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About Strelnikov

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    Brewmaster in Training
  1. I let the St. Pat's Irish Stout with and without the cherry juice condition for over 6 months. The batch without the cherry juice is really excellent, much better than when conditioned for only a month or two. The batch with the cherry juice is drinkable but not really that great, and at least for me not worth repeating.
  2. The caps are the smallest and cheapest part of the product. If I can't find any I can probably make some.
  3. I have a bunch of old Buon Vino airlocks for 5 gal carboys that are fine except for the plastic caps which are cracking and breaking apparently from old age. I did a quick search on the internet but can't find anyone that just sells the caps, you have to buy the whole 3-piece airlock. Does anyone just sell replacement caps?
  4. Jim, The compressor on another old fridge my wife has (a GE side by side) also died. I installed the starter on this fridge and the compressor worked (it vibrated and got warm after running a while) but the fridge still didn't get cold. I looked online and a common problem with this fridge is something on the motherboard going bad and the fridge gets stuck in the defrost cycle. The motherboard is $135 so I'm not going to fix it. On to the other fridge in the basement. It's older and isn't frost free so hopefully the starter will fix it. Thanks, Evan
  5. Jim, I ordered the Supco starter from amazon.com (globalindustrial.com minimum order is 4 and I don't need that many). I'll let you know how it goes.
  6. Thanks Jim, it would be worth $12 to get the compressor running again. The ice box works fine but it would double my brewing capacity if I didn't need half of the space in the fridge for the ice box.
  7. My wife was going to throw away an old GE fridge but I rescued it just in time to use as a fermentation chiller. I used Russki's excellent instructions to build my STC-1000 control box. The fridge worked great for one day before the compressor died. I decided to see if I could use the STC-1000 to cool the fridge with ice in a foam box using a 12 volt DC cooling fan from a PC. I already had a 3 inch DC cooling fan out of an old defunct PC and a 12 volt DC power brick laying around so those items cost me nothing. I wired the fan to the power brick and it worked fine. Next I built a box 19 inches long, 16 inches wide, and 17 inches tall out of 1-1/2 inch thick red extruded insulation foam from Home Depot. I used a straight edge and a saber saw to cut the pieces from the 4 by 8 foot sheet of foam. I used Liquid Nails Interior and Exterior Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive to glue the sides to the bottom. When that dried I caulked all the seams with Liquid Nails. After that dried I cut out a 2 inch square hole at the bottom right corner of one end. Then I traced the outline of the fan at the upper left corner of the opposite end and cut out the opening. Then I glued the fan into the slot using Loctite Clear Silicone Waterproof Sealant. I could have used the Liquid Nails but I wanted something less agressive in case I ever have to replace the fan. After that dried I covered the top of the sides with 3/4 inch wide Dennis Heavy Density PVC Closed-Cell Vinyl Foam Tape. Since the walls are 1-1/2 inches thick it took two strips side by side to seal the top. I didn't glue the top on so I could just lift it off to replace the bottles of ice. I use a piece of 12 inch square ceramic tile left over from another project to weigh down the top to seal it. The box holds 9 2-liter pop bottles of ice and does an excellent job keeping the fridge cool. Once a day I have been replacing a couple of the bottles with fresh frozen ones but if necessary it will go several days on a load of ice. The attached pics show my STC-1000 controller at work and the foam box installed in the fridge. I taped the wires for the STC-1000 sensor and the power cord for the fan to the sides of the fridge using duct tape.
  8. Another big thanks Russki for the great instructions and pics! I just installed it on an old GE fridge that my wife was going to throw away. I rescued it just in time. The only change I made was to solder and wrap the 4 hot side wires instead of using a twist crip connector because I had trouble getting the twist crimp connector to secure the braided fuse wire and the 3 solid core black wires.
  9. If you're just starting out I would stick with the LME soft packs from Mr. Beer. I used 1 qt of pasteurized unsweetened cherry juice but it hasn't finished conditioning yet so I can't tell you how it turned out.
  10. I would really like to know how this pear cider works out. The best wine I ever made was pear wine.
  11. Thanks for clarifying mashani, I know a little bit about such things but am by no means an expert. I do however make my own dosa dough.
  12. "somethingclever" post=369621 said:Okay, so far the molasses has been kicked out and replaced with fenugreek,lactose and a dark crystal malt. Which brings me to more questions... Fenugreek: where can I find an extract? I have done some searching on the internet and all I can come up with are supplements and whatnot, any leads to an extract or even the plant (herb?) itself? Crystal malts: The darkest Crystal malt I could find on NB was Briess ( and the organic variation) and since I am relatively new to brewing I know next to nothing about choosing/using grains. It says it has a raisin/prune flavor which isn't really what I'm looking for, any suggestions on a particular crystal malt for this endeavor? I appreciate the insight, keep em coming. Fenugreek is also called methi (pronounced maytee), you can find it at Indian groceries. Methi seeds are one of the ingredients of the Indian bread called dosa.
  13. Well I'm not done with my LBKs. I've made some really great brews in mine. The first few bottles from my first brew (Classic American Light that came with the kit) had a slight cidery taste but the last bottles conditioned out and were fine. I used the suggested white sugar with that first batch. Since then I've used turbinado sugar and haven't noticed any cidery taste.
  14. The same thing happened when I added 1 qt of pasteurized unsweetened cherry juice to a brew. It was like a foam volcano. I put my ear next to the lid and could hear the gas and foam escape. Pretty cool. The verdict is out if it's any good. Still conditioning.
  15. The worst problem I've had with the LBKs is the ridge at the seam near the spigot hole. I had one leak so bad after I filled it with wort (surprisingly it didn't leak when I was sanitizing it) that I almost lost the batch. I couldn't stop it from leaking so in a panic I cut strips of Gorilla tape and put around the base of the spigot at the spigot hole. Miraculously that stopped the leak and I only lost about 1 inch of liquid in the LBK. Sure made a mess though. After I bottled up that batch I took a Dremel and ground away the ridge. No problems since then.
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