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Messages - narvin

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931
All Grain Brewing / Re: lagering newbie
« on: June 24, 2011, 11:17:13 AM »
I agree that freezers were not designed to cycle on and off frequently.  They are designed more to keep the ambient temperature well below the freezing point and anything below that really doesn't matter.

However, a fridge is designed to keep the ambient temperature within a range, and their compressors are designed to handle frequent on-off cycles.  Think about how many times at 26 cu.ft. fridge's door is opened on a summer day with 5 kids running around.  However, this kind of activity is not common with a freezer.  You usually open that bad bear up once or twice a day and that's it, possibly less.


Normally in modern frost free systems only the freezer has the evap, and the fridge thermostat operates a duct, allowing freezer air to blow into the fridge. The compressor runs until the freezer is satified, the thermostat powering the compressor is only connected to the freezer. If the fridge requires cooling but not the freezer, there's plenty of freezer air to circulate into the fridge after the compressor has turned off. Eventually the cmpressor will start again when the freezer temp gets too high.

If you have a small mini fridge, there's a freezer box on top that stays at freezer temps.  On a wine fridge, they usually have a disclaimer saying something like "Do NOT leave the door open for an extended period of time, or repeatedly open and close the door, as this can shorten the life of the compressor".

932
All Grain Brewing / Re: lagering newbie
« on: June 24, 2011, 06:18:23 AM »
I'm with Tim. I use two small freezers to ferment two buckets each. I have dual stage temp controllers with the probe in the air in the freezer. If I were to stick a 80º bucket in there and tape the probe to it the temp in the freezer would go to  minus 20º until the bucket reached 68º, running constantly and the mechanics getting pretty toasty in my 90º garage. Plus, the other bucket went in at, say 76º....so where does that end up when the thing finally shuts down?

Nope, everything nice and easy, probe in the air set at 66º and both buckets gently get there in about 8-12 hours, while the freezer mechanicals get to work, rest work, rest........


Freezers were not designed to cycle on and off repeatedly with the coolant never reaching its coldest temperature.  You want it to run continuously and then shut off for a while for the sake of its lifespan. If you're not going to measure the temperature of the wort, at least set the differential to 4 degrees, or put the probe in a small jug of water to avoid rapid cycling, as air temperature caused by convection currents changes quickly.

When I can't get my wort down to ferment temps and need to drop it 20 - 30 degrees before pitching, I find that the worst that happens is that I overshoot by about 5 or 6 degrees.  Setting the target temperature higher at first fixes this problem.  Another advantage is that with the freezer running constantly, I can get it down to pitching temps in about 4 hours.

933
All Grain Brewing / Re: lagering newbie
« on: June 23, 2011, 10:27:19 PM »
Tim, I'm going to have to disagree as well.  A fridge is designed to cool air, but not to your fermentation temperature target of 68, or even 48 for lagers.  The coils will always be chilling the air well below your desired temperature, and it's the job of a temperature controller to regulate the duty cycle of the compressor to keep it within your desired temperature range.  Measuring your desired temperature -- beer temperature -- is the best way to do this.

I always ferment with my probe in a thermowell, and the wort temperature swing during fermentation is never more than +/- 1 degree from the target. 

If you are measuring the temperature of the air instead and set the threshold to a single degree, it will be more consistent but far worse for your compressor because it's cycling on and off so much.  Increasing the differential when measuring the air means that the air will heat up and cool down more even though the beer won't be affected as quickly due to its thermal mass --  which is exactly what happens when you measure liquid temp, except you don't have to guess what temperature your beer is at.  So I really see no reason, practical or otherwise, not to measure the beer temperature directly.

934
The Pub / Re: 4 Restaraunts Where You'll Never Get a Table
« on: June 23, 2011, 10:22:39 PM »
If it's hard to get, it must be good!  The way things are going, homebrewers will be able to make a small fortune on ebay soon.

"FS: One bottle of Imperial Uber Stout, vintage 2006.  The only bottle from the batch available for sale, ever! (as all others exploded).  Lost for years but recently unearthed in a 90 degree attic.  Aged in rich Mexican plastic for 15 months.  Rich, roasty, vinous, acidic from a pedio infection, bottled in a corona bottle by a bearded lunatic homebrewer living in the picturesque mountains of a far off place.  $900 OBO"

935
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Can I make whiskey in Florida
« on: June 23, 2011, 10:11:13 PM »
Can you make whiskey in Florida?  Yes.
May you make whiskey in Florida?  No.  ;)
This discussion should be done more discretely.

