Cushyno Brewdays etc..

Help Support The HomeBrew Forum:

cushyno

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
504
Reaction score
208
Location
Ormskirk
It's maybe time to start my own brewday thread. Today I do my 15th all-grain brewday, and what better time to consider doing a write-up than when I'm already half way through. That'll probably be typical of how things will be around here - sporadic, messy and nonsensical.

So here goes...

It's roughly a Best Bitter by the numbers. And it's had 45 minutes in the mash tun. Time to remove the freshly poured Brown Porter (AG14), and get sparging under way.
rps20191020_191943.jpg


First runnings in FV, batch sparging in coolbox with 14l of water at just below 75degC.
rps20191020_192026.jpg

rps20191020_192212.jpg


First running now in the Peco boiler and set for maximum heating. I'd better move this outside before it heats up, to avoid a steamy kitchen!
rps20191020_192147.jpg


Recipe to follow.
 

cushyno

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
504
Reaction score
208
Location
Ormskirk
AG15 Best Bitter
Special/Best/Premium Bitter

Recipe Specs
----------------
Batch Size (L): 23.0
Total Grain (kg): 5.150
Total Hops (g): 59.00
Original Gravity (OG): 1.045 (°P): 11.2
Final Gravity (FG): 1.011 (°P): 2.8
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 4.42 %
Colour (SRM): 8.6 (EBC): 16.9
Bitterness (IBU): 34.4 (Tinseth)
Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 65
Boil Time (Minutes): 45

Grain Bill
----------------
3.400 kg United Kingdom - Pale 2-Row (66.02%)
0.500 kg BESTMALZ Munich (9.71%)
0.500 kg German - Vienna (9.71%)
0.500 kg Rolled Oats (9.71%)
0.250 kg United Kingdom - Dark Crystal 80L (4.85%)

Hop Bill
----------------
15.0 g Summit Pellet (18.5% Alpha) @ 45 Minutes (First Wort) (0.7 g/L)
10.0 g East Kent Goldings Pellet (5% Alpha) @ 5 Minutes (Boil) (0.4 g/L)
10.0 g Fuggles Pellet (4.5% Alpha) @ 5 Minutes (Boil) (0.4 g/L)
12.0 g East Kent Goldings Pellet (5% Alpha) @ 1 Minutes (Boil) (0.5 g/L)
12.0 g Fuggles Pellet (4.5% Alpha) @ 1 Minutes (Boil) (0.5 g/L)

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

Single step Infusion at 66°C for 45 Minutes.
Fermented at 19°C with Safale - English Ale Yeast S-04
 

cushyno

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
504
Reaction score
208
Location
Ormskirk
Chiller went in a little late, so made this a 50 minute boil instead. Late hop additions went in at 45 mins and 49 mins.

Newly enhanced chiller. Started life as a single coil and came with a kit from The HBC. With another 10m of copper added, this worked wonders for fast chilling. 10 minutes to 30 degrees, another 5 mins to 20 degC. Much faster than before.
rps20191020_234311.jpg


At 20degC I checked the gravity. Wow! 1.049 SG is much higher than expected. Much better efficiency than estimated and with a vigorous boil in the cool October air, I suspect a little more boil off too.

Keeping it simple with the yeast, but forgot to remove the S04 slurry from fridge earlier. I'll have to pitch it in the morning.

This is going to be a simple bitter, building on an even simpler version I did in the summer. The previous brew was pretty drinkable and a lovely colour, but lacked bitterness and could have benefited from more hop flavour.
So, this recipe attempts to add those missing features, except it's now going to be a bit stronger than expected at between 4.8-5.0% depending on how well the S04 attenuates. I just hope there's enough bitterness to balance the extra alcohol.
 

cushyno

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
504
Reaction score
208
Location
Ormskirk
Approximately 250ml of slurry from the AG14 Brown Porter was pitched this morning before 8am, with a good stir. I hope the roasty taste from the porter doesn't come through too strongly.
 

cushyno

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
504
Reaction score
208
Location
Ormskirk
Checked for fermentation at 6:30pm, 10.5 hours after pitching. Nothing doing.
Checked again the next morning, 24 hours after pitching and it was off like a train. It's always a relief to hear a bubbling airlock.

