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About Big

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  1. Thanks Nick. Why bag them? To keep them from blocking the spigot, or some other reason?
  2. I'm going to dry hop an LBK batch for the first time. Do loose hops float or sink? I'm concerned that if I don't bag the hops, the LBK spout or bottling wand will get clogged.
  3. Big

    Boil water?

    I thought a Brita filter might get rid of it, but Wikipedia says water needs 26 hours of contact time with activated charcoal to get rid of chloramine.
  4. Big

    Boil water?

    Awesome. Will go to my LHBS and get some. Will sure beat watching $1's worth of water steam up the vent fan! I had actually heard of using campden to get rid of chloramine before, but when I asked them, my LHBS guys were clueless about it for that purpose, even though they sell it. Makes me wonder... Man, this forum is great!
  5. Big

    Boil water?

    Awesome, guys, thanks. Campden is a sanitizer, isn't it?
  6. Big

    Boil water?

    Excellent, oly, thank you. I tend to worry and sweat the "what-ifs." Maybe I should RDWHAHB.
  7. I'm brewing my first 5-gallon batch today. I'm using spring water from bottles, because my tap water contains chloramine. Once the wort's in the fermenter, I'm supposed to use more water to bring it up to 5 gallons. Does that added water need to be boiled/cooled to sanitize it, or should it be OK right out of the gallon jug?
  8. rd, nice job. I especially like the way you have the inlet and outlet pipes FAR APART, unlike the commercial ones or other home-mades I've seen. Those with the inlet and outlet pipes bound together make for a neat package, but they HEAT THE COOLING WATER on its way in. I made one last week, wrapping the coils around a paint can, out of 20' of 1/4" tubing. It cooled 2 gallons of boiling water to 75 degrees in 13 minutes. The narrower tubing allows for more efficient (water-saving) heat transfer than 1/2 or 3/8", because of the higher surface-area-to-volume ratio (sounds counter-intuitive, I know).
  9. So I'm getting a little ahead of myself here (still only fermenting in LBK, but starting 5-gallon batches soon), and made a wort chiller. I won't go into all the details; there are plenty of videos on YouTube showing how to do it, and besides, it's pretty easy to figure out on your own. You're a brewer, after all! The reason I'm posting is because the commercial versions, and everyone on the videos, use 3/8" OD copper tubing. I used 1/4" OD tubing, and my chiller works: 2 gallons from boiling to 75F in 13 minutes. I'd like to say that I did it because the surface area-to-volume ratio is greater in narrower tubing, and so transfers heat more efficiently (which is true), but really it was because I'm cheap. So, you can use 1/4" tubing if you were thinking about it. Oh, and I only used 20' of tubing, not 25'.
  10. I had my very first home brew last night, also the Classic American Light. Mark, I could just cut and paste your post! Very silmilar experience. At four weeks C&C, I put one of my 2-tsp-of-priming-sugar PET liter bottles in the fridge (Wednesday). When I opened it last night, I was a little apprehensive, because it only made a little "pfft" when I unscrewed the cap. Then there wasn't much head when I poured. but when I tasted it, I was amazed! It was GOOD BEER! The carb was perfect! I poured the second glass a little faster, which produced more head, although it didn't stick around very long. Still, it tasted great, and I agree with Mark: I'd drink CAL before any mass produced beer of its type. I can tell it's only going to improve with time, too; it's a good thing I'm starting a week of working nights, so I'll leave it alone for at least one more week! Thanks to everyone here for all the great advice!
  11. That beer is ruined and probably very dangerous. You need to ship them all to me immediately. :laugh:
  12. Riddle: How do you know when a fighter pilot's in the room? Answer: Don't worry, he'll let you know! I didn't know that Air Force guys drank beer. :laugh: Just yanking your chain, Brad; can you tell I flew in the Navy? Thanks for taking a turn on the tip of the spear; come home soon.
  13. I bought a bottle washer from my LHBS, the kind that screws onto the faucet and points upward (you can get one online, too). After drinking beer, I rinse out each bottle as you do, without the washer. When I had a bunch of bottles, I soaked the labels off in OxiClean. Just before bottling day, I soaked the bottles in fresh OxiClean over night, then used the bottle washer to rinse them, assembly-line style. They come out really clean, really fast, without filling/dumping several times. I think others have posted that the dishwasher doesn't really clean them efficiently, although many have said that AFTER the bottles have been cleaned by another method, they use the high heat cycle of the dishwasher to sanitize bottles (no detergent or rinse agent). I capped my bottles, still slightly wet, with a piece of foil and baked them in the oven overnight (see "How to Brew" by John Palmer) to sanitize them. I'm certainly no pro, as I've only done the above once, on my second batch of beer. It's carbing/conditioning right now. Your process sounds fine to me. That washer just makes it go fast, and it's fun to use.
  14. I wonder if it's anything like the gusher you get when you drop Mentos into diet coke.
  15. Cheers to all of you! :chug: Thanks for the kind words. BrewThrough, I'm glad you're still with us. John, the label did that by itself; that was the crazy thing.
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