Brew Day: American Wheat

Brew-Day

Date: March 3, 2015

Gallons to date: 10

Style: American Wheat <— (link to recipe)

 

I am still learning my system, heck I am still learning how to brew period.

This was a lot of first for me; my first wheat beer, my first time using Lubberwort Brewing, a new brewing application ( review to be posted soon), first time using more RO water than tap water, and maybe the first time I was able to get someone to take a few “action” shots for me while brewing.

A quick shot of the brew space, and the snow on the ground.  If nothing else Colorado is beautiful…but I can not wait to get back to TEXAS

Brew Space

The brew day, grain bill, and procedure were pretty straight forward, and for once, I didn’t have many issues. The main issue I , my own fault, for not paying attention to the mash like I usually do, but it was easy to recover from.

I conditioned and milled all my grains the day prior, as well as made the trip to purchase the 10 gallons of RO water I was going to use for this batch.  After the normal pre-clean cycle I heated my strike water and mashed in to hit a temp of 150 and set the timer of 75 min.

Mash-in 1

 

So about the one and only issue was that because I got side tracked, I forgot to stir the mash at the normal 20 min intervals. I know it should not be needed with a HERMS system, but I am still trying to get my efficiency  up, and I think this helps.  At the time the Lubberwort Brewing App did not have a way to modify the mash timer once started, so I just adjusted on the fly, and turned my 75 min mash to a 90 min mash and stirred as needed.

The mash went off without any other issues and I spared and transferred to the boil kettle where my new hop filter was waiting with he FWH additions of Sorachi Ace.

FWH

Looks kinda small in such a larger filter, but next brew will have about 9 oz and I should get a good test of the filter’s capabilities.

Set the PID at 85% duty cycle and away the boil went. After the boil I transferred into the primary and pitched the 2 one litre starters of 1056.

transfer

SAM_1177

Primary fermentation went smooth, after 15 days, I dry hopped with 3 oz of Galaxy, for 10 days….(forgot about needed to keg) then transferred to the kegs where it is waiting for a tap to open up of the Keezer.  All the samples along the way smelled and tasted great, and the aroma of the Galaxy hop has earned it a place in my next brew…A hop burst American IPA.

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Irish Red Brew Day Follow-up

The weather was good enough today for me to get caught up on some brewing matters.  Got the Irish Red in the keg today, and remembered to pull a sample to check color and how clarity.  Also made some adjustments to my milling station, and put together a dolly to move full fermenters around.  All in all, a pretty good day.

A shot of the kegging operation.

Ghetto, but it works!
Ghetto, but it works!

Here she is in all her glory, small sample pulled when I switched from the 1st keg to the 2nd.

Keg Day Sample
Keg Day Sample

Brew Day: Irish Red Ale

Brew-Day

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.

 

TxB