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Old 04-26-2007, 06:14 PM   #1
98EXL
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Default Things are getting serious...dare I say 'commitment?'

So the past month, I've started 4 batches of brew....see sig. Anyway, I have really been getting into this as some of you may have noticed I have been frequenting here like a lot of you. So I have this wild hair up my ass, and I've been thinking about doing some organizing of our shop in the basement for my other hobbies, might as well make room for home brewing activities.

So here are some questions, thoughts, and I encourage all ideas as well, I have read threads and got some ideas from some of you, so feel free (I can take constructive criticism)

Idea #1
Building out of scrap and new wood a 3 tiered stand that I can have priamry carboys on top, secondary in the middle, and a low step for bottling buckets. This way I don't have to move carboys and disturb settlement on the bottom of the carboys. This would also allow me to stash extra equipment underneath so that not a lot of space is wasted.

Also included would be my mini-fridge from college to hold yeast and of course HB!!! (no brainer)

Idea #2
How long can sanitizing solution be used for? I plan on getting a big (maybe 7 gallon bucket with lid to keep sanitizing solution always handy. This is under the assumptions that A) as long as it's not dirty, it's all good and B) it doesn't break down over time, or loose its sanitizing power!

Idea #3
Beer bottle rack storage.....self explanatory....why not. Now, the question is wine rack style, or just shelving? Wine rack style will be nice if the girlfriend and I decided to make wine this summer.

Idea #4
Stealthed O2 pump. I'd like to get an O2 pump to oxygenate my brews nicely but having the bottle and pump underneath idea #1 of the tiered platform with a switch to turn it on and the tube coming from the inside. (mainly for esthetics)

Idea #5
<insert your comment of idea here>

Thanks ladies and gents

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Old 04-26-2007, 06:17 PM   #2
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Oh wow are you hooked! Welcome to the mastermind stage of the addiction!

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Old 04-26-2007, 06:23 PM   #3
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yes, addicted!

I have an addictive personality, and I love really really good beer, so it's a win win situation. We've been cleaning out the house recently, and it kinda sucks to have gotten so far of throwing things out, and now I have all of this HB equipment everywhere, and it needs to find a new home.

One thing I am worried about is that in the shop area where this will be going, I do a bit of sanding from time to time....should I be worried about dust in the air for the brews? It's not nearly as bad as the little pollen floating around outside now, but is that a concern?

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Old 04-26-2007, 06:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98EXL
I'd like to get an O2 pump to oxygenate my brews nicely
You don't want to oxygenate any beer, aerate perhaps but not oxygenate......

Idea: (For your mini-brewery) unless you already have this, an nice utility sink...
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:40 PM   #5
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Here's my input, which is all opinion.

#1 - I don't see why that couldn't work though I think it has a lot to do with where you live and the ease of keeping the temp in the correct range. Here in central Texas the last thing I would want to do is raise my primary into the air because that air is warmer and frankly it's difficult enough keeping things cool at floor level. Also if you are using glass just be sure you are careful as you prop a full carboy up on your system after filling.

#2 - I think most solutions break down after time (I'm assuming). Is it really that hard and time consuming to make up a batch of fresh solution when you need it? Maybe I'm oversimplifying?

#3 - I know I have to keep corked bottles horizontal to keep the cork wet. Don't know the pros and cons of capped bottles being stored that way though.

#4 - Again, similar to #2, I don't know how much time and effort you spend on this. I'd say go for it as long as it doesn't make things more difficult to keep clean and sanitize. And I'm assuming you are referring to aerating your wort.

I guess I come from the KISS school.

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Old 04-26-2007, 07:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgtg
You don't want to oxygenate any beer, aerate perhaps but not oxygenate......

Idea: (For your mini-brewery) unless you already have this, an nice utility sink...
then what is the purpose of a wort oxygenation system?

utility sink is duly noted, it's on the list....need to figure out how to tap the water lines in the basement, and where to drain it...probably the sump pump

Quote:
Originally Posted by poguemahone
Here's my input, which is all opinion.

