Hob Knob Brewing Company

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Adventures In Home Brewing

So this was supposed to be a triumphant weekend. With a 3 day weekend, I should have been able to accomplish a lot! All I accomplished was a few good learning experiences. Here's a few things I took in:

1) Don't buy the cheap white teflon tape to seal brass plumbing. It won't work. The pink (extra strength) teflon tape, pipe sealant, or pipe joint compound is your friend. I tried 3 times assembling the hardware for my pump station, and it leaked like a sieve every times. Had I spent the extra $.97 on the pink teflon instead of the white teflon, I'd of been done hours sooner, and I wouldn't have run into this next problem.

2) When you're able to stop the leaks, and assemble the plumping...it doesn't have to be Conan the Barbarian tight. I was giving the inlet plumbing its last final quarter turn to tighten it down, and heard a pop, managing to crack the pump housing. $43 later, I ordered a new housing from ebay.

3) Water is smelly. With all the plumbing problems, the pump leaked all over the rug in the garage. A box fan is NOT enough to dry out the water. Water + Heat = Fly Heaven.

4) Flys are small, dumb, yet agile - and not attracted in the least bit to bug zappers. Looking for alternatives, I turned to my blower. Armed with my trusty 125 mph leaf blower, I declared war on the swarm (and lost miserably). I ended up dragging the rug out onto the driveway to dry.

5) Meanwhile, the wife was out planting new plants along the front walk way on a 90 degree day. So being the loving, caring husband I am, I decided to take her some ice water. Now being the efficient person I am, I decided to clean a carboy while in the act on the counter in the kitchen (I'm sure you can see where this is going). After going outside, I forgot about the carboy, and forgot about the water filling the carboy. Luckily, a few days earlier, I had invested in a wet/dry vac - which was immediately put to good use picking up about 2+ gallons of water and star san.

I was able to accomplish about 1.5 things this weekend. I got half the trellises hung for the hops. My jumbo nugget hops are doing very well, with the other 4 varieties close behind. I was also able to transfer and filter the honey nut brown ale to my keg for carbonating. Looking forward to a taste of that next weekend! I will say this. If running a home brewery is anything like running a commercial brewery (and I'm sure it is), I've got a heck of a lot to learn!

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