Hazelwood’s Brewday Part 2

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I had a nightmare once and transferred a lot of hop matter into the keg. I left it as but in my case the dip tube got blocked and the beer wouldn’t dispense. I ended up siphoning to another keg.
Again, apologies for the delay in my reply.

Thanks for the feedback, it confirms my thinking/fears! Looks like I will still end up siphoning my beer :rolleyes:
 
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My first use of a tap on my fermenting bucket has been a minor disaster although to be fair it wasn’t the tap that caused problems. This is the setup I attempted, a tap with some hose and an in-line filter which I needed because my first dry hop on day 0 was leaf.

View attachment 67565
When I opened the tap beer leaked at an alarming rate from the filter (where the clear cover met the black body) so I had to remove it. I then watched shadows flit every few seconds down the hose into my keg - leaf hops!

I now have a keg of beer with leaf hops in and I have no doubt whatever that if I tried to dispense they are going to block the dip-tube and the poppet in the beer-out post. Damn! 😭

What I’ve decided to do unless anyone has any bright ideas is just leave it for a couple of weeks to settle out (I’ve already displaced the air in the head space). I will then SYPHON(!) it into another keg and carbonate it from there.

I need a holiday!
Time for a pressure fermenter.

I guess when transferring keg to keg that you will do it all under pressure to prevent o2 pick up.
 
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My first use of a tap on my fermenting bucket has been a minor disaster although to be fair it wasn’t the tap that caused problems. This is the setup I attempted, a tap with some hose and an in-line filter which I needed because my first dry hop on day 0 was leaf.

View attachment 67565
When I opened the tap beer leaked at an alarming rate from the filter (where the clear cover met the black body) so I had to remove it. I then watched shadows flit every few seconds down the hose into my keg - leaf hops!

I now have a keg of beer with leaf hops in and I have no doubt whatever that if I tried to dispense they are going to block the dip-tube and the poppet in the beer-out post. Damn! 😭

What I’ve decided to do unless anyone has any bright ideas is just leave it for a couple of weeks to settle out (I’ve already displaced the air in the head space). I will then SYPHON(!) it into another keg and carbonate it from there.

I need a holiday!
Ouch rough day for sure. Sorry should have mentioned at some point that is an issue. I either bag or use this bad boy for dry hopping now.

How did you get around this with a syphon?


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Ouch rough day for sure. Sorry should have mentioned at some point that is an issue. I either bag or use this bad boy for dry hopping now.

How did you get around this with a syphon?


View attachment 67631
With a small nylon mesh bag like this…


After 19 days in the fermenter I thought I should get my competition saison into a keg. I do want a complete and clean fermentation but I don’t want it sitting on the yeast too long - judgement call.

Anyway, it looks good and finished at 1004 giving me a perfect ABV of 6.0. It tastes clean though obviously isn’t conditioned and the flavours need to develop but I’m very happy with it at this stage.

View attachment 64650 View attachment 64651
 
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With a small nylon mesh bag like this…
Ahh the filter was a change in process. I did try a couple filters and had issues with them all. Now it's hop spiders and bags.

If the keg isn't too full maybe you could add this in?

 
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Ahh the filter was a change in process. I did try a couple filters and had issues with them all. Now it's hop spiders and bags.

If the keg isn't too full maybe you could add this in?

Interesting…🤔
 
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My first use of a tap on my fermenting bucket has been a minor disaster although to be fair it wasn’t the tap that caused problems. This is the setup I attempted, a tap with some hose and an in-line filter which I needed because my first dry hop on day 0 was leaf.

View attachment 67565
When I opened the tap beer leaked at an alarming rate from the filter (where the clear cover met the black body) so I had to remove it. I then watched shadows flit every few seconds down the hose into my keg - leaf hops!

I now have a keg of beer with leaf hops in and I have no doubt whatever that if I tried to dispense they are going to block the dip-tube and the poppet in the beer-out post. Damn! 😭

What I’ve decided to do unless anyone has any bright ideas is just leave it for a couple of weeks to settle out (I’ve already displaced the air in the head space). I will then SYPHON(!) it into another keg and carbonate it from there.

I need a holiday!
Replace the long dip tube with floating dip tube? I am a big fan of floating dip tubes - I ferment under pressure in a 38L corny with a floating dip tube which enables me to pressure transfer clear beer or even serve straight from the fermenter.
 
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Arrived back from Cyprus this morning and after a few non brewing chores (unpacking, washing, etc) my first brewing job is to get some beers on tap!

When I went on holiday I cleaned, rinsed, and drained the beer lines, disconnected the kegs, and turned off the gas. As I’ve been away two-weeks I decided to clean the lines again before putting the kegs back on tap and I’m pleased to say they were actually already clean. I know I might have expected them to be but I’m taking nothing for granted.

Anyway kegs are back on tap and time for a cheese banjo with a small glass of Altbier. It’s still not fully cleared so maybe it never will but it tastes good all the same.

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It’s also nice that in the last two weeks the plants have all started to come into flower🤗
 

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My first use of a tap on my fermenting bucket has been a minor disaster although to be fair it wasn’t the tap that caused problems. This is the setup I attempted, a tap with some hose and an in-line filter which I needed because my first dry hop on day 0 was leaf.

