Recently I took about 8 months off from brewing beer. I have had a lot going on in my life and homebrew had to take a back burner for a little while. But there is something about October. It just feels like beer brewing season for me. The air started getting a little cooler and I began to remember all of those little things that I enjoy so much about home beer brewing. So I crafted a recipe, got some friends together and we brewed up a batch of Hazy IPA that we are calling David Hazelhop. If it turns out to be good, I will post the recipe. I have a few ideas for some tweaks that I would like to make on it for the next time, so we will see. This was my first time using malted oats and I think I will add more of them to the next batch if this one turns out well. Here are some photos from this brewing session.
Home Brewing Beer – Photo of me and the gang after the brew session, enjoying a can of Monkish Hazy
Homebrew, Homebrewing, Home Beer Brewing, German Mandarina Hops
Transferring the Hazy IPA wort to the conical fermenter
My buddy not to excited about having to scrub up the mash tun
Homebrew, Homebrewing, Home Beer Brewing, Prost
Once this batch finished up I will either try to brew a slightly different version or try an idea that I have for a Viking IPA that uses the Kveik yeast!
I do not know about you, but I am not the biggest fan of having to store and maintain propane tanks. They take up space, run out of gas in the middle of a boil, the pressure changes when the tank gets too low and they are expensive to refill; and all the while I have natural gas available 10 feet away from my home brewery. So I decided that I would try converting my banjo burners from propane to natural gas. Let me start off by saying that I am not a professional plumber, a mechanical engineer, or a scientist that specialized in flammable gasses; so you should consult a professional. PLEASE CONSULT A LICENSED HEATING PROFESSIONAL FOR INFORMATION ON CONNECTING YOUR OUTDOOR BURNER TO YOUR HOUSE NATURAL GAS.
My home brewing setup uses 3 banjo burners and a 120v electric RIMS system to generate heat. So my first step was purchasing the natural gas valve to replace my existing propane valve. Since natural gas is pushed with a lower pressure than compressed liquid propane, you can not simply use the same valve. The good news is that the replacement valve is not that expensive.
Banjo Burner Natural Gas Valve
Williams brewing sells the valve for $9.99 and this Banjo Burner natural gas conversion valve is compatible with the Bayou Classic KAB4, KAB6, and BG14 Banjo burner. To use this valve, you will need a gas connection hose with a 3/8″ female flare end to attach to this valve to your natural gas source. This valve has an orifice diameter of approximately 1/8″, and features 1/4″ male npt threads to attach to your gas burner. These home brewing burner natural gas conversion valves also fit the Blichmann Top Tier Burners and Blichmann Floor standing burners. You can see the difference in the two burner valves in the following photo.
Converting Bayou Home Brewing Burners to Natural Gas
The natural gas replacement valve is on the left. You can see the gas outlet diameter is much larger than the propane on the right.
The process was pretty painless and I was able to replace all three burner valves and test for leaks in about 60 minutes. I used natural gas safe teflon sealant on all of the valves. One important factor to keep in mind is that natural gas is lower pressure than propane and you are going to put out less BTUs than you would with a propane tank. So if you were already struggling to achieve a boil with a propane tank, converting to natural gas is probably going to be a bad idea. I have yet to test how long it takes to reach a boil, but the flame tests all look great so far!
Converting A Home Brewery From Propane to Natural Gas
Once I have the test in, I will let you know how it work out!
Coupon Description: Today only, save $25 of your purchase of $125 or more at MoreBeer.com. More Beer has the best home brewing prices out there and they offer free shipping on any order of $59+. Unlike many other only home brewing supply shops, they rarely have promo codes that will save you money off your order, but today they do! Click the link for all the details as some restrictions apply.
Digital home brewing is the way of the future and Blichmann is making their way in to the marketplace with yet another fantastic home brewing item. Introducing the Blichmann BrewVison! The Blichmann BrewVision wireless home brewing monitoring system is the new brewing assistant from Blichmann Engineering. The BrewVision allows you to track up to 7 sensors in your home brewing setup right from your iphone or ipad. Brew Vision lets you can set alarms and timers based on temperatures and the BrewVision app records all of your data so you can review to see how well you really hit those mash temps. The BrewVision homebrew monitoring system even integrates with BeerSmith home brewing software which allows you to download your recipes straight from the cloud. The intuitive BrewVision Home Brewing Monitoring app helps you focus on your brewing! Some of the functions of BrewVision include monitoring thermometers on a kettle, running timers, viewing recipe information. Blichmann’s BrewVision puts temperature information, timers, and recipe information into the palm of your hand and provides a fully interactive digital home brew session. The Blichmann Brew Vision home brewing monitoring systems uses bluetooth technology to help you do more and and put the power of BrewVision in the palms of your hands!