Yes/no is binary, so I'm pretty sure it's mathematically impossible to be any more discrete. ;D


Ha!  You managed to be a spelling nazi and make a math joke all in one post... well done  :D

If only there were a plant people in Alabama could grow that naturally produced alcohol.  Because, you can't criminalize a naturally growing plant, right?

936
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: East Coast Yeast
« on: June 23, 2011, 08:22:11 PM »
The manufacturer is pretty much just one guy selling through his LHBS.  He's been giving out sour blends to people on babblebelt.com for a while, but I think the demand got to be so large that he realized he had a market  :)

I may have to go out of my way to stop by Princeton homebrew the next time I drive up 95.

937
Homebrew Clubs / Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
« on: June 21, 2011, 09:06:14 PM »
I have nothing to add except that I think it'd be funny if all of the Northern Brewer forum-ites started listing their club as "NB Navy".

AHA Coast Guard, anyone?

938
Homebrew Clubs / Re: Virtual Homebrew Clubs And Competition
« on: June 21, 2011, 10:26:07 AM »
The one thing that is a little weird is that first and final round medals are weighted the same.  Wouldn't this skew the results toward any of the big clubs, not just the BN?  Seems like it rewards quantity, not quality.

There are 10 regions... final round medals should be worth 10x as much, no?

939
CO2 should be harmless.  I'm pretty sure it's going to force the carboy cap off of the carboy before the carboy will break.  I might have to test that with one of my bad carboys.

Sounds like you need to videotape (do people still use that word?) your own episode of mythbusters.

Or, if it doesn't go as well, Jackass...

940
Events / Re: NHC Winners
« on: June 20, 2011, 11:42:36 AM »
Paul, who won the Ninkasi, also won the Pro-Am competition on Pro Brewer night.  Nice guy, I talked to him since he was the guide for our AleSmith/Pizza Port bus tour.  He's also a Maryland ex-pat living in SD.

941
Events / Re: AHA Forumite Meetup
« on: June 19, 2011, 03:38:52 PM »
I also forgot.  Think I went to lunch instead.  I was a little tipsy after the beer heavy morning sessions.  I also bought the AHA conference shirt twice within two hours on Friday because I forgot that I bought it the first time!

942
Events / Re: NHC San Diego Update
« on: June 17, 2011, 01:23:27 AM »
It is a great time.  Everyone has worked hard to make it all run smoothly.


The pre-con events were well done, too.  The alesmith tour was awesome, they gave us a glass and a bomber of IPA on top of a great tour by the owner Peter, and they set aside a bottle of bourbon barrel speedway stout for each of us to purchase.  It was release day... they had hundreds of people lining up for it in the morning.  :)

943
Events / Re: I am declaring right now!
« on: June 16, 2011, 08:18:08 AM »
365 days and counting... :D

I am planning to attend my 1st NHC in Seattle, as long as something doesn't come up to screw up my plans like every other year ( surgeries, death, job, etc ).

As you might expect, there's going to be the usual grumbling about another West Coast NHC, but it's all up to the local clubs getting together and putting a bid in.  With that said, I think there will be a big push for Philly in 2013.


The conference program this year is already advertising Philly in 2013.  Hope that it's not just a tease...



944
Events / Re: I am declaring right now!
« on: June 16, 2011, 12:15:49 AM »
Good decision!

I'm experiencing both my first conference and my first trip to San Diego. Let me say that it's been amazing so far, and the conference hasn't even started.  The hospitality shown to us by Ale Smith, Pizza Port, and other local places has been great.  And the organizers have been awesome... thanks for all their hard work.

945
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Recipe Development
« on: June 13, 2011, 10:39:19 AM »
Like everyone, I start with a base recipe of the style and go from there.  I prefer to start with something I've tasted, though, so I often start with information about a commercial beer.  This could come from Brew Like A Monk (for Belgian beers), a Can You Brew It episode, or even just the OG and list of hop varities from a brewery's website.  Many substitutions and tweaked later, I'm usually pretty happy with the result.

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