Here is a video I created which goes through the steps required to make a yeast starter. Its not that difficult so give it a try (and a few minutes) for your next batch. Remember brewers make wort and yeast make beer; if you don’t have enough yeast cells the yeast will not make the quality beer you are hoping for.

Yeast Starter Size and Pitching Rate Calculator

 

 

Dec 192010

Want to bottle your already kegged beer but dont know how to do it without buying an expensive beer gun or counterpessure bottle filler apparatus?  Here is how…

Parts needed:

1-beer dispenser with hose and fittings to keg 3/8″ orfice

1-3/8″ racking cane (an old racking can works well also but you will need to upgrade)
1-rubber stopper size 2

  1. Cut the racking cane so that a 24″ section remains.  This is so the cane can reach into the bottom of the bottle.
  2. Cut off one end of the cane at a 45° angle so that it doesn’t plug when it reaches the bottom of the bottle.
  3. Slide the racking cane through the stopper roughly halfway.
  4. Fit the end that is cut at 90° into the faucet spout.

That’s it for construction.  Now how to operate:

  1. Position the stopper for the bottle being used.  Ideally the cane will be at the bottom of the bottle with the rubber stopper sealed to the bottle.
  2. Turn down the keg pressure to 2-5 psi so that there is just enough pressure to push the beer.
  3. Release the faucet handle so beer is allowed to flow.  Pressure should begin to build in the bottle and flow will stop assuming the stopper is sealed.
  4. With your thumb press on the upper portion of the rubber stopper so that the seal to the bottle is just slightly broken.  This will slowly release pressure and the bottle will fill.
  5. Once the bottle nears the top pull out the stopper and give a quick shot of beer in the top of the bottle to cause foaming.
  6. Once the foam rises out the top of the bottle, cap the bottle.  The point of pushing foam out of the top is so that all the air is purged from the bottle.  The reduces oxygen exposure and increases shelf life.

There you have it – a carbonated, yeast sediment free, tasty brew in bottled form.

For the case of brewing I love the Love Controller and I will walk through a DIY that is fairly simple which will allow you to have your brews fermenting ales and lagers within 1 degree of your desired temperature.  As fermentation temperature has a huge effect on the outcome of your beer, it is extremely important that this be controlled tightly.

On to the controller…

Parts Needed:
1-love controller ts2-010

1-Electrical Plugin Chord
1-Dual Outlet Plugin (a standard home outlet)
1-Electrical Box large enough to fit components
1-Electrical On/Off Switch (feel free to purchase what your preference is).
Spare Wire for connections

Mark and cutout where the controller, switch, and plugin will be installed on the unit.  Also drill a hole for the power chord plugin.

Wiring schematic to controller:

Instead of wiring directly to the heater or fridge the controller should instead be wired directly to the plugins that will be installed on the electrical box.  The power switch will enable the controller to then tell the switch to activate for heating or cooling depending on the mode that the controller is in (which is easily changeable).

Fermentation Where Heating is Needed:

Parts Needed:

1-Container large enough to fit a carboy in
1-Aquarium heater – and it is nice if it has suction cups to hold on to the carboy
1-Aquarium water pump

To achieve the best control I have found it is best to place the aquarium heater and pump at the bottom of the bath.  On the opposite side of the carboy I place the control thermistor at the bottom of the bath.  The pump will ensure good mixing when the bath is being heated and will ensure that the temperature remains constant throughout the water bath.

Fermenting Where Cooling is Needed:

Parts Needed:
1-You will need a chest freezer or fridge to place the carboy.
1-Controller Unit

Plug in the fridge to the controller unit and change the settings in the controller from heating to cooling.  This is fairly straightforward and a fridge or freezer can often be found on Craigslist for free or at least for fairly cheap.  Make sure to set the fridge or freezer to the lowest cooling temperature possible so it doesn’t limit your temperature range.

Unless someone tells me otherwise, I am fairly confident that this is one of the best bangs for your buck as far as home brewing is concerned right next to the wort chiller.  I would never brew another batch without it.

One of the most under-rated aspects of brewing is cooling your wort.  If the wort is not chilled fast enough there will be higher levels of DMS (cooked vegetable off flavor) or what I call sheep’s piss.

Here is what you need to build your own chiller:

  • 50′ of copper tubing (1/4″ or 3/8″).  The more, the better…
  • 8′ of vinyl tubing which will mate with copper tubing (size dependent on copper tubing)
  • 3 hose clamps
  • copper bender (if available)
  • 1 Garden hose adapter with barbed end
  • Bend the copper tubing into a coil so that it fits into the kettle you will be using.  Be sure to have both ends of the tubing extend up so that they can hang over the kettle.  It is important that there is enough tubing so it can be bent downward over the kettle so any dripping from the lines does not flow back into the wort.  Cornelius kegs will also work as a way to bend the coil into a perfect coil by wrapping the tubing around the keg.
  • Connect the vinyl tubing to the copper tubing and lock on hose clamps.
  • Hose clamp garden hose adapter onto vinyl tubing so that a garden hose can be attached to supply water to the chiller
  • Plug into a water supply and check for leaks.

Thats it!

© 2011 All Grain Beer Brewing and Beer Recipe Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha