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Jul 28, 2008
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South Ayrshire
Return brew #1
Ok folks been a while since I fired up a boiler and as my BZ gen 4 was untouched by man I thought id give it whirl.

I bought a pile of extra Light DME a while back, and as tI wanted to do a test boil to measure boiloff etc I decided brew 1 would be a extract Pilsner so I bought a pile of Saaz 4.1% AA leaf hops and a packet of novalager.

Recipe and targets from brewfather -
taget 16L into fermenter
target ABV 4.6%
target OG 1.043
Target FG 1.007
IBU 28 ( I dialed it back from original online recipe as Im not a monster hophead )

30 Min boil

2kg Muntons Ultra light DME

45g Saaz 4.1% @30 mins
20g Saaz 4.1% @ 15mins

1/2 a protofloc at 15 Mins

20L of Charcoal filtered tap water treated with 0.3 g of Potasium metabisulphate to remove last of Chloramines.

I added DME to BZ when cold , set it for 70C , lid on with the recirc pump running ( to prevent any scortching of the wort) and left it alone for an hour or so while I did other stuff.

Brought it to a boil, outside it needed 103C to keep a good rolling boil yesterday

Boil and additions went well although I lost pump function ( see below why)

Used the kegland hop spider, with which I was quite impressed.

Cooled to 20C with the BZ immersion chiller which seemed imnpressivley fast, compared to the homemade IC i had back 12 yrs ago .

Lifted her inside and up on the kitchen top to drain to the fermenter ( lost pump function)

Let her sit to settle and pulled some trub and discarded that, then pulled a sample for the hydrometer ( see pic) once trub has settled I was very happy with the word clarity

I ended up with 17L going into fermenter which is accounted for by less boiloff than expected. this gave me a lower OG than expected but its still a healthy enough 1.040

I just added the yeast this morning at 20C and once it starts im going to drop it down to 18C under 12psi pressure.

Pump issue:

After the cleandown I put 10L of cold water in and switched the pump on and I can hear the pump spinning but Im getting no water coming through. .
I stripped the pump this morning and there are no blockages and Impeller is intact. if I turn the impeller I can feel the drag of the motor so it feels like the mag is working.

When I reassembled the BZ the motor is running but the impeller doesnt seem to be spinning.
I have a feeling the motor has broken free from the magdrive. time to contact the seller and Kegland .

Anyway here is a pic of my wort after the trub had settled

Pilsner sample .jpg
I had a few temp issues during the ferment, lost power on the heatpads, and it dropped from 18C to 15C before I caught it. I tried to take it over 18C when Graivity started to level out but the heatpad wouldnt take the inkpad probe beyond 18C. last two days Iwhen I was trying to take it up to 20C .

At the end of fermentation I ended up with OG 1.040 FG 1.008

The test sample has a lovely colour and looks well carbonated, a bit cloudy but thats to be expected I suppose. The head it produced in the trial jar was a crisp white

I only had a sip from teh trial jar, but it tasted slightly sweet, smelt like lager but not overly so time will tell.

I have been slowly dropping the ambient temp in the room and was down to 12C before she went in the fridge. Set at 8C and ill drop it 1C a day till I reach 2C where it will stay till im happy its ready for the keg

Next update when Its kegged and I have had a good old glug.

Well I couldnt wait and pulled a quick half pint off tonight and all I can say is Its a lovelly pint so far, nice clean and crisp. still a tad cloudy but at 15 days old Im well happy

PS update on the pump,
seems it was faulty from the start. Jonny from BKT sorted me out a replacement in record time. Things will go wrong with kit and its how its gets sorted out that is teh difference between a good eperience and a bad one.. based on this experience BKT turned this from bad to great in a few day.. kudos.
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Well here it is Brew #2 "its a sorta stout"

Im using up stuff I had laying around. I had been heading down the partial mash route before I accidentally clicked the Proceed to checkout button on teh BZ4 so this isnt not an AG..

The aim is to serve it on 30/70 so Im fermenting at Gravity in my chubby with a starsan bubbler

I used BF to treat 27L of filtered water to replicate Dublin water , I know folk say dont treat your water for kits and extract.. My argument is that if a fella in Dublin makes a kit he uses dublin water. Ill tell you after the event whether this was a good or a bad move..

23L aiming for OG 1.042 with the FG 1.010 roughly 4.1% with WLP 004 yeast
I was going to brew this short i kept it at 23L to maintain coopers bittering level

The extract element
1 tin of Coopers Irish stout
500g Muntons dark DME

partial mash
500g Pale malt
200 g Chocolate malt
200g Torrefied oats
mash 65C for 60mMins
boiled for 30 1/8 whirlifloc at 10 mins

To apease the gluten gods a tad Ill be adding 0.5ml of Brewers clarex, which I believe is the same as NBS clarity that TMM sell.

so how did it go? not too bad to be honest

put 6L of cold liquor into fermenter and added the dark DME
boiled 3L of liquor and diluted with the can of coopers and dropped it in the fermenter

The mash is where its gone slightly awry. I was using a 12L pot on an induction hob, as it was such as mall amount I I doughed in at 65C and took it off the heat but the mash ran hot at 70C not 65 as planned. As a result i ended up with 20L @ 1.038 in the fermenter not the target 23L @1.042 .
The boil went well and I ended up with a nice layer of break and clean looking wort..
its sat at 28C at the mo sealed up in the fermenter Ill leave it overnight and pitch at 18C

Im a tad worried that the 200g of chocolate in the Mash may end up a bit overpowering but hey you live and learn..

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