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Messages - wingnut

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Equipment and Software / Re: Punching powder coated steel?
« on: Today at 06:50:20 AM »
i work with powder coated electrical panels for a living.  We use tape over the hole (masking tape) and put the cup on the inside of the panel door.  The minimal chipping has always been to minor to note.  (until this post, I never even thought about it) (Keep in mind that nema rated panels usully have devices that are installed with a rubber gasket... so they more than cover up any tiny chips that may occure right at the cutting point of the punches)

Equipment and Software / Re: Single tier system input
« on: Today at 05:19:29 AM »
I wound up making my own a few years ago so that I could incorporate automatic valves.  (I wound up with an ugly jurry riged stand that I still frown at when looking at it... from spare parts... and put the money I was going to put into a stand... into valves and PLC controls to automate the brewing process) 

When I was dong my stand research though....

From a brew stand...standpoint.  I was going to go with the Ruby stand. The stand is powdercoated... so the paint is much stonger and robust than a typical painted stand, (and like the stainless stands.. it will last "forever") and I Iiked the design for mobility, and conviently tipping for compact storage.   The valves being accesible for the gas was a big thing for me, and the Ruby Stands are really set up nice to allow future expansion... and was just setup in a way that made adding a piece here or there as time goes on easy.  The frame has more places to bolt things onto, and looked more robust.  Since then, I noticed the local brew pub uses these stands for their brewing. 

They went with them because the guys making the Ruby stand were really easy to work with to put the bells and whistles onto the stand just they way they wanted.

Having said that, with what I know today... I would NOT go with the base burner package of the Ruby system.  The base burners are not really conducive to converting over to natrual gas. The burners on the Synergy system are.  (my old brew satand had the ruby style propane burners... and they were LOUD, and were not able to be converted to natural gas... my new brew stand, I made with burners simlar to what is in the synergy stand.  They are far quieter, I would even say silent, they  put out more BTUs evenly under the kettle, and I have since made them Natural Gas)  I know the brewpub has burners like the synergy stand on thier Ruby I know Ruby offers them.. but I dont know what the price difference is.

Good luck, hope your new stand, whatever directin you go, brings you many happy brew years!
Having said that, 

Ingredients / Re: Ella hops
« on: September 01, 2015, 10:44:08 AM »
Ella hops used to be "Stella" hops.  The name was asked to be changed at some point for marketing reasons.  Probably some big fancy brewery had an issue with it. :-)

Also, I was at Bells last week looking for the Ella/Stella hops and did not see them.  (might have looked right past them)  I was going to stock up for some future brew I was going to do using Magnum and Ella hops.  (A tribute to my brew dogs over the years...I figure even if it did not taste good.... the labels are going to be fantastic!!!)

When I sniffed some (then Stella) a couple years back, I got a lot of lemon and stone fruit like peach/apricot in addition to citrus.

I figured Magnum/Ella combination would work ok.... and for a while Northern Brewer sold a grain called Magnum (I think it was a two row). 

If you find a place selling some, please re-post to this thread, I would love to get some in the freezer for a future brew!


Kegging and Bottling / Re: Leaking Keg Lid(s) / Newbie Kegger Question
« on: September 01, 2015, 04:02:33 AM »
One thing I have started doing in the past couple years, is after I clean an empty keg, I sanitize it, and pressurize it.  The I pour some starsan around the poppits of the posts, and lid of the keg.   Sometimes I see a stream of small bubbles indicating a leak.... once I take care of all those, I leave it pressurized for a week or two and then test to see if it still held pressure over all that time.

Now I have a sanitized keg that I know will hold pressure when I am ready with the next beer.... once less thing to worry about.

Good luck!

Beer Travel / Re: Ireland
« on: August 31, 2015, 01:46:38 PM »
Dingle peninsula was the highlight when we went there.   When my wife and I go back, we may spend a few days in Dingle and around the peninsula. 

+1.. Guinness is a tourist trap now more than a tour.  You no longer get to tour a working brewery... and it has been turned into a  neat tour but.... it is only informative for a person that is new to beer brewing... the memorable part was being able to taste some different types of  Guinness on the top floor, but overall it was not as memorable as you would think.

I did not do the distillery, but that is where I would go.  ALso, I think Smithwick had a tour as well that we did not hit (lost the coin flip with my wife that day on what we would see lol)

Driving is an absolute experience.  If your rent an automatic... be persistant about it.  When we went to pick our rental up... they said they did not have anymore automatics and we would have to take a manual.... after 20 or so minutes of not accepting that solution, they did "find one".

I loved driving in Ireland, and I think it is the only way to go.  However, it was also the most stressful!  The roads are truely narrow and where we in the US have a nice white line to mark the edge of the road... in Ireland they have stone walls that have been in place since 1200 AD...  with plant and twigs growing out of them... making the narrow lane even more narrow.  LOL   Good news is, if your driving... no worries, your spouse will let you know EXACTLY how close you are to the wall at all times,  (just know you are not really close until they start to use four letter words... your mileage may vary)  ;D

I am looking at my screen background on my computer right now (it has been there ever since we went on our trip three years ago...and I am so enviouse of you right now!!!) 

