Many PID controllers are available on the market. The most popular PIDs in the homebrewing community are made by Auber Instruments; however, a plethora of chinese knock-offs are available on Amazon and Ebay. Because of the cost involved with shipping and VAT charges, I decided to go with the Sestos D1S-VR-220 to control my Igloo Cooler RIMS Brewing System. The Sestos D1S PID is one of the aforementioned knock-offs. Rumour suggests that it is a copy of the Auber SY 235x models. In the following paragraphs I will explain how I tuned my Sestos D1S to work with my RIMS system, and dealt with problems due to an oversized RIMS element.
Keep it Clean, Boys!
The other day I was reading an article on the Homebrew Hedonist‘s blog called Homebrew Myths Busted. One of the ‘myths’ he tackled was ‘Kegging is Superior to Bottling’. According to the Homebrew Hedonist,
You probably won’t save a lot of time kegging than you would bottling. With kegging, you have to clean lines, the keg, recharge CO2 tanks and clean other equipment that you wouldn’t have to worry about with bottling.
Whilst I agree with the Homebrew Hedonist that the choice between bottling and kegging is a personal preference, I do not agree that kegging will not save you time. In this two minute tutorial, I will show you how to clean your cornelius keg and lines directly prior to racking.
Why I decided to build an Igloo Cooler RIMS Brewing System
When I visited Category 12 Brewing in Victoria, B.C, Canada, I had the opportunity to meet some impressive folk. The Head Brewer, Michael Kuzyk, was clearly a man dedicated to detail, and indeed the scientific method.
I finished my day at the brewery taking away one main thing – attention to detail is key; take notes whilst brewing, and use them to perfect your brewing technique. Unfortunately, if your brewing method is not consistent, then neither will your beers – no matter how good your notes are.
One example of inconsistency in my technique was mash temperatures. I could never hit them EXACTLY as intended. Moreover, I could never be sure of the temperature that my mash had rested at. In addition, ramping temperatures using hot water infusions was not as accurate as I wanted it to be.
Consistency and detail is something I believe will help me brew the best Kölsch that I can, and it is with this in mind that I decided to build a simple and effective Igloo Cooler RIMS brewing system. Now that it all finished, and most of the kinks have been worked out, I am going to tell you how I did it.
A Grand Day out at Category 12 Brewing
Well, it’s sure been a while since my last post, and life has been the culprit! First, it was law exams. Then, it was catching up with work (that thing that pays the bills). Finally, I turned 30. To mark the end of an era, and to begin a new one in style, I flew back to Victoria, B.C, Canada, with the SWMBO to visit family. It’d been just over a year since I had last visited, and apart from seeing family and old friends I was looking forward to one other thing: Victoria Beer Week.
It’s now been about two months since GBLK launched, and quite a while since I brewed Kolsch V.1. Since then, GBLK has developed into a blog dedicated to more than just Kölsch – with interviews, discussion on brewing theory, tips, tricks and so forth; however, all the information posted has one thing in common, or at least I hope it does: it can help us learn how to brew better beer. For me, my main goal is to brew a better Kölsch. And now, having brewed Kölsch V.2, I can see if any of the information mentioned above has actually assisted me in reaching my goal. Today, I am glad to post my tasting notes and thoughts on Kölsch V.1 and Kölsch V.2. In doing so, I will compare them to one of my favorite Köln brewers, Früh. I have used the BJCP beer scoresheet to assist. Thanks to /r/homebrewing readers for suggesting that I take this approach when tasting beer.