Away for a few days now, so the Best bitter will do it's thing sat at 19degC, temperature managed by STC-1000 in the ferm cupboard.
 

cushyno

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
504
Reaction score
208
Location
Ormskirk
With one thing or another I haven't had much time recently to brew and even less time to read about brewing. However, a bit of free time over the last few weeks has let me get a few much needed brews on.

Firstly, a quick catch up.
The AG14 Brown Porter was a cracking brew and a style that suits the hard water in my area. I'll definitely make it again later in the year.
The AG15 Best Bitter was rather a let down. Trying to improve on a good ordinary bitter (AG13) by upping the hops for a better BU:GU balance and increasing the grain bill slightly, looked good on paper, but something wasn't right about it. The colour was great, carbonation good, but flavour was a bit plasticky or maybe a touch of the dreaded band-aid off flavour. I need to work out what the problem is with my bitters. Maybe mash pH too high, or using year that had been too stressed.

Brewed AG16 Quick Kölsch in November, 30 minute mash, 45 minute boil. Simple, malty, and just good enough to keep me going through January with stocks almost running dry.

So on to February...
 
Last edited:

cushyno

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
504
Reaction score
208
Location
Ormskirk
Desperately low on stocks and in need of a few hours of therapeutic brewing AG17 Lakeland Ale, a sort of Cumberland Ale tribute, was born. Just bottled this yesterday and it is promising so far. 45 minute mash and boil. Recipe to follow if it's any good.
I took time to crash to 3degC for a couple of days prior to bottling to reduce the amount of sediment in suspension. This seems to have worked.

AG18 Weissbier is a straight copy of the grain and hops for my last Weissbier (back in Nov 2018), using the recipe from Greg Hughes, though I kept it simple for yeast this time trying out the CML Krystalweizen. 30 min mash, 45 min boil resulted in a wort that was disappointingly 4 points down, so I added 200g of DME to bring it back up. I have never needed to do this before, and while the mash time was short I also suspect the wheat malt crush was not as fine as it should have been with many uncrushed grains.
As a proper weissbier should, fermentation took off like the proverbial train after 18 hours at 20degC.

This last brew was a test to see how short a brewday I could get away with. As I don't have a dedicated brewing area, all my kit and ingredients has to be brought out of a garage and set up in the kitchen. 16L water was taken from hot tap (combi boiler) to reduce time getting to strike temp, treating with 0.13g Campden, 9ml CRS and 2g CaCl. Mash was on quickly and held at 67 in coolbox with brewbag as usual, stirring at 10 min intervals. 14L sparge water was taken from hot tap and treated with 0.13g Campden, 4ml CRS. 10 minute batch sparge was done stirring halfway, meanwhile began heating first runnings with first wort hops. The rest of my process was as usual, but with 45 min boil.

After 4 hours I was done. This seems to be about the limit with my kit and process. Having a HLT/kettle that heats water/wort quicker would help, but there are limits to heating wort without scorching as I have discovered. Also, some parts of the process I have cut down or cut out may need to be added back in, such as a longer mash.
 

cushyno

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
504
Reaction score
208
Location
Ormskirk
Recipe for:

AG17 Lakeland Ale
Standard/Ordinary Bitter
Recipe Specs
----------------
Batch Size (L): 23.0
Total Grain (kg): 4.480
Total Hops (g): 50.00
Original Gravity (OG): 1.042 (°P): 10.5
Final Gravity (FG): 1.011 (°P): 2.8
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 4.13 %
Colour (SRM): 7.4 (EBC): 14.5
Bitterness (IBU): 32.1 (Tinseth)
Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 68
Boil Time (Minutes): 45
Grain Bill
----------------
4.000 kg United Kingdom - Pale 2-Row (89.29%)
0.300 kg United Kingdom - Crystal 60L (6.7%)
0.180 kg Torrified Wheat (4.02%)
Hop Bill
----------------
20.0 g Magnum Pellet (10.5% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil) (0.9 g/L)
10.0 g Challenger Pellet (6.1% Alpha) @ 10 Minutes (Boil) (0.4 g/L)
10.0 g First Gold Pellet (9% Alpha) @ 10 Minutes (Boil) (0.4 g/L)
10.0 g Challenger Pellet (6.1% Alpha) @ 5 Minutes (Boil) (0.4 g/L)
Misc Bill
----------------
Single step Infusion at 66°C for 30 Minutes.
Fermented at 19°C with Danstar Nottingham - English Ale Yeast
 

cushyno

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
504
Reaction score
208
Location
Ormskirk
A lesson on scorching

Yesterday I had a free day. Free from the chaos of work and family, so I created some brewing chaos of my own.

