Brew Day Report: Janet’s Brown Ale 10 gallon brew

17 Jul

In preparation for the Pork n’ Pietacular, we’ve been brewing up a storm at the CDBC. What is the name for a large collection of beer, anyway? Not a storm…maybe a murder? Like a murder of crows? Anyway, we’ve been brewing a boatload of beer.

I thought I’d take this time to walk you all through the brew day. I brewed a brown ale, from the Brewing Classic Styles book. This is a Mike McDole recipe that has won a gold medal in homebrew competitions.

The brew day actually started yesterday, when I made the starter for the beer today. Using two yeast packs and a 1750 ml starter (which is basically dry malt extract and water, brewed to 1.040 strength), I let the starter sit on the stir plate for about a day, and then pitched it immediately. Sometimes I do a starter 2 days before and cool it first (so I can pour off the weak beer and keep just the yeast cake), but I didn’t have time.

  1. 9:45 am. Started the strike water heating. Often we boil water first to preheat the mashtun; this time I decided to try heating the water hotter than I normally would and letting it sit in the tun before I add the grain.
  2. Meanwhile, I weighed out and milled 24 lbs of grain (see pic in the gallery). Had to drain it into a fermenter to have enough room.
  3. 10:45 am: Start of mash. Mash at 151 degrees. Brought HLT (hot liquor tank; the keggle) up to 185 to preheat the mashtun. Mashtun got the water down to 175, let it sit until it was at 168. The addition of grain dropped temp to 151.
  4. During the mash, I wanted to get the sparge water up to temp ASAP (there was 12 gallons or so of water for the sparge!. There is a lot of extra water at the bottom of the HLT, below where the outflow pipe is.  Max size of HLT, after filling it up to the pipe, is 14 gallons. 14 gallons exactly!
  5. 11:45, begin vorlauf and draining mashtun. HLT at 180, mash at 149. Good heat retention over 1 hour. Added FWH (first wort hops) at 11:30 because I forgot about them.
  6. Sparge temp for first sparge (filled up mashtun about 85% of the way) around 175 degrees.
  7. 12:38 begin to heat for boil, completed batch sparges. Notice it’s 3 hours just to get the beer mashed and to begin heating! This is for a 10 gallon batch, of course, but even with a smaller batch it can take a while.
  8. Final pre-boil volume: 13 gallons. Pre boil gravity: 12.5 brix, or 1.049.
  9. If we boil off 2.5 gallons per hour, we’ll have 10.5 gallons at the end of the boil and end at 1.063 or 15.5-16 brix. I was estimating a boiloff rate based on prior boils, but I didn’t really know.
  10. At a boil at 1:09. So it took 30 minutes to come to a boil. First hop addition, 2 oz Northern Brewer pellet hops. I’m using hop bags, because I found that NOT using them really clogs up the works.
  11. 1:55: Hop addition with Whirlfloc, Yeast nutrient, a little Irish moss (because of only 1 tablet). 1:55. Looking good. Boil at 11.5 gallons. Perhaps we have less boil off than we think?
  12. Finished boil on time, 2:10. Final volume at the end of the boil: 11 gallons. So we have a somewhat lower boiloff rate than I’d thought.
  13. Final OG: 14.5 brix (1.058), 1.056 by hydrometer. Not sure where those points went, but I’m guessing that if we’d boiled off another 1/2 gallon or so we’d have hit the gravity, as we hit the PBG.
  14. I then started draining the boil kettle, through the march pump, into the hopback, and into the plate chiller. In spite of the speed of the chiller (whole batch, 9 gallons in total, down to 75 degrees in 10 minutes or so), it still uses a LOT of water.
  15. Into fermenter: 5 gallons in A and 4 gallons in B. More loss to hopback than expected (gets clogged after 8 gallons or so, it seems. About a gallon of wort left in boiler too. That will need to be accounted for.
  16. Aerated and pitched at 3:40pm. Paddle aerated for a few minutes each and then pitched half the starter into each fermentor. Left in basement at 61 degrees. Brought them upstairs for the night, it’s around 68 up here.
Over the next few days, I’ll need to keep an eye on the beer to make sure that it ferments well. I’ll check the gravity around the end of the week, to see how close it’s getting to the target gravity.
Hope you enjoyed (or didn’t fall asleep during) this little walk through a brew day.
Kevin
BeerSmith Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Janet's Brown Ale
Brewer: Central District Brewer's Collective
Asst Brewer:
Style: American Brown Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0) 

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 10.00 gal
Boil Size: 13.17 gal
Estimated OG: 1.065 SG
Estimated Color: 20.7 SRM
Estimated IBU: 50.6 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount        Item                                      Type         % or IBU
18 lbs 7.4 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)            Grain        76.63 %
1 lbs 14.8 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM)              Grain        7.98 %
1 lbs 8.6 oz  Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM)                 Grain        6.39 %
1 lbs         Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM)     Grain        4.15 %
12.3 oz       Chocolate Malt (420.0 SRM)                Grain        3.19 %
6.4 oz        Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM)     Grain        1.66 %
3.08 oz       Centennial [10.00 %]  (Dry Hop 3 days)    Hops          -
2.00 oz       Northern Brewer [8.50 %]  (60 min)        Hops         29.2 IBU
1.55 oz       Northern Brewer [8.50 %]  (60 min) (Mash HHops         4.5 IBU
1.60 oz       Northern Brewer [8.50 %]  (15 min)        Hops         11.6 IBU
1.55 oz       Cascade [5.50 %]  (10 min)                Hops         5.3 IBU
2.31 oz       Cascade [5.50 %]  (0 min)                 Hops          -            

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 24.09 lb
----------------------------
Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time     Name               Description                         Step Temp
60 min        Mash In            Add 30.12 qt of water at 164.3 F    151.0 F
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2 Responses to “Brew Day Report: Janet’s Brown Ale 10 gallon brew”

  1. Scott July 18, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    Fantastic! Sounds like the new system works pretty slick. The plate chiller especially.

  2. m3rrymanus July 18, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    Yumm – can’t wait to try it!

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