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USMCMatt

Gila Monster and the F&%king air compressor

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RAWR

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So I buy this thing that ends up being 20 cans of sludge and odds and ends. Mrs. USMC bought some of these strange fermenting bottles in the back, they look a little small but they come with these cool "nipple" things that make it easier to drink on the road, kidding. (You know what's the best thing about boxed wine? Doesn't roll around in the car, lolhahakeke)

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3qt pot my ass. Some of you fools might remember my ongoing battle with a certain stainless steel pot I bought. You know what? I'm getting my damn $6 out of it and then chucking it into the weeds.

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Surprisingly it worked great despite my dropping two cans into the wort while trying to put hot water intot hem to get all the gunk, those bastards get slippery after a while.. like I said there's 20 cans to thing damn thing.

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Also this kit comes with liquid yeast 'smack pack' which I took out 2 days ago, I completely read the instructions wrong and commenced to talking bad about it and putting it down for a day before realizing "SMACK" means actually hitting it (not in the face Ike!)

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couple days later...

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What a fun little message...

they really should warn you about that little clear plastic bag coming flying out into the LBK.. had to fish it out, this is honestly the first time RELAX, DON'T WORRY made sense.

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brew brew brew, success!

Check out this cool thing,

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Website = "OG: 1.092 (approx.) -- FG: 1.023 (approx.)"

Mine = 1.075 (scribbing down 75, 18, 9 1/2%)

hmmmmm, too much extra water I figure, no going back now

Everything is all set.

Why is it so hot in here?

"BABE WHY IS IT SO HOT IN HERE"

A/C compressor is shot, dead, doa, 5 years of dedicated Florida service.

Shit, of course it's the beginning of February and Florida is 80+ degree outside.

In the middle of all this I find out the compressor is truly done for according to the A/C repair man.

Check out this horror show:

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Considering the temp just went up and I'm probably bottling that LBK on the left tomorrow I'm not too worried yet.

I quickly use my college education to come up with this genius fix seeing how the sun is down and the temp is crashing fast.

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So now everything is happily humming along again at about 71 degrees, but it's 11am and their still waiting to get our part in

"BABE WE NEED ICE!!!"


tbc

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Thanks Matt, your brew days are always good for a chuckle.
I have 3 coleman coolers I picked up at Wally World for $15 each. I can keep a steady temp of 66 deg by swapping out ice pack every 24 hours. Worth looking into with the Florida heat.

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Inkleg wrote:

Thanks Matt, your brew days are always good for a chuckle.
I have 3 coleman coolers I picked up at Wally World for $15 each. I can keep a steady temp of 66 deg by swapping out ice pack every 24 hours. Worth looking into with the Florida heat.

You using just a normal plastic cooler ice pack? I might pick some up just because after this, would be good to have around anyways. Although I'm now full on looking for a freezer for the garage. Few good deals on craigslist, not sure why they want 100 "roses" though.. strange.

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Thanks guys, if they don't have the new unit in today I'll stop by and grab some.

Can anyone quickly tell me how long the LBK is with the spigot attached? I want to make sure I get on I can put a few LBK's in, maybe even some bottles. I know Sams's club is having a big sale on the big Igloo's

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USMCMatt wrote:

Inkleg wrote:

Thanks Matt, your brew days are always good for a chuckle.
I have 3 coleman coolers I picked up at Wally World for $15 each. I can keep a steady temp of 66 deg by swapping out ice pack every 24 hours. Worth looking into with the Florida heat.

Few good deals on craigslist, not sure why they want 100 "roses" though.. strange.

I loled

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I'm starting to see a theme with your threads...


and I like it a lot. :laugh:

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I found a 52 qt. Coleman cooler at Kmart that must have been mispriced....for $29. They are about $50 every where else.
And, for under $2 each, you can buy reusable cryopacks to keep your chest cool. My chest supposedly keeps a steady temp for 24 hours within 2 degrees. Come summer, I'll find out just how good it is.

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mashani wrote:

Note to self... only snip small bit of corner of smack pack!

LOL

Haha damn (slaps head) that's a good idea

Great deal on the cooler, $29 that a lot for room! I might try Kmart as well first.

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Also try Target. Now's the time because once spring gets here, you just know everyone wants a cooler and prices will go up.

I saw someone advertise a small fridge that is mostly for truckers and campers and uses 110 and it stated that it could be turned on its side like an ice chest. I think it was about $125 but can't remember where I saw it. Maybe some sporting goods place.
I wonder how high it could be set to work. Can many small fridges stay at a temp like 65? Seems unlikely without a thermostat.

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USMCMatt wrote:

Inkleg wrote:

Thanks Matt, your brew days are always good for a chuckle.
I have 3 coleman coolers I picked up at Wally World for $15 each. I can keep a steady temp of 66 deg by swapping out ice pack every 24 hours. Worth looking into with the Florida heat.

