No problem - happy to help. Yes, sorry - the wire to the Inkbird probe also fits through the drain hole. I would never drop the probe into the brew - not worth the risk of contamination. I normally tape it to the outside of the fermenting vessel and then tape a layer of bubble wrap over the probe, given that it's the temperatue inside the vessel that's important, rather than outside.Thanks for that!!!
Could I ask a couple of extra questions (sorry to carry on, I'm just eager to learn)?
Your inkbird thermostat I assume also comes through the drain hole of the fridge? Do you tape it to the fermentation vessel or drop in into the brew?
When you say secondary fermentation, I assume that would be when you've bottled? Or is it in a separate fermenter? Do you cold crash before bottling and/or use finings?
I have two more kits (but going to wait until I get the fridge) then thinking of doing smaller 10litre AG brews on my stove top to compare what they're like. Have you tried any All grain brewing?
Again, thanks for your info and help!
Yes - secondary fermentation always takes place in the bottles. I use PET (plastic) bottles which I really like because as the carbonation starts, so you can feel the bottles 'tighten' as the pressure inside builds. It gives you an instant guide that it's working. One tip I learned on here is that once I've bottled, before I put the screw cap on, I squeeze the bottle slightly to push some of the oxygen out and then cap. This leaves me with a slightly odd shaped bottle, but the way they regain their original shape is amazing and means there's less chance of oxidation. None of this is possible with glass bottles obviously!
I have actually just started cold crashing the fermenting vessel while it's in the fridge. This is only because of lockdown! I just have more time to do things and am not restricted to weekends. I can't comment on what difference this might make because that brew (Mangrove Jack's Juicy Session IPA) is still in the fridge, but if the beer is very clear then it's something I'll try to do with every kit I make. I'll post a review of the Juicy Session IPA in the appropriate thread in a few weeks (patience, remember?!!!).
I have never done all grain. It might be something I look at in the future, but I struggle to find the time to do kits sometimes, so all grain would be even worse. When I started 3/4 years ago, my aim was just to see if I could get a decent pint from a kit (which had obviously improved a lot since my early days when it was Tom Caxton, John Bull, or nothing!). My latest kit (MJ Pink Grapefruit IPA) is probably the best I've done. It's an absolutely cracking pint and I'm hoping for the same with my Juicy Session. Prior to that, my big successes were the Young's American IPA and the President's Sierra APA. There's also a real sense of satisfaction when you brew something you're proud of and when you get favourable comments from other beer lovers. In a nutshell, it's a great little hobby - enjoy it!