Colm89’s Brewdays

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colm89

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Having a quiet morning so thought I’d start a thread to document my brewdays from the beginning of this year!

17th January 2021: Imperial Stout - All Grain BIAB with no sparge

Batch Size: 15 litres
Boil Time: 60 mins

Mash water: 22.19L
Total water: 22.19L
Boil volume: 18.15L

Vitals:
Pre-boil gravity: 1.080
Original gravity: 1.100
Final gravity: 1.020
IBU: 84

Mash:
65 Celsius for 90 minutes

Malts:
4.45kg (65.6%) Weyermann pale ale
590g (8.7%) crisp brown malt
590g (8.7%) Weyermann Munich I
470g (6.9%) crisp black
190g (2.8%) crisp amber
70g (1%) crisp crystal light

Other:
420g (6.2%) light brown sugar - Boil (10min)

Hops:
48g (84 ibu) columbus - Boil (60min)

Misc:
16g yeast nutrient - Boil (15min)

Yeast:
Lallemand Nottingham Ale

This recipe is a relatively close clone of the kernel imperial brown stout from here, although upon plugging it into Brewfather it doesn’t exactly fit the profile of an imperial stou, but I had a go anyway as I’ve heard it’s good!

Brew day went fine, first time brewing a beer this big so efficiency wasn’t great (mash 54%, brewhouse 42%), resulting in an OG of 1.084. I had planned to split it into a 10 litre batch and a 5 litre batch and add a splash of whiskey to the smaller one, but due to time constraints I ended up just putting 11 litres into one fermenter and pouring the rest down the drain.











I think this will be the last brew I’ll do on my buffalo for a while as I’m currently renting with no outdoor space, and have growing concerns about the amount of steam a bigger brew kicks out. With lockdown it’s harder to share beer anyway, and I’m struggling to get through the last few bigger batches I’ve made.

My intention was to ferment at 16.5 Celsius for 2 weeks, but I went to take a sample 4 days in and was greeted with this:



So I racked it to two 5 litre carboys and added 25ml of bushmills whiskey to the one with the tape on the handle, and returned them to the ferminator at 16.5 Celsius:



I took a gravity reading with the leftovers and it came in at 1.014, which was the revised target fg based on lower og, giving a beer around 9.2% abv.

At day 7 I moved them to the bottom of a wardrobe in a spare bedroom to condition for another week or so, and free up space in the ferminator for yesterdays brew. Where I am, ambient temperature is pretty low at the minute (12-15 Celsius), but I’ve sort of lost hope for the stout by now and will be pleasantly surprised if it turns out ok.
 

colm89

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24th January 2021: Leftovers APA - All Grain BIAB with sparge

Batch Size: 8 litres
Boil Time: 60 mins

Mash water: 6.01L
Sparge water: 4.91L @ 65 Celsius
Total water: 10.92L
Boil volume: 10.33L

Vitals:
Pre-boil gravity: 1.044
Original gravity: 1.055
Final gravity: 1.014
IBU: 43

Mash:
65 Celsius for 60 minutes
75 Celsius for 10 minutes

Malts:
932g (46.5%) crisp Vienna malt
632g (31.5%) crisp cara malt
288g (14.4%) weyermann carapils
152g (7.6%) crisp maris otter extra pale

Hops:
3g centennial - first wort
3g mosaic - first wort
6g centennial - boil (15min)
6g mosaic - boil (15min)
12g centennial - boil (0min)
12g mosaic - boil (0min)
4.8g citra - boil (0min)

Misc:
0.5 whirlfloc tablet
8.85g yeast nutrient - Boil (15min)

Yeast:
Safale s-04

I am conscious this is a very very random mix, but the intentions of this brew were twofold:
- firstly, I was keen to use up all of the grains I had knocking around from previous batches, before I became aware of the custom grain kits geterbrewed do, and plugging in all of my ingredients gave a 95% match with the American pale ale style on brewfather.
- secondly, I am going back to smaller stovetop batches for a while and wanted to nail down all of the important numbers (efficiency, grain absorption, boil off rate, etc etc), and it seemed now was the best time to do it, with a random batch

I opted for a batch sparge (5 mins dunked in the sparge water), and hit a decent efficiency (mash 75%, brewhouse 71%), resulting in a pre-boil gravity of 1.048, and overall found brewing the smaller batch on the stovetop much cleaner and low stress, particularly with how quickly it cooled!













