The Phantom Brewer outsourced this month:
Adding Rice Hulls when using a cooler as a mash tun. I pre-heat my tun with hot water so as to have a thermal mass close to zero when adding my strike water. If you are worried about the hulls affecting the amount of strike water needed, you should add them into this pre-heat water. After you drain the pre-heat water, you have pre-soaked hulls and a warm tun.
Keeping the magentic stir bar in your flask when pouring out a starter: When I go to pitch a starter from my flask that has been spinning on my stir plate, I will hold a piece of metal between my hand and the flask to hold the stir bar in place and not end up pouring it into the carboy. This way I dont have to pour too carefully or dig around in the yeast cake for the stir bar later. (Richard Sloan, XXL brewing, San Diego)
Seems like many brewers forget to sterilize their caps when bottling -- this is bad. One trick to make this easier is to have a separate, small container nearby filled with sanitized water to keep your caps in. Another trick is just to wrap your caps up in tinfoil and toss the bundle into the bottling bucket.
For those of you who use a counterflow chiller, you can use the escaping water to clean out your mashtun and other tools. Not only is it good for the environment, it saves you money! (Jonny)
And keeping an Isopropyl spray bottle around like the pros for surface sanitation. Just spritz any openings or equipment your grubby paws come in contact with to neutralize the little bastards. (Drew)
Got tips and/or tricks? email@example.com