Monday 27 June 2022

KegLand RAPT Pill Update - Bluetooth Functionality Enabled

Since it's release in 2021, KegLand's RAPT Pill was touted as having Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity options, however users have been only able to access and use the Wi-Fi functionality up until now.

A recent firmware update for the Pill has enabled Bluetooth functionality which has prompted the RAPT developer, Trent Devers to clarify exactly how the Bluetooth feature works with the Pill.

The following text has been copied directly from Trent's post in the RAPT Users Group on Facebook. If you're a RAPT Pill (or other RAPT product user), it's a great idea to join so you can keep up to date on these features as well.

Q. What is the purpose of the Bluetooth feature?
A. The bluetooth feature allows Rapt Devices to talk to each other. This allows tight integration of Rapt devices and will allow us to expand the feature set of the Rapt ecosystem.

Q. Will Bluetooth on the Pill help me with my Wifi signal problems?
A. Yes - but you need to pair it to a Rapt Fermentation Chamber or Temperature Controller. The paired (bridging) device will pickup the bluetooth readings from the pill and include them when the bridging device submits its telemetry. Users with wifi signal problems typically have their pills inside a stainless fermenter that is inside a fridge and multiple brick walls between their wifi router. The Fermentation Chamber & Temperature Controller are usually not located within a steel "Faraday Cage" ( and can usually get a decent signal from a shed or garage even when the wifi router is inside the house. These device can easily pickup the bluetooth signal and relay it on behalf of the pill and should resolve wifi signal problems.

Q. Can I use the Pills temperature probe to control the temperature of my Rapt Fermentation Chamber or Temperature Controller?
A. Yes. User manuals will be updated soon with instructions on how to do this.

Q. Can I use the Rapt Mobile App on my phone to talk to a bluetooth enabled Rapt device?
A. No

Q. Can I build a device/write my own code to read the Bluetooth signals from the Pill?
A. Yes, but we aren't offering any technical assistance on how to decode the bluetooth data.

Q. If I write my own code to read the bluetooth signal, can I submit it to the Rapt Cloud.
A. No. The public Api for Rapt Cloud only allows you to read data and not submit data.

Q. Will any Rapt Devices be able to talk to other non-Rapt devices like the InkBird Temperature Controller in the future?
A. No.

The timing of this update couldn't be better for us personally. We just completed our most recent brew, which was the first in our new stainless conical Cheeky Peak Nano-X Fermenter. We experienced the exact issue Trent outlined in the second question above with our Pill not able to reliably submit telemetry because of issues connecting to our Wi-Fi network due to being in a stainless fermenter enclosed in a refrigerator. 

We were looking at Wi-Fi range extenders to help boost the signal in our garage where the fermentation fridge is located to address this, but may instead look at getting a RAPT Temperature Controller instead to replace our InkBird ITC-308 temp controller.

No doubt the Bluetooth functionality isn't going to meet the expectations of what some users were hoping for as not everyone wants to (or is able to) submit their telemetry to the cloud and would rather just be able to have the Pill report to a device locally via Bluetooth.

Check out our guide on How to connect RAPT Pill to RAPT Temperature Controller for detailed instructions on how to link the RAPT Pill and RAPT Temperature Controller together.

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Friday 24 June 2022

Keg King - Apollo Titan 30L Stainless Conical Fermenter - Preview

We recently noticed a new product added to Keg King's website for their Apollo Titan 30L stainless steel pressure capable fermenter - pictured below. It certainly caught our attention so we thought we'd take a closer look and break down our thoughts and findings.

Keg King's Apollo Titan 30L Stainless Conical Fermenter
Image Copyright of Keg King

Pressure fermenting is all the rage these days in the homebrewing community - and rightfully so. It offers loads of benefits over fermenting at regular atmospheric pressure, so it's only natural that companies and manufacturers start focusing their products on meeting the demands of what brewers want - and at the moment it's pressure capable fermenters.

Plenty of brewers are no doubt looking for a more affordable next step up, after typically starting their homebrewing journey on some kind of plastic based fermeter. This next step open involves upgrading their equipment to stainless steel, but the price often makes it prohibitive to do so. This is obviously a problem Keg King identified and have created an attractive solution for.

Enter the Apollo Titan - a 30L stainless steel fermenter capable of withstanding pressures up to 35psi. At the moment, most home brewers opt for pressure fermenters made of PET plastic due to their attractive price point making them easily accessible - like Keg King's Fermenter King and Apollo range, and although these fermenters are great and certainly have their benefits, they do have some limitations.

