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Old 01-29-2013, 03:23 PM   #21
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Thanks Woodland Brew. Dang, you've got a lot of interesting data and research to back you up. Pretty awesome and i bet my husband would have to change his boxers if he read all that. He is into science, math...pretty much a geek in general. ;-)
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:37 PM   #22
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For sure!! DIY projects are the best!!! Make a stir plate ... makes you feel like a like a professor.
use a liquid yeast if you can. No more kits. Find a recipe with extracts first. Then move to all grain!! ( so much more liberating ) if you need to use a worth chiller or ice bath to get your worth to pitching temp do it. Wait till its the said temp so your not wasting. Patience is everything. happy brewing! !

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Old 01-29-2013, 04:42 PM   #23
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When you wrap foil around a light bulb, you aren't leaving anywhere near enough airspace between the bulb and the foil, not to mention the foil reflecting back much of the radiant energy.. The heat builds up quickly and causes the kinds of problems you experienced. There's plenty of airspace inside the paint can. I've had no issues with mine. When needed, it warms the chamber 0.5*C and then turns off.

You have watch out when using a small heater connected to a dual controller. Many (probably most sold now) heaters don't come on automatically when you plug them in (or when the controller powers their plug). You also have to push a power button each time to activate it. We have two such heaters at home. They simply will not work in this sort of application. It does look like the "MyHeat" heater may be one of the few that has an "old fashioned" power switch and would work.

MsJones - tell your husband that he needs to DIY a stirplate while he's doing all these fun science projects. My wife thinks that my stir plate is the neatest thing I've built so far.
That's what I assumed was the difference between the paint can and the tin foil. I just didn't want to deal with any risk once i realized just how much heat a light bulb can put out.

The little heater that I linked has a manual on/off switch so it indeed will fire up when the temp controller gives it power. I liked having the safety of the auto-shutoff if it got too hot as well. It also has a fan built in that will help move the air around when it kicks on. I've been using it for over a year now without any issues.

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Old 01-29-2013, 07:00 PM   #24
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Tripplehazard, he has made his own carboy wand and considered making a wort chiller. One time he went as one of the Blues Brothers for Halloween and he built a suitcase that played blues music. I will tell him about the stir plate. And yes, we wanted to brew the highest quality beer we could from the start--no extracts for us. Not to say that they are bad, but we new AG would be better and wanted to learn the hard way first. We'll see how these first couple batches come out, got an ESB in the secondary and this porter in the primary. By the way, I read up on WLP005 and I am no longer worried about the fermentation. This is what I read from the website:

This is normal behavior for the British yeast. You don't see that much activity because it doesn't rise to the top at all. It ferments from the bottom, unusual for ale yeast but becoming more common as many UK ale brewers have switched to conical fermentors. You should still be getting good CO2 generation, however, and that should be strong. Sometimes people rack off after a day or so, which in the case of this yeast, it would leave it all behind. It's best to leave it and not rack the beer until approximately 24 hours post terminal gravity, at the earliest. If you didn't rack, it would be very unusual for fermentation to not be complete with 70 F constant temp and good aeration.

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Old 01-30-2013, 04:27 PM   #25
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Don't mess with swirling it,it's fermenting just fine as it is. The fast bubbling will slow down or stop when initial fermentation is over. It'll then slowly,uneventfully creep down to FG. Then another 3-7 days to clean up & settle out clear or slightly misty.
+1 Leave those poor little yeasties alone to finish their work.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:52 PM   #26
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Will do, friend. After reading a BUNCH on here, I am going to leave this bad boy in the primary for at least a couple weeks. Then we are going to rack it to a secondary with some sanitized cocoa nibs. At bottling we may or may not add some raspberry flavor.

Also, the hubs made a paint can heater...thanks so much for the suggestion Big Floyd and Zeek. It has been keeping the temp at a steady 67 degrees even with the cold weather!

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