Cleaning the stainless steel conical fermenter

I have been brewing for quite a while now and over the years I have purchased a lot of home beer brewing equipment.  This 7 gallon stainless steel conical fermenter may be my best home brew purchase.  Initially when I started out home brewing, I was fermenting in 6 gallon glass carboys.  I would use two of them, one for primary fermentation and the other for secondary fermentation.  They were heavy, took up a lot of space, were difficult to move around, did not shield my homebrew from light, were a pain in the ass to clean and I had broken at least 2 of them over the years when they either cracked or the top sheared off when coming in contact with the ground.  Worst of all was knowing that if I had dropped one while relocating it that I was probably in for a trip to the hospital because those broken fragments of glass are sharper than knives.

This SSBrewTech conical fermenter on the other hand is honestly the perfect fermentation vessel for home beer brewing in my opinion.  It holds 7 gallons of fermenting beer, wine or cider; which is the perfect size for a 5 gallon batch.  It allows you to both dump trub and harvest yeast via its large 1.5″ valve at the conical base, it has a rotating racking arm, which I upgraded to MoreBeer’s ultimate racking arm. That is an upgrade that I would highly recommend.

More Beer Conical Fermenter Racking Arm Upgrade

More Beer Conical Fermenter Racking Arm Upgrade

It does not allow light to come in contact with your home brew, you can conduct CO2 transfers to eliminate any contact with oxygen, comes with a thermowell for temperature regulation, fits in most chest freezers (if you reduce the leg size) and is incredible easy to clean. In addition to that it is inexpensive for a high end piece of stainless steel home brewing equipment.  MoreBeer currently has them on sale for just $399 and they ship for free! If you are looking to buy a stainless steel conical fermenter, they can be purchased here.

7 Gallon Stainless Steel Conical Fermenter Best Price

7 Gallon Stainless Steel Conical Fermenter Best Price

I have been using mine for I think right about 2 1/2 years now and it has been worth every penny that I paid for it.  It is high quality and the handles on the side are welded strong, so I never need to worry about one busting off, even when it is fully loaded!

SS Brew Tech 7 Gallon Stainless Steel Home Brewing Fermenter

SS Brew Tech 7 Gallon Stainless Steel Home Brewing Fermenter

Save $40 On A Home Brewing Counter Flow Wort Chiller With This MoreBeer.com Promo Code

More Beer Promo Code Home Brewing Counterflow Wort Chiller

More Beer Promo Code Home Brewing Counterflow Wort Chiller

Limited time and quantity MoreBeer.com Coupon
MoreBeer.com Coupon Codes for the Month of October, 2017
Coupon Code Date: 10-8-2017
Promo Code Details:  Save 20% On A Counter Flow Wort Chiller
Promo Code: BEERDEAL
Product User Rating: 5/5
Availability: In Stock
Coupon Code Description: Today Only at MoreBeer.com you will save $40 on a copper counter flow wort chiller with More Beer promo code BEERDEAL.  MoreBeer’s copper convoluted counter flow wort chiller called the Chillus Convolutus Wort Chiller, comes with threaded 1/2″ fittings built in! They are on both the in and the out making connecting with pipe fittings, quick disconnects or even tri clamp sanitary fittings a snap. This is the same home brewing wort chiller that I use on my home beer brewing system and it works like a charm.  I have used immersion wort chillers and plate chillers; this chiller is by far my favorite because of how fast it chills, how easy it is to clean and how compact it is! The inner tube in this counterflow wort chiller is made from 12 feet of 5/8″ convoluted copper pipe that is constantly chilling the wort against the 2nd outer channel tube as the wort flows through. The outer tube is made from 7/8″ copper, making for an incredibly efficient wort chilling solution!

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Cleaning kegs in preparation for the next batch of homebrew!