So what have we got in the Apollo Titan? Let's break it down and take a look.

Firstly, the body is made entirely of stainless steel. Three steel legs support the fermenter, with leg extensions available to raise the height from 574mm to 754mm (measuring to the top of the ball lock posts on the lid). Total width is quoted at 367mm.

The body itself has the conical shape at the bottom allowing the trub and yeast cake to collect, allowing more of the fresh beer to be settled and accessed from on top using a floating dip tube. 

There are 3 x 1.5" openings with tri clover clamps. One at the very bottom of the cone could have a dump valve fitted to allow the trub/yeast cake to be easily removed.

The next opening located part way up the cone could allow a sight glass, sampling tap, carbonation stone or other ball valve attachment to be fitted, for racking or drawing samples.

The upper most 1.5" opening could be used for a thermowell or temperature probe, though this may not even be necessary because of the clever lid design.

And this is the beauty of tri clover openings/attachments - they're a standard fitting, meaning you can fit just about any attachment you like that matches the 1.5" size, giving brewers enormous flexibility and customisation options to have their fermenter configured just the way they like. You can even opt to fit nothing to it and just attach the end caps that are included with the fermenter to blank off the ports.

Looking at the aforementioned lid and it appears that the same 115mm lid that is fitted to the PET-based Fermenter King and Apollo has been kept and reused for the Apollo Titan. The lid features two ball lock disconnects (1 for gas, 1 for liquid), a centralised port for a thermowell, plus a screw in pressure release valve (PRV) which doubles as a dry hopping port.

Apollo Titan Lid
Image Copyright of Keg King

No doubt it's this clever lid design that gives the Apollo Titan the ability to withstand such high pressures as 35psi. Most other stainless fermenters feature a much larger lid - usually the entire diameter of the top of the fermenter body meaning they are limited to how much pressure they can withstand. A smaller lid/opening also means it's easier to seal and less likely to leak which is often a source of frustration for brewers with pressure fermenting.

Having a body made entirely of stainless steel means you essentially have a 30L keg. PET plastics inevitably leech some oxygen over extended periods of time, but there's no such risk with stainless steel meaning you can ferment and store your beer in the same vessel indefinitely if you wanted to. Stainless is also much more durable when it comes to cleaning and the types of cleaning agents that can be used on them.

Keg King state that the body is actually the same size as the Apollo fermenter meaning some of the accessories like the insulating jacket and cooling coils are interchangeable between the models.

Currently on the Keg King website at AU$399, the price point is seriously sharp and attractive, with an anticipated release date of mid to late July 2022. The inclusion of tri clover ports means that brewers can upgrade and add parts later on if they wish to, and the use of stainless steel means their investment will last a very long time if looked after.

What do you think about the new Apollo Titan? Will you be upgrading? Let us know in the comments below.

Now that this has been released and is available for sale, you can check out our full Hands on Review of the Apollo Titan fermenter.

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Thursday 23 June 2022

How to Heat in a Fermentation Fridge

It's well known that temperature is a critical variable when it comes to fermentation - the magical process performed by brewing yeast that turn wort into beer. The process of fermentation is exothermic - a fancy word meaning it creates heat, so for most homebrewers the a simple solution to control the temperature during fermentation is to purchase a new or second hand fridge that the fermenter can be placed into, and then controlled with a temperature controller like an Inkbird.

Simple, effective and efficient as this is - what if the ambient temperature is well below our target fermentation temperature so we need to add a heat source to help raise the temperature of our fermenter within the fridge instead of reducing it like you normally would?

This is the situation we face for a few months each year during the colder winter months where temperatures are constantly below the typical ale fermentation temperature of 18-20 degrees. We were about to embark on the maiden brew on our recently purchased Cheeky Peak Nano-X Fermenter and knew we needed a heat source to maintain our target fermentation temperature.

There are plenty of options for heating fermenters - heat pads, heat belts, glycol chillers/heaters, light/heat lamps, space heaters - the list goes on and on. Since our fermenter was made of stainless steel, we weren't comfortable wrapping a heat belt around it. Glyocol chillers/heaters are expensive, and sitting a space heater inside a fridge really didn't seem like a great idea either.

We opted for a heat pad which appeared to be a relatively safe and gentle method of warming the space inside the fridge. A bit of research and we settled on the Morgan's Heat Pad - offering 25W of heating power.

