New House, New Grain Mill, New Grain Bag, New Fermentasaurus

Discussion in 'Beer Brewdays!' started by MickDundee, Nov 23, 2018.

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  1. Nov 23, 2018 #1

    MickDundee

    MickDundee

    MickDundee

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    Tonight it’s time for my first brew in the new house. The first of a series of 5 SMaSH brews.

    I bought a Bulldog Grain Mill and new brew bag in the summer but never used them because everything started happening with my house move. I also bought a Fermentasaurus this week in the MM sale - it’s my Christmas present but I’ve been given permission to use it.

    I crushed what I think is 5kg of Propino malt last night (my wife had taken our Tesco Value scales to work and forgot to bring them home. Our normal bathroom scales need to detect body heat to work so I had to repeatedly stand on the scales holding the bucket).

    I’ve got the mash on now - the New Grain bag seems to let the grains circulate a lot more than my old one, but it also means that my grains haven’t cooled the middle of the mash as much. It might finish a bit sweet (the mash has settled at 69C) but it’s all about getting to grips with the new equipment.

    It’s a Mosaic SMaSH with additions at 60mins (20g), 20mins (10g) and 5 mins (20g), with a 50g dry hop. Fermenting with US05
     
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  2. Nov 23, 2018 #2

    Bigcol49

    Bigcol49

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    Hi!
    I suggest your next step for your next brew is to condition the grain and tighten the mill gap.
    PS How's the arm?
     
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  3. Nov 23, 2018 #3

    MickDundee

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    The arm is fine - I used my electric drill!

    Yeah I’ve been reading up on conditioning the grain and it sounds like a good idea.

    Just waiting for the wort to come up to the boil. My new grain bag has made things so much easier - pull the draw string, lift it up and dump in my small FV for a dunk sparge - the old one had handles and no drawstring . I had initially had concerns about the fine-ness of the mesh but I think it’s ok
     
  4. Nov 23, 2018 #4

    MickDundee

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    The bloody cat just escaped out the window! Got him back in though.
     
  5. Nov 23, 2018 #5

    MickDundee

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    Rehydrated my yeast using the Fermentasaurus collection bottle. It suggested pitching via the bottle in the instructions but I’m skeptical with it being a top fermenting yeast. Time will tell.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  6. Nov 23, 2018 #6

    MickDundee

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    Ended up pouring the rehydrated yeast into the top of the Fermentasaurus due to the amount of trub I had.

    Disaster with my efficiency - I only got about 1.036 which is less than 50%. I’ve added some sugar to bump the ABV up. Either my crush was off or I didn’t manage to weigh out my grain properly. I suspect it’s a combination of the 2. I think I’ll invest in some feeler gauges.
     
  7. Nov 28, 2018 #7

    MickDundee

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    I took a day off work due to the Angus schools being on an in-service day, but the builders are coming to do some snagging so my wife and daughter have left me to it and gone into town. It’s the perfect opportunity to try out my new scales and get another brew on.

    So far it’s been so much easier than last time. The grain milling was a piece of the proverbial and super fine (I used my nectar card to set the rollers), and the new scales are great - I definitely didn’t have enough grain last time when I was using the bathroom scales as there is noticeably more in my little FV than on Friday. I expect a massive upturn in efficiency.

    I’ve not actually decided what I’m brewing yet - I don’t get my big ferm fridge until tomorrow or my small one until next week and the temperature in my utility is about 23 so it’ll probably be Belma with MJ44 or EKG with Lallemand ESB.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
  8. Nov 28, 2018 #8

    MickDundee

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    image.jpg

    I went for EKG so I’ll have an American and an English style ale ready for new year. 1.051 SG only gives me just over 65% efficiency, which is what I was getting pre-mill but much better than last time so I’m happy.

    I’ll see if I can get a finer crush again next time see if it bumps me up again
     
  9. Nov 28, 2018 #9

    MickDundee

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    The tidying up is so much easier in the new house as well (the cat litter tray in the front of the photo was moved to the hall when I was brewing). image.jpg
     
  10. Nov 28, 2018 #10

    Bigcol49

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    Hi!
    At the risk of harping on, you should try grain conditioning. You'll be able to tighten the crush and still get a good flow of wort through the grain.
    It doesn't add any time to the brew day - 30 minutes while the strike water is heating.
     
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  11. Dec 5, 2018 #11

    MickDundee

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    Bottling night tonight. I’ve not even started yet and feel it’s so much easier. Bunged the bottles in the dishwasher last night, then a quick squirt with Starsan and onto the bottle tree at tea time tonight. I dissolved 110g of caster sugar in boiling water, let it cool then lobbed it into the FV and left it til the kids are in bed

    I cold crashed and the beer is looking quite clear already
     
  12. Dec 5, 2018 #12

    Bigcol49

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    Hi!
    Enjoy!
     
  13. Dec 5, 2018 #13

    Ghillie

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    I love the improved flow with grain conditioning. 0.6mm with the same roller as you @MickDundee. I'm pretty chuffed with it. If you're using BIAB, I'd bet you could easy get to 0.4mm. Condition and you'll be blown away.

    @Bigcol49 - did you notice any dip in BH eff with conditioning? I took a massive hit last time, but I then realised one of my rollers was way out of alignment. Screw had come loose and the gap was massive. I've heard of a few others who ended up with poorer efficiency, but were happy with the trade off for improved circulation and better mash temps.
     
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  14. Dec 5, 2018 #14

    Bigcol49

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    Hi!
    I've conditioned from my first brew, so I can't comment on efficiency drop or otherwise.
    I've had decent efficiency, mid 70s, using conditioning.
     
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  15. Dec 5, 2018 #15

    Ghillie

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    Nice one. I'm nearly positive that my problem was the mill gap as efficiency before was sound.

    What's your routine? I think last time I used 3% of the grain weight in water and let it sit for 30 minutes.
     
  16. Dec 5, 2018 #16

    Bigcol49

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    Hi!
    I only use 2% - I weigh the empty spray bottle, zero the scale and pour in the weight of water.
    Spray, stir, spray, stir etc until all the water is gone. 30 minutes "soaking-in" time.
    I use an under-bed storage box as a container when conditioning - large surface area.
     
  17. Dec 11, 2018 at 8:42 PM #17

    MickDundee

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    717A4E57-AF57-4AD4-A036-62F45EB01E40.jpeg 4C07F77F-84AB-4641-9CDA-A51DB849C703.jpeg Both batches carbonating in my newly set up brew fridge at 23C.
     
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  18. Dec 11, 2018 at 10:19 PM #18

    Ghillie

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    You planning feeding the thermometer and greenhouse heater cables up through the drain plug at some point?

    PS - your brew fridge is nicer than the one I have in my kitchen!
     
  19. Dec 12, 2018 at 6:59 AM #19

    MickDundee

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    Eventually, but it’s down my list of priorities at the moment whilst the garage still needs sorted. The door is still sealing fine so it’s really just cosmetic at the moment. Until yesterday morning I had only used it to cold crash (partly due to an absolute debacle trying to get my tube heater delivered).

    Yeah I was surprised how immaculate the fridge was when I picked it up. I did a bit of googling on it before I bought it - the model itself is now discontinued but I don’t think it has been for long and it has an energy efficiency rating of A so I’m chuffed with it.
     
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