Author Topic: Quick tips  (Read 5779 times)

Eric Perkins

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #45 on: December 31, 2015, 10:13:56 PM »
I only drink coffee, water, wort and hydrometer samples until the brew day is complete.

Offline BrewingRover

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #46 on: December 31, 2015, 10:34:59 PM »
Make sure an immersion chiller is empty when you put it in. If not you have to heat the interior water up to a boil along with the metal. I know by the longer time to boil when I forget to empty it out.
Not to mention the bursts of scalding water that can shoot out as it heats.
It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #47 on: December 31, 2015, 10:36:34 PM »
Denny, you already know my thoughts on this, but I'll say it again:

There is little point in trying to make a crazy version of a beer style if you can't make the base beer in the first place. Figure out how to brew a proper beer first before trying to make a 'bacon Pilsner' for your second beer or some such nonsense.


Amen to that ! Not that a shrimp scampi saison (or similar) doesn't sound great.  ;)
Jon H.

Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #48 on: December 31, 2015, 10:54:15 PM »
  Share your homebrews with your neighbors. It's kinda funny, but it's also a bit awkward when you're brewing in the driveway and your neighbors drive by rubber necking with the "is he really cooking meth in broad daylight?" look on their face.

Watch your back when those neighbors are around.
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Offline Whiskers

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #49 on: December 31, 2015, 11:19:47 PM »
Store all hoses in such a way that there are no upward curves/spots for fluid to pool.

Find a spot/container to store small cold-side parts that will keep the dust from settling on them.  For me, this includes keeping rat turds off too.  This way, you only have to sanitize when needed.  It sucks when you have to clean items even though you cleaned them thoroughly after the last session/kegging/transfer.

Foil over the tops of clean and dry carboys keeps the dust/spiders out.

If you use stoppers for airlocks or blow off tubes, wrap a thin strip of foil around the top of the carboy and stopper.  It will keep dust from settling in the crevice, dust which will likely fall into the beer when you remove the stopper.

Never set glass carboys down on concrete.  Use scrap cardboard as a cushion. 

Keep baggies of blue candi sugar around for when the neighbours show up. 

Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #50 on: January 01, 2016, 02:26:29 PM »
Another thing to mention for new brewers especially is yeast health. No matter if it's dry yeast or liquid I feel the handling and health of that yeast is more important than whether or not it is dry or liquid. A new brewer might be chasing a particular strain because "so and so" said to. Liquid yeast is often suggested as a superior option, and no doubt it can be, especially for the selection out there but if it is not handled and used correctly it can be a much less optimal outcome for the beer. All I'm saying is new brewers might get hung up on something like this not looking at the overall picture. Example being "well, I used WLP001 in my IPA, my beer will be awesome". But the beer had a SG of 1.070, pitched at 75* and tried to ferment at 62* into 6.5 gals of wort while the vial was 3 months old.   

Offline ranchovillabrew

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #51 on: January 01, 2016, 04:20:11 PM »
To trim down on my brew day time. I measure grain out into a large Ziploc, measure and label hops and other additions, essentially creating kits to brew from.

I also clean as I go, after transferring the wort from the kettle, I am usually done in 10 minutes, with only the kettle, a funnel the chiller and a hose to clean.

If people are helping, they want to help, I let them, especially for cleaning. I let them do the hop additions, move everything, and order the pizza.

I also will send them home with a bag of spent grain and a bread recipe.

Also, make sure they get to try the finished product in a few weeks.

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #52 on: January 01, 2016, 05:42:39 PM »
During the winter time, I will set a 6.5 gallon bucket of water out overnight (about 2/3 full) to freeze for use with a pre-chiller to speed up the chilling process.  It never freezes all the way through and I just punch a hole in the top of the ice to drop the chiller in.   The first 10 gallons of the exit water is collected for cleaning and I run the hose out to the trees near my garage - this way I use less water overall, water the trees for winter (an arborist suggested midwinter waterings from time to time) and avoid the slick driveway concern of running it on the concrete drive.
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Offline Pricelessbrewing

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #53 on: January 01, 2016, 09:15:58 PM »
For me I don't do anything too crazy atm.

Learning tip: Don't be afraid to do small batches. I've learned a lot more about ingredients in the past 4 months doing small experimental batches than I did in the first two years doing 5+ gallons. Split batches, second runnings, partigyles etc. I have a friend that every time he brews, he runs off half a gallon and turns it into a sour. Always interesting to compare side to side.

Consistency: Measure everything. Gravity, volume, and temperature get measured at every step on my brewday. Volume and temperature are directly related, everytime you record a mash reading you need the volume at room temp in order to use the gravity in a calculation, so you need to record the apparent volume, and the temperature and calculate/look up the thermal expansion to shrink it down to room temp.

Understand your system and efficiency: Mash gravity and strike volume gives conversion efficiency, 2nd runnings gives lauter efficiency, pre boil gives combined mash efficiency, into fermenter gives brewhouse. Saying "I get 72% eff" is meaningless and tells me nothing about your process or system. Is that for a 1.060 beer with a half gallon mashtun loss? Do you still get the same efficiency with a 1.105 beer? If so, you're lying to yourself.

Community: Join some facebook groups, join AHA forums, r/ homebrewing, HBT, milkthefunk are all great resources imo.

Don't listen to them, midnight wheat is not a substitute of any dark malts except for color.

Online bluesman

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #54 on: January 02, 2016, 04:23:25 AM »
Wow...great tips provided by all.  I think that the best advice is to learn from your experiences and not to make the same mistake twice. Take good notes and follow your intuition. If it works don't fix it, but understand that there is science involved and understanding the mechanisms involved is vitally important. Sanitation, calculation, good timing, fermentation temp. control, and yeast vitality are some of the more important aspects of brewing. In the end it comes down to a discipline that must be adhered to, all in effort to make the best beer that you can with the constraints at hand. Cheers Denny!
Ron Price

Offline ranchovillabrew

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #55 on: January 02, 2016, 05:03:44 AM »
I think that as brewers we need to grasp accuracy vs. Precision. 

For the most part for home brewing accuracy is way more important than precision. I.e. the strain is more critical than the pitch volume, close is good enough.

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RPIScotty

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #56 on: January 02, 2016, 05:34:01 AM »
Stop worrying about efficiency. Wort isn't made of the percentage of efficiency of your system. It's made of sugar. Yeast could care less about how efficient you are so long as you give them sugar.

Establish baseline efficiencies for consistencies sake and move on.


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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #57 on: January 02, 2016, 07:52:10 PM »
Definitely consistency is more important than efficiency.

Be super careful with glass fermenters and with boiling liquids. Especially if children are around.


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Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #58 on: January 02, 2016, 08:07:37 PM »
One quick tip I'll mention but I can't take credit for (I read it here on the forum) is to put a measuring cup in the freezer for a boil hydrometer sample. My hydrometer glass only takes about 3/4 cup. Putting the measuring cup in the freezer cools it down enough to take a reading much quicker. I do the same with shot glasses to take ph readings for the mash and boil.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Quick tips
« Reply #59 on: January 02, 2016, 08:08:31 PM »
Metal cocktail shaker in a ice water bath works great to cool down boiling wort samples.

Using racking canes on both ends of a hose helps prevent splashing and losing siphon due to "curlycue"

Spraybottle of sani is very helpful to have around. 

Aluminum foil is a great tool to cover sanitary openings or rest items on the need to remain sanitary.

If you dough in at 1.25 qts of water per pound of grain 170 degree water will get you very close to 150 degrees (depending on temp of grain)

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Always remember to CLOSE THE DAMN VALVE!