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Old 09-04-2012, 05:52 PM   #1
0verdrive
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Default Common Gotcha's

I recently finished a room that's (mostly) dedicated to brewing, and I thought I'd spruce it up with some quick-reference posters. One thing I thought would be handy/fun would be a list of gotcha's that can be relatively easily avoided if you practice good brewing techniques.

There have been numerous posts suggesting how to avoid problem X with resolution Y. But they're spread all over the place, and the resolutions are generally pretty drawn out. It would be handy to have a thread that's dedicated to a quick-list of common problems and how to avoid them. If further explanation is necessary, we can provide links to the original discussion.

So what are common gotcha's that you try to avoid? I'm looking for anything, from "Remember to take the lid off your BK once it starts boiling" to "Avoid hot-side aeration" etc.

(As a side-note: let's try to limit debates over whether a particular "gotcha" is worth worrying about. Ideally, I'd like to adhere to good brewing techniques that will avoid most of the pit-falls regardless of whether they're truly necessary or have been blown out of proportion. If it's relatively easy to follow and could avoid a head-ache, it's worth following. And if it's worth following, it's worth putting on a poster. HSA, for example: perhaps it's blown out of proportion. But it's relatively easy to avoid splashing hot wort, so it's probably worth making part of your brewing technique.)

As this will go on a poster, I'd prefer the gotcha be relatively brief. I'll start:

Take the BK lid off!
Once the BK comes to a boil, take the lid off to ensure that sulfure compounds (DMS) are boiled off

Avoid Hot-Side Aeration!
HSA can lead to beer going stale. It occurs when hot wort (above 86*) is exposed to oxygen, typically as a result of splashing.

Fire away!

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Old 09-04-2012, 06:20 PM   #2
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Your IC is hot!
Don't forget if you use your IC to stir the wort during initial chilling don't forget that Copper is super hot, use a glove!

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Old 09-04-2012, 09:19 PM   #3
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Clean your mash tun ASAP, three day old grain REEKS!

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Old 09-05-2012, 12:55 AM   #4
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Don't forget to pitch the yeast.

I've heard of that happening and it very nearly happened to me on several occasions.

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Old 09-05-2012, 12:59 AM   #5
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Don't forget the stir bar at the bottom of the starter flask.

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Old 09-05-2012, 12:59 AM   #6
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You're a more pragmatic man than I. I would have jut out a buncha big-chested braufraus in lederhosen.

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Old 09-05-2012, 01:06 AM   #7
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It wasn't me, it was the Wyeast 3068..

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Old 09-05-2012, 01:15 AM   #8
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Add sugar to the bottling bucket. I have almost forgotten this way too many times. A good brewing assistant helps avoid gotchas.

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Old 09-05-2012, 01:19 AM   #9
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Don't forget mineral or acid additions to the liquor. I'm very guilty of that, especially the acid part.

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Old 09-05-2012, 01:22 AM   #10
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Double check to be sure the valve on your bottling bucket is closed before racking your beer.

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