Tag Archives: BrewDown

$12 Walmart Test Batch Kettle

As my curiosity of beer styles rose and available empty bottles declined I found myself wanting and needing to brew smaller batches. Forking out $100+ for a homebrew branded kettle put this idea was on hold…until a visit to Walmart. I found this 4 gallon stainless kettle for a mere $12. One hole punched in the lid later and I’m brewing it’s maiden Dunkelweizen.

I thoroughly love the output, control and function of my 12 gallon electric BIAB system but the plain simplicity of brewing a batch on this size is difficult to beat. It’s easy, low cost, quick, cleanup is only a few minutes..what’s not too love?

Brewdown $12 walmart brew kettle

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Lo Siento – Oaked Mexican Saison

Unashamedly I still love Corona. It’s a deliciously refreshing variant of the ubiquitous American lager and just like any beer, has a time and place. This recipe was meant to capture the flavors which make Mexican lagers what they are and shove them into something with more distinction.

 

Brewdown Lo Siento Mexican Saison Wyeast 3711 French Oak tequila Fermentation Homebrew

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Switching to a Plate Heat Exchanger

Upon arriving at the fork of plate vs counter flow chiller, I opted for the hose wrapped,  copper tubing counter flow. Because A) I could make one and B) It was cheaper. It worked wonderfully! Wort went in hot and came out cool, what more could you want? Well, call me finicky but as someone who spends my paid hours designing parts that both work well and are easy to use, the trusty old coil HE fell short. It was chaotic to arrange, hoses everywhere, had to be leak checked frequently and for its purpose, took up too much damn space in a home brewery which strives to fit on a single rolling stand.

Brewdown Duda Diesel Plate Chiller Homebrew Heat Exchanger

 

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Whirlpool/Stir Inlet

Whether myth or fact, the thought of scorched wort while electric brewing gives me a bit of a shiver. So what’s one to do? Stir! 30 minutes of it while waiting for the boil sounds dull. Let’s put that pump to work.

Started with a piece of 0.5″ 304SS pipe. Bent the exterior bend, the outlet bend and welded on two 1.5″ TC caps. I designed the top to sit above the kettle to avoid adding another ball valve.

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Waking the Dead – 0% viability yeast

In my impassioned and unending pursuit of brewing the perfect Bavarian Hefeweizen I have arrived at a very comforting place as a brewer. One which calls for a looser grip on the reigns in the name of experimentation. For this brew, that call arrived as a drastic under pitching of yeast.

0% Via Small

 

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Bavarian Hefeweizen #1 – Underpitching

Another iteration in my unending pursuit of the ever drinkable Bavarian style Hefeweizen.

Brewdown Bavarian Style Hefeweizen Wheat Beer

 

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Morello Oak Saison

From a commoner’s perspective, Saison might be a confusing beer. Difficult to explain taste – peppery, fruity, earthy…horse blanket?

 

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BIAB Kettle Stand

After a few counter top brews it was time to give the kettle some legs of its own. The stand was next in line for a few reasons. I wanted be able to see over the top, avoid slogging around 45 Lbs of stainless steel every time I needed to move it and provide a more stable base to 95 Lbs of boiling, sticky wort.

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Classic Belgian Wit

 

7lozjog

 

Recipe – Designed to be a classic, yeast forward, easy summer drinker. Light body, fairly dry and all around tasty. Candi sugar was added to help dry out the beer and keep a crisp body.

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