I've now got my bottling procedure down to a shade under one hour. 24 bottles clean and marked. I realised this morning how much I enjoy it, and find it is a bit like meditation. A little bit of deep breathing, relaxed movements, patience for each bottle to fill.
Even washing bottles doesn't feel like a chore. Just enjoying the ride, and looking forward to the bounty from each batch....
Must admit I have come to enjoy it. Not so much when I first got the bottles and the crap that came out.
But now that the bottles are always clean. I often have an audio -book in my ipod, listening to that it flies by.
When they are capped and the waiting to try it. Great feeling.
I've been getting my water temp to 67C, usually up to 69C then adding grain in to get 67C, and maintaining this for 60mins prior to boiling. So far this has been my standard MO for all brews. Reading further though, I realise that higher or lower temps will possibly give dryer or sweeter wort. Wanting to try a mash temp at 62C to achieve a dryer finish on my next Stout should I extend the time beyond the 60min mark to say 90min?
To ensure the best mash we recommend 90min mashes and stirring on occasion. The stirring helps wash the sugars from the grains.
I've recently purchased a second hydrometer and was thinking today as a tested my latest batches, does it make a difference if the sample is of clear wort or if there is some trub/cloudiness in it?
I imagine I could test this with a 'very cloudy' Vs 'reasonably clear' set of samples, but my samples would be hard to fix values to.
Short answer is I think you're okay. If you have trub at the bottom you would want to have enough / excess wort in the container so the hydrometer isn't sitting at the top of the trub layer, as that would mess up your numbers.
If anyone else has different or additional info please feel free to chime in.
As a bottler I'm limited for places which are reasonably temperature stable to store my bottles. My best option is the spare room in my shed. I'm done with ill-fitting cardboard boxes and only use them now for empties.
Not sure which site I saw this, but someone (not me) as usual has done the hard thinking (definitely not me) in this field and come up with this absolute pearler of an idea. My local 2nd hand place has heaps of them at $20-$80 each depending on their condition
My filing skills...
Not yet. The majority of my bottles are in the bottom drawers though. These are also anti-tilt, allowing just one drawer to be opened at a time. Still going to fix to the wall.
I recently bought a S/S hop basket which hangs nicely on the inside of my 40L Crown Urn. It's an Ebay/H.K buy at about $26. I wanted to see the difference from a hopsock, and now prefer the basket.
I saw the KegKing equiv this weekend at my LHBS in Perth and was shocked at the quality differences. Much better to pay an extra $10 for the K.K or store eqiv in the long run. Might only get another 10 brews out of mine before it falls apart.
Anyone got other tips for basic equipment. I guess...
You're spot on with both pieces of equipment. The bag is easier to clean as I usually did it at the same time as the grain bag. Noticed today, what I thought was a clean hop basket still had small debris in the folds and joins.
I've also tried the various sized tea balls for dry hopping, but while the main parts are stainless steel, the small joining pins or rivets certainly weren't and corroded.
The K.I.S.S method might be best here, and I'll be going back to the hop sock for the boil, and dry...