Chopps Brewdays

Help Support The HomeBrew Forum:

chopps

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
604
Reaction score
526
Location
The People's Republic of Sandbach
Hi all,

I recently built a new set-up, so thought I'd start to document some brewdays here. I hope some things may be of interest to others.
I'll make the first post about the equipment that I'm brewing on, and then actual brewdays and photos in following posts.

My first all grain set up was an all-in-one Guten/Ace/Hopcat/Brewdevil etc clone that really got me brewing regularly as they're just so user friendly.
But what I really wanted was a Clawhammer Supply system, as I'd watched a lot of their videos and really liked the look, ease of maintenance and upgradability.
And it's what all the cool kids have :)

1613895719460.png

However... Their 10 US Gallon version is $899 (not so bad...) but as I would have to import if from the US, you can add 20% VAT, $199 shipping, 3% duty plus the usual UPS/Fedex Fee.
That $899 USD becomes £1200 GBP. It's a great system, but I don't think £1200 is good value.

So I sold my other system and made one instead.
Please say hello to my new friend, the 'Poorhammer' 56 Litre Brew in a Basket System.

1613896076483.png
1613897104355.png
1613898067422.png
1613898185549.png


The system consists of :
56L (15 US Gallon) Stainless Steel vessel
Stainless recirculation lid nozzle
2500W Dernord Tri-Clamp element
MP-15RM stainless head pump
Inkbird IPB-15S PID controller and temp probe
35cm x 35cm 300 micron stainless steel mesh basket
Stainless hop spider 300 micron
Copper immersion chiller

I bought the vessel un-drilled and added a 1.5" Tri Clamp bulkhead for the element, along with 3 x 22mm holes for the ball valve, temperature thermowell and spray nozzle.
All of the wet connections are QD type, and the controller is exactly the same as the Clawhammer controller, who use the same Inkbird but with a custom fascia.

The controller is usually advertised as 120V AC and the outlets on it for the pump and element are 120V US type sockets, as well as the power cord, but the unit is in fact designed to run 120/240V.
You need to remove the US style RCD/GFCI plug and replace with a UK plug, taking care that you still have an RCD breaker having done this.
I opted to not butcher the unit by adding IEC/kettle outlets and bought some US cables to rewire the pump and element instead.
Using UK mains, the unit is rated at 12A so that limits the element power. I chose a 2.5KW element for that reason.

If anyone is interested, let me know by DM and I can send the full parts list.
Also for anyone thinking of doing this, unless you really like sitting in a cold shed drilling holes for a whole day buy the vessel pre-drilled or with ports welded on.

First brewday to follow...
 
Last edited:

chopps

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
604
Reaction score
526
Location
The People's Republic of Sandbach
Actually, this is the second brew on my new kit. The first brew was a test run and I didn't take photos or document much, I was too busy checking for leaks and fiddling with settings. So this is the first proper brew #2

Oatmeal Stout
OG 1.052 EBU 34 and 5.3% ABV
Batch Volume 30.21L
Pre Boil Volume 33.21L

Based on my kit and expected efficiency and losses (all guesstimates) my bill is this :

4.82kg Maris Otter
680g Rolled oats
600g Medium Crystal
300g Chocolate Malt
300g Roasted Barley

30.6g Styrian Goldings
25.3g East Kent Goldings
25g Fuggles
10g Bramling Cross

Not 100% sure where I got the starting recipe from as it's been in my Brewfather recipes for ages, but I did fiddle with the hops as I wanted to use up some bag-ends

Ingredients
1613899610204.png


Some water additions - Gypsum, Epsom salt, Calcium Chloride to bring my rather empty water up to where a stout should be.
1613899655452.png


First problem encountered - there is no water level gauge on this vessel. Must have forgotten that minor detail when I built it...
So a quick calculation and some GCSE maths, I worked out that each 1 cm of depth gives me 1.2318 litres of water.
Note to self - add a level gauge.

Doughing in went a breeze, plenty of room there. Note that I'm doing a full volume mash and no-sparge just because I can now and couldn't before. That's why it might look a bit thin. So for a 6.7kg mash in 38.58 litres it looks like this.
Wouldn't want to go much higher than this to avoid boilovers.
Second note to self - don't go over 43L for the boil.
1613899712535.png


After about 10 mins, took a quick peep and a sample for pH.
1613899733635.png


Close enough.
1613901113077.png

After 60 mins I was still a bit below my target, did an iodine check and all good. At 60 mins gravity was short of target at 1.043 vs the 1.047 that I thought I would get to. But this brew really I'm still getting to understand my efficiency. I extended another 15 minutes from the planned 60 and got to 1.045. Close enough. I can set my mash efficiency to 70% with what I learned today.

Then forgot to mash out. Never mind.

Lift and drain for 20 minutes while the wort comes up to boil temp.
Resisting the temptation not to sparge ...
1613899785327.png


Here's the shrapnel. Straight into the garden composter.
1613899805968.png


In another post I showed a cooker hood modification that I made, if you're wondering what the big hose is for.
I also took this opportunity to clean the cooker hob to my wife's high standards.
Boiled for 60 mins, hops all in at 45. I recirculated the wort into the hop basket periodically. No idea if that works to improve utilisation but I did it anyway :)
1613899881780.png


1/3rd of a protafloc in at 15 mins along with the disconnected chiller, then at 0 mins pulled and drained the hops and started to cool down. Took about 35 mins to get to low 20's C which allowed me time to reassemble the hob burners and start to clean some bits up.

1613899922158.png


Drained to the FV at 20c, shake aeration then yeast in. I filled the FV to 23L and had another 3L of good wort, so some adjustments to starting volumes need to be made. I hate tipping out.

1613899943881.png


So. As I write we are bubbling nicely.

Final Numbers :
Target OG 1.052 - Actual 1.050
Target Volume 23L - Actual 23L + 3L spare
Target mash efficiency 73% - Actual 69.9%

Learns :
You can't adequately measure water volume in litres in the vessel with a Stanley tape measure and GCSE maths.
Protafloc clogs the hop filter.
Crocs with holes in the tops are great for burning your feet with drips of 100 C wort.
For no-sparge, 7kg brain bill maximum to ensure comfortable kettle space.

Cheers
 
Last edited:

Cheshire Cat

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2019
Messages
2,786
Reaction score
1,966
Location
Warrington
Looks a great setup where did you buy the grain basket? They are as rare as hen's teeth.
 

chopps

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
604
Reaction score
526
Location
The People's Republic of Sandbach
It took some finding @Cheshire Cat as all the UK stores had no stock of anything close.
I even asked a few metal fabricators as the ones you see on the internet were way to small for a 40cm diameter 46cm deep kettle.
I think typically the ‘standard’ basket size is 30cm diameter and 31cm deep with little 3cm legs. I needed 38cm diameter and at least 35cm deep with long legs to clear the element etc.

The best I found was 35 x 35 with 3cm legs so I went for it and extended the legs to 10cm with M5 304 stainless bolts and nuts so the basket is almost level with the top of the kettle.

05202D07-1902-4D0F-BEE1-008F9E10017B.jpeg


DF46BB80-F1A6-4543-8F8C-1990D5A2113D.jpeg


Then amazingly I found one on Amazon and ordered it too. So I have an unmodified spare now too.


As the basket is 35 diameter not 38 there’s a slight gap between the basket and the kettle, but perfectly fine.


image.jpg
 
Last edited:

GeorgieV

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2020
Messages
108
Reaction score
44
Hi @chopps, can you give me a hint on what nozzle you put on the lid. I'm thinking of building something similar to yours but have no idea about the nozzle needed for creating a good jet cone.
 

chopps

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
604
Reaction score
526
Location
The People's Republic of Sandbach
Hi Georgi,

I bought this in 1/2 BSP thread.

You also need a 1/2” silicone o-ring and a Stainless washer.

It’s not a wide angle spray, but just like the Clawhammer videos - I think it’s the same thing. Let me know if there are other aspects you want to know parts used etc.
 

chopps

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
604
Reaction score
526
Location
The People's Republic of Sandbach
Next Brewday complete.
Brewdog Punk IPA 2007-2010

I used the 'official' recipe that is now widely published. In my case I got it from Craft Beer for the Geeks.
Great book by the way.

Scaled recipe for my equipment :

OG 1.057 ABV 5.9% IBU 60
Expected Mash Efficiency 70%
Mash water 39.29 L
Target pre-boil gravity 1.052
Target pre-boil Volume 33.21L
Target Batch Volume 30.21L (Kettle)
Boil Duration 60 mins

7.41 kg Muntons Extra Pale Planet
Mash for 75 mins at 65C

60 minute hops
21.8g Ahtahnum 6% AA
19.3g Chinook 13% AA

30 minute hops
25g Chinook 13% AA
22.7g Crystal 4.5% AA

0 minute hops
39.3g Chinook 13% AA
25g Ahtanum 6% AA
25g Crystal 4.5% AA
25g Motueka 7% AA

Yeast Fermentis US-05 Dry

Still messing and learning about mash temperature on this equipment.
Set to 65C but +/- 2% around the mash. More low spots than high so I mashed for 30 mins at 65C and 66C for the rest.

IMG_2351.jpeg


Mash was uneventful. Gave it a couple of stirs at mid point in an attempt to massage my efficiency upwards. Didn't work.

IMG_2354.jpeg


IMG_2353.jpeg


Drained the basket and gave it a little squeeze with a big pan lid, no sparge today.
Target volume was 33.21L at 1.052. Ended up with 35L at 1.049. Something is wrong with my maths!
Or this grain only took 0.6kg per litre on board. I don't think that's likely.
I still haven't got a water level sight glass so I used a marked fermenter bucket when I filled it.
Must have over filled it to start with. I think?
I can boil the excess off and get the target gravity back maybe...?

A quick calculation and a boil extension added.

Hops into the spider at the right times (makes a change!)
The spider hangs quite high up in the kettle, so I periodically stood it on the bottom of the kettle to give the hops room, as some were leaf and quite bulky.

IMG_2356.jpeg


IMG_2357.jpeg


Protofloc in about 5 mins to go. Went for half a tablet. With hindsight, this was an F up.
Boil finished at 1.056 instead of the planned 1.057, I can live with that.

Very loose debris and not sinking much once chilled down. Well above the tap level.

IMG_2360.jpeg


Drained the first 5 mucky litres out into a spare fermenter until it ran clear then switched to another.
Only got to 16L in the FV before the debris at the bottom started to suck. This was a big boil and a bigger disappointment to only have 16L. I bit the bullet and 5L of dirty wort went in on top of the clear.

It's settled a bit in the fermenter now. Really don't like doing this but let's see how it goes...

After 30 mins
IMG_2361.jpeg
 

chopps

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
604
Reaction score
526
Location
The People's Republic of Sandbach
Some of the local South Cheshire homebrewers and members of the forum are having a little just-for-fun contest in mid-April so I’m pushing it for time with this one.

I’ve done a Boddingtons clone before using a 1968 recipe but wanted something a little more recent, but not the current creamflow version. Found a recipe from @Orfy on another forum described as “the winning recipe to duplicate the cask Boddington's in it heyday when brewed at the Strangeway's Brewery”. So it’s a winner already!

Orfy’s recipe :
Brew Type: All GrainStyle: English Ordinary Bitter
Brewer: OrfyBatch Size: 23.00 L
Boil Volume: 30.50 LBrewhouse Efficiency:80.0 %
Prepare 40.21 L water for brewing
Prepare Ingredients for Mash
3.30 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain
0.25 kg Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain
0.12 kg Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain
0.03 kg Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain
Single: Add 9.66 L of water at 75.0 C
60 min - Hold mash at 68.0 C for 60 min
Add first wort hops to boiler at start of sparge
Amount Item Type 25.00 gm Northern Brewer [8.50%] (60 min) (First Wort Hop) Hops
-- Drain Mash Tun
-- Batch Sparge Round 1: Sparge with 17.78 L of 77.0 C water.
-- Batch Sparge Round 2: Sparge with 9.77 L of 77.0 C water.
-- Add water to achieve boil volume of 30.50 L
-- Estimated Pre-boil Gravity is: 1.030 SG

Boil for 60 min

Start to Boil.
15 min into boil Add 25.00 gm Goldings, East Kent [4.00%] (45 min)
Flame out 25.00 gm Goldings, East Kent [4.00%] (60 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep)
-- Cool wort to fermentation temperature
-- Add 3.00 L water (as needed) to achieve volume of 23.00 L
-- Siphon wort to primary fermenter and aerate wort.
-- Add Ingredients to Fermenter
Amount Item Type 1 Pkgs Youngs Generic Ale Yeast Yeast-Ale
(Estimate: 1.040 SG)
10 days Ferment in primary for 5 days at 20.0 C
(Estimate: 1.012 SG)
Bottle with corn sugar: 75
Age for 2 Weeks at 17.0 C
I scaled this for my kit and here we go. Oh, and I got a new stainless trolley rather than brewing on crates.

8EA05B47-A6D2-4BDA-805F-74791A003EBE.jpeg


Aiming for 23L in the fermenter at OG 1.040 and decided to mash at 67C with a good stir at 15 min intervals and my goal was 1.036 pre-boil.

583C01D7-0FCE-4CB3-90C0-A9F039BEB9FA.jpeg


24EDB720-C76C-47FB-B45C-F284C02A9A00.jpeg


After 75 mins and 4 x stirs at 15 mins apart I was at 1.042 which was 6 points higher than expected. I had assumed the same mash efficiency as last time when I didn’t stir much - 70%. Actual mash efficiency was 80% this time.

So, to water down and recalculate hops or go with an OG of probably 1.046 instead of 1.042? ABV will be higher but I decided not to dilute. Expected ABV will now be 4.5% instead of 3.9%. I can live with that, this time.
49B2B737-8ADB-4B40-89BC-84FAB8598ABD.jpeg


Drained with no sparge and was also 1 litre up. Only 0.62L per Kg absorbed.

First wort hops in and boil started for 60 mins. The next hop additions and timings were uneventful and at boil end I was bang on the new 1.046 target.

5169638F-C3DE-44AC-8FAE-E522334AE0C0.jpeg


Way too much protofloc last time, so this time I weighed exactly 0.8g and added at 15 mins. This was much easier to deal with after cooling down with the immersion chiller then settling out for 1 hour before decanting into the FV.

7FFCDC89-9024-432B-BF25-7898E64274E0.jpeg


Looks quite dark in the photo, it’s paler in reality. Nottingham yeast in, will be kept at 19C, and let’s see what happens next.
 
Last edited:

Xaverix

New Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2021
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Hi! Amazing setup!

I'm working on very similar setup (inspired from Clawhammer Supply as well).
I have already bought 43L pot, 2500W tri-clamp heating element, pump and plate chiller.

I see that you're using the same pump as I got. Can you tell me what is the spray nozzle that you have? I'm buying most things from Aliexpress and there's quite poor selection of spray nozzles. I wonder what diameter would work the best.

I found this seller, it seems like 1/2 inch nozzle with capacity size of 16 or 25 would work quite well but I'm still not sure.

Sorry for asking for it in the main thread but I just created my account and I'm unable to start private conversation.

Thanks!
 

chopps

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
604
Reaction score
526
Location
The People's Republic of Sandbach
No problem Xaverix and welcome to the forum. I got the nozzle from ebay.


Pick the 1/2 BSP thread version. It’s compatible with 1/2NPT too.

Let me know how it all turns out and if you need any other bits finding.

I’ll just add, for anyone reading this in future with a similar goal to clone the Clawhammer system, the 250v 2500w element is JUST powerful enough for a 31 litre boil. Any more liquid volume than this may need more watts, and then the Inkbird will not be suitable.

Cheers
 
Last edited:

Xaverix

New Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2021
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Thank you so much!

I'm planning to finish the system in 2/3 months, i'll let you know how it turned out :)

Have you measured how many liters per minute can be recirculated with this spray nozzle?
 

Latest posts

Top