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Messages - philm63

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Who got in?
« on: February 13, 2014, 07:51:29 AM »
2 entries for Nashville. Not sure why Atlanta is no longer on the list this year...

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: YeastCalc's Website is Down?!!
« on: February 07, 2014, 07:40:18 AM »
They've changed the URL from YeastCalc to YeastCalculator - but its thankfully still around.

EDIT - I see Mort (and possibly others) had already identified the new site. Me happy.

Equipment and Software / Re: Broke my glass carboy today
« on: January 27, 2014, 12:26:11 PM »
I'd never heard of one slipping out of a brew-hauler before - good to know this is a possibility. I figure if the straps are adjusted correctly, this kind of mishap shouldn't happen. I also employ the help of my wife when carrying a full carboy downstairs - I just can't see carrying that thing on my own, even with the brew-hauler.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Stoopid Polar Vortex!
« on: January 26, 2014, 08:05:02 AM »
Left my dang hose outside too long - froze solid! I guess if I buy a new hose, I can brew this weekend... Still below freezing here north of Atlanta!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: First Competition
« on: January 26, 2014, 08:01:44 AM »
My first competition entry was in American Pale Ale.  Didn't realize back then the competition in that category.  Didn't place but did get some great feedback.  I did get a gold the following year in that same category.

Same exact experience here - got good comments with the first one, took gold with the next one. Even if I don't think a beer is a great example, if I can enter it in a comp and get comments, it's always worth it.

Yeast and Fermentation / YeastCalc's Website is Down?!!
« on: January 24, 2014, 01:13:43 PM »
Anyone have any ideas on why YeastCalc's website is down?

Equipment and Software / Re: Johnson Controller Mod
« on: January 20, 2014, 04:33:11 AM »
+1 indeed! I'd been thinking of doing this since my last couple of episodes of taking my A419s apart - seemed like quite a hassle.

How did you do this mod on the board inside? Did you simply remove the original switches and add leads to extend them to the outside world? Any warnings or tips?

Equipment and Software / Re: Plate Chiller and Hops
« on: January 19, 2014, 12:01:27 PM »
I use hop pellets.  And with my IPAs that means when the hops expand they basically fill the filter.  I have to drop the filter down to hang on the lip of the keggle opening at that point to get all the hops in the wort.  That is at a little over half a pound of hops.  I've been very impressed with the filter.  There are no discernible hop particles in the wort.

That is comforting because I really liked the design of that stainless hop-spider; looks pretty simple to clean when compared to the Hop-Stopper, and <@ dfkfick>; if you're seeing pretty much the same hop utilization with it vs. without, I'm sold!

I used my HR as a filter last time I brewed; worked OK until it clogged. I stuffed a 5-gallon paint-strainer bag in the HR (used to use these for partial-mash) and as soon as the hop-sludge (pellet hops) built up a little, it forced the strainer bag to the top of the HR and plugged it solid!

Next time I'm going to use 3 or 4 stainless scrubbies in the strainer bag so it'll hold its form and not get compacted, and I'll also throttle back a little on the valve at the boil kettle to limit the flow through the HR.

Also; no matter what you use as a filter media in the HR, as soon as the boiling wort hits it, it's getting sanitized. IMO, there's no need to worry about pre-sanitizing - just be sure all is nice and clean before putting to use.

Equipment and Software / Re: good place to buy perlick faucets?
« on: January 13, 2014, 03:36:09 AM »
Yes to stainless but no on the creamers. I have two on my current kegerator and will probably get rid of them soon. I like to use them, but when a friend comes over and tries, they end up not being able to find the sweet spot to close it fully and they dump beer everywhere. I have some of the friends trained after two years, but some others just don't get it.
I had a Perlick creamer faucet that got enough build up to not be able to shut off after about 6 months.  The beer in when it stuck was imperial stout, so it was pretty thick.  I believe the o-ring tore a bit when the faucet was opened, and would not seal again.  I also could not get the faucet off, so ended up replacing the guts with the innards of a standard Perlick.  Now it's been running fine for quite some time. 

Also had the same problem with others not understanding that it does not shut off when you push it all the way in.

tldr: go with the standard style stainless Perlick faucet.

Yikes! Had no idea these faucets had such problems. While I've yet to see an issue with mine, I'll surely order a couple standard replacements and have them standing by if these creamers start acting up (or when I get tired of cleaning the top of my kegerator...)

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: HELP needed
« on: January 12, 2014, 06:22:36 AM »
Is that a 5-Gallon carboy I see in the photo? If so, that won't leave much head space with a typical 5-Gallon batch during primary fermentation.

A 6 or 6.5 G carboy would give more room for those angry fermentations - heck; even with a 6.5 G with a Hefe yeast, you're still gonna need a blow-off tube (learned that one the hard way).

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: LME trick
« on: January 11, 2014, 06:35:15 PM »
Soaking container in hot water is good to get it to flow better. To get any remaining goodness - add hot water to container, swirl, pour.

What he said. Consensus has been reached.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Thank you!
« on: January 11, 2014, 06:31:26 PM »
As long as the final gravity is in-line with what is expected, the slightly higher OG will result in a slightly higher ABV - not a bad problem to have, me thinks!

Equipment and Software / Re: Plate Chiller and Hops
« on: January 11, 2014, 06:25:38 PM »
I use a stainless filter for everything that goes in the boil (, so I never get any vegetal material coming through.

Question: Do you use pellet hops, or whole leaf hops with this filter?

Like the OP; I've been researching filtering systems that would work for a "plate chiller w/pellet hops" set-up, and the one referenced in your post was a nice looking option until I learned they were designed to work with whole leaf hops and while it may work as well for pellet hops, what I read was that "if using pellet hops, some material will pass through this filter".

The Hop-Stopper, however, will work with pellet hops. When I went straight to the manufacturer (Innovative Homebrew Solutions) they said, and I quote the manufacturer: "As for performance, the Hop Stopper will work great with your plate chiller. Plate chillers are the most efficient products for chilling available to homebrewers, but, as you well know, their Achilles heel is that even the smallest piece of debris will clog them. The Hop Stopper is designed to effectively filter any debris that might clog your plate chiller, even pellet hops."

These guys did an experiment with a BUTT-LOAD of pellet hops and even when the Hop-Stopper had a couple of inches of hop-sludge on it, it still managed to allow almost all of the wort to be pulled from the kettle.

When I start using my new plate chiller; I'll likely go with the Hop Stopper so I can run straight to the fermenter instead of recirculating (with my IC) like I do now.

Equipment and Software / Re: good place to buy perlick faucets?
« on: January 09, 2014, 04:50:08 AM »
Good advice to go the few extra $$ for stainless. I even went a few bucks more and got the Creamers - very happy with them for over a year now.

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