With having two FV's full it should logically be bottling duties first before making a new batch. I thought I'd try to save time by bottling while brewing. This was mistake no. 1.

I decided to try a pseudo lager and settled on a Vienna Lager style. I spent a fair bit of time calculating water adjustments and re-milling grain with newly acquired Corona style mill as after recent experiments on how quick I can get my process, I wanted to make a start on getting more consistent efficiency and accuracy with ingredients.
Mistake no. 2, maybe I milled some of the grain too fine, I don't know, but it likely contributed to the later errors.

Mash temp was a bit low so brought it up with boiling water. pH of mash was 5.25. Perfect! The water adjustment had worked well.

Used a large stock pot to transfer first runnings from mash tun, get sparge water into mash tun and first runnings into HLT/kettle. That was a faff, but didn't have spare FV that I usually employ.

Mistake no. 3 was to heat first runnings and FWH on full power while trying to sort out bottles for the AG17 Lakeland Ale. I hadn't lautered/vorlaufed, just tipped in liquid from the mash tun and there was a fair amount of suspended material in the wort which when heated rapidly without stirring likely stuck to the element at this point. I'd noticed a bit of 'fur' on the element after the Weissbier brewday and had given it a good clean, but the warning sign was there that heating without stirring had caused a bit of build-up.

I got a phone call from work about 45 mins into the boil and didn't get to putting the chiller and protofloc in until 55 mins, so left it to boil a bit longer than the intended 60 mins. This was mistake no. 4. If I'd stuck to 60 min I might have got away with it.

As I went to add the flameout hops I noticed a slight burning smell. It was definitely coming from the wort. Damn! I hope it's not ruined, everything else about the brew had been good so far. Chilled it down to 20degC.

So I continued, left the wort to settle while I finished bottling and capping AG17 and saved 1/2 the slurry into sterilised jars. Within the hour I racked the wort onto the remaining Nottingham slurry with plenty aeration. I could see the yeast start to work almost instantly. Should be a good fermentation.

It was then that I noticed the 3mm thick fur on the peco element. Scraping off the outer layer it was black underneath, maybe 1mm think of hardened black carbon. Yuck! I knew then that this batch is probably ruined due to scorching.

Lessons for me to take from this:
  • Be careful not to use too fine a crush. The pre-crushed grain I had from different sources maybe didn't all handle re-crushing evenly.
  • Stir the first runnings when heating, or recirculate. I'll have to rig up my DIY whirlpool pump earlier.
  • Heat first runnings at lower wattage to avoid scorching. 75% would be a good starting point and would give 1800W.
  • Don't boil wort for over 60 mins.
  • If the wort recirculation doesn't cure the problem, go back to lautering when draining off mash tun, even though this takes much longer to do it may be worth it.
  • Look at investing in a kettle with low density element and keep the peco as an HLT.
  • Don't try to do too many things at the same time!
 
Last edited:

cushyno

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
504
Reaction score
208
Location
Ormskirk
Bottled the AG18 GH Weissbier today.

Usually everything is left for 2 weeks before opening the FV, but I've read that CML Krystalweizen yeast is pretty quick to finish. Checked the gravity, down to 1.011 from 1.048 which is 76% attenuation and right in the alehouse. That'll do for me.

Mixed up 230g of sugar (half white, half light brown) with boiling water. Topped up to 350ml of liquid after dissolving. Then boiled in the microwave for a minute.

7.5ml of sugar solution added per 500ml bottle. Should give about 3.3 vols co2.

21.5l beer bottled. I used a mix of plastic and glass bottles. Plastic bottles will be lighter to transport over Easter weekend, if there are any left by then.