We sat it inside the fridge and situated it in between the legs of the fermenter and actually had it resting on the legs. This way the heat would radiate directly up and onto the conical bottom of the fermenter. 

Raising the temperature in a full size fridge with a relatively low heat source like this can be slow, but it does work. We also used the insulating jacket from our FermZilla as an additional layer of insulation to help trap the heat in and around the fermenter as you can see from the photo below. Sure, it doesn't fit properly but it certainly helped and we were able to reliably maintain a temperature of 20 degrees celsius, even when the ambient temperature outside was well into the single digits.

Our Cheeky Peak Nano-X with Morgans Heat Pad

At the end of fermentation we were also able to raise the temperature to 22 for a diacetyl rest with no problems at all.

For those who haven't used a heat pad before, we'd best describe it as getting warm at best, and not hot. So the heat it produces is gentle, and safe. It can comfortably be touched without any risk of burns whilst being powered. That being said, it means it works somewhat slowly, so anything you can do to assist in the retention of heat is going to help with the heating efficiency. Simple things like adding a jacket or any other form of insulation around the fermenter is a great start. The other obvious thing is to resist the temptation to constantly open your fermentation fridge to check how things are going which let's all the warm air out!

We're happy with this current setup being safe, effective and reasonably efficient to help us warm our fermenter. Not sure a heat pad like this could provide enough heat for Kveik fermentation temperatures during winter, so perhaps save those ones for the warmer months of the year.

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Wednesday 22 June 2022

USA Hop Growers - 2021 Statistical Report Breakdown

We recently came across the USA Hop Growers statistical report for 2021. After having a read through it there were definitely some interesting takeaways which give a great insight into the brewing industry - from homebrewing all the way through to full scale brew houses.

The USA are responsible for providing the majority of "new world" hop varieties used in modern day brewing, and with the explosion in recent times of heavily hopped beers like Hazy/NEIPA's, it's no surprise to see the hop industry in the USA growing year on year.

There was a total production increase of 11.18% in US hop crops in 2021 compared to 2020.

Below is a table taken directly from the report showing the top 10 Pacific North West (PNW) Region Hop Varieties by acreage

Source: USA Hop Growers 2021 Statistical Report

Unsurprisingly, Citra is the top hop and has held the number one position since 2018. We're a big fan of citra hops (as are lots of other people apparently). According to the report nearly 1 out of every 5 hop bines in the PNW region was for Citra!

Mosaic has claimed the number two spot for the first time and has steadily been increasing it's ranking since 2018.

CTZ - or Columbus, Tomahawk and Zeus was relegated from 2nd to 3rd on the list, with the remaining varieties and rankings staying relatively the same, with the exception of Simcoe and Cascade swapping places compared to 2020.

Over the past 10 years, hop acreage has increased by 109% from just under 30,000 acres to now just over 62,000. This growth has also seen a shift from a 50/50 split in alpha/bittering and aroma hops to 80.5% aroma varieties in 2021, meaning 19.5% of the crops were for alpha/bittering hops. Would be interesting to understand how dual purpose hops (like Citra) are classified here as they're often used for bittering and aroma/flavour.

Here's another interesting graphic giving a visual representation of the crop volume (acreage) for each of the top 10 varieties.

Source: USA Hop Growers 2021 Statistical Report

This really gives a good insight into just how popular these top 10 varieties of hops are, with the top 3 varieties accounting for just over 40% of total crops.

When you consider how many other hop varieties are available, it's pretty astounding to see these figures, with the countless other hop varieties account for just over 30% of total crops.

We've used nearly all of these top ten varieties at some point in our brewing journey, with the exception of Pahto. Sounds like we might be missing out on something here so we'll be keeping an eye out for this variety for future brews.

Check out the 2021 Hop Growers of America Statistical Report for yourself.

