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Archive for June 2010

Hot Liquor Tank (HLT) temperature control with an STC-1000 Temperature controller from Ebay.

Temp controller in place from the rear:
Case internals so far, thought I’d include an Earthing block (which I didn’t use, though I might earth the Pipework on the HLT sometime):
Temp sensor fitted to side of HLT :
Controller fitted to case front with approx positions of the Heating & Cooling Sockets:
This box will be on the wall next to the HLT and wired from a fused Spur, When I get a fermentation fridge I’ll just get an extension lead and plug it in, though I may have to figure out a switchable Temp sensor to I can swap between two… though I suppose I could just buy a second Temp controller (*a couple of small 2-pin plugs &  sockets would do this).

Holes cut and sockets in position:
I decided, seeing as I have plenty of case depth, I’d use the full pattress boxes to secure the socket fronts:
The Wiring:
Live Feeds to in series:

  • -Temp Controller
  • -Heating Relay
  • -Cooling Relay

Switched Relay Feeds to:

  • -3 Pin Live! on both sockets

To Neutral Feed in series:

  • -Both 3 Pin Socket Neutrals
  • -Temp controller

Wall Mounted and Wired into a Fused Spur:
The Inside, knot tied in sensor lead so I don’t go pulling it:
Heating LED on, heating up:
No LED indicator showing, Heating OFF, set to 81c with a 1c drop so it stays 80c or above:

🙂 I just need to finish painting the walls, Paint the floor, and complete my Brewery Stand!!

The Plastic box came from

After my last two Imperial Stout Brewdays and peoples comments on efficiency and extraction, I thought I would test my thermometers.
Below are tests with a jug full of Ice & Water for the ZERO point and a pan of boiling water for the BOILING point.

The test subjects:

The Cold Test

All submerged in Ice Water:

My Cheap, from Hong Kong, regular brewday Thermometer in Ice Water reads 0.5c:
The glass spirit thermometer reads -2c in Ice Water which I was quite surprised at:
Another Cheap Hong Kong food thermometer reads 0.9c in Ice Water:
My £15 ebay purchased Thermamite 5 reads 1c though it only reads in 1 degree increments:

The Hot Test

The Thermamite 5 reads a 100c, which feels reassuring:
Cheap Food thermometer reads 99c:
My regular brewday thermometer reads 100c too:
The spirit thermometer reads 100.5c:

A fair range of inaccuracy but at least I know the ones I’ve been using are about the more reliable 🙂

Naked Imperial Stout
Fingers crossed this will work out better than last weekend!
I’m doing an overnight mash for the first time, makes sure I give it lots of time, a more sensible ABV and amount in the Mash tun:)

Pale Malt 4270g – 75%
Munich Malt 565g – 10%
Chocolate Malt 280g – 5%
Roasted Barley 280g – 5%
Golden Naked Oats 280g – 5%

Golding @ 60 mins 71g (added after boiling to pre-boil volume)
Fuggle @ 60 mins 71g (added after boiling to pre-boil volume)
Saaz @ 10 mins 27g

Final Volume: 14 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.090
Final Gravity: 1.026
Alcohol Content: 8.4% ABV
Total Liquor: 24.1 Litres
Mash Liquor: 14.2 Litres
Mash Efficiency: 75 %
Bitterness: 70 EBU
Colour: 349 EBC

Pale malt, chocolate malt, Munich malt, roasted barley, naked golden oats, and a Teaspoon of Gypsum:
Mash Paddle could do with a bigger grip, has to be held like a Numpty or you get blisters from stirring:
Centre of Mash Temp after overnight Mash:
Good bit of black stuff first runnings:
140g split between Fuggle & Golding hops for the bittering, Saaz hops for the last 10mins:
Did a third sparge, thanks EcDy for the tips, and collected 10L @ 1020 which I boiled down and added back to the copper and boiled until just before my pre-boil volume before adding my bittering additions:
F&G going in!!!:
Saaz hops going in:
Temperature Corrected this is OG:1093 😉 :
Nottingham Yeast Pitched dry at about 24-25c

*Bottled 10th July ’10

**The ‘almost 6 months old taster’ 🙂

Aroma is quite subtle, alcohol and hints of Leather or liquorice.
Taste is also pretty subtle lots of alcohol there.
Carbonation is just a slight tingle, no head retention to mean anything.
Overall smooooth, silky, surprisingly drinkable with a spicy edge.

AG#28 – Imperial Stout (Exceeding the Mechanical Limit!)
Things were going really well until I took a pre-boil gravity and realised I was way off the mark!
Possibly needed a longer Mash duration and probably needed a higher percentage of Pale Malt to fully convert the other malts & adjuncts. I had assumed that the combined percentages of Pale Malt, Wheat Malt & Munich Malt would have been enough for the Mash to convert OK
I kind of rescued the OG partially with a couple of bags of Dry Spray Malt. Recipe alterations needed!!!

The Mash Tun was exceedingly full and I was wondering how I would sparge but it actually sparged really well with 3x 5Litre top-ups following an initial run-off of 5Litres. I started really early and was all done with ‘something’ in the FV, yeast pitched, around 11.30am 🙂
Pale Malt – 2450g – 32%
Wheat Malt – 1530g – 20%
Munich Malt – 1150g – 15%
Caramalt – 765g – 10%
Roasted Barley – 305g – 4%
Chocolate Malt – 305g – 4%
Flaked Barley – 305g – 4%
Flaked Maize – 230g – 3%
Flaked Oats – 150g – 2%
Black Malt – 150g – 2%
Brown Malt – 150g – 2%
Amber Malt – 150g – 2%

Admiral @ 60 mins 70g
Whitbread Golding @ 10 mins 20g
Bobek @ 0 mins 10g

Final Volume: 15 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.110
Final Gravity: 1.034
Alcohol Content: 10.1% ABV
Total Liquor: 27.2 Litres
Mash Liquor: 19.2 Litres
Mash Efficiency: 75 %
Bitterness: 80 EBU
Colour: 464 EBC

The Pictures of this cock-up:
Mash Temp:
First Runnings:
Boil-over after adding DSM:
At least 4 times as much Nottingham Yeast as I’d put in a normal brew:

I will brew something like this again, with a better recipe!!! Though I’ll probably need some more Roasted Barley before I do.

This mornings (the day after) Yeasty Action:
This is currently threatening the bucket lid!

*Bottled 16th Jun ’10 with 25g Muscovardo sugar

*Taster Bottle 7th Aug 2010
Fair enough,  I’ve Just cracked open a tester 😉
Pours thick and Black with some ruby/brown tints to the head, though the head soon dies down leaving just a subtle carbonation.
The Aroma is alcohol!
The Body is amazing, thick, smooth and creamy.
The taste has mellowed pretty well, the liquorice notes are still there but more subtle.
Bitter edge is like the bitterness you get from really dark chocolate with some powderiness as if like Instant coffee.

I best leave well alone now for 6 months or so 😉

*16th May ’11 Taster:
Big on the liquorice still, smooth and very drinkable, it really is worth making these big mad beers just so you can appreciate how time changes them for the better.

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