Most useful/annoying - The brewing process

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Donske

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Everything about my brew day is pretty streamlined, not stressful at all.

I am starting to get the shits with the packaging side of brewing though, even with kegs I'm finding a lot of the time I'm putting off packaging longer than I need to.
 

S.E

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Most useful for me is using hot caustic and sodium percarbonate for cleaning. My old process was to fill fermenters, casks bottles etc to the brim with cold water and nappy san then leave them at least overnight to soak.

Now I do nearly all my cleaning on brew day. I add a little caustic to about 4 or 5 litres of cold water in a stock pot bring it to the boil while I’m waiting for my mash liquor to reach temperature.

I don’t use kegs (or bottles very often) but I use cubes as real ale casks so after I have mashed in I pour the hot caustic in to 2 or 3 cubes and give them a shake while exercising extreme caution because hot caustic is nasty stuff. I usually pull the taps apart bung the tap hole and pop the taps inside the cubes along with the sealing ring from the cap.

If I had remembered to rinse out the cubes after last use and the caustic solution is still clean I return it to the stock pot and re heat it to clean the fermenter if not make up 2 or 3 litres of clean solution.

Rinse out the cubes with cold water then pour in a little phosphoric sanitiser, give them a shake and drain them.
By this time it’s about time to start the fly sparge. During the sparge I transfer the last brew from my fermenter in to the cubes. I collect a jar of yeast from the bottom of the fermenter with a jar and desert spoon that I had put in the stock pot while the caustic was heating up then rinsed and sanitised them.

Hose out the fermenter, pour in the caustic replace the lid and roll it about for a minute or so till the dried yeast and crud ring around the top has disappeared then rinse, sanitise and leave it upside down with the lid on to drain till needed.

Near the end of the boil I connect the pump and counter flow chiller and re circulate boiling wort through it to clean and sanitise it. (Hose cold water through the chiller first in case something has crawled in since last use). After whirlpool I pump through the chiller straight in to my 60L fermenter. I sometimes run off a no chill cube of wort first to use with a fresh packet of dried yeast or smack pack.

I then aerate the wort with my new aeration kit and add the yeast I had collected. Until recently I chilled into a 25L cube before shaking it and tipping into the fermenter.

Then it time to recirculate a few litres of warm sodium percarbonate through the copper chiller back to the kettle and finally in to the mash tun to clean them.

So there you have it the most useful thing for me is cleaning with hot caustic.

The most annoying thing used to be the time it took to soak and clean everything with cold water and nappy san and the amount of water it wasted but I’m happy with my whole brewing process now. :)

Cheers Sean
 

Tahoose

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Hmm caustic might be the go for me then, what ratio are we talking? 2 teaspoons to 5 litres? Caustic can be bought at bunnings?

I don't find kegging stressful at all, it requires little movement for me as I cold condition my beers in the keezer anyway. So once the keg blows I just rinse, sanitise, lift the fermenter out of the keezer, return the keg to its spot and gravity feed.
 

S.E

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Tahoose said:
Hmm caustic might be the go for me then, what ratio are we talking? 2 teaspoons to 5 litres? Caustic can be bought at bunnings?

I don't find kegging stressful at all, it requires little movement for me as I cold condition my beers in the keezer anyway. So once the keg blows I just rinse, sanitise, lift the fermenter out of the keezer, return the keg to its spot and gravity feed.
Caustic is a great cleaner on stainless so good for kegs also.

I use about a desert spoon per litre. You can get Diggers caustic soda from IGA, I think its Mechanix caustic sold in BI-LO. You will find it near the drano as it’s used for unblocking drains as well as a heavy duty cleaner. Keg king sell it by the kilo.

Take heed of the warning on the container if you do use it and never add caustic to hot water or it can erupt in a boiling volcano. Only add it to cold water then heat it up. If cleaning sealed containers kegs cubes etc make sure they haven’t built up pressure that can blow caustic at you when you open them.

I also wear rubber gloves and avert my eyes when shaking cubes. Protective eyewear is probably a better idea. It burns the skin when I have managed to splash it on my arms and legs, you really don’t want to get it in your eyes. It’s quite hazardous stuff so treat it with respect.

Cheers Sean
 

MarkBastard

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Most useful is the silicone tube to john guest adapter that allows me to tranfer from fermenter to keg using the keg dip tube.