Tuesday 21 June 2022

Nomad Brewing Co - 2022 Art Series NEIPA - Beer Review

Review Date: 18/6/2022
Brewery Name: Nomad Brewing Co (Brookvale, NSW, Australia)
Beer Name: NEIPA (2022 Art Series)

"Big tropical Hazy NEIPA - Citrus + Stone Fruit + Pineapple. Inspired out of covid isolation boredom, Elana Larkin painted the view from her Northern Rivers garden. While wearing a big hat & the smell of sunscreenWhile sunscreen this masterpiece was born, “Midday gone Cray"

Nomad Brewing Co - 2022 Art Series - NEIPA Can


Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 6% (High)

Label/Design: 9/10

Serving Style: Can

Region of Origin: Pacific (Australia, New Zealand)

Style Family: IPA

Malts/Adjuncts: Unknown

Hops: Amarillo, Idaho, BRU-1

IBU's: Unknown

Nomad Brewing Co - 2022 Art Series - NEIPA Can Notes


Colour: Straw


Brilliant Clear Slight Haze Hazy

Collar of Foam & Head Retention


(Up to 15 secs)

(15 - 60 secs) 

(more than 60 secs)

Foam Texture

N/A Thin Fluffy Mousse-Like

Carbonation (Visible)

None Slow Medium Fast-Rising Bubbles

Alcohol Aroma

Not Detectable Mild Noticeable Strong Harsh

Aroma & Flavour

Esters Aroma: None
Phenols: None

Alcohol Taste:

Not Detectable Mild Noticeable Strong Harsh

Hop Pungency:

Mild Moderate Strong Extreme

Hop Bitterness:

Restrained Moderate Aggressive Harsh

Malt Sweetness:

Low Medium High Cloying


Low Medium High


Light Bodied
Medium Bodied
(Light + Full)
Full Bodied
(Round, Rich & Creamy)

Palate Carbonation: 

Low Medium High


(Up to 15 seconds)
(15 to 60 seconds)
(More than 60 seconds)

Oxidative/Aged Qualities: None

Nomad Brewing Co - 2022 Art Series - NEIPA in the Craftd Alpha glass


Drinkability: 8/10

Overall Impression: 7/10


Loads of tropical fruit and citrus flavours from the hops. Clean and neutral malt base as you'd expect to let the hops do their thing. Relatively low carbonation, and a well disguised alcohol presence. A really good and enjoyable beer, but not quite sure it fits the NEIPA style. Definitely not as hazy as other NEIPA's we've had, and the soft, creamy and silky mouthfeel from a decent whack of oats or other adjuncts that the style is renowned for appeared to be missing. This strikes us as more of a west coast IPA than a NEIPA. Still a really good beer and very enjoyable, but not quite what we were expecting from a beer labelled as a "NEIPA".

The can art is a cool feature too and is part of a collaboration between Nomad and the National Art School. There's a blurb on the can from the artist explaining the piece that is featured on the can.

Monday 20 June 2022

AliExpress - Digital Refractometer Testing

In our previous blog post, we gave a quick run down on our recently purchased digital refractometer from AliExpress. In this post, we're going to outline a quick side by side comparison we did to compare the results when measuring a simple solution of dextrose and water using a standard floating hydrometer, and our new digital refractometer. 

After mixing up the sugar solution in a glass pyrex jar (to simulate our wort), we poured a sample into the floating hydrometer tube and floated the hydrometer and took a reading. We then took a small sample from the hydrometer tube and used this on the digital refractometer. After each test, we returned the solution from the floating hydrometer into the pyrex jar, then added more dextrose (or in some cases added water to re-dilute) to get different and randomised levels of sugar in the solution. I didn't measure the amount of dextrose used, just simply "free poured" then stirred it in thoroughly.

Interestingly, we found we were getting more accurate results by adding 5-6 drops onto the digital refractometer which is contrary to what we found in our previous/initial testing of the device.

Our first comparison after adding only a small amount of dextrose, sees a reading of around 1.008 on the floating hydrometer and 1.005 on the digital refractometer. As you can see from the display of the digital refractometer, the temperature of the water was quite cold at a little over 15c. The floating hydrometer is calibrated at around 20c so using morebeer's hydrometer temperature correction calculator, the actual reading would be 1.007, meaning a difference of 2 gravity points between them.

Our next comparison shows a value of 1.028 on the floating hydrometer and 1.026 on the digital refractometer. Our sample temperature is now a more reliable 19c, so once again we have a difference of 2 gravity points.

For the next side by side test, we unfortunately didn't break the meniscus on the floating hydrometer sufficiently before taking our photo, so we'll go off the reading of 1.052. Our digital refractometer read 1.049 giving us a difference of 3 gravity points.

This next test was surprising, as we had a reading of 1.080 on the floating hydrometer and exactly the same reading on our digital refractometer!

Next we revisited our previous reading where we failed to break the miniscus on the floating hydrometer properly (by diluting our 1.080 sample). This time around we had a reading of around 1.050 on the floating hydrometer and a surprisingly low 1.044 on the digital refractometer. A difference of 6 gravity points which is significant.

