Successful Saison 

Today was the first brew in the new rig.  Best brew I’ve ever had.  Hit temp from boil to 65 in 15 minutes.  

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Rack the black

Racked the RIS, it seems okay.  This the one I was worried about due to the equipment issue.  Here is what I did, typically I use a false bottom and bazooka (torpedo shaped screen that filters hop materials out). When doing a gravity transfer things are nice and gentle.  This was my first use of a pump to recirculate the wort during chilling.  Moving that much wort it totally clogged the bazooka.  Once you have that, ain’t nothing moving.  So a had to plunge my reasonably sanitized arms into the 85 degree wort to removed the bazooka.  So every bit of the kettle hops ended up in the fermenter.  I was planning a two stage fermentation, it’s now a three stage, had to get the wort off the break and hops.  Gravity was 1.050 at 10 days.  Long way to go.

New Single Tier Brew Rig

Well I had a pretty epic failure on my last brew, it was an equipment issue. But the beer was a big RIS. Over $100 invested, probably lost. So it was time to build. I built a single tier weldless brew rack. I’m happy, like giddy happy, here is how I did it.  
Home Depot had a 8,000 lb capacity shelving unit on sale, $159. Its serious. 6 feet wide by 2 feet deep. It’s tall too, but I don’t care. I set it up to rough it out.  


Once I was happy I cut it to height with a reciprocating saw. Mounted 2×6 to the feet with bolts.


Then I added some casters from harbor freight to be sure its mobile. These are 4 inch rubber casters. Steel screws and lock washers attached them.


I used self tapping screws and covered the ends with 1/2 plywood. Truing them up, and making it all stout. Next was electrical. I run two pumps so I wired in two switches, a hot outlet and two switched outlets. The dual conduits are for look, and I could only buy 5 feet, so why not use it. Everything is steel, boxes, conduit connectors. I wired in a 12 gage electrical cord, to plug it in. Get power to it.


Then it was time to assemble it.


When I added the shelves I cut the top shelf so the burners sit just above it.  


All assembled looked like that.  

I had a pice of 22″x71″ 22 gage sheet metal cut, and put it under the burners as a heat shield and protect the pumps. Finally just had to hook it all up.  


Some day I will add a gas line to it, but today I’m happy.  

UPGRADES!

I’m going quick disconnect, three piece ball valves, got a pump and a therrmowell sight gage.  Ever forward!

Fixing the chiller 

Okay so my chiller sucks.  The first one I built you can find on here didn’t work well, so I rebuilt it with 3/4″ hose, it did better but not great.  So I built a pre chiller, pictured here, on the right, put it in ice.  Got to 84 degrees. Need 68 or lower, so now I have to contemplate a pump.  But for now more ice.   Hard to make beer cold from a boil in Florida in the summer.

Release the Krausen!!!

Brewed a porter this weekend, used danstar nottingham yeast.  I made a 1.2L starter on my nifty new stir plate.  Which as side note may be the end of gadgets for a while, judging by my wife’s reaction.  Well I estimate I had more than 300 mil yeast cells.  Over night, well the krausen went ballistic, it blew the stopper, and I use the over lip caps, hard to blow those.  Krausen filled the fridge, and is still blowing off.  I switched to a 1 gallon container, its still blowing.  The loss is about 1/2 gallon I guess.  ​

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Too many empties

Simply too many empty kegs, but have three in the fermentation cycle.  And two more set to brew in the next two week finally I may get ahead for a while.  

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