Category Archives: Tips

‘Ove Glove – for Minding Yeast Starters – $9.36 Shipped

The Oven Glove - Hot Surface Handler

The Ove Glove Hot Surface Handler from Ove Glove

  • 540 F – Flame Resistant
  • Made with Kevlar® & Nomex® by DuPont
  • For Left or Right Hand
  • 5-Finger Flexi Grip

I use an Ove Glove when I’m making yeast starters in an Erlenmeyer Flask.  It’s really handy (pun intended) to swirl around the flask or to quickly remove to keep the flask from boiling over.

These are also handy on brew day for handling hot (but not wet) ball valves and such.

These are not waterproof. Along those lines, I wouldn’t suggest that you stick your hand in hot wort with one of these on. Or, without one of these on for that matter. I guess the take away here is… don’t stick your hand in hot wort. :)

1/28/15 8 PM Central: This is selling for $9.36 and it ships for free.  For comparison, check out other Ove Glove offerings.  Check the product page for up to the minute price and availability.

The Oven Glove – Hot Surface Handler

Related…

841256-2

841256 StirStarter Stir Plate

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Step by Step: Rehydrating Dried Yeast Using Rubbermaid TakeAlong Containers

I have used Bel-Art Lab Quality Autoclave Safe Bottles to rehydrate yeast for years.  I bought a dozen of these back in February of 2011 and still have 9 or 10 unused containers.  These are great bottles and have worked really well for me.

Although the per container cost of these is generally reasonable, buying a dozen of these lab containers can be a bit pricey.  I stumbled across the Rubbermaid TakeAlongs line of containers while looking for a less costly alternative.  They are food safe, leak proof and microwave safe.

First a look at the container…

Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Twist and Seal Food Storage Containers, 2-Cup, Clear, Set of 3Stock Image

In the package.

Side of Box: Twist&Seal – Twist-tight, leak-proof seal.  Handles stay cool when food is hot.

On the lid: Remove lid before microwaving

Recycling code is PP 6, 2 cup/473 mL capacity, Top Rack Dishwasher Safe, Microwave Safe (symbol), Freezer Safe (symbol), Made in USA

Rehydrating Yeast Using this Container…

Disclaimer:  This process involves hot liquids and steam.  Use caution as this is a dangerous process and you could get hurt.  Always read and follow manufacturer’s instructions.

I used Fermentis Safale S-04 dried yeast for this process.  Here are rehydration instructions for this yeast.  Fermentis Safale US-05 directions are identical.  Check with your yeast manufacturer for specific rehydration instructions.

The instructions say to use 10 times the weight of yeast being rehydrated.  11.5 gram packet equates to 115 grams.  I used the my - Fast Weight MS-500 Digital Scale to do the heavy lifting here.

Since I use US-05 quite a bit, this is a pretty common weight for me, so I marked the side of the container with an Industrial Sharpie so I don’t have to weigh this out every time.

Next I placed the container in my microwave, with.  Remember… Remove the lid before microwaving.  I chose to set the lid loosely on top to allow the steam to sanitize the inside of the lid.

Next I carefully attached the lid.  Again: If you decide to do this, be careful and do it at your own risk.

As the container cools, the sides will collapse a bit (as pictured).  After this was all said and done, the sides bounced back pretty well but not perfectly.  I cooled the container and water under running tap water until it reached my desired temperature.  In this case 85 deg F.  The instructions say 80 deg F + or – 6 degrees.  I took the temperature with a touch free IR thermometer.  You could also use a sanitized digital thermometer.

The next step is to sprinkle yeast in the rehydration water.  I re-attached the lid and, per the directions, let it stand for 15 minutes or so.

Picture of the sprinkled yeast from the front

The directions say to gently stir for 30 minutes.  One of the beautiful things about using a container like this, with a lid, is that you can swirl instead of stir.  That keeps airborne bacteria and wild yeast to a minimum and you’re also not digging around in your yeast, with who knows what, for 30 minutes.  I swirled this occasionally and came out with this result.

End product.  Hey this looks like yeast!

These are food safe and microwave safe.  The leak proof lid allows you to minimize contact with the outside air.  This worked well for me.

With a pack of three you can use one for yeast and the other two for general storage around the brewery.

