Hazelwood Brewday

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Hazelwood Brewery

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I only joined the group a few days ago and today was my first brewday since joining so I thought I ought to give this a go - at least once.

Starting with the crime scene, I revamped our garden a couple of years ago. My wife wanted decking, a gazebo, and comfortable seating, I wanted a bar, win-win!

So this is where I also brew, at my bar, shown here in winter plumage (clear plastic PVC tarps fitted to two sides).
 

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Hazelwood Brewery

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Some of the kit I used today for milling and mashing the grain, if you’re interested in what other people are doing/using.

I converted a water heater to save some cost but I’m not sure I saved a lot in reality by the time I bought all the bits and spent a couple of hours swearing at it. The jacket in the same photo was to help maintain temperatures when brewing in the cold weather, made from cheap underlay and a bit of velcro. There was no need for the jacket today.
 

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Hazelwood Brewery

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The brew I made today is “Equinox”, lazily named after one of the hops (though the hop has changed name since to Equanot!).

The grain bill is simple:
5Kg Pilsen
250g Carahell 30
125g Torrified wheat

After heating the water to 150F (and using the Inkbird to maintain temperature at 150F), in with the milled grain, plumb in the recirculating pump, set the flow valve to get a nice spray on the grain (without spilling over the basket), and set my timer for 75 minutes.
 

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Hazelwood Brewery

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D’oh! I should have said I started with 18 litres of water - straight from the tap and no treatment.

At the end of 75 minutes, time to pull out the grain. I’m not puny by any means but lifting 5Kg of sopping wet grains along with a basket full of water with one hand does make me pull some unflattering expressions so that needed a fix. I came up with a simple pulley system because pulling down is a lot easier.

When the basket is lifted, fit some brackets to hold the basket above the wort while the water drains.
 

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Hazelwood Brewery

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As the temperature approaches boiling I skim off some of the crud at the hot break. I find this gives me less crap in the bottom of the boiler (so less chance of this ending up being drawn off into the fermenting bucket) and allows me to fill the boiler more without the hot break overflowing and creating a bloody awful mess.
 

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Hazelwood Brewery

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Once up to temperature, add bittering hops and set my timer for 45 minutes.

Bittering is just 15g of Equanot, this will be boiled for 60 mins by the end.
 

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Hazelwood Brewery

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After 45 minutes, add the 15 minute additions.

15g Equanot
25g Vic Secret
Protofloc tablet (fizzing in photo)

Set timer for 15 minutes

Also at this time plumb in the chiller and circulate boiling wort to make sure it’s sterilised.
 

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Hazelwood Brewery

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I see you've replaced your cygnet tap with a decent one. Is it a fairly simple fix? I keep meaning to do mine as the standard one is a bit pants.
It was in the end but I had to go through several combinations of rubber washers before I found the “one”. The solution was a thick rubber washer used to fit King Keg taps with the edges trimmed to form more of an ellipse with straight, rather than curved, sides. I also made a rubber washer on the inside and outside from silicon sheet. As I said, a couple of hours of swearing at it :mad:
 

Hazelwood Brewery

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After the 15 minutes, drop the temperature to 165F for the final push - hop stand/ whirlpool.

20g Equanot
25g Vic Secret

Hold the temperature at 165F for 30 minutes.

At the end of 30 minutes, turn off the heat and turn on the cold water to the chiller to bring the temperature down to 70F, ready for the fermentation bucket.
 

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Hazelwood Brewery

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During the hop stand and chill down, sterilise the fermentation kit.

The thing in the middle, looking like a test-tube, is an immersion heater with a built-in thermostat. This keeps the fermenting wort at a constant temperature. Neat!
 

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Hazelwood Brewery

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When the wort is down to 70F, drain the wort into the fermenting bucket (23 litres) and take a hydrometer reading (1044).
 

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Hazelwood Brewery

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...add the yeast (20g US West Coast), whip in some air, fit the immersion and bubble trap, and put it in the fermentation cabinet in the shed - next to one about to get kegged.
 

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samale

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What's the name of the spray head fitted to the lid of the boiler
 

chrisb8

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Good write up, it's interesting to see how other people are doing things, to compare, get ideas etc. athumb..
 
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