Next up we had 1.036 on the floating  hydrometer and 1.034 on the digital refractometer. Once again, giving us a difference of 2 gravity points.

Our final test and we have a reading of 1.054 on the floating hydrometer and 1.053 on the digital refractometer, giving us a difference of 1 gravity point.

Here's a table outlining the results of our tests.

Floating Hydrometer Digital Refractometer Difference
1.007 1.005 -0.002
1.028 1.026 -0.002
1.052 1.049 -0.003
1.080 1.080 0
1.050 1.044 -0.006
1.036 1.034 -0.002
1.054 1.053 -0.001

The table outlined above shows the digital refractometer consistently had a lower gravity reading than the floating hydrometer. For the majority of tests, the reading was within 2 gravity points of the floating hydrometer. The advertisement for the digital refractometer states it's accurate to within +- 0.001 gravity points, and given floating hydrometers aren't necessarily 100% accurate either, this all seems reasonable. 

We'll write off the test with a difference of 6 gravity points as an outlier - perhaps the digital refractometer screen wasn't cleaned properly, or the sample was otherwise contaminated or diluted which may have affected the reading.

Our initial concern was that perhaps in the range of 1.050, the digital refractometer wasn't accurate - but was more accurate at higher gravity readings such as 1.080, however our last test at 1.054/1.053 indicates this isn't the case.

What can we take away from this? We think it demonstrates that the readings are reasonably accurate, especially for homebrewers where having measurements 1 or 2 points off really aren't that big a deal. We're not calculating alcohol percentage for tax and labelling/packaging purposes after all so the implications of a slightly inaccurate reading are almost negligible. The convenience of much lower sample sizes is a major benefit in using the digital refractometer, but I think we'll end up taking measurements with both for the next few batches to see how they compare.

You can check out our previous review of our AliExpress Digital Refractometer here.

Tuesday 14 June 2022

AliExpress - Digital Refractometer - Review

We were in the market for a digital refractometer - as we find regular floating hydrometers cumbersome and wasteful in terms of the amount of fluid required to take a sample.

Initially we were looking at a handheld 'telescope' style refractometer, but our research suggested that these were wildly inaccurate and unreliable - to the point that correction charts need to be calculated and maintained in order to get any sort of accuracy when using them. Check out this video from Flora Brewing on YouTube to see what is involved in doing this. Needless to say, this is not something we were willing to do - we're looking for ways to make our brewing days and processes easier and more straightforward, not more complex and convoluted so we started looking at options for digital refractometers.

As you'd expect, digital refractometers are a significant price jump from the previously mentioned handheld refractometers. After some research though we discovered that some digital refractometers can be found on AliExpress at a price point somewhere between the handheld ones and the digital ones available from other online stores.

The one we found looks just like this one from Fruugo which at the time of writing this article, was on sale for $289. We were able to purchase one from the "Soonda Goodfaith Store" on AliExpress for around AU$118 including delivery. If you're in the market for one, make sure you get one that reads Brix of Specific Gravity as these are the scales generally used for brewing.

No doubt if we post a link directly to the item on the AliExpress website, the link will eventually break, so here's a screenshot of the actual advertisement for the one we purchased.

We know buying from AliExpress can be a little hit and miss - but certainly in some cases bargains can be had for seemingly identical products at a fraction of the cost of those sold in regular retail or other online stores. We wanted to take the gamble so took a punt on buying one from AliExpress.

As expected when buying from AliExpress, shipping was from overseas but was surprisingly prompt. It arrived in a nice plastic hardcase, however the plastic clips to secure the case are just folded plastic so will no doubt snap off in due course after being open and shut many times.

Inside the hard case is the actual refractometer, a plastic pipette for drawing samples, a screw driver for removing the battery cover, as well as a microfibre cloth for cleaning the lens.The  refractometer requires a single AAA battery which isn't included.

We performed an initial accuracy test by testing a sample directly from our latest All Inn Brewing Co fresh wort kit - which has been stamped with a gravity of 1.060

Straight out of the box without running any calibration, we had a reading of 1.068 - 8 points higher than the specific gravity of our wort at 1.060

This was using 3-4 drops onto the refractometer for analysis. After changing to only using 2 drops, we got a reading of 1.059 - much closer to our expected reading.

