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Messages - macbrews

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: NHC Final Round Scores
« on: August 09, 2013, 11:32:08 AM »
When I hear the term "gusher", I usually think of wild yeast contamination rather than it being just a bit too fizzy.  This would especially be true if the other bottles, regardless of size, had an acceptable carb level.

Zymurgy / Re: Shipping Woes...need a good alternative
« on: July 22, 2013, 10:02:11 AM »
If asked (and most of the time I am not), I label mine "Competition Supplies" and have never been asked for more info.

Pimp My System / Re: Thinking about automation. Where to start...?
« on: July 18, 2013, 03:20:52 PM »
If you ask 10 people you will get 10 answers.  I was looking for my ultimate system last year and looked at the main commercially available systems (more beer, brew magic, blichmann) as well as some electrical systems at the NHC in Seattle.  All are very nice and each has its own uniqueness.  I also considered buying a frame and fitting it myself as I already had multiple kettles.

I ended up buying the Tower of Power system and Top Tier by Blichmann.  The reason I went with this one is that I really liked the ability to program mashes with the Tower of Power.  I do a lot of step mashes and by using the program that you can download on your computer, you can program an endless array of multiple step mashes, initiate one, walk away (figuratively) and let it do its stuff.  You can do this at the unit itself, but like the other systems you have to be ready to enter each step manually along the mash time line.  Single infusion mashes are extremely easy to do.  I have found that it holds mash temperatures extremely well.  The tower of power can also be retrofitted to many existing systems.

That is how I made my decision and I am very happy with it.  All the other systems that I looked at were really nice, but this one did it for me.

36 for me.

Events / Re: NHC 2013 Entry Problems - Possible Solutions?
« on: July 09, 2013, 10:20:26 AM »
Out of curiosity, when (or where if they already have) do they post the Club of the Year scores?


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: What should I offer this guy?
« on: June 18, 2013, 01:40:39 PM »
I've come accross a guy who wants to sell me two, 42 gallon Blichmann fermenters.  Both have the leg extensions and casters.  Brand new from Northern Brewer they are about $1850 each.  They are quite used, so probably would need new seals, and clamp rings. 

I'm thinking $2,000 for the pair?

42 Gallon fermenters aren't exactly something that fly off the shelf.  Kind of a specialty item without a big market.  I would come in low.

Ingredients / Re: Hops is toxic and could be deadly to dogs...
« on: June 02, 2013, 10:46:19 AM »
AFAIC, dogs should never have beer.


Equipment and Software / Re: Starsan temp.
« on: May 07, 2013, 03:43:20 PM »
At killing organisms, probably.  But then it may no longer be a no rinse sanitizer

Yep.  At NHC I was talking to Jim from Five Star and told him I mixed it stronger to get the pH down.  He said that at stronger concentrations it's no longer no rinse.

Because of flavor issues or pH issues?  Seems like any remaining volume would still be diluted out so much that it would have a negligible affect on the pH of your final volume of beer in the fermentation vessel.

So at what mixture do I need to be concerned?

Equipment and Software / Re: Starsan temp.
« on: May 06, 2013, 07:29:48 PM »
Yep.  and lowering the pH will only make it more active.  This could be a problem if you are using it in aluminum for instance, but SST will be able to handle it (the process is called passivation).  The pH probably won't get low enough for that though.

So when I add 40 ccs instead of 30 cc for 5 gallons, is that making it more acidic?

So is more better?

Equipment and Software / Re: Blichmann beer gun stopper issue
« on: January 02, 2013, 09:32:44 AM »
Inspect the stopper closely.  Is it torn?

That happened to me.  Just replaced it.  Brand new it should be good though.

i have some denny's fav 50 yeast from 03/12 that i need to use.  i plan on making a small starter if this particular yeast will work with a beer like that.
What form is the yeast from 3/12?  Is it an un-smacked smack pack?  Or is this a leftover slurry?  I would plan on a multi-stage starter in either case.  The first stage to check for viability and grow some yeast, the second stage to grow more yeast.  Viability will be pretty low after that long, but there should be plenty if it was stored well.

+1.  And if it's slurry and does not smell particularly good, I would toss it and use something else.  You'll know when you take a whiff.....

So...... I have a slurry of California Ale yeast that is about 3 months old.  Its been in my refrigerator in an E-Flask covered with Aluminum foil.  Came from a local brewery and it produced a vigorous fermentation when last used.  There is about 100 cc yeast and it is covered with  400cc beer that separated out.  Would you use it if it smells good (doesn't smell bad)?  Maybe decant it off and throw it in a starter?  How long does yeast like this stay good?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Help me improve my process (Pictures!)
« on: November 26, 2012, 05:00:57 PM »
As far as hitting your mash temp, I always like having a bit of hot and cold water immediately available to add to the mash if I don't hit it right on.  This is especially beneficial if you don't have the ability to add direct heat.


Equipment and Software / Re: Pulleys
« on: November 05, 2012, 09:37:25 AM »
@ MACBREW - "That solves the problem of getting them in, but with a progressive back issue, I want to get them out just as easily. "  Definitely agree with on that. At some point I hope to be able to incorporate something like what your talking about.  Maybe something like ..

Thanks, that is really what I am looking for. I appreciate everyone's input!


Equipment and Software / Re: Pulleys
« on: November 04, 2012, 09:38:22 PM »
I bought a chest freezer about a year ago when they were on-sale and fits 2 carboys nicely. About 2 months ago I finally had a reason to use it to do a double batch of a lager that a buddy wanted to try. About an hour before the end of the boil we set the temp on the Johnson Controller that was going to control the freezer, then put the sanitized carboys in the freezer. After wort finished chilling down in the boil kettle wheeled the brew station over to the freezer and transferred right into the two carboys sitting in the freezer.  Worked great.

That solves the problem of getting them in, but with a progressive back issue, I want to get them out just as easily.  I started thinking about this after reading the current issue of BYO and saw John Blichmann's home brewery and noticed a pulley system hanging from the ceiling.  It wasn't mentioned in the article, but man would I like one of those!

Equipment and Software / Re: Pulleys
« on: November 04, 2012, 09:30:02 AM »
How about a hand winch?

I don't have one myself but after seeing this I may buy one.  The winch appears to be on a ratchet, so you wouldn't need overhead space.

That could work.  And it would also be flexible enough that you could move it around the brewery as well.  Thanks!

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