View attachment 67565
When I opened the tap beer leaked at an alarming rate from the filter (where the clear cover met the black body) so I had to remove it. I then watched shadows flit every few seconds down the hose into my keg - leaf hops!

I now have a keg of beer with leaf hops in and I have no doubt whatever that if I tried to dispense they are going to block the dip-tube and the poppet in the beer-out post. Damn! 😭

What I’ve decided to do unless anyone has any bright ideas is just leave it for a couple of weeks to settle out (I’ve already displaced the air in the head space). I will then SYPHON(!) it into another keg and carbonate it from there.

I need a holiday!
I’ve fitted a King Keg top tap type float to the tap in my fermentation bucket. Stops “bits” getting sucked over when transferring.
 
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I’ve fitted a King Keg top tap type float to the tap in my fermentation bucket. Stops “bits” getting sucked over when transferring.
Yes I saw that. I have floating leaf hops too so I’m not sure that would have provided a full solution - though I have seen them with built-in filters.

I’m currently toying with the idea of converting my King kegs into pressure fermenters as they are half way there already.
 
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I’ve decided I’m going to syphon my leafy Summer Breeze into another keg today. I am of course expecting this batch to oxidise quickly after all this mucking about so I’ll need to get another batch on before long.

There’s not much point repeating the same mistake however so before I do brew another batch I’m going to try converting one of my King Kegs into a pressure fermenter.

More on this when I have a plan…
 
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In other news, my new glycol chiller is doing it’s job of chilling but is less successful when it comes to circulating the coolant through my heat-exchangers. It seems this replacement chiller has better temperature control than the old one but the recirculation pump is not as good.

My solution is to replace the pump with a submersible pump off Amazon. I might do this tomorrow as it will be cooler in the morning and that should give me time to do the work before my beer gets warm.
 
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I’ve re-kegged Summer Breeze. This is the setup; two kegs one syphon (with filter!) and fingers crossed.

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The transfer actually went very smoothly and the beer was clean and fresh looking so I’m actually more hopeful than I was at the start. I definitely would have blocked something with those hop leaves so this was the right decision.
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The beer looks clean and tastes good. Now I’m hoping the exposure to oxygen doesn’t turn the beer before I get a chance to drink it!
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This does mean I now have a keg for the bitter that’s sitting in the fermenter. ;)
 
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The bitter is kegged and is reassuring dependable finishing beautifully clear and with point perfect FG. ABV =4.46%
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The yeast cake is clean and settled into a lovely compact mat. This beer hasn’t even been cold crashed, it’s still at 20C right out of the fermentation cabinet.
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Ah, someone took their eye off the ball - staring at that lovely yeast cake! 😂
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My task for this morning was to replace the coolant pump in my chiller with a more capable pump and restore coolant flow to my heat exchanger. I’m sorry to say I’ve failed to achieve my objective. 😢

The day started well with just removing all my kegs and stripping out the cabinetry and insulation to give me access to the chiller internals.
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The pump in question is the thing that looks like a white wheel near the centre in the picture above. Here’s a close-up and another picture with the pump lifted out of the water bath.
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The propeller is the stirrer in the water bath and helps maintain an even temperature through the bath. Above it is the centrifugal water pump with a hose attached that comes out of the front of the chiller as a 3/8 stainless tube. This is the recirculation port used to chill the barrel on a hand pump or freeze the beer font to give that cold condensation/ice display. This pump runs continuously while the chiller is switched on.

In this picture I’ve replaced the pump with a 1500 litres/hour submersible pump.
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Switch on, and…
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…nothing! You might not see very clearly in the photo but there is no coolant flowing through this pipe into the heat exchanger. In fact there is just the merest dribble. So what’s gone wrong?

Well I had a similar problem not long back when one of the motorised valves failed so I wondered if it might be possible that another has failed. I decoupled the motor from the valve and could see the motor turn to the open and closed position as demanded by the control panel.

So could there be a blockage in the pipework? I disconnected the pipework at the feed to the heat exchanger added a length of 3/8 pipe as shown below and blew into it.
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A few seconds later I saw and heard bubbles in the chiller water bath. No blockage.

So it appears I ordered a pump that has the same inadequate lift as the chiller pump. Idiot!

I’ve just ordered a 3000 litre/hour pump with a 2.8m lift and should receive it today sometime. I’m hoping this will be good enough but there seems to be a gap in the water pump market between smaller lower power pumps and more capable pumps so if this doesn’t work it will take a bit of searching to find something suitable. Let’s hope this one does the job.🤞
 
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Last night I finished the keg of Dark Mild so this morning I used that keg for my latest batch of nitro stout which has been sitting in the fermenter waiting for a keg to become free. It tastes quite similar to the last batch but it hasn’t conditioned and isn’t carbonated as yet.

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Having taken the Dark Mild off I had a spare tap so the bitter is now on-line. Having put it on tap I had to have a small glass to see how it is. Beautiful is how it is ;) I’m going to need to get another batch on soon along with another batch of mild, a hoppy IPA, and a saison as that’s also down to the last half-dozen pints.

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Also an update on my shed cooling. The replacement pump was actually too big to sit in the water bath among the cooling coils so I couldn’t use it. I did find another pump and took a punt on it. It has worked a treat and is tiny. The body of the pump is not far off the size of a medium sized egg but can pump water to a head of 5m. It needs a 12v 1A supply so I’ve given it a 5A supply, of course.

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