Date: February 8, 2015
Gallons to date: 0 (first brew of the year)
Style: Irish Red Ale <— (link to recipe)
So, let me start with the fact that I have been brewing off and on for over 8 years, and I have never had a brew day go as planned. This would be no different.
Each brew day starts with running 5 gallons of boiling water through my system, I like the confidence it gives me, and today, it seemed it was a good thing…like always, I back flushed the plate chiller, today I was appalled by the crap that came out of it, I guess I failed to clean it after the last brew day…time to sanitize, while mashing. Misstep #1
After the hot water flush, I moved to heating my strike water and the water in the HLT. I add the dough-in water to my mash tun, 9.75 gallons, and fill up my HLT and let them run until I hit strike temp, 165F. Then I close down my pump, and dough in. Along with stopping the pump, I am supposed to tun of the heating element in the HLT as well..see how I said supposed to. I measure mash temp at the sparge arm in the mash tun, this temp drives the PID and element in the HLT, well with the pump off, there was no flow past the temp probe, so the HLT temp just kept climbing. After mashing in and stirring like a mad man, I cracked the valve on the pump and started the wort circulation. Mash temp 171F…not good. It took a few min, and a few gallons of cold water to get the temp down. Misstep #2.
The rest of the mash went well, and smelled amazing.
Now for the sparge. I was working off a 30% dilution of tap/RO water, and had no issues adding the water additions to the mash water. The sparge water ended up getting about 3 times as much gypsum as it needed, because I added the lactic acid amount as grams. Misstep #3.
The mash-out and sparge went as expected, with no major incidents, as a matter of fact, the rest of the brew day was pretty uneventful. Boiled, chilled, transferred and pitched as needed.
No pictures. Misstep #4
Currently cold crashing, FG of 1.012, sample taste good, and will get packaged this weekend.