Most annoying is cleaning kegs and fermenters
 

SmallFry

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Mark^Bastard said:
Most useful is the silicone tube to john guest adapter that allows me to tranfer from fermenter to keg using the keg dip tube.
Pics?

Seriously, I'm intrigued, and would love to see one of these, as I would like to keg this way, too.
 

DU99

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Most useful for me is the grain mill with a drill,saves time.most annoying "weighing" hops and grains
 

Truman42

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Mark^Bastard said:
Most useful is the silicone tube to john guest adapter that allows me to tranfer from fermenter to keg using the keg dip tube.

Most annoying is cleaning kegs and fermenters
I have this here which I brought from Keg King. I use it to flush PBW through my dip tubes and never thought to use it for fermenter to keg transfer. Will give that a crack next time. Cheers

IMG_1695.JPG
 

GuyQLD

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Most annoying is fermenting, love everything hot side and everything cold side (drinking the damned thing) but that two weeks in the middle is just too damned long!
 

Harry Volting

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Most Useful...
$22 'Gasmate' wireless remote digital BBQ thermometer with timer and LED torch from Bunnings.
No more waiting around to reach mash in/decoction/mash out/chill/pitch temps and no more boil overs while my back is turned!
Priceless.
Not bad for the BBQ either.
That and the 30 Amp Shenzhen Meihang Electronics Co. STC1000's.

Most Annoying...
$22 'Gasmate' wireless remote digital BBQ thermometer with timer and LED torch from Bunnings when the batteries went flat when ramping up to a full vessel boil.
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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Hate bottling.

Even more so since I went back to bottling after kegging (when I moved to Tassie).

Another thing I have found irritating currently is that since I am 'milling' (read: pulversing) my grain, I have a problem with stuck sparges. If I use a BIAB bag in the lauter tun it's fine, but the idea of using BIAB bags in a lauter tun is counter-intuitive, so I often forget.
 

dago001

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S.E said:
Caustic is a great cleaner on stainless so good for kegs also.

I use about a desert spoon per litre. You can get Diggers caustic soda from IGA, I think its Mechanix caustic sold in BI-LO. You will find it near the drano as it’s used for unblocking drains as well as a heavy duty cleaner. Keg king sell it by the kilo.

Take heed of the warning on the container if you do use it and never add caustic to hot water or it can erupt in a boiling volcano. Only add it to cold water then heat it up. If cleaning sealed containers kegs cubes etc make sure they haven’t built up pressure that can blow caustic at you when you open them.

I also wear rubber gloves and avert my eyes when shaking cubes. Protective eyewear is probably a better idea. It burns the skin when I have managed to splash it on my arms and legs, you really don’t want to get it in your eyes. It’s quite hazardous stuff so treat it with respect.

Cheers Sean
Speaking as a person who has had caustic soda in their eyes, I can not stress enough about protective eyewear. Safety glasses are not enough when dealing with this stuff. Goggles or a full face shield only. Luckily I still have my eyesight. Oh and it hurt like all fark.
Cheers
LB
 

storeboughtcheeseburgers

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Harry Volting said:
Most Useful...
$22 'Gasmate' wireless remote digital BBQ thermometer with timer and LED torch from Bunnings.
No more waiting around to reach mash in/decoction/mash out/chill/pitch temps and no more boil overs while my back is turned!
Priceless.
Not bad for the BBQ either.
That and the 30 Amp Shenzhen Meihang Electronics Co. STC1000's.

Most Annoying...
$22 'Gasmate' wireless remote digital BBQ thermometer with timer and LED torch from Bunnings when the batteries went flat when ramping up to a full vessel boil.
I would not trust those things as far as I could throw them. A mate of mine has been back to Bunnings 5 times and they just keep replacing them. If its not the batteries, its the measurements not being accurate or the machine just conking out. I have had many a fun summer day swearing at that piece of equipment when cooking on the Weber.

I just use mercury thermometers from wiltronics - stuff the batteries and all that - Digital scales and 'weighing hops' is another royal pain. I try and steer away from digital anything when it comes to brewing. I have heard, however that these are very good - but for that price, I'll stick to the mercury.
 

Tahoose

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For something like that thermo pen from Aldi for $10 works a treat.. I even bought a spare.
 

Tahoose

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Nah it was a special from about oct-nov last year.. They'll come around again I'm sure.
 

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