You using just a normal plastic cooler ice pack? I might pick some up just because after this, would be good to have around anyways. Although I'm now full on looking for a freezer for the garage. Few good deals on craigslist, not sure why they want 100 "roses" though.. strange.

Yep, blue coleman cooler ice packs. I think they were $2 each. I have 8 so I can always have some freezing while others are in the coolers.

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I recommend the big styrofoam coolers from walmart. They are six bucks a piece. Your Mr. Beer keg and an ice pack fit perfectly in there.

Thanks

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100 Billion yeast cells. How'd you like ta be the poor SOB that has to count those.

{onehundredfortytwothousandsevenhundredfiftythree, onehundredfortytwoth...}

Hey Bud! In about ten minutes the five of us are going down to the 7-11 for our 30 minute lunch. Gonna get a couple a six packs. Wanna join us?

No thanks Jim, I gotta count these cells. {onehundredforty...Damn!...one, two, three...}

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GOF wrote:

100 Billion yeast cells. How'd you like ta be the poor SOB that has to count those.

{onehundredfortytwothousandsevenhundredfiftythree, onehundredfortytwoth...}

Hey Bud! In about ten minutes the five of us are going down to the 7-11 for our 30 minute lunch. Gonna get a couple a six packs. Wanna join us?

No thanks Jim, I gotta count these cells. {onehundredforty...Damn!...one, two, three...}

Hahaha I remember looking at that like "How the hell do they know... I swear to god if there's only 99 Billion, heads are going to roll!"

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Just moved the LBK to a cooler and threw in an ice pack. Put a remote temp monitor in there too @ 73.6 right now, comin down....

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Great thread, your brew adventures are epic. I sterilize a small spatula with my other utensils at the start of the process, works great for getting the last of the gunk out of the cans without burning your hands.

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CaBOOM!

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Ran to KMart on the way home and bought 4 of these for like $3.99 a piece:

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Froze 'em up and threw them in a cooler I already had, Coleman 52qt:

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I put a remote temp in there and sealed it up. Woke up this morning and monitored the progress while eating some Corn Pops, Top is the cooler and bottom is the bottle room.

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Going to get another cooler at lunch and do the same thing. Thanks guys this is the way to go!


(for anyone that cares I cold crashed the Papa Pilsner a couple days early due to the heat. Been sitting there for 18 days, poured out a little shot and it tasted like it should, looking forward to this one)

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Good stuff Matt.
I read in another forum that someone got 2 bags of ice and put it in the cooler for 4 hours to get the cooler to a cold temp. Then, removed the ice and basically did what you did......popped in a few ice blocks.
I still think getting the temp down in the 50's is going to be hard. I think when I brew the special Pilsner, I'll have some frozen water to add to the LBK to start it off as cool as possible. I'll need a few more ice packs to keep the cooler cold for 3 weeks!

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Agreed, for the Pilsner I'm going to build a better insulator in the cooler with a few packs. I think the secret is going to be some pc fans that are then going to blow across the packs onto the LBK. I should no problem getting the temps way down for that, but I'm sure I'll be switching out the packs twice a day more then likely. (but I'm currently looking for standup/chest freezers used online that may null any of this other then just being a fun project)

I have a bigger issue with using plastic for fermenting for longer periods of time, I don't care if it's food grade or not, it's entirely possible to start getting oxygen permeation.

I'm almost thinking of fermenting in a 3gal glass carboy for this. I'm sure it's not THAT big a deal but I just donno yet.

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Guest System Admin

Your 50qt cooler maybe hard to get down to 50*F due to pretty tight for LBK and extra frozen bottles.

I have a 100qt that easy fits two LBKs plus 2 frozen 2lt soda bottles and has room for some beers too.

once I get the cooler down to 50*F it is easy to maintain since the volume inside is all cold too, first day-two days I have to change bottles every 12 hours since the fermentation heat eats the ice up, but by day two the temp is dropping good and levels off 48-50*F for the rest of the time

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I think 3 weeks should be enough in the LBK then I plan to keep the bottles at that temp the same way in the cooler for another 3-4 weeks.
No doubt, for us in the south, this is going to be a challenge. But, I figure I only have another 30 days of reasonably cooler temps and I'm going to hit this one as soon as it arrives.
What about having the LBK sit on 1 frozen gel pack? You'd have to move the keg once a day, maybe more but having some sit on top and bottom might help.
This is going to be like having a newborn in the house again.

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Trollby wrote:

Your 50qt cooler maybe hard to get down to 50*F due to pretty tight for LBK and extra frozen bottles.

