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Messages - yugamrap

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286
Equipment and Software / Re: Chilling experiment
« on: December 29, 2009, 07:59:26 AM »
Your recirculation technique will work better if you can get the ice out of the bottles and break it up into smaller chunks.  This will provide greater surface area for heat exchange, and reduce the barrier effect of the cold, but no longer frozen, water in the bottles.  I have a bunch of plastic containers with lids from shredded cheese and won ton soup.  Some are 1/2-quart and some are 1-quart, and they can be stacked in the freezer.  On brew day, I put some water in the cooler that I use for recirculation.  Then, I give each ice container a brief dip in the water to help release the ice.  Once the ice is out, I break it into smaller pieces with a hammer, and add it to the cooler.

287
Equipment and Software / Re: Cooler woes.
« on: December 29, 2009, 07:48:42 AM »
I'll probably look at the lid. Bet it isn't insulated. Blankets or towels hmmm....
I'm not sure about the cooler you have, but many coolers have no insulation in the lid.  This is easily addressed by drilling a few small holes in the lid and filling it with expanding foam insulation from a can.  It's sold under the brand name "Great Stuff."  I used it to fill the lid of my 60-qt Igloo, and it helped.  I still cover & wrap the mash tun with a couple blankets when the weather is cold, though.  I'm brewing outside tomorrow, and the forecast is for a high of 22F.   

288
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: AHA Membership
« on: December 26, 2009, 05:46:22 PM »
I'm a member now - my son got me a gift membership for Christmas.   ;D

289
Equipment and Software / Re: Light bulb in fridge to control temp.
« on: December 16, 2009, 11:48:56 AM »
I have done the same with a low watt bulb in the temp controlled chest freezer (in the unheated garage) during the winter months.  I usually ferment in steel or plastic, and have not have any skunking issues.  Given that the chest freezer is well insulated a very small source such as a night light or 15 watt lamp is enough. 
+1  I do the same thing to keep my fermenting fridge and my serving fridge (both are in my unheated garage) from getting too cold in the winter.  I use 15-watt bulbs in reading lamps in the bottom of the fridges.  This provides just enough heat that the temperature control will cycle the fridge to run occasionally.

290
Ingredients / Re: Peanut Butter Brew
« on: December 16, 2009, 11:29:14 AM »
Our club did a "Strange Brew" contest not long ago where we each drew "strange" ingredients (e.g., Jolly Rancher candies, marshmallow fluff, breakfast cereal, black pepper, licorice, oysters, etc.) from a hat, then had to make a beer with whatever ingredient we drew.  The brewer who drew peanut butter found a powdered peanut butter product that was very low in oil.  His beer had decent head retention.  The peanut butter flavor was present, but not very strong.

FWIW, there were around 18 entries.  1st place was Robust Porter with Licorice, 2nd was Black Pepper IPA, and 3rd was Jolly Rancher American Wheat.   

291
All Grain Brewing / Re: Difference between Batch and Fly Sparging
« on: December 16, 2009, 11:14:32 AM »
The main difference is that fly sparging is a continuous process - a relatively slow, continuous rinse of the mashed grain done simultaneously with collection of the wort.  Batch sparging, on the other hand, is a fairly quick collection of wort (often called "first runnings") before adding additional sparge water, followed by addition of one or more "batches" of sparge water that are stirred into the mash, briefly rested, recirculated, then collected.

Either process can be used to make beer.  Fly sparging can yield higher efficiency, but generally takes substantially more time than batch sparging.  I think batch sparging is simpler, requires a little less attention and control, and is generally faster - but there is usually a sacrifice in efficiency (though some who batch sparge get very good efficiencies).

Here's the link to the definitive take on batch sparging the Cheap-N-Easy way http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/  It also includes a brief description of fly sparging.

   

292
Ingredients / Re: Vanilla Bean
« on: December 15, 2009, 08:21:07 AM »
I cut and scrape the beans and add them to the secondary like Denny does and, as hokerer suggests, I start tasting the beer from the secondary after about a week.  I don't bother with teh vodka soak - I just spray the cutting board and knife with Star San before prepping the beans.  I've only used vanilla beans in Denny's BVIP recipe (OG around 1.080-1.085) and both times I've brewed it I used two beans.  In last year's batch, I racked after 14 days in the secondary.  This year, the beans I got seemed to be fresher or more potent, and I racked after 11 days.  YMMV in a 1.046 beer since there isn't as much alcohol to extract the vanilla flavor.

