Sunday, November 17, 2013

Brew Day: Ten Gallon Hat

Lots of pictures this time, thanks to assistant brewer Andrew's camera. (I'd call him "co-head brewer" but usually one or the other of us is in charge with a recipe. Yesterday, it was me.)

This means I get to realize how much I sometimes look like a hillbilly.

And it's great that we have some photographic evidence, because this brew was a trial run of a bigger 10-gallon batch size (hence the name!) with some new equipment thrown in. The brew day took a lot longer because of unfamiliarity and heating times on the larger volumes of liquid, but generally the surprises were pleasant ones.

Extracting wort from the mash into the kettle

The weather was unseasonably warm for November, with some glorious morning sunlight that turned to cloud but we still enjoyed 11-degree weather that made life a lot easier on everyone.

So, let's talk equipment upgrades!

Size matters.

New brewpot-- courtesy the fine folk at OBK who seem hell-bent on completely obviating the need for any lesser homebrew supply store in Canada, I have a 19-gallon brew pot with fittings that cost just half of what my 8-gallon Morebeer pot did. Certainly the quality is not the same (the Morebeer pot could survive a nuclear war, though I don't know if I'd want to brew with it afterwards) but it's a great kettle for the price!

Mash tun with manifold

New mash tun manifold-- the copper manifold I fabricated a few weeks ago got its first run. The mash tun itself had a staggering 23lb of malt in it, and the effect of both a thicker mash bed and a better manifold meant that my brewhouse efficiency shot from the mid 60's to somewhere near 80%! We put some more volume through the mash bed, getting closer to 12.5 gallons (post-boil) instead of the target 10.5, and yet its gravity was still about 6 points higher than I predicted.
What 23lb of milled grain looks like.

(What the heck do I mean about efficiency? Here's a good article on brewhouse efficiency but the TL;DR version is: there's only so much potential sugar in your ingredients, and how much of that makes it into your beer determines your efficiency. Homebrewers are usually in the 70's. Commercial brewers are in the high 90's.)

New burner-- it's red.

Andrew brought his pump and plate chiller, things that I will need to acquire for myself going forward, to make the process work. We still went for a simple infusion mash (and missed mash temperature substantially, requiring an adjustment) and a very simple brown ale recipe to minimize complexity.

Instead of starting at 9am and finishing around 3:30, we got rolling around 10:00 and wrapped up at 5:30. A long day! Getting water on the heat is even more important than before, and I definitely chewed through some propane so having a full tank on hand is also necessary.
Mixing the mash.

During the brew day, we also polished off 3 previous beers. A lone bottle of Banquo's Best Pilsner had been in the fridge for about 4 months, crystal clear and quite clean tasting from the cold conditioning it received. A last bottle of 2012's Fresh Hop IPA still had a good bitterness and body, but had lost a lot of its hop nose and flavour. And we kicked the keg of Grumpy Urbanist, which means until this beer is mature I have nothing on tap.

We split the wort between us, each of us putting six gallons on to ferment, using different yeasts. Comparisons should be interesting.

A pump meant we could manage a low-tech "fly sparge", gradually adding hot water to the top of the mash.

This is probably the last brew day of 2013. Unless there's a well-timed warm spell, the brewery will be shut down until spring. I was hoping to get more beer on the go, but time has not permitted. I'll use the downtime to prepare the brewery for solo 10-gallon production.

Recipe below.

10 Gallon Hat
American Brown Ale
Type: All Grain Date: 16/11/2013
Batch Size (fermenter): 10.50 gal Brewer: Chris Klein
Boil Size: 12.64 gal Asst Brewer: Andrew Wilson
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Brew Pot (19gal) + Coleman cooler
End of Boil Volume 11.44 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 10.50 gal Est Mash Efficiency 73.3 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes:
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
10.00 gal Distilled Water Water 1 -
6.00 gal Kitchener Water Water 2 -
12 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 3 51.6 %
6 lbs Vienna Malt (Weyermann) (3.0 SRM) Grain 4 25.8 %
2 lbs Amber Malt (Thomas Fawcett) (50.8 SRM) Grain 5 8.6 %
2 lbs Special W (Weyermann) (150.0 SRM) Grain 6 8.6 %
1 lbs 4.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 7 5.4 %
1.80 oz Northern Brewer 10.6% Pellet [10.60 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 8 32.9 IBUs
2.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 9 -
1.0 pkg SafAle English Ale (DCL/Fermentis #S-04) [23.66 ml] Yeast 10 -
0.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) [50.28 ml] Yeast 11 -
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.057 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.055 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.7 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 5.9 %
Bitterness: 32.9 IBUs Calories: 182.3 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 23.3 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out Total Grain Weight: 23 lbs 4.0 oz
Sparge Water: 8.66 gal Grain Temperature: 60.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 60.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE Mash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 29.06 qt of water at 170.6 F 152.0 F 60 min
Sparge Step: Fly sparge with 8.66 gal water at 168.0 F
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Keg Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 12.54 PSI Carbonation Used: Keg with 12.54 PSI
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 45.0 F Age for: 14.00 days
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Storage Temperature: 65.0 F
First brew on a 10gal system. Also, efficiency much higher than expected (note: new mash tun manifold largely responsible for this.) Mash prediction was about 5-6 degrees low. Consider that much as windage factor on top of BS's prediction. (note I used 60 degrees as tun/grain temp, better value would be 52 degrees. Also hosed out mash tun.)
Created with BeerSmith

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