Friday, April 09, 2010

Oh, why didn't I listen to Woolpack Dave...

See, a while ago the big element on our copper cut out during the boil. We managed to limp along on the little one (which will keep the boil going). I can't get at the head where the connections are without moving the copper (that's as much fun as it sounds) out of the corner where that nice Mr. Porter put it, so it wasn't until the next day that I managed to get in there with my trusty roll of insulating tape and bodge things up.

Job done?

Mr Woolpack pointed out that I should have used heatshrink as it's less prone to slip. But I hadn't got any - that's a bit silly. I didn't get any - that's really stupid of me.

And of course, it's just come back and bitten me. i.e. it's gone faulty again. We're not even boiling, there's 650 litres of wort in the thing (weighs a lot) so it's an immovable object.

Back of envelope calculations suggest that it's going to take something like 4 hours to come to the boil, and I'll probably have to boil for at least two hours rather than the 90mins that we usually do. I'm not exactly sure when I'm going to get home, but it'll be late.

Learning is fun!

10 comments:

Séan Billings said...

Why does it keep cutting out then? Is it a loose connection?

StringersBeer said...

1. Chafed insulation.
2. cramped wiring
3. vibration
4. I'm an idiot and I didn't fix it right last time.

StringersBeer said...

Further calculations on another, larger, envelope indicate that I'll need a two and a half hour boil.
Ho hum.

Séan Billings said...

I can understand why a single element would take longer to reach the boil, but why would you need a longer boil time once you actually get it boiling?

Ed said...

You want a good rolling boil not a simmer. It's the amount of evaporation.

StringersBeer said...

You're right there Ed. The little element manages a bit better than a simmer, but we're aiming to boil off 30 or 40 kg of water. This way we hope to drive off those things that we don't want. As long as we've got some decent agitation and steamy bubbles I'm hoping that getting the overall thermal load about the same should work out right. Oh and the gizmo I use to stir up (dry) yeast fell apart also. Anyway, it's 10 past midnight and I get to go home at last.

Leigh said...

I'm only a home all-grain brewer but there's nothing that annoys me more than not getting to a rolling boil...My thermostat cocks up all the time. With me, it was a tightening up of my cleaning regime that solved it.

HardKnott Dave said...

Oh, I missed this one - I've got a really good heat-shrink hot air blowy thing I can lend you if you need it.....

StringersBeer said...

Thanks H.D., I might have to take you up on that soon! I've lashed it up with some of that glass-fibre sleeving and silicone tape. I reckon that'll hold it for a while. Fingers crossed.

StringersBeer said...

[Sobs] It went again.