New gadgets!!

Buying, building and using brewing equipment and apparatus. Product reviews and questions.

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New gadgets!!

Postby andytv » Sun Oct 06, 2002 8:57 am

I brewed on Friday (had the day off work) and had a chance to use my two new gadgets. For those of you thinking about some new beer toys, please review;

1) The magnetic stirrer was great!! I raised a one liter starter from dry yeast(two pkgs), DME, and yeast nutrient, and let it sit atop the stirrer all night before brewday. Within two hours of pitching the yeast, I had about an 8" head of foam (usually approx 4" at several hours). This gives me the "peace of mind" that I've lessened the chance of insufficient yeast counts/viability. This peace of mind was worth the $50 (stirrer, 2l flask, etc) for the setup.

Also, the Hanna "Checker" PH meter came through w/ flying colors. I was able to verify nominal PH several times throughout the process with no effort. I'm not second guessing myself regarding PH, which is another nice peace of mind.

Prosit!
Andy
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Heater

Postby Freon12 » Sun Oct 06, 2002 6:13 pm

Have you noticed any heat addition from the stirer? What tempreture are you starting at?
What size stirer did you get? Did you get 1000 and 2000ml like I did? Do you also use the fish pump to airate?
Did you blow the airlock off yet?
I knew you would like it!

signed
Steve, the wall yeast pattern artist.
Freon12
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Location: WHITELAND, IN, US

No Wall Art

Postby andytv » Mon Oct 07, 2002 4:43 am

I was reluctant to drop a temp probe into the starter, but measuring the outside of the flask gave me 80F. I started at about 75F. I'm in the process of doing a little reading & polishing my temp control a bit...now that autumn has come and I'm not fighting 90F weather.

As far as stirrer size....I don't know. I got it from Ebay for $10. It has about a 7"X7" base. My stirring rod, I think, is too big (2.5"), it goes "tap tap tap tap tap" all night long. My erlenmeyer flask is 2L, so it is comforatble for 1L starters. I think I'll get a smaller stirring rod next time I place an order with McMaster Carr(excellent all-purpose supplier).

I aerated with bottled O2 and a sintered SS stone.

I use a 15 gallon coni to brew 11.5gallon batches, so the headspace is substantial....no wall art this time. I am however getting quite good at stove art; what with me putting the flask full of DME and water on the burner and walking off. Sugary water is like superglue.

I have had a real bad summer for brewing this year. I had a tough time controlling temps in my brew room and the beer has suffered. This last batch will break me out of my funk, I'm sure.

Prosit,

Andy
andytv
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Posts: 206
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Funky brothers

Postby Freon12 » Tue Oct 08, 2002 2:23 pm

Funny you should mention brew funk.

I have recently had trouble with the stove starter and also my brews won't ferment completly.
It may be related to Mesa's momentary stay in the basement.

Or it could be I was mashing too high. I'm with you, cooler weather will bring us out of this low in brewing. However, a bright spot would be the excellent Wit brother Gravity and I have formulated. WoW!!!!


Good brewing.
Steve
Freon12
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Posts: 404
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2001 8:27 pm
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Beerflies

Postby andytv » Wed Oct 09, 2002 3:07 am

I am attributing my substandard results this summer to two things; heat & bugs. The PA summer this year was brutal. My beer room is usually around 62F, even with a deep freeze chugging in the corner. I know it's a marginal temp, but I was able to achieve good results with ale yeast in this room. This year, I was lucky to keep the room at 80F(and I tried all kinds of tricks to keep the beer cool). The other issue was beerflies. For some reason, out here in the country, we have these tiny little bugs that love beer. They hang out everywhere beer is present; in my tap faucet, etc. Well these little sonofabitches are hard to see too, and in two instances, I found one had weasled into my fermentor (flew in while I was skimming, etc). I'm thinking that my "white film" issue may have been bug related.

In an attempt to solve the problem, I have installed a window fan, which (in conjunction with the weather improvement)has driven the temp down and discouraged the beerflies. I am thinking of getting one of these thermostat controlled fans for the winter time, and lagering in this room (the room is 3/4 underground). My other option is to lager down in my springhouse, which entails dragging a 12 gallon batch down a slope inthe snow (hard by yourself). Good brewing.

Andy
andytv
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Posts: 206
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