We then ran a calibration using water boiled (and cooled) from the kettle. The calibration process was easy and straightforward following the included instructions. After calibration our water sample was set to 1.000.

Our next reading of the wort was now a whopping 1.076 - 16 points higher than the known value. Obviously the calibration threw everything way out, so we ran a calibration again using distilled/spring water instead.

After running a calibration again using distilled/spring water, we were able to get some more consistent readings of around 1.062 and 1.063, which was still 2-3 gravity points higher than expected

We did find it interesting that the volume of sample (ie. number of drops) placed onto the lens of the refractometer seemed to affect the readings. Using 2 drops seemed to give the best results, with using more than 2 drops causing a reading significantly higher.

Admittedly we've only tested the accuracy of this unit against a single sample with a gravity of 1.060. We plan on doing some further testing of samples with differing gravities and will compare the results against a regular floating hydrometer. It's possible that lower gravity samples may be more accurate.

We'll update this article again once some more testing has been done, but at this point the results seem reasonable, but not as accurate as we'd like. It's perhaps a fair compromise between a floating hydrometer and the 'top of the line' digital refractometers.

Check out the results of our further testing and comparison between this digital refractometer and our floating hydrometer.

Thursday 9 June 2022

Custom 3D Printed Beer Tap Decals

We're fortunate to have access to a 3D Printer as well as CAD software - so after purchasing a couple of beer decal holders to attach to the taps of our kegerator we figured we'd have a go at designing and printing some beer tap decals ourselves.

As brewers, we are certainly inclined to creating things ourselves. There's a certain sense of satisfaction gained from crafting such things. We'll be the first to admit that although we're happy with the results of our mini project, it is far from perfect and there are some things we'll look at tweaking and adjusting for future decals - in particular some of the gaps in the 3D print.

For our first decal, we decided to make one for our upcoming brew of the Alfajor Biscuit Ale fresh wort kit from All Inn Brewing Co.

Once you've tinkered with CAD programs like Fusion 360 for a while, the process for creating becomes fairly easy and straight forward. Create a sketch and draw a circle with a 73mm diameter (to match the diameter of the decal holder). Create another circle with a diameter of 71mm (to create a 1mm border all the way around). Then import a copy of the All Inn Brewing Co logo and create a SVG for the "Alfajor Biscuit Ale" text and import it as well.

Our beer tap decal design in Fusion 360

Then, perform an extrude on the sketch elements to raise them up and make them 3D. The base of the print is 2mm thick. The outer circle border and text are raised a further 2mm up, meaning the total depth is 4mm. It doesn't need to be any thicker than this as it's simply a decal.

Also, when 3D printing text, thick and bold fonts work much better than cursive fonts so try and stick with fonts like these where possible.

We then printed using a single colour on a Makerbot 3D printer. If you could be bothered you could change the filament colour part way through the print to achieve a 2 tone effect between the background colour and the text colour.

Our first 3D printed beer tap decal for the All Inn Brewing Co Alfajor Biscuit Ale fresh wort kit

We were happy with the result so far, but still wanted that 2 tone effect to really make the text stand out. As previously mentioned, you could change the filament in your 3D printer part way through to achieve this. We went for the easy option though and simply used a black sharpie style marker to colour in the text and the outer 1mm border.

Our custom decal with text coloured in with black sharpie

This made a big difference as you can see from the image above - particularly on the larger font on the lower half of the decal. There are some gaps in the characters for the "All Inn Brewing Co" logo which was disappointing. We'll look at adjusting our 3D print settings in the future to hopefully correct this, or otherwise may look at using some kind of modelling putty to help fill in the gaps for future decals.

Custom beer tap decal installed on the decal holder

To adhere the decal to the holder, we simply used some blu-tack which will hopefully be sufficient to keep it in place. This may be an issue in the hotter summer months as our kegerator is kept in the garage that can get quite hot - and we've seen blu-tack 'melt' before, but we'll wait and see.

Below you can see the finished result installed on the taps. We may look at moving/removing some of the stickers from the fridge door to help the decals stand out a little more.

We found having the decal holders sitting perfectly upright meant they were barely visible/noticeable behind the tap handles, so we opted to have them angled in towards the centre of the fridge door as you can see from the photo below.

Beer tap holders and decals installed on our 2 tap kegerator

We like the fact that we'll be able to keep these custom decals forever as a souvenir of sorts for all beers that we brew. We're not sure exactly what we'll do with them but we'll definitely come up with something rather than just throwing them in a box once they're done.

