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Old 01-01-2007, 03:42 AM   #1
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Default Dirty little secrets, vol. 2

There was a thread like this one recently, but I thought it was a good one, especially at the end of the year when everyone gets a clean slate to start over with tomorrow.

OK, everyone, 'fess up. We all have our "dirty little brewing secrets." Who among us: starts their siphon with their mouth, puts tap water in their fermentation lock, uses their prized Polar Ware brewing pot for a neighborhood spaghetti dinner... need I go on?

OK, here's mine. I currently am without a hydrometer. Not only that, I don't really care (although if I keep my new year's resolution to do AG in '07, I suppose I need to get a new one).

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Old 01-02-2007, 07:44 PM   #2
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1) I use tap water in my airlock.
2) I use an aluminum kettle which has had several batches of steamed crab legs cooked in it.
3) I sanitize my wine thief by running it under tap water and performing "erotic" movements on it w/ my hand (instead of using sanitizer solution)

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Old 01-02-2007, 07:48 PM   #3
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As an extract / steeping grains brewer, I have no use for a hydrometer. It really does nothing for me. I have one and intend to use it again when I move to AG, but I just don't see the point right now.

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Old 01-02-2007, 07:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzoflick
3) I sanitize my wine thief by running it under tap water and performing "erotic" movements on it w/ my hand (instead of using sanitizer solution)
You should try using some "Keg Lube". Ha ha!

Ok this is wrong on so many levels.
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Old 01-02-2007, 08:00 PM   #5
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I don't measure mash pH.

I like using the dishwasher for my bottles - I don't sanitize them there, but as long as there is no sludge in them, they come out nice and clean.

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Old 01-02-2007, 08:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwj
As an extract / steeping grains brewer, I have no use for a hydrometer. It really does nothing for me. I have one and intend to use it again when I move to AG, but I just don't see the point right now.
I guess, once you experience a stalled fermentation and have no idea that it's happened, then you'll see why it's important. I didn't used to use a hydro...until I ended up with gusher bottles on my wit. That sucked.

Plus, it's an excuse for me to take a sample---so I can taste it
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Old 01-02-2007, 08:06 PM   #7
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I don't take all the cautionary steps that many write-up in saving yeast slurry.

I fill a sanitized growler 1/2 way with carbon filtered tap water; take a funnel and dump the slurry in there. Shake it; put it in the fridge for 15 minutes. Take it out and decant the top liquid into a sanitized flip-top bottle. Never a problem yet and have done it for 1+ years.

Tap water in my airlock
no PH testing the mash either.

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Old 01-02-2007, 08:10 PM   #8
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I'll duplicate Yuri's post. I use the dishwasher to sanitize my bottles, and I never check my mash pH. I usually don't check the final runnings out of my mash tun and I use a 1 quart pyrex cup to pour my sparge water into my mash tun. No sprinkling or sparge arm, just a nice thick grain bed.

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Old 01-02-2007, 08:13 PM   #9
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Tap water in my airlock? So what? It's not like the water goes into the vessel. I tried using starsan solution once, but the air bubbles caused the solution to foam (as it tends to do with any agitation), and the airlock loses its functionality. I guess I could use vodka, but...eh, I've done 23 batches, and not one of them has gotten contaminated. Must be doing something right, right?

I did let my wifey use one of my kettles for brunswick stew yesterday. It's got a PBW solution soaking in it right now.

My friend was over when I was brewing the cherry stout, and I was playing with my dog while the wort was taking an icebath. She likes to jump for treats, and inevitably, I'm sure my fingers came into contact with her mouth. I then, without sanitizing or washing my hands, pulled the thermometer out of the wort to check it, then put it back. My friend scolded me (he taught me how to brew). Oh well. Beer is fine so far.

Pretty much everything else is by the books. I take samples from carboys using a racking tube, racking cane, and my mouth...but that's no big deal, because my mouth never gets near any of the finished product...just the sample.

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Old 01-02-2007, 08:14 PM   #10
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I bet using the dishwasher on bottles is really common. Everyone says it's not really a good idea, but I suspect many of us do it. I wash my bottles with my dishes as I drink them, and store them. When it's time to bottle, I run the dishwasher once through empty without detergent. Then I do the bottles, also without soap. I set it at hi-temp wash and sanitize. I have yet to have a problem. Sometimes, if I'm feeling ambitious I do put them in star-san after they come out of the dishwasher.

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