Gear and Goods
This weekend some more gear arrived via mail – namely a 1/2 stainless swing check valve for my pump outlet. This valve keeps any liquid pumped out of the grant from being siphoned back into the vessel. I picked the swing check to ensure that any particulate matter (like grain bits) wouldn’t get clogged in it, as would most likely happen with a poppet-style check valve. I couldn’t be happier with the price tag either – $13 off eBay (plus another $5 for priority shipping). I may shop eBay for a second, although I don’t expect to ever get a deal like that again.
I tested the rig out and it all appears to work as expected, although I have some minor re-plumbing that is necessary inside the grant. A little curved tubing piece at the grant outlet would allow liquid to draw from below the low level switch and prevent significant air pulled into the wort before the pump switches off. I prototyped it with some vinyl and copper tubing but want a better solution long-term.
I also picked up components to build a second stir plate, but that particular project will have to wait a few days before I even look at it. I’m not sure the tiny little rare earth magnets they sell at Radio Shack are going to be strong enough, but we shall see. After putting the control box and grant circuits together, this one ought to be a breeze.
The rain managed to hold off this weekend (despite the forcast), so while I hadn’t planned a brew session we did take advantage of the good weather and harvested my remaining hop variety, the Nuggets. The tips of several were starting to turn a dark brown color, and most had the papery feel indicating they were ready. A few low down on the bines still had that wet leaf feel, but not many so we picked all of them at once. As you can see from the picture, a good portion of them were quite large and hearty… It took my wife and I the better part of an hour and a half to finish and we ended up with 4 large bowls – definitely more than even the Zeus.
After weighing the dry hops, the growing tally for the year is:
- Nugget: 28.5 oz
- Zeus: 23 oz
- Magnum: 2 oz
- Liberty: Not even worth mentioning – they all went on the compost pile.
I need to catch up with my buddy Brian and see if he’s seriously interested in a big batch of homegrown IPA with these kinds of numbers… I can easily do 20 gallons of something, maybe even more. Perhaps I should bring some to the upcoming How Do You Brew? all-grain demonstration on Sept 28th… I still haven’t nailed down what I’m going to make for them.