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  1. DonPolo

    Flat Beer

    Yes I see now. Interesting engineering solutions. It appears that the tops without the seal also have a different configuration to fit into the thread of the bottles. Still I'm inclined to think that the tops with seals would be better.
  2. DonPolo

    Flat Beer

    Here's a conundrum that may shed some light on some of the flat beer issues (or not). I opened a bottle of a brew that had been in the bottle for a few months. It had been in the fridge for around three days. I thought it was a bit squishy as I took it out of the fridge. It is not uncommon for bottles to get less hard once they are refrigerated for some reason. In the event, the beer didn't have much head but it was still showing some bubbles in the beer. Then I noticed a difference in the screw top on this bottle compared to one I had rinsed the day before and was drying on the bench. The top on the bench had a blue seal in it whereas the bottle I just opened had none (see dish photo). At first I thought that the seal may have gone missing during the washing process although I could not remember seeing any spare seals. I then checked on a few other bottles and all of them had no seals either. I checked the bag of Cooper's screw tops I had bought from Big W and they all had the blue seal. I bought the tops because a friend had given me some bottles that came with his original kit that he didn't use. None of them had tops. It appears that the bottles that came with the Craft Brew Kit that I have all do not have seals. Whether this was an oversight with this individual kit or whether that's the way they come I don't know. If the seals are important, then it could explain why the first brew done with the Mr Beer tin that came with the Craft Brew Kit was so disappointing as were random other brews. I assume the seals are there for good reason. Without the seals, the only thing keeping the air out (or CO2 in) is black plastic on PET bottle neck. And by the way, I make SURE that every top is very securely screwed on, checking up to three times and using a tea towel to grip the tops. The other thing I noticed is that the new tops (with or without seals) all have a ring that snaps off when you screw the top on for the first time. It stays there after you take the top off and removing it (if you want to, I don't) takes a fair amount of pressure. I don't know what its actual function is. Does anyone know (see photo of bottle neck and round plastic ring on the dish photo). The last thing I noticed was that when I had rinsed out the bottle with the seal in the top, there was some water caught under the seal. That could pose a potential infection risk if not taken out and dried. I didn't notice any water under the seals of other bottles but I admit to not looking that hard before. Any views, information?
  3. DonPolo

    Woolies Clearance

    I certainly will!!! It might also be down to individual stores. Since I've been brewing the Canberra Centre Big W has never stocked any brewing stuff. On the other hand the one out near the airport usually has stock but often is missing supplies of hops in particular but sometimes yeast. Whereas the Gungahlin store is usually well stocked. Anyone in particular we should contact or just the store manager or someone else?
  4. DonPolo

    Tap Seal

    I agree. Look, this day and age, products you buy are supposed to work reasonably well and you shouldn't have to 'customise' parts just to get them to do what they are supposed to. When starting to bottle I get the part where you put the bottle wand in then I have to stop, sigh and then get on with the 'chore' of fitting the bottling wand.
  5. DonPolo

    Coopers Mexican Cerveza

    Exactly. I was just being sure of the recipe above because it didn't specify. I've done a double Cerveza before and it goes quite well!
  6. DonPolo

    Starsan viability.

    You're right about drop v rise in pH of course. I guess in my mind I was thinking about 'drop in effectiveness/acidity' v 'drop in pH'. It would be interesting to test/watch the change in pH over time. Anyone know where to get some 'cheap' test strips? Can't be assed using in liquid analysis. And to be honest mine is a ass-about, save some money logic; spend money on test strips to save a few cents storing the solutions rather than mixing up new batches. But it is also my inquisitive nature. I wouldn't do the testing if there was a reference which stated categorically that Star San mixed with tap water definitely degrades over time and a what rate.
  7. DonPolo

    Coopers Mexican Cerveza

    Do the BE3s only come in kilo boxes?
  8. DonPolo

    Starsan viability.

    This is a question that has been vexing me as well. I was trying to work out what would reduce the pH of the solution such that it would 'go off'. Contact with Oxygen? Dilution? I regularly sanitize my bottles by making up a solution in one bottle, then using a funnel pouring the solution into another bottle. A quick shake then I pour it into the next bottle and so on. I'm then left with a bottle of solution which I can then store. Looking on the internet I found the following specs sheet for Star San: https://www.fivestarchemicals.com/wp-content/uploads/StarSanTech-HB2.pdf In the spec sheet it says: "When solution begins to cloud, sweeten with Star San or Phosphoric Acid. Solution must remain at a pH at 3 or below to maintain proper sanitizing level." Admittedly this is in a section marked 'Part Soaking" whatever that means. Anyway, the references to the pH level above seem to be confirmed. The only question is what would reduce the pH? Otherwise if you are using it to rinse bottles, you could potentially keep using it for some time or it went cloudy?
  9. DonPolo

    Tap Seal

    Have just received the tap ta. Currently cleaning the FV. Will probably be able to return the original tomorrow. Thanks for the postage paid return envelope!
  10. DonPolo

    To sprinkle or stir, that is the question

    My experience is that once the yeast gets going, the amount of agitation caused by the yeast is truly amazing. They virtually stir it up themselves! Personally, I rehydrate my yeast so I just pour it in. You can stir if you like but I would give the spoon a good spray of starsan or the like first, just to be sure.
  11. DonPolo

    How long after bottling

    I think I saw a post from someone on here that said he tried a beer he'd done three years before and it was fine. I think it depends on what conditions you store them in. I imagine that if you could keep them around 18C they would last long than if you stored them at 30C. Also I suppose that after say 8 weeks you had space to store them in a fridge they could potentially last much longer. Mine usually don't last that long because they are generally drunk after not too long a wait. However, I've had beers that I bottle last February that were still going fine in September. They were stored in the laundry which averages around 18-20C.
  12. DonPolo

    I walked into a bottleshop...

    I did get a bit of 'sticker shock' when I shouted a mate and me to a couple of beers at Bentspoke a couple of years ago. "That'll be $23", said the barmaid. Can only guess what they'd be worth now. I hope they were pints - can't remember.
  13. DonPolo

    I walked into a bottleshop...

    I also was pleasantly surprised. So far I haven't had a Gage Roads beer that I didn't like. I say like because they aren't spectacular but they ARE a safe bet in my opinion.
  14. Watching the Coopers video on how to make beer, it says to half fill the sample tube with brew then discard this sample. After than you fill sample tube again with enough brew to float the hydrometer. What is the purpose of discarding the first sample? Interestingly, later on in the video it suggests testing the SG to test whether fermentation has ceased but it doesn't repeat the discard procedure.