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Old 08-09-2012, 06:05 PM   #1
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Default More rookie questions

My second-ever batch (Bavarian Hefe) is still in the primary, bubbling away happily, so figured I'd take some time to ask a few questions that have crossed my mind:

1) If using a ale pail as primary fermenter, how do you take multiple hydrometer readings without worrying about allowing oxygen into the pail? Or is it so minimal once you're checking for FG that you don't need to worry about it much?

2) Once you're through racking/bottling/etc, how do you clean - and more importantly, dry - your tubing? This time, during the boil I had my bottling bucket handy with a couple gallons of sanitizer in it, in case anything needed 'checked' before use. Once I was done, I siphoned about a gallon or so of the sanitizer through my autosiphon into the boil pot to 'clean it' and then hung it above my sink so it could drip dry. The previous batch, the tubing (on my other racking cane) sat with some water in it, and now has a film inside. I'm sure it's probably just mineral deposits from the water, but I don't think I want to re-use that tubing for beer...

I'm sure I'll have more questions, but these are the two off the top of my head right now...

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Old 08-09-2012, 06:20 PM   #2
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1. You shouldn't need to take very many readings from your primary. After a couple weeks, take one, then take another 2 days later to verify completion.

2. I have similar issues with tubing, I just let it soak in my cleaner, either BPW or OneStep, then give it a rinse, I figure it's the same water that I'm using to brew so the little bit in the hose isn't going to hurt anything.

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Old 08-09-2012, 06:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkwolf View Post
My second-ever batch (Bavarian Hefe) is still in the primary, bubbling away happily, so figured I'd take some time to ask a few questions that have crossed my mind:

1) If using a ale pail as primary fermenter, how do you take multiple hydrometer readings without worrying about allowing oxygen into the pail? Or is it so minimal once you're checking for FG that you don't need to worry about it much?

2) Once you're through racking/bottling/etc, how do you clean - and more importantly, dry - your tubing? This time, during the boil I had my bottling bucket handy with a couple gallons of sanitizer in it, in case anything needed 'checked' before use. Once I was done, I siphoned about a gallon or so of the sanitizer through my autosiphon into the boil pot to 'clean it' and then hung it above my sink so it could drip dry. The previous batch, the tubing (on my other racking cane) sat with some water in it, and now has a film inside. I'm sure it's probably just mineral deposits from the water, but I don't think I want to re-use that tubing for beer...

I'm sure I'll have more questions, but these are the two off the top of my head right now...
#1) I don't take a lot of readings. I ferment my beers for about 3 weeks. I usually only take one reading and if it is close to the expected FG I assume it is finished. With the longer time I have not had any problems.

There is a layer of co2 above the beer so, unless you have a fan blowing into the bucket, it should protect the beer from oxidation.

#2) After using my equipment I rinse it well and hang to dry. I will wash when needed with Oxyclean and sanitize before use with Starsan.
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:26 PM   #4
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Oxygen weighs less then CO2. So as long as you don't splash about when taking your sample, the layer of c02 from the fermentation process will prevent O2 from getting into your beer. I'm not sure what you mean by "Or is it so minimal once you're checking for FG that you don't need to worry about it much?", but Oxidation is MORE of a concern AFTER fermentation because it will cause off flavors in your beer. Lesson being: Don't splash around in your finished beer, take samples carefully so as to leave the layer of c02 in it's protective place.

For cleaning tubing, I just siphon PBW mixture through it for a minute or two, then siphon diluted starsan through it then I take it in the back yard and literally swing the tubing in circles over my head to use centrifugal (centripetal?) force to get the liquid out. I then hang it to drip dry on a hook. Vinyl, silicone, and many plastics will develop a film/etching if left in starsan too long. Acid + Vinyl equal short time exposure only

I'm no chemist, so somebody might find fault with my explanation above, but in general what I've given you advice-wise works for me. ;-)

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Old 08-09-2012, 07:55 PM   #5
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I clean the hose with either PBW or boiling water. When I do it the boiling water way I bring a few gallons to boil, then siphon with the dirty siphon (which usually is my blow off tube) to another pot. Then I switch and repeat until its clean. Also its definitely sterilized after that.

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Old 08-09-2012, 08:06 PM   #6
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You might want to put a valve on your bucket. Your LHBS should have one and may install it for you. Easy sampling and no risk of infection.
If your hoses only had momentary contact as in draining and transfering I would just rinse with water then santitize next time you get ready to use them. Hasnt failed me yet
Cheers. SW

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Old 08-09-2012, 08:18 PM   #7
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For cleaning tubing, get yourself a bottle washer like this one. The brass ones can only do bottles/carboys/etc, but I like this kind because I can do bottles and tubing with it. I got mine for about $12, and it was well worth it. Just blast some hot water through and hang to dry. Then just fill your tubing with sanitizer for a minute before you use it next to kill the nasties.

jetbottlewasher.jpg  
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seanwallner View Post
You might want to put a valve on your bucket. Your LHBS should have one and may install it for you. Easy sampling and no risk of infection.
If your hoses only had momentary contact as in draining and transfering I would just rinse with water then santitize next time you get ready to use them. Hasnt failed me yet
Cheers. SW
Something I'll keep in mind. However, unfortunately, there is no such thing as "local" home brew shop - the closest one that I know of is 2.5 hours one way. (I have heard rumor of one opening an hour or so away in the other direction, but haven't looked into it yet)
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:39 AM   #9
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On #2 - I came across a new pond pump (little giant) at a resale shop for about $10. I put it in a cut out milk gallon jug with hot water and some oxyclean, attach my tubing to it and let it run for 10-15 minutes, hot rinse then either hang dry or quick soak in starsan if I'm about to use it. It's easy to find hard plastic tubes that act as adapters to different tube sizes.

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Old 08-10-2012, 06:22 PM   #10
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I keep a 5 gallon bucket of oxiclean around with bottles soaking in it. After my bottling is done, I siphon some solution through it and then the left over starsan. I have to add a weight to one end so it'll drain a little better.

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