Bottling sample suggests less of a banana hit than with the Wyeast 3068 I last used, though I did ferment a couple of degrees cooler and a whole CML sachet wouldn't have stressed the yeast much at that temp, maybe half a sachet would have given more esters. Proper tasting when fully carbed will be a better test.
 

cushyno

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
504
Reaction score
208
Location
Ormskirk
Highs and lows with the pseudo Vienna Lager.

I took a small sample today after a 4 days at 15°C and 3 days of ramping up to 18°C.
On the up side, brix readings of 13.8 and 6.7 suggest the slight overpitch of Notty has had no trouble producing a 6.3% ABV.

On the down side, the beer tastes ... burnt.

I don't think this is worth bottling so may stick it in a PB for a few weeks to see what the colour is like and take a chance that the burnt taste dissipates.
 

cushyno

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
504
Reaction score
208
Location
Ormskirk
Eager to right the wrongs of the recent AG19 Vienna Lager I spied a window in which to brew on Wednesday (11/03). Wanting to test process improvements and also build up stocks I chose a recipe I know works well and one that can go straight in a PB and be drinkable within a few weeks.

AG20 Northern Brown Ale

Code:
Northern English Brown

Recipe Specs
----------------
Batch Size (L):           23
Original Gravity (OG):    1.049
Final Gravity (FG):       1.009
Alcohol by Volume (ABV):  5.4 %
Colour (SRM):             16.8   (EBC): 33.0
Bitterness (IBU):         34.5   (Tinseth)
Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 73
Boil Time (Minutes):      60

Grain Bill
----------------
4.500 kg United Kingdom - Pale Malt
0.300 kg United Kingdom - Crystal 60L
0.150 kg United Kingdom - Chocolate

Hop Bill
----------------
10 g Summit Pellet (16% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil)
8 g Magnum Pellet (10.5% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil)
16 g Challenger Pellet (7% Alpha) @ 0 Minutes (Aroma)

Misc Bill
----------------
11 ml CRS (Mash)
2.5 g Calcium Chloride (Mash)
0.3 mg Sodium Metabisulphate to treat 31L

Single step Infusion at 67°C for 60 Minutes.
Fermented at 20°C with Danstar Nottingham
I planned to bitter just with Magnum but found a little Summit left in the freezer so substituted. My water is pretty hard which is good for dark beers, however it usually needs some Calcium Chloride to balance the salts after adding CRS.

For the first time I brewed in our garage. The place is full of bikes, tools, boxes, and various salvaged/hoarded bits that will come in handy someday (?). I had recently had a mild tidy up and purchased a heavy duty extension lead long enough to stretch to the house. I wanted to keep my mess out of the kitchen and out of the way of family life, but what a night to do it! Blowing a gale with wind lashing rain in through the garage doors I needed to keep them closed most of the time so ended up with a rather steamy environment and condensation everywhere. Nevertheless, the brew went smoothly.

I ground the grain with recent corona mill purchase while heating up strike water. Mashed in my coolbox with fine mesh bag. Lautered and vorlaufed the wort using pickup tube with syphon until I could see it running clear (difficult with a brown ale), then syphoned into a FV. Batch sparged for 10 minutes but temperature was a little high so left lid off the coolbox and stirred to dissipate the heat.
While sparging I switched on my cobbled together solar pump recirculation and set power controller to 75% to heat wort up slower.
The rest of the boil went smoothly after adding bittering hop pellets with pump recirculating throughout. No pump clogging with a low amount of hops. Usual chiller and protofloc in at 15 mins, then power off at 0 min and aroma hops in. Had a bit of a faff getting a hose set up from outside tap in the wind and rain but then chilled quickly to 20degC, shuttling the drainage water outside using two buckets.

Drained quickly through a fine mesh bag onto 250ml of Nottingham slurry saved from AG17 Lakeland Ale, well aerated, and put straight in the brew fridge set to 20degC. 1 point up on intended SG, but I can live with that. athumb..

Apart from washing the chiller and putting hoses away I left tidying up until Thursday. No signs of any burned material on the Peco element, so I think the process improvements have worked rather well.

Airlock activity was audible on Thursday morning so didn't even open the fridge to check. Happy with that. From recent experiences with Nottingham it should be ready to crash by next Wednesday and package soon after.
 