As mentioned previously, I evicted the stout from the ferminator and now have this fermenting at 19 degrees for the next two weeks, but will take a sample at day 4 and again at day 6.
 

UKSkydiver

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How do you get such large images?
I can see that they're hosted in Flickr, so do you use "insert image / URL" and point to the Flickr pic?
Cheers
 

colm89

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How do you get such large images?
I can see that they're hosted in Flickr, so do you use "insert image / URL" and point to the Flickr pic?
Cheers
Yeah I host them on Flickr, and then on the bottom right of the image in Flickr I click share and then share bbcode, and paste that link in here!
 

colm89

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I took a reading on the leftovers apa on Wednesday (3 days of fermentation) and it had hit the target fg of 1.014, so I left it another 2 days and checked again just now to see no change:



its now cold crashing til Sunday!
 

colm89

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Busy weekend for me!

30th January 2021: Bottled/kegged my leftovers apa and imperial stout

Put 5 litres of apa into the mini keg, hit it with 30psi for 24 hours and now it’s conditioning at serving pressure til next sunday. Managed to get one more bottle out of it.

Got 7 bottles each out of the imperial stout. Basic one finished at 9.5%, whiskey one a little higher. Tasted fabulously chocolatey and malty! See you in March for a sampler!







A lot of cleanup followed!
 

samale

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We must arrange a swap at some stage if you fancy it. I could use my sister address in Donegal. The stouts sound class. I need to get another one on soon 👍
 

colm89

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31 January 2021: Dupont saison clone

I hadn’t planned to brew this weekend but all of my stars aligned (GEB delivery came early and all of my fermenters were free), so I carved a few hours out today to brew a saison modelled on the dupont recipe. I will caveat this with the fact that I have never had this, but a lot of googling revealed this as one of the highest rated ones that I could find a recipe for, so I copied it.

Batch Size: 8 litres
Boil Time: 60 mins

Mash water: 65.95L
Sparge water: 5.63L @ 65 Celsius
Total water: 11.48L
Boil volume: 10.44L

Vitals:
Pre-boil gravity: 1.043
Original gravity: 1.053
Final gravity: 1.005
IBU: 28

Mash:
66 Celsius for 60 minutes

Malts:
1.6kg (82.1%) weyerman bohemian pilsner
100g (5.1%) weyerman Vienna malt
100g (5.1%) weyermann caramunich I
100g (5.1%) weyermann dark wheat malt
50g (2.6%) weyermann munich II

Hops:
15g east Kent golding - boil (60 min)
7.5g Styrain Golding - boil (5 min)

Misc:
0.5 whirlfloc tablet
8.44g yeast nutrient - Boil (15min)

Yeast:
lallemand belle saison

not totally sure what happened but I was quite a way off my target pre boil and original gravity, and the wort was a lot lot darker than I expected. Confused to the point that maybe there was a mix up with the grains, but it’s too late to worry about that now!

Wasnt sure how to ferment with belle saison so have gone with 20 degrees til it ferments out then ramp up to 24 by 1 degree a day, hold for a day, and cold crash.









 

colm89

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Lost track of this thread a little bit!

Bottled the saison last Sunday, which finished at 4.9%, quite a bit under the 6.3% target. I can only assume given how much darker it was than I expected that something was wrong with the custom grain kit I ordered. Part of me hopes it’s a nice beer so my time was not wasted, but on the other hand I hope it’s only mediocre as I’ll have no way of repeating it if it’s nice ha ha ha.







 
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colm89

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15 February 2021: Dead Pony Club Clone

I have sort of fallen out of love with IPA’s recently, but always liked dead pony club, and needed something sessionable so thought I’d have a go at a clone of a beer I knew and enjoyed for a change. Had Monday off and a new ss brewtech brew bucket mini had just arrived, so got cracking on a small brew.

Batch Size: 8 litres
Boil Time: 60 mins

Mash water: 6.5L
Sparge water: 4.8L @ 65 Celsius
Total water: 11.3L
Boil volume: 10.44L

Vitals:
Pre-boil gravity: 1.031
Original gravity: 1.042
Final gravity: 1.008
IBU: 38

Mash:
67 Celsius for 60 minutes

Malts:
1.1kg (76.9%%) crisp Maris otter
250g (17.5%) crisp cara malt
80g (5.6%) crisp crystal light

Hops:
2g citra - boil (60 min)
2g simcoe - boil (60 min)
6g citra - boil (10 min)
6g simcoe - boil (10 min)
30g citra - dry hop (4 days)
25g mosaic - dry hop (4 days)
20g simcoe - dry hop (4 days)

Misc:
0.5 whirlfloc tablet
8.38g yeast nutrient - Boil (15min)

Yeast:
Fermentis us-05

Not many pics from this brew day as I was under time constrpaints:







Hit all the correct numbers per the recipe which is nice, but I think this is the last 8 litre stovetop batch with a sparge that I’ll do, as my hob struggles to get a good rolling boil with nearly 11 litres of wort. I’ll go back to full volume, no sparge in the buffalo next time as that will enable me to brew 11 litres of final volume to maximise the fermenter!

By day 4 (today), it’s just above target final gravity, so I’ve added the dry hop and will aim to keg/bottle on Tuesday!



 

colm89

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Session IPA hit 97% attenuation on Friday so hit it with the dry hop, with the intention to begin a 24 hour cold crash on Monday, hit fg on Sunday and no change Monday so started the crash to 2 degrees about 11am. Sample tasted absolutely delicious.

Got everything ready to bottle today at about 5pm only to open my fermentation chamber and find it had sucked up about 500-600ml of star san through the blowoff tube. I had read so much about this happening but never considered it happening to me (always used an air lock, first time with blowoff because new kit).

Bottled it anyway but the more I think about it, I’ll likely just dump it. 600ml of starsan in 8 litres of beer is quite a lot.

Lesson learned!
 

colm89

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Sorry, using Brewfather terminology, what I mean it was 97% of the way to fg (it was at 1.009 when target fg was 1.008). Probably should have said 97% fermented?
 

colm89

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25 February 2021: Short and Shoddy Stovetop APA

My afternoon freed up a bit work-wise yesterday, and I had a GEB custom grain kit for an 8 litre batch of American pale ale in the store that I had planned to brew this weekend, so I decided to repurpose it for a “short and shoddy” style brew in an afternoon, hoping to make up for the dumped batch earlier in the week.

Having played around with options on Brewfather, I decided on a smaller volume with the same amount of grain to counteract the loss of efficiency from a shorter mash, which I estimated relatively accurately to be about 65% mash efficiency. The upside to the lower volume of water was quicker heat up time and quicker cooling time.

My plan at the outset was a 20 minute full volume mash at an average of 66 degrees, with a 20 minute boil.

Batch Size: 7 litres
Boil Time: 20 mins

Mash water: 9.13L
Total water: 9.13L
Boil volume: 7.96L

Vitals:
Pre-boil gravity: 1.047
Original gravity: 1.051
Final gravity: 1.010
IBU: 40

Mash:
Average 66 Celsius for 20 minutes

Malts:
1.72kg (92.5%) crisp Maris otter
90g (4.8%) crisp cara malt
50g (2.7%) crisp cara gold malt

Hops:
8g columbus - boil (20 min)
9g amarillo - boil (5 min)
9g mosaic - boil (5 min)
25g citra - dry hop (4 days)
17g Amarillo - dry hop (4 days)

Misc:
0.9g cacl2
1.67g mgso4
1.99g caso4
0.5 whirlfloc tablet
8.38g yeast nutrient - Boil (15min)

Yeast:
Fermentis us-05

By the end of the 20 minute mash the numbers were a little on the low side so I actually let it mash for closer to 30 mins, ending up at 1.041. I squeezed the bag like it owed me money, and got close to 8 litres of pre boil wort, ending up with 7 litres at 1.050 into the fermenter, which was close enough to what I had planned!

Ultimately I have traded 1 litre of wort for a 2 hour brew day from turning on the hob to packing my kit away! The wife never suspected a thing when she arrived home to me still sat at my desk!











 

colm89

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I sort of forgot about updating this for the last brew, but I dry hopped it on Sunday 28Feb, and started cold crashing with a rag soaked in starsan over the bung hole on 2nd March. I filled 4 bottles and put the rest in my ikegger mini keg on 3rd March. So far the kegged beer has been delicious!
 

colm89

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07 March 2021: California Common

First brew day on the hacked together buffalo with recirculation and PID.

Batch Size: 11 litres
Boil Time: 60 mins

Mash water: 15.31L
Total water: 15.31L
Boil volume: 13.46L

Vitals:
Pre-boil gravity: 1.043
Original gravity: 1.051
Final gravity: 1.014
IBU: 36

Mash:
65 Celsius for 60 minutes

Malts:
2.28kg (76.5%) weyermann pale malt
580g (19.5%) crisp vienna malt
90g (3%) crisp medium crystal
30g (1%) crisp chocolate malt

Hops:
9g northern brewer - boil (60 min)
17g northern brewer - boil (15 min)
17g northern brewer - boil (1 min)

Misc:
3.9g cacl2
1.6g mgso4
3.2g caso4
0.5 whirlfloc tablet
11.5 yeast nutrient - Boil (15min)

Yeast:
wyeast 2112

Last time I done a brew of this size in the buffalo I hit a mash efficiency of 60%, however that was without recirculating or temperature regulation, so I over conservatively built the recipe on that efficiency. How wrong was I! It ended up more like 77% (1.055 SG), so I was looking at a much much stronger beer. Thankfully, one thing I hadn’t considered when building the recipe was the much higher boil off rate with the vigorous boil in the buffalo, so I topped up with 3L of untreated tap water to bring me within 1 point of the pre boil gravity (1.043 SG). That all said I was still 7 points up on the target OG post boil (1.058 SG), so it’ll still be slightly stronger than planned.

Overall the first brew in the new system went off mostly without a hitch, however I’m not sure I’ll use it again. The bag seemed to smother the bazooka filter a couple of times and stop wort flowing into the pump, which was a bit annoying, and I felt like I had to stand and watch it the entire time. I have done a few brews where I mashed in a small insulated mash tun, which I enjoyed on the basis that there are no fittings or pumps to clog or leak, and no element running that could burn. Once it’s filled you can go off and do other things worry free, with the odd check in to stir it.

Anyway, I chilled to 18 degrees with my immersion chiller, and popped it in my ferminator to get it to 16 degrees before pitch 1 pack of wyeast 2112, which in hindsight Brewfather seems to think is under pitched, but its bubbling away happily after 12 hours. I’m planning to raise to 18 degrees for a day or two at the end of fermentation, but tbc if I bother with a cold crash.

Anyway, some pics:













 

colm89

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Despite fermenting almost at ale temps, the Wyeast 2112 took a while longer than yeasts I’m used to before it finished! By day 5 it had hit target final gravity so I bumped the temperature up from 16 degrees to 19 degrees, planning to check back in two days to confirm it was finished, and start cold crashing. Two days later it had dropped another two points, so I checked again another two days later to find it had gone even further again. It eventually finished 4 points lower than predicted with 82% attenuation. I cold crashed for 24 hours and bottled it last Friday.







 

colm89

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21 March 2021: Pale Ale

Batch Size: 11 litres
Boil Time: 60 mins

Mash water: 17.5L
Total water: 17.5L
Boil volume: 15.5L

Vitals:
Pre-boil gravity: 1.039
Original gravity: 1.048
Final gravity: 1.010
IBU: 37

Mash:
67 Celsius for 60 minutes

Malts:
1.73kg (66%) crisp maris otter
380g (14.5%) crisp cara malt
380g (14.5%) oats
130g (5%) crisp crystal light

Hops:
2g citra - boil (60 min)
2g simcoe - boil (60 min)
12g citra - boil (10 min)
12g simcoe - boil (10 min)
32g citra - dry hop (4 days)
27g mosaic - dry hop (4 days)
22g simcoe - dry hop (4 days)

Misc:
1.7g cacl2
1.8g mgso4
1.8g caso4
0.5 whirlfloc tablet
11.5 yeast nutrient - Boil (15min)

Yeast:
us05

These ingredients were ordered for a dead pony clone at the same time as the California common ingredients with an assumed 60% efficiency, so it wouldn’t have been totally true to the original anyway, but I decided to chuck in a large % of oats relatively last minute to bump everything up a bit. I have also since last brew day acquired a mash basket and done away with the bag, which meant a completely hitch free brew day this week! I was 2 points down on gravity at each step, but not sure that is down to actual mash efficiency or due to a discrepancy in what the oats added to it vs what Brewfather assumes, but regardless, it was close enough! The PID kept mash temperatures rock steady, within 0.2 of a degree either side of 67!

The only hiccup was that I couldn’t find my hop bag for the boil so just bunged the hops into the boil. They of course blocked the bazooka when it came to transfer to FV, so I just tipped the whole lot in, trub and all. My FV is about 1.5 litres more full than intended so expecting something to blow out through the blow off, but that’s what it’s there for!

Yeast was bubbling away less than 12 hours later so will check it in a few days to time my dry hop!















And finished out with a bottle of saison that was brewed earlier this year, which turned out awesome and will definitely be brewed again!

 

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