The BrewVison has an indoor range of about 25 feet and up to 100 feet line of sight range. It is also super accurate with a +/- 0.5F accuracy range, so you cab be confident your mash and sparge are on target! Blichmann has thought about everything with the BrewVision digital home brewing system. The battery life on this device is 100+ hours using 2 AAA batteries. That means that you can brew about 20 all grain home brewing batches and about 40 extract batches on just one set of batteries.
Blichmann’s patent pending BrewVision transmitter and sensor features an exclusive sanitary nut that is easy to clean without removal. Installation is simple and secure. for brew day status to ensure you’re at your target temps. With the Brew Vision app based monitoring system, you will never miss target temps or hop additions again! The BrewVison Home Brewing App lets you monitor current temperatures and adjust targets. The in app alarm notifies you before reaching target, when out of range, and for boil additions. You even have all your recipe information at your fingertips with the BrewVision App! You can download recipes directly from BeerSmith cloud or manually enter them to sync with your brew day. Here are some of the features on Blichmann’s Brew Vision digital home brewing system.
Beersmith recipe integration
Record your results
Can pair up to 7 Brewing Sensors
120 hour battery life
25 foot indoor range and 100 foot outdoor range
Reads both Fahrenheit and Celsius
Made in the USA
Click the link for additional information or to purchase a Blichmann BrewVision! This item ships free!
BLACK FRIDAY SALE! Save 15% Site Wide! Save 15% on your homebrewing equipment and homebrew supply purchases! #homebrew #home #brew #supply #homebrewing #deal #promo #coupon #code #deal #thanksgiving
Homebrewing Black Friday Sale Homebrew Promo Code Date: 11-24-2016 to 11-25-2016 Coupon Details: Save 15% Site Wide Homebrewing Supply Coupon Code: BLACKFRIDAY
Coupon Description: There is a Black Friday home brewing sale going on now! For a limited time you can get 15% off site wide and get flat rate shipping! If you have been looking to get someone a homebrewing Christmas gift, this is the time! Just use promo code BLACKFRIDAY at check out for your 15% off.
Beer Bug Home Brewing Internet Based Monitoring System
Limited time and quantity promo code from MoreBeer.com – MoreBeer
Promo Codes for the Month of September 2016 Coupon Code Date: 9/5/2016 Promotion Details: Save $40 on a Digital Homebrew Monitor was $199 Promo Code: BEERDEAL Coupon Code Description: MoreBeer currently has a coupon code that will save you $40 on a Digital Homebrew Monitor! The Beer Bug is a fantastic piece of homebrewing equipment that measures the actual specific gravity, ABV and even temperature of your fermenting homebrew beer every minute. It then compiles the homebrew data and sends that information to your own free online account. It makes it super easy for you to log on at the TheBeerBug.com or via an internet based app on your phone to see exactly how your fermentation is doing from anywhere! In fact, this homebrewing technology has three graphs that are created for each of your beers to log how specific gravity, alcohol %, and temperature changed over the course of the fermentation. The Beer Bug gives you the knowledge to make better beer and saves you time!Understanding what happens during fermentation, and how to control it, is often what separates good brewers from great brewers. The Beer Bug is the tool that gives you the information you need to know things like if your fermentation temperature inside the chamber is too high or too low, when fermentation is nearing completion so that you can prepare to dry hop, keg or bottle and even what the lag time is on your beer is.
Here are the specs on the Beer Bug, digital home brewing monitor with web interface:
Fits just about any fermentation vessel
Actual gravity sensor hangs from your BeerBug into your beer and can be lengthened or shortened to accommodate any vessel
Sends information via your local WiFi network
Rechargeable battery in the homebrew monitor has a 25 day charge life
Free account on TheBeerBug.com
Easy to setup and configure
Android and iOS Apps available for your phone or tablet
Software upgrades will automatically be sent to your Beer Bug via WiFi as released
HomebrewSupply.com Coupon Codes and Promotional Code
Labor Day Sale For HomebrewSupply – Homebrew Supply
Promo Code for the Month of September 2016 Homebrew Promo Code Date: 9-4-2016 to 9-5-2016 Coupon Details: Labor Day Homebrewing Sale – Save 15% Homebrew Supply Coupon Code: LABOR15
Coupon Description: Happy Labor Day! Right now you can save 15% on your home brewing orders and get flat rate shipping! Homebrew Supply is having a big sale right now to celebrate Labor Day and with coupon code LABOR15 you can save yourself 15%! These guys are great if you have not used them before for your homebrew equipment and supply needs. They have a good and growing inventory and ship fast!
Home Brewing stainless steel quick disconnects and quick connects can save you time and lower frustration levels on brew day. As the name suggests, quick disconnects allow a home brewer to quickly, safely and easily disconnect a home brewing pump or transfer tube and connect it to another item. They are easy to install and can make clean up a snap as well. Here are the best deals that I have been able to track down on some of the most popular 1/2″ stainless steel home brewing quick connects and quick disconnects.
