You'll loose a little carbonation, but that will recover just fine. If you have a LHBS near you, there is a long thin brush made for dip tubes. Otherwise, you could use the thin stream on a multi-spray garden hose sprayer.
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I would do it as written just to do it. You are out an hour and a few bucks but would be a great tribute to Grandpa. I have a shoebox full of my grandmother's hand written recipes. I have followed some of them to the letter just to see even though I know of better ways or ingriedents.
IR thermometers are really picky. To be accurate, you need a non-reflective, black surface.
When working at a chemical plant, we painted black spots on each tank to measure their temps with IR. The same could be done on your carboy. A few strips of electrical tape might do the trick.
I think it should be noted (for any people wanting to built their own tower in the future), you'll also need to cut 8 pieces w/ 45 degree angles to weld into the corners on the top. I don't know why I forgot about this in my plans, but it was simple enough to add in. My burners come in this week (hopefully). Getting excited to mount the banjo burners. I'm also going to paint the frame w/ high temp paint.
If you're not having problems, DON'T GO LOOKING FOR IT!
I can't count the number of people who were making good beer, read a bunch of stuff on the internet, overthought what they were doing, and drove themselves into the ditch.
This has been a Public Service Announcement.
Maybe the brewer was going for a weizen made with pickles, curry powder, tofu, and chocolate - and they nailed it in all of its disgusting glory. Is that a 50 point beer? No.