Hello from the Highlands!

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clyne

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Hello fellow brew peeps. I live in the far north of Scotland, married with a son. I first started brewing when I was around 17 using the good old tins of "syrup" and plastic buckets. Over the last few years my passion has been somewhat re-ignited and I'm not all grain brewing. My wife bought me a Robobrew v3 for my anniversary 2 years ago and a SS Brewtech Chronical last year - I love them both! I've managed to scrounge an old lucozade fridge and have this hooked up to an STC1000 with some tubular heaters which I used as my fermentation fridge out in the garage (although it's usually so cold here I only use the heating part as I don't think the fridge works anyway!). I love IPA's and a nice stout and porter. I'm absolutely still learning - every brew day is an experiment and a learning curve for me.

In fact....this weekend I'm planning a brew day but it will be my first attempt at a lager. I've got all the grain and hops I need (Saaz) - but anything I should watch out for? I understand the lager yeast needs a lower temperature so I'll bear that in mind (I've got a WhiteLabs yeast I'm going to make up as a starter on Friday night all being well) - but any other tips?

Thanks - loving the forum - have been snooping around for a few days and already learned lots just by reading other threads.

P.S. For work I'm a software developer, so I love tech! I've got a little Raspberry Pi hooked up to a temperature probe sitting inside my Chronical and then take a temp reading every 10 mins so I can see what my temperature trend looks like over my fermentation period. Happy to help with any tech questions :)

Over and out!
 

An Ankoù

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Good morning Clyne and welcome.
The following is from the WhiteLabs website. Note that the temperatures are in Fahrenheit, you can find a converter online if you use a different scale. I would ALWAYS choose option A as you want the yeast to take a grip of your beer before anything else does. I always imagine that in a dedicated brewery you haven't got as much chance of infection as the only thing that happens there is brewing. In your kitchen, on the other hand, you've got meat, milk products, house-dust, dogs and cats and God only knows what chucking stuff into the air and into your FV.

There are two different methods of pitching lagers. Brewers use each method with success, but every brewer has their preference.


The easiest method is (A).


A) Start the yeast warm and lower to 50-55°F after the start of fermentation. The yeast should be pitched at 66-70°F. Once you see active fermentation, bring the temperature of the wort down 10° per 12 hours until the desired temperature is reached. This method works well without forming high amounts of esters because most esters are produced after the first 12 hours.


B) Pitch the yeast at the desired fermentation temperature (48-55°F). Lager yeast ferment well at this temperature, but they grow very slowly. If you are using this method, understand that you may not see signs of activity for 48-72 hours. If starting the fermentation cold, we recommend you make a 1-2 liter starter per 5 gallons, or if a commercial brewery, pitching the next size up (a 21BBL pitchable for 15BBLs, for instance).
 

Ray1314

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Welcome to the forum Clyne. Good to have more Scottish brewers on board. I'm in Moray, how far north are you?
 

Richie_asg1

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Welcome to the forum. I've also got hold of a Lucozade fridge and converted it. The fan at the back makes a heck of a racket so I fitted a speed control to that. Only comes on when the compressor does. STC1000 control.
Mine came out of gas, and not starting so was a bit more of a journey to a working fridge. Love the glass door though.
 

Rodcx500z

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Welcome have fun, I had a great holiday the base was Dornoch we loved it a truly magical land
 

clyne

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Thanks all for the welcomes, and for the tips An Ankou clapa

Ray1314 - I’m a wee bit further north, in Caithness. Near Thurso.

Richie_asg1 - was the gas replacement/refill easy? Tempted to get mine fully up and running as could then use for cold crashing too!
 

Richie_asg1

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Richie_asg1 - was the gas replacement/refill easy? Tempted to get mine fully up and running as could then use for cold crashing too!
I would not call it easy but it is possible to set yourself up to do it DIY if you are already a confident plumber.
Somewhere on it should be a label saying what refrigerant it uses. Mine was R134a, but more modern units use propane which is a bit more of a faff if you need to replace or braze bits. You need a set of hoses and gauges, and at least one small can of gas, and a piercing valve.
Once you pierce the low pressure side and connect up gauges you can see if there is any gas in there, and top it up. You need to measure the load in Amps that the compressor is using too. Basically you give the system enough gas so there is a slight positive pressure on the negative so when running it only has to push gas and not waste energy sucking it also.
If most gas has leaked out, then you need to find the leak and repair it. Easiest way is to inject a tracer dye and look with a UV light once you have pressurised it again. I got to this stage and it hasn't leaked since. Nor can I see any dye.
If all of the gas has gone and the fridge has been sitting around a long time then you really need to cut off the service pipe and fit a fill port, and braze in a new dryer cartridge, then use another compressor to vacuum it down before refilling it again.
Plenty of people on youtube doing it so just spend time watching that to get it right in your head and see the best practice (as some are back-street repair shops).

The simplest way would be to buy a piercing valve and a car air conditioning filler kit. Check the gas is the same, and give it a bit until you can feel it is cooling on the evaporator (cold) coils. On our fridges these are behind the back steel panel inside the fridge. You want to see frost down to about 1/3 of the coils, then stop filling it. Do it in small increments and you should be ok.
 

clyne

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Thanks richie_asg1 - that is one comprehensive reply! I think I’ll probably spin it up one of these days and try to get a better feel for if it’s working properly or not (I was told not when I picked it up), and if not what might be wrong. Nice post to refer back to though so thanks for taking the time.

Johncrobinson - where do you live?
Kepler - where do you buy your grain from? Just wondering if you might be interested in sharing shipping for larger orders and then meeting to arrange pickup? How often do you come through to Thurso? I generally order from thehomebrewcompany.co.uk as they are one of the few who don’t charge extra for delivery to highlands, so once you hit the 70 quid mark delivery is free! They hav3 a great selection and delivery is normally pretty quick.
 

glove81

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Just to keep this thread up to date. I'm in North Kessock
 

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