First off, the reason we didn't brew last week - our leaking wort pump - is now at the pump hospital and undergoing some serious TLC or, in more technical speak, a full refurbishment and seal replacement! This should hopefully mean that it'll last us a couple of years at least and will therefore be earning it's keep.
In the meantime we've been installing a computer, washing casks and generally getting ready for brewday so once the pump is back we can reconnect it, do a final water test and then - finally - get some beer made! We're absolutely desperate to get brewing, even more so after visiting Cardiff beer festival last Thursday, so with a bit of good fortune we may get to brew our first batch this week...
One of the jobs we've been putting off was the commissioning and cleaning of FV3 (this was going to be FV4 but Dai the electrician wired it in as FV3 and it was too much hassle to change it!) so, being unable to brew, we instead used the time to install non-return valves on the cooler lines, run up all the chiller units and confirm the cooling coils on the FVs were doing their job; the tests all passed with flying colours (they brought the internal tank temperatures down to below 20c then shut off) and so pleased was Gazza with this he even got into FV3 and scrubbed it out, meaning we now have all fermenters ready for action.
FV3 is our "reserve" fermenter which will be pressed into service if we need it in the future or at busy times, so to have it ready (apart from the outlet pipe and valve which needs to be made) is a very positive development. It was previously used as the hot liquor tank at Iceni (hence the circular scratches in the bottom where the paddle once stirred it) but an internal inspection revealed it was in as good condition (apart from some minor scratching) as the others and so the cleaning went ahead!
We're also making a list of parts we want from AB Stainless of Hereford including a kegging connector for the conditioning tanks and level gauges on the CIP tanks; even though we're not quite brewing it's still all systems go down at Hopcraft towers.
|FV3 after cleaning.|