Sausages brewing log

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Sep 10, 2021
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Hello all, been meaning to start a brew thread for a bit and since I've got one on the go at the moment it seemed a good time to start. Thought it would be good to log what I'm up to and be an opportunity for you lot to spot any mistakes I'm making!

So to start the thread I'm doing a Woodfordes Tinsel Toes kit. Made up per the instructions, in the FV then FV goes in the water bath to keep it warm. the bath is a big Really Useful box, with polystyrene stuck to it to reduce heat loss and a thermostatic heater. I brew in the utility room which we don't heat much, and I don't have a brewing fridge, hence most of my brewing is done in the cooler months when I on;y have to worry about keeping things warm.


That was 2 weeks ago though. Bubbles through the airlock had stopped and two consecutive gravity reading show it finished at 1.008.
As I broke my auto syphon on the last brew I made a new one from various plumbing bits and an 8mm pushfit valve.


Now what I thought was cool about this was being able to plug a big syringe into the end to fill the syphon up. This was much easier than my previous attempts of getting syphon to, well, start syphoning!


The syringe is bottom right of the picture. its big enough to fill the syphon in one go, then with the valve shut I can remove the syringe, plug in the short length of hose and get the keg filled.

Normally I would plug the syphon into the corny beer out post. As this is my first dry hopped brew I was a little concerned about blocking the post with hop debris (the memory of multiple post and syphon blockages from fruit pulp when experimenting with blackberry porter are still quite raw!). This time I lay a sanitised muslin cloth over the keg opening and syphoned onto that. Which was a stupid idea as the beer then dropped down to the bottom of the keg making a bit of a splash and introducing some unwanted oxygen. Oh well! Next time, might investigate putting a filter in the syphon line (maybe a bouncer).

Keg full and sealed, the rest went into 6 swing top bottles. Keg then got put in the bath to carb up, bottles can hang out in the kitchen for a week or so.


Thinking for next time, to use an electric belt heater to keep the keg warm during carbonation, which would keep the bath free for another brew. Would also save me having to lift the keg up into the bath which does my shoulder no favours!

My initial 10psi CO2 prime in the keg dropped to 4psi after 2 days, and has now started climbing.

Once this has finished I have a Mangrove Jacks wheat beer kit to get on, and some improvements to make to my cleaning setup. In the meantime I'm finishing the last few bottles of treacle stout off in order to make space for more beer!
Love your water bath. I have a large cooler that I use but hadn't figured a good 'lid' - ill be stealing your idea next brew!
Love your water bath. I have a large cooler that I use but hadn't figured a good 'lid' - ill be stealing your idea next brew!
steal away! only issue with it is condensation collects underneath the lid, which then dribbles down your trousers when you take the lid off and looks rather embarrassing. I did used to wrap the top of the FV in a scarf to hide the rather inaccurate hole thats been cut, and to keep the heat in, but it doesn't seem necessary (and I'd rather be able to wear the scarf sometimes!)
I always tie a Muslin on the end of my tube to catch any debris and lower into bottom of keg to stop oxidation if that helps
By way of an update, the Tinsel toes keg came out of the water bath a couple of weeks ago. As the wife was out on Saturday evening I did what anyone would do and used the free time to get another brew on. This one is a Mangrove Jacks Bavarian Wheat kit, got the contents plus 3litres of boiling water and a pouch of light LME mixed up in the trusty brewing pan then into the FV and topped up. Starting at 1.041 gravity and the FV is in the water bath with the heater on which seems to be keeping it at about 20degrees. It's really kicked into life today and the krausen is right up the top of the FV!

Might dabble with a wine after this is done, then wait for a keg to be empty before getting something else on. Or buy more kegs? hmmmm

Toodle pip!
So, last year (!) I got the wheat beer in the keg. First off I upgraded the keg washer with a CIP ball and cleaned the keg out.


Got the FV strapped down to the water bath.


This way the FV doesn't start to float away as it empties. Got the syphon in the FV, filled it with the syringe then plugged it into the keg and let it drain. Keg primed with 100g of brewing sugar as well. Also got 7 bottles once the keg was full.


Once full the keg was purged and set to 10psi. That was on the 23rd December, it's now carbed up and settled at 18psi so it can condition for a little while now.
The keg washer also make cleaning the syphon easy. 15mm to 10mm adpater on the outlet, then the 3/8 pushfit on the utlet of the syphon pushs into that. I have some further plans to make this keg cleaner more useful.


The hand pump sprayer has proved very useful in a number of roles. I've settled on keeping a made up solution of ChemSan in there that can be pumped into kegs etc, or through the beer lines with the right collection of fittings.


Need to catch up on cleaning the equipment, in the meantime I'm dipping into the keg of Tinsel Toes (gotta make space for the next brew!)

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