19

Write down everything you do. Don't kid yourself into thinking "I don't have to write this down, I'll remember", because you won't remember. The better you are about this, the easier it will be to do things repeatably. What temperature did you mash at? (not what temperature did the recipe say to mash at). What was the {pre,post} boil gravity, What was ...


10

Repitition, Repitition, Repitition The biggest leap in quality and consistency for myself was setting up an area where the brewing process becomes routine. This has many benifits, the biggest of which is an increase on success rate for a clean, uninfected home brew. Think of it as almost a production line. I'm lucky enough to have a room i can dedicate ...


9

The solution I use is to mark my spoon with permanent marker. I have marks for each half gallon. Works really well without messing with the kettle itself. This obviously is kettle specific, so if you are using multiple kettles you can have markings of different color to differentiate the different markings per kettle.


9

Top tier - Sparge Water Middle tier - Mash Tun Bottom Tier - Boil Kettle The main benefit to having the vessels stacked in this manner is that you can transfer water/wort without the use of a siphon or an electric pump, everything can be gravity fed from top to bottom. Three tiers also allow you to easily fly sparge much easier than other setups (...


8

Check out Brewer's Hardware or Bargin Fitting's selection of quick connects. They've got stainless camlocks for about $6 each, which seem to be very popular among home brewers: Bargian Fittings also has chrome plated brass quick connects for $8 and $5: Actually, if you don't mind aluminum, these camlocks are less than $3 each.


8

I used to use the clear vinyl tubing also. The pros for this kind of tubing are it's transparent, so you can see the contents clearly it's relatively inexpensive it's food safe at room temperature But there are some significant cons also at typical mash temperatures, the tubing becomes soft, and doesn't support the weight of the wort, so it collapses and ...


8

You don't want to clean a copper chiller so it is shiny - if you remove the dull color (stable oxide), the metal is more likely to react and form the toxic blue-green oxide (verdigris). http://byo.com/stories/projects-and-equipment/item/1144-metallurgy-for-homebrewers Copper is relatively inert to both wort and beer. With regular use, it will build up ...


8

It is a mechanical cap, as long as the mecanism and rubber is good, the bottle will be good. Changing the rubber seal is one way to expand the life of these bottles, however you should inspect the seals and if the rubber has not dried out, then it is still good. Sometimes I will just flip the rubber seal around to make sure it is not always compressed in ...


7

It's the type of plastic, and how it's manufactured (it has to do with the chemical properties of the plastic). A food grade container will not allow most foods to leach toxic chemicals from it under normal operating conditions. Using Plastic Buckets in Food Storage


7

The point of a stirplate is to help the yeast propagate by aerating the wort. Yeast Propagation and Maintainance claim stirring can increase yeast cell count by 10-15 times, compared to simply using an airlock (non-aerated) or 2.5 times the cell count of the traditionally aerated starter (aquarium pump). It's important not to use an airlock, since the ...


7

Question 1 is hard to answer because its so dependent on the relative humidity and air flow of the room in question. I wouldn't assume an airlock with water would be safe for more than 4 weeks without checking on it or topping it off. Vodka is sometimes recommended as an airlock liquid, but I think its is a bad idea for long-term storage. Being roughly a 50/...


7

Don't drill or use screws. Use magnets to hold drip trays etc. Chest freezers have refrigerant coils in the walls. Lids & doors are ok. Only risk hitting some electrical for the lights, but usually easy to trace and avoid. Probe wires are usually fine just cutting the lid seal a little so they have a channel. Mine seal just fine without any ...


6

I have 3 of these in my brewery. During autotune, the temperature will go well past the set point in order to determine the amount the system will overshoot, and it will need to do this several times, meaning you may have to leave the unit for possibly several hours before the autotune is complete. Autotune worked well for me, so I didn't try setting the ...


6

I think you are missing some information. First of all, often what works for commercial brewing doesn't necessarily apply to the homebrew scale; and trying to replicating may have little to no meaningfully positive effect on the beer. Second, the reason pro kettles are covered is because they are being directly vented outside to prevent the brewery from ...


