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Old 02-17-2014, 12:06 AM   #31
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Spook golds, you're totally right. I went out and found a whorflok tablet just sitting there on the table. Oh, well. At least I didn't forget the yeast!


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Old 02-17-2014, 12:15 AM   #32
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Clean everything when you're done, especially the mash tun. Especially in the summer. A mistake you'll only make once. Ask me how I know...

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Old 02-17-2014, 12:21 AM   #33
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Try to limit the distractions. While it might seem fun at first to have your buddies over to hang out on brew day, if they are not into brewing they can draw your attention away from what you need to be doing. Pounding down a bunch of brews with them only adds to the chaos.

OTOH, a friend who is truly interested in the brewing process can be of great assistance when you need a little help.

Another tip: make up some sandwiches before you start. At lunch time, you might not be able to pull away to prepare a meal.

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Old 02-17-2014, 12:22 AM   #34
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Lots of good tips here.
Personally some things I've learned:
Write down your planned recipe and procedure on one column on a notebook (even if you do most everything online.) write the actual numbers and so forth on the second column, to make sure you have everything.
set out all your equipment beforehand, make sure it's clean and sanitized long before you need it.
Ditto ingredients. Make sure your grains / extract are what you want, and in the amounts you want. Hop additions, if it's not even amounts for the packaging, weigh them out before you need them as well (during mash or waiting for things to boil is a good time)
WEar long pants and closed-toe shoes - wort and burners are hot.
Clean what you can as you go. if you're all-grain, you can start while the wort is coming to a boil or after the 60-min addition, cleaning out your mash tun and so forth.
I personally do not like to drink while I have open flames - too much to possibly go wrong, and forgetting steps. I don't pop the first one until the wort is in the fermenter.
Make sure your yeast is ready to go - I set it out when I start the brewday.

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Old 02-17-2014, 01:16 AM   #35
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The last post reminded me of something....

I like to wear Crocks when I brew. Very comfortable and easy on the feet. They provide a decent level of foot protection. And the best part, the are made of rubber (or something like it) so it doesn't matter a whit if they get wet. If you happen to spill something hot you can kick them off in about two seconds and get those toes cooled off.


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Old 02-17-2014, 01:24 AM   #36
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Good stuff, I save identical plastic tubs (same tar weight) from sour cream. I measure out all my hops and additions, put them in the cups and stack them in order. Have an extra propane cylinder available. I wear Nitrile Rubber gloves to keep my hands from being eaten up by star san, I can spray gloved hands. Have clean towels handy. I keep a cheap hot plate available to heat wort to increase mash temp and to heat cleaning water. Two clocks, two thermometers.

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Old 02-17-2014, 01:38 AM   #37
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My very best advice....

Keep it simple. Over complicating a hobby turns the hobby into work. Who likes to work at a hobby? Psychotic individuals, that's who.

Keep it simple and enjoy the hobby. Otherwise, punch back in and go back to work.

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Old 02-17-2014, 01:51 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smccarter View Post
My very best advice....

Keep it simple. Over complicating a hobby turns the hobby into work. Who likes to work at a hobby? Psychotic individuals, that's who.

Keep it simple and enjoy the hobby. Otherwise, punch back in and go back to work.
What he said...I like music while I'm brewing and a beer or two.
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Old 02-17-2014, 02:10 AM   #39
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Make a thorough brewing checklist and stick to it. Then take detailed notes along the way.

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Old 02-17-2014, 02:17 AM   #40
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Have some homebrews while you're brewing... But don't drink too many. Every single one of my really stupid mistakes was done when I drank too much while brewing.

The worst was when I put my auto siphon racking cane with tubing into my kettle while it was cooling. The tubing was already primed. When I left the room, the end of the tubing slipped out of the kettle, and when I came back ten minutes later, I had all five gallons of wort on my basement floor. Needless to say I wasn't happy after having spent the last five hours brewing only to have it all over my floor. It was a heavy-hopped IIPA too, so the grain and hop bill was fairly substantial.

Also, clean things as you go. Don't leave anything to clean for the next day. Cleaning is easy when it's done during the brew. If you leave it for the next day, especially the boil kettle, you'll really wish you had done it when it was easy.

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