National Homebrew Club Ireland

General Discussions => Brewing Communities => Belfast Homebrewers => Topic started by: Roo on January 20, 2020, 08:23:57 PM

Title: Imagine you could start over
Post by: Roo on January 20, 2020, 08:23:57 PM
Chatting to a mate who wants to start brewing and asked for what he needed. It got me thinking....I've wasted a lot of time, energy and money on the road to where I am now.....sure I learned lessons along the way as a result but what if I could see through the nonsense and get this here quicker and having spent less. Would I go straight to all grain? Would I buy those brown plastic 5l kegs and force carbonate? Should I have bought that conical fermenter?

What are the things you deem as a necessity and what are luxuries? Budget has to be a factor.

I'll start with:

Grainfather was the best thing I purchased, wished it was my first buy!

Over to you.
Title: Re: Imagine you could start over
Post by: phildo79 on January 21, 2020, 01:02:43 PM
Corny kegs!

Yes, there is an initial outlay of quite a few quid because a keg is useless unless you have a regulator, gas, taps, larder fridge etc. but once you spend that, that's it. You never again have to soak 50 Grolsch bottles in a bath tub with thin bleach or spend hours filling and capping 330ml bottles because you don't have anything bigger. A keg is just one giant bottle. Clean it, fill it, drink it!

I suppose some might say it isn't a necessity but it is if your time is precious to you.

Title: Re: Imagine you could start over
Post by: nigel_c on January 21, 2020, 02:30:52 PM
I think bottling give a good foundation for where your sanitation need to be. As soon as you can clean and bottle 40 odd bottles perfectly the you can move onto kegs.
You need to have the basics down first in my opinion.
Title: Re: Imagine you could start over
Post by: Will_D on January 22, 2020, 09:07:19 AM
Question:
In the whole of the home brewing cycle what do you spend most time doing??

Answer:
Drinking !!

So first make this as easy as possible with a kegerator set-up.


Will
Title: Re: Imagine you could start over
Post by: guest2162 on January 22, 2020, 11:06:00 AM
Definitely kegs... I have been thinking a lot about fermenting in kegs too and getting rid of my fermenters... pros as I see it: smaller brewery footprint, more space in fermentation chamber, ferment under pressure, easier to eliminate oxygen... cons: smaller batch size... a floating dip tube and jumper cable could be used to transfer beer into clean keg for serving... what are people thoughts on going this route?
Title: Re: Imagine you could start over
Post by: Bazza on January 22, 2020, 12:01:22 PM
Quote from: AnGhr├║dlannBeag on January 22, 2020, 11:06:00 AM
Definitely kegs... I have been thinking a lot about fermenting in kegs too and getting rid of my fermenters... pros as I see it: smaller brewery footprint, more space in fermentation chamber, ferment under pressure, easier to eliminate oxygen... cons: smaller batch size... a floating dip tube and jumper cable could be used to transfer beer into clean keg for serving... what are people thoughts on going this route?

Been fermenting in kegs for a few years using the spunding method and deffo recommend it. I've never seen the need for a floating dip tube and haven't even cut the bottom off the fermenter's serving tube. Just expel the first 1/2 pint into a jug with a picnic tap, just prior to transferring, and the the rest of the batch will transfer nice and clear into the serving keg.
The biggest downside I can see is you will tie up more kegs (& have more keg washing to do), especially when dry-hopping. I like to transfer with gas from the fermenting keg (under pressure) to a secondary keg for dry-hopping before transferring again to the serving keg. You end up using a fair bit more CO2 than before, but it's deffo worth it for clear, O2-free beer that stays fresh for ages.

Only other thing I'd say is a decent spunding valve is hard to come by. My first one wasn't very sensitive and got clogged up so often by beer that the gauge stopped working. My second one, ordered new before Christmas, I had to fix with ptfe tape before I could use it; kept leaking, even when closed tight!
That's another thing to watch out for, actually; big beers especially will try their best to go through your gas dip tube. Don't do anything bigger than a 17L batch and you'll avoid this 90% of the time.

-Barry
Title: Re: Imagine you could start over
Post by: guest2162 on January 22, 2020, 12:05:40 PM
Great info, thanks!
Title: Re: Imagine you could start over
Post by: fishjam45 (Colin) on January 22, 2020, 02:02:48 PM
Quote from: nigel_c on January 21, 2020, 02:30:52 PM
I think bottling give a good foundation for where your sanitation need to be. As soon as you can clean and bottle 40 odd bottles perfectly the you can move onto kegs.
You need to have the basics down first in my opinion.

This 100%.

The basics have got to be nailed initially especially sanitation.
Title: Re: Imagine you could start over
Post by: Roo on January 22, 2020, 03:41:15 PM
Today of all days is an apt day to quote.....

"What have the Romans ever done for us?"

"Sanitation?"

"Oh yes Reg, remember what the city used to be like"
Title: Re: Imagine you could start over
Post by: nigel_c on January 22, 2020, 08:37:02 PM
Quote from: Roo on January 22, 2020, 03:41:15 PM
Today of all days is an apt day to quote.....

"What have the Romans ever done for us?"

"Sanitation?"

"Oh yes Reg, remember what the city used to be like"
:(