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G'day Fellow brewers

 

Just wanted to ask a couple of questions, thanks in advance for passing on your knowledge.

 

Firstly, I was thinking about how diligent I am with sanitizing (i have been using Sodium Metabisulphite) and i was wondering why nothing is ever said about the tap. What i mean by that is, there is beer left in there when I take samples to check the gravity readings, so whats the chances of it infecting my brews when I'm bottling?

 

What does everyone think of the Coopers PET bottles? or are glass better?

 

Cheers Bateo

 

 

 

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Your tap will need cleaning and sanitising as well - anything that comes into contact with the beer making process - bottles, spons wands etc.

PETs bottles are fine, so are glass, neither are better for technical purposes, but some prefer one over the other reasons - storage, weight, size...

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When bottling I sterilise the filling wand inside and out and spray some Star San up into the tap, then fit the wand. I haven't had any issues so far.

When taking SG readings I don't sterilise the tap but spray some Star San into the tap when finished . Those Coopers taps have a good seal like those on Swing Top bottles

As far as the Glass verses PET goes I used to use the PET bottles but changed over to 330ml glass bottles as I prefer the size.

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12 minutes ago, Pickles Jones said:

When bottling I sterilise the filling wand inside and out and spray some Star San up into the tap, then fit the wand. I haven't had any issues so far.

When taking SG readings I don't sterilise the tap but spray some Star San into the tap when finished . Those Coopers taps have a good seal like those on Swing Top bottles

As far as the Glass verses PET goes I used to use the PET bottles but changed over to 330ml glass bottles as I prefer the size.

Thanks Pickle, I need to get my hands on some Star San in Melbourne, Can anyone tell me where they buy it closer to St Kilda if possible?

The other question is on Finings.

I haven't used them yet but I have considered it, also whats your thoughts on cold crashing?

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14 minutes ago, Pickles Jones said:

When taking SG readings I don't sterilise the tap but spray some Star San into the tap when finished . Those Coopers taps have a good seal like those on Swing Top bottles

+1 to spraying some sanitiser up into the tap after taking a sample, put a drip tray underneath it and flood that tap, let it drip dry.  Obviously sanitise every thing that comes into contact with your brew in the bottling process just as LABCAT says.

Bottles are personal choice, I keg the bulk of my ales and use 345 ml stubbies for some travelers / testers.  All my lagers this year have gone into 740 ml PET.

If bottling into 740 ml PET take note of MUZZY's tip and use 1 x Coopers carb drop AND 1 x cube CSR white sugar - you will not regret this.

You will probably have to order in some sanitiser in the current lock-down in Melbourne and wait for AusPost to deliver.  Some brewers on here have home made sanitiser concocted out of general supermarket goods (vinegar and the like) so you may have to look at these recipes if in a hurry.

As for fining's - if you can cold crash your brew for about 7 days at 2 C then you can forget about finings, your beer will be as clear as, yeast cake will sit on the bottom like a fresh pizza dough ready for the pizza tray.  Handle RV and bottle carefully and it will stay there.

I will post a pic shortly of my last batch of Busty Blonde which has been cold crashed for 8 days so you can see what I mean.

Cheers - AL

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19 minutes ago, iBooz2 said:

+1 to spraying some sanitiser up into the tap after taking a sample, put a drip tray underneath it and flood that tap, let it drip dry.  Obviously sanitise every thing that comes into contact with your brew in the bottling process just as LABCAT says.

Bottles are personal choice, I keg the bulk of my ales and use 345 ml stubbies for some travelers / testers.  All my lagers this year have gone into 740 ml PET.

If bottling into 740 ml PET take note of MUZZY's tip and use 1 x Coopers carb drop AND 1 x cube CSR white sugar - you will not regret this.

You will probably have to order in some sanitiser in the current lock-down in Melbourne and wait for AusPost to deliver.  Some brewers on here have home made sanitiser concocted out of general supermarket goods (vinegar and the like) so you may have to look at these recipes if in a hurry.

As for fining's - if you can cold crash your brew for about 7 days at 2 C then you can forget about finings, your beer will be as clear as, yeast cake will sit on the bottom like a fresh pizza dough ready for the pizza tray.  Handle RV and bottle carefully and it will stay there.

I will post a pic shortly of my last batch of Busty Blonde which has been cold crashed for 8 days so you can see what I mean.

Cheers - AL

Cheers Al

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Here ya go, no finings and cold crashed for 8 days including steps down from 18 C.

