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Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

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  1. sideshow_ben

    Would anyone buy the Robobrew over the Brewer's Edge Mash & Boil?

    I've seen a lot of talk about these two systems, and read some really excellent reviews (like Brad at, here and here). For the time being, let's ignore that the Robobrew comes with an immersion chiller and has an option for a pump*. In terms of the basic functionality, my readings...
  2. sideshow_ben

    Correct diameter tube/shank for beer gas

    Hi all, I'm adding a stout faucet to my kegerator, and was curious if it is better to use 1/4" or 3/8" ID tubing to connect the keg to the shank/faucet. I have 5-foot lines running my current kegs to my taps, with the taps about 2.5 feet above the kegs.
  3. sideshow_ben

    New way to control Pellet Hop gunk!

    I'm curious if anyone can explain why they prefer the 6-8 inch diameter hop spider to the basket liner? I would think the big liner would give full contact of wort with hops and would make late additions work a lot better than a smaller spider.
  4. sideshow_ben

    Plate Chiller: do you let let trub settle first?

    I have used a plate chiller for the past two brews and it works fantastically, but I have a "fine-tuning" question. I ported a kettle with a 12-inch bazooka screen that is about 1-inch off the bottom. The last two times, I ran the wort through the chiller immediately after boiling. The 2nd...
  5. sideshow_ben

    Clarifying if pectic enzyme failed?

    LesterSC, There is no foul smell, but definite haze and a "milky" quality to the cider, in that it has tiny particulate matter that you can just barely detect on your tongue. I plan on reracking it again, and allowing it to age in my carboy for a few weeks in the kegerator. Thanks for the tips.
  6. sideshow_ben

    Clarifying if pectic enzyme failed?

    I tried something a little new in this year's cider and it was...a mistake. I decided to use a pack of Saison yeast that they gave away at the AHA meeting in Philly. I made a 1-quart starter the day before, while I let an appropriate dose of pectic enzyme do its dirty work. About a day...
  7. sideshow_ben

    Anyone using the stainless QDs from

    Just got this from the owner: "Hello Ben, They are 304 stainless steel fittings. No brass or chrome in them. Thanks, Wayne Bargain Fittings"
  8. sideshow_ben

    Anyone using the stainless QDs from

    Hi all. I want to add a bunch of Quick Disconnects to my system and found the stainless type usually used on air lines at These are being sold at half the price (or less) of competitors, which is a super bargain. I...
  9. sideshow_ben

    Kegs going stale pretty quickly

    Yooper, I think that the problem may very well be oxidization. I'm very careful about this throughout all my processes, but I realize that a few months ago I went to a new supplier for CO2 when I ran out. Maybe their gas was contaminated and I should get a new batch...
  10. sideshow_ben

    Kegs going stale pretty quickly

    When I purge, I put gas into the gas-in at about 10 psi, open the valve to release it, and repeat 2-3x. Then to force carb, I inject gas down the liquid line to come up from the bottom, swirling the keg to keep gas going into solution. I do not purge any air during or after this process. Still...
  11. sideshow_ben

    Kegs going stale pretty quickly

    I've been legging for a few years now, without losing any batches before unexpected them to be last their primes. But the last few months, I've been losing beers much more quickly. I'm not sure if it's a problem with my cleaning, system, or just the nature of the beers. An ESB went bad after 6...
  12. sideshow_ben

    Cheap -10F swamp cooler

    I tried making a fermentation cooler using the pot- n-pot terra cotta method but big box stores don't sell unglazed pots big enough for a carboy. However in the garden I stumbled on the EnduraCool towel ($14) which is a thin, synthetic towel that is extremely efficient at evaporating. It wraps...
  13. sideshow_ben

    Terracotta/Evaporation for cooling fermentation?

    I'm going to brew a Kolsch and my basement is in the low 70's. Rather than warm up by kegerator to the 60's for fermentation, I was thinking of building a terra cotta (or pot-in-pot) evaporative cooler. Basically I'm going to find an unglazed planter pot that holds my Better Bottle, stick the...
  14. sideshow_ben

    New Jersey One Ticket to NHC 2013!!

    I got a banquet ticket last night. Never mind.
  15. sideshow_ben

    New Jersey One Ticket to NHC 2013!!

    I will buy the banquet ticket from you, if you still have it?
  16. sideshow_ben

    AHA homebrewers conference philly 2013

    Do you still have the banquet ticket? I will buy that!