Author Topic: Brewing Tips and Gadgets thread  (Read 1023 times)

Offline majorvices

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Brewing Tips and Gadgets thread
« on: May 20, 2017, 05:10:32 AM »
Thought it was a bout time we started one of these again to share some stuff we may have picked up but haven't thought about sharing.

One of the coolest things I found recently is a hair straightener - it is kind of like the opposite of a curling iron but looks almost identical. Costs about $15. They work great for sealing mylar hop bags. I purge with Co2 first, then use the hair straightener to seal the bag. Works almost instantaneously. It also works when you accidentally break a Wyeast smack pack. Seals it right up!

By purging and sealing I have kept opened hops still usable for over a year in mylar bags!

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Brewing Tips and Gadgets thread
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2017, 05:47:09 AM »
Interesting. I use a food saver vacuum sealer


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Offline majorvices

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Re: Brewing Tips and Gadgets thread
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2017, 05:53:21 AM »
Does the food saver vacuum sealer work on Mylar bags? I wasn't sure. Anyway, I want to get a food saver mostly for doing sous vide, but dang they are expensive!

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Brewing Tips and Gadgets thread
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2017, 05:55:23 AM »
My food saver has always worked for the older packaging.  I not not in the basement right now, the gold bags reseal fine. 

My LHBS has been stocking a new hop supplier's line that comes in stiffer white bags that my food saver cannot seal.  Based on that, oh so detailed description, will a hair straightener work on these new bags.

I may need to raid my 3 daughter's rooms.  One of then has to have one.   ;D

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Online alestateyall

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Re: Brewing Tips and Gadgets thread
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2017, 06:03:41 AM »
Does the food saver vacuum sealer work on Mylar bags? I wasn't sure. Anyway, I want to get a food saver mostly for doing sous vide, but dang they are expensive!
I want one too. There are a lot of alternative brands which cost much less and have better reviews on Amazon.

Offline BrewBama

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Brewing Tips and Gadgets thread
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2017, 06:04:26 AM »
I just put the opened Mylar bag of hops into a vac seal bag so I don't know if it works on Mylar or not. It works great for sous vide. I bought my el cheapo food saver at Costco


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Online alestateyall

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Re: Brewing Tips and Gadgets thread
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2017, 06:36:06 AM »
I use a 1500W heat stick (works w/ standard 15A plug/breaker).

Electricity is far cheaper than propane. For my 3G batches I use propane and heat stick when heating water. Then I switch to heat stick only for boil.

I originally made a 1500 W heat stick years ago using these instructions (http://www.cedarcreeknetworks.com/heatstick.htm). That finally gave up for ghost just recently.

I just bought a new all stainless version here.  https://www.brewhardware.com/product_p/hotrodrtu1500gfci.htm

Offline majorvices

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Re: Brewing Tips and Gadgets thread
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2017, 07:26:52 AM »
It's always a good idea to recycle your chilling water from your heat exchanger for clean up. The first several gallons will be hot water too! If you are doing multiple batches in a row your heat-exchanged water is great for doughing in the second batch because it will already be warmer than tap.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Brewing Tips and Gadgets thread
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2017, 07:38:37 AM »
Does the food saver vacuum sealer work on Mylar bags? I wasn't sure


I've never tried. When I open a mylar bag, I just seal the leftover hops in a food saver bag to be sure I get a vacuum seal . I like the hair straightener idea, though.
Jon H.

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Re: Brewing Tips and Gadgets thread
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2017, 08:57:38 AM »
Does the food saver vacuum sealer work on Mylar bags? I wasn't sure


I've never tried. When I open a mylar bag, I just seal the leftover hops in a food saver bag to be sure I get a vacuum seal . I like the hair straightener idea, though.

The Mylar bags are much more impervious to o2 than the other options.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Brewing Tips and Gadgets thread
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2017, 10:05:52 AM »
It's always a good idea to recycle your chilling water from your heat exchanger for clean up. The first several gallons will be hot water too! If you are doing multiple batches in a row your heat-exchanged water is great for doughing in the second batch because it will already be warmer than tap.
I do this and the rest gets used for laundry.

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Brewing Tips and Gadgets thread
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2017, 10:51:14 AM »
It's always a good idea to recycle your chilling water from your heat exchanger for clean up. The first several gallons will be hot water too! If you are doing multiple batches in a row your heat-exchanged water is great for doughing in the second batch because it will already be warmer than tap.

I use the hot discharge of my IC to hold in the mash tun to rinse equipment during cleanup.


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Offline 69franx

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Re: Brewing Tips and Gadgets thread
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2017, 01:58:12 PM »
It's always a good idea to recycle your chilling water from your heat exchanger for clean up. The first several gallons will be hot water too! If you are doing multiple batches in a row your heat-exchanged water is great for doughing in the second batch because it will already be warmer than tap.

I use the hot discharge of my IC to hold in the mash tun to rinse equipment during cleanup.


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I like this and will put into use on next brew day. I have collected a portion of my discharge and used it to rinse my IC, but obviously it could be used for more. I have collected in a party keg bucket but the idea of my cooler mash tun is brilliant

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Offline blair.streit

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Re: Brewing Tips and Gadgets thread
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2017, 04:09:20 PM »
It's always a good idea to recycle your chilling water from your heat exchanger for clean up. The first several gallons will be hot water too! If you are doing multiple batches in a row your heat-exchanged water is great for doughing in the second batch because it will already be warmer than tap.

I use the hot discharge of my IC to hold in the mash tun to rinse equipment during cleanup.


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Same. I hate pouring out all that water and then pulling more water to clean just a few minutes later. I wash/fill my mash tun and end up filling my HLT and a few other buckets as well. It's all the water I need to clean and the rest goes to water the trees.


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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Brewing Tips and Gadgets thread
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2017, 04:35:32 PM »
It's always a good idea to recycle your chilling water from your heat exchanger for clean up. The first several gallons will be hot water too! If you are doing multiple batches in a row your heat-exchanged water is great for doughing in the second batch because it will already be warmer than tap.

I use the hot discharge of my IC to hold in the mash tun to rinse equipment during cleanup.


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Same. I hate pouring out all that water and then pulling more water to clean just a few minutes later. I wash/fill my mash tun and end up filling my HLT and a few other buckets as well. It's all the water I need to clean and the rest goes to water the trees.


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Another +1 to using the hot IC discharge water. Perfect use for it.
Jon H.