Let us know what you think and what you guys have done for beer related 3D printers or tap decals.

We used 73mm Chrome Decal Holders available from KegLand. They also have an 82mm model available as well.

Wednesday 8 June 2022

Breaking Down Common Beer & Brewing Terminology

For those new to the brewing scene, some of the terminology can be daunting and confusing. In this post we'll break down some of the common words and phrases you'll come across at various points in your brewing journey into easy to understand terms.


Any ingredient used in a brewing recipe that is unmalted. Common examples are rice or corn, but also include syrups, honey and straight up corn sugar (dextrose).


Attenuation generally refers to the reduction of a force, effect or value of something. In brewing, it refers to the reduction of the specific gravity of our wort - ie. how much sugar is consumed by the yeast during fermentation. It is typically expressed as a percentage - eg. 81% attenuation.

Cold Break

This refers to the proteins and other matter that solidify within the wort whilst it is being rapidly cooled after the boil.

Dry Hopping

Dry hopping refers to the addition of hops to the fermentation vessel during active fermentation, or after fermentation has completed. Adding hops at this time helps to extract more of their fruity, floral and earthy aromas without imparting much bitterness into the beer (which is what happens when hops are added during the wort boiling process).


Fermenting is the process undertaken by yeast to convert wort into beer. The yeast consume the sugars within the wort and convert it to alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2). This process also creates other byproducts that impart particular flavours into the beer that makes it - beer. Fermenting is done in a fermentation vessel, or fermenter, which can be anything from a plastic bucket to a stainless steel conical shaped fermenter.


A general term referring to the grain bill or list of grains including type and quantity used in a brewing recipe.

Hot Break

Similar to a cold break, hot break refers to the coagulation of proteins and other matter within the wort during the boil - typically in the early stages.


The term lautering is derived from the German word "abläutern" that roughly translates to "rinsing off". The process of lautering is the separation of sweet wort from the grain bed.


A little confusing as the term "liquor" is generally used to refer to alcohol. In brewing terminology though, liquor refers to the hot water used in mashing and brewing which is usually treated with certain salts and minerals to fit a desired style/profile. Often stored in a Hot Liquor Tank (HLT) in 3 vessel brewing systems.


Mashing is the process of extracting sugars from malted grains (and potentially other substances as well) by soaking them in hot water (liquor) at a specific temperature - usually around 65 degrees celsius. The process of mashing creates wort.

Pitching Yeast

The process of adding yeast to the wort in the fermenter. Nothing special about this and does not involve any actual throwing/pitching as the term might have you believe.


Racking refers to the process of transferring your beer from one vessel or container to another. Most commonly this would be from a primary fermenter to a secondary fermenter, or from a primary fermenter to a keg.


Sparging comes from the latin word "spargere" meaning "to sprinkle or scatter". It refers to the process of recirculating the wort over the grain bed to help rinse residual sugars out of the grain bed. It is closely related to the process of lautering. Sparging is typically done after mashing has been completed.

Specific Gravity

A common unit of measurement to determine the density of a fluid in relation to water. In brewing this is used to determine how much sugar is contained within the wort. By measuring the specific gravity prior to fermentation beginning (known as Original Gravity), and then the specific gravity once fermentation has completed (known as Final or Terminal Gravity), we can then calculate the alcohol content of the beer by using these 2 gravity figures in a formula. Typically presented as a number with 3 decimal places such as 1.051.

Standard Reference Method (SRM)

A numerical scale used by brewers to measure the colour of a beer. A higher SRM score represents a darker beer colour. Ranges from 2 (light lager) through to 45 (stout).


The leftover remnants and particles from your wort at the end of the boiling process, and/or the end of fermentation. Typically made up of hop matter, proteins and yeast. Another one that has the pronunciation debated - usually pronounced as it's spelt as "trub", or others suggest it is pronounced as "troob".


Whirlpooling is the process of rapidly stirring the wort to create a vortex, typically during the cooling of the wort after the boil. This helps to collect all the hot break/trub material into the centre of the kettle. The idea is to get the hot break material settled so it isn't transferred from the kettle into the fermenter. Less hot break/trub in the fermenter helps to promote clarity in the fermented beer.


Wort is unfermented beer. Brewers create wort by extracting the sugars from various grains using a process called mashing. The pronunciation of wort is open to debate - some say it is "wart", others suggest it is pronounced as "wert"