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What Towels Are You Using?

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ILovePils

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Good afternoon!

I just had my first all-grain brew day Sunday and I was wishing that I had something more absorbent than my clean red shop rags when I had a spill while racking into my hydrometer.

Then it hit me, that I wished I'd had some decent drying towels to dry out my kettle and wort chiller after a good clean.

I'm curious what everyone is using as their go-to hardware drying towels as well as go-to spill cleaner-upper?

Cheers!
 

Dinadan

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My wife is big on having nice new towels in the bathroom. So I have plenty of large, lightly used, bath towels to use. When I bottle I put one of those on the floor to sop up the inevitable spills. I have never not needed it! I would definitely have one of those on hand for any kind of transfer.
 

seatazzz

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We buy yellow microfiber towels in bulk at Costco. Usually have a couple around when I'm brewing, they're also great for when I'm working on one of the cars (yay don't have to do that anymore new car wheeeeee!!!). For major floor spills I have an industrial mop & bucket, that I drain what's left of my hot sparge water into. Easy cleanup when brewday is done...unless I forget to empty the bucket. That was gross.
 

IslandLizard

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I had a spill while racking into my hydrometer
What exactly should we envision what you were trying to do there? :p

If you mean racking into your hydrometer jar, don't.do.that!
Just scoop some wort out with a clean and well sanitized beaker, or measuring cup.

I brew in the kitchen which has a varnished wooden plank floor. Any decent spill would be disastrous, so I have a bunch of (older) large bath towels spread out over the floor. The biggest spill I had was when I inadvertently kicked or stepped on the spigot of my Starsan bucket. A good gallon of Starsan was spreading over the floor and towels, before I noticed.

Since I seem to have a tendency to step on them, I don't use buckets with spigots anymore for general purpose.
 

day_trippr

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I use whatever kitchen towels The Spousal Unit has retired. She recently changed her entire stock to a new pattern so I'm rolling in around a dozen new towels, and that bounty pushed my existing brew space towel collection to my work shop and garage.

Many years ago I bought a bundle of really nice kitchen towels for the brewery. She saw them and used her wiles to appropriate them in exchange for her existing set (and other considerations). Lesson learned...

Cheers! ;)
 

IslandLizard

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my god once again you're a genius!i always cleaned up with a wet towel after ward. never thought of using them before hand as removable washable flooring! :mug:
"Desperation" is the more accurate term. 😉

But those towels spread out all over the floor also become a potential trip and sliding hazard, they tend to cling to your feet. You get used to them, but beware!

In a previous house, a 1950s custom sprawling rancher, the kitchen and breakfast area had kitchen carpeting. Must have been popular at some point in the 70s or early 80s? The pattern was a hideous yellowish faux plank ship-deck design, "featuring" 2 capped screw holes on the ends of each "plank." Man that was something! Too gross to walk on, even with shoes. That was about the first thing that went, and what was underneath... was even worse!
 

NGD

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my god once again you're a genius!i always cleaned up with a wet towel after ward. never thought of using them before hand as removable washable flooring! :mug:
This reminds me of when I bottle. I set out a few towels on the floor because there is always some type of mess....and mainly because throwing towels in the washer is easier than mopping the floor.
 

bracconiere

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This reminds me of when I bottle. I set out a few towels on the floor because there is always some type of mess....and mainly because throwing towels in the washer is easier than mopping the floor.

damn to clean up fresh beer wort, full of sugar. i have to use a beach towel, get it soaked then let it soak on the floor and use my feet to squigy it around to clean it up. hoping IL's idea of pre-clean will help me avoid it, takes about an hours of soaking on the floor to loosen it, and my beach towel only covers so much area...
 

day_trippr

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I reckon counter-top brewers are all set, but for folks with floor-standing rigs, a sheet of FRP can be formed into a cheap massive drip pan using a heat gun and a rivet tool, keeping spills contained...

american_wheat_01sm.jpg


Cheers! (I have no clue what the camera focused on here 🤨 )
 

Immocles

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+1 to old kitchen and bath towels/rags. Also use a lot of old t-shirts here and there as a first layer of mitigation. While cleaning the basement of my wife's house after I moved in, I found a big plastic tray that must have been used for muddy/snowy boots at one point. Works great as platform for bottling.
 

FromZwolle

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What exactly should we envision what you were trying to do there? :p

If you mean racking into your hydrometer jar, don't.do.that!
Just scoop some wort out with a clean and well sanitized beaker, or measuring cup.

I brew in the kitchen which has a varnished wooden plank floor. Any decent spill would be disastrous, so I have a bunch of (older) large bath towels spread out over the floor. The biggest spill I had was when I inadvertently kicked or stepped on the spigot of my Starsan bucket. A good gallon of Starsan was spreading over the floor and towels, before I noticed.

Since I seem to have a tendency to step on them, I don't use buckets with spigots anymore for general purpose.
I bought a few cheap painters drop cloths a while back that had a sorbent side with a plastic backing. They might work pretty well for this. They'd have to get trashed after any significant spill, but the plastic should help contain seepage.
 

IslandLizard

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I bought a few cheap painters drop cloths a while back that had a sorbent side with a plastic backing. They might work pretty well for this. They'd have to get trashed after any significant spill, but the plastic should help contain seepage.
Toss a towel on top of them.
I yet need to finish a brew day without spilling something.
 

Lost Nutz Garage

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I keep a laundry basket full of retired household towels of various sizes under my brew table. By the end of a brew or bottling day I have a small bucket of damp towels (and hop sacks) ready for the washing machine. I used to put towels on the floor too, but the tripping hazard caught up with me and I now use some small rug runners where drips are expected. A shop vac and industrial mop & bucket are on stand-by for potential disasters.
 

madscientist451

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Good afternoon!

I had a spill while racking into my hydrometer.
Use a wine thief to pull samples.
I air dry brewing gear after cleaning it.
I use paper towels to clean up spills, but I use the sink as much as possible, so most spills go down the drain.
 

Toxxyc

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I've got two big towels that my wife isn't a big fan of. Apparently not "absorbent enough" for her. Work fine for me, but I don't mind. I now use them as insulation and cleaning. They just get a wash every few weeks when they get dirty, and they spend most of their time on the floor, cleaning up drips and drops.
 

wsmith1625

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Fortunately I haven't had any spills big enough to require a bath towel yet. Mostly just a few drops here and there on the garage floor, but nothing a shot of StarSan and a paper towel couldn't handle.

Then end of brew day, the folding table I set up my brew equipment on becomes a giant drying rack. I grab the bath towel I stained while etching my kettle because my wife won't use that towel anymore.

Anyone who has etched their kettles using a 9 volt battery, vinegar, and salt knows that that the solution turns brown after it starts burning some metal off. Needles to say, my wife nearly had a heart attack when she saw a towel in the washer full of brown stains. Had to calm her down and explain that it's not what it looks like. Now it's my official brew towel.

IMG_20201022_073915162.jpg
 
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