6

This is one of those things that you're going to have to decide for yourself because there is no simple consensus. Environmental lead is bad. There's no question about that. Increasingly, there's research to suggest that even low levels of lead are harmful (NIH Study). It's not just full-blown poisoning that you want to watch out for, but more subtle ...


6

I'll try to present both sides of the story: If the tree is fully cleaned, and your sanitizer is sufactant-based (such as StarSan) so that kills organisms on contact then maybe (and only maybe) you can get away without sanitizing. That's about as far as you can guess as to the consequences of not sanitizing the brew tree. If it's not clean, then forget it....


6

Yes, get a second bucket. You'll need it for racking. If you plan to use the StarSan sanitizer (recommended) You might even consider a third bucket for holding the StarSan - in an airtight container, StarSan will last a lot longer, so you don't have to make up a fresh batch with each brew or each time you bottle.


6

My capper does this too. It's not been an issue for our beer. If it was leaking I'd think you might see some evidence around the top.


6

Fermentation temperature is often overlooked and it's really the key to making good beer. If you don't control the temp, everything else you do doesn't really matter. I prefer most beers to ferment in the 63-65F range. Whatever you do, don't let the beer get over 70F. That's beer temp, not room temp. Due to the heat created during fermentation, the beer ...


6

Toss them in the laundry with your whites. No farbric softner. Then air dry.


6

In practice a nylon bag can become discoloured but it rarely gets so contaminated as to actually affect the flavour of a brew. As long as the bag is cleaned of all debris and thoroughly rinsed it should keep well. It is advisable to soak the bag in water soon after the grain is emptied out. If the bag becomes stained or clogged then soaking in a solution of ...


6

This is a fairly straightforward calculation, actually.* First, calculate the total energy needed to heat up your volume of liquid, using the following equation: E = Cp * M * dT where: E = energy required, in kilojoules (kJ) Cp = specific heat of liquid (kJ/kg/°C) M = mass of liquid (kg) dT = temperature change required (°C) A few assumptions: ...


6

Son of a Fermentation Chiller Look up "son of a fermentation chiller". This is a two-chamber box made out of styrofoam insulation. It has a temperature controller and a fan. You load one chamber up with bottles of frozen water, and the temperature controller determines when to pump cold air into the brew chamber. I made mine in an afternoon*, and it has no ...


5

Oxygenating the Wort and use of Yeast (Micro)Nutrients This made a noticeable difference to my beers, especially those over 1.070.


5

Do you really mean just a tee? I guess not, since there's not much benefit, and you'll just get lots of spilled wort! I'm guessing you mean a tee, plus an attached valve - affectionately known as a "burper valve", which can help rid trapped air from the pump. When the liquid first flows through the pump, it displaces the air, which can become trapped in ...


5

I think you'll be ok to use them for a good few years to come. Glass is quite a tough substance... To be honest i'd be more worried about the cap - the rubber seals on those will perish at a much faster rate than the glass will. Once you start seeing the rubber get dry, and/or start to crack then i'd start to think about replacing. You might even be able ...


5

This sounds perfectly manageable to me. BIAB is especially easy with small batch sizes. However, keep in mind that there's nothing magical about 5 gallons. Sure, you get two cases of beer in return, but you can scale any 5 gallon recipe to a 1 gallon recipe by simply dividing all ingredients by 5. I would suggest you get your feet wet with a 1 gallon ...


5

Nylon is usually pretty safe to put into beer. You should wash them and sterilize them before putting them in the fermentor. If you boil them that should do the trick, and so long as there aren't any holes after boiling should be fine to use.


5

Dallas, Texas; San Diego, California; Jacksonville, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; Denver, Colorado and Columbus, Ohio. Here is their website on it: http://www.coorslight.com/innovations/homedraft.aspx They are currently only in test markets. You can find out more info on their Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Coors-Light-Home-Draft/120696661275064 ...


5

With 2 pumps, you don't need to worry about gravity feed to the fermenter. Also, for 10 gal. of finished beer I'd recommend something bigger than a 10 gal. pot. That's about all the help I can give you since I've brewed 452 batches using a cooler and wouldn't think of doing it any other way.


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