The 'Top Tips' Thread!

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EccentricDyslexic

The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by EccentricDyslexic » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:37 am

Hi chaps!

So many brewers on here have been brewing for an awful long time, i suspect that over the years they have amassed many untold rules ie dont use more than ??% Crystal Malt in a recipe and always rehydrate your dry yeast, dont just sprinkle it in!

Mine?

ALWAYS have some control the temperature of your fermentation! After 5 brews where i just left it to sit and do its thing, i now use an aquarium heater and the difference is like night and day!

So come on chaps, what are your top tips for home brewers? Any beer brewing related tip is welcome!
=D>
Steve

EccentricDyslexic

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by EccentricDyslexic » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:33 am

Ok a couple of tips for brewing big 10% beers-

Reduce your efficency to 60% as you will lose a fair amount of sugars as you wont be able to rinse all the sugars out of the mash as you will have toom much wort(unless you boil it away which will take hours)

Keep your mash temp low for really big beers ie 64c as you want maximum fermentables in the wort so you dont end up with too high a FG and too sweet a beer(thanks Aleman!)

The other tip (thanks pdtnc!) is to use your weaker runnings for a second beer (or two!), run them into spare fermentation vessels and boil them up after your big beer! A 3 beer brew day..Phew...thats a long day but well worth it i recon!

Steve

WishboneBrewery
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Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by WishboneBrewery » Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:55 pm

I'll do better next time!!! ;)

My most handy tip for my brewdays is to Prep your malts the night before so you get off to a good start the morning after :)

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trucker5774
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Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by trucker5774 » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:05 pm

Bulk prime when bottling..........it's way too much hassle to spoon onto bottles (and not accurate) even a syringe is a pain. I sometimes prime in the FV, which is not as daft as it first sounds.....try it :wink:
John

Drinking/Already drunk........ Trucker's Anti-Freeze (Turbo Cider), Truckers Delight, Night Trucker, Rose wine, Truckers Hitch, Truckers Revenge, Trucker's Lay-by, Trucker's Trailer, Flower Truck, Trucker's Gearshift, Trucker's Horn, Truck Crash, Fixby Gold!

Conditioning... Doing what? Get it down your neck! ........

FV 1............
FV 2............
FV 3............
Next Brews..... Trucker's Jack Knife

softlad

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by softlad » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:22 pm

Brew longer length beers.

I've started brewing 10 gal rather than 5. This way I dont get quite so many of those 'oh, your brewing again' remarks

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a-slayer
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Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by a-slayer » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:26 pm

Make more ... drink more!

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Dennis King
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Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by Dennis King » Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:32 pm

don`t drink to much when brewing or you tend to leave taps open etc. save it for after.

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simple one
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Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by simple one » Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:37 pm

trucker5774 wrote:Bulk prime when bottling..........it's way too much hassle to spoon onto bottles (and not accurate) even a syringe is a pain. I sometimes prime in the FV, which is not as daft as it first sounds.....try it :wink:

Bottle with no primings. It really works.
Currently serving - Maltmillers Oatmeal stout - Bottled, Pale Rye APA - FV

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Jolum
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Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by Jolum » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:47 pm

Chris-x1 wrote:Never let your bollocks dangle in the dust.
Harsh, funny but harsh :lol:
"Everybody has to believe in something…..I believe I’ll have another drink." - W.C. Fields

Blackjack

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by Blackjack » Sun Jun 06, 2010 9:56 pm

