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First two brew days completed

 
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HeyK84



Joined: 07 Mar 2015
Posts: 70
Location: United States


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:05 pm    Post subject: First two brew days completed Reply with quote


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well i had my first two brew days. the first was on January 1 and the second one was January 16. The first brew day went incredibly smoothly. I thought for sure there would be major challenges being the first time using a new process. But using Kal's brew day step by step instructions, everything worked like a charm. My only issue was with water spills. So i learned to be more careful about checking valves and having a little bowl handy before disconnecting.

My set up is a Kal clone except for a couple of things:

1. No hop stopper. I just use a whirlpool arm that i got at Brewhardware.com. I recirculated the wort for the last couple minutes of boil.

2. my sink is on the opposite side next to the HLT. I could have reversed the kettles but then they wouldn't have been in the same order as the PIDs on the panel. and since i bought the kit, the Boil/OFF/HLT switch tag was already made, so i just left it. The only thing that stinks about this is i have unplug my boil kettle and move to the other side of my sink when it's time to clean, but this really is not a big deal at all. it might add an extra minute to cleanup time.

My second brew day did not go quite as well. This is my own fault because I decided to use leaf hops without any kind of filter. The whole day went great until it was time to whirlpool/chill and this is when everything got clogged up, my pumps, hoses, dip tube etc. Then i started panicking because i had a feeling that my pumps were destroyed (yes, plural, pumps, when the first pump clogged, i made the intelligent decision to hook up the water pump and see if leaf hops would fit through this one, hmmmm! i wonder what the result was!) , and i had 15 gallons of hot wort and no way to cool it or get it out of the kettle. This was a pliny the elder clone so it is not a cheap batch.

So I started jamming a sanitized close hanger in every opening and a few minutes and a few burns later i managed to spill hot wort all over the floor. This was not my finest hour. The brewery was a disaster and my fuse had been blown.

my wife gave me some encouraging words and forced me to step away and eat dinner, and when i went back to it with a relatively cooler head, i decided to take the pump heads off and work on unclogging them. Success! what do you do when you unclog your pump? you hook it back up and try it again of course! It took three clogs for me to finally stop using the pumps. so then i just took the hose from the kettle outlet, and dropped in the carboy. i collected about 9 gallons of wort at about 160 and 130 degrees, and then just threw them in the fermentation chamber to cool overnight.

kudos to my neighbor, assistant brewer, for coming back after his family dinner to help me clean up.

What a mess! don't use leaf hops without some sort of hop filter!

Now i'm excited to brew again very soon and hopefully it will be a quiet and smooth day.

This. brewery. is. awesome.

Even w/ this disaster (again, my fault, and easily preventable) i absolutely love using this thing. It's so fun, and easy to use. Everyone who sees it is blown away by how cool it is. I got to brew beer in my basement on a 20*F day in shorts and a t-shirt while drinking beer, watching tv and playing darts with my brothers and dad. everything is right there at your fingertips when you need it. it feels more effortless, without losing the intimacy of brewing, it makes brewing more flexible. it's just enjoyable.

Pictures: https://goo.gl/photos/o1mjmxD1GV91Tu2HA
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9504
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing! Would you mind if I used one of the pictures and your last paragraph on our testimonials page? I'll link back to this post so that people can read the whole thing / see more pictures too.

First few brews can always leave a few head scratching moments as there's so much going on, so much to take in. It eventually does get easier to the point where you'll completely stop following the BREW DAY STEP BY STEP instructions.

Good luck on your future brews!

Kal

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My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
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HeyK84



Joined: 07 Mar 2015
Posts: 70
Location: United States


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
Thanks for sharing! Would you mind if I used one of the pictures and your last paragraph on our testimonials page? I'll link back to this post so that people can read the whole thing / see more pictures too.

Kal


Cool! I would be honored to be on your testimonials page!
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9504
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, English IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison

Working on: Kölsch


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great! Thank you! I've now added you here: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/testimonials

Kal

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My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
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