Stainless Homebrew Quick Disconnect Bundle
Stainless Steel Quick Disconnect Set for Homebrewers $14.99 Purchase Here
Stainless Steel 1/2″ Barbed Male Quick Disconnect $5.99 Purchase Here
Home Brew Quick Disconnect
Stainless Steel Female Quick Disconnect with 1/2″ Barb for Homebrewing $9.99 Purchase Here
Stainless Quick Disconnect for Homebrewing
Stainless Steel Male Quick Disconnect 1/2″ MPT for Home brewing $7.99 Purchase Here
Homebrew Quick Disconnects
Stainless Steel Female Quick Disconnect 1/2″ MPT for Home Beer Brewing $9.99 Purchase Here
Sale Date: 4-3-2016 to 4-30-2016 Promotion Details: Grain Mill For Just $99 Availability: In Stock
Sale Description: Right now, Adventures in Homebrewing – Homebrewing.org has a sale going on where you can get one of their Homebrewing Grain Mill For Just $99.This is their cereal killer home brew grain mill with adjustable solid steel 2 roller system, 7 lb grain hopper and solid wood base.
If you are not currently milling your own grains there are a couple of good reasons to conder doing so. One of the big reasons is that you could be saving a lot of money by doing so. Purchasing your 2-row in bulk and milling it your self can save you a bundle by allowing you to create and re-create recipes. A homebrewing grain mill is super easy to use and at this price your can get a top quality mill for less then half the cost of some of the other beer brewing grain mills out there.
Another reason to purchase your own home brewing grain mill is that you can be assured that you are milling your grains with the best crush setting to get the highest level of mash efficiency possible. If you home brewing recipe supplier is not crushing your grains right, you will not be able to extract as much of the sugars from your grains and your beer may have to pay the price!
Features of this Adventures in Home Brewing Grain Mill:
Easy to adjust – simply loosen two screws, adjust gap, tighten two screws.
Attach a drill easily for effortless milling
Hardened steel rollers
Body is built from sturdy anodized aluminum for a lifetime worth of use
Rollers will adjust up to .100″
Rollers Now Have Ball Bearing
Marked Adjustable Roller for Easy Adjustments
New improved handle included with every mill
To take advantage of this home brewing promotion, use the sale code listed above if applicable and click on the following link:
Recently I had purchase a 7 gallon stainless steel conical fermenter and was in heaven until I realized that it did not fit in my converted chest freezer / fermentation chamber! So you know what that means; time to grab the cut saw and go all A-Team on the conical fermenter.
Stainless Steel Conical Homebrewing Fermenters
In the above photo, the stainless steel conical fermenter on the right is the 7 gallon unit that I am converting to fit into the chest freezer. I am adding a temperature control unit to the stainless steel conical fermenter on the left and will cover that project in a future blog. So to start, I had to replace the lid on fermenter with the lid from one of my stainless steel brew buckets. Because the stainless steel brew bucket lid is flat, it saved me a few inches and let me connect a stainless steel elbow pipe fitting so that I can use a blow-off tube as opposed to an airlock which save me another couple of inches. With those simple modifications, I was just about there. Next I measured the clearance space from the lower valve to the floor and I had approximately 4 inches of clearance. So I trimmed each leg down approximately 3 inches as you can see in the photo at the top of the page.
The modifications to my stainless conical fermenter worked perfectly and now it easily fits in my chest freezer and I am once again a happy man. You can see the photo below. If all goes well, I will brew my first batch with this fermenter this weekend and will let you guys know how it goes, but so far I have been very happy with the quality. I gave it a good cleaning and there were no leaks, all of the welds are perfect and the valves and fittings are all very high quality.
If you are looking to purchase one, they are currently available for just $395!
I upgraded my homebrewing fermentation equipment last week and purchased a new 14 gallon stainless steel conical fermenter. The model that I decided to go with was the SS BrewTech conical, because it was high quality, had a ton of upgrade options and frankly was the best price out there for a stainless steel conical fermenter.
In addition to purchasing the base model, I also purchased a temperature control kit. You can get a basic idea how it look by viewing the following image. Basically, the temperature is monitored via a probe in a thermowell, once the temperature reaches a certain point it pumps either hot or cold water through the stainless steel coin that is in contact with the fermenting beer.
Stainless Steel Conical Fermenter with Temperature Controller Animation
I ended up also changing out the stainless steel racking arm, which was the only item on the conical fermenter that I was not 100% satisfied with. It was not bad, but I felt that the one that MoreBeer offers on their line of homebrewing stainless steel conical fermenters was superior. In addition to that I also purchased a stainless steel yeast harvester for my homebrew conical fermenter.
