Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Greens and Machines -- Top 10 Projects of 2014

As 2014 comes to a close, we'd like to take this time to look back on some of the great projects and activities we managed to do this year. We'd like to thank all of our followers for sticking with us and hope you continue to follow along with all of our homebrewing, scrap welding, and other adventures.

Without any further delay, here are the selections for the Greens and Machines Top 10 list of 2014!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Foundry: New Oil Burner

My old burner was a tangled mess of pipe fittings and badly fitting machined parts.  The excess complication led to unreliability, for example, the oil inlet was held on with a 3/8" non pipe thread which meant it did not seal and was suspect to coming undone.  Also the airtightedness was maintained by a rubber washer secured by that same 3/8" thread.  The tightness of the 3/8"-1/4" pipe bushing (golden part in below diagram) at any moment could compromise both the air and oil pressure allowing leaking and also cause the whole oil input pipe to rotate loosely being annoying.  Clearly this design was an absolute disaster, good thing the burner got lost/ stolen/ borrowed.
old oil burner design
10 parts total
Having learned more about precision and gained confidence in my home welding abilities, I designed a new burner to be entirely machined and welded.  The whole process was planned out so there would only be two pieces to this burner.  The main piece (the black one) is composed of 3 separate pieces of metal, but after being welded together, it counts as one.

new oil burner design, all welded and machined
2 parts total

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Don't Get Cut - Use an Acorn Nut (Fender Repair 3)

My home made bicycle fenders have been holding up pretty well for the last two years warranting only minor repairs.  There was one major flaw in the design that I was aware of from the start, yet never did anything about it until now.  The metal struts holding the end of the front fender to the fork have threaded ends that protrude outwards from either side of the fender.  This proved to be a danger since they are in the perfect location to accidentally cut my legs while dismounting or walking along side the bike which happened at least 3 times.
exposed sharp threaded fender mounts
The solution, which I admit should've been done much earlier, was to switch out the regular nuts with acorn nuts.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

1 Gallon Brown Ale Bottling Day

Bottles of beer on the wall
Horray Beer!
Last night was time to bottle my 1 gallon of brown ale. 4 days after I brewed it, the beer had already reached a final gravity of 1.010, giving it 4.46% ABV.

I threw in half an ounce of cane sugar to prime it, hoping that it won't create any bottle bombs. From my first tastes, I can already tell that this will be a malt monster. There is hardly any hop taste at all, which is what I wanted.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

1 Gallon Brown Ale -- Brew Day

My beverage supply was running low, so I decided it was time to try making beer with my new setup. As before with the Pumpkin Cider, I wrote my recipe to make only 1 gallon worth of beer. For me to do 5 gallons worth of beer, I would have to do an extract brew. With my 12 qt kettle, I could fit my leftover bag inside the pot to use the brew in a bag method (BIAB) and go all grain.
Brown Ale grains
Grains for great beer
I chose to go with a brown ale because there are not a lot of different specialty grains needed to make it taste good. Also the majority of the flavor will come from the grains, not the hops, allowing me to save time there. (I really enjoy good brown ales, too)