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Building a dual purpose Copper / Hot Liquor Tank from a 50 Litre Stainless Steel stock pot and two Backer kettle elements. The Stock Pot. The Elements.

The Tools and the Holes, 3mm Cobalt drill, allen key, 21mm Q-max cutter, adjustable spanner, 10mm HSS drill:
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15mm Polycarbonate tube in the Brass push-fit (Bent Tap Connector), Copper pipe goes right through the drilled out Tank connector to connect the 15mm Ball valve & Hop Stopper:
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White Plastic clip, drilled and tapped M10, Stainless Nuts, Washers, Threaded Rod:
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Inside the vessel, sight tube on the left, and copper stub for connecting Hop Stopper, I’ll most likely swap the washers for some silicone baking sheet ones:
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Sight Glass fitted with Tank connector and Brass Push-fit:
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Ball Valve tap fitted:
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Syphon effect extension with 8mm restriction at bottom:
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Hop Strainer soldered and fitted, just needs a shed load of holes drilling in the bottom third of the 22mm pipe, made almost exactly the same as my own so you can tilt the boiler a little when its time to run off and you get a little bit more wort for your hard work. The End Cap just pulls off for cleaning and the Brass Compression elbow allows you to get a Cask Tap cleaning brush right inside to clean too:
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Left to right – Element, 37.5mm Q-max cutter, pierced slug, Carbide Burr, Psudo-Dremel, Spanner & Allen key (My Q-max cutter is for cheap-ass kettle elements so i had to whizz round it with the Dremel to open the holes up and make a snug fit for the M40 threads on the element):
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Fitted element:
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Both elements fitted, I decided to fit them at 90 degrees:
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After fitting I wired up the plugs on the Element leads, and filled the vessel full of water to check for leaks. No leaks found so I emptied out and did a boil test with both elements which was good for cleaning the pipework out, I gave the element sockets a wiggle and one almost popped off.
So I’ve decided to get the KM8 bearing nuts to secure them instead, I’ve also sanded down the original plastic cowls which helps but one of them still feels a bit dodgy so I’d prefer it not to fail when having 45-50 Litres of boiling wort in it… so Bearing Nuts it will be!
Once its all secure I will do another boil test and give the copper pipework another good flush through.

Last piece of the puzzle… all that is needed is a good boiling to clean out the copper pipework and also clean off the IC I’m making.
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www.bearingboys.co.uk/KM8_Bearing_Locking_Nut

The making of my Hot Liquor Tank (HLT), this is going to be the upper-most stage of my gravity-fed garage brewery, holding up-to 50 Litres with 2 heating elements, sight tube and ball-valve tap. This will eventually be Insulated and temperature controlled.

This first shot shows the first Element, a budget Kettle Element from Curry’s:
HLT construction
The Inside with element and other side of the Ball-Valve Tank connector with soldered-in copper pipe:
HLT construction
Both elements now fitted and doing a leak / heating up test:
HLT construction
The Polycarbonate sight glass tube fixed at the bottom with a Compression fitting and another Tank Connector, clipped on higher up with a 15mm Plastic pipe clip drilled and tapped out to screw onto a length of M10 Stainless studding (including nuts and washers):
HLT construction
I cut two holes in the lid, one for filling and another for sticking a spoon through to give it a stir. I decided I’d heat / Boil with the lid in place as it keeps the barrel’s shape better along with keeping the heat in, I shall eventually insulate the sides with Foil-backed Camping mats or something:
HLT construction
Element splash shrouds (and good for keeping fingers away) made from used Silicone Sealant tubes, I Just need to ‘seal’ them round with something.. maybe Silicone Sealant!:
HLT construction

The parts for this are as follows:
The Mango Chutney Barrels came from http://stores.shop.ebay.co.uk/Smiths-of-the-Forest-of-Dean-Ltd__W0QQ_armrsZ1 I bought 2 as I’m sure I’ll find a use for the other even if its just storing malt.
I got the Polycarbonate tube from – http://www.theonestopplasticsshop.co.uk I have about 1.5m left over which I suppose I could sell but might just hang onto for a while in case I find any other uses.
The little white Pipe clip and Tank connectors was from ebay.
The Stainless nuts, stud and washers came from – http://www.a2stainless.co.uk
The Compression Elbow was from – http://www.tradingdepot.co.uk as it seemed to be the cheapest place.
🙂 I Just had to bend a little bit of copper pipe to join from the Tank connector to the Elbow 🙂
Copper pipe from the Local Plumbers merchants.
Temperature Controller on order from Hong Kong, so I can control 1 element and keep the liquor at a constant 80°C ideal for Mash & Sparge:
I got a couple of long ‘Hot Condition’ Kettle leads and a Temp Sensor from RS:
461-159   NTCH Liquid Probe. SS. Silicon Cable
406-219   Hot condition straight plug w/cordset,2m

