Not the best of brew days!

July 17, 2006 at 12:33 am Leave a comment

Although I was still dragging butt from my day in the sun yesterday (had a fishing tournament) I decided this afternoon to finally assemble my 3-tier brewing sculpture (why do they call a sculpture? I like, and will use, the word structure MUCH better!) and make a batch of pale ale. Should have stopped right there!

Got the pieces of the structure from behind the garage, found a drill and a bit, and proceeded to attempt to drill holes for the bolts to hold this thing together. Promptly dulled two bits to be unusable, and didn’t have one hole drilled yet! Plan B… tripp to the hardware store, where I bought some hose clamps and clamped it together with them. I actually like it better…I could disassemble the whole thing in a couple of minutes if I wanted to!

Last week I made my HLT (hot liquid tank) but used brass fittings, which can have surface lead on them. I knew from internet searches how to make the solution to remove this lead, so I made 3 pints of the solution and soaked the brass parts in it. Didn’t know how long they should soak, so went for close to an hour…and by then I had discovered that the proper time is 10 minutes…

Got everything together.. it looks like this…


The second tier is for the mash/lauter tun, which is not in this picture. It goes where the green hoses drape over the frame. Thos hoses go to the immersion chiller, which is being heated in a white vinegar/water solution to clean it. Probabaly didn’t need to do it, but I haven’t used it in a month or so and thought it couldn’t hurt to clean it up.


Notice how shiny it is… the vinegar removes any corrosion on the copper and makes it look brand new. Also, the hole in the top of the keg was cut with a cutoff wheel to a line made with a marker on a string pivoting around the center post of the keg, before it was cut out. It is sized to fit the lid from my turkey fryer pot.

Ok, water heaing in the HLT, cooler cleaning in the brew pot. Both burners blasting away…time to grind the grain.

I bought a used PhilMill to grind my grain last week… $40 and in pretty good shape. It comes with a ahndcrank, but can be powered by a drill. I started off with the crank, but after only about 1/2 pound decided that I needed to power this thing. I looked in the garage for a 3/8×16 stud so that I could thread it in the end of the roller, chuck it in the drill and grind away. I did not find a stud, but did find a 3/8 tap. These are hard and brittle… and I knew better, but I decided to use it to connect the drill to the roller….here’s the results of that foolishness..tap.jpg

See the little X shaped piece in the center of the roller? That’s a broken tap. Tomorrow I’ll have to figure out how to remove it. Hopefully I’ll get it done, and can continue this brew day saga then.


Entry filed under: Homebrew Stuff & Notes.

2nd All grain Almost beer….

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