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Old 05-14-2013, 02:43 PM   #1
JBOGAN
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Default When a bad back makes the decisions for you.

I have had lower back pain a few times the past seven years but last weekend i developed a pinched nerve.Just as i was planning on using swamp coolers for Summer brewing before i build my fermentation chamber..Guess i will bypass the swamp coolers now as i cannot see myself filling up tubs with water and switching in and out frozen bottles.Nor can i see myself strictly bottling because we all know what a chore that is.So now i have to put off my double brew weekend for a month or two and get some help to build my fermentation chamber.Coming from a guy who loves to work alone whilst building this will be a humble and tough pill to swallow.

The big letdown of it all is i was planning on brewing my first two all original All Grain brews

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Old 05-14-2013, 05:44 PM   #2
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I know the feeling. I have a bad L2 disc & bad hip joints. Got worked too hard for too long. Had to retire at 50 for medical reasons. I love tuner cars,but can't hardly work on it anymore. Let alone the heavy lifting in brewing. I've got that down to a minimum,but I still have a couple clean jerks to do. Full bottling buckets & kettles of wort mostly at this point.
I came up with a system to sit down & bottle in a chair with everything in arm's reach. I did a video on my youtube channel about it.

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Old 05-14-2013, 05:51 PM   #3
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Like you and Unionrdr I have a bum back. Fused and metal rods put in. You learn how to overcome lots of things though. My brew/bottling day may go longer than most but I get it done.

You will just have to find what works for you when you brew or do anything and then run with it. Of course there are many days that you will not be able to do much at all and those days are the hardest to deal with.

Good luck man

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Old 05-14-2013, 05:58 PM   #4
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I totally feel your pain - literally. After tweaking my back a couple months ago I'm looking at maybe brewing this weekend (of course, I've thought this for the past 2 weekends also so we'll see how it pans out). It's definitely a bummer to not brew but at least good weather is creeping in so you can get some sun and do things outdoors to take your mind off of brewing.

Not that it's much help, but you can do a "wet cloth and fan" swamp cooler. The only effort involved is re-wetting your cloth twice a day or so (I use a dish towel but I've heard of lots of people using a T-shirt). Wet down you cloth and put it on your fermenter with your fan pointed at it - the evaporative cooling helps bring down the fermentation temperature.

Of course, the hard part in brewing with a bad back is the lifting/moving of full fermenters. This is where it can be handy to have a friendly neighbor or someone you can call over to help move them.

Keep up good spirits and it'll get better. Speaking of good spirits, I find that Gin and Tonics work wonders in hot weather

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Old 05-14-2013, 06:20 PM   #5
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Thank you for the good word guys.I really try my hardest not to think about it because it at times becomes really depressing.Like alot of home brewers i have other hobbies and such and they kind of keep me sane.

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Old 05-14-2013, 06:44 PM   #6
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Pulleys don't fix everything, but can fix a LOT.

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Old 05-14-2013, 06:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezydemon3 View Post
Pulleys don't fix everything, but can fix a LOT.


Lol....the day i tweaked my back i went online looking for hand trucks that could be used almost like a scissor jack.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:45 PM   #8
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JBOGAN,
Dude, don't let a minor back issue end your career. I am confined to a wheelchair and I have managed to build a brew stand that allows me to do all grain brews with no lifting at all. If your really a home brewer at heart you too will engineer a solution to your "opportunity" and overcome the hurdles along the way. I was shocked when I got sick. I was a 260 Lb iron worker just back from 2 years in the desert of Iraq doing heavy truck and armor repairs. Went to 155 Lbs in just 97 days, lost both of my Kidneys, discs in my back exploded, I had an infection in my blood, and I blew out my aorta. So, If I can figger it out, then I am positive you can too. All it takes is a little dedication and a "Frigg it, I aint givin in" attitude. Every day since I had the transplant of my aorta from a dead guy, I have tried to live large enough to cover me and him both. You can do this...... I did and still do everyday!!!!

Wheelchair Bob

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Old 05-15-2013, 02:34 AM   #9
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We that's pretty inspirational Bob.

At only 28 (but with 20 years of competitive wrestling/judo) I have a bad back. I've been amazed how much a Brewstand and pump has shortened and made me really enjoy brewing.

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Old 05-15-2013, 04:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rbeckett View Post
JBOGAN,
Dude, don't let a minor back issue end your career. I am confined to a wheelchair and I have managed to build a brew stand that allows me to do all grain brews with no lifting at all. If your really a home brewer at heart you too will engineer a solution to your "opportunity" and overcome the hurdles along the way. I was shocked when I got sick. I was a 260 Lb iron worker just back from 2 years in the desert of Iraq doing heavy truck and armor repairs. Went to 155 Lbs in just 97 days, lost both of my Kidneys, discs in my back exploded, I had an infection in my blood, and I blew out my aorta. So, If I can figger it out, then I am positive you can too. All it takes is a little dedication and a "Frigg it, I aint givin in" attitude. Every day since I had the transplant of my aorta from a dead guy, I have tried to live large enough to cover me and him both. You can do this...... I did and still do everyday!!!!

Wheelchair Bob
Very inspiration Bob!! I've been working over ideas in my head regarding a no-lift brew rig that fits my space. I'd love to get an idea of what you ended up doing because it may just help me nail down some key/missed points. The gist of what I'm considering is an electric single level brewstand sitting atop a multi-compartment, variable-temperature fermentation chamber. All movement of liquid would be by inline pump (HLT to MLT to BK), gravity (BK to fermenters), or vacuum/push pump (fermenter to keg). I'm hoping that the only real lifting of full volumes will be from keg into kegerator (about 1 foot). We'll see - it's a long term project
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