Yorkshire Trappist Red

 

Fermentables:
Lager Malt 3300g
Munich Malt 800g
Vienna Malt 800g
Golden Syrup 680g (to be added at least half way through-ish)
Belgian Aromatic Malt 400g
Caramalt 400g
Wheat Malt 300g
German Cara Red 200g
Total 6.2kg Grain

Hops:
Boadicea @ 60 mins – 31g (FWH)
Saaz Whole @ 10 mins – 23g
Hallertauer Hersbrucker @ 10 mins – 23g
Protafloc Tablet Pellet @ 20 mins

Final Volume: 23 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.070
Final Gravity: 1.012
Alcohol Content: 7.7% ABV
Total Liquor: 34.5 Litres
Mash Liquor: 15.5 Litres
Mash Efficiency: 75 %
Bitterness: 26 EBU
Colour: 23 EBC

Whitelabs WLP500 Trappist yeast, 2 Litre starter.
90 Minute Mash @ 66 C (2 Tsp Gysum to grist)

Maybe 3 sparge batches as the Mash tun looks pretty full, but I’ll see as I go.
Water from the hot tap treated with Sodium Met, I made sure i treated lots in preparation this time:
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The Grain bill, all mixed up, weighed out last night:
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Mash on at 66 C for 90 mins:
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Mash pH looks spot on, 2 heaped Tsp of Gypsum were added to the grist before mashing, though otherwise no other water treatment:
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First Run-off:
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FWH Boadicea, and Northdown as I ran out of Boadicea:
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Saaz and Hersbrucker, Golden Syrup, Protafloc and Yeast Nutrient:
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Lovely fat Northdown hop:
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Spent Grains:
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Spent Grain Recycling:
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Coming to the Boil:
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Saaz & Hersbrucker 10 minute hops:
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Experiment with 3L and safale s-04 to see what I’m missing using the WLP500, and I saved a bit of my 2.5L starter to culture up a little more Trappist yeast, I let down my wort a little with bottled water:
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This was shot with a white light LED torch behind to get some idea of the colour, I was aiming for something red, it looked better in the sunlight near the window:
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OG:1066ish, just a few points lower than anticipated, won’t be worrying about that:)

A little Video Link – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HS3u1hUr5xU

Less than 24 hours later: Fermenting away with a good yeast head @ 18 Deg C this morning, I admit I was a little scared in leaving the FV on the cold cellar floor and not all tucked up and warm in my brewing cupboard. I’m going for the “earthy” character of the yeast…

After 4 days: Trial Jar and hydro says gravity 1026, so thats from pitched yeast on Saturday afternoon until now, is this normal for an 18 Deg C ferment????
The taste test btw,…. very different! Though there’s a fair amount of un-fermented sugars in there yet, has a very malty profile so far.

6 Days later: warmed it up to about 22 C.
The Smell is pears, taste is getting to a mild chalkiness with the pear coming through too.
Still tastes malty but it has gone a little now I’ve got the FV temperature up and Its dropped about 10 points though still quite actively fermenting with plenty of bubbles rising to the surface.
You also get a bit of warming in your throat from the alcohol.
Loads of yeast still in suspension.

*Bottled 29rd Oct ‘09 with 85g sugar to about 19-20 litres.

The yeast is surprisingly subtle, loads of malt flavour, still some pear flavour and aroma.
OG @ 1010 so its got to target.
Bottling about 19-20L with 85g sugar and bottling my s-04 3L with 25g sugar.
Tasted the s-04 batch, its like Wine, the alcohol comes straight through.

AG#8 – JBK Anniversary Brew 09www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk

The instructions:

Jim wrote:I would look for something around a maximum of 55 OG, with crystal malt to give it body and a bit of darkness from roast barley and good old English hops – plenty of fuggle with a bit of golding for aroma and around 45 to 50 IBUs.

So this is what I’ve come up with:

Fermentables:
Maris Otter 1880g
Dark Crystal Malt 205g (no mention of which crystal, so this gives me a chance to try out some Dark Crystal)
Torrefied Wheat 78g
Roasted Barley 26g

Hops:
Challenger – 60 mins 19g
Progress – 30 mins 16g
First Gold – 5 mins 11g

Final Volume: 12 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.041
Final Gravity: 1.010
Alcohol Content: 3.9% ABV
Bitterness: 48 EBU
Colour: 64 EBC

The Grain weighed out, 2 Tsp of Chalk and Gysum for the Mash:
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The Intended Yeast slurry from a previous brew which is coming back to life and releasing some bubbles, will decant off the beer and pitch some of this:
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The new manifold in my 15L tun, note the support sleeving to support my warm floppy pipe. I may need to make this a rigid arrangement in future:
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Grist Temp:
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The Mash Tun:
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Mashed in @ 67C, leaving for 90 mins:
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Mash pH looks near enough:
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Hops, Generous weighing as I know the Burton Ale yeast will subdue them:
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End mash temp:
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First Runnings being recycles, sparging went brilliantly, no sticking and pretty clear wort:
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First Wort Hops going in with first batch spargings:
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Leftovers:
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Bacon butty:
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5 min hops addition with cooler already in:
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Sanitising with Starsan:
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Pretty clear hitting the FV and a good deep colour:
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Pitching Whitelabs Burton Ale yeast Slurry @ 24C:
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Well Aerated:
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Hops and Trub:
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My exceedingly happy brewing cupboard, FV1 is JBK, FV2 is Blauer Vogel, in the back the Top crate is full of TTL, underneath and to the left there is my Otter Dark Stout:
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Just a bit of clearing up to do, hit OG1042 @ 24C so that’ll do me 🙂
Happy Anniversary JBK, Live long and prosper and all that 🙂
Hope this will be a good one, I needed a darker ale under my belt 🙂

Bottling Update FG hit 1010/1012 ish
Full Crate:
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Sun shining through then bottle, lots of Burton Ale yeast in suspension, should take a few weeks for it to settle out:
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2 weeks of warm followed by 2 weeks of cool and these should be ready.

Something for the JBK Anniversary bottles 🙂
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AG#3 – Fuggles Bitter, H.Hillbilly’s House Bitter Grain bill
Thanks to Horden Hillbilly for answering my questions, I’ve used his grain bill for this recipe and just replaced the Goldings Hops with Fuggles.

Fermentable   Colour   lb: oz   Grams   Ratio
Maris Otter   4.25 EBC   4 lbs. 9.2 oz   2080 grams   90%
Crystal Malt   120 EBC   0 lbs. 4.9 oz   135 grams   6%
Torrefied Wheat   4 EBC   0 lbs. 3.3 oz   93 grams   4%

Hop Variety   Type   Alpha   Time   lb: oz   grams   Ratio
Fuggle   Whole   4.9 %   60 mins   0 lbs. 1.0 oz   28 grams   65.9%  ((FWH))
Fuggle   Whole   4.9 %   15 mins   0 lbs. 0.4 oz   10 grams   24.4%
Fuggle   Whole   4.9 %   0 mins   0 lbs. 0.1 oz   4 grams   9.8%
Protafloc Tablet   Pellet   0 %   0 mins   0 lbs. 0.0 oz   0 grams   0%

Final Volume:   12   Litres
Original Gravity:   1.043
Final Gravity:   1.010
Alcohol Content:   4.3%   ABV
Total Liquor:   18.5   Litres
Mash Liquor:   5.8   Litres
Mash Efficiency:   75   %
Bitterness:   33   EBU
Colour:   16   EBC
Water Treated to the ‘Bitter’ profile on the GW calc.