Rubbermaid TakeAlongs 2-Cup Twist and Seal Containers, Pack of 3

Bel-Art 106320007 Scienceware Polypropylene Precisionware Wide-Mouth Autoclavable Bottle with 53mm Closure, 500ml Capacity, Pack of 12

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Reditainer – (36) 16 Oz Containers

Reditainer Deli Food Storage Containers with Lid, 16-Ounce, 36-Pack

(36) 16 Ounce Containers and Lids from Reditainer.  Tight sealing lids, clear heavy gauge polypropylene plastic, pint size.  Microwavable, reusable and dishwasher safe.  Commercial restaurant quality.

These have clear sides, so… you could use these for general storage around your home brewery.  They stack for easy storage and the clear sides let you see what’s inside.

They have tight sealing lids (not airtight lids), so long term storage of brewery essentials like starter DME would probably be okay, but not ideal.  Better to have an airtight seal in my opinion.  However, the tight sealing lids should work well for storing yeast slurry.  This would allow the yeast to offgas as necessary.

Beyond that, these are polypropylene and microwave safe.  That means you could make sanitized yeast washing and rehydration water in the microwave with these puppies.  Of course, if you do that, do so carefully.

Reditainer Deli Food Storage Containers with Lid, 16-Ounce, 36-Pack

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Video: Mitch Steele – Stone Delicious IPA – Reduced Gluten using Clarity Ferm

 

Stone Brewing’s Mitch Steele (Brewmaster and author of the book… IPA)  talking about Stone Delicious IPA and their use of White Labs Clarity Ferm to reduce gluten.

White Labs Clarity Ferm WLN4000 – MoreBeer · AIH · Great Fermentations · Midwest Supplies · Northern Brewer · Amazon · love2brew · Home Brew Stuff

Clarity Ferm reduces chill haze and reduces the amount of gluten in your finished beer.

Description via White Labs “CLARITY FERM is a product containing a highly specific endo-protease which only cleaves polypeptides at the carboxyl end of the amino acid proline. Protease is derived from Aspergillus niger.”

Read more about Stone Delicious IPA (and it’s gluten content) over on Stone’s Blog

White Labs Clarity Ferm

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Ball and Pin Lock Keg Disconnects for $4.49

Ball Lock Pin Lock Quick Disconnects

RiteBrew has marked down their entire lineup of keg Quick Disconnects by a bit (20 to 40 cents depending on the version) to $4.49 across the board.  All combinations of Ball Lock, Pin Lock, Liquid, Gas in both MFL and Barbed versions are available.  Personally… I like MFL for liquid and barb QDs for gas.  MFL have a higher likelihood of loosening.  I figure I’ll be able to see a small leak on the liquid side, so the MFL makes sense for it’s flexibility.  On the gas side, you cannot see any leak and clamps do not loosen easily.

Check out the full lineup - Here

Also Consider: RiteBrew’s Bargain Bin - Fresh Wyeast Pre-Order

Tips and Gear for Your Kegerator:

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Putting Together a “Brew Day Box”

Why a Brew Day Box?
Over the years I’ve homebrewed, I’ve utilized a number of storage/organization strategies.  Some could be defined less as strategies and more as “piles”.  These strategies have ranged from, cardboard boxes, to big totes that I threw everything under the sun into to using smaller shoe box size containers and breaking everything out into categories.  The shoe box size organization method has worked well and other than a few large totes for bigger items, it’s what I’m currently using.  At some point after going to that, I realized that when brew day rolled around, I had to collect items from a number of these containers.  I usually forgot something and had to look around, multiple times per brew day trying to find whatever I lacked.  That evolved into putting together a container just for brew days.  I cleverly :) call that my Brew Day Box.  This container houses nearly all the small odds and ends that I use when brewing.  I’ve also tried to make sure those things don’t really need removed at other times.  For example I use a refractometer regularly, not just on brew day, so… I bought another refractometer.  It took a while to get there, but, for the most part things in my Brew Day Box stay there.  This keeps everything in one place and I’m not wasting time trying to find stuff when I should be brewing.

What’s in the Box?

1.  Five Stainless Steel 2.75 ounce Prep Cups from Crate and Barrel - Here

Stock Image

These cups are from Crate and Barrel.  I use them for portioning hops and other boil additions.  I used to use larger cups from Ikea.  Those were okay, but they were too bulky.  I like these stainless cups a lot.  They are a great size and they nest to save space in the box.

Stainless Steel Small 2.5″ Condiment-Prep Cup

2.  500 mL Polypropylene Lab Containers from Bel-Art - Here

This 500 mL lab grade bottle is safe at boiling temps, it’s also autoclave and microwave friendly.  I use this container for rehydrating yeast.  Check out the Tips Page (tip #1) for my technique on that.  I use dry yeast enough that I wanted this in my brew day box.  My brew day refractometer also fits in this, so it saves some space and protects that piece of equipment.

I bought 12 of these in early 2011 and I’m still using the first one (in June of 2013).

Bel-Art 106320007 Scienceware Polypropylene Precisionware Wide-Mouth Autoclavable Bottle with 53mm Closure, 500ml Capacity, Pack of 12

3.  An inexpensive lighter from the dollar store

4.  Teflon Tape for weldless fittings

5.  A pair of Messermeister Take-Apart Scissors - Here

These are take-apart for easy cleaning and sanitizing

They also have a handy bottle opener

These get great reviews from a number of sources.  They have worked great for me.  Check out my Hands on Review - Here

Messermeister 8-Inch Take-Apart Kitchen Scissors

6.  A CDN DTQ450X Quick Read Thermometer - Here

 

This is a great brewing thermometer.  Check out my Hands on Review - Here

CDN DTQ450X ProAccurate Quick-Read Thermometer

7. KitchenArt Adjustable Tablespoon - Here

I use a measuring spoon for measuring yeast nutrient additions and other boil additions.  This is another space saver.  I wanted to easily fit everything in one shoe size box.  At one point, I kept an entire set of measuring spoons in the box.  This replaced that whole set.

KitchenArt Plastic Adjust-a-Tablespoon, White

8.  FastWeigh MS-500 Gram Scale - Here

This Top Find Gram Scale is great for measuring hops and other boil additions.  I’ve found it to be very accurate and it’s a great size.  Check out my Hands on Review - Here.

Fast Weigh MS-500-BLK Digital Pocket Scale, 500 by 0.1 G

9.  Taylor 5849 Quad Timer and Whiteboard - Here
This allows me to time up to four hop additions and also has a handy white board for noting what hops go in when.

Taylor 5849 Quad Kitchen Timer with Whiteboard

10.  Leatherman Wingman Multi Tool - Here

Another great bang for the buck with regards to space.  This thing is really well made and includes lots of features including pliers, wire cutters a knife, screwdrivers, a bottle opener and lots more.  Made in the US. Check out my Hands on Review - Here.

Leatherman 831426 Wingman Multi-Tool

11. Dual Scale Refractometer - Here

Refractometers use a sample size of just a few drops and can be used to measure gravity throughout the brewing process.  Check out Northern Brewer’s Priming Sugar Calculator for an easy way to estimate after fermentation begins.

Economic Beer Wort and Wine Refractometer, Dual Scale – Specific Gravity and Brix

12. Irwin 9 in 1 Multi-Tool Screwdriver - Here

Stock Photo


9 Functions


Disassembled


The nut driver works on all of my worm type tubing clamps

This is a handy screwdriver that gives you a lot of functions for the space.

IRWIN 2051100 9-in-1 Multi-Tool Screwdriver

13.  Rubbermaid Box - 10 Packs - Single

I have dozens of these boxes.  I like this specific model because: 1. The sides are clear.  That makes it easy to see what’s inside.  2. The lids are easy to snap on and take off. and 3. They stack nicely on top of each other.

You may be able to find these in a local store for less.  I’ve bought some online and stumbled across them another time in a local store for a couple dollars each.

Rubbermaid 6.5 Quart Clever Store Non Latching Bins 10 Packs - Single

Top View – Everything Loaded in the Box


Front View


The lid snaps on easily

A Brew Day box has been a big time saver for me.  Having most of the small stuff in one spot makes the brew day go more smoothly.  I recommend putting something like this together.\

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Tip: Join the AHA via Amazon

Zymurgy

Did you get yourself a fancy Amazon Gift Card over the holidays?  Do you want to join the AHA?

Tip: Amazon offers Zymurgy Magazine at the same price as direct.  That includes both the magazine subscription and a full 1 year membership in the American Homebrewer’s Association.  Whammo.

Not convinced you should be an AHA member?  Check out some of the benefits.

Zymurgy - includes 1 year AHA Subscription

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