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To brew or not to brew, that is the question

So I’ve got a bit of a decision to make. My next two planned brews are Denny’s BVIP and probably another batch of Megalodon, which are two fairly standard fare annual winter beers for me (occasionally I bust out BVIP twice/year cause it’s frickin amazing, thanks Denny!). The issue is I am having ACL surgery November 17. I have struggled through my last two batches with a big ole brace on my knee but crutches would make that significantly more difficult. :joy: Those two batches I will be transferring to kegs before surgery regardless. I could brew both the weekend of November 11-12 (travelling for work for a week tomorrow) but then I’m going to be on crutches for a month and wouldn’t be able to physically lift the carboys to transfer them to kegs until very late December/early January. Typically I don’t let beers sit in primary that long, but being that they are bigger, could they be ok to sit for a bit longer that it’s worth getting them into primary?

:beers:
Rad

I wish you the best with the knee. Maybe you can get a friend to stop by and do a little heavy lifting for you. All those folks you have shared your brews with owe you, right? :slight_smile:

I’ve left beer in primary 5 weeks or so and been OK but never gone longer. Some of the masters on here probably can be more helpful on that.

Same thing a messed up knee. My brew partner does do the lifting at the monent

Yes, I trust all will go well with your knee surgery… Get the two in your keg, and check ahead of time, to see if there is one peep willing to help, then I would plan to brew… The reward for help? Aaaah, a home brew! You’ll be fine if it sits for over a month… You could even put it in the fridge after the ferment stops… Sneezles61

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Good luck with the surgery @radagast. Is there some way to place the carboys up high enough to transfer ahead of time? Even empty they will be awkward on crutches.

You need an assistant braumeister/head mash tun scraper.

I feel like you could get crafty ahead of time. If you have a lot of kegging stuff around, maybe you could take a lid off a keg and ferment in the keg, then transfer with pressure (you might have to use a short dip tube to avoid the trub).

Not sure, it might be pushing it to brew, but I know if it was me, I’d be facing the double whammy of a recovery if I couldn’t “recover” with a pint of my own beer in hand.

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That’s kinda what I was thinking. Depending on the timeline I would ferment 3 or for days then transfer to the keg to let it finish and self carbonate. Then just serve it from that keg.

^^^ Yes, thats a great way to enjoy a brew too!! CAMFRA … Sneezles61

Me done brewing did yesterday a kriek lambic. Just did a check fermenting did start

If you ferment in a temp-controlled chamber like I do, I think you’d be fine fermenting it out, cold crashing and letting it sit in the primary until you can transfer. I bet you’d still be OK letting it sit near fermentation temp, but I don’t really have any data to back that guess up.

Good luck with the surgery!

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Didn’t notice this suggestion before, but I actually use a similar idea for transferring from primary to keg for all my brews. I borrowed the idea from Dean Palmer, who used to post here long ago:

http://thebeerjournals.com/Racking.html

I use a standard bucket for my primary and have a lid with 2 standard drilled airlock holes. When fermentation is done, I put a racking tube in one and push a “gas in” hose through the other. The way I do it, the primary is higher than the keg so the gas doesn’t have to do more than start the siphon, but I let it continue to trickle in order to fill the headspace of the “from” vessel. It would work just fine if the keg and primary were at the same level and you were really relying on the pressure throughout the transfer, but you’d be more dependent on getting and maintaining a decent seal.

I did ferment in kegs… It was a good experiment… From the kettle to the keg through the lid… Used the gas side as the vent… I didn’t shorten my liquid tube, so I had a few problems there… But the cleaning of the keg was a night mare… I couldn’t get my arm in far enough to scrub the bottom third… and removing the liquid tube every time… what a PIT… backside! Sneezles61

Yeah I never bothered with fermenting in the keg, as I want close to 5G in the serving keg after transfer, and I don’t think you could get there using a 5 gallon keg as the primary. I aerate just by shaking, so it wouldn’t really work in a keg with little to no headspace.

I do, however, use essentially the same transfer method from a bucket as described above. It’s easy and I feel like it’s more sanitary and less risk of oxygenation than standard siphon transfers. The only downside is that I spend a little gas every time I transfer, but I don’t think it’s enough to worry about.

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Check your keg volume… I got 5.25 gallons… I remember putting oxygen into the keg through the liquid post… see, all those things seemed to be the cats meow (sorry brew cat), but it just turned out to be a gimmick… IF it would be great, everyone would be doing that! Sneezles61

If you do a couple days in a primary I don’t think you need to worry about head space or adding more oxygen.

Buy an old fashion toilet brush. The circular bristles type. I can just get my arm in enough to scrub with one. If the dip tube is cut you can get the brush under it and pull it up around it scrubbing the back side.

It is a good idea to use a new one :poop:

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Decided I’m gonna push for it and double up next weekend before surgery. I’ve got enough neighborhood buddies who could be talked into two 5 gallon lifts to my little table for racking in return for a couple pints of homebrew that it’s worth the effort. After all, I don’t want to be reduced to buying beer while I recover! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

:beers:
Rad

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Opiods and homebrew. What could go wrong?

Seriously I sure you know those two don’t combine well. When I had knee surgery the only thing I found hydrocodone did was get me to sleep if it was bothering me. I kind of laid off the stuff really for two reasons. First the euphoric feeling made me understand how people got hooked on it. Second I was worried about drinking homebrews with it. There is certainly a place for that stuff but I didn’t need it so homebrew won.

It can be done, but it’s not easy. Having a brew partner is vital, and it all depends on how good you are on crutches. I have had a multitude of surgeries that required crutch time, so I got good on them.

Recently ruptured my achilles tendon, and I still managed to brew a batch. It wasn’t easy, but it was sorta therapeutic, reminding me that life does indeed go on. Depending on your setup (mine is in my basement, so once I can handle stairs I’m golden), getting a chair or two and a small table setup can make this a doable thing. Lifting was tough to do while balancing, but I rested the leg on a chair and used leverage to help get the job done. It’s not easy, so take it easy, but if you are wondering about plausibility, it’s doable

Yeah, I am sure I will have some sort of pain meds as I recover and there will be no homebrew consumed until I can kick them. I just wanted to make sure to have a stock in queue in case I can’t brew again until January or later. Batch one yesterday, batch two today, go Stillers!

:beers:
Rad

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