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Old 28-10-2016, 11:18 AM   #1
nigelnorris
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Default Brewday Chez Nige; AKA ACE boiler + Inkbird playday

At last the temperature in my kitchen has remained below 20C for a week so I reckon today's the day to get my first brew on since the temperatures went up in June.

Lots of requests in the big thread for help using the ACE BIAB style so here's my interpretation, I'm not putting it in the big ACE thread because that's so big now it's getting difficult to find stuff.

I have the 1600W version. A couple of points about the ACE. No, my ACE, your mileage might vary:

- I don't use the temperature control on it, mine's useless, hence the Inkbird. The new models have a nice digital control, no idea how good that is yet.
- I don't even trust the timer enough to rely on it, I make sure to have an alternate source of timekeeping.
- For brews like this one, with lots of hop pellets, I've given up on the bazooka filter and removed it altogether. Trying a big filter bag as a hop spider today, should improve things.

That said I think the ACE is great. it's a great introduction to the hobby and has already made me loads of good quality homebrew.

Also those lovely folks at Inkbird have given me a 308S to have a go on so props to the Inkbird folks and I'll be fitting in as much product placement as I can manage on their behalfs.

Pale Ale
Style TBC [will be a bit hoppy]

Recipe Specs
----------------
Batch Size (L): 17.0
Total Grain (kg): 3.513
Total Hops (g): 151.00
Original Gravity (OG): 1.045 (°P): 12.6
Final Gravity (FG): 1.009 (°P): 2.6
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 4.8 %
Colour (SRM): 10.5 (EBC): 19
Bitterness (IBU): 50.3 (Tinseth)
Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 70
Boil Time (Minutes): 60

Grain Bill
----------------
3 kg United Kingdom - Maris Otter Pale (85.71%)
0.25 kg United Kingdom - Amber (7.14%)
0.25 kg United Kingdom - Crystal 50L (7.14%)

Hop Bill
----------------
10.0 g Chinook Pellet (13% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil) (0.7 g/L)
10.0 g Ahtanum Pellet (6% Alpha) @ 30 Minutes (Boil) (0.7 g/L)
10.0 g Ahtanum Pellet (6% Alpha) @ 5 Minutes (Boil) (0.7 g/L)
16.0 g Amarillo Pellet (8.6% Alpha) @ 5 Minutes (Boil) (1.1 g/L)
15.0 g Cascade Pellet (7% Alpha) @ 5 Minutes (Boil) (1 g/L)
12.0 g Chinook Pellet (13% Alpha) @ 5 Minutes (Boil) (0.8 g/L)
16.0 g Simcoe Pellet (12.7% Alpha) @ 5 Minutes (Boil) (1.1 g/L)
15.0 g Ahtanum Pellet (6% Alpha) @ 0 Days (Dry Hop) (1 g/L)
16.0 g Amarillo Pellet (8.6% Alpha) @ 0 Days (Dry Hop) (1.1 g/L)
15.0 g Cascade Pellet (7% Alpha) @ 0 Days (Dry Hop) (1 g/L)
16.0 g Simcoe Pellet (12.7% Alpha) @ 0 Days (Dry Hop) (1.1 g/L)

Misc Bill
----------------

Single step Infusion at 67°C for 60 Minutes.
Fermented at 19°C with Safale - American Ale Yeast US-05

Recipe Generated with Brewer's Friend, it's pretty cool, go get it is my advice.


Before:




Aiming for a 15L batch so I've started by chucking 20L of cold water in there. Time to go do some chores while I wait for the Inkbird to let me know when 69 degrees has arrived. [The eagle eyed will see that the display says 59, don't worry chaps that was just a random entry, it's fixed now]

===============================================

Alarm's just gone off, took about 40 minutes to get tap water from @ 15C up to 69C. It's a nice loud alarm too, you really can wander off and do something random, you'll easy hear it from another room or over the telly or something.

False bottom was already in place, so first goes the bag then the 3.5kg grain bill, stirred not shaken.





Mashed in 3.5kg of grain, temperature shows 67-ish, about right. Note the big spoon, if you're stuck for ideas it's this one: perfect size, when you drop it in the handle is level with the top of the boiler, so no worries about losing it in the boil somewhere. 18" it says in the ad so I guess that's the minimum size stirrer to aim for.



Gave it a bit of a stir after 30 mins. Inkbird says 66.8, it's lost about 0.5C in half an hour. That's with the lid not even seated properly to let the temp sensor probe in. Will have ended up doing the whole hour between 66 and 67 so that's ok.




60 minute mash time is up. Inkbird shows a final temperature of 66.5C. The ACE insulation is pretty good, less than one degree lost across an hour, with the lid not even on properly, in a kitchen with ambient temp below 20C.
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Old 28-10-2016, 02:31 PM   #2
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Time to unplug the Inkbird and just let the boiler roll on. Meanwhile I'm getting some water ready for a dunk sparge. 75C or thereabouts, just enough to cover the grain in a 15L FV.



I don't go overboard getting all of the water out of the grain when I lift it from the ACE, and it takes about 2.5L of water from the kettle to cover the grain in its bucket. Shake it about a bit then leave it till the ACE is nearly boiling.



Shake it about a bit, squeeze it out, dump the grain in the sink and I have about 5L of wet stuff to go back into the boiler. The grain goes into my compost bin.





===============================================

Takes about 40 minutes to get from 67C to boiling.

Time for hops. In case my scales ever pack up I checked, a heaped teaspoon of pellets weights exactly 5g.



I've tried various methods of using pellets, loose, little nylon bags, large muslin bags, none quite right. Today I'm giving a new method a go. A large, fine [100 micron], filter bag used as a hop spider. [Weighed down with teaspoons, naturally]. If this works best I'll invest in a proper stainless one.





15 minutes to go lob a teaspoon of irish moss in there. 5 minutes to go, 70g of aroma hops. All that in one little jar really does smell good, wonder what fresh leaf hop must be like.



Doesn't look so clever post-boil though:

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Old 28-10-2016, 02:31 PM   #3
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60 minute boil done, time for rapid cooling.

Detailed instructions on how to make a copper coil cooler that works [almost] as well as any you'll buy retail. It don't look nice but it's surprising how quick it gets the job done:

- bend a load of copper tube up so that it fits inside your ACE
- jam a couple of lengths of appropriately dimensioned tubing onto the ends of the copper
- stick a hozelock [other choices of fitment are available] on one end. That goes to the tap, the other one goes in the sink.







Time for the Inkbird again. Put the probe back in, set an alarm for 18C, sit and have a cup of tea and update this thread a bit.

.

Once it's down to 19C it's time to move into the fermenting bucket. Last time I brewed I used muslin bags for the hops, then put a bag over the pipe to see what cam out, and the bag was full. This time I put the bag on again and it came out empty. Not only that but almost no residuel on the false bottom. So the hop filter worked a treat, just have to hope that 100 micron isn't so fine that it's filtered useful stuff out too. Soon see.









The FB normally copmes out with 1/4 inch of crud completely covering it and slowing down the draining process.





In fact there was so little mess that I got quite a lot more wort out than usual, I've amended the recipe to account for that.
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Old 28-10-2016, 02:37 PM   #4
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Done by 5.30, so that's a five hour brewday, but I've got loads done around the house during the gaps.

Last little section.

Safale US-05, no need for hydrating or culturing, just rip open the packet and sprinkle on.



Forgot about my other new toy for the day. Now winter's coming there's been a bunch of threads around keeping fermentation temp sensible. Since Inkbird fixed me up with monitoring gear I've opted for a heat belt to do the donkey work. Got a Young's one, it's the highest rated on Amazon, but I got mine from eBay for a better price and quicker delivery.



The finished product, tucked up in its cupboard in the kitchen. The washing machine doesn't generate much heat so that's ok. I've never had any bubbles from the airlock in that bucket so the lid obviously doesn't fit well, so I've used the airlock hole to dangle the Inkbird probe and padded it to keep it insect safe. Should be ok I reckon.

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Old 30-10-2016, 10:41 AM   #5
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im guessing that when you used the inkbird at the start,it was just for the thermometer ,you didnt have the boiler plugged in to it,
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Old 30-10-2016, 11:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yeastinfection View Post
im guessing that when you used the inkbird at the start,it was just for the thermometer ,you didnt have the boiler plugged in to it,
I did have the boiler through the Inkbird while waiting for mash temp, that way if the alarm went off but I was out of earshot the Inkbird would hold it at the right temperature anyway.
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Old 30-10-2016, 01:04 PM   #7
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i was under the impression it wasnt man enough to run a boiler?
i wanted to do that with mine but bottled it.
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Old 30-10-2016, 03:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yeastinfection View Post
i was under the impression it wasnt man enough to run a boiler?
i wanted to do that with mine but bottled it.
It won't run the MK1 2500W ACE because it's 2000W rated. The MK2 1600W version is fine.

Anyone who buys the new MK3 900/1200/2500W switchable version is going to have to be careful if they use it with an Inkbird.
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Old 30-10-2016, 05:25 PM   #9
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Default Ace boiler

You only need a solid state relay, SSR. They are about �£4 off of eBay
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Old 30-10-2016, 06:05 PM   #10
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You only need a solid state relay, SSR. They are about ��£4 off of eBay
And the knowledge and confidence to wire one up, that's the difficult bit.
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