Posts Tagged biab

Kegerator and Lasers!

So last night we went to the London hackspace with an EPS file and a lot of hope.

The plan…

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Lasers!

Can you tell what it is yet?

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Next of course was to start on the kegerator.

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For most kegerators, you need to lots of complicated things. We decided to keep it very simple and try to keep the fridge as insulated as possible.  The gas (CO2) is kept outside and fed in through the top of the fridge.

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This conduit we got for another project was perfect for 3/8 beer line.  It can take two lines in each section.  The plan is to run a gas line in from outside and the beer out.  We have one beer line for the handpump, two for a font (yet to buy).

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Siliconed in!

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Just needs a clean!

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And a spray… remember that laser cutter at the start?

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Won’t lose these easily!

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Sprayed all the things!

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And soon to come, a pump clip! 🙂

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Homebrew festival

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This weekend we attended the home brew festival in Market Bosworth. 

I entered three beers, two all grain and a kit.  I placed with one of the all grain beers (2nd) and the kit (3rd)

Very pleased and thanks for all the help and encouragement from my friends and family

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The Home Brew Festival

In a few weeks I’ll be joining members of the craftbrewing forum in Market Bosworth for The Home Brew Festival.

Its the successor to “the spring thing”.

Its members only (membership of the home brew festival not any associated forum).  You pay the membership fee, then about £23 for the full weekend camping! Beer is provided completely free at the bar.

There’s also a competition – I’m putting in three entries – one of my entries is a kit, but the rest are all grain.

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So 3 weeks later, I’ve kegged 160ish pints!

If you’re going, I’ll see you there!

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Leatherworking

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After a couple of weeks away at this year’s bushmoot I undertook a leatherworking course. One of my projects was a tankard, so I thought I’d have a go at home. Turned out much better than expected

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Afterwards on the Sunday I had a go wet forming a card wallet

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And a woggle or two for the scouts

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Garage

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So the old kitchen has gone into the garage and the brewery has its own space. Next is to make it food safe! Bodge job on the extractor fan to get steam out efficiently.

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eBIAB #7 Dark German Wheatbeer!

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Brew day 2 – my wife and son were off in Hereford for the weekend, so I squeezed in another brew day – this time making a much darker brew.  This one was a Weissbier Dunkel – http://www.brewtoad.com/recipes/weissbier-dunkel

This was also my first solo brew using a recipe I’d adapted for the BIABacus.  I got a gravity of 1048 whereas  I was aiming for 1.051, so not bad.  I didn’t bother with dicoctions or step mashes.

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Much simpler hop recipe (just one addition at 60 minutes) and the wort tasted lovely.  I pitched a WLP-300 yeast.  Yeast is the most important part of German Wheatbeers – you need a special kind to get the correct banana and clove tastes!

 

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eBIAB #6 Making some beer!

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With the new SSR fitted, it was time one again to brew!  I used the standard NRB Amarillo BIAB recipe from the BIABacus at http://www.biabrewer.info.

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We raised the water to 71’C to hit our strike temperature.  The grain was stored inside, already in the bag ready to go.  If the grain was colder than room temperature, we’d have to increased our strike temperature to take this into account.  You can see above the bag already added and giving a stir to break up all the lumps.

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After the grain is stirred and at the right temperature, we wrapped up the grain in a sleeping bag and used my coat over the top (not pictured).  At this point, have a beer!

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Halfway through the 90 minute mash, the temperature had dropped about 4’C, so we raised the bag up and turned the element back on.

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At the end, we’d really squeezed the bag out and put the dried grain in the composter.

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Now it was time to raise the temperature up and give it a boil.

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Here it is – boiling.  It did this for a further 90 minutes.  The hop additions weren’t pictured, but I used three brewing socks to make the additions through the brew.

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We added curtains halfway down the garage to keep the steam at bay and used a fan I’d found in a skip to push the steam out the double doors.

 

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Taste testing with an absurdly long spoon is necessary.

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Immersion heater in, you can see the hop bags.  Five minutes before this I added a protofloc tablet to aid with clarity.

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I pitched the lot (cold break and hot break) into the fermenter.  Everything smells fine to me.

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I used the drop into the fermenter to aerate the wort.

