Friday, February 21, 2014

Homely Brew

There are times when I read other homebrewers blogs and I am overcome with a sense of equipment inadequacy. Seriously, some of the rigs that people have bought, built, pilfered, or otherwise acquired are seriously impressive. It can leave a chap and his cobbled together 'system' feeling something akin to a malady requiring the work of Doctor Freud to overcome.

My 'system' has no pumps, no false bottoms, no flashing lights and gizmos, but the beer doesn't seem to suffer from such technical rusticity. Perhaps my favourite piece of kit though is my lagering tank.

If you have followed Fuggled for a while, you know that most of my homebrew projects are done on a small scale, about 2.5 gallons usually, and so a 2.5 gallon water bottle makes an ideal lager tank, once you rack the beer off the yeast cake. You will also know that lagers are generally spekaign my favourite types of beer.

My latest homebrew project to use the lagering tank is a doppelbock, with a starting gravity of 18.5° Plato, which attenuated sufficiently to give me 7.6% abv. I transferred it last night into my latest lagering tank, where it will sit for about 8 weeks, for no other reason than capricious whimsy. I usually give lagering tanks a couple of uses and then chuck them in the bin. An added bonus is that they slip nicely into the fridge, so there is no need to go out and buy a lagering fridge and the attendent temperature controls.

Ever since my first homebrew efforts in a poky flat in the heart of Prague, I have tended to repurpose everyday bits and bobs for the noble art of making beer, you could call me a Homebrew Womble if you wish.


  1. I'd be curious to see how your passion racks up against the bling brewer. Well, not curious, really. You have it over them in spades. Na zdraví!

  2. What size bung and tubing is that? I've been looking for a way to lager and you may have helped me find one!

  3. What a great idea for a temporary carboy replacement. Nice job!

  4. I sent this to some co-workers who currently have a carboy buried in one of their yards for its lagering time (and they are of course gathering the underground temperature data for future reference like the nerds they are). It's fun to see what everyone comes up with!

  5. Douglas, the bung is a size 7 and the tubing is 5/16" if I remember rightly.

    Kelly, build your own lagering cave?? I like!!

  6. The Homebrew Womble would be a great name for a blog! I love the lo-fi approach to brewing. It really doesn't take much equipment to brew great beer.

    I've got a Tmavy Lezak lined up for brewing in a couple of weeks. I think I'm getting into this lagering business.

  7. I am curious about your carbonation practices with lagers. Do you bottle condition? If so, do you repitch yeast for the process, or just go with the leftover lager yeast?


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