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Dazzling

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G'day all,

I'm just getting my first all grain set-up into final order but wanted to clear a number of things up before i attempted my first brew. I have been able to get a hell of a lot of questions answered from searching this forum but were unable to find answers to the below issues:

1. I have a counter flow wort chiller. What are people recommendations on cleaning/sanitising this? I have heard iodophur is the best bet?

2. Threads I have read suggest that using hop pellets with the counterflow chiller may cause clogs in the beer line(3/8" copper tubing). So what would people recommend are the best ways to avoid such a disaster? Will pellets in hop bags work or a dish scrubber on the boiler outlet pipe or perhaps a combination of these?

I look forward to feedback cos it means my first brew is closer, as big kev used to say...I'm excited

Cheerio :beer:
 

Doc

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Welcome Dazzling,

1. CFWC. Currently I'm using up my keg line cleaner then will be using Idophor also. I flush it out with hot water, then cold, then rotate it around to empty it. Then using a funnel drain in the cleaner/sterliser and leave overnight. Flush before using with hot then cold water. Then rotate it to empty all liquid.
When finished cooling flush with hot water then cold water, then rotate to empty the put the end caps on.

2. I've been using hop pellets a lot recently and haven't had a problem with them in the CFWC. I use koppafloc (kettle finings) and also whirlpool before cooling.

HTH,
Doc
 

pint of lager

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Welcome to the passion Dazzling.

1. After using the cfc, I flush immediately with water, fill with napisan, soak for 1/2 an hour, rinse and drain. Just prior to using, fill with idophor, leave 10 minutes, drain, then run the wort through. The first 200-400ml of wort gets discarded too.

2. Whole hops will clog my system big time as I use an easy hookah from the boiler to the CFC and there is no strainer to keep them out of the CFC line. I use pellets and have had no problems at all. Whole hops go into a hop bag. Before running through, I whirpool and leave for 10-20 minutes, most of the hop trub stays in the boiler, but any hop pellet sludge that ends up in the line easily drains and does not cause problems.

Have a browse through the gallery, others have different methods of keeping the whole hops out of the CFC line.
 

kungy

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pint of lager said:
Whole hops will clog my system big time as I use an easy hookah from the boiler to the CFC and there is no strainer to keep them out of the CFC line.
Is an easy hookah the same as a bazooka screen?

Will
 

RobW

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yep - Hooker actually
 

kungy

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pint of lager said:
Have a browse through the gallery, others have different methods of keeping the whole hops out of the CFC line.
Is it just me, or is the gallery etc down?

Will
 

normell

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kungy1 said:
pint of lager said:
Have a browse through the gallery, others have different methods of keeping the whole hops out of the CFC line.
Is it just me, or is the gallery etc down?

Will
[post="45620"][/post]​
Yeah down for me too
Normell
 

pint of lager

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Fiscus is still working hard on the site in the background and the gallery may very well be down.

Easy hookah is the flexible pipe used by plumbers to hook up to the toilet, or in gas lines.

It is braided ss outer with plastic inner.

To make a bazzoka screen, you remove the inner plastic, just leaving the outer ss braid to act as a filter.

The easy hookah in my system is not a bazooka, it is used as a flexible coupling between the boiler and CFC. This means, the boiler can be gently tipped while the cfc stays fixed and the last of the wort runs out of the hops sludge and break material into the cfc.
 

Dazzling

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BRILLIANT!!!!

:beerbang:


Dazzling
 

Backlane Brewery

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There are plenty of pics and tips to look at on the new links page until the gallery comes back online- try Brewiki in particular for pics of SS braid manifolds.
 

Backlane Brewery

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The classic newbie guy at work has a Coopers starter kit. Putting it together tomorrow, decides to ask now (Friday pm) for some hints.

This is what I gave him:

Sanitise EVERYTHING before you touch anything. Do extra spoons, jugs etc. Do NOT throw your sanitiser away until the brew is sealed/air locked.

Take the yeast sachet out of the kit & add the yeast to a litre of warm (18c- 22c) water with 300g ( or a couple of table spoons) or so of your brew sugar/enhancer. Stir well, cover, and leave for at least half an hour.

Take the label off the can and put the can in a sink of hot water. Keep the label somewhere- if it is a good brew you may want to make it again.

Remember when you open the can it will be hot- pick it up with a tea towel
Sanitize the top of the can & the can opener if you want.

Open the can and put it in the bucket first. Rinse the can out with warm water, and use a spoon to get it all out. Have a taste while you are at it. Mmm- good, and it's not even cooked yet.

You need to have about 5-10 litres of warm water in the bucket with the can mix before adding the sugars. Stir and stir and stir until everthing is mixed and dissolved.

Add water up to 22l, (because you will add the last litre with the rehydrated yeast) not too hot, not too cold- 18- 22c. Splash the water into the bucket- yeasties like a bit of oxygen.

Sanitize your hydrometer, and gently put it in the mix. Let it settle down then take a reading. Write it down, then remove the hydrometer.

