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The Chaos that is a Buffers Brewery brew day

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Buffers brewery

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Fermentation finished a week ago. FG 1.014 brings it in at just over the 6% ABV mark. Cold crashed with the fridge set at 4C for a week then transferred to my King Keg. Made a priming solution with 5 ounces of sugar in one and a half pints of hop tea made with 30 grams of Cascade hops, in a hop bag, steeped in water at 75C for 30 minutes. Purged the barrel head space with CO2 before tightening the lid down and giving it a 5 p.s.i. shot of CO2 before returning it to the fridge set at 20C. Two days in and no signs of life from the yeasty beasties so just leaving it alone.
 

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Fermentation finished a week ago. FG 1.014 brings it in at just over the 6% ABV mark. Cold crashed with the fridge set at 4C for a week then transferred to my King Keg. Made a priming solution with 5 ounces of sugar in one and a half pints of hop tea made with 30 grams of Cascade hops, in a hop bag, steeped in water at 75C for 30 minutes. Purged the barrel head space with CO2 before tightening the lid down and giving it a 5 p.s.i. shot of CO2 before returning it to the fridge set at 20C. Two days in and no signs of life from the yeasty beasties so just leaving it alone.
It's probably just my inexperience but I've never read before about adding the hops as a hop tea at the priming stage - it makes so much sense though. Do you get about the same flavouring as dry hopping, or does the heating to make the tea alter it to provide extra bitterness by using hops at this stage?

Anna
 

Buffers brewery

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It's probably just my inexperience but I've never read before about adding the hops as a hop tea at the priming stage - it makes so much sense though. Do you get about the same flavouring as dry hopping, or does the heating to make the tea alter it to provide extra bitterness by using hops at this stage?

Anna
Hi Anna. It’s my first time ashock1.....at hop tea that is. I’ve tried dry hopping a couple of times but didn’t like the results (probably me). So thought I’d give the tea a try. Will add to this post the outcome, good or bad, in about 4 weeks.

FYI
 

Buffers brewery

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FYI. So, I noticed I had a thick layer of trub at the bottom of my FV when fermentation had finished and rather than cold crash and transfer as I usually do, I transferred to a second FV, leaving the majority of the trub behind, then cold crashed for a week before transferring to my King Keg (detail I missed out in previous post #22). The reason for this post is, it’s taken a week for carbonation to start as indicated by a slight increase in barrel pressure!
 
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Buffers brewery

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Carbonation complete and three weeks of conditioning nicely coincides with the completion of my Barrelator.

Screenshot_20201020-115043.png

The first pour looked good and tasted thumb.
Next brew, planned for later this week is an Abbey beer. Hope to have my CO2 capture rig up and running by then.
 

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BTW, this was my first attempt at a hop tea brew. Have to say it’s turned out better than my dry hop attempts in the past. Difficult to say how much difference it’s made. I guess I’ll have to repeat it without the hop tea.
 

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Carbonation complete and three weeks of conditioning nicely coincides with the completion of my Barrelator.

View attachment 34375
The first pour looked good and tasted thumb.
Next brew, planned for later this week is an Abbey beer. Hope to have my CO2 capture rig up and running by then.
Carbonation complete and three weeks of conditioning nicely coincides with the completion of my Barrelator.

View attachment 34375
The first pour looked good and tasted thumb.
Next brew, planned for later this week is an Abbey beer. Hope to have my CO2 capture rig up and running by then.

Looks a lovely drop - and a very nice tidy set up
 

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Mashing/Sparging Abbey beer recipe today.


4kg pale malt
0.9 kg Vienna malt
0.4 kg Biscuit malt
Pearle 30 grms for 60 minutes
Stryrian Golding 20 grms for 5 minutes
Wyeast Belgian Abbey style Ale yeast
I love it. Though it makes my BIAB look positively stone age.
 

Buffers brewery

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So today it’s time to transfer my Abbey beer to a King Keg. It finished fermentation 6 days ago so has been cold crashing at 4C until today. Usually I just prime a KK with 100 grms of white sugar in 200 mls of water (brought to the boil and cooled) but today I decided to have a go at “Closed Transfer”.


I have to say it went pretty well. I hadn’t worked out how to get the priming sugar in so had to do that the old way, compromising my closed transfer, asad.but I’ve already worked out how to do that for next time.
 

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So today it’s time to transfer my Abbey beer to a King Keg. It finished fermentation 6 days ago so has been cold crashing at 4C until today. Usually I just prime a KK with 100 grms of white sugar in 200 mls of water (brought to the boil and cooled) but today I decided to have a go at “Closed Transfer”.


I have to say it went pretty well. I hadn’t worked out how to get the priming sugar in so had to do that the old way, compromising my closed transfer, asad.but I’ve already worked out how to do that for next time.

That's an excellent video. Crystal clear photography and explanations of the process. One thing I don't understand is how you prevent the water in the keg from going into your pressure gauge when you're pumping it out with the co2. Or can the pressure gauge cope with both air and liquid?
 