I have a 100qt that easy fits two LBKs plus 2 frozen 2lt soda bottles and has room for some beers too.

once I get the cooler down to 50*F it is easy to maintain since the volume inside is all cold too, first day-two days I have to change bottles every 12 hours since the fermentation heat eats the ice up, but by day two the temp is dropping good and levels off 48-50*F for the rest of the time

Oh I have one of those huge saltwater fishing coolers I think the 120 I was thinking about using, would be much easier to get fan push in there, I don't even think I could with the 52. Great advice Trollby, thanks for the input!

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Oh man this thing stinks haha

In a term I'm now calling "Cooler Farts" the air escaping the LBK builds up inside the cooler and if you dare lift the lid you'd going to get pooted right in the face, ughhhhh

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Ya know, I never thought of the fact that the 'gas' has to go somewhere. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to put a pen or pencil to hold the top of the ice chest open enough the first few days to let the air out. Can't do too much to speed up the frozen packs from thawing out.

I'm still antsy about doing the Pilsner in a chest and keeping it cool enough. I'm hoping it all works out ok. Only bought 1 to try.

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USMCMatt wrote:

Oh man this thing stinks haha

In a term I'm now calling "Cooler Farts" the air escaping the LBK builds up inside the cooler and if you dare lift the lid you'd going to get pooted right in the face, ughhhhh

I love hop farts myself, but I'm weird like that.

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Well I could open the drain but why wreck the surprise. I might give it another day or two and then rack it to a secondary LBK to finish off for 2 weeks

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Matt, can you post some pics?
I'm curious as to how much ice/packs you use and what temp it's staying at.
I kept my Coleman outside last night (empty) and with the outside temp at 52 for a low, the inside of the cooler with nothing at all in there was 59. I'm sure it fluctuates in the day time but I'm may have to move it depending on how the temps change.
I hope my order ships soon so I can get this started before it warms up too much.

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Yeah of course man I have pics of it on the bottom of page one, but here's what I did:

Bought these from Kmart for like $3.99

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Here's the 52qt cooler I use:

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Real simple, automatically keeps it at the perfect temperature, after it settled out it stays exactly at 69/70, I have a remote unit in the cooler so I can always see it. Just have to swap out those blue ice packs once a day right now

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Thanks for the pictures.
Do you think you could get it colder if you have a few more packs?

I'm actually working on getting a used mini fridge but will try some tests of my own this week.

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Yeah I'm sure you could when the weather got a little cooler I was worried that that pack might be too big but it'll deff get cooler if I add another one of those.

Exactly I think it works great but is a easy temp solution before I put a fridge in the garage.

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Update:

wow it's cold.. like freezing cold here in Orlando, temps have crashed and so has the LBK but a blanket and a better location have it at a stable 68... looks like the foaming bubbles have slowed down, I decided against racking it and just going to leave in for another 2 weeks before bottling - might take a FG reading in another week though to see about where I'm at. Not really sure what my FG is going to be but looking forward to it.

The cold weather that's jumped up has certainly affected all my bottles, probably going to push them out to a 5 week sit time.

Wish the Seasonal Pilsner would get here, I could just leave the LBK in the garage, wait, it's going to be in the 80's the rest of the week. We have the strangest weather I swear.

If anyone even cares unrelated to the Gila Monster, I bottle up the Proud Papa, enlisting the help of my son on bottle duty:

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Made it much easier.


Trub on the bottom, gross

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Upgraded the cooler to a Igloo 150qt, no shit if I seal up the spigot hole I could fit like 5-6 LBKS in there. With spigots I can fit 3 LBKS and some bottles. Mainly this is going to be for bottle conditioning, I might buy a second one for LBKS for the summer months.

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Time to bottle this batch up. After 3 weeks I knew it was done fermenting but still did a 2 day F.G. reading to make sure after 2 days cold crashing.

My final gravity ended up being 1.021 and if you remember I started with a O.G. of 1.075

This recipe for Gila Monster claims a 9.1% ABV however what whatever reason I have ended up with a solid 7.1%

Having gone over it several times, I'm still unsure where I lost the 2% but I'm ok with that.

I have decided to chuck the slimline and stick with either a bottling bucket or if it's available a LBK with the new spigot for bottling from now on.

Set everything up

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Clean everything

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....Have a home brew (And finish that sleeve of girl scout cookies)

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Setup a mini auto syphon and racked the LBK into the bottling bucket after some intense cleaning, seems I rolled the dice on determining weither the bottling bucket spigot was open or closed and proceeded to dump in the sanitized water which immediately went straight out onto the floor and went everywhere. DOH!

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no bubbles or air, so far so good

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easy breezy, capped everything up and am now sticking away into the bottle closet for 7-8 months. See ya on the first pour page!

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