Pitch the starter into the wort (=put your yeast & water into the mix). Stir gently if you want.

Seal, and add a filled airlock. NOW throw away your leftover sanitiser.

Leave it alone for 5 days. It will bubble. Do not stress if it does not bubble straight away, or does not bubble a Beatles tune for you. And do not open the fermenter for a peek. Trust your yeast.

After 5 days or so, remove airlock, and very gently- no splashing- move the part-fermented wort into a new fermenter, leaving behind as much dead yeast as possible in the original bucket. You will lose a litre or two of beer, but the beer that is left will be much much better & clearer.

Leave it alone for another 5 days after this racking to secondary, then bottle.
7g sugar/2 carb drops per longneck, 3.5g sugar/1 carb drop per stubby.

Check all your bottles by eye after washing, before sanitising. Dont forget to sanitise and rinse your caps. Bottle caps on hard, put them all somewhere quiet & dark for a few weeks. Then drink.


Did I leave anything out?
 

RobW

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Did I leave anything out?

Then do it all again next weekend!!! :super:
 

roach

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Good start for a FAQ Backlane and got pretty well covered.

Maybe mention the need to take another hydrometer reading before racking to secondary and again b4 bottling, checking against predicted gravity on the can( making allowances for any unfermentables).

Also maybe suggest to ensure the fermenter stays at a constant temp eg in the 18-20 range.
 

pint of lager

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Yep.

When you rehydrate, you are adding to plain water, not malt solution. This allows the dried cells to rehydrate without the added extra osmotic pressure of malt sugars (or any other sugars) in the water. It should be done for about 10-15 minutes, prior to pitching into your beer. For first time brewers, I think this is an extra step that could be left out. The aim of rehydrating is to give the yeast an easier start and to make sure the yeast is active. New brewers will have no idea if the yeast is active, and the extra step is just confusing and another chance at infections. Starters use malt solution, rehydrating uses plain water at 30 deg C.

The first brew should be as simple as possible, with no racking to secondary. Most of the kit and kilo brewers in my area leave their beer in primary for 10-14 days, then look towards bottling. Your no splashing method is not good, oxygen will get in. The only way to transfer a five day brew is to rack, and this is more chance for infection, especially for first time brewers.

You missed temperature control of fermenting beer.

The use of the word sugar. Experienced brewers know the word encompasses a whole range of sugars and refers to malt sugars. New brewers know sugar as the stuff you put into your coffee and tea and the use of the word sugar should be avoided unless for bottling.

You should never ever float the hydrometer in the beer, take a sample out of the tap in a test tube jar, do the reading (this could do with expanding too, remember how the hydrometer floats up?) and drink the contents or tip it out. The beer is safer for not having the lid opened, your dandruff falling in or the dog drinking it..

There should be a paragraph on whether the beer is working or not, one of the most common questions is: my airlock is not working. With a bit more probing, you find out there is a scum on the surface, and the brew is working. Newbies need to know that the brew is working, or, there is a problem and they need to pitch a fresh yeast.

The first brew should concentrate on sanitation and temperature control.

The first brew description is tricky, you want to encourage them to do the right thing, but not give out a manual that is 100 pages long and daunting. Also, you do want to foster things like racking, good ingredients, steeping specialty grains, mini mashing, bulk priming and such in the future.
 

Backlane Brewery

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At the risk of sounding like I'm covering my arse, I also spent an hour and a half walking him through this and more, in addition to the talks over the past 6 weeks or so since he tried my HBs

This was intended as a handy reference guide to expand a bit on the things the instructions don't tell you.

He has two fermenters, and WANTS to rack.
He understands the difference between "brew sugars" & white sugar- this has been well & truly beaten into him.
His hydrometer didn't come with a test jar- second hand kit off eBay.
Temp control- his fermenter will be in a cellar.
That said, PoL, I have cut & pasted your comments into the original doc I gave him, and will talk him thru the extras as soon as the big clock on the wall here hits 5.00pm.
 

deebee

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I came up with similar directions, slightly different technique, for a noobee friend along these cutted and pasted lines...

Kit brewing with a dried yeast.

Preparation
1. Clean then sanitise everything. Take your taps apart and take the O-ring out of the fermenter lid and sanitise them. Take a toothbrush to the thread on your fermenter lid. Use a soft cloth or, if you are gentle, a nylon scourer on your fermenter as bacteria can hide in any scratches you make. Dont touch any surface that might touch the brew. Try not to sneeze or breathe directly on stuff. Fill the kettle and boil it. Keep a bucket or large jug of sanitiser handy for putting down spoons, lids, thermometers and anything that might touch the brew.

2. Pour a cup of boiling water into a mug or small pyrex jug, cover it with cling film and put it in the refrigerator to cool. You will later use this to rehydrate your yeast. Fill and boil the kettle again. It is always handy to have boiled water available for rinsing sanitiser off utensils.