Home Brewing Keg Animated Gif #keg #cleaning #home #brewing #animated #gif #homebrew #beer #home #brewery

Home Brewing Keg Animated Gif #keg #cleaning #home #brewing #animated #gif #homebrew #beer #home #brewery

Based on my estimated, home beer making is about 75% brewing and 25% cleaning.  I had recently drained a couple of kegs so today it is time for me to clean them and my taps in preparation for my experimental Oktoberfest Ale and my next to be determined batch of homebrew.  Thankfully for home brewers, there are cleaning solutions out there like PBW home brewing clean that can help with the job.

 

How to clean a keg

My keg cleaning process is pretty simple. I place a keg tap head on the output post of the keg, so that the dip tube of the keg can pass fluid, I then flush the keg post and dip tube with water and rice any yeast, trub or particulates from the keg.  After doing that 2 to 3 times until the keg is visibly clean, I add in a scoop of PBW and fill the keg up to the rim with PBW solution. I then allow it to sit for at least an hour.  I then flush the keg and dip tube again and inspect the keg.  At this point I may or may not remove the posts for a more complete cleaning and run a brush through the dip tube.  I then spray sanitize the kegs for storage.

If you need home brewing cleaner, I highly recommend PBW ( Powdered Brewery Wash).  It is fantastic.  Whatever you do, do not use household dish soap unless you have no other choice.  I dish washing detergent would be a better choice.  For a food grade sanitizer I recommend star san.  They both can be purchased via the following link at a great price!

Home Brewing Cleaners and Sanitizers

MoreBeer.com Promo Code For $15 Off A Speidel Fermenter

MoreBeer.com Promo Code For $15 Off A Speidel Fermenter #homebrew #homebrewing #speidel #fermenter

MoreBeer.com Promo Code For $15 Off A Speidel Fermenter #homebrew #homebrewing #speidel #fermenter

Limited time and quantity MoreBeer.com Coupon
MoreBeer.com Coupon Codes for the Month of September, 2017
Coupon Code Date: 9-25-2017
Promo Code Details:  MoreBeer.com Promo Code For $15 Off A Speidel Fermenter
Promo Code: BEERDEAL
Product User Rating: 5/5
Availability: In Stock
Coupon Code Description: Use More Beer promo code to save $15 on A 15 Gallon Speidel Carboy.  These heavy duty plastic carboys make for one of the best home brewing fermenters around!  Plus get free shipping on your order! Here are some of the features of these Speidel carboys:
  • Heavy duty HDPE construction is durable and resists oxygen transfer.
  • Small footprint makes them easy to store – take better advantage of the space you have to dedicate to beer brewing.
  • Heavy duty handles make these tanks easy to move, even when full.
  • Large lid opening makes them easy to clean by hand – say goodbye to your carboy brush!
  • All ports seal with gaskets and the vessel can be fully sealed for long-term storage.
  • Comes with a FREE  spigot and oversized 2-piece Speidel airlock!

Speidel Promo Code at More Beer

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There is a NEW Homebrewing System in town! Introducing the Keg King RoboBrew!

The Keg King Robobrew Home Beer Brewing System

The Keg King Robobrew Home Beer Brewing System

Limited time and quantity WilliamsBrewing.com Promo Code
Promo Codes for the Month of June, 2017
Coupon Code Date:
 6-6-2017
Promotion Details:
Get a Robobrew Home Brewery for $499
Promo Code:
ROBOBREW
Product User Rating:
5/5
Availability: 
In Stock
Coupon Description
:  Compact home beer brewing systems have been all of the rage over the last couple years as manufactures have been coming up with clever ways of simplifying all grain home brewing and shrinking the footprint of home breweries. Keg King has now entered the market place with their ROBOBREW digital home brewing system. While the name may be less than desirable, they certainly got the functionality right for their home beer brewing system.  For the price, it is difficult to find a better home brewing setup.

The Keg King Robobrew home brewing setup includes a pump for recirculation with an on off switch, as well as a false bottom and grain pipe to both protect the pump from clogging, and hold the crushed grain above the bottom for good wort circulation. That is a big feature upgrade when compared to lower cost homebrewing systems.  The Robobrew holds  9 gallons which makes it the  perfect size for 5 gallon batches of your favorite home brewed beer. The grain basket even holds up to 18 pounds of crushed malt and grains! I real plus is the Robobrew runs on a 110 volt plug, so you do not need a 220 v to power it unlike some electric home brewing systems; you also do not need to worry about running out of propane during your brew day since it is a fully electric home brewing system. The Keg King ROBOBREW is like a simplified Grain Father home brewing setup. The Robobrew has a basic electronic thermostat that lets you set temperature and relax while the Robobrew electric home brewing system handles your mash conversion for you. Heck, you can even program the Robobrew home brewing in advance! The Robo Brew includes just about everything that you need to start brewing right out the box and it is built from almost entirely stainless steel!  In fact the Robobrew even includes a stainless steel immersion wort chiller with standard 1/2″ hose barb outlets! The Robo Brew home brewing system also includes a Digital Backlit Temperature Control,  Malt Pipe, Dual Element Heating, a stainless steel 1/2″ ball valve and Magnetic Pump! With all of this, the ROBO BREW is one of the best home brewing deals out there for just $499.  For more details on the Robobrew or to purchase one, please click the link.

Robobrew Home Brewery #robobrew #robobrew #homebrewing #home #brewing #brewery

Robobrew Home Brewery #robobrew #robobrew #homebrewing #home #brewing #brewery

WilliamsBrewing.com ROBOBREW Home Brewery

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More Beer Promo Code $5 Off A Stainless Steel Whirlpooling Arm

$5 Off A Stainless Steel Whirlpool Arm

$5 Off A Stainless Steel Whirlpool Arm #homebrew #homebrewing

Limited time and quantity MoreBeer.com Coupon
More Beer Promo Codes for the Month of June, 2017
Coupon Code Date: 6-4-2017
Promotion Details: $5 Off A Stainless Steel Whirlpool Arm
Promo Code: BEERDEAL
Product User Rating: 5/5
Availability: In Stock
Coupon Description: This Home Brewing Deal is offered by More Beer and will save you $5 on one of their stainless steel whirl pool arms! If you are not familiar with a homebrewing whirlpool arm, it is used to circulate wort in the boil kettle, typically after the boil has concluded.  There are a few reasons for doing this, the primary reason being to speed up the chilling of the wort by circulating it around the chiller, to help collect the trub so that it is not drawn into the fermenter or to help make the most out of post boil hop additions.
This is the same whirlpool arm that I use in my homebrewing system.  It was a great price, easy to install and adds some new versatility to my home brewing rig!  You can see it in action in the animated home brewing image:
Home Brewing Whirlpool Animated Gif

Home Brewing Whirlpool Animated Gif

MoreBeer.com Promo Code Stainless Whirlpool Arm

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Transferring my homebrew to the keg

Stainless Steel Conical Fermenter for Homebrewing #homebrew #homebrewing

Stainless Steel Conical Fermenter for Homebrewing #homebrew #homebrewing

Last night I transferred my latest beer from the conical fermenter to my 5 gallon homebrew keg. This batch was a modification of MoreBeer’s M-80 IPA which I put a Vermont Style IPA spin on using the London III yeast and dry hopping with some Citra whole hops.  I tasted some as it came out of the fermenter and even warm, flat and unconditioned it tasted fantastic!  I can not wait for it to finish up in the keg for a few days!

Trub Trapper Review

Trub Trapper

The Trub Trapper hop filter

Over the past 4 months or so I have been trying hard to find a good solution for keeping the solids and hop matter created during the boil, out of my homebrewing fermenter.  I started out using a Blichmann hop blocker, which worked fine, but I was a little disappointed with the quantity of wort that I had to leave behind in the kettle.  I then switched over to a hop spider / stainless steel hop filter which worked terrible as I was plagued with clogging issues. I then used 2 stainless steel hop filters with worked better but I still had major concerns regarding diminished hop utilization. Now I have found myself going down a new path and trying the Trub Trapper.

The reason I purchased the Trub Trapper was because on paper it looks like the perfect solution for my needs and works well with my all grain configuration.  What I like about the design of the trub trapper is that it has no top or bottom, so the hops can circulate in the kettle and I do not have to worry about reduced bitterness and aroma from stagnated hop circulation. It has a low profile so even if it gets clogged, there wont be too much of a wort loss and most importantly the trub is supposed to be caught in the trub trapper during the whirlpool so I do not transfer it to my conical fermenter.

So how does the trub trapper work in reality?

Per the description of the trub trapper, it is intended for a 10 – 15 gallon home brewing kettle and they do offer a smaller version for 5 gallon kettles.  I use a 20 gallon Blichmann home brewing kettle, but for the most part only brew 5 and 10 gallon batches, so I figured, what the hell, I will give it a shot with my setup.  My initial concern once I received the trub trapper was that it might be too small for my brewing setup but I figured I would give it a test run anyhow.

For my test brew, I went with a 5 gallon batch of MoreBeer’s M-80 All Grain IPA home brewing recipe.  I figured the 6 oz’s of hops would be a good test of the Trub Trappers capabilities.  Prior to brew day I started off by giving the TrubTrapper a good cleaning, like I do with any newly purchased home brewing equipment. The design of the Trub Trapper is relatively basic.  It looks like an old school air filter but instead of a paper membrane in the center, it has a ring of drilled stainless steel surrounded by a layer stainless steel mesh. On the top and bottom of the Trub Trapper there  is a silicon seal. Prior to starting my boil, I placed the trub tapper in the center of my boil kettle as shown in the following photo.

TrubTrapper

TrubTrapper

Something important to keep in mind, the TrubTrapper is only going to be effective if you have the capability of conducting a whirlpool at the end of your boil.  Whirlpooling is a brewing process where after your boil has completed, you recirculate your wort inside your kettle with the use of a pump and whirlpool arm. As the wort swirls around your boil kettle, the trub trapper catches and contains it.  If you do not have a whirlpool arm in your kettle, you can easily add one yourself as I did.  A whirlpool arm will run you about $38 and you can find a great home brewing whirlpool arm here if needed. This animated homebrewing gif shows the whirlpooling process being conducted.

Home Brewing Whirlpool Animated Gif

Home Brewing Whirlpool Animated Gif

For the trub trapper to be most effective, you need to allow the wort to whirlpool for about 10-15 minutes.  Depending on your homebrew recipe, this could be a great time for a hop addition or to begin your wort chilling process which is what I did.   All in my whirlpool process lasted about 20 minutes before my wort had chilled down to 70 F and I began transferring it to my conical fermenter. So did the Trub Trapper work?

The TrubTrapper

The TrubTrapper

You bet your sparge arm it did! The TrubTrapper exceeded my expectations.  As you can see from the photo above, it did a fantastic job of capturing the trub and keeping it away from my kettle transfer tube.  Initially it clogged a little bit, but I learned that if i burped the far side of it, the seal permitted the caught wort to escape while the Trub Trapper still contained the thick trub sludge. For $50 I feel that it was a great buy, especially when considering that alternative solutions cost far more and are not nearly as effective.

If you are considering buying a TrubTrapper, you can get it for a great deal here and it ships free if your order exceeds $59!

Purchase the Trub Trapper Here

#trubtrapper #trub #trapper #homebrew #homebrewing #hop #filter #screen #spider

Cleaning the home Brewing system

Cleaning home brewing equipment is now my favorite aspect of home brewing, but I know that it is a critical part of creating good beer and keeping my home brewing rig functioning properly. My home brewery has grown to the point where it has gotten complicated to clean.  Home brewing equipment such as ball locks, hoses and pumps create pockets of space where bacteria can thrive. After a home brewing session, you have basically created the ideal environment for a bacterial incubator to form. It is a damp, dark environment that has a thin sugary syrup coating everything from the wort passing over it. If you do not clean properly, you are setting yourself up for possible beer contamination and off flavors.