#1 - I don't see why that couldn't work though I think it has a lot to do with where you live and the ease of keeping the temp in the correct range. Here in central Texas the last thing I would want to do is raise my primary into the air because that air is warmer and frankly it's difficult enough keeping things cool at floor level. Also if you are using glass just be sure you are careful as you prop a full carboy up on your system after filling.
Temperatures in the basement seems to be steady, and only have gradual changes over the year here in MD. I'm pre-planning for summer time when the upstairs is warm, but the basement is nice and cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by poguemahone
#2 - I think most solutions break down after time (I'm assuming). Is it really that hard and time consuming to make up a batch of fresh solution when you need it? Maybe I'm oversimplifying?
I was being Curious George, didn't know, and no it's not hard to make up some solution

Quote:
Originally Posted by poguemahone
#3 - I know I have to keep corked bottles horizontal to keep the cork wet. Don't know the pros and cons of capped bottles being stored that way though.
knew about corks, but in the same boat about caps

Quote:
Originally Posted by poguemahone
#4 - Again, similar to #2, I don't know how much time and effort you spend on this. I'd say go for it as long as it doesn't make things more difficult to keep clean and sanitize. And I'm assuming you are referring to aerating your wort.
yes, aerating the wort, but the device I was looking at my LHBS uses an Oxygen tank.......yes, no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by poguemahone
I guess I come from the KISS school.

I come from that school too, but then I graduated from the School of Overkill as well
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Old 04-26-2007, 08:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98EXL
yes, aerating the wort, but the device I was looking at my LHBS uses an Oxygen tank.......yes, no?
You can either use a regular aquarium air pump with stone and hepa filter or pure oxygen.

The major differences from what I understand is that obviously the O2 system pumps pure oxygen and therefore you need only do it a few minutes compared to 20 minutes or so for the air pump. I've read examples of fermentation taking off faster with pure O2 but the jury is still out on whether it actually is any better for your beer. I've read more than a few opinions that the O2 system creates a "hollow" flavor that the air systems don't. All personal preference. I personally use the regular air system and let it run while I'm cleaning up my equipment.

Either way I suppose you could build in the pump or canister but make sure you do so in a way that you can remove your hose and stone and sterilize them prior to dipping into your wort. Also make sure it doesn't siphon liquid into your hepa.
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Old 04-26-2007, 08:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98EXL
One thing I am worried about is that in the shop area where this will be going, I do a bit of sanding from time to time....should I be worried about dust in the air for the brews? It's not nearly as bad as the little pollen floating around outside now, but is that a concern?
My boil occurs outside my dusty garage that's also got a bit of sawdust around. I use a lid with a notch cut for my spoon so that it keeps any big nasties out while I'm brewing (prior to that I've had leaves fall in - just pluck them out, didn't hurt a thing).

Mainly have to worry about dust when transferring to carboy and getting on your equipment (thermometer, thief, caps, etc). I make sure to turn off any fans and a/c when moving wort around and keep my sanitized gear covered with some foil.
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Conditioning Keg 1:
Conditioning Keg 2:
Conditioning Keg 3:
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Kegerator Tap 2: Six Malt Amber Ale
Kegerator Tap 2: Optimator Lager
Just Finished: Dry Stout
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:06 PM   #9
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I laid a couple HBs on their side and i wouldn't recommend doing that, you have the cake that forms in the bottle on the side rather than the bottom, could be troublesome...

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Old 04-26-2007, 09:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98EXL
utility sink is duly noted, it's on the list....need to figure out how to tap the water lines in the basement, and where to drain it...probably the sump pump
A utility sink is a must. Install a double basin. I keep one side filled with sanitizer solution. You'll never regret a few extra bucks for the second tub.

That said, don't drain to the sump pit. Tap into one of your plumbing drains that run from upstairs. You'll be surprized how much use you get from a utility sink and the stuff your bound to be running through the drain is not something you want running into your yard or the local sewage feed.

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