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.  


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.  


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.  ​


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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