The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Acceptable Post Guidelines, How to Post Pictures etc etc.
Post Reply
User avatar
Hogarth
Under the Table
Posts: 1793
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 1:30 am
Location: Brixton, London

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by Hogarth » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:54 pm

The beer/exercise ratio is way biased in favour of exercise, in my opinion. After sweating away on an exercise bike for half an hour this evening, I calculated I'd burnt off ONE PINT of beer and maybe half a Hobnob. Barely seems worth it.

Sorry ... I know this is meant to be Top Tips thread. How about: When they're not in use, always store your fermenters and kegs with the taps in. There's nothing more off-putting than mouse droppings in your brewing vessels. :-&

colonial

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by colonial » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:19 am

1. Control fermentation temperatures as best you can. I have a cooler with a foam insulation top + ice packs. I live in the temperate part of Canada (hence, 'British' Columbia), so it never gets really hot or cold; but, hot enough in the summer to make sh*te batches without some kind of fermentation control.

2. Pitch enough yeast - make a starter!! I use DME and a 1 gal jug.

3. Get as much oxygen into your wort when cooled and before you pitch your yeast. A good, vigourous mix with a spoon for a few minutes will work wonders!

The proof for me is in the 'pudding' - my beer has really improved since I have been doing these things. Treat the yeast well and I'll treat you well.

boingy

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by boingy » Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:33 am

adm wrote:
mysterio wrote:
- And a good tip from Brotherton Lad (I think it was), run (at least) a mile for every pint you drink. I started doing this last month. Just because you're a beer drinker/brewer doesn't mean you have to be a slob :D
Top tip! Although I'm trying to either cycle ten miles per pint or swim 1km. (I hate running - and after I mangled a leg in a motorbike smash years ago, I can't do it!)
And if you are not really the exercising type, or if there are not enough hours in the day to fit in the required exercise, then try to drink a pint of beer for every pint you drink.

WishboneBrewery
CBA Prizewinner 2010
Posts: 7874
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:06 pm
Location: Keighley, West Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by WishboneBrewery » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:01 am

I can't see me keeping that closer eye on fermentation :)

EoinMag

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by EoinMag » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:13 am

pdtnc wrote:I can't see me keeping that closer eye on fermentation :)
Nor me really, it's what the pros do though, but then they have time daily for faffing and checking.

EccentricDyslexic

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by EccentricDyslexic » Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:55 am

If you use a hose pipe to fill stuff up, rinse stuff out ect, steralise it!! I have no choice but to use one as by brewery is in my garden office, and for a few brews i have noticed when filling the HLT a french cheese smell, i put this down to a smelly HLT so bleached it, but the smell seemed to remain on refilling. I have had a lot of beers go bad recently, so as you all know i am on a anti contamination drive and have rebuilt my brewey to automate it and eliminate many potential sources of contamination, but i am seriously wondering if all the time it was the bleedin hose pipe! As i am about to fire up the autobrew mk1 i am playing with pumping stuff around. So i filled up the boiler with the hoose...and the same smell was there!! IDIOT! Its the bleedin hose!!

Moral of this story- sanitise your hose and use a no rinse sanitiser for rinsing your stuff--somat like starsan!!!!

Steve

tanglefoot

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by tanglefoot » Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:12 am

For fermentation temp control this time of year i use a small cornelius Maxi 110 flash cooler.

Heres how i do it : I have a 50ltr stainless keg as a fermenter with about 8mtrs of 5/16 plastic pipe coiled tightly around the outside . I then wrap loads of foil duct tape around this to secure it tightly to the keg . I then wrapped lots of foil/glassfiber ducting around the keg to ensure good insulation and brought my two water pipe out the side . These are connected to the water recirc connections on the flash cooler . I then use an ETC 200+ temp controller with the temp probe sitting in the water tank on the flash cooler . The flash cooler has its own temp thermostat which you have to cut the compressor wires and run these through the ETC 200 instead . This then means the water pump goes all the time recirculating around fermentor and the ETC 200 brings the compressor in when needed to maintain the water temp/ fermentor temp at your desired temp . I also like the way when my wort has reached final gravity i can turn the temp down low and leave to clear down in the fermenter and rack straight into corny kegs :lol:
For the winter i plan to have a small heater in the water circuit and use the temp controller controlling that . I prefer to heat this way as i never like the extra risk of infection having an aquarium heater in the fermenter .

