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Topics - phillamb168

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Equipment and Software / How much flour from a MaltMill?
« on: December 22, 2011, 01:39:58 PM »
I recently attempted a double batch of a THA clone and only got a single batch in the end, stuck sparge(s). This has never happened to me before, and the only change AFAIK was the use of my new MaltMill I got while in the US. I noticed that while the husks were much prettier (and in better shape) than with the old corona, the amount of flour seemed much higher than I was used to. What is a normal amount (2 ounces per pound? etc)? Perhaps I didn't add enough from the HLT? Ratio was 1 kg of malt to 2 liters of water, perhaps not enough...

Going Pro / Filtering levels and methods
« on: December 21, 2011, 12:01:53 PM »
I know some of you guys filter. 5 micron is ok, or not fine enough? This is for clarity - getting rid of hop particulate, break material that got picked up, etc. I've seen a few systems that use a standard whole-house filter with a sediment cartridge. This certainly seems way cheaper than the SS plates that I've seen, and the polypropylene is AFAIK the same material as is used with plastic bucket fermenters, so backflushing with PBW/StarSan is doable. Has anybody tried this?

The Pub / Micropile foundations
« on: December 12, 2011, 10:02:48 AM »
This is a question for the pub if ever - you guys are always a great resource for this sort of thing.

We're looking at buying 1.5 acres next to a river (flood history: severe flooding in 1513, 1626, 1635 and 1840) and the agent says that the land will most likely need a micropile foundation. What I'm wondering is, what are these things, how do they work, and can I have a finished basement with them? Is it just for foundation stabilization, i.e., "all other ground is shifting sand" or something else? I know every case is specific when it comes to land, but something general would be helpful for figuring out how we can proceed.

Ingredients / 15 kg of hops...
« on: December 06, 2011, 01:33:07 PM »
Freezer is OK, right?

Wood/Casks / How long can I reuse a barrel?
« on: December 05, 2011, 05:08:53 PM »
Didn't see this question in my quick glance, so figured I'd ask it directly with the subject. I'm looking to order barrels but it's going to be $10/liter for 500 liters' worth. Pricey, but I'm going to guess that markup for these guys will be helpful, but I'm wondering how many times I can reuse them.

* bourbon barrels

Equipment and Software / Underground wort piping
« on: November 30, 2011, 02:13:58 PM »
I feel like sometimes I post the craziest topics.

For the microbrewery I'm building, it's going to be in a shed in a corner of the yard - regs say it has to be a separate building - and that's pretty far from the basement where I'll be doing the conditioning. It would certainly be easier if, instead of putting fermenters on dollys and wheeling them down to the basement, I could just run a big tube underground and into the basement. What potential issues would I face here? Obviously I'd flush the piping after every brew.

Another potential would be to forego a wort chiller and have the pipe running from the brewery to basement BE the chiller. I'm thinking about this in one of two ways:

First, dig deep enough that I get cold(er) earth, and the wort cools by virtue of heat disippation into the surrounding earth by direct contact of pipe to ground

Second, make a giant counterflow chiller, running water from the basement into the shed via the larger diameter pipe, and running the wort into the basement in the opposite direction. Collected water from chilling could be used for garden water, cleaning, etc.

The final follow-up to this would be, according to code, what distance would I need between a water line and an electrical line, running parallel underground? Elec will be GFI.

Going Pro / Scaling recipes
« on: November 14, 2011, 10:30:30 AM »
Any guidelines on scaling homebrew recipes up to several barrels? Is it a linear scale or does something weird happen to the chemistry beyond X gallons?

The Pub / Bleh.
« on: November 10, 2011, 09:41:12 AM »
Just wanted to vent about this... With the global economy the way it is, I should in no way be complaining about this, but I will anyway. I'm being interviewed this afternoon for the position of Lead Developer with my company. It's probable that I'll get the job, but honestly, I'm not sure I want it. It's more money in theory, and good on the CV, but at some point money stops being important when the work environment goes downhill. Our entire development team is bored with things here right now, and most of them are leaving for other things, so if and when I transition in to lead dev, my main responsibility will be to train (in technical French, bleh) all of the new devs coming in to work on things. Add to that the new baby, due in February (right at transition time) and the new PM at one of the two subsidiary companies, a guy who I will now have to be in direct contact with, who's a bit of a pedant. I don't know what I want to do. I need the money right now, to pay off taxes and student loan debts, but I'm wondering if this isn't going to turn into a big clusterf*ck. Although it might be the trigger to me going to "full" part-time on my brewery, and consulting on the non-brewery days...

