New to brewing (Ireland)

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Eoin Leonard, Jun 23, 2020.

  1. Eoin Leonard

    Eoin Leonard New Member

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    Hi all,

    I've completed one brew so far with one on its way, so I would say I'm still pretty new to brewing. Joined this site a couple of days ago and happy to share my journey so far. To date, I've only done two brews, one an extract brew kit, and my most current one I used grain and extract. My aim is to move to an all-grain process using a 5 gallon cooler for mashing BIAB, a 33l pot for the boil, a 23 litre fermentor and a 19l glass carboy. I use RO water that also adds calcium, magnesium and potassium. I'm plan on brewing only IPAs in the region of 4-5% ABV for now but will attempt other beers on occasion and maybe even a stout.

    My current thoughts or areas I'd like to address/improve are:
    1. I'm looking to add a chiller to the mix but not sure on the best size. My pot is about 33cm in diameter and I've seen some online that are 13/14cm. My first question is, should I go larger or is this sufficient?
    2. I'm considering moving to a Corny keg setup and moving away from bottles altogether. It does seem quite costly and being a novice, I'm hesitant to make the jump. I am however looking at refurbished kegs on eBay. Perhaps I'll make the move sooner rather than later.
    3. I'd like to become more familiar with the amount of nutrients in my water and adjust accordingly to build a water profile that suits the beer I'm making. I'm considering testing the water to find out the calcium, magnesium and potassium content but this is a lower priority.
     
  2. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome. My wife and I spent 2 1/2 weeks traveling in Ireland in 2018. Started in Dublin, where she was born & raised, After a day trip down the coast a bit, we were off to Co/Cavan to visit relatives, an then to Donegal for a couple of days enjoying the coast north of Donegal City. After that we were off to Galway, with a few short stops along the way. Loved the sea food and the night life in the city. Spent 2 days there and then down to Camp in Co/Kerry where we spent several days with the wife's family. Side trips around the Dingle peninsula were great. A rough, but beautiful coast.

    The water seemed to be quite soft everywhere we visited. If you're on a municipal water system, you might try getting information from your supplier. I'd bet that the water in most of the country would be great for brewing with only minor adjustments.
     
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  3. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Go bigger on the imersion chiller bigger diameter the more coil contact with the hot wort the quicker more efficient the cooling time.
    Kegging is the GO but id get a few more Hombrew beers under your belt first to make sure your well and truely ready to invest that amount of coin on your new found hobby.
    Plus cleaning and sanitizing all them bottles is a great way to cut your teeth on the cleaning side of brewing. You'll do a lot more of it if you like this HB thing;).
    That's one of the key areas I hear new brewers skimping on the cleaning side of things.
    I look forward to hearing how you get on the mate.
    Welcome to brewing:)
     
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  4. ^Tony^

    ^Tony^ Active Member

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    #4 ^Tony^, Jun 23, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
    I'm with Trialben on the chiller. They are too expensive to buy a small one and upgrade often. I measured the depth and width of my kettle to make sure the chiller would be completely submerged and as wide as I could get. \I never looked back. My chiller still works perfectly when I moved to 9 gallons (34 L) in my 15 gal (57 Liter) kettle for brew in a bag. There are also some great companies making custom chillers if you really want.

    Your kettle is 33 cm diameter. I'd try to find a chiller as wide as you can while still having it submerged...but that just me. You can even buy a double row of coils now and days. I think efficiency has more to do with the temperature of the water you run through it. My water temp is about 16 Celsius out of the garden hose and I can cool 25 liters or so to 20 Celsius in about 15 minutes.

    I went cheap ($150 total on equipment cheap) when I started because I was not sure I'd like it. Now, I'm all in and don't worry about the cost of good equipment.

    Any way you go: WELCOME! :)
     
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  5. Eoin Leonard

    Eoin Leonard New Member

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    That's awesome. My folks are from Donegal and Galway. Lovely part of the country to visit, as is Kerry. Glad you have a good time, and no doubt, you had plenty of porter. While I do intend on brewing IPA, Guinness is actually my go to drink. I believe you're correct on the water. However, as I'm using Reverse Osmosis water run though a mineral filter, I'll need to test it myself as I can't place reliance on the source pre-filter. Also, this is a total coincidence, but I've driven through Fallon on two occasions back in 2005 and 2006 during a trip to California and Nevada. Rough but beautiful landscapes out your way, but of a different type :)
     
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  6. Eoin Leonard

    Eoin Leonard New Member

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    Thanks for the welcome and the advice guys, particularly on the chillers as that's where I feel I need to address first. My water temperature is 17 degrees out of the tap, which is very comparable to you Tony. The numbers you posted are also in line with what Id like to achieve, so I'll take that on board for sure. Thanks guys.
     
  7. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Welcome aboard. You can get away with a 25' (7.5m) immersion chiller pretty cheap and it will work but more coils means more heat transfer. To a point. It just takes longer with less transfer so balance your spending versus your patience and water costs.
     
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  8. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Not a big fan of Guinness, but I did develop a liking for Smithwick's. Found some nice American style Pale Ales and IPAs too. A few of my favorites were Galway Hooker, Guinness' Rye Pale Ale and Citra IPA. McGargles offerings weren't bad either.
    Yes, there is quite a difference between our high desert and Ireland. Cattle would starve to death here if they grazed laying down :)
     
  9. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to Brewers Friend!
     
  10. Semper Sitientem

    Semper Sitientem Well-Known Member

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    Small world situation. I lived in Reno for a year back in 1998 before being relocated to the Atlanta area. A huge culture shock from New Jersey. Didn’t care for the downtown casino area, but Lake Tahoe was the great equalizer. Spent a lot of time mountain biking.

    Several years ago, my wife and I took a 10-day vacation driving through Ireland. The left side of the road didn’t bother me, it was more the right-hand drive car that took some getting use to. Cliffs of Moher stand out as one of my best memories. Also when I discovered Kilkenny beer and an appreciation for Irish whisky. We still talk about going back as soon as the world returns to semi-normal.

    Anyway, regarding chillers, I agree with everything that’s been said. On another thread I discussed a JaDeD Mantis that I just purchased. A 3/8” tube splits into two 25’ 1/4” tubes. I haven’t had the chance to use it yet, but all comments I’ve read plus a Brülosophy review rate it very high. It was a splurge at ~USD $125, but I’m trying to make great beer and if this cuts my brew day, then it’s worth it.
     
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  11. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    One additional option for your wort chiller is DIY. As others have mentioned 25 feet (7.6 m) is a good length but more is always better. 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) outside diameter will provide a good flow. Find something of the right diameter to wrap the copper tubing around. I used a gallon paint can. The only thing I wished I had was something to bend the ends. I did it manually and didn't make it to a 90 degree bend before it started to kink. Use a hose clamp to attach the high temp tubing to the copper and a garden hose connector.
     
  12. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I DIY'd my chillers
     
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