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insomniac

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May 24, 2022
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Pudsey
Hey all,
Tom here from Pudsey.
I've been a regular lurker of these forums recently so figured I'd sign up.

I bucket brewed around 7 years ago but only 2 batches in cheap wilco equipment without much research and lots of laziness, first was not to my taste at all ended up giving it away.
Second batch got infected and dumped, and that was that.

Anyway, after watching plenty of youtube videos I recently I figured I'd have a re-do and make a proper hobby out of it, you know, actually read up, learn and improve this time.
I got myself a fermzilla plastic conical (27L) + pressure kit (spunding valve), Sodastream & bottling wand + capper
Started with a wilcos sweet newkie brown extract kit using tap water, then repeated the same again for my second batch with minor changes, dark malt extract instead of brewing sugar, bottled spring water instead of tap.
I was impressed with both attempts, and the second came out much better for sure.

Third batch I went for a premium wilcos hoppy IPA, and it put my other two brews to shame, was really happy with the result and enjoyed drinking it.

I've had my challenges along the way more recently around carbonating and bottling after the fact (rather than carbonating in bottle with priming sugar).
I've learned the importance of temperature and line diameter/length (mainly through trial and error and wondering why I ended up wasting nearly a third of my batch through foam during a bottling that made me think... 'never again'.)
It's been a learning curve but forums like these have been one of the best places to find answers.

Where I'm at now, I ordered 2 x 19L corny kegs. Picked up a second hand fitted fridge off ebay, and got myself a tower + 2 taps which I've fitted into my garage workbench - I'll do a post at some point on my kegerator build soon!
I've also just got an insulation jacket for my fermzilla so I can ferment in the garage! (I've been doing it in my house until now).
Also ditched my sodastream for a 6.35kg co2 cannister to make it most cost effective.

So this weekend I'll be transferring my fourth batch to keg for the first time (repeated the third batch hoppy IPA with minor changes and extra dry hop see if there's a big difference).
Then I'll be getting my next one on the go at the same time, mangrove jacks single hopped simcoe IPA + 50g amarillo dry hop.

Also forgot to mention, I use a raspberry pi to monitor temp and control my heat belt (via 433mhz transmitter and remote controlled plug socket). I'm a IT guy/developer by trade so it was easier to make my own version of an inkbird, I'll happily share my code/build if others are interested there too.
More recently I got an ispindle which is a much better way to get temp readings albeit not as 'live', and really great to see gravity over time graphed out.

Next on the roadmap - I've ordered a drip tray which I'll mount flush into my workbench and connect a drainage line upto a bucket underneath.
and in future, I'd love to eventually get into BIAB or all grain!

Here's my kegerator so far (just testing with water):
Flow rate seems a little slow but I figured I'd get everything hooked up first and cut my line down once I've got beer running through and can judge it properly.
 

Andrew Booth

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Feb 10, 2021
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Halifax
Welcome to the Forum I am in Halifax been brewing for 14 years on and off these days I use a Grainfather S40 and use Keg King Chubby fermenters to ferment under pressure. I also sourced a fridge off Facebook and control that for with a mangrove jacks temperature controller. Due to space in my house I haven’t built a kegerator yet.

the Hobby is a great one and a constant learning curve. Here in Halifax the water is okay for brewing. I suspect in Leeds the water is a bit Harder so using a Camden tablet on the water may be a cheaper option than bottled water.

so without taking into account the cost of equipment all grain brewing works out around 90p per pint indeed the hobby is great!
 

Thinbo

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May 5, 2020
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Sounds great! I live up the ring road a bit in Horsforth area. Next on my wish list is a kegerator.
where do you get your CO2 from?
 

damienair

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Wow well done. I’ve been brewing for 18 months, I am loving it but have kept it simple, plastic buckets and bottles so far. But the finished product have been great. I’ve become very popular with my next door neighbour. Welcome to the forum and happy brewing.
 

insomniac

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May 24, 2022
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Pudsey
Welcome to the Forum I am in Halifax been brewing for 14 years on and off these days I use a Grainfather S40 and use Keg King Chubby fermenters to ferment under pressure. I also sourced a fridge off Facebook and control that for with a mangrove jacks temperature controller. Due to space in my house I haven’t built a kegerator yet.

the Hobby is a great one and a constant learning curve. Here in Halifax the water is okay for brewing. I suspect in Leeds the water is a bit Harder so using a Camden tablet on the water may be a cheaper option than bottled water.

so without taking into account the cost of equipment all grain brewing works out around 90p per pint indeed the hobby is great!
Yeah I actually just read up on campden tablets, got 100 from wilcos for around £1.30 so much cheaper. Also you can get a full breakdown of water profile from the Yorkshire water website by putting in your postcode, data is a couple of years old.
 
Joined
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Hello fellow Loiner!
Sounds like you've got a great little setup so far with plenty of room for adding more to it!

I recently got my kegerator sorted and am looking at in the near future using a raspberry PI to make a ferm chamber so might have to pick your brain if I get stuck! 😉

Hope the latest brews go well mate!
 

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