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No idea really....

Discussion in 'Welcome!' started by TestEagles, 30/11/19.

 

  1. TestEagles

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    Posted 30/11/19
    Hi guys,

    I’m new to the group and looking to learn as much as possible. Old time brewer from the 80’s but really, that wasn’t great beer and great techniques back then. Unless I wasn’t do it right... I gave up many years ago and I’m looking to get back into brewing using better techniques and ingredients. I’m hoping to enjoy a new style of brewing (and beer). I want to try a kegerator or keezer concept... no more bottles.

    I live in a rural area in Qld, hot most of the year and looking at setting up in my shed. I have off grid power, so I need to set up with the most power efficient appliances (kegerator / keezer ?). So if anyone has any tips around the most power efficient set ups, I’m all ears.. that’s my starting point.

    Anyway, I got plenty of reading to do in this forum, and will have heaps of dumb questions... but I’m looking forward to the journey.


    Cheers
     
    daninjt likes this.
  2. TestEagles

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    Posted 2/12/19
    Wow, not as friendly as I expected.. lol
     
  3. AHB_Admin

    Administrator Administrator

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    Posted 2/12/19
    It is friendly, but your original post had not been visible until just now.
     
    TestEagles likes this.
  4. raturay

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    Posted 2/12/19
    I have an all grain brewing mate at River Heads. He speaks very highly of the local Brew Club (Fraser Coast Bayside Brewers I ( think). Might be a good place to pick some brains.
     
    TestEagles likes this.
  5. malt and barley blues

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    Posted 2/12/19
    Most modern fridges are pretty efficient, not much to run at all. Are you looking at getting a single vessel for mashing and boiling?
     
  6. TestEagles

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    Posted 2/12/19
    Cheers Admin.. I take that back
     
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  7. TestEagles

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    Posted 2/12/19
    Yes agree.. thanks for that.
     
  8. koshari

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    Posted 2/12/19
    welcome back to the game.

    firstly, IMO temperature control while fermenting is king. set yourself up with a suitable fermenting fridge with temperature controller. this could be a little bit difficult for you being off grid as refrigerators have a high starting current and some inverters may not deliver the initial current. having said this if your fridges start fine now this is unlikely to be an issue, after this the current is minimal.
    Also you will be controlling at around 18 degree for most of the time so your duty cycle will not be as significant as a fridge set at near zero. of course this will go for your kegorator as well (high compressor starting current) .

    keezer is a good choice as well for efficiency as opening a hatch lets less cool air escape than a door. chest freezers will generally have pretty good all round cabinet insulation to gain higher efficiencies given they are designed to operate with a lot bigger temp diff from ambient. they are very well suited for putting kegs in ( up to 19l ones) but less suited for fermenters as moving them out and in is a bigger handling issue.

    i personally use a keezer for my kegs and just have plutos sitting inside and open the top to fill a 2 or 4 litre growler when i get a beer. then close the top again.

    for fermenting i have a 350l upside down fridge, places the fermenter high enough so i can gravity fill from a hose straight into my 19l kegs from the fermenting fridge.an upright fridge or freezer with a shelf may be just as practical with a fridge thermosat connected to it providing its not one of those ones with the chilling elements between the shelves.

    hopefully i have pressed on a couple of points for you to consider.
     
    Last edited: 2/12/19
  9. MHB

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    Posted 2/12/19
    You might find a small chest freezer is a bit more efficient.
    Freezers tend to have thicker or better insulation, a chesty doesn't dump all the cold air on the floor when you open the door, tend to have more powerful motors but at the temps we are working at will be on a lot less...
    Down side can be lifting things in and out, going to depend on the size of the kegs you use, the age/condition of your back and how creative you are.
    Think ahead, I have seen plenty of small chestys that will take a couple of kegs, that you can put a font on without needing a collar and have room for a small CO2 bottle, just be very careful if you think about drilling a hole in the side, well better not to, they often die when people do.

    Fit a decent temperature controller, put in a small fan think seriously of ducting some cold air up the font to keep the beer cool to the tap. Down side of a font is that its an enormous heat sink. Lowest energy use option would be a beer gun (just open the lid to pickup the gun and pour a beer) otherwise building an insulated hood to put over the font would help heaps, nothing too complicated and old camping mat and some duct tape, some cool-lite sheet knocked up into a box...
    Mark

    Was talking about serving not fermentation agree with above Koshari posted while I was typing
    M
     
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  10. koshari

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    Posted 2/12/19
    MHBs suggestion of a small circulating fan is good, i put these in 3 way gas fridges and smallish 12v fridges and they make a huge diffence. a nice quiet 12v 180mm computer fan is perfect.
     
  11. Ghostie

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    Posted 2/12/19
    Testeagles.......nice name....I am similar to you in that I brewed kits in the late '80's and early '90's which in hindsight were not that terrific. I started again by accident when I saw a photo of a kegerator at a friends house and literally fell in love. When I asked him what beer did he serve his reply of 'homebrew' was my 'aha' moment.

    For me I am really enjoying 'all grain' brewing as it gives me some creative control over what beer I brew. Lots to learn and already the blokes in this forum have helped me out with my simple questions.
     
    koshari likes this.
  12. Keg King

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    Posted 3/12/19
    Hi TestEagles good to see new people on the forums. Just thought we'd mention that we've got a low power option heating and cooling device coming out in the new year. It is 240W 12V Max and can be used in combination with our ferementers. Provided that your shed is not uninsulated or above 30, you could consider using this for your fermentation temp control when it's available.
     
  13. koshari

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    Posted 3/12/19
    many of us are students of that school, i was a can and a kilo bloke with poor temp control and bottling. beers were drinkable but hardly anything to rave about however it was actually the bottling rigmarole that lead me away from brewing. on the positive side at least i was familiar with the basics.
    Even when i started back up i was using a fermenting box made out of timber. summer temp control was non existent, a fermenting fridge was the last piece of the puzzle for me.

    partial grain, temp control and substituting suger/dextrose with Malt extract with hop additions has made the world of difference for me. kegging once set up just saves time and makes it a lot more convenient. i do the very occasional full grain BIAB batch but really time and diminishing returns make them rare occasions.
     
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  14. Roosterboy

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    Posted 3/12/19
    To save energy when fermenting I suggest using yeast that love it hot ie from 30 to 38 degrees , look for kveik yeast.
     
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  15. Cstew

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    Posted 3/12/19
    My keezer uses 0.37 KWh over a 24 hour period (end of summer, in a garage). Set at 1.5*C
     
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  16. Ghostie

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    Posted 4/12/19 at 6:27 AM
    I might have to look at this yeast for summer...my shed will get hot in the coming months and this may be my answer.
     
  17. Roosterboy

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    Posted 4/12/19 at 10:00 AM
    The main yeast suppliers have them now, I ordered them from a supplier in Norway but he has stopped doing it now.
     
  18. TestEagles

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    Posted 9/12/19 at 11:23 AM
    Oh man.. I need to learn more.. ".. mashing and boiling .."
     
  19. TestEagles

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    Posted 9/12/19 at 11:24 AM
    New / old / modified... what brand ?
     
  20. TestEagles

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    Posted 9/12/19 at 11:25 AM
    Hi guys... thanks for all your responses. Some good info in this forum.

    Cheers
     

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