Category Archives: Brew Day

NSF Stainless Steel Table with Wheels – $148.99 Shipped, Best Price

TRINITY EcoStorage NSF Stainless Steel Table with Wheels, 48-Inch

EcoStorage NSF Stainless Steel Table

EcoStorage 48″ Table with Casters from Trinity.  NSF Certified, All Stainless Steel Construction.  Includes adjustable shelf.  Four casters – two locking, two non-locking.

Use for a brew day or brew area work table.  Or… this could possibly work as the base for a brew system on wheels.  If you do that, I’d love to see what you come up with… send me a picture.

7/2/15 8:45 AM Central: This highly rated NSF Certified Work table has dropped from $169.99.  That’s the best historical Amazon price I found.  Shipping is free.  Check the product page for up to the minute price and availability.

TRINITY EcoStorage NSF Stainless Steel Table with Wheels, 48-Inch

Pinned: NSF Thermometer · Red, White & Brew · IPA Cups · Free Ship Kits · 3D Printing

Recent Amazon Finds:

Heat Resistant Glove for Minding Yeast Starters

G & F 1689L Heat Resistant Glove Commercial Grade, Large

Heat Resistant Commercial Grade Glove

I use a similar type of glove (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.

Before someone brings this up: 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. :)

G & F 1689L Heat Resistant Glove Commercial Grade, Large

Also: Yeast Starters and Fermentation Resources

Pinned: NSF Thermometer · Red, White & Brew · IPA Cups · Free Ship Kits · 3D Printing

Recent Amazon Finds:

Half Gallon Commercial Rubbermaid Pitcher (up to 212 F) for Brew Day – $10.94

Rubbermaid Commercial FG321700CLR Bouncer Measuring Cup, 2-quart

64 Ounce/Half Gallon Measuring Pitcher by Rubbermaid Commercial.

This is the half gallon version of the 1 gallon pitcher that I regularly use, especially on brew day.  NSF Certified and food safe to 212 deg F.  Made in the US.  Check out my hands on review of the 1 gallon version of this pitcher – Brew Day 1 Gallon Pitcher Smackdown.

  • Made of clear, break-resistant polycarbonate, it is easy to identify and precisely measure contents.
  • Long-lasting measurement markings in high-contrast red or blue.
  • For use with temperatures from -40-degrees F/-40-degrees C to 212-degrees F/100-degrees C.
  • Certified to NSF Std. #2.
  • 6.25 inches long by 5.625 inches wide by 7.375 inches high. 0.866 pounds. Made in the USA.

6/23/15 9:40 AM Central:  Looking through Amazon’s Gold Box Page I noticed that this has dropped to $10.94.  That’s the best historical Amazon price I could find.  Shipping is free with Prime or a qualifying $35 order.  Check the product page for up to the minute price and availability.

img_ssaaThis is marked down on Amazon’s Today’s Deals Page under “Savings and Sales from Across Amazon”

Rubbermaid Commercial Products FG321700CLR 2-Quart Bouncer Measuring Cup

Also ConsiderRubbermaid Commercial Products FG321800CLR 4-Quart Bouncer Measuring Cup

Also ConsiderLightning Deals

Pinned: NSF Thermometer · Red, White & Brew · IPA Cups · Free Ship Kits · 3D Printing

Recent Amazon Finds:

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 PacksSingle

Top View – Everything Loaded in the Box


Front View


The lid snaps on easily

Update: My Brew Day Spreadsheet in Excel, Open Office and Google Docs

The spreadsheet is setup from my perspective, as a batch sparger.  Having said that, almost everything applies equally to a fly sparger with the possible exceptions of the computed mash ratio (more below), planning on a set volume of sparge water and the step by step batch sparge directions.

Brew Day Sheet (click to enlarge):
img_brewday

 This is the main sheet where you will fill in information about your beer and your mash parameters.

Color Coding: Green Cells are information that you can fill in and Blue/Light Gray Cells are calculated.

Beer Info: Basic information about your beer and mash profile.

Mash Ratio Cells: Based on your beer parameters, the spreadsheet suggests a mash ratio (cell E12).  That ratio is designed to allow for no mash out water and should produce equal first and second runnings.  Should you want to override that, just fill in a mash ratio in the “Mash Ratio Manual” cell.

Strike Water Temp: Fill in the Beer Info section and your Grain’s current Temperature (cell B5) and the spreadsheet calculates your strike water temperature (cell B6).

Gravity: This is an adaption of Sean Terrill’s Refractometer Calculator (used by permission).  Thanks Sean for your excellent work on this!

Water Volume Summary: This double checks to make sure you’re mash parameters do not exceed the volume of water you practically have available.

Constants: The constants section has some variables that you can adjust based on your setup.  For example, I’ve found that grain absorption for my crush is right around .11 gallons/lb.  I think that will be close for you but you can tweak it here if you observe something different.

A note on “System Temp Adjustment”, Cell H7: this is the number of the degrees that my mash tun (a 10 gallon Rubbermaid Cooler) generally drops when I put hot water in it.  This gets added to the “Strike Temp” figure cell B6 so that I don’t have to preheat my mash tun to account for this loss.  If you want to figure this for your system, you can put in a typical amount of mash water at a typical (and known) mash temperature.  Wait a minute or two and measure the temperature.  Subtract that temperature from the start temperature and you should have a good value.  You can refine this over time based on your observations.  You can set this to 0 if you preheat your mash tun or if you have a direct fired mash tun.