Many many years ago I used to use isinglass and have tried gelatin but now I have a couple of FV fridges, cold crashing is the only way to go.  Notice trub at the bottom, if the FV is picked up and tilted towards the end of bottling to get the last drop out, this trub (pizza base) will slowly move over towards the tap sorta like a stingray moves across the beach sand, if you get my drift.  Do it with reasonable care and you will get 33 x 740 ml PET bottles out of a 22 litre batch like I just did.  More beer less waste.  Gotta be a good thing.

Cheers - AL

Busty Blonde Cold Crashed resized.jpg

Edited by iBooz2
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2 hours ago, Bateo said:

What does everyone think of the Coopers PET bottles? or are glass better?

Personally I use PET bottles exclusively for a few reasons.

1. They don't explode if over-carbonated.

2. The lids are reusable.

3. They are lighter.

4. Coopers deliver them for free if you ever need to order them.

However there is a certain aesthetic about glass bottles that PETs just don't have. So I won't say one is better than the other. It comes down to personal choice.

I also use sodium metabisulphite but will be switching to Starsan once I've exhausted my stock of sod met. While it works well enough, it also gives me skin irritations.

Edited by MUZZY
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2 hours ago, Bateo said:

What does everyone think of the Coopers PET bottles? or are glass better?

i'm new as well and was initially thinking i'd eventually go glass but the PETs are working really well. in addition to @MUZZY's reasons above you can squeeze test your bottles to see if carbonation has been effective (trust me, don't open a bottle that doesn't feel firm, it's just not going to satisfy) and they hold the fizz over night too if you only pour half a bottle.

Edited by Stickers
extended info
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I just had a brain fart moment.

 

I mixed up a brew yesterday afternoon and the yeast didn't fire up for 24 hours. Then I read a post on another forum that said if it was a slow fermentation an infection could develop in the wort.

So I shit myself and pitched in another sachet of yeast(brigalow Big W)      It seems to have fired up the whole thing.

Question is........obviously it was two different types of yeast ........Does that matter?

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3 hours ago, Bateo said:

Thanks Pickle, I need to get my hands on some Star San in Melbourne, Can anyone tell me where they buy it closer to St Kilda if possible?

The other question is on Finings.

I haven't used them yet but I have considered it, also whats your thoughts on cold crashing?

Star San is expensive in Australia. It is available on Amazon Australia in different sizes. Buy the smallest one, as you use so little of it it will last for a long time. It is prepared by diluting with water. You can soak bits and pieces in it plus having it available in a spray bottle for general use.

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15 minutes ago, Bateo said:

I just had a brain fart moment.

 

I mixed up a brew yesterday afternoon and the yeast didn't fire up for 24 hours. Then I read a post on another forum that said if it was a slow fermentation an infection could develop in the wort.

So I shit myself and pitched in another sachet of yeast(brigalow Big W)      It seems to have fired up the whole thing.

Question is........obviously it was two different types of yeast ........Does that matter?

No you are Ok there is enough sugars in the brew to satisfy both. Remember that different yeasts have different lag times and may not crank up for a couple of days.  As far as the opinion that a slow fermentation could contribute to infection I wouldn't worry about that to much!

Edited by Pickles Jones
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3 hours ago, Bateo said:

Thanks Pickle, I need to get my hands on some Star San in Melbourne, Can anyone tell me where they buy it closer to St Kilda if possible?

The other question is on Finings.

I haven't used them yet but I have considered it, also whats your thoughts on cold crashing?

hey mate, im in st kilda and i just drive straight up dandenong road to kegland at noble park, its about a 25 minute drive or something like that. they only charge $6-7 for their version called stellarsan. they have a pick up system where they send you a code for the roller door and then another code for a locker in a room for of lockers where your order will be waiting, its contactless and pretty cool tbh *i always grab a whole bunch of different shit from them when i make an order to make the drive worth while, they have excellent prices etc also

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3 minutes ago, amberfiend said:

hey mate, im in st kilda and i just drive straight up dandenong road to kegland at noble park, its about a 25 minute drive or something like that. they only charge $6-7 for their version called stellarsan. they have a pick up system where they send you a code for the roller door and then another code for a locker in a room for of lockers where your order will be waiting, its contactless and pretty cool tbh *i always grab a whole bunch of different shit from them when i make an order to make the drive worth while, they have excellent prices etc also

Thanks legend 

 

I'm onto it

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3 hours ago, iBooz2 said:

use 1 x Coopers carb drop AND 1 x cube CSR white sugar - you will not regret this.
 