Mash on!
Water Treatment for Keighley Area to the ‘Bitter’ profile.
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The Grains. (I Just sneaked in a little oddment of Crystal Wheat malt)
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Mash temp at start.
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Mash pH. (Is this a little on the low side? I think its about pH5.7, shouldn’t it be more like pH5.2????)
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Hops Weighed out, Half a Protafloc Tab in with the 15minute addition.
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Sparge!
Mash finished.
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FWH in with first batch or wort warming up.
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Recycling at second batch sparge, trying not to disturb the grain bed. Had some sticking issues which I think are down to the flexibility of the plastic false bottom something I need to address before the next brewday.
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Mash fun! I poked it with the paddle handle which seemed to keep it going.
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Boiling.
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Boil and Cool!
Last 15 mins and the Cooler going in to Sanitize.
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Cold break.
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I scooped up a little from the boiler, looks pretty clear once the cold break settles.
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Sanitised sieve to catch the occasional hop seed and give the wort a good aerate.
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Boiler to FV setup, the long restricted (down to 8mm bore) copper pipe makes for an excellent syphon effect.
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Trub left overs.
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I was a few points short of my OG, seems I hit about 1036/38 ish @ 22 Deg C, Pitched Safale s-04 dry sprinkled.
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I’m pretty sure my excess volume was me overestimating a little while sparging as the last was boiled with the cooler in for the full 90 mins, this time I only had a 60 min boil and put the cooler in for the last 15 mins. I think leaving the IC in for the full boil actually makes for more boil off, hence the overcompensation! :D
All in all not a bad day, started at 7.40am and finished about 2pm with just a little clearing up left to do.

**The morning after:

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Good Yeast head this was getting going well last night less than 8 hours after dry pitching the yeast.

**Bottled 12/08/2009
Bottled about 15L with 70g sugar and re-pitched approx 5g of rehydrated s-04 yeast (see if I can solve my carbonation problems with the AG brews) First bottling using Starsan to sanitise. A tiny taste and it was pretty smooth.

Deuchars IPAwww.caledonian-brewery.co.uk
Time to pop my Cherry, Started at 8.30am, the Mash is now on at 9.20am 🙂 I’m going to do a 90 minute Mash and a Boil of 60 mins… which should hopefully time well with the Bacon & Egg butties for breakfast with the other half 😉 *so we can actually use the cooker and grill ‘cos its not got a fecking huge pan on it!* 🙄
I’ve just slightly over estimated my grain weights to be on the safe side as have I with the Batch Sparge volumes using DaaB’s Batch Sparge Calculator.

Fermentables:
Maris Otter Malt 2180 grams
Crystal Malt 105 grams

Hops:
Fuggle 9 grams @ 60 mins (FWH)
Aurora 9 grams @ 60 mins (FWH)
Willamette 9 grams @ 15 mins
Bobek 10 grams @ 5 mins
Fuggle 9 grams @ 5 mins

Copper Finings:
Protafloc Tablet – Last 15-20 Minutes

Predicted stuff:
Final Volume: 12 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.043
Final Gravity: 1.010 *final reading was actually 1010*
Alcohol Content: 4.2% ABV
Total Liquor: 18.5 Litres
Mash Liquor: 5.7 Litres
Mash Efficiency: 75 %
Bitterness: 33 EBU
Colour: 15 EBC

The Mash:
Recipe done in BeerEngine software www.practicalbrewing.co.uk and notes scrawled!
The original recipe came from www.hopandgrain.com
Most of the ingredients from www.barleybottom.com

Pre-heating the Mash tun with hot tap water, good pinch of Sodium Met treating the Hot tap water in the FV

Grain Temperature 18.5 Deg C

The Maris otter malt and Crystal Malt

Water at Strike heat and Grain ready to mash

Strike Temp, tweaked with a dash of boiling water as I decanted from the boiler with a jug and lost a few degrees

Starting Mash Temperature, Mash to last 90 minutes

All tucked up and monitored with a cheap Fish Tank thermometer from Dealextreme.com 🙂

Wort to the Copper:
End of Mash period, I actually went 15 minutes over the planned 90mins

Mash topped up and stirred ready for first runnings

First runnings, which are returned to the mash until it runs clearer (Which was at least 3 Litres)

Filling FV before transfer to boiler (Think you’d call this an Under-back)

Hops all weighed out, First Wort Hops, 15min hops, 5 minute hops and half a protafloc tablet

First Wort Hops with boiler filling

Spent grains

The Boil:
15 minute hop addition + Protafloc

5 minute Hop addition

The Wort (still hot)

Left overs (Still hot as I haven’t made an IC yet)

Safale s-04 Pitched once this had cooled down in the bath 🙂 Now its cooled I can really see the cold break forming as its gone all clumpy and is slowly settling.
All done, not bad for about 6 hours, not including cooling time as it will be a while sat in cold water in the bath 🙂
And all pretty stress free, I’m glad I have been doing some extract brews as its got me fairly confident with the boiling and hop schedules, the Mash was a piece of cake with no problems.