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Lots of bubbles! So well aerated that I couldn’t easily pitch the dry yeast.   Next time, maybe I’ll make a starter!

I really enjoyed the brew – a few things didn’t go as planned and the immersion cooler hose ends had gone AWOL so we had to run round looking for those at the last minute, but it was fairly relaxing.  The wort tastes excellent and I’m looking forward to the beer.  My only concern is I only used half a protofloc tablet (thinking they were the same as whirlfloc tablets) and I tossed in all the break rather than filtering, but I’ve been told conflicting views.  We’ll see how it works out.

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eBIAB #5 – a small fire

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Note to self, use an appropriately sized heatsink (ie one that doesn’t boil a cup of tea on it)

Investigations as to why the PID wasn’t shutting off the brewery found this melted SSR.

You need a large oversize heatsink to make sure yours doesn’t melt.

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eBIAB #4 – The build

First day of the build, having found the workshop in single digits, I dug out the heater and some stove pipe I found on the side of the road.  Rigged up, it took the chill out of the air… Just!

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Because the build costs have been more than expected, we re-purposed an old computer.  Once we’d stripped it out and given it a bit of a dust, it looked OK.

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After looking at the case, we decided the best way to deal with it was to lean it over on its side.  The top of it would become the panel, the back room for the plugs etc.  Here’s making sure we’re all square.

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We added a 3 pin plug to make the sensor easily detachable.  Sadly, it turns out that the sensor I’d ordered (a PT100) wasn’t as expected – it was a K probe.  This caused a lot of confusion later on.  For all of the cuts, we used a dremel clone picked up from Lidl on the cheap.  It was not a quick process!

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3You can see the main 32 Amp socket being rounded off.

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I used a chassis mount for the 32A socket.

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With plug

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Pot box all fitted – I used an IP65 Aluminium box 2.5mm box – cost about £8 inc P&P.  The thickness of the box was too much and I went down the same route many others have gone.  Namely JB Weld and a stainless steel blanking plate.  I paid over the odds – twice actually because I badly drilled the first.  £5 from B&Q – just make sure you get a flat blanking plate.  I hammered the two screw holes flat and JB Welded it.  The Aluminium box had a 2.25 inch hole drilled into it and the steel plate 1.25″ hole.  It’s held in place by the element which has been tightened by a nut on the inside of the kettle.

We drilled the 32A lead into the rear of the socket, put on an earth and a drain hole in the base – just in case.

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PID being wired.

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Making a hop strainer (check out the special use of safety equipment and eye protection)

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Rear of the computer case – SSR fitted with heatsink, sensor connector, 32A input and output (input is wire into grommet) and the kettle plug powers the PID separately.

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Inside is being wired up on a wooden base.

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Case and Pot.  It was at this point we found problems with the PID – first we thought it was bad soldering (I’m terrible with a solder iron) – The PID was reading -360-something.  Then we found it was in ‘F – a quick change to ‘C and we were -149’C.  Offsets wouldn’t let us get it up to temperature (9’c). Then after checking the resistance we discovered nothing added up.  I said I was concerned that the probe may not be as advertised – after checking, we realised I’d definitely been sent the wrong probe.  Sigh.

Anyway, we hooked it up and reconfigured the PID.  The K-Probe really didn’t do a great job.  Either that or water now boils at 80’C at sea level.

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Box now wired up.

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Element switched on! Look, bubbles!

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To show how out the probe was, I took these pictures.  Manual, clearly showing 35’C

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And the PID, 27’C – by the time we were boiling, the overall temperature differential was 15’C.  A fair difference when you’re trying to hit a temperature of 72’C.

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Not far off a boil!  Ready now for the first brew!

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eBIAB #3

I got two bits of good news.  On Friday I found that the stainless steel NPT nut (yes the US is the only ones it seems to not use the BSP standard in pipes) had arrived from the US.  I’m glad I didn’t pay the £30 extra P&P to guarantee delivery before xmas now.

I seem to have everything I need – so very happy.   The 2nd bit of good news is the holes have all been made in the big stockpot.

I didn’t really want to drop £100 on a cabinet for storing all the electrics – though many do.  So I’ve decided to use an old computer case to do the same thing.

Now just to cleanup the garage so we can make the appropriate renovation.  Pics to come!

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