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Messages - AleForce

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61
ckpash88 - Blichmann kettles.  I now have a 20 gal. Hot Liq Tank, 15 gal. Mashtun, and 20 gal. boil kettle.  While I enjoyed the coolers for a awhile (I started out with a 5 gal. cooler setup, then moved to 10 gal cooler setup), I decided I wanted to have a little more room in my mashtun and do double batches when I have other brewers over for a brew session. 

The coolers helped get me hooked on homebrewing.. enough to want to take my brewing experience further.

62
I've also used this same NB system for about 2 years before deciding I wanted to go Stainless Steel with Blichmann's last November... I can also recommend that same cooler system. The biggest beer I did in was a Russian Imperial Stout from Jamil's style book... I had around 22 lbs of grain in it.

64
Equipment and Software / Re: First All Grain - Temperature Test
« on: October 17, 2012, 03:11:49 PM »
You could upgrade from foil to Reflectix insulation - if you are not using gas to heat the mashtun. You can find it at Lowes or Home Depot and it's rated for up to 180 degrees... When I switched from coolers to boilermaker kettles last year I didn't think about how efficient the mashtun cooler kept the temp. The next brewsession I had created jackets made out of Reflectix around my hot liq. tank and mashtun kettles.  This provided the same efficiency that I had with my coolers.

65
Pimp My System / Re: Sculpture Build For The Non-Mechanical Brewer
« on: October 12, 2012, 06:09:56 PM »
Looks nice.  Are you using a pump and/or RIMS tube ? Might want to think about how they will be secured to it.

66
Equipment and Software / Re: Hose Fittings
« on: October 12, 2012, 06:06:51 PM »
You might think about using a clamp that doesn't damage your hose. the clamp in the Amazon photo will put indentations into the tubing .   Maybe use something like http://www.brewhardware.com/accessories/145-clamp .   Also use Stainless steel instead of brass fittings.

67
Pimp My System / Re: Sculpture Build For The Non-Mechanical Brewer
« on: October 12, 2012, 05:52:39 AM »
Not sure why the images don't appear in the post.  When I created the post they appeared...  Anyway the brewstation I built also is also where I store my brewing equipment.. It has wheels on it so when I am ready to brew I wheel it out into the middle of the garage.  I store all of my equipment on it - even the propane tank. When I'm done I wheel it back into it's corner and hope the wife doesn't hit it when she pulls into the garage (which she's threatened to do many times). 

68
Pimp My System / Re: Sculpture Build For The Non-Mechanical Brewer
« on: October 10, 2012, 05:51:01 AM »
Why not use SteelWorks pieces for your sculpture?  I built one out of that 2-3 years ago and it's still working away. When I first built it I was using 5 gal coolers, then moved up to 10 gal.... Last November I moved to 20 gal B.Boilermakers and it is still sturdy enough for that.

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69
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Labeling bottles
« on: October 06, 2012, 07:06:23 PM »
I use Photoshop Elements to create my labels. When print them out on my color laser printer using regular copy paper, then cut appriopriately. On the back of the paper I use a glue stick and put the label on the bottle. I've used different kinds of labels but found them to always be too big or small plus the added expense..

70
All Grain Brewing / Re: Last three batches terrible
« on: October 01, 2012, 03:34:58 AM »
Not sure what kind of equipment that you use, but do you tear down everything and clean after each batch? I have Blichmann 3 piece ball valves and you'd be surprised what can find it's way in there but thankful that I can easily take it apart to clean and inspect before the next batch.   

71
The Pub / Re: Northern Brewer... shipping... Argh.
« on: September 20, 2012, 02:50:23 AM »
Their probably too busy selling their "White House" kits...  I ordered $125 worth of stuff on 9/5 and didn't receive until 9/13.... almost 5 days of it waiting to be put in a box to ship out. I finally emailed them after waiting for a tracking # for days and was told they were crushed by the labor day orders (also when they were pushing the WH kits).   Typically with UPS ground shipping since I am closer in Illinois it takes 2-3 max. I've ordered alot of stuff from them over the years and that was the first time I'd wished I ordered elsewhere.

72
Equipment and Software / Re: Grist Gun
« on: September 19, 2012, 10:43:04 AM »
We had all of the water we needed for the mash in there when we were milling. There is plenty of room to stir the grain if need be and the bottom piece can be rotated. After we finished milling we easily removed the bottom two pieces and stirred the grain. We didn't have to stir much as the grain was nicely distributed. No stuck mash either. Compared to milling in a bucket and having someone stir while another is slowly dumping the bucket of grain, this could easily be a one man process.

Also, after each brew session all of my equipment gets tore down and completely cleaned.

73
Equipment and Software / Re: Grist Gun
« on: September 18, 2012, 08:26:37 AM »
The functional part of the L brackets, cotter pins and air duct is so you can remove it in seconds if you need to.  I remove (the mill )after I am done milling, and later use the L brackets to mount my sparge arm since it doesn't fit over my 15 gal. mashtun...

Since the mill is much higher than the mashtun the steam isn't as big of a deal than if you just put the mill on top of the mashtun.  I tried that about 2 years ago when I was using 10 gal. coolers and the mill fit perfectly over the top of the cooler, but I wasn't happy with getting the bottom of the mill wet/steamed...

74
Equipment and Software / Re: Grist Gun
« on: September 18, 2012, 06:57:24 AM »
After watching that video, it gave me an idea on what I could do with my barley crusher mill.. Using some airduct pieces @ the hardware store, some L brackets and cotter pins, now I have my mill installed on my brewstation.





Tried it out on Saturday by doing a double batch of Pumpkin Ale (recipe from Radical Brewing) and a single batch of G.Strong's Old English Ale.   

It worked like a charm, easier mount/unmount and didn't have to stir the grain as much in the mashtun - there was some heated water already in the mashtun when we began crushing.

75
All Grain Brewing / Re: your experiences in moving to 10g?
« on: September 18, 2012, 06:42:49 AM »
When I moved to 10 gallon batches I had a buddy in my brew club who welds build me a stand that I could attach my burner to. The burner sits off the ground 35"... No lifting at all required...




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