I found that just about any town you go in has a pub... and they all have pretty good beer if you look for it.  Most lead with lagers now, but there are still some very nice ales everywhere.   If you are lucky, you can get a Guinness and Murphys side by side and have some real fun!  We ate at pubs for dinner at night and enjoyed the music whenvever possible.  Lunch at the pubs was pretty good to, but sometimes we would grab a take and carry from the gas stations while we drove.


General Homebrew Discussion / Re: love my hydra
« on: August 09, 2015, 08:41:30 PM »
I have one of the "side filters".  Essentially it is just a large stainless mesh cylindar, with two hooks on it to hold onto the lip of the pot.   Starting out, I just moved it to hook onto the coil instead of the lip of the pot.

The strainer I use is this one:

All Grain Brewing / Re: target mash pH for Flanders red?
« on: June 28, 2015, 06:18:52 AM »
I dont think you will find much difference in a beer mashed at 5.2 compared to 5.4.   (in practice, if I am in the 5.1 to 5.5 range at mash time, I do not see any differences)  This is  especially so in a beer that you are going to let lacto, pedio and brett work until the beer gets down to a PH that is tart enough.   

In beers that just have a sac fermentation, the PH is pretty much set after fermentation, but with a Flanders.... time will let the PH keep ticking down... and in reality, the couple points PH is not perceptable.

Equipment and Software / Re: Burner info is overwhelming!
« on: April 06, 2015, 06:17:31 PM »
Burer will work fine. 

I used SP10 (high pressure burner) for years and was happy with it.  I went to the blichmann style burner later and retrofitted it to my SP10 stands and ported for natural gas.  They are overkill a bit for 5 gallons, and the ones you are looking at will work great!

Long story is that there are lots of opinions, but short story, is they all work great for 5 gallons.  Most all work great up to 12 gallons, and some work good up to 15.... so if you are not doing larger than 10 gallon all grain batches... you will do great.


The Pub / Re: Oscar Blues Buys Perrin Brewing in MI
« on: March 29, 2015, 06:42:07 AM »

I wonder what the bottling line they put in was? Last June we we unpacked the 2nd round NHC entries there, plenty of room, no bottling line. They had a top of the line Krones that they only did a test run on, and then sold it at a loss to Kuhnhenn who are expanding. Not a good return on that equipment.

I appologize...  I was using bottleing in a generic sense.... (12 oz package vs kegs)  To be specific (and less misleading) It looked to be a canning line.   I was suprised by the small footprint (hailing from to the industrial automation seemed more like a toy compared to jim beam and budwiser lines I have seen).   Looked like it had filling heads and a I am pretty sure it was not just the "front end" of the mobile canning operation that visits so many michigan craft breweries. 

Must be why they dumped the bottleing line.  If they were looking to start small package distribution, it is better to start out in the correct format rather than grow and switch. 


The Pub / Re: Oscar Blues Buys Perrin Brewing in MI
« on: March 28, 2015, 12:03:57 PM »
Wow!  The wife and I just made a journey up there last Saturday.... enjoyed the restaurant over looking the bottleing line, good food and great beer!     Still had a bit to catch up to Founders and Bells after their remodels, but a great place to have a meal and a one stop beer journey.

Hope not much changes, except they take over more tap handles over a larger area.

Equipment and Software / Re: brew nanny
« on: March 25, 2015, 07:42:24 PM »
I ordered a brew bug when it came out.  performs the same function, great to work with.. and a year later..still doing great.

the company has continued to upgrade their system ... and I love it.

It is kind of nice to  call up the gravity and lunch....and know that you need to start the Drest when you get home... or be out on an all day fishing trip and see from the trend that the beer has started active fermentation.

At 250... it is still a toy that is NOT needed.  mills, fridge, kegs are all on the list long before this...but after you have all those gadgets...what the heck... :D

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: step infusion mash for german pils
« on: March 23, 2015, 07:01:44 PM »
I am  in the 133, 144,155 boat.    I used to do 2 infusions to get there, (10 minutes, 10minutes, 30 minutes) now I have the ability to ramp the temperature, and go from 133 to 155 in 20 minutes and hold for 30. 

I do an all pilsner malt bill, and I usually finish 1.012 to 1.009.

My anectdotal observations are that I get better head and mouthfeel in a low attenuating beer by going this rout compared to a single infustion mash at 152. 


Running out of gas is a right of passage...  In the brewing bingo game, that is a definate square!

45 minute boil... NP

Hope its the best beer ever...and we all can shave some time off!

« on: March 22, 2015, 06:11:26 PM »
one week--- got Pffst..?  You are doing fine. 

Let it go another two weeks and then chill it so the CO2 dissolves more into the beer.  Let it sit cold for about 1 week minimum, and things will settle out, CO2 will dissolve into the beer more... and you will have a nice head on the beer when you pour it!


Kegging and Bottling / Re: Stainless steel auto syphon bottler
« on: March 22, 2015, 06:06:39 PM »
My worry on the idea would be O2 pickup leading to beer stailing faster.   Seems like you are exposing more beer directly to air than I would lik. (compared to a bottleing bucket with a wand into the bottle.)

That said... if I was re-fermenting in the bottle,  or connect up a CO2 source to continuously blanket the filling chamber with CO2.... it is a sweet way to fill bottles!!

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