New hoses and quick disconnects

New hoses, quick disconnects, HopRocket and Therminator

It’s been a while since I posted. Maybe because I haven’t brewed since the holidays.  Maybe because I’ve been busy with life.  Maybe because a major upgrade to my brewing system has me avoiding all things brewing – other than consuming homebrew.

Last Christmas, Mrs. Lazybrewer put a Blichman Therminator and Thrumometer under the tree for me and this year followed it up with a Blichmann HopRocket, and an additional March pump.  Over the last year I’ve picked up new stainless steel quick disconnects and high temp tubing, getting ready for the transition from my immersion chiller to a new plate chiller cooling system.  Yes, that’s right.  It’s taken me fifteen months to move from an old school wort chilling system to a new shiny high tech chilling system.  Because I’m a creature of habit – set in my ways – a stick in the mud!

It’s finally happening!  Today I spent a couple hours building new hoses and attaching male QDs to “devices” and kettles.  I’m 95% ready (I just need to get a couple 3/4″ F/F couplers for the water side of the Therminator) and plan of doing a water-only dry run on Saturday, followed by a Cookie Dough Brown Ale brew on Sunday or Monday.  I know that it’s going to be a worrisome brew day for me with the change.  I have well over a hundred brew sessions under my belt with my system, and current immersion chiller, and the plate chiller looks to be far more complex to manage and keep clean and sanitized.  Part of my hesitation over the last year has be concerning keeping the Therminator clean and not being the single point of infection failure for my brews.  I’ve read way too much on cleaning and sanitizing plate chillers on the web, and several of my closest brew buddies have been using plate and counterflow chillers for years without a single infection.  But still, I’m nervous, because I’m a creature of habit – set in my ways – a stick in the mud! I’m sure 5-10 brews from now, the Therminator will be my new habit, but getting there will wear on me a bit:)

I am looking forward to using the HopRocket, infusing my IPAs with oodles of hop goodness, but that’s a couple brews down the road.  I want to get the new chilling regime down first before introducing a new variable.

Waldo at Lagunitas Brewing Cmpany

Where's Waldo?

On a side note, we just got back from a Northern California brewery road trip.  We enjoyed stops at Russian River Brewing, Bear Republic Brewing, Anderson Valley Brewing, North Coast Brewing and on the way home, a drop-in at Lagunitas Brewing yielded a single release tapping of Waldo – which they bill as their hoppiest beer ever.  We spent two nights at The MacCallum House in Mendocino, and enjoyed great beer, wonderful food and spirited companionship – with some of the best people in the world!

Life is good!

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