Last edited:

cushyno

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
504
Reaction score
208
Location
Ormskirk
Decanted the AG20 Northern Brown Ale into a PB this morning. FG was at 1.012 giving 5.0% ABV. Starting gravity was one point up and finished 3 points up. I may have mashed above 67degC in the end. I'm happier with 5% and a bit more body.
rps20200320_144628.jpg


It tastes good straight from the FV with that unmistakable Challenger aroma. I'll give it a couple of weeks at 18degC to carb up.
 

cushyno

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
504
Reaction score
208
Location
Ormskirk
As well as packaging the the brown ale I was determined to brew again today, still building up stocks and genuinely enjoying a good brewing phase. There is something about hard times that has me wanting to make and repair things.

Today's brew is:
Code:
AG21 "Stockpile" American Pale
American Pale Ale

Recipe Specs
----------------
Batch Size (L):           22.0
Total Grain (kg):         4.970
Total Hops (g):           120.00
Original Gravity (OG):    1.051  (°P): 12.6
Final Gravity (FG):       1.010  (°P): 2.6
Alcohol by Volume (ABV):  5.41 %
Colour (SRM):             7.0   (EBC): 13.8
Bitterness (IBU):         43.9   (Tinseth)
Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 73
Boil Time (Minutes):      60

Grain Bill
----------------
3.000 kg German - Vienna (60.36%)
1.800 kg United Kingdom - Pale 2-Row (36.22%)
0.150 kg German - Carapils (3.02%)
0.020 kg United Kingdom - Chocolate (0.4%)

Hop Bill
----------------
30.0 g Magnum Pellet (10.4% Alpha) @ 70 Minutes (First Wort) (1.4 g/L)
20.0 g Cascade Pellet (5.6% Alpha) @ 10 Minutes (Boil) (0.9 g/L)
30.0 g Cascade Pellet (5.6% Alpha) @ 0 Minutes (Aroma) (1.4 g/L)
40.0 g Citra Pellet (11.8% Alpha) @ 4 Days (Dry Hop) (1.8 g/L)

Misc Bill
----------------
0.5 g Calcium Chloride @ 0 Minutes (Mash)
16.0 g CRS @ 0 Minutes (Mash)
1.2 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) @ 0 Minutes (Mash)

Single step Infusion at 67°C for 60 Minutes.
Fermented at 16°C with Danstar Nottingham
This is almost the same recipe as one brewed last April. Reduced the grain bill due to improved efficiency now I'm crushing my own grain, overshot the mash temperature by a couple of degrees, plus using Nottingham yeast again rather than CML Kölsch as I want to experiment with Notty at lower temps and really pleased with it's flocculation characteristics.

Crushed the grain and prepped water last night, so straight on with heating strike water this morning at 7:30am.
rps20200320_150527.jpg


Moved outside for lautering. Gauze pickup is in place below the grain bag. So as to ensure wort drains through the grain bed instead of down the sides of the bag I tuck the bag down into bottom corners of the coolbox.
rps20200320_150720.jpg


It took about 5L of vorlaufing to get clear runnings.
rps20200320_150819.jpg


Peco set up in kettle mode with budget wort recirculation arrangement (that works very well) to prevent element scorching the wort during heating of first runnings.
rps20200320_150616.jpg


After batch sparge, lautering and vorlaufing 2nd runnings, I hang up the bag to drain and cool before giving it a good squeeze.
rps20200320_150925.jpg


The wort after boil and draining through small hop bag. Pretty clear and a good golden colour.
rps20200320_151016.jpg


OG is 2 points higher than expected at 1.053. Efficiency has shot up again.

It should take about 4 days to be through the vigorous phase of fermentation, then I'll dry hop this with 40g of Citra for 4 days.

I really enjoyed today's brew on a cool and sunny day. It's starting to feel like spring. :cool:
 

cushyno

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
504
Reaction score
208
Location
Ormskirk
I've been slowly ramping up the temperature of the AG21 Stockpile American Pale, 0.5°C every 12 hours since Tuesday after most of the activity had died down. Popped in the 40g Citra dry hop on Thursday eve.

Just checked the SG, it's sitting at 1.010 but I think there's a little further to go with airlock activity still every 25 secs.

Grabbed a couple of halves of northern brown while I was at it. Considering this has been in the PB only a week and only 2 weeks since brewday, it's remarkably good.
 
Group Builder
Top