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That's an excellent video. Crystal clear photography and explanations of the process. One thing I don't understand is how you prevent the water in the keg from going into your pressure gauge when you're pumping it out with the co2. Or can the pressure gauge cope with both air and liquid?
The pressure gauge is mounted on a Tee piece together with the pressure relief valve, both are effectively “dead ends” at pressures below 15 p.s.i. My theory is that the water in the barrel will compress the air trapped in the Tee piece assembly but will act like a bubble and stop the water penetrating into the gubbins of the gauge and relief valve. I have submerged gauges in water when doing leak testing and the only bit that appeared to be adversely effected was the two screws that secure the cover. They’re painted steel screws so rust where the paint is chipped ashock1
 

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the air trapped in the Tee piece assembly but will act like a bubble and stop the water penetrating
I'm sure that's correct. I did find with a similar setup on my central heating system though, that over long periods (months) the water absorbs the gas and you get water in the gauge, which can eventually corrode and destroy the thin-walled curved tube inside it. However, I doubt you'd be keeping a keg filled for so long as this to become a problem :-)
 

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So I think I’ve fixed the priming sugar gaff from yesterday’s maiden closed transfer.

82323ECF-591D-435F-A7EA-41B57D228BFC.jpeg

Drilled the lid of a 1 pint milk bottle and fitted a liquid out post.
7E5D5437-E82D-48B5-AFF5-D215FCC45D25.jpeg

Cut the bottom out of said milk bottle so it can be used as a funnel.
The procedure would be to connect the transfer hose to the FV tap (tap turned OFF at this stage) and connect the bottle top to the hose quick connect. Milk bottle is screwed on to the top. While holding the priming bottle (a.k.a. milk bottle) above the level of the beer in the FV turn the FV tap ON. Beer will flow into the tube. Lower the priming bottle slowly to allow beer to enter the bottle top then add priming solution. Slowly raise the priming bottle until all the priming solution has drained into the transfer hose and disconnect the bottle. The hose should now be full of priming solution/beer and can be connected to the beer post on the keg for transfer.
 

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So I think I’ve fixed the priming sugar gaff from yesterday’s maiden closed transfer.

View attachment 35329
Drilled the lid of a 1 pint milk bottle and fitted a liquid out post.
View attachment 35330
Cut the bottom out of said milk bottle so it can be used as a funnel.
The procedure would be to connect the transfer hose to the FV tap (tap turned OFF at this stage) and connect the bottle top to the hose quick connect. Milk bottle is screwed on to the top. While holding the priming bottle (a.k.a. milk bottle) above the level of the beer in the FV turn the FV tap ON. Beer will flow into the tube. Lower the priming bottle slowly to allow beer to enter the bottle top then add priming solution. Slowly raise the priming bottle until all the priming solution has drained into the transfer hose and disconnect the bottle. The hose should now be full of priming solution/beer and can be connected to the beer post on the keg for transfer.
An alternative would be to use one of these T pieces with 2 caps attached

Attached to a 500ml fizzy drink bottle, one carbonation cap outlet would attach to the co2 bottle and the other to the beer out line on the keg. You could then fill the bottle with your sugar solution, pump it into the keg, and fill the keg with beer as normal
 

The-Engineer-That-Brews

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Carbonation complete and three weeks of conditioning nicely coincides with the completion of my Barrelator.

View attachment 34375
The first pour looked good and tasted thumb.
Next brew, planned for later this week is an Abbey beer. Hope to have my CO2 capture rig up and running by then.
COR that looks good! Nice work sir
 

Buffers brewery

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Abbey ale has finished carbonation in the brew fridge so that’s being moved to the Barrelator to condition for the next couple of weeks. So I’m setting up the brewzeebo for a brewday tomorrow. Going to re-do the Cascade pale ale I did before the Abbey ale. Dropping the pale malt quantity from 6 kg to 4 kg. Going for lower ABV. The one I’m drinking at the moment (6.2%) keeps sending me to sleep :laugh8:
 

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So....despite the (2) bad omens (I was waiting all day for the third! ashock1), I managed to get to the end of the day unscathed and with 5 gallons of wort in the FF.
What were the “omens”? I hear you say (asad.). Well, number one was turning the temperature controller ON for my HERMS tank, only to watch the temperature reading jump by plus and minus 1C! Went in and ordered a new one for delivery tomorrow just in case I had to postpone. In the end, while it was a bit erratic I got through the mash OK.
Number 2?
The brewzeebo was strafed by seagulls! Right over my kettle! And they’re protected!aheadbutt
9BC5175B-C939-47E1-ACD1-99C421C35A9F.jpeg

Anyways, as I said, 5 gallons of Cascade pale ale, SG a smidge over 1.050.
A1DEAE82-8D63-41ED-844A-15FC41B531A5.jpeg

So this brew is part of my Closed Transfer Xbeeriment.
FV is in the FF and connected via a push fit adaptor in the FV lid
630065DD-3729-46AB-A0E7-3993BB6393FD.jpeg

to a gunge trap, where it splits to a foil balloon and my sanitised KK full of water.
CF99FA6F-0D68-48F8-82A0-CFE2B846DE71.jpeg

Initially the taps to the balloon are turned OFF so any CO2 produced is routed to the KK and, hopefully, displaces the water into an empty bucket. It, remains to be seen if it will work, AND, displace all the water! Now, where’s that third omen?
 
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