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Posts Tagged ‘hopstopper’

This is a bit of an unusual Brewday Update bonanza, so undoubtedly we’ll now forget to post for weeks, but we finally discovered why there was no photo of the Styrian hops being thrown in to steep for yesterday’s brewday – I’d taken a video clip instead, then only half remembered doing it.

So here are a couple of slightly embarrassing clips of me fiddling with the Boxshed Timmy’s Original while listening to 6Music (which, by the way, always gets a lonely mention on the brewsheets under the ‘assistant brewer’ column!)

Remember everyone, never drink and brew (too much, anyhow) – there’s every chance you’ll spill either the refreshing pint or the boiling brew. And who’d want to waste a glass of BHJ?


First up, it’s the obligatory rolling boil following the addition of the chiller, auxiliary finings and late hops:



And finally the missing Styrians, in to steep. These always smell a treat, and should lift the aroma finish of Timmy’s Original:

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The morning after the brewday before is always a mixture of grogginess and excitement. Tired, but happy at the malt and hop aromas seeping from the Boxshed, we’re still waiting for that explosive fermentation S-04 brings, but pleased to see plenty of bubbles a-rising.

Here are the remaining photos from the session, following the mash. It was good fun, as all hoppy recipes are. All went well once again, which is great as long as we’re not storing up fortune for a gigantic cock-up somewhere along the line! But hey, nothing stuck or broke, we didn’t drop anything in the wort, and we ended up hitting our target of 1.046 and securing 50L of the good stuff in two fermenters.

Can’t ask for more than that really:


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Just a quick update on the progress of the Autumn Ale, which has taken off like a rocket. It seems very happy in a room at almost exactly 20c. The constant burping of the airlocks is actually quite comforting (as well as off-putting and gas-inducing!) and I think the kräusen will hit the lids on both FVs pretty soon.

Just for fun, here’s a quick video clip of fermentation just 14 hours after pitching. Normally we’d skim all that break/trub to encourage a more vigorous ferment, but this time there’s definitely no need, and we’ll just allow it to settle out and stay behind when each beer is moved to a secondary vessel in around a week’s time:

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Good news – the upgraded brewery works a treat and the inaugural brew went very well indeed.

We collected 50L split across two fermenting buckets at the anticipated starting gravity of 1.043. It should ferment out at around 1.012 and deliver a deep brown 4% brew with a fat slice of bitterness and a pleasing hop kick. The blend of malts is intended to provide a complexity that waves goodbye to the Summer and it’s more direct pale ales. But we’ve also loaded plenty of pungent hops at the start of the boil to keep things interesting for the hopheads.

We’re pleased to say there were no problems during the brew. The new HLT is probably a little small in volume, but being able to fill it with a hose and heat liquor in situ was still so much easier and safer than hefting hot liquids around. The big mashtun has been a fixture in the Boxshed for a while now and did its job very well as always, maintaining a constant temperature over 90 minutes with ease. The real star was the new boiler, which was our biggest unknown quantity and worry beforehand. The two large immersion heater elements brought 65 litres of sweet wort to the boil very quickly, and a constant rolling boil could be maintained by using either one of the elements on its own. Special mention must go to the new hopstopper created by fellow enthusiast Garth, which coped admirably with several ounces of pellets without any clogging.

Anyway, enough words, here are the pictures already…

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Right, this idea is not intended to be useful for anything other than a stopgap situation. I made mine because I had a brew planned and all my hops were suddenly only available in pellets. I use a standard looking drilled copper pipe filter in my copper – a Brupaks style gadget attached to my tap with tubing. It would have struggled to have handled all those Challenger, Mount Hood and Willamette pellets from Down Under.

I’m soon to have a new boiler and when I do I will ask a friend to help make a proper Hop Stopper, but if you get caught short – steal a 10″ stainless steel sieve from the kitchen or ironmongers, bend up the expensive looking handle at a right angle and squish on a flat surface until you have made the sieve sit square. Get a Dremel (or kitchen scissors, razor blades, welding torches, hangnails…) and cut a small hole with side slices, so you can shove a standard squished 12mm copper pipe hop filter through it.

Anyway, you can get the idea and the sieve is still usable.

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