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  1. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    Does this need skimming?

    Apols for cross-posting from my brew-day thread. Normally I follow the rule of "don't mess with the FV" but this is one ugly looking sucker... Despite it looking like cauliflower cheese that's been under the grill for too long it's a spiced ale that's been fermenting for 3 days at 15ºc with...
  2. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    d-rest advice please

    I've got a Vienna lager in the FV that is ticking along at 12ºc with OYL-111. After 4 days it's down to 1030 (OG 1052). Q1: is it worth doing a d-rest? Q2: at what SG should I start raising the temp? (e.g. I was thinking 1020) Q3: what temp should I let it come up to? (bearing in mind the...
  3. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    Sight glass on the mash tun

    I improvised a sight glass on my mash tun - it's very useful when balancing the inflow and drain rates during fly-sparging athumb..
  4. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    Get started with microcontrollers (ESP32 using native 'C')

    Want to build your own temperature controller or interface to some simple electronics...? Then use a microcontroller. Costing less than a cup of posh coffee, microcontrollers are the unseen workhorse of almost every household electronic device. Tiny single-chip computers specialised to the task...
  5. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    TETB kegerator build

    Introduction Does the world really need another kegerator build blog...? Probably not. But the idea with this one is to make it specific: what model of fridge, where precisely to drill the holes, etc. Here's what I aim to build: a kegerator based on a brand new, cheapish, widely available...
  6. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    Brew2Bottle double tap font

    Anyone tried the Brew2Bottle double tap font (brushed stainless) to fit on top of a kegerator? I'd be interested to know if the look/feel of it is OK and whether it was reasonably straightforward to fit the shanks and taps... Thinking of getting the font plus two of each of these ... is that...
  7. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    Fridge hacking guide

    This blog/howto is a bit more detailed than most and has good photos and a few useful tips: Fridge hacking guide: converting a fridge for fermenting beer | BrewPi Random points I picked up: if you run a cable/gas line in through the drain hole, ensure that condensation doesn't run down it and...
  8. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    BeerSmith 3 - how to fix the estimated attenuation / FG

    I've been using BS3 for a while and I find it really useful for adjusting recipes so as to hit the desired strength, bitterness etc. with my own equipment profile. One thing that's been annoying me though is that its final gravity and attenuation estimates often seem to be way out. For example...
  9. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    List of fridge internal dimensions

    As none of the suppliers/manufacturers seem to quote internal dimensions for their fridges I thought I'd take a trip to Curry's with my tape measure. Please feel free to post about any other models you have measurements for. One thing to be aware of is that about half of the under-counter...
  10. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    Enough chocolate malt, already...

    Went round to a mate's house last night and we tried a bottle sent to him by a mutual friend. Apart from the significant über carbonation (ugh) the first thing that hit me was the all-too familiar taste I associate with chocolate malt. Again. Now, I'll admit up front that I may be wrong -...
  11. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    Fight back against spam email and calls (UK)

    OK you can't completely block it (especially the generic junk from fly-by-night operations) but if you get an unsolicited contact from a legit organisation then look up the contact details of their Data Protection Officer (DPO) and send them one or both of these template letters helpfully...
  12. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    Help choosing a tap please...

    Been thinking of buying a tap as a present for a friend who's been letting me use his old fridge for lagering. The intention would be to fit it through the fridge door. Had a quick look at the usual online suppliers and it's quite confusing... long shanks, short shanks, flow control, forward...
  13. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    Should you trust your digital scales?

    100ml of plain water weighs 100grams, right...? Hmmm... my old physics teacher would have grimaced and said "No, 100ml of water has a mass of 100g". Stay with me here... For various reasons today I decided to check the calibration of my hydrometer. It's a decent Stevenson Reed glass one...
  14. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    Hydrometer using a load cell

    I've recently been making a hydrometer using the tilt principle. It's a clever idea but in practice it seems hard to get repeatable accuracy; possibly due to the effect of krausen build up on the lid. Also from my perspective it's a bit of a pain having to use batteries. So I'm going to try a...
  15. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    Doubled my RO flow rate

    About a year ago I got one of these cheap 3-stage RO filters. It works well but it's a bit slow: about 5 litres/hr at 3.8 bar. For a total of £28 I've now fitted a higher capacity membrane and matching flow restrictor, which has more than doubled my collection rate to 12 litres/hr athumb.. If...
  16. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    Boom & Bust

    I just seem to be stuck in this terrible cycle of Boom & Bust. Whenever I have beer that's properly in condition it vanishes faster than snow in Summer. Friends and family erupt from the woodwork like slugs heading for the cabbage patch on a full moon. Next thing you know, I'm sloshing the...
  17. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    Harrogate water profiles

    Just had a few days staying in beautiful Harrogate. Of course in Victorian times the town was famous for its 'water cure' having some of the most sulferous water in the UK. So when I saw this plaque in the municipal gardens showing the analysis of the minerals of the different springs I thought...
  18. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    German drinking songs LP

    Spotted in a shop window in Harrogate - must track down a copy!
  19. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    DIY Sight glass for mash tun

    Just sharing this in case it's of interest to anyone... When I'm fly sparging I try to keep the liquor just above the top of the grain but sometimes it's a bit difficult to see the level. Yesterday I improvised a sight glass by tee'ing off a bit of clear tubing from the outlet - worked pretty...
  20. The-Engineer-That-Brews

    Rehydrating yeast

    Blimey, this re-hydrating yeast business is more complicated than I thought. The Lallamand BRY-97 instructions say: " Rehydration guidelines are quite simple and present a much lower risk of contamination than a starter, which is unnecessary when using the recommended pitch rate of dried...
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