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Messages - wingnut

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Beer Travel / Re: Ireland
« on: August 31, 2015, 08:46:38 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 10, 2015, 03:41:30 AM »
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, 01:18:52 PM »
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 07, 2015, 01:17:31 AM »
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, 01:42:07 PM »

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, 07:03:57 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 26, 2015, 02:42:24 AM »
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 24, 2015, 02:01:44 AM »
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 23, 2015, 01:11:26 AM »
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 23, 2015, 01:06:39 AM »
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!!

I might have to work on a project like this my next free day.   I have been looking for a means to provide speed control to the drill, and possibly lock the drill on... without havig to keep one hand on the drill the whole time.

This solves the issue!

Another idea would be for those people doing fly sparging with march pumps.  I would think this would allow them to ramp speed control better.   Might be a $20 fix where a $5 valve would work just as well... but it is a lot cooler to have a dial on your control panel than moving a ball valve handle.

thanks for the idea!

The Pub / Re: Electrical question for the smart folks
« on: March 13, 2015, 12:43:39 PM »
Check this site out....

looks like it does all the "slide rule stuff" for you... and you get to just play with the conditions of your system.   (looks kind of like playing with Palmer's water spread sheet, or beersmith)

One thing to note... In your previous post, you had noted you had 6volt batteries.... and my spidey sense is going off.

Long story short, you likely have a 24V system... not 6V. I point this out because any amperage gauges you have are likely based on the 24V(assuming) not 6V.   

6 Volt batteries are common in a power bank system, but usually what happens is that the batteries are hooked up in such a way (series) so that you get 12, 18 or 24V systems.  (picture 4 batteries connecteced like this:  -+ -+ -+ -+     that gives you a 24V system. 6+6+6+6)  Likely you have a LOT of banks of batteries in parallel ... so lots of banks of 4 batteries in parallel, to give you the storage capacity you need, and larger amp capacity.

hopefully the site will allow for an easy estimation of time.   If you get some funny results, I am happy to provide a reality check. 


I am kind of on the fence on the whole thing....

I don't see the argument for Bells in this case....HOWEVER!

The way trademark laws are written, there really is no "protection".  No one is independantly or proactively studying each trademark or potential trademark. No entity is going to protect your brand for you.   So it is up to each company/person to defend its own trademark and brands. 

The way the laws are written, if you fail to defend a "potential" infringment as soon as you are aware... you are essentially letting your trade mark lapse and all future arguments that someone is "stealing" your tradmark become null and void because you did not defend it previously...So allowing the precidence of someone to use it without your express permission, opens everything in the future up.

All in all the preset system was created by lawyers and big business to benefit lawyers and those with deep enough pockets to have them... Creating a competitive edge for bigger companies by creating a need for lawyers to argue this nonsense, when most people could create an agreement over a beer and a hand shake.

I think it is a crappy move on Bell's part when looking at this singular item...but because of the whole big litigation world surrounding trademarks... I think it is something they may need to do when you look at the big picture.   (Part of the @$#% part of the business)

What really needs to happen is a better set of laws surrounding trade marks, and a change to the system that enforces it.  The present system was created by big companies (mostly outside of the beer business) so to have the laws work, you have to use them like big business. 

It sucks.

The Pub / Re: Electrical question for the smart folks
« on: March 12, 2015, 12:35:22 PM »
Yeah... a bit of "it depends" goes into the equation.

I don't have a solar array, but I did work on the solar car team back in college.... so I can present the theory... but I am sure someone else out there can speak from experience.

-The theory-

The 30 Amp charger will tell you the maximum amps you are putting into your batteries, but the actual power will be less than that.  (The 30 Amp charger should have a larger capacity than your solar array... or you would smoke your charger).

The actual solar power will vary during the day... it may be near 30amps at peak times, but typically much lower than that. 

To calculate, you would need to know the average amp output of the solar array during the day, and multiply that times the number of hours to get an  idea of the amp hours your are putting back into your batteries. 

Also your charger is not 100% efficient, so for a more accurate equation, you would need to multiply the solar array amps times the effiicency of the charger (been a while, but 80% is a good rule of thumb based on automotive alternators) to figure out how much is going to the batteries.  That should get you pretty close.

I would think the solar array has an watt or amp indicator on it.  (watts are volts times amps)  with that you should be able to start estimating the re-charge time.

Good luck!

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