New brewer wanna be.

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New brewer wanna be.

Unread postby GB » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:42 pm

Hello from Oley Valley in the state of Pennsylvania,US.

My son and I started our dream of becoming brewers last year by planting multiple varieties of hops. We expect to have a good harvest this year. During this winter season I have been building a brewing room in my basement that would suit or needs. We purchased a 50l BM, and as soon as I complete construction of the room, plan to start brewing.

Any advice about essential features that should be included in the brewing room?
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RE: New brewer wanna be.

Unread postby dinnerstick » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:17 pm

good storage, especially if you are gonna keep lots of different malts on hand, good accessibility to hoses, gadgets, sink, so you don't bump into stuff when you need to run to grab something in a panic. a big sink and space to hang things to drip dry, like BM parts, hoses, graduated cylinder, etc. good water supply, think about where you're gonna clean the BM, freezer for hops, steam ventilation. a little extra countertop space for stirplate, vacuum sealer, those sorts of things. these are a few things that come to mind. a floor drain would be great but not necessarily practical...
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RE: New brewer wanna be.

Unread postby GB » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:32 pm

Thanks for the advice, just had a large utility sink installed. Should I keep the malts in a separate area from the brewing room?

Do you farm yeasts for your brewing, if so is this something I should do in a separate area?
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RE: New brewer wanna be.

Unread postby niels » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:11 pm

GB wrote:Thanks for the advice, just had a large utility sink installed. Should I keep the malts in a separate area from the brewing room?

Do you farm yeasts for your brewing, if so is this something I should do in a separate area?

You don't need to store the malts in a separate area as long as you keep them stored dry. I store small amounts of speciality malts in glass jars with a rubber sealed lid. I also have a few small buckets with airtight lids that hold about 5 kg of malts. And the big bags of 25kg I put in a drum.

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It is always good to have a spot on your counter that can be easily cleaned with alcohol and could hold a bunzen burner (or similar) to have a flame to work around when handling yeasties.

Niels
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RE: New brewer wanna be.

Unread postby Twonky » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:02 pm

Hi GB,

So you are from the US, and your call sign is GB ;-) LOL
Probably stands for something..

Welcome!

Another good source for storage vessels is restaurants that make smoothies, we used to often do work-lunches in one, and I noticed the yogurt was delivered in lovely 10l buckets with a good sealing link, so I asked for a few, and generally that is not a problem. ANd the smaller amounts of specialty grains go in 0.5l sweats buckets ;-)

Another useful addition with the 50l BM is a winch to lift the malt pipe, however if you are brewing with two people it will not be so much of a hassle.

Cheers,
:cheers:
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RE: New brewer wanna be.

Unread postby GB » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:51 pm

I guess I should have picked a better user name, GB stands for Gary Bowman. How did you come up with Twonky???

It's great to hear from fellow beer enthusiasts from around the world. Thanks for the advice.
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RE: New brewer wanna be.

Unread postby dinnerstick » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:22 am

i store malt in 5kg rectangular buckets that it often comes in here. for small bags of specialty malts that are going to be around for a year, i re-seal the plastic bag with my vacuum sealer (not pulling a vacuum, just resealing the bag). all hops i seal under vacuum.
as long as your storage area isn't damp you should be fine. if it's wet and possibly mildewy, find another place to store grain
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RE: New brewer wanna be.

Unread postby Elderberry » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:00 am

Welcome! I'm pretty new here myself. Actually, I guess we all are.

I know a lot of brewers in the US store their grains in large dog food storage bins.

Niels, where did you get the drums? I've been trying to find something large to use for grain storage.
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RE: New brewer wanna be.

Unread postby niels » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:15 am

Elderberry wrote:Welcome! I'm pretty new here myself. Actually, I guess we all are.

I know a lot of brewers in the US store their grains in large dog food storage bins.

Niels, where did you get the drums? I've been trying to find something large to use for grain storage.

I bought them from a second hand website. They are food grade as they were used to store different sorts of (powdery) ingredients for the food industry.

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RE: New brewer wanna be.

Unread postby dinnerstick » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:26 am

you know what might be nice, these air tight screw top buckets, some ferment in them and some use them to keep clothes dry in a canoe etc.
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RE: New brewer wanna be.

Unread postby niels » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:32 am

dinnerstick wrote:you know what might be nice, these air tight screw top buckets, some ferment in them and some use them to keep clothes dry in a canoe etc.

I have two of those (30l) where I put malt in. I didn't use them as fermentors yet, but for about 10 EUR a piece it is a cheap option!

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RE: New brewer wanna be.

Unread postby Twonky » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:12 pm

GB wrote:I guess I should have picked a better user name, GB stands for Gary Bowman. How did you come up with Twonky???

It's great to hear from fellow beer enthusiasts from around the world. Thanks for the advice.

Hi Gary, yes it is nice to be so globally connected ;-)

@niels are you talking about those containers you get at the shop in Almere ;-)
Yes they are pretty cool also!
And as they are square, they stack nicely into the cupboard!

I just thought to mention the yogurt containers as they are really cheap and easy to come by if you know where to ask for them.

Back to your question GB ;-)

The Twonky was a very old movie about a TV that was possessed by an alien, and made all kinds of mayhap (based on a short story)....
probably the title of the original book was derived from a four-letter-word (Twonk) that was used to denote foreigners way back.....
In the English area I grew up Twonky was also used to indicate something was a bit awry, slightly off, or messy....

So an in law introduces me to kit-brewing... okay says I, lets do this proper... so I get all the kit, malts and then our first child is born 5 weeks too soon, and everything ends up in storage....
After about two years I'm sitting thinking I have all this stuff... lets by some fresh hops and see what happens...
it will probably turn out Twonky but who cares it will be one way to try out all grain brewing for the price of a few hops...

The beer turns out reasonable... so the hobby stuck....
Those first beers didn't last long.... until I found a few bottles I forgot about 8 months later, and boy they turned out great, I should just have left them longer to age, so the experiment also gave me a valuable lesson!

Since then I call my brewery TAP (Twonky Ale Productions) couldn't resist serving beer from TAP, get it ;-)

Cheers,
:cheers:
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RE: New brewer wanna be.

Unread postby niels » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:45 am

Twonky wrote:@niels are you talking about those containers you get at the shop in Almere ;-)
Yes they are pretty cool also!
And as they are square, they stack nicely into the cupboard!

Yes, they are!

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RE: New brewer wanna be.

Unread postby GB » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:26 pm

Very interesting story Twonky, I am happy to connect with a kindred spirit.

I have been a medical professional for 30yrs, love good beer and cooking and decided to get brewing with the hope of turning a hobby into a second profession. My children are now adults and it seemed like the right time to get into this. Small breweries are now rapidly increasing in numbers here, the younger drinkers are finding out the like craft beer. It's really taking off.

Thanks for the tips!

Cheers,
Gary
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