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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > What are some of your tricks that have not been discussed?
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Old 12-29-2010, 03:39 AM   #1
cockybitz
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Default What are some of your tricks that have not been discussed?

^^ Simple as that.

I use a 2 oz syringe to start my siphon.
I bottle a couple of single serve champagne bottles as testers, so I don't waste 12 oz of great beer. Caps fit right on.
As a bartender by trade, I will never pay for bottles
I bottle a couple of champagne bottles of beer from every batch (great for taking to a party)
I had a ceramic coated BALL canning pot for my stove-top boil.
I bought another 5 gallon pot for 10 bucks from the cheapie dept. store
I use a paint strainer bag to strain the wort. I pour from one pot into the other which is lined with the strainer
I use pie tins which I've stabbed holes into to pour water atop my mash when lautering. This prevents disturbing the grain bed.
My brew room is too cold to ferment ales so I bought a pipe wrap heater to warm the fermentation chamber.
I use a candy thermometer and a meat thermometer. I had them already so I did not need to buy any.
I use my MLT to bottle. It saves me needing to have a separate bottling bucket. I attach the siphon to the out spigot to ensure "quite transfering"
If I ship beer I bottle in the bud light aluminum bottles

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Old 12-29-2010, 04:28 AM   #2
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Instead of going to the store to buy beer, I make my own in the comfort of my own home. It rocks!

Oh, also, a flat wireless server can be used as an effective heater for a stubborn yeast starter. Along with a few towels, flexible heat control!

I don't think my tips are as good....

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Old 12-29-2010, 04:49 AM   #3
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I say 3 hail Marys before I pitch, can never be too safe

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Old 12-29-2010, 09:30 AM   #4
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Always have a backup. Even if it's a dusty and forgotten piece of equipment. If Plan A fails you'll likely know where said forgotten equipment to implement Plan B is, if not, wing Plan C.

Case in point: Just tonight my recirculating whirlpool was completely clogged with whole leaf hops. My ancient IC that hasn't been touched in years was promptly dug out and put into service. The day was saved.

Also, experience is something you don't have until right after you needed it. I now know whole leaf hops are not my pump's friend.

Another one! Don't get toasted and then brew. This has happened before; rendering point two moot, but does it count if I was toasted the first time?

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Old 12-29-2010, 09:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cockybitz View Post
I bottle a couple of single serve champagne bottles as testers, so I don't waste 12 oz of great beer. Caps fit right on.
Awesome. I need to check that out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cockybitz View Post
I had a ceramic coated BALL canning pot for my stove-top boil.
I don't understand what that is...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cockybitz View Post
My brew room is too cold to ferment ales so I bought a pipe wrap heater to warm the fermentation chamber.
That's a great trick -- I need to look into that, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cockybitz View Post
I use my MLT to bottle. It saves me needing to have a separate bottling bucket. I attach the siphon to the out spigot to ensure "quite transfering"
This one scares me. I don't know why.. just scared of some crazy infection getting in. Maybe it's because I never really clean and sanitize my MLT. I only rinse it (and occasionally wash it out).

Thanks for all these tips. Great thread, too!
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Old 12-29-2010, 02:20 PM   #6
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This one's probably been covered before, but a 1" PVC elbow fits perfectly on the inside of the spigot that comes with the homebrew store bottling buckets, making a perfect dip tube. Now when I bottle, I leave less than one beer behind in the bucket without having to tip the bucket to get the last bit out.

*I know some folks dislike PVC, but my beer has had no ill effects so far.*

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Old 12-29-2010, 04:18 PM   #7
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I have a wooden dowel with etch marks showing where each gallon mark is for my boil kettle. Makes it easy to know my volumes.

I always attach a hop bag to my siphon to make sure no hop trub gets into my secondary.

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Old 12-29-2010, 04:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddiebosox View Post
I have a wooden dowel with etch marks showing where each gallon mark is for my boil kettle. Makes it easy to know my volumes.

I always attach a hop bag to my siphon to make sure no hop trub gets into my secondary.
I marked my brew spoon/mash paddle in gallon increments up to the 25 gallon limit of my kettle.

I use a jumbo paint strainer in the MLT. I've never had a stuck sparge, dumping spent grains is as easy as can be, and cleaning out the MLT takes 2 minutes with the hose.
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:13 PM   #9
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I brew indoors in my apartment, so I straddle my wide 10 gallon pot over two of the electric burners. Brings 6 gallons of water to a boil in 25 mintues!

I use those kettle hop screens for everything except in my kettle. I have two in my MLT attached to a tee for my 'false bottom' thing and one shorter one over my auto-siphon for when I dry hop with whole hops.

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Old 12-29-2010, 06:13 PM   #10
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Whenever this topic comes up I throw this in:

If you use an immersion chiller, get yourself an aquarium pump and fix it up with attachments so you can hook it up to the chiller. I put the pump into a bucket of water, run two buckets through, then start using ice on the third bucket. 15 gallons of water and about 20 minutes later, I'm at pitching temps without wasting tons of water (actually ANY, because I dump the water into my washing machine).

This last brew day, instead of using ice, I went outside and got a bucket of snow. Got it down even faster and didn't have to use all the ice I have saved up in my freezer!

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