Stainless Steel Conical Fermenter Yeast Havester
The upgraded stainless steel racking arm and stainless steel yeast harvester with sight glass is available here:
Yeast Harvester and Sight Glass for Conical Fermenters
I still need to do a little setup and cleaning on my new stainless steel conical fermenter. I want to run the temperature control unit into my kegerator so that I can chill the cooling water in there. As I make progress I will post some followup information!
14 Gallon Stainless Steel Conical Fermenter
This 14 gallon stainless steel conical fermenter for home brewing is currently available for $495 here. They also have a 7 gallon version for $395.
How to build a Home Brewery \ Beer Brewing Stand \ Brewing Rack \ Single Tier Brewing Sculpture
I can not speak for everyone, but for me, once I had made the change from extract to all grain home brewing I began having visions of what I wanted my home brewery to look like. In a way, a big part of the allure of home beer brewing for me was making the best beer possible. For me that included building my own home brewing rack, doing my best to perfect the process and being as efficient as possible. I am not going to lie, there were a few times along the way that I questioned what the hell I was thinking and why I did not just buy a home brewing stand, but now that all is said and done I am a bit proud of what I was able to accomplish with my own hands. In hopes of helping some of my fellow home brewers out I am going to supply some general information on how I put mine together. If you need any specifics on something I do not list here, please feel free to drop me a line with what details you are looking for.
Home Beer Brewery
The dimensions of my brewery are 61″ Wide, 20.5″ Deep and 20.5″ tall excluding the wheels. The following is a list of parts that I used to create my home brewing sculpture, but many of the items such as the kettles, sparge arm and pumps can be traded out for other items of your preference. I am assuming that you have some basic welding experience (it is not that hard) and the required tools including a welder, cut saw, drill and grinder.
For the frame of my single tier home brewing stand I used 2″ x 2″ steel fence post that I cut into the appropriate sizes. I made two large 61″ x 20.5″ rectangles for the top and the bottom, with a supporting vertical bar on each corner of the brewing stand. In between each of the 3 burners, I placed 2 bars for spacing and support. Even with all 3 kettles full of liquid, the beer rack is incredibly stable. Here is a link to the fence post available at home depot:
The burners are really an item of personal preference. I started with 54,000 BTU burners, but then later upgraded to a 210,000 BTU Bayou Cooker Burners. The smaller burners were more efficient as far as propane usage goes, but the larger bayou cooker burners certainly get the job done much quicker. I welded brackets onto the bottom of the top level of my home brewing stand to hold the burners in place. Initially I had a flexible line with a regulator running from each burner to a master regulator that was hooked up to the propane tank, but then later ran pipe with separate valves for each burner. The bayou cooker banjo burners are available here:
For the home brewing kettles I opted for the Blichmann 20 gallon kettles. They include a site gauge so you can easily see the volume in your kettle, a 3 piece stainless steel ball valve and adjustable thermometer. These stainless steel brewing kettles are one of the best buys that I have ever made and have no regrets about them. They have a variety of options including a false bottom for your mash tun, hop blocker for your boil kettle, and sparge arm. I opted for the false bottom and hop blocker and have been very happy with them. I do mostly 10 gallon batches, but could go as high as 15 gallons with these 20 gallon kettles. You will want to buy kettles that are appropriate for the batch size that you intend to brew. Blichmann currently offers 10 gallon, 15 gallon, 20 gallon, 30 gallon and 55 gallon kettles. You can find the kettles and optional items available here:
You will need to get 2 high temperature food grade pumps for your single tier home brewing rack. I placed my pumps in between the hot liquor tank \ mash tun and the other between the mash tun and boil kettle. With two pumps you will be able to conduct your sparge while also transferring wort from your mash tun to your boil kettle. I use high temperature rated march pumps with stainless steel quick disconnects. The pumps and disconnects can be found here:
As far as sparge arms go I have tried several. The best one that I have ever come across is the morebeer ultimate sparge arm. It is made of stainless steel, has a ball valve built into it to easily control the flow rate and can be used to recirculate or lauter your wort in addition to sparging. The ultimate sparge arm can be purchased here:
Lastly for my wort chiller I use a convoluted counter flow chiller. Much like the sparge arm, I have tried just about every chiller from immersion chillers to plate chillers and I have found the convoluted counter flow chiller to be the best. What I like most about it is that it is just about impossible to clog, it is compact, it cools wort incredibly quickly and it is easy to clean and sanitize. These convoluted counter flow chillers are also sometimes referred to as chillzillas. They can be found here:
Those are the basics on my home brewing stand \ single tier brewing sculpture. If you have any specific questions or comments, please leave a comment or shoot me an email and I will do my best to assist you. Best of luck to you on building your own all grain home beer brewing stand. If it seems like a little more work then you are up for, there are also some really fantastic pre-manufactured stainless steel home brewing racks and brewing sculptures available here: