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Posts Tagged ‘Mash Tun

NZ Sour Wheat – This is the start of my brewday on Sunday, but its still Wednesday!
I have just mashed 2.45kg of Pale malt in my old mini-mash Tun, 66°c for 60mins, then added about 2-3L of cold water to bring the temp down to 49°c with another 1kg of pale malt added to the mash to add some Lactobacillus to the Mash. I have put my little mash tun into my FV fridge set at 46°c and i hope to keep the temperature above 35°c as it says here http://beerandwinejournal.com/fossil-cove-sour-mash-experiment/ I did as it states and I covered the mash with cling-film and topped it off with a blanket of co2.

The Sour Mash:
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My Main Mash is to be on Sunday and I’ll update this more then.

Fermentables:
Lager Malt – 40%
Wheat Malt – 25%
Wheat Malt, Dark (Weyermann) – 25%
Carapils (Weyermann) – 5%
Melanoidin (Weyermann) – 5%

Hops:
NZ Hallertau Aroma – 8.2 %  @ 60 mins – 20g
NZ Hallertau Aroma – 8.2 %  @10 mins – 30g
NZ Hallertau Aroma – 8.2 %  @0 mins – 30g
Pacific Jade – 15.1 % @ 0 mins –  30g

Final Volume: 23 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.047
Final Gravity: 1.011
Alcohol Content: 4.5% ABV
Mash Efficiency: 75 %
Bitterness: 22 EBU
Colour: 15 EBC
Mash: 75mins @ 69°c
Boil: at least 75mins
Yeast: NBS Weiss, I assume this is Munich Wheat yeast.
Copper Finings: Protafloc @ 10mins left to boil

I’m expecting a fair few spec-changes, I’m thinking of my combined Run-off / sparge to be no more than 30L, I may get more, I may boil down, I will no doubt have a gravity change which will also effect the bitterness…. ;-)

**Sunday**
To start off with I prepared my malts while the HLT was heating:
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Then Checked the Sour Mash, it was 33°c in the center and smelled like the waste malt skip at work, I’m pretty pleased it managed to stay at 33c as @lugsy51 tells me that should be alright:
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The top of the mash, even though it was covered in Cling-film had changed to a darker shade than the rest of the mash underneath:
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I added about 3.8L boiling water to the Sour mash and gave it a good stir before running off about 7L into the copper, these are the weirdest first runnings I’ve ever had, the photo below shows them as clear as they were going to get:
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The copper was pretty full after the main mash was sparged with about 32L in total, I liquored back 3L as the boil progressed checking with my Refractometer:
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I did a 10min & Flamout (90°c Steep) additions, I’m hoping the Pacific Jade will give some Orange notes which i think will compliment the Wheat beer yeast:
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I liquored back 3L to 1048, 2 points above my original predicted OG:
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I tasted the Sour wort after it had 15mins of boiling, it was very sour (like so sour I went to spit in the sink!), I boiled it down to 5L with the hope of driving off some of the smell…! Things calmed down after today’s main mash was run to the copper with the wort ending up with just a subtle tang behind the malt sweetness at the end of boil, I’m told the sour will increase as the wort ferments and the sugars are used up.
Yeast was rehydrated and pitched into 30L at 20°c.

Things went very smoothly even with extended boil times running off the small sour mash worked well while the main mash was having its mash rest then the rest of the brewday was as per usual with just a slight lingering smell of the sour mash in the house, I was expecting worse! 🙂
Fingers crossed on this one as its all new to me!

*24th Sep ’13 – Gravity at 1019 and tastes pretty ok, a cider-like bite/tang.

*27th Sep ’13 – Gravity at 1018 and looks to have finished, have given it a rouse and will check again tomorrow, at this rate the beer will be really balanced against the lactic sourness.

*28th Sep ’13 – FG seems steady and I’ve just dry hopped this with 22g Motueka I had in the freezer.

*Bottled 5th Sep ’13 – Primed about 24L with 165g White Sugar, its got a permanent haze and tastes like cheap orange juice, though the balance of sweet to sour is quite good, hopefully it will carbonate up well and give it a crispness. With its starting and finishing gravities this beer is actually 3.9% ABV.

*16th Oct ’13 – Taster time… Yeasty Clove on the nose, quite light sparkling body on the pallet with a tang like fresh squeezed oranges. I’m hungry and this is making my belly rumble, bitterness is subtle and quite chalky but its hard to detect as the sourness and prickly carbonation cross the tongue first, with a few more mouthfuls the body feels to have a slick quality like a good Belgian Wit.

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Robust Wheat Porter – The Pancake Day of Homebrews! I’m using up a load of bag-ends, so my base malts (Lager & Wheat) are now totally depleted.
I’m not too fussed if its something odd-ball, it should hopefully be entertaining and I can start from fresh malts for subsequent brews.

Fermentables:
Wheat Malt – 44.9%
Lager Malt – 26.6%
Munich Malt – 5.9%
Jaggery (Cane) – 5.5%
Brown Malt – 3.7%
Chocolate Malt – 3.7%
Rauch Malt (Weyermann) – 3.2%
Amber Malt – 2.6%
Peat Smoked Medium – 1.8%
Munich Type II (Weyermann) – 1.4%
Roasted Barley – 0.7%
Oat Husks – 3% (This works out at 103%, added after calculating recipe)

Hops:
Bobek – 4.5 % @ 60 mins – 408g
Saaz – 4.15 % @ 0 mins – 48g

Final Volume: 23 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.077
Final Gravity: 1.016
Alcohol Content: 8.1% ABV
Mash Efficiency: 70 %
Bitterness: 181 EBU – (This is going to be bogus, the hops are old and like confetti)
Colour: 148 EBC
Mash: 90mins @ 67°c
Yeast: Safale US-05 skimmed from last weeks brew before I dry hopped it
Liquor Treatment: General Purpose copied from AG#55

The Malts, I added a few Oat Husks as a precaution:
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408g of Bobek Hops in the copper:
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Recirculating the first few jugs from the mash tun until it runs clear:
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Jaggery Goor, or Unrefined Cane sugar:
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In go the late Saaz hops:
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Quite a lot of spent hops left in the copper:
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I ended up with 1079 so liquored back 0.54L to 1077, I feel a few things worked in my favor to get the right OG and 21.46Litres:

  1. Predicted Mash efficiency be set low.
  2. The 3.7L bellow the Mash Tun’s false bottom which I usually deduct from the first sparge.
  3. 80c second (technically first) sparge, I normally go for 78°c, and 15min rest before running off.

All cleaned up and yeast pitched, I expect it to kick off quite soon and spew all over the kitchen floor, the fermentation fridge is still full of Brown Ceas which I just dry hopped.

*25th Mar ’13 – The fresh yeast has taken off well, still in the bucket… just!

*31st Mar ’13 – Gravity at 1018 so this has been pretty fast at fermenting, and it tastes rather good with quite a bit of smoke and the Brown/Amber/Choc malts definitely playing their parts, bitterness is coming through but not overly 🙂

*7th Apr ’13 – Gravity at 1018 still so chilling it down before bottling sometime next week.

*Bottled 10th Apr ’13 – with 76g White Sugar, tastes bloody good too 🙂

Amber Motueka – I should really be brewing for a Twitter #BlackIPAoff beer swap with @Broadfordbrewer & @BrotherLogic but I decided to use up the end of a sack of Lager Malt and use some of the wonderful Motueka hops I have stashed in the Hop-Freezer. Motueka works rather well as a dry-hop so I’ll be using up the remainder of the bag once initial fermentation has died down.
This will ‘hopefully’ be a nice Amber coloured Hoppy IPA-like beer with a nice malt presence and a firm smooth bitterness.  🙂

Fermentables:
Vienna Malt (Weyermann) – 40%
Lager Malt – 37.2%
Wheat Malt – 16%
Cara Aroma (Weyermann) – 3.7%
Cara Munich Type III (Wey – 3%

Hops:
Motueka (B Saaz) – 13.8 % @ 60 mins – 20g (FWH)
Magnum – 14.5 % @ 60 mins – 10g (FWH)
Motueka (B Saaz) – 13.8 % @ 15 mins – 20g
Motueka (B Saaz) – 13.8 % @ 0 mins – 40g

Dry Hops:
Motueka (B Saaz) – 20g (or whatever is left from the 100g packet)

Final Volume: 23 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.049
Final Gravity: 1.012
Alcohol Content: 4.8% ABV
Total Liquor: 33.3 Litres
Mash Liquor: 12 Litres
Mash Efficiency: 75 %
Bitterness: 55 EBU (Utilisation set to 25%)
Colour: 39 EBC
Mash: 60mins @ 66c
Boil: 60mins
Yeast: Safale US-05
Liquor Treatment: Burton Pale Ale using the Graham Wheeler treatment calculator

HLT temperature:
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Some of the malts:
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Gypsum (Calcium Sulphate) being weighed out:
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First Wort Hops and a small Sodium Chloride (Salt) addition in the Copper:
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Flameout hops and half a Protafloc tab, it ran off pretty clear so 1/2 is all you really need for 5 gallons:
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Hops steeped for 20-30mins with an occasional stir:
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Target of 1049, near enough:
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Wort dropping from copper into fermenting vessel, given a good thrash with a paddle and dry sprinkled the yeast:
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A wide shot of running to fermenter, the all important clock in the background:
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A no fuss brewday, everything works, hit gravity, yeast pitched, put to bed in the fermentation fridge for the first time!
Safale us-05 has a temperature range of 15-24c so I’ve set the cooling to come on at 24c and left the heating turned off so it can increase in temperature naturally.

*12 Nov ’11 FG  1012 reached, loose Dry Hopped with 20g of Motueka and set the fermentation fridge to cool to 17c.

*Bottled 18th Nov ’11 with 75g white sugar, tasting nice, nothing over-powering just nice.

*23rd Nov ’11 – About 1 week bottled taster, fruity with sweet malty bits, good mid-to-light-amber colour (Just been eating chocolate so maybe not the best pallet cleanser), maybe not the IPA-esque beer I was after but tasty, bitterness is smooth and pallet-coating. This beer would make a very nice Belgian ale with the appropriate yeast.

*1st Dec ’11 – now its had a bit more time in the bottle its drying out and the bitterness is coming through, its a lovely smooth bitterness. I’m happy with the results.

*17th Jan ’12 – This is a bloody good beer now 🙂

Imperial Smoked Porter – This is serving a couple of purposes; First is a Trial run of a big beer in my newly finished False bottom Mash tun; Second is using up some odd bags of malt and some older hops I had in the freezer and some other part bags of hops.
I’m not expecting the stated bitterness from my hops – http://www.wellhopped.co.uk/Product.htm so I’m going semi-worst case scenario and adjusting AA for age and storage.

Fermentables:
Pale Malt – 70.2%
Caramalt – 8.2%
Peat Smoked Malt, medium – 4.2%
Amber Malt – 3.9%
Oat Malt – 3.5%
Chocolate Malt, Pale – 2.3%
Crystal Wheat Malt – 2.4%
Chocolate Wheat Malt – 1.8%
Flaked Wheat – 1.6%
Chocolate Malt – 1.5%
Flaked Rye 0 EBC – 0.5%

Hops:
Bobek – 3.7 % @ 75 mins – 124g (FWH)
Admiral – 12 % @ 75 mins – 19g (FWH)
Herkules – 15.8 % @ 75 mins – 35g (FWH)
Brewers Gold – 9.1 % @ 10 mins – 68g
Cascade – 5.5 % @ 0 mins – 29g (Flame-out Steep for 20mins)
Saaz – 3.8 % @ 0 mins – 33g (Flame-out Steep for 20mins)
Simcoe – 12.9 % @ 0 mins – 20g (Flame-out Steep for 20mins)

Final Volume: 23 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.076
Final Gravity: 1.021
Alcohol Content: 7.2% ABV
Total Liquor: 36.8 Litres
Mash Liquor: 20.5 Litres
Mash Efficiency: 70 % (I collected 32L @ 1055 so hit efficiency but had too much liquor)
Bitterness: 121 EBU (I’m not expecting this as the bittering hops were fairly old so subtracting 30% from the AA will be more like 90EBU)
Colour: 140 EBC
Mashed for 90mins @ 66c
Boil for 75mins
Liquor treatment as per GW calc for General Purpose

Bigger bucket than normal with 8.5kg of malts:
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New mash tun full of hot liquor:
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Initial Mash a little high, cooled with cold liquor to 66c:
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Tidy brewsheet (version 3, other two are scibbly works in progress) along with late hops:
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Quite a heap of first Wort Hops in the copper along with the common salt addition:
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What lies beneath, mash leftovers under the mash screen:
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10 min hops going in:
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Break material clumping in the copper:
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Looks near as damn it to me (Showing 72 +2 divisions in the meniscus = 1076), not bad for a first outing of the new Mash Tun:
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I had 3.7 Litres in the new mash tun to just cover the false bottom, the first sparge top-up was a little over 3 litres so I didn’t top-up and subtracted the difference from the Second batch sparge. This was to take into account the liquor under the screen, I ended up with 32 Litres in the copper which i thought too much but by the end of the 75min boil I was at my predicted gravity so I must have worked things out right!

Thoughts on the False bottom:
The mash ran off very well and after a few jugs of recirculating it was also very clear.
After stirring the second sparge and running off I came back to the mash tun to find it had run a load of malt particles into the copper as the last of the mash drained out. I’ll have to keep an eye on it next time to stop this just as it starts to show bits coming through, or have a go a Fly sparging so as to not actually disturb the Mash bed and hopefully limit the amount of malt particles coming through.
New cleaning game, poking bits of malt out of the perforated stainless!

16th May ’11
The usual, Stout+S-04 ferment 🙂 :
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*Bottled 25th May ’11 with 71g of White sugar and a tiny sprinkle of Nottingham yeast into each bottle as a bit of a safety precaution as it had dropped very bright. Finished at 1016-1018 so about 7.7% ABV.

*4th JUne ’11 Taster bottle, tasting good the Peat Smoked malt works well with the Strength of this beer, Bitterness just right so I’m glad I adjusted the hop Alpha acids for my older hops.

I just finished building my 45L Igloo Coolbox with Stainless False Bottom its been a fair bit of grinding with an Angle Grinder to make the right shape to fit the moulding of the coolbox, finished off in a few places with some 5/16th beer-line for a snug fit and to fix a corner I took a bit too much off, Its all spaced off the bottom with stainless cap screws. I could have fixed the corner and put Beer-line all round the circumference but had done enough grinding to make-fit.

Some of the tools used:
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Drilled out Tank Connector with modified Elbow fitted so it is level with the flat base of the tun thanks to the coolbox moulding where the tap fits:
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Stainless Steel Cap Screws used as stand-offs so about 25-30mm up from bottom:
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Another Cap Screw in the centre to lift it out with:
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Outside with Tank Connector & Ball Valve fitted:
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False Bottom Fitted:
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I had to give the Perforated stainless a good soak and scrub in Washing Soda to remove all grease that came on it.
I have to say this was easier than cutting and soldering loads of bits of copper pipe… Just needs a test run now! Maybe a BIG beer or a Parti-Gyle brew.

Yesterday I took the short trip over to Elland Brewery, West Yorkshire to meet Gordon the head-brewer for a proper chat after our first brief initial meeting at work (Saltaire Brewery). Elland use the same original Thwaites brewery yeast as we do at Saltaire.

The Mash Tun & Fermenters:
Elland Brewery

Gordon’s enthusiasm and excitement for brewing beer is very obvious and I thoroughly enjoyed a good few hours of nattering with him, tasting a few from their retained samples, and looking round their 10 Barrel Brew House.
My personal favourite sample was his Brewers Reserve which he’d dry hopped with New Zealand Motueka hops (Though not available in the shops, this was just an experiment) yummy stuff.
Gordon tells me that the plant originally came from one of the Firkin Brew-Pubs, with its all wood cladding and copper-domed boil kettle. He has a lot more technical know-how than myself with his Chemistry background, and is really got a handle on the entire brewing process with accurate process measurement and documentation and good practice procedure.
Gordon and the guys from Elland are not doing too shabby with their recent SIBA awards for the 1872 Porter, getting the 2010 Winter Gold and the 2011 National Gold. You’ve gotta love a full complex dark beer!

Mash tun to the front with valentine, Copper boiler behind with Fermenters to the left:
Elland Brewery
The Man himself with his FV’s:
Elland Brewery

Hopefully Gordon is enjoying my Home brewed beers I left with him, you can catch up on his Tweets @GJMcKiernan

Building a 45 Litre Igloo Mash Tun

Each piece of the soldered manifold is made from 22mm copper pipe with un-soldered joints to allow disassembly and cleaning with a ‘cask tap cleaning brush’, the underside 1/3-1/2 of the copper tube is slotted with a 1mm Angle grinder disk.
The hole in the coolbox was made with a 21mm Q-max cutter, the tank connector was drilled out with a 15mm Blacksmiths drill (this would have been a lot easier with a Pillar drill and a Vice, but all I have is a crappy woodworking vice clamped to a wobbly table and a Cordless drill!)

Tools used were:
Pipe cutter
Solder, Flux, and Blow lamp
Round file
Flat file
Angle Grinder with 1mm Cutting disks
Scotch Brite pad
21mm Q-max cutter, with 8mm pilot drill
15mm Blacksmith’s drill
Cordless Drill / driver

Parts used were:
45litre Igloo coolbox
22mm Copper pipe
15mm copper pipe
6-off 22mm Equal Elbows
4-off 22mm Equal Tees
1-off 15x22x22mm Un-equal Tee
15mm Brass compression tank connector
15mm Brass Ball Valve

The Igloo coolbox which came from an ebay seller:
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Some of the manifold pieces cut and arranged:
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Soldered and separated:
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Soldered and attached:
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15mm Ball Valve tap fitted approx 11mm up from the inside base of the coolbox:
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Cleaned manifold:
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I found while fitting everything together that the Elbows were a bit more acute than 90 degrees which made it look all out of parallel, I fixed this by soldering it up with the removable end pieces on.
Everything was filled clean of burrs inside and out, excess solder removed, then scotch-brite pad used to polish up the copper. A thorough clean with a mild soda crystal solution gave it a final internal clean out. I later added a short bent turn-down spout from the ball valve with a 8mm reducer soldered to it.


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