293
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Note to self
« on: December 15, 2009, 08:00:29 AM »
That's one of the reasons I switched to Star San.  Iodophor would be another good choice for a liquid, no-rinse sanitizer.

294
The Pub / Re: 29 years
« on: December 09, 2009, 08:15:34 AM »

you know who i really miss......  frank zappa.


+ a billionty and eleven.  "Freak Out" is the reason I ended up in the rock'n'roll biz.

+ eleventy-billion and one!  I went to see "Zappa plays Zappa" last year.  It wasn't quite like seeing FZ, but the kid did a nice job and it was a damn good show.  It was great to hear the tunes live again....

295
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Suggest a brew for next weekend
« on: December 06, 2009, 08:52:49 PM »
This is the season for brewing Miabock.  Here's a good recipe from Braukaiser: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Maibock

296
Equipment and Software / Re: Draining the boil kettle....
« on: November 30, 2009, 08:56:54 PM »
I use a reusable paint filter hop bag for whole or pellet hops.  At the end of the boil, I raise it slowly and let it drain back into into the boil kettle.


297
Equipment and Software / Re: a question about my new 7 lb. barley crusher
« on: November 30, 2009, 08:51:44 PM »
I use mine on a Homer bucket.  I line the bucket with a plastic bag, and fill more than bag one when doing 10-gallon batches or some higher-gravity beers.  After mashing, I use the same plastic bags to collect the spent grain.  I take the grain to the local historical society's farm and they feed it to the goats and chickens.

298

Get some Lexan to make a strong, transparent lid, buy a big gasket to go between the keg opening and the Lexan, drill a hole in the Lexan for an air lock drilled bung, make a simple clamp to tighten the Lexan to the gasket to make it air tight . . Voila! Inexpensive 15.5 gallon fermenter!

I have two!  ;D

Pics of the lid - and clamping contraption please? Sure I can come up with something from what you said, but you might have done something different/better than what I would think up. So, pics would be a big help.

Thanks!
-OCD
This lid is just a cheap plastic plate from WalMart, but it's pretty much what dhacker describes.  The hole in the top is 6.5" and there is a 7.25" X 0.25" o-ring from Fastenal used as a gasket between the plate and the top of the keg.  The hold-down bar is made from a keg spear, some all-thread and a few nuts, and is held on with a couple c-clamps.


299
Well, I made it to OK and back to OH without incident.  I took a corny of Amber Ale and a couple fifths of limoncello.  I was right - the family wiped-out the whole keg over a couple days, and I brought it home empty.  I bought one of the small serving systems that uses the 16-ounce CO2 cartridges.  It worked great, and took just under 3 cartridges to serve the whole keg.

300
Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg, bottle or both?
« on: November 30, 2009, 08:03:11 AM »
Quote
Actually I don't have a kegging system (yet) but Santa may be good to me this year.  I'd expect I would only bottle after that if I had all my kegs in use and needed the keg.  I would then bottle to free up the keg.  And also bottle for competitions.

+1 for me.  Bottling is horrid. 

question-which probably has no definative answers:

How many Kegs does a newb kegger need.  I have a couple sources-the legit one is about $15 each picked up.  I am thinking I want 6-8 to start with.

question 2-when I rack from primary can I condition at my beer cellar temp? -So if I get more kegged than I'm drinking, can I build up a stockpile?



How many kegs to start with depends on how fast you go through beer, how many you intend to have on tap at the same time and, to some extent, what styles you brew.  I have 8 corny kegs.  I usually have four beers on tap at the same time and, on average, go through a keg or two in a month.  With 4 on tap, that leaves the other 4 to have a couple "on deck" and a couple in longer-term lagering.  That has worked out okay for me so far, but I sometimes have to do some careful planning, or bottle-off the end of a keg to free one up for a batch - so I'm planning to get 4 more.

Concerning question #2 - Once your beer is done fermenting, you can force carbonate it (which works best once the beer is cold), or you can naturally carbonate it as you would a bottled beer.  I usually force carbonate, but have naturally carbonated kegs at basement temperatures (62-66F) with good results.  Once a beer is carbonated, it can be stored at cellar temperatures for several months without harm.  I often brew 10-gallon batches and store one of the kegs in this way if I don't have room in one of my fridges.

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