Author Topic: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project  (Read 34416 times)

Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« Reply #120 on: February 13, 2015, 08:14:05 pm »
SO MANY brass fixtures were in our new house when we moved in.

They were the first to go. Fixtures and a new fence for the dogs.

Our new ones look great, but they are controlled by remote and are on the same frequency, so when I turn on the living room light, the bedroom light comes on too!  >:(
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« Reply #121 on: February 13, 2015, 10:53:49 pm »
Oh brass and golden oak... I am on a mini crusade to rid the house of it all.

Speaking of nasty brass, here's the before:


And after:


I'm still tickled to death that I found a hop light. :D
Amanda Burkemper
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Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
Our Homebrewed Wedding, AHA Article

Offline 69franx

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Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« Reply #122 on: February 13, 2015, 11:45:32 pm »
That is an awesome light Amanda
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« Reply #123 on: February 14, 2015, 12:44:52 am »
That hop light is rocking. Really cool !
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Offline macbrews

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Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« Reply #124 on: February 14, 2015, 01:13:56 am »
That is cooler than my Wife's Hop earrings


Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« Reply #125 on: February 23, 2015, 08:30:47 pm »
That hop light turned the awesomeness up to 11.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« Reply #126 on: March 01, 2015, 09:30:56 pm »
Thanks guys. I'm quite happy with the hop light.

We made some more progress this weekend and are inching ever closer to 100%. Just a bit of trim and some shelves left to do apart from installing a proper patio door (but that's really an outdoors project, right?).

We replaced all of the vinyl beer lines with barrier lines from Micromatic. We have some friends (who bring kegs sometimes) that have pin lock kegs, so we replaced the quick disconnects with MFL fittings from barbs. Wish I would have just installed those in the first place.

I keep all the lines color coded so they are easy to figure out when we have people over.

We also finally installed the bathroom door and the new main light fixture. Hooray no more brass handles or fixtures! I put a ton if money in the raffle at KCBM 32 only on the Pilsner Urquell neon and actually got it, so we rearranged the neons and tins to make it fit. The bar is really coming together.  :D
« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 01:17:31 pm by AmandaK »
Amanda Burkemper
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Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
Our Homebrewed Wedding, AHA Article

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« Reply #127 on: March 01, 2015, 09:40:25 pm »
Totally awesome. Love the Urquell light.
Jon H.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« Reply #128 on: March 01, 2015, 11:15:42 pm »
I don't have a spiffy neon, but there is a big PU mirror in the basement.
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Offline udubdawg

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Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« Reply #129 on: March 03, 2015, 05:14:17 pm »
Looking pretty good.  Pretty, pretty, pretty good, even.   8)

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« Reply #130 on: March 04, 2015, 04:49:01 pm »
Thanks guys. I'm quite happy with the hop light.

We made some more progress this weekend and are inching ever closer to 100%. Just a bit of trim and some shelves left to do apart from installing a proper patio door (but that's really an outdoors project, right?).

We replaced all of the vinyl beer lines with barrier lines from Micromatic. We have some friends (who bring kegs sometimes) that have pin lock kegs, so we replaced the quick disconnects with MFL fittings from barbs. Wish I would have just installed those in the first place.

I keep all the lines color coded so they are easy to figure out when we have people over.

We also finally installed the bathroom door and the new main light fixture. Hooray no more brass handles or fixtures! I put a ton if money in the raffle at KCBM 32 only on the Pilsner Urquell neon and actually got it, so we rearranged the neons and tins to make it fit. The bar is really coming together.


very nice ...man i have to start building mine soon!
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« Reply #131 on: March 13, 2015, 02:20:26 pm »
So these barrier lines are both good and bad. I had a club member (who just so happened to be a draft tech) come look at it last night and he got me set up properly for the time being.

Here's the setup for anyone who is reading this in the future and may gain from my experience:
  • 14' 1/4" Micromatic Brewmaster II barrier lines: http://www.micromatic.com/draft-keg-beer/hoses-pid-548BT1200.html
  • 1/4" fittings and shafts throughout
  • Perlick 650SS flow controls
  • Running straight CO2 on two pressures (10psi & 15psi) for normal beers
  • Running what I was told was G-mix (75/25 CO2/N2) for the nitro tap
  • Keezer at 38F

Once I got the beers pouring after simply swapping out the 9' long 1/4" vinyl lines and not changing anything else, it was straight foam. Obviously, I lost a lot of resistance going from vinyl (0.85 lb/ft) to barrier (0.3 lb/ft). I poured without changing anything just to see what would happen. I wasn't expecting it to work, but wanted to check just in case the manufacturer numbers were off. I had read the Draft Quality Manual several times while building this thing, so the numbers told me that if I decreased my temperature and lowered my pressures I would likely be good to go with the 3psi difference in resistance, so I tried that.

Problem was this: even though I could get it to pour with an inch of foam on the beer, it was "coughing". For instance, the first 2-3 seconds of the pour would be normal, laminar flow. Then it would "cough" and sputter, then pour more foam. This is the opposite problem of what I had with the vinyl lines. The line beer would be a touch foamier than the keg beer, and it tasted like vinyl line, so we'd dump it. So why the coughing and sputtering?

What the DQM doesn't tell you is that despite all of the equations and numbers, you may just have to turn the pressure up. Greg (our draft tech) looked at it, listened to my process, and poured a beer. He went to the back, turned up the pressure to 17psi, and poured a beer. By the second beer, it was pouring perfectly. Dang - I never would have figured that out by myself.

Turns out that the low resistance lines were allowing the beer to flow faster in the line than the pressure in the keg would be able to keep up with. Turning up the pressure allowed the beer to flow out at a rate as fast or faster than the low resistance lines allowed. And with a perfect little cap of foam!

Now... well, my serving pressure is all fine and dandy, but I'm going to need to experiment with how low I can turn the serving pressure (currently at 17psi, and the keezer is moving up to 38F again from 33F now) and not have coughing. If I can get it low enough, then I may not have to move to a 70/30 mix of beer gas. Otherwise, I think I'm going to have to move to a beer gas mix from straight CO2. Not really a big deal in this area, but still something else to do. In the meantime, I have the gas turned off at the regulator when we are not drinking so everyone stays properly carbonated.

As for the nearly-all-foam nitro pours, I had it originally set at 35psi (because that's what the DQM shows you to calculate for G-mix), but had turned it down to 20psi to try and knock some of the foam out. It worked... a bit. Greg advised that the G-mix probably wasn't actually G-mix at all and was likely 65/35 instead of 75/25. So I turned it down to 8psi for now and I'll see how it is pouring later tonight.

So. Pros and cons of this draft system now that it has barrier lines:
Pros
  • No more nasty line beer
  • No more flavor crossover
  • More consistent flavor due to the above points
  • No more dumping line beer
Cons
  • Not intuitive to figure out
  • Might need beer gas

Keep in mind though, that this is a totally custom system. This isn't your standard "put shafts through a collar" type operation. These experiences may not apply to you. However, if someone is building a long draw custom system (as I have seen a few in the recent past on here) it may be of use to you.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2015, 02:21:58 pm by AmandaK »
Amanda Burkemper
KC Bier Meisters Education Director
BJCP Assistant Education Director
BJCP Master/Mead

Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
Our Homebrewed Wedding, AHA Article

Offline AmandaK

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Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« Reply #132 on: November 20, 2015, 04:08:01 pm »
Well, to update the thread: we sold the Sabco.

I'm still in the process of putting together all of the bits and pieces to go from a 10g brewery to a 2.5g brewery, but here's a quick pic of our new brewery, aka "the Z":


I'm having a blast with this thing. Brew days themselves went from being a chore (setup to teardown in about 7.5 hours) to something that I can fire off on a weeknight while cooking dinner. All the work is done upfront (recipe design, water treatment, grains & hops) and then chilling is stupid quick with our old chiller. I'm now able to perform experiments with nearly no consequence (little ingredient cost, minimal time spent) and collect the crap out of brewing data.

Here's a screen shot of my last brew day from their website/software:


I exported that data and overlayed the SG readings I took throughout the mash, just because I can:


We are also getting back into bottling. With the variety of beer that we can brew now, we can't keg it all and keep it on tap with just 6 taps. So we're in the process of donating two of our kegs to "bottling buckets" and bottling in a minimal oxygen environment with the Beer Gun hooked up to a keg that has the priming sugar and finished beer in it. One keg for clean beers, one keg for sours. I'm in the middle of setting up a little table that will be our "bottling suite" to make it easier/quicker. I've gotten rid of the 15 gallon plastic conical, but kept the commercial fridge ("Jurgen") that we had. Jurgen now has shelves and is now our cold bottle storage, which is something I've been wanting for a while.

We are also switching from Better Bottle type fermenters to Spiedels and doing closed transfer on anything that moves after primary fermentation, because we can with minimal effort.

Should be a fun little transition! I'll update with real pictures when it's not such a mess around here.
Amanda Burkemper
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Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
Our Homebrewed Wedding, AHA Article

Offline pete b

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Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« Reply #133 on: November 20, 2015, 04:33:58 pm »
JEALOUS
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline mchrispen

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Re: Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
« Reply #134 on: November 20, 2015, 05:01:31 pm »
Ditto. Sorry the Sabco didn't work out. I had a lot of fun brewing on it last weekend and plan to shake out a Helles this weekend. But yeah, it's a high maintenance baby!

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