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August 27, 2007

new gear in markham

when we setup our brewing operations at my place in markham, most of the equipment came from my apartment-bound biergotter bretheren, mostly DrJay. when a new job brought him down to philly he left most of it here since they were still in an apartment. when they bought a house earlier this year, i knew jay would be setting up the first US biergotter contingent. that means it's time to build some new gear!

the first order of business was a new chiller. we'd been unhappy with the old 25' chiller for doing 10gal batches, so were already interested in going up to 50'.

next up, we needed to replace jay's cooler tun. i caught a sale at walmart and grabbed a pair of 48qt coolers. picked up the copper for the manifolds and got everything cut to size the other night, so the only thing left to do was cut the slots in it.

there's me with my sweet tee from homebrewtees.com. chris (oxmasterscream on beer advocate) is a fellow homebrewer and puts these together on the side. check them out!

you can see a little better in this photo, but i was trying to move the stupid pipe bender. sure, these things are great for making sure you don't kink the soft copper when you're bending it, but goddamn are they a pain in the ass. put even a slight bend and they start binding up and barely move. after the first two bends we gave up, then spent the next 20min trying to pull the damn thing off. more time was spent trying to remove it than bending the whole coil (which went flawlessly around a corny). more trouble than they're worth.

here i was showing eric how to use the dremel to cut slots in our copper manifold for the coolers. not much to see really.

now we have eric working on the manifold in the background, and jan working on a beverage. can't quite remember what it was at this point.

eric hard at work.

i managed to get a metal sliver, but it was easily removed.

the first two bends on the new 50' chiller.

another shot, also showing the associated hose, two coolers and the second manifold.

the chiller, nearly done. i attached a few pieces of twine to temporarily hold things together and later switched to some copper wire.

eric posing with the new hardware. check out my next entry for some shots of the completed chiller in action.

another shot of the coolers + manifold.

progress on the manifold.

one half done, onto the other.

had some tasty oskar blues gordon and were just about to open a heavyweight lunacy. both were quite tasty.

jan took over and finished the second half of the manifold.

on to dinner and some sampling. tasty steak sandwiches (with cheese and carmelized onions), salad, deviled eggs, and fresh tomatoes from our garden. i'm pretty sure we were drinking the weihenstephan 1809 berliner weiss.

jan had recently returned from a trip to belgium and brought back a ton of excellent beer. here i was opening the first of three bottles from girardin, their 1882 faro. later we also had the 1882 gueuze white label (filtered) and the 1882 kriek. after that we moved on to a bottle of bar harbor cadillac mtn stout. great stuff!

a successful day working on some equipment, great dinner, and some excellent beers. does it get any better?

Posted by grub at August 27, 2007 12:24 PM

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