Category Archives: Making Brew Day Easier

Putting Together a “Brew Day Box”

Why a Brew Day Box?

Over the years I’ve homebrewed, I’ve utilized a number of storage and 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’ve settled on.  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 needed.  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.  Everything that’s in my Brew Day Box generally… stay in my Brew Day Box.  This keeps everything in one place and I’m not wasting time trying to find stuff when I should be brewing.

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Stack! Co. Keg Dolly – give your back a break

Stack! Co. Slim Beer Keg Dolly fits up to 11" keg

Stack! Co. Slim Beer Keg Dolly fits up to 11″ keg by Stack! Co


From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

  • Non-Marking Polyurethane tires which hold up better than black rubber tires.
  • Rotational AND Axle bearings rather than just and axle pin = smoother travel.
  • Caster lock which stops both rotational and directional travel.
  • Larger, heavy duty caster yoke and mounting plate. Perfect for a Plant Dolly as well.
  • Wicking ribs which routes condensation and spills to built in drainage ports.

Note from HBF: Use to help move kegs and suitable gear around your home brewery and give your back a break.

Update: Since this post was published the price, availability or promotion has changed.  Check the product page for current description, price and availability.  Also: Today’s Deals on Amazon

Stack! Co. Slim Beer Keg Dolly fits up to 11″ keg

More: Recent Amazon Finds

Short On Time? Time Saving Homebrew Tips!

img_img_0908Pictured: Anvil Kettle from my Hands on Review – I use this kettle for small batches

Time can be a big factor when it comes to homebrewing.  Sure, it may be nice to spend sunrise until sunset carefully hand crafting a batch (or batches) of beer, but the practicalities of life can and do factor in when we’re deciding if we can brew a batch of beer.  For your stage of life, time may not be a factor.  If so, that’s awesome.  For others, time saving tips and techniques could help you brew more often.

With those thoughts in mind, I put the call out to the HBF community [8 Ways to Connect with HBF] to get some time saving tips and tricks.  A selection  of those along with some of my own thoughts follows.  Thanks to all who participated!  A full list of contributors is at the end of this post.

How do I save time home brewing? Continue reading

Bus Tubs for Brew Day – Save Time and Effort

Bus Tubs Homebrew

Bus Tubs for Brew Day – A bus tub with a Rubbermaid Commercial High Temp Pitcher and my Brew Day Whisk.  Taken while brewing Brain Eater Pale Ale,

I use two of these on brew day and I find them invaluable.  I use them to cart around brew gear and ingredients – saving trips back and forth and time.

As brew day starts, I’ll keep a dry/clean bus tub and a wet/needs to be cleaned bus tub.  Having two helps me keep clean things clean.  That means less unnecessary cleaning.

If I’m using my pump, I’ll keep one below that.  It catches drips and also offers a place to store wet items such as stirring spoons, mash paddles, my mash stirring whisk and my equally invaluable 1 gallon pitchers.

Rubbermaid Commercial Products FG335100GRAY 7-1/8-Gallon Gray Undivided Bus/Utility Box – via Amazon

If you have a Sam’s Club membership, some clubs carry these or similar at a good price – check here – for availability and pricing.

Related:

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Great Deal on BeerSmith 2 Activation Key + Free Electronic Delivery

BEERSMITH 2

Electronic Activation Key for BeerSmith 2 for via Brew Hardware.

More about BeerSmith

Features:

  • Take the guesswork out of home brewing using the gold standard for recipe design
  • The new BeerSmith 2 was redesigned from the ground up with a modern, graphical interface
  • Tabbed browsing lets you work with multiple tools and recipes at the same time
  • Build recipes by selecting ingredients from our preloaded database of hundreds of ingredients
  • Download new recipes and ingredients (add-ons) from within the program
  • Does dozens calculations for you: estimates color, gravity, bitterness, and more
  • Shows step-by-step instructions for any recipe
  • Inventory, shopping list, calendar and folders help you organize your brewing
  • Over a dozen stand alone brewing tools including our new yeast starter calculator
  • Supports metric, english and imperial units
  • Available for the first time on Macintosh (Intel platforms) as well as Windows 7, Vista and XP

 

As of this posting, this great software for just $21.99 with free electronic delivery to anywhere in the world.  Pricing and, especially, availability can vary.  Check Brew Hardware for current, description, price and availability

BEERSMITH 2 + free electronic delivery

Recent Great Deals [view more]:

rp:bhbs

Putting Together a “Brew Day Box”

Why a Brew Day Box?

Over the years I’ve homebrewed, I’ve utilized a number of storage and 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’ve settled on.  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 needed.  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.  Everything that’s in my Brew Day Box generally… stay in my Brew Day Box.  This keeps everything in one place and I’m not wasting time trying to find stuff when I should be brewing.

Continue reading

Hands On Review: Rubbermaid Commercial Product 1 Gallon Bouncer Pitcher

Review Rubbermaid Commercial Products FG321800CLR 4-Quart Bouncer Measuring Cup

There are several equipment purchases that I look back on and say… I’m really glad I got that, it’s made a big difference.  Sturdy, Food Safe One Gallon pitchers fit that bill.  I went from a mish-mash of too small plastic pitchers, found around the house, that bent under the weight of wort, dripped and leached who knows what into my beer to two commercial quality 1 gallon pitchers.  What a difference.

I started out with pitchers similar to these those work well, but have a couple of drawbacks.  I still use those for some purposes.   A while back, May of 2013, I picked up Rubbermaid Commercial’s 4 Quart Bouncer Pitcher.  Here’s a look at that.

Here’s the Rubbermaid commercial pitchers quart markings.  Clear sides make it easy to see what you’re measuring.

Liter markings.

Rubbermaid Commercial Products Division

BPA Free

NSF Certified

Easy peel off label.  That’s a pet peeve of mine.  This actually comes off clean.Made in USA

Thick, heavy duty plastic.  This pitcher feels sturdy.  My assumption is that these are called Bouncers because you can bounce them off the floor.  Have not tried that on purpose yet, but I do plan to mistakenly drop this at some point.  🙂Bus Tubs HomebrewThree of my favorite brew day things – commercial bus tub for carrying gear and ingredients and catching drips, Rubbermaid Commercial Pitcher and my Brew Day Whisk.    Taken while brewing Brain Eater Pale Ale,

High Temps.  This pitcher is designed with commercial kitchen use in mind.  It’s made for both hot and cold use -40 to 212 deg F.

Two Pitchers.  If you are vorlaufing/recirculating, you’re going to want two pitchers and even if you’re not two pitchers are handy.

What I use this pitcher for.  Vorlaufing/recirculating, collecting water, topping up water, collecting wort from my mash tun, holding utensils on brew day, as a cleaning vessel for smaller items, mixing up PBW and Star San, general measuring.  I’m sure there’s more.

Rubbermaid Commercial Products FG321800CLR 4-Quart Bouncer Measuring Cup

I can highly recommend this pitcher to you.  I’ve been using it on brew day and beyond for years.  It’s on a short list of my favorite upgrades.

Rubbermaid Commercial Products FG321800CLR 4-Quart Bouncer Measuring Cup

More: Recent Amazon Finds

Review:RubbermaidCommercialPitcher