I suggest reviewing the Constants section to make adjustments for your setup, paying special attention to the mash tun loss, mash tun size and system temp adjustment values.

Age: The age of your beer based on brew date.  Day, Month and Year are totals.  If you see 365 days, 12 months and 1 year, you’re beer is 1 year old.

Efficiency: This calculator is based on recipe or software efficiency.  I did that so I did not have to add up the potential fermentables for every batch.  I use Beersmith and have my efficiency set at 70%.  I figure efficiency when going from the mash tun to the boil kettle.

Conditional Formatting:  “Mash Out Water” turns red if there is any mash out water available.  I don’t usually do a mash out, so I want to know if any water is sitting here.  “Mash Ratio Effective” turns red if the computed value is overridden.  “Total Used Water” turns red if this value exceeds available water.  “Mash Volume – Can I mash it?” turns red if the projected volume of your mash exceeds the size of your mash tun.  This is an adaptation of the formula found on the Green Bay Rackers Calculators page.

Batch Sparge Directions: These are narrative step-by-step directions that you can follow after you enter data for your brew day.

Summary Sheet (click to enlarge):Homebrewing Spreadsheet

This is setup to print on a regular 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of paper and gives a rundown of essential brew day tasks and data.  I do not, generally, open up a spreadsheet on brew day.  I use a print out of this sheet.

You can enter information about your starter and other hop, adjunct and miscellaneous additions.

Prepare:  This is a simple to do checklist.  The water amount figured here is rounded up based on your beer parameters.

Water Volumes/Gravity:  This projects the volume and gravity you should have at three stages (start of boil, 15 minutes remaining and end of boil).  The last two columns (lb DME/pt and grams) are meant to allow you to easily correct your gravity at those stages.  Each of those amounts should add 1 gravity point to your beer.  Let’s say you’re three points down at the start of the boil.  With the example in this graphic, you would add .42 lbs of DME to correct the gravity of the 6 gallon batch.  Bam… that’s easy!

Hop/Adjunct Schedule: You can choose either grams or ounces.  If you choose ounces it will also be converted to grams.

Strike Temp:  This is a table version of the calculated strike temp found on the brew day sheet.  The initial temperature can be changed.  This changes subsequent values.  If you’re using a summary printout, you can measure the temp of your grain and refer to this chart for the appropriate strike temp.

Log and Notes Sheet (click to enlarge):homebrewing excel spreadsheet

Log: This section is meant to log actions taken on the beer (fermentation temp changes, dry hopping, oak additions, etc).  It calculates the time that has elapsed since brew day, between actions and since the action took place.

Notes: Simple notes section.

Downloads
I’m making both Excel and Open Office versions available to download.  I’ve only tested the Excel version, but I’ve had no complaints about the Open Office Version.  I would suggest running this through your previous calculation methods to double check that all this makes sense for you.  I don’t want you coming back to me and complaining the your double IPA is a Pale Ale because of me. :)

Microsoft Excel Version
Open Office Version
Google Docs Version (Thanks to HBF Reader Dan for this conversion!)

Select File > Download from the resulting page to download your chosen version.

If you have a question or suggestion for the spreadsheet, send me an email.

Pinned: NSF Thermometer · Red, White & Brew · IPA Cups · Free Ship Kits · 3D Printing

Recent Great Deals:

toppost:brewingspreadsheet

Stainless Top Professional Cart

Seville Classics Stainless Steel Professional Kitchen Cart Cutting Table

Stainless Steel Professional Kitchen Cart Cutting Table by Seville Classics

  • Cart Dimensions: 24″ W x 20″ D x 36″ H (S.S. Top: 24″ x 20″ x 1.5″ thick)
  • Includes height adjustable basket and shelf and commercial wheels (2 locking)
  • Weight Capacity: S.S. Top 300 lbs, Shelf 100 lbs, and Sliding Basket 50 lbs
  • Brushed 443 Stainless Steel top with chrome plated steel poles, shelf and sliding basket
  • Easy assembly with no tools required; NSF certified

img_purchasedt

I just picked up this cart because… it looks like a nice, high quality work table cart.  It looks sturdy enough to use my bench style capper on and I like that it’s on casters for easily moving around.  The shelf and basket also mean that I can store items on this cart.  I think it will also make for a handy and space efficient brew day work table.  One more thing… It also seems to be a great size to store, transport and move my PicoBrew Zymatic.

Seville Classics Stainless Steel Professional Kitchen Cart Cutting Table

Pinned: NSF Thermometer · Red, White & Brew · IPA Cups · Free Ship Kits · 3D Printing

Recent Amazon Finds:

24″ Stainless Whisk – for Extract and All Grain Brewers

Winco Stainless Steel French Whip, 24-Inch

This looks similar to my 24″ Stainless Whisk.  That is a Top Find that I recommend for all but small batch only brewers.  Check out my Hands on Review.

Use this on brew day in your mash tun and brew kettle.  In the mash tun… this makes quick work of breaking up up doughballs.  In the brew kettle… Use to incorporate extract, stir the brew kettle or start a kettle whirlpool.

Winco Stainless Steel French Whip, 24-Inch

Also ConsiderUpdate International FW-24 Stainless Steel French Whip, 24-Inch

Pinned: NSF Thermometer · Red, White & Brew · IPA Cups · Free Ship Kits · 3D Printing

Recent Amazon Finds: