Relax...

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Relax...

Postby DrewInToledo » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:49 pm

This may not fit perfectly on this board, but it does touch on creating my own food! errr... brew! Beer gardening, right? :)

All this thinking and planning to build a RMH has drivin me to thumb through the forums, where I've found plenty of advice.

All of this browsing and advice makes my mind move, and the advice I've found is to relax, and have a homebrew.

So, I scored two Sanke kegs on Craigslist for $20 ea., ripped the top off and brewed 10 gallons of IPA.

Here, I built a self-driven jig to slice off the top of the sanke. No worries on the automation, I was safley back 10 feet with protective gear and my hand on the kill switch:

http://www.youtube.com/embed/JdPXRuuABS8


And here, you can see my mash tun on the lower left wrapped in a blanket. The temperature dropped from 178° to 150° after adding 22lbs of two-row and some carapils. Spot on!

The upper keg is heating my rinse water..

Image
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Re: Relax...

Postby mannytheseacow » Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:29 pm

Sweet! The homebrew discussion has begun!

I love your automated cutter. That is dope! I must assume OSHA was not involved. :lol:

I use a PVC column for my mash tun- I'll post some photos when I have more time. I came up with the idea of the PVC column in an effort to achieve super-high extract values. Several years ago a bunch of industrial brewers sat down to relax and have a homebrew and discuss how to get their homebrews as efficient as their mega-scale breweries.

Mega breweries achieve near 100% efficiency by having an optimum grain bed depth. This "optimum depth" turns out to be about 48 inches.

So I calculated the average grain/mash volume for the standard ales that I usually make and created a PVC column that achieves that deep grain bed. It's pretty simple- a thermometer on the side, a screen on the bottom, and a valve at the bottom to let the water out come sparge time and for cleaning. I've got a little stand that holds it above buckets to catch the sparge water. Turns out- $16 later and a little effort and I'm getting near 100% efficiency and really clean tasting brews. I'd love to create this thing out of stainless or copper instead of plastic but then I relax and have a homebrew and remember that I've already made some dang good brew!
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Re: Relax...

Postby DrewInToledo » Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:46 pm

Beautiful! I can't wait to see your invention!

Believe it or not, this is my very first all grain and it's been almost 3 weeks. I have a home-brew kegerator and use 5 gallon coneys which I'm going to fill and start force carbing tonight.

Everything else prior has been extract/hybrid.

My next brew will be an all grain smoked stout..

The last smoked stout came out well. I smoked the grains on a screen for about 20 minutes.

Image

Please share your grainbed distro-tube! :)
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Re: Relax...

Postby DevilsBrew » Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:51 pm

I'm glad you started this thread. I am unable to watch the video until after work but I can't wait! Cheers! :D
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Re: Relax...

Postby matt walker » Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:51 pm

Love it! Both of you guys, awesome innovation and in such a lovely field. I am embarrassed to admit, I've never brewed beer. It always seems so complex, I just haven't taken the time to wrap my head around it. I do create my own libations, but it tends towards the low input/high return variety. I'm excited to follow along here and perhaps get inspired enough to try my first batch this winter.
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Re: Relax...

Postby mannytheseacow » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:46 pm

Here goes:
Image

Just a length of PVC with end caps. I cut a screen to fit the dia. of the PVC and then glued the bottom cap on. Top cap just sits loose, acting as a lid. It holds it's temp really well. I'm surprised by how well. I drilled a hole in the bottom cap and inserted a small pipe fitted with an on/off petcock valve and JB welded it in place. There's way more involved systems out there and this one can be hard to clean, but dang it was cheap and super effective.

Here's a view down inside:

Image

You can see the thermometer sticking out.
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Re: Relax...

Postby mannytheseacow » Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:46 pm

I do the same thing, Drew. Corny kegs in the fridge, always a couple beers on tap. I've been all-grain brewing for longer than I can remember. A bit of an old dog so to speak. I know how to do what I do and it works and I don't think about changing or improving too much.

matt walker wrote:I am embarrassed to admit, I've never brewed beer. It always seems so complex, I just haven't taken the time to wrap my head around it.


I can see where you're coming from, Matt. I never built a RMH until now either, because it just seemed too complex and too unlikely to work. It's all about that thirst for knowledge, ya know? Making cheese, bread, yogurt, sausage, beer, wine.... it's all the same. No different than growing pigs or vegetables or trees. You just have an organism in a controlled environment and you manipulate that organisms inputs and outputs to work the way you want it to, or to think about it in an even easier way: you just facilitate what the organism wants to do already, on its own. You just gotta keep it comfortable. :)

I'd make a couple of kits first to get the gist of it. It's pretty easy- you just mix a can with water and add yeast- then wait. If I had ready access to Full-Sail 'round here, though, I wouldn't be so inclined to homebrew! :lol: Though you got the Yakima hops right around the corner, too.
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Re: Relax...

Postby matt walker » Fri Oct 25, 2013 5:08 pm

Cool, thanks Manny. I typically just make fruit wines from my orchard, and sometimes they are, um, processed a bit to improve them. ;) Actually, lots of times. lol.

Beer, well, I fear I like it too much and could never keep up with my appetite. Like Guy, I tend towards the PBR end of the scale. That said, once this stupid stove stuff coming up is behind me, I'm thinking I might need a new hobby. Get ready for dumb newb questions during the dark months!
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Re: Relax...

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:23 pm

I have no comment on the process you have just described Matt. No comment at all, ;) Don't ask , Don't tell is my motto, :lol:

PS I would love a taste, ;)
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Re: Relax...

Postby DrewInToledo » Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:10 pm

Nice job Manny! I've never seen a mash tun built like that before. I'm not a "safety Sally" but I wonder if any yuckies are leaching out of the PVC? You said you've been brewing for a long time and I can only assume you're still alive, so the concern is prolly nill. Had I seen that before I bought a kettle and weld-less valve I would have opted for it, and with the valve on the bottom, you essentially have zero dead space. Last year I was kicking around the idea of putting legs on my mash tun, adding an elbow on the bottom and then threading the valve horizontally but I figured I have better resale keeping with my original construction should I wish to end the hobby.

I built a stir plate and have a large Erlenmeyer, but went the simple route with dry yeast. I didn't even hydrate. I must be getting lazy. Anyway,I just kegged up 10 gallons that I fermented in two buckets; one with us-05 and the other with WB-06, just for fun. This may sound weird, but using the wb-06 on my ale gave an almost a Belgian taste IMO.
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