hey ibooz, whats the difference in doing this and just doing the suggested drop two carbonation drops in when bottling ? ive seen it mentioned a few times on threads here but nobody says why its actually better ? or at least none of the ones ive read so far ? keen to adopt any techniques i can to ensure best final outcomes yeah 😉

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1 minute ago, Bateo said:

Thanks legend 

 

I'm onto it

just throw on ya hi-vis so if the cops see you it will look like your on the way to work etc 😉 lol

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13 minutes ago, amberfiend said:

just throw on ya hi-vis so if the cops see you it will look like your on the way to work etc 😉 lol

RDO tomorrow bruz      lol

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7 minutes ago, Bateo said:

RDO tomorrow bruz      lol

they usually get the orders ready to pick up within half an hour yeah, they are pretty onto it out there 😉

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2 hours ago, Bateo said:

I mixed up a brew yesterday afternoon and the yeast didn't fire up for 24 hours. Then I read a post on another forum that said if it was a slow fermentation an infection could develop in the wort.

Did you take a gravity reading, or just assume nothing was happening because you saw nothing happening?

Edited by Lab Cat

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9 hours ago, Pickles Jones said:

Star San is expensive in Australia. It is available on Amazon Australia in different sizes. Buy the smallest one, as you use so little of it it will last for a long time. It is prepared by diluting with water. You can soak bits and pieces in it plus having it available in a spray bottle for general use.

Stellar San is the same stuff but lots cheaper. And the stuff lasts forever. I bought 3 bottles on eBay a good year ago and am still on my 2nd bottle. 

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15 hours ago, Bateo said:

What does everyone think of the Coopers PET bottles? or are glass better?

Both are great however, if you intend to condition the beer for a long time glass is better.  The PET bottles are porous and if you leave them for longer than 6 months to a year they will soften. So if you make a big stout or similar that will improve with conditioning best to use glass bottles. 

Edited by MartyG1525230263
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11 hours ago, amberfiend said:

hey ibooz, whats the difference in doing this and just doing the suggested drop two carbonation drops in when bottling ? ive seen it mentioned a few times on threads here but nobody says why its actually better ? or at least none of the ones ive read so far ? keen to adopt any techniques i can to ensure best final outcomes yeah 😉

The simple answer is you'll get more bubbles. Why? Because carb drops are 3 grams of sugar. Sugar cubes are 4.5 grams. You'll be increasing your priming sugar by 25% from 6g to 7.5g. This means the yeast will eat more sugars and give off more CO2.
Sugar cubes are also slightly cheaper than drops.
I doubt I'm the first person to ever do it but I published it on here a few years ago after a friend of mine suggested he found my beers a bit flat. I decided to do something about it and figured sugar cubes could be the solution.
While it has worked for me and many others now, I will point out that I only use PET bottles. I don't know if it will over-carbonate glass bottles and possibly create bottle bombs. I'm not even sure if sugar cubes will fit in the neck of glass bottles.
Also, I wouldn't recommend doing it with beers that age for long periods because carbonation continues in the bottle over time.

Edited by MUZZY
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11 hours ago, Bateo said:

I just had a brain fart moment.

 

I mixed up a brew yesterday afternoon and the yeast didn't fire up for 24 hours. Then I read a post on another forum that said if it was a slow fermentation an infection could develop in the wort.

So I shit myself and pitched in another sachet of yeast(brigalow Big W)      It seems to have fired up the whole thing.

Question is........obviously it was two different types of yeast ........Does that matter?

When you pitch dried yeast it takes a while for the cells to rehydrate then breed up before getting down to work with the actual fermentation. This is called the lag phase and if your fermenting temperature was low - at this time of year - the lag phase is longer. I'd say that the brew would have fired up anyway, the activity after adding the Brigalow was coincidental.

Commercial dried yeasts are already primed with nutrients and lipids and stuff to get the yeast happening as quickly as possible, but it isn't immediate.

The two strains of yeast shouldn't be a problem - what kit did you use initially?

 

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As for sugar cubes, that's all I've ever used in 750ml PET bottles, I calculated that the CSR cubes in the blue box work out at around a third of the price of using the drops - one cube per bottle and fit exactly through the bottle opening.

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3 minutes ago, Bribie G said:

As for sugar cubes, that's all I've ever used in 750ml PET bottles, I calculated that the CSR cubes in the blue box work out at around a third of the price of using the drops - one cube per bottle and fit exactly through the bottle opening.

I did the same for years; so easy and perfect level of carbonation for most styles.

But when I moved to glass bottles the cubes wouldn't fit so I used a small funnel and added a measured teaspoon of white sugar to 640ml bottles. I still do this for the few that I bottle each batch.

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