I've just finished bottling my first homebrew; how it tastes in two weeks will be the ultimate arbiter of my success, but I feel like I made very few mistakes for a n00b and I don't think any of them will turn out to be fatal.
However, the one thing that kept plaguing me throughout the process was the various bits of vinyl tubing. Here's some examples of accidents that happened:
- The tubing on my wort chiller expanded slightly from the heat of the wort and I was forced to run water through it at a sub-optimal flow to prevent a large amounts of ordinary tap water from entering the wort. There was a steady trickle leaking in no matter what I did.
- The large vinyl tube I was using as a blowoff tube started to not want to stay firmly seated in the mouth of the carboy
- The 3/16" tube (at least I think that's the size) that I squeezed over the end of my racking cane created an airtight fit... for awhile. I noticed when rinsing it that tiny little bubbles were sneaking their way in.
- I was forced to use two different sizes of hose to attach my bottling wand to the spigot of my bottling bucket and I could tell that when the flow got high enough it was letting a maybe-not-ok amount of air into the beer as I bottled.
There's got to be a better way. What can I do to prevent my equipment from working against me like this?