, which is great for refilling jars or if you plan to use it quickly (e.g. for a brewing recipe).

I also recommend them for cooking, needless to say.  Cheaper than the grocery store, and higher quality.  Can't be beat.

General Homebrew Discussion / Watch out for short-cuts!
« on: October 31, 2010, 06:07:41 PM »
I wanted to get a quick brew in today, so went for an extract + steeping grains (really a mini-mash, despite what the recipe says) clone from BYO a few years back, specifically the Nutcracker ale.  Hope it turns out good.  However, with the intention of "speeding things up" I made a bunch of bone-headed blunders.  Read and enjoy... and don't make the same mistakes!

Started the water boiling in the kettle while the steeping grains were finishing up inside.  Which would have been fine, if I hadn't gone ahead and added the DME to it once it hit boiling.  Or if I had calculated how much extra water I needed.  I didn't leave space for sparge water from the steeping grains... which were sticky with gooey, tasty, malt sugars.  In the end, I had about 8.5 gallons of wort pre-boil, which I managed to get down to 6.75 gal at the end of an hour.  I usually put 5.5 to 6.0 gallons in my fermentor, so I wasn't too off, but yikes.  Hopefully the lowered OG won't throw off the beer too much.  And I must not have let the whirpool go for long enough, because my fermentor ended up with LOTS of hot/cold break in it, despite a short whirlpool.

Oh well, based on past experiences, it should come out fine in the end.

Increase the number of posts in the default RSS feed, or publish a feed with more posts in the official FAQ (e.g.:

Google reader, and other feed readers, only check for updates periodically.  If the default is for 5 posts, a lot get lost!

Questions about the forum? / Re: RSS && Google Reader
« on: October 31, 2010, 06:44:15 AM »
Ok, I finally found a workaround to this one.  You can specify the number of posts using the limit field in the address.
I got this link from another post in the archives:;sa=recent;limit=255;type=rss2

HOWEVER:  Google reader only updates feeds every hour if there are multiple people subscribed.  According to google reader, there are about 30 people subscribed to the feed in the board instructions, and 5 subscribed to this varient.

I left both feeds on overnight (a low-traffic time), and still saw about 1/2 of the posts lost (by google reader) on the "official" feed in the board faq.  Maybe the admins should update the link in the faq?

Kegging and Bottling / Beer Line Cleaner
« on: October 30, 2010, 06:55:20 PM »
What do all of you use as beer-line cleaner on your kegging setups?  How often do you clean your lines and faucets?

I have been spraying a little star-san up into my forward-sealing faucets every month or so, but haven't done too much with the lines yet (they have each pushed about 2 full kegs, and it's taken a year to do it).

How often do they need to be flushed out?  Is star-san or PBW good on the lines, or should I break down and buy some actual BLC?

Thanks for the feedback.

Questions about the forum? / RSS && Google Reader
« on: October 30, 2010, 06:35:30 PM »
Since Google reader only refreshes RSS feeds every hour or so, has anyone had trouble with the AHA forum's RSS feed?  I see that it only includes the 5 most recent posts, so if there are more than 5 posts in an hour, Google's RSS reader probably won't see them all.  Is there any way to get the default number of posts in the RSS feed raised from 5?

Zymurgy / Re: 2011 Zymurgy topics
« on: October 30, 2010, 06:44:11 AM »
I'd love to see a thorough discussion of electric brewing.  e.g. high-density elements vs low-density, RIMS vs HERMS, building electric tuns and kettles, etc.

Zymurgy / Re: PDF of Zymurgy?
« on: October 30, 2010, 06:42:52 AM »
Thrilled to hear it.  I'm hoping for sooner rather than later.

Zymurgy / PDF of Zymurgy?
« on: October 24, 2010, 03:42:03 PM »
I asked this a while back on TechTalk, but with the new year rolling around, thought that I would ask it again:  Have there been any thoughts on delivering Zymurgy electronically to AHA members?  Personally speaking, I would LOVE a PDF version, as it would be easier to archive and search than a stack of magazines to manage.  Anyone else feel the same way?

Equipment and Software / Re: Pumps
« on: February 19, 2010, 08:50:49 PM »
I've used the march-809.  It's flow rate is a little anemic, but it works.  I just purchased a Little-Giant 3-MD-HC, which is reported to have about twice the throughput as the 809.  It is also a centrifugal mag-drive pump, like the march, and comes with a Ryton head (similar to the March plastic one).

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