Lessons learned:
I need to do is calibrate all my buckets and my boiler pot.
It would be handy to have an IC.
HLT isn’t necessary for the moment.
Time to look into water treatment a little.
🙂

Mash details:
about 18-20 Litres collected @ OG 1022 / 62.1 Deg C

In the FV:
Final Volume was about right looking for my 12 litre brew length, maybe slightly more than planned which would probably be due to Sparge Volumes / 60 vs 90 minute boils.
OG 1026 / 72.8 Deg C *Actual OG is 1046, just a little higher than its supposed to be.

I think this makes my efficiency pretty good. 🙂

**Update** Bottled today 10th July 2009, tasted pretty good 🙂

Extract#004: Otter Dark Stout
Brewed this yesterday, its happily fermenting away now 🙂


Here’s the ingredients:


FWH, grains & Extract in at 40 deg C:

Some Floaters!:

Hot Break, I’d actually stirred it back down before taking this:

Half time, better have a slurp, which was my first ever Extract brew (Hop back Entire Stout):

Boiler run-off, the wort was cooled in the bath upstairs over a couple of hours:

Our tiny cooker! I let this go into the 25L bucket rather than my 15L as I expect the stout to explode shortly!:

Left overs:

Fermentables:
Bulldog Blend Maris Otter Extract – 1500g
Crystal Malt – 185g
Roasted Barley – 185g
Chocolate Malt, Pale – 185g
Crystal Wheat Malt – 100g

Hops:
Fuggle – 60 mins 17g (FWH)
East Kent Golding – 60 mins 10g (FWH) *cheers for adm for the info here on First Work Hops.
Fuggle – 15 mins 10g
East Kent Golding – 15 mins 10g

Yeast:
s-04, pitched at 22 Deg C from a 2 hour fizzing starter and given a really good aeration.

Final Volume: 12 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.048 (Actual reading about 1046 after cooling to 22, also after watering down by 3L after boiler run-off)
Final Gravity: 1.016
Alcohol Content: 4.2%ABV
Total Liquor: 16.9Litres
Bitterness: 37EBU
Colour: 246EBC (Its a dark one!)

… and my first time sanitising with spray bottle and Iodophor, it feels weird not being able to smell bleach… it it really sanitised?!!!! 😀

**Bottled 4/6/09** sneaky taste, quite interesting, lots of Pale Chocolate malt coming through.

My Stock Pot to Copper Conversion.

The Starting point was this, a Huge 38 Litre Aluminium Stock Pot:
The Huge 38 Litre Aluminium Stock Pot
I had this welded up at work, made from a 1/2″ BSP Stainless Steel barrel nipple from BES and a 3mm thick M22 Stainless washer from Stig’s Stainless Steel Fasteners:
Home made Tank connector
The 1/2″ BSP Female-Female Ball Valve came from BES and 1/2″ BSP-Compression Elbow was from B&Q, there is a brass 1/2″ BSP Female-15mm Compression fitting with another M22 washer on the inside of the stockpot holding the Tank connector in place:
Mounted Ball Valve tap
My Home made Hop Strainer (Hop Stopper), can drain down with a bit of a Pan tilt to 1 litre of dead space (*To be improved):
Hop Stopper
Outflow from the boiler via a piece of 15mm copper pipe (*slight redesign in order):
Outflow
Plan view of a re-design idea (*which I won’t need to use)
Redesign idea

* <<< Stuff marked with a star / asterisk:
The first drain down of the pot left about 1 Litre of liquid and I had to tilt the pan to get it to drain that far. I did some reading up at www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk and started looking into the ‘Syphon Effect’ and decided to stick some electrical tape over the top two thirds of the strainer (the bottom third of the holes are left open) holes and also reduced the internal diameter of the outflow pipe with a bit of PVC tube stuffed in the end. I did the same drain down test and found that it not only drained down faster but also only left 75ml of liquid in a level pan, no tilting necessary!
Now I just need to get a 15mm-10mm copper reducing fitting for the outflow pipe and solder up the top two thirds of the holes in the hop strainer. I’ll also drill some more holes in the remaining bottom third to as to keep a good open area.

Can’t wait for the next brew day now 🙂 I can’t help but think that I could half cool the wort via the outflow pipe now too if I just did a bit more coper pipe bodging and turned it into a counter-flow chiller!

My modified hop Strainer section, holes just in the bottom third of the tube, makes use of the syphon Effect:
Modified hop Strainer


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