KISS Keep It Simple Stupid,
Use a small stainless or plastic bucket to collect the runnings off the MT, don't bother with fancy gubbinses, pumps valves and pipework, and sparge arms, 2 or 3 batch sparges/remashes collected in the bucket to a volume mark. When you have what is required, say 28 or 30 lts for a 5 gal jobby, STOP, leave the hydrometer in the cupboard. Boil, add hops wait 85 mins add more hops wait 5mins STOP. Use a nice simple coil cooler, I made a fancy counterflow hosepipe microbore cooler and it really is brilliant except (sorry Jim) the outlet temp is difficult to control and how do you clean and sterilise it?. run off into the FV use one of those big fancy sieves to capture the hops which will strain the trub as well, don't make a fancy strainer in the bottom of the boiler. Put the beer from the FV into a cask, or a plain plastic barrel. You may now measure the OG, BUT if you are repeating the same recipe carefully more than twice forget the hydrometer, it will only read the same as the previous two times. Learn what temperature is what just by sticking a finger in a glass of lukewarm water, is it 25 or 35 deg?, it is easy to tell. Use a nice fast yeast like S-04, follow the instructions and sprinkle into FV and job will be done in 4 to 6 days. Make up a light batten board and use an old fridge or plywood cupboard lined with insulating sheets and a digital thermometer, if cold of an eveneing switch the lights on overnight. Buy a jar of fresh isinglass solution and use a small cupful and your beer will be drinkable in another couple of days and perfect in less than a week. Use nice hops like Fuggles and Goldings ( as per G Wheeler) nobody went wrong using them. Buy your malt in a 25kg sack and put it in a rat/mouse proof cupboard, keep a spare thermometer ( G wheeler again). Irish moss works great you will need a teaspoon full. While your wort is boiling throw all your apparatus (jars jugs thermometers hydrometers sieve etc.) into the FV add 5 to 10 litres of lukewarm water, add several big glugs of everyday cheap bleach swirl and leave, rinse with hosepipe. RECIPE 4Kg of Maris Otter 100gm of Crystal malt, hlt at 77deg into the MT at 66. 40 gms of Goldings to start with 20 gms of Fuggles at the end. Golden nectar all day long, want it stronger add a tin of Tate and Lyles Golden slurp, want it darker and maltier add another 100gms of crystal, want a better head add a big handful of torrified wheat. Buy your 1gm digital scales from Tesco at no more than 13 squid. If you use an old Baby Burco forget the tap and just use a small Youngs 10 lt. bucket to jug it out. TASTE the wort at ALL stages. TASTE the beer in the FV at the end of the ferment before you cask it, this will tell you more than a hydrometer.

wetdog

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by wetdog » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:15 pm

After drinking a few bottles, wash them, steralise them, then cover the tops with a piece of cling film, that way you won't have to do the whole lot in one go.
I've stored bottles for a year like this.

leedsbrew

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by leedsbrew » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:43 pm

Get this Mrs on side by getting her interested in brewing! doesn't matter if her poison is wine, cider, lager or whatever.
If you can knock out a cider kit while the mash is on, or say "hey hun, I was going to get a few spare kg's of malt today but I decided to get a wine kit on for you instead :wink: [leaving the MO in the boot of the car :wink: :wink: ].

Your life becomes easier, and after a while she may even say "Why don't you do a brew day this weekend?" :shock: :shock:


I nearly fell over the 1st time that happened! :D :D :D

Blackjack

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by Blackjack » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:11 am

If you are batch sparging/remashing, do the initial mash for 60mins only ( or 70 mins ) and there will be less temperature drop in the MT, you can then set the hlt to run into the MT at a slightly lower temp at the start, and you can adjust your mash AND first sparge temp in the light of experience to get wort and beer that tastes just right ie. not too dry and not too sweet to your own taste. There is nothing magic in 90mins.

Cut your boil in the copper back to 60 mins total and this will save litres of lost vapour and time, the hops will still extract to almost the same extent, certainly within the natural variation of any given hop variety. You can reduce your sparge a little and this might be the difference between three sparges and two.

raiderman

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by raiderman » Mon Jun 07, 2010 11:53 am

What about keeping the ferment cool? The warm weather is here and I've lost batches to racing fermentation before producing thin orrible beer. I've resorted to putting the bucket in the bath on occassion and filling it with cold water but I get greif from the wife and daughter, so I use the kitchen sink instead, which isn't grief free either. Simple tips for keeping the FV cool would be appreciated

Tony01

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by Tony01 » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:09 pm

Tip 1.

Probably not for everyone this:
Get everything set up late in the evening (pref when the missus has gone to bed). Set timer switch on HLT for 5am and alarm clock for 5.30. Water is usually around the 70C mark and can get mash on immediately. Make breakfast and copious amounts of tea and sit on the computer in this place for an hour whilst sparge water is heating. I finish my whole brew and clean up by 10am and the missus can't complain about me using up an entire day.
Disadvantages: Can't play my music loud at that time of the morning - and even I like to wait 'til 11 for my first pint.

Tip 2.

Ask for brewdays as birthday pressies (and father's day). It doesn't cost the missus a penny to agree to it (making it very difficult to do so) and she'll feel guilty about not getting you anything and will buy you something too. I managed to get a turbo cider and an IPA brew next weekend all for father's day :D

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