Going Pro / Steam vs Electric vs Gas?
« on: November 09, 2011, 12:16:34 PM »
I've seen several options for gas and electric turnkey breweries, as well as some semi-home-built LPG-powered ones. All my electricity comes from Nukes so it's not terribly expensive, gas comes from Russia and is expensive, and steam, I dunno how they do that. Heating element in a water reservoir?

What's the benefit of heat stick versus steam heat?

Equipment and Software / BRAND NEW march 809 pump - wrong voltage.
« on: November 07, 2011, 09:40:41 AM »
I brought back a march 809 that I thought would be rated for 115/230V, but it's not. Definitely 50/60hz, but only 115V rating is listed. Can I put this on 220 without blowing something up?

International / Paris, France
« on: October 27, 2011, 09:56:10 AM »
Time and Location TBD. We'll be doing a small (1 gallon) batch using the brew-in-a-bag method.

The Pub / Back in the USA
« on: October 07, 2011, 09:47:17 PM »
Won't be posting too much since we're on vacation and the wife frowns on that sort of thing during vacation, but she's cooking right now so I can say, Howdy everybody! So far we've had a great time - got to hang out with James Spencer and Andy Sparks from Basic Brewing radio, Andy's Magic Beer Fridge is indeed a sight to behold. Had some Firestone Walker Double Jack IPA straight from a super-fresh keg, among other beers. Wal-Mart is an interesting place, I feel a bit of culture shock being in there, but jeez, not having to pay 12 euros for a can of Karo is a good thing.

Have been to 17th st BBQ, that was OK, nothing amazing, I've made better at my house and it cost less, but as they say the best food is the food you don't have to cook. Tried a Ranger IPA from New Belgium, great hop aroma! But man, does every place keep its draft lines this cold? I'm used to cellar temp.

Picked up the Sam Adams fall sampler, a bit of latitude 48 (old 6 pack, no hop aroma to speak of :-( ) and a New Belgium sampler. Lots of beer to go through. The US really feels like more of a beer mecca than Belgium, as long as you know where to go.

Going Pro / Brew Pub recipes
« on: September 28, 2011, 11:12:58 AM »
Perhaps this should go in 'food' but I think we can call this going-pro-related for the moment. What are some good menu items for a brewpub to serve besides the usual pizza/hamburgers shtick?

Anyone have suggestions for 'small plate' items that don't need a full kitchen but can be done with a single burner and a fryer?

Here are a few of my suggestions:

Fried Devils = dates stuffed with chorizo, wrapped in wonton wrappers and deep fried, sprinkled with za'atar instead of salt

pickled eggs, pates

I would say jellied eel, but have you ever actually tried it? BLEH!

homemade pizza rolls (




Commercial Beer Reviews / Maui Brewing Co. CoCoNut PorTeR
« on: September 25, 2011, 09:26:17 AM »
"Like hot chicks on the beach"

Eh. Don't get me wrong, it's a well-executed beer. Poured a nice 1.5 finger foam, nothing off about it, a typical porter. No coconut anywhere but perhaps I missed it in the aroma because I've got a stuffy nose. Paid 6,50 Eur for a single can - $8. Not worth it at that price - I've brewed stuff that tastes the same. If you can get it for cheaper, go for it, but I wasn't terribly impressed.

The Pub / GPS?
« on: September 23, 2011, 02:03:32 PM »
I need a new GPS - my iPhone's GPS unit is totally wonky and we're going to be doing a lot of driving in the US soon.

* Fast
* Traffic re-routing
* Free map updates (including Europe & USandA)
* Parking garage finder (must work in europe)

The biggest factor is the working in both the US and Europe thing. I have no idea if it'll work or not. Thoughts?

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