Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How a rubber band saved the day

There is a rubber band story I like a lot and have indeed told multiple times, borrowing from the original source of course. It's quite inspirational / motivational!

And this is not it.

This issue is much more serious, and has to do with racking wort/beer  from one container to another.  (Did I just lose half the readers?). Stay with me, you may learn something.

The racking cane is a stiff plastic tube which is used to syphen the liquid from the first container. A flexible rubber tube attached to the top open end of this cane, to take the liquid along the pathway to the new vessel.

Problem:  Sometimes the fit of the flexible tube isn't perfectly secure to the cane, allowing some little bubbles into the tube. This is not good!  Oxygen is not a friend to beer at this time.   And I've had beer become oxidized... No good!  At least for most applications.

Solution: I've wrapped tape around the the tube to help secure the connection over the racking cane. This isn't perfect and when it's wet it tends to not want to stick.  The other night I realized we had no more tape in the house.  I found a small rubber band. Might this work?  Ah ha!

How to do it: Wrap the rubber band around the end of the flexible tube, about 1.5 inches from the end. Attach the tube over the racking cane and then "slide" the coils of the rubber band toward the end of the tube and over the racking cane.  This will work as a sort of clamp. (Or, I just thought of this, you could actually use a clamp to help tighten the connection.)  The rubber band is flexible enough and will put a continuous amount of pressure on all sides of the tube.

There is nothing as beautiful as beer racking through the tubes, smooth and clear, with zero air bubbles.

I still enjoy the other rubber band story...maybe I'll tell it again someday soon.