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About rdavidw

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  • Birthday 09/27/1968

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    Urbana, MD

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  1. The only thing that was off topic was talking about the reef tank. I am not part of a local club. I may join this Frederick MD based club at some point: Frederick's Original Ale Makers That may be a bit of a drive for you. Check out: Freestate Homebrew Club Guild I make 12 gallon batches of wine about four times a year. I have been using Eclipse Kits but am looking into a group share on a bladder press. I used to work at a winery about 30 years ago. The nice thing about the kits is the pH is spot on, which can be tricky going straight from grapes. It's also hard to get just the right amount of bees and flies caught in the press. Cheers!
  2. Chuck, the frags I got look amazing! Could you help me out with what is this: It's beautiful. Right now I have the frag set in between some rocks near the bottom of my tank to keep it out of the strong current. Should I move it up to get more light and what is the best way to secure it in my tank? Do you recommend some JB Water Weld or super glue? Thanks again and beautiful tank.
  3. Here is more of my setup on Home Brew Talk: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/new-home-basement-bar.663517/#post-8573529 I have a pair of these 1/2 hp chillers: https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-1-2-HP-CHILLER-AQUARIUM-WATER-SALT-WATER-CORAL-REEF-HYDROPONICS/153194537913?hash=item23ab1b23b9:m:mD_fBU7eO2r-i9yvPBYThqA One is on my reef tank and the other is on my brewing fermenter setup. It hard to see in the photo but the chiller is on the lower shelf. There are three pumps in a glycol bath in a cooler behind the fermenters. Each pump is on a separate controller. One is set to 28F and powers on the chiller and the chiller pump. The other two each maintain a fermenter with a stainless coil in each. They are two stage controllers with heating pads under them. Works great. I can cold crash both of them down to 37F easily. I also use it for my yeast starters. The thing on the left in the photo is a stainless pot with a stir plate mounted under it and a cooper coil in it. I put the 2L starter in it and set the temp and that is it. Goes from a boil to pitch temp in about 12 min and then holds that temp. My lager beers are always the first ones to kick when entertaining but I still make lots of ales. The lagers take longer to make and its kind of a hassle to manually do the dozen or so temp step ups and downs. Surprisingly, it's been a game changer for my non-lager high gravity beers. I pitch at the cold range of the yeast to slow it down and keep the yeast from getting too sloppy and slowly ramp up the temp until the style yeast has gone as far as it can. I then pitch and re-pitch a champagne yeast. I have gotten some 12% barley wines to come out very crisp and clean with this glycol setup. I don't use stainless fermenters. Just cheap and easy Speidel 30L. I have four, two on the glycol and two off. Stainless is a little easier to clean but harder to insulate. I have five 6 gallon Better Bottles and a glass carboy I use to filter with a vacuum sealer. This is my HERMS set up: The fourth kettle on the right is a steamer for crabs and lobster bakes. Not part of the brew setup but just as important. My only burner is a single 3500 Watt induction burner. I pump my sparge water from the BK with a stainless coil in it to my HLT with no coil. I'm sure that sentence will make complete sense to everyone here on WAMAS. Cheers to thriving yeast in your fermenters and thriving bacteria in your reef tank.
  4. I was able to edit the original post and re-upload the photos. Don't know why they were down.
  5. Sounds like fun! Will also trade beer for cheap frags.
  6. Nice setup YHSublime! Man, I got a soft spot in my hart (and probably my liver) for mead. Just opened a 2009 bottle. I know I guy who uses his skimmate as a fertilizer to grow weed and swears it somehow makes it magical. Weed is not my thing and I don"t think skimmate would work well for brewing. We have all seen some beautiful thriving reef tanks run on some very modest equipment, and, more often the inverse. I find homebrewing is the same way. Can't buy experience and a solid process but well designed quality equipment sure helps. I have heard good things about the Grainfather. Did you get the expanded grain bin that can do a almost 20lb grain bill? I am still doing 5 gallon beer batches and brew two or three times a month. I do 12 gallon wine batches. We entertain quite a bit. I keep 12 five gallon kegs full - six on tap (two taps are nitro), two in cold storage and four at room temp. So nice to run into another reefer here on the home brew talk site. Cheers!
  7. Don't want to get too far off topic, but the beer and the urinal do complement the tank well. I make 5 gallon batches at a time, from water grain and hops. I also make wine. On the six taps, I typically keep a mead, an apple wine, two dark beers, a lager and a big IPA. https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/new-home-basement-bar.663517/ The two hobbies play well together. Both are part art and part science and you can get great results using mostly one or the other. I started with a salt tank back around 1990 and started making beer and wine a few years after that. I had a part time job just out of collage working in a winery.
  8. Sorry if off topic - replying to the basement in general comment. Not too much to look at in the tank yet but looking forward to changing that. What little I do have seems to be doing well so far. My old tank was very overgrown so this is a nice change. Thanks!
  9. Thanks A-a-ron. Here are some more photos:
  10. I would rather not say who the mover was; don't want to give them a bad review. They sent 3 guys and I worked on it all day as well. One of the guys had to leave mid-day. The guys were knowledgeable and hard working for the most part. I don't totally blame them for the loss. The old set up was packed in under the tank and also had some equipment in the basement under it. I did tell them I was concerned about the decrease in bacteria on the temp setup. They dumped the gravel floor and stored the deep sand bed in five gallon buckets, not on the temp set up. I was also concerned about lighting, only the stuff on the top of the plastic container was getting light. It was running ok for a few days and I would check on it regularly. When the pump died it was only down for a max of 8 hours. Ran to Home Depot and got a pond pump. When it was back up the skimmer was going nuts and it smelled like death. I removed all of the dead fish and inverts. Did a 50% water change but the skimmer keep going crazy and still smelled bad. All of the coral was slimy and very sad. I sent some photos the the moving company and asked if they could come sooner to set up the tank. They said it looked like it would be ok and could get there in a few days. When they got there a few days later they drilled the tank for the new overflow and put in the new gravel in. After they put in some base rock pieces in they said they were done. I asked about moving in the coral into the main tank, it looked pretty beat up but I was hoping some of it would recover. They said that I should just throw all of it out. After they left I picked through it and moved some of the better looking pieces into the main tank. There was nothing else living in the main tank so I didn't have anything to loose. None of it ever recovered. When the guy came back a week later to pick up his final check he gave me five or six fags to help get me started. Here is the tank prior to the move: Again, I don't want to blame the loss on just the moving company. They have gotten nothing but good reviews here on WAMAS and my tank was difficult. Any recommendations on restocking? I like Steve's Tropical Lagoon in Silver Spring. I have been going there since around 1985 or so.
  11. Just moved. My 150 tank started as saltwater fish only in 1992. Moved it in 2001 and made it a reef tank. The recent move to the new house was difficult. The first company I hired to move it walked away when they got there. I found another company and was up-front with how established the tank was and sent them lots of photos. They said no problem and could do it two days before my old house closing. They showed up and the guys called their boss and they got in their cars and drove off. I negotiated to pay more to get them to stay and they said they would not set the tank up at the new place. I was out of time and had no other options. We tried to keep all of the coral alive in plastic bins till they could come back two weeks later. The temp pump we were using died. I the pump replaced the same day but nothing survived. I have been slowly adding some corals but it will take some time to fill in.
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