Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Best Bitter Brew Bictures

Ahh... ok well here are some pics from my beer brewing on Saturday. If you want, you can check out the latest recipe and brewing info here. If you look at the efficiency, my mash was 64% efficient. Not great at all. My recipe assumed 70%. Ideal would be 75%. That means I basically used 11% more grain than I needed to. The end result was that to get a beer of the same initial gravity (1.048) I had to have less total fermenting volume (20 L instead of 23 L). However, I plan on putting this entire batch in a 19 L keg, so this may be ok.

The problem was the sparging. I need a better sparge system, and I know what I want to build I just haven't done it yet. But thats learning for you.

My (undissolved) Burtonized water. So much sulfate!

Start of the mash. Note that I really need a bigger pot!

Halfway through the mash. Notice the loss if volume as the grain has absorbed
lots of liquid.

My makeshift sparge strainer. It worked ok, but my overall efficiency was a
horrible 64%. I really need a better sparge system. Sooon... soon.

I need a bigger pot, but I was able to boil between two pots. Not too bad, I
was able to make them boil at the same time despite different volumes.

So much humidity due to the boil!

Much later, after the wort has cooled, and I pushed it through a makeshift
hop-back, measured the SG, and added some filtered water. Racking it off to the
glass carboy for fermentation.

(Next day) Go yeast! Fermentation started. I kept it in a 'cold corner' of my
house so they didn't get themselves too warm at first. Too warm is bad. But so
is too cold. I think for a bit they may have dropped below 15 C temp. Bah.

In a warmer place in my house, the yeast blew off through the hose. Man I'm
glad I used a blow-off hose rather than an airlock. Those airlocks can suck to
clean. The aroma is pretty nice. I can't wait to taste this beer.

Well, yep, those are photos. If anybody in the Calgary (or possibly Edmonton soon!) area wants to try some let me know, I like critics :).


Hunahpu said...

As far as lautering systems go, mine is pretty simple, and was not that expensive.

Ben, aka BadBen said...

You might try to keep a slightly thicker consistency to your mash to raise mash efficiency. Think oatmeal, not slurry.
Adding upgraded components slowly is part of the fun and excitement of homebrewing. If I had started with the system that I currently have from the get-go, I'm certain I wouldn't be as excited to homebrew on it every chance that I get.
Happy brewing/tasting,
Bad Ben

Hunahpu said...

I should also say that for me the most important thing is consistent efficiency. If you get 64% every time, it is a lot easier to make a recipe than if you get 64% followed by 84%, followed by 74%.

Adding a pound or two of extra grain will only cost you a buck or two on the small scale of a homebrewery.

headlessbob said...

Indeed, indeed.
Thanks for the advice, btw great info on your site hunahpu!