I do not worry about my Hot Liquor Tank and the pump that drives it since it is only passing hot or cold water.  I just make sure that the pump, valves and hoses are kept free from moisture.  As far as my RIMS, Mash Tun, Boil Kettle, Valves, Hoses and Pump that feeds those system goes, I have a different process.  The primary aspect of that process is recirculating a warm / hot (120 F) bath of PBW over everything for 15 minutes. You can actually see the water change in color after it has recirculated for a few minutes. I then allow the equipment to soak over night, then heat the solution again and flush it with clean water.  I then break down my RIMS system and scrub out any lose debris, scrub my valves and reassemble.  Like I said, it is not fun, but cleaning is an important part of brewing.

If you are looking for a great home brewing cleaner, you should give PBW a shot. You can find it here:

PBW Home Brewing Cleaner

Now a cleaning cycle on the home brewing rig with some PBW #homebrew #homebrewing #homebrewer

Home Brew

Home Brew #homebrew

Home Brew #homebrew

Recently I had the pleasure of brewing up a batch of beer on one of my friends home brewing setups. It is always nice to get another home brewers perspective on home brewing. I find that I learn a lot about the home brewing craft from examining other home brewers methods and practices.  Even better, both of us use similar home brewing hardware and like similar styles of home brew.

Home Brewing Rig

Home Brewing Rig

One of the biggest differences in our home brewing systems and our beer brewing practices is when it comes to the mash. Where I have made my mashing process complicated (possibly over complicated) over time, doing my best to make sure my mash is at a specific temperature for the entire 60 minutes, he sets his mash temp, closes the lid and does not attempt to correct for any temperature loss over time.  By the time his mash has completed, the temperature in his tun has only dropped by approximately 6 to 8 degrees F.

My concern with a drop in mash temp would be that perhaps the finished beer would come out too dry or thin due to the lower average mash temp, the starches would only be converted to very simple sugars. Yet after sampling several of his beers, that did not turn out to be the case. I sampled 4 of his beers that day, varying from stouts to IPA’s and all of them were fantastic.  I would not describe any of his beers as too thin or too dry.

Home Brewing Mash Conversion Temperatures

Home Brewing Mash Conversion Temperatures

The image above is of my Blichmann BrewMomerter. I hi-lighted the segment that pertains to the mash conversion. As all grain home brewers, for the most part we mash at between 150-152 F to get a well rounded mash conversion. When I asked my friend if he was concerned with the temp dropping, he said that he felt that most of the starch conversion was occurring early in the mash process while his temperature was on target and that he had never noticed a degradation in the quality of his finished beer since he started conducting his mash in this manner. I am inclined to agree with him based on the high quality beer that he produces.

I think that sometimes as home brewers, out of our desire to brew “perfect” beer, sometimes we go too far and over complicate things (or at least I do).  I am not saying to ignore your mash temperature or to only mash for 10 minutes. My point is more that modern varieties of beer have been produced for over 600 years, well before yeast was even discovered in 1857. Considering that our ancestors created beer without having the benefit of such instruments as a BrewMometer, perhaps there can be some flexibility when it comes to brewing.

One of the home brewing items that he possesses that I am pretty envious of is a large sized stainless steel hop spider.  When I say large sized, I mean large sized, this thing is giant as you can see from the animated image.  The photos were taken during the whirlpool process after the boil had completed. I have been trying to get a hop filtering system to work out on my home brew system for the last few batches without a great deal of success.  I have been trying to overcome some challenges with clogging issues in my hop filter and he shared some great advice with me.  He said that in order for a hop filter to work properly and to get similar hop utilization compared to not using one, you need to have a hop filter that is at least half the diameter of your home brewing kettle. The size of the filter made a dramatic difference. I could see the wort moving around inside of his filter and he had hardly any clogging issues.

Home Brewing With A Hop Spider Animation

Home Brewing With A Hop Spider