Thursday, January 31, 2008

Back to the Brew House


After about a fortnight off from brewing it felt good to get back into it today. To add to my feelings of excitement today I will be fermenting my first batch in stainless steel. If this experiment is successful it will be good bye to the uncertainties of plastic fermentors and the game of chicken as to when to change buckets.

Unlike fellow Wellington homebrewer Rob Owen who has an imported conical from the states I am going to use corny kegs as fermentors. The plus side is that cornys are easily attainable, reasonably cheap and I can get as many as my 2 brews a week schedule requires, they are easy to clean and can be lowered into water when fermentation takes place to control temperature. The possible down side is that the tall narrow shape might cause convection providing a less than ideal environment for the yeast. Only one way to find out …

19 comments:

Martin said...

Where do you get your cornies from? I'm wondering about kegging at some point. I have a nice outdoor bar that's just screaming for a couple of handpumps on it!

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

I got mine from the brewers world homebrew store down here, however Steve from Hallertau had a a whole shipment in awhile ago and was selling some.

Greig McGill said...

He still is selling some. :)

John said...

Nice pictures Kieran, it looks like you've started brewing after some sort of rave!

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

rave ?!

that word sits in my distant memory somewhere, no my son that there is a brewing outfit.

Matt said...

Vey professional gear there and yet I can't work up the energy to put shoes on (once I burn my foot maybe that will convince me!).

So what is the plan on co2 release - just let the pressure build? Leave the release valve open? About how full are the FV? 80% or so?

I look forward to the results?

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

Im just fermenting with the valve open, with my old fermentors I just left the screw tops open little. As long as insects cant get in and there is co2 exiting the release gap there shouldnt be any problems.

I would never brew without my steel capped gumboots. Actually its the really good grip on them that makes them invaluable.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

About 80% yeah.

yalnikim said...

Socks or barefoot inside those gumboots?

yalnikim said...

Some good thinking there Kieran.

How were you planning to get the beer out of the "Fermenter" keg and into the "Cask" keg? CO2 would seem the obvious choice but it would go against your real ale instincts.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

Socks when Im not being slack.

Come on im not that trad! abit of co2 to rack is no big deal. So yeah I will be using top pressure to rack.

John said...

Brewing outfit, now that's hardcore!

Don said...

Good idea but, is a corny keg exactly 5 gal or a little over? In otherwords do you have to make a smaller batch to fit in the fermenter to allow for headspace? Also I would be interested to know what changes to the flavor profile would be using a relatively narrow and tall cylinder to ferment?

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

Indeed I won be getting a full 19litre yeald but I dont usually get that anyway. Most my batches result in 2 almost full kegs, I dont think there will be much difference in the amount of beer i end up with.

it certainly will be interesting to see what happens to the flavour profile.

Martin the fish said...

That's a fair size cooler you use for a mash tun. How big is it and what size are your brews?
I've started brewing here in NZ since i moved over from UK. Mainly because lager is awfull and i can't get English ales to my liking here. Not up in Tutukaka where i live anyhow.
Great site, love the tasting and tasting notes.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

I brew rougthly 38litre batches and sometimes 19 litre batches , the yeald is usually a little less.

Size of the cooler? Im afraid I cant remember, I got it big so I could do big beers and double keg batches, I run off into 2 kettles and ferment in 2 fermentors.

Beer selection in small town NZ can be rough.

Cheers for the kind words.

Martin the fish said...

Kieran
Where do you buy your malt from? I'm using a sack a month and i'm finding the delivery charges from the south island are hammering the wallet.
Any help here much appreciated

Martin the fish said...

I just read that the first time you had tried real ale was at Galbraith's???????? In NZ????

Surely that can't be true? Have you never drunk a pint in the UK?

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

Mr Fish. My malt all comes from Brewers Coop in Auckland, I only use english malt.

And indeed I have never been to England however I will be heading there next year for 3 weekes of travel and beer hunting.