Horners' AG #5 - It's starting to come together now

Discussion in 'Beer Brewdays!' started by Horners, Sep 29, 2018.

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  1. Sep 29, 2018 #1

    Horners

    Horners

    Horners

    Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Lovely early Autumn weather today and a great brew day where I managed to put into action a lot of tips gleaned from here as well as greater experience of my own bits and Bob's of kit. The brew was a chocolate milk stout using a Klarstein tun/ boiler. Hopefully some of you will recognise some of the tips employed at various points -

    1. Fill Klarstein and HLT with water. Don't use garden hose for fear of plastic tastes but walk over multiple 5l jugs from tap. Smash a Camden tablet with back of spanner and add roughly half to each vessel.

    2. Set Klarstein to heat to 78C - this is based on empirical evidence of temperature required for strike water from actually measuring temperature in middle of mash last time out rather than using on line calculator or temperature on the unit's display.

    3. Have two bacon rolls and a brew and a vape and re-read recipe. Put a dark wash on for SWMBO.

    4. Insulate vessel with the stuff that goes behind radiators. Turn the unit off.

    5. Dough in - a lot more stirring than previously (maybe this contributed to greater efficiency see below). Recirculated water from bottom using jug to try and even out mash temperature.

    6. Insert temperature probe in centre of mash and secure lid.

    7. Monitor temperature - mash holds a steady 68 for 90 mins.

    8. Peg washing out.

    9. Take FG readings from St Austell 1851 clone - 3 weeks in primary slightly underattenuated but tastes flipping amazing and clear as a bell. Stick that in fridge for cold crash. Sample has given me the taste, pour pint of Saison.

    10. Heat sparge water to 80c.

    11. Give mash another good stir and Vorlaef after 90 mins.

    12. Raise grain basket, set boiler to 102c. Put upside down salad drainer on top of grain bed and start jugging sparge water. Fully unwind extension lead so the boil doesn't melt it and trip all the house electrics.

    13. Once boiler gets to a level where start to get concerned re boil over, stick grain basket in spare bottling bucket and continue to sparge.

    14.Spoon off froth (kudos to whoever's tip this was - really made a difference on boil volatility) froth and associated wort poured back in top of grain bed.

    15. Hops in a spider - in the long run more sustainable than using multiple muslin bags.

    16. Top up boil at various intervals with wort from the bucket.

    17. Actually remember Irish moss.

    18. Stir like crazy once immersion chiller has gone in - made a big difference in hitting pitching temperature.

    19. Use refractometer to determine wort gravity, too high (hooray) use calculator to determine additional water to liquor back with.

    20. 25l of wort into FV from great height to get a bit of air in. Hydrometer reading confirms target gravity has been achieved.

    21. Pitch and actually remember you have a jar of yeast nutrient so sprinkle some of that in.

    22. Heed previous forum warnings that ambient temperature at this time of year is unlikely to exceed 20c so dispense with brew fridge. This means room for big airlock which I fill with surplus gin. Attach brew belt to bottom of FV rigged up to inkbird and probe taped to side and insulated.

    23. Actually bother to clean everything up properly. Leave a bit of grain on the bird table.

    I am sure I have forgotten a few things but ended up with 79% brewhouse efficiency and feel that I now have good base process sussed out. Looking forward to trying this (just need to remember the cacao nibs in the week).

    A lot of this was a mystery to me 6 months ago but feel have gleaned a lot of tips from forum which combined with a bit if trial and error hopefully means I can consistently make better ale.

    Cheers

    Horners
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
    Leon103 and MartinHaworth like this.
  2. Sep 29, 2018 #2

    LeeH

    LeeH

    LeeH

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    Step 3, just to keep the old ball and chain happy.

    Glad it’s all working out for you. :cheers3:
     
  3. Sep 29, 2018 #3

    Oneflewover

    Oneflewover

    Oneflewover

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    Enjoyable read!
     
  4. Sep 29, 2018 #4

    cushyno

    cushyno

    cushyno

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    Really good write up. Lots of tips in there. Though I regret wasting if good gin (unless you drink it afterwards), starsan works well in my airlock!
     

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