The Boil
3. Fill your largest pot about three-quarters full and bring to the boil. Its nice to have about 4-5 litres boiling but a couple will do at a pinch. Tip in your fermentables, the bits you are adding to the kit. This is typically a kilo of dried malt extract or a tin of liquid malt extract from your homebrew shop. As it comes to the boil beware of boilovers. You may need to take if off the heat or plunge a large metal utensil in to prevent a boilover. Once the boilover stage has passed, turn it up and let it roll for about 10 minutes or so with the lid off.

4. This step is for adding flavour and aroma hops to your brew. If you are not adding hops, skip this step. Use low alpha-acid hops or this technique might add too much bitterness to your beer. Something below 6% should be fine. Weigh out your hops, perhaps 20 or 40g, and add to the boil. Again, watch out for boilovers. Let it boil for another 10 minutes.

5. For the last few minutes of the boil put the lid back on the pot to sterilise it. You may need to turn down the heat to prevent boilovers. Then turn off the heat and tip your beer kit into the pot. Give the tin a rinse with boiled water and tip that in too. Using a sanitised spoon, gently stir the pot to dissolve the kit. Avoid splashing or vigorous stirring, but try to dissolve the kit into the wort. This stuff is the concentrated version of what the yeast will later turn into beer. It is called wort and rhymes with pert and flirt. You can momentarily return this to the boil if you are worried about having introduced any bugs during the stirring or you can put the lid back on and proceed to the next step.

The Chill
6. Fill your sink with cold tap water and, leaving the lid on the pot, put the pot into the sink of cold water. Gently move the cold water around the pot and it will soon get hot. Change the water and repeat. On the third bath add a couple of litres of ice to the sink water to make a slurry. This final bath will bring your boiled wort down to a temperature safe for pitching the yeast.

7. While your wort is cooling check your boiled water in the frig. When it is tepid, barely warm, take it out of the frig and tip in your dried yeast. Dont stir it, just put the cling film back over it and let it sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.

Transfer into the fermenter
8. Using your sanitised thermometer check the temperature of the wort. Once it is below about 30C tip it into your sanitised fermenter. MAKE SURE THE TAP ON THE FERMENTER IS CLOSED. If your pot has just come out of a sink it may be wet. Dont let drips of this water go into your fermenter. Pour with plenty of froth and vigour as you are trying to dissolve oxygen into the wort to help the yeast prepare for fermentation. Top up the fermenter with tap water to the desired volume, typically 23 litres, again using as much froth and bubble as you can generate. You can use filtered or bottled water but if it is okay to drink, tap water is fine.

9. At this stage I generally let my brew sit for an hour or so to allow the crap in the wort to settle to the bottom of the fermenter below the level of the tap. I then raise the fermenter and put a second sanitised fermenter (WITH CLOSED TAP) underneath and let the wort run out of the top fermenter, through the tap and into the second fermenter. Apart from giving it another aeration, this technique keeps the crap (hot break, hops, other stuff) out of the beer. Hot break forms in the boil and ideally is best kept out of your beer. As a beginner this step is just a pain and you may decide not to worry about it.

10. You are aiming at a temperature of about 22*C to pitch your ale yeast but anything from 18* to 25* is okay. When you are in that range, pitch your yeast and then try to get the wort into the desired temperature range for fermenting. Dont let it drop below 18* or it might stop fermenting. Dont let it rise much above 22* or the flavour will really suffer.

11. Your brew will generally ferment out within a week. Use your hydrometer to be certain it has finished fermenting. There is no harm in leaving it for a few days longer just to be sure. Then you can either bottle it or transfer it to another container for conditioning.
 

pint of lager

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In that case, your arse is well and truely covered.

It is amazing how much ground a simple K+K covers, and a set of written notes to cover what the instructions don't cover is a great idea. All shared over a pint or two of homebrew. And am sure he has your phone number for clarification on anything.

Keep beating the collegue.

Send him off to a homebrew shop for a hydrometer test jar.
 

Tim

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why not just cut and paste the chapter/instructions from 'How to Brew"? It covers all the same stuff and is dead simple to understand.
 

pint of lager

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deebee, a few points.

For first time brews, I think it is better to keep it as simple as possible. The more steps, the more chance of stuffing things up. Am not sure if you are aiming at more advance k+k or first timers. It is most important to get sanitation and fermentation temperature right, then move on.

Have a read of an earlier thread on ahb about boiling kits. My understanding is that the isohops bittering component is adversely affected by boiling. Sure you get rif of the break material, but the flavour suffers from degrading the isohops. The final answer to this would be a side by side comparison of two kits exactly the same, one boiled, the other not.

Your instructions do not indicate, is it plain LME or prehopped LME in a kit?

Always, turn off the heat before adding and stirring the LME, otherwise it sinks to the bottom and scorches.

OK, have read step 5, you are only boiling the extras, not the tin.

For some people, your notes are excellent, for others, the notes may be a bit too in depth.

Also, read the earlier post about rehydrating for newbie brewers.
 

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