Costs for this project
Cornelius Maxi 110 cooler from e bay £45.00
ETC 200+ Temp controller £12.00 from our old chinese mates
Pipe , john guest fittings, insulation and duct tape £15
Old 50ltr sanke keg (cut open and modified for fermenter ) £ Zero just my own time to cut open and i had the pipe fittings

Total cost of stainless temp controlled fermentation £72.00

The quality of my beers have vastly improved since doing this and it meant i could do my first Pilsner which was fantastic !

Blackjack

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by Blackjack » Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:16 pm

BIG BIG BIG Top Tip.....

DON'T PANIC

I'm serious, water is water, and you have to live with very strange water to brew bad beer. Infections are not lurking around every corner( well they are but they are unlikely to kill you.). Plus or minus on the grain or the OG who cares?.
Hops is an imprecise science (GW says so! so there!). Tesco cheap bleach at 28p for 2 lits. will clean EVERYTHING. Throw it in, chuck it about, sprinkle dried yeast on the top/take a couple of scoops out the bottom of the last brew..it will be OK.
If the stat on the HLT is where it should be and you know it to be reliable then the liquor will be at the right strike temp.

DO NOT...do anything that cannot be described adequately in one sentence,

KEEP NOTES.. do be casual but do keep notes. You will learn very little by getting it perfect every time, but if you can sit back with a glass of little oddity or not quite perfect and look back through your notes and wonder WHY? then the next brew will be even better.

Use Forums as a very useful resource but DO NOT take what you find on here as gospel, it ain't. ( I was told Lager Malt was fine for making bitter and ended up sending 10 gallons of Lager/Bitter b***tard brew to my sons but they think it's wonderful and want more!!!)

Blackjack

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by Blackjack » Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:42 pm

A suggestion...pick your favourite beer style... GW's book would be a good starting point.. Then make it and enjoy.

THEN......play with the recipe, design your own beer. more of this and less of that... recipes are only a starting point and if you like good beer and can follow a recipe competently then you can write your own recipe and it will taste even better.

bigdave

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by bigdave » Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:58 am

My top tip for removing labels and their sticky residue is pop to tesco's/wilkos/asda/screw fix tec.. and buy a can of De Solv It Sticy Stuff Remover. It comes in a gel or an aerosol and does exactly what it says on the tin.

1. Soak your bottles in hot water (as hot as your hands can stand) for 10 mins

2. Try to peel off the labels.

3. Using a green scourer add some sticky stuff remover and give any sticky residue a quick rub.

4. Rinse and sterilise

This works for plastic and paper labels.

User avatar
a-slayer
Hollow Legs
Posts: 371
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:03 pm
Location: Stonehouse, Gloucestershire

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by a-slayer » Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:44 am

Best tip.
Don't wear your best black t-shirt when cleaning out you FV with a bleach solution!
How many of us home brewers have white spots on our clothes?

JackA

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by JackA » Sun Aug 22, 2010 12:39 pm

bigdave wrote:My top tip for removing labels and their sticky residue
Easier, but less instant, is to just fill a bucket/barrel/FV with cold water, chuck all your bottles in a leave for a week. Job done!

bigdave

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by bigdave » Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:16 pm

JackA wrote:
bigdave wrote:My top tip for removing labels and their sticky residue
Easier, but less instant, is to just fill a bucket/barrel/FV with cold water, chuck all your bottles in a leave for a week. Job done!
even with plastic labels?

JackA

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by JackA » Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:51 pm

Ah, not so sure, never actually come across one :o

raiderman

Re: The 'Top Tips' Thread!

Post by raiderman » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:57 pm

Blackjack wrote:


Use Forums as a very useful resource but DO NOT take what you find on here as gospel, it ain't. ( I was told Lager Malt was fine for making bitter and ended up sending 10 gallons of Lager/Bitter b***tard brew to my sons but they think it's wonderful and want more!!!)
I hope that wasn't me!Sorry if it was. I use lager malt for brewing blonde and golden ales. I'm not just saying that, my mate Ainsworth who is CAMRA accredited is very happy to drink the stuff. Normal lager malt as a straw coloured bitter is great, its got less flavour than MO but a bit of wheat malt carapils and a tad of munich is all it needs to fill it out

Post Reply