I recently had a really bad stuck mash on a pumpkin beer, 10 pounds of pumpkin meat jammed up my MLT something fierce. I came upon the issue of the hose between the false bottom and outlet collapsing due to the heat, weight of grain, and the vacuum induced by the hose end being below the surface level of the wort.
My MLT has had the same piece of 3/8″ vinyl hose since I build it in circa 2006. Using stainless compression fittings I ran a short length of copper tube beween the false bottom and outlet. Keeping the compression fittings finger-tight lets me remove the false bottom for cleaning.
Confession: I’ve been using a Behmor 1600 for the past year in favor of my bread machine roaster. The primary reason was that my heat gun caught on fire, but I also wanted a drum roaster that was quiet and would let me see the beans.
So I’ve been using it for a year and have been keeping the interior walls clean like the instructions say to do. However in the past month my roasts have been taking a long time, 10oz of beans pushing even the boundaries of the 1# setting. Flipping through the manual alerted to cleaning the inside of the machine as well, and I found the cause of my problems.
I cleaned out the dust & lint with my vacuum’s angled attachment and roast times went back to normal. My best guess is that because it was not able to draw enough air to keep the electronics cool so the roaster lessened its heat output as to not cook itself to death.
A word of advice though, after you get the side panel off plug the roaster back in before vacuuming it out in order to ground it and to dissipate any static electricity buildup. Otherwise you may fry the circuit board as vacuums generate a lot of static. Just be careful about poking your fingers in there!
A few weeks ago I made a 2.5 gallon batch of Gnome’s ginger beer. I first dissolved 2 pounds of sugar in a quart of water, added 2oz of extract, and then brought it up to 130F. Then I dumped the mix into a keg and added the remaining 2 gallons of water. I carbed it fizzier than normal, 15psi.
The resulting soda is pretty good but not as good as ginger beer sodas I’ve had before such as Sprecher’s. It has a nice ginger zip but there’s not much depth to the flavor other than sweetness. Also the soda has the same murkiness as the original mix in the bag, each glass looks like tan dishwater.
I just built this heatstick which uses a thinned-out J.B. Weld to seal the space around the element connections. 1 teaspoon of acetone per both tubes of epoxy worked well to make it pourable, although if I did it again I might up it to 1.5t to make the pouring go a bit faster. An item for consideration though is that the acetone seems to increase the cure time. I had my stick drying upright for about 15 hours when I picked it up to check out the curing process.
The epoxy was down at the bottom as expected and did not appear to be liquid so I assumed it was solid enough to dry placed on its side. Well it really wasn’t, and it flowed a bit down the side of the tube. This wasn’t a big deal because the wire connections and sides of the element still have a thick coating but if I do this again I will definitely wait a full two days before moving it around.
Before I sealed up the rest of the stick I took it for a test run and it worked as expected. I plan to use it to fix low mash temperatures, and if it’s strong enough to do step mashes. It’s only a 1500W element so that may be a tough challenge for it.
USPlastics, in addition to having jars that are good for storing bulk grain, also have jars that are handy for storing your “rotation” of bulk pipe tobacco. I had been using some mismatched glass jars but wanted something that would stack more easily and wouldn’t break if (when) I dropped them on the floor. For long-term aging I’d go with the tried-and-true Mason jar but for holding an everyday smoker these work fine.
I tried two sizes and styles, a clear polystyrene jar and a translucent polypropelene style.
The jar on the left is item 70214, the clear polystyrene (lid). It’s 24oz and easily holds 2oz of ribbon-cut. On the right is the polypropelene style, item 66717 (lid) . It’s 16oz and is a perfect size for 2oz of ribbon-cut. Both lids that I selected stack nicely as you can see above. The 16oz jar is wide enough to catch any droppings while loading your bowl but as you can see the clear one is even wider.
These things are super cheap, the lids are $0.30 range while the jars are a little over a buck apiece.
This might feel like a bit of a schill for USPlastics, but I simply appreciate their wide selection, cheap prices, and very reasonable shipping rates, and wanted to point them out to other hobbyists.
Inspired by the Stout episode of Brewing TV, I’ve taken my kegerator to the next level by getting a stout faucet and nitro keg.
It’s pretty great but did require some minor reconfiguration of my kegerator. Previously I had a single gas line coming into the fridge with it being split inside to the kegs. Because I now need to switch a gas disconnect between two gas tanks I drilled a second 1/2″ hole in the back of the fridge and ran both disconnect lines out through there. Then I moved the gas splitter outside the fridge so that with two CO2 kegs I’ll simply split the CO2 through there. When I have a stout on tap I’ll simply move that disconnect off of the CO2 splitter over to the Nitrogen keg. I used extra-long lengths of gas hose with swivel flare fittings to make moving them around easy.
I got the tank, faucet, and spare parts from Keg Connection and I got it filled at Weld Specialty’s Milwaukee location. Using Northern Brewer’s Nitro Keg Guide I set the N2 regulator to 25 psi and got a nice pour on the first attempt.
In my 2010 Toyota Tacoma’s (two door, regular cab) there isn’t much storage space. There is a narrow space behind the seat so I build some containers to be able to store stuff that wouldn’t fit in the glove box.
I made two caddies, one to go to the right of the seat belt and one to go where the jack handle straps down.
I used some cheap 1/4″ OSB because that’s what scrap wood I had on hand but I wouldn’t make them out anything much thicker because it’s overkill and it would eat into your storage space. Nicely enough Toyota welded some nuts behind the horizontal tube so I was able to securely fasten the caddies to the back wall. The nuts are M6 with a 1.00 thread pitch, and I used 20mm machine bolts.
- The caddies can only be about 5″ deep or else the seat will hit them when adjusted all the way back.
- Don’t make them too wide or else they will interfere with the seat tilt lever
- I didn’t bother to make bottoms as the things I’m storing are large and won’t slip though. However I did wind up having to put some smaller bungees into a small box. If I eventually need bottoms I’ll staple on some webbing or fabric.
- Both sides have an “ear” that sticks out to the threaded nut; this was because I was unable to go any farther to the left with the caddy.