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1st Brew on the Liberty Pilot Brewery.


After a great many hours in the workshop, countless welding flashes, a few trails... a few errors. After many a phone call from the Wife asking when I'll be home, and after more than my fair share of burns (from resting my arm on freshly welded steel) - Oh and I can't forget about all the singed eye brows, eye lashes, arm hair and head hair...


I have completed a trial batch on my best performing and ideal home brew system.


So the back story for this system is that it was commisioned by Soren Eriksen from 8-Wired Brewing Co. We should expect to see some very adventurous brews in extremely limited release in the near future. He wanted something that was simple to use and one that didn't demand ones attention (too much).


So, this system has a 2kW thermostatically controlled 80L HLT, a 2kW thermostatically controlled 80L MLT so that you can heat your strike water in the MLT eliminating the need to transfer strike water and the need to equalise strike temp. It has a 23 tip Rambo burner and an 80L kettle with whirlpool inlet. It has a magnetic drive pump, brass connecters 1/2" inlets and outlets and Food Grade reinforced hosing. The system can easily be upgraded to either HERMS if need be, but to keep costs down it hasn't been installed on this system yet.


Now... to get to the brew day...


Yakima Warrior
14-B American IPA

Size: 65 L
Efficiency: 96%
Attenuation: 80.0%
Calories: 199.81 kcal per 12.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.065 (1.056 - 1.075)
Terminal Gravity: 1.012 (1.010 - 1.018)
Color: 16.82 (11.82 - 29.55)
Alcohol: 6.85% (5.5% - 7.5%)
Bitterness: 70 (40.0 - 70.0)

14 kg Golden Promise Pale
1.4 kg Caramalt 33
70 g Warrior (17.2%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min
70 g Simcoe (13.0%) - added during boil, boiled 15 min
70 g Amarillo (8.5%) - added during boil, boiled 15 min
70 g Simcoe (13.0%) - added during boil, boiled 1 min
70 g Amarillo (8.5%) - added during boil, boiled 1 min
140 g Simcoe (13.0%) - added dry to secondary fermenter
140 g Amarillo (8.5%) - added dry to secondary fermenter
1.0 ea White Labs WLP001 California Ale



I am recirculating the water in the MLT at this point so that the temperature is even abfore doughing in.



After doughing in, the diffuser is set to the top of the mash. The hoses are still full of strike water.



After 45 mins of mash time, I start the pump and recirculate the mash. The flow is regulated by the valve at the outlet of the mag drive pump. The lid then goes back on to the MLT to keep the heat in.



This shot is just a view of the hose configuration for mash recirculation.



So, after 15 mins of recirculation I begin to transfer the wort into the kettle. The white stuff below the wort in some CaSO4 and a bit of CaCL2. The wort is crystal clear at this point, and I collect about 10 - 15L before I begin sparging.



The sparge water sits about 25mm above the grain bed, and the diffuser allows new hot liqor to enter the MLT on the surface without disrupting the top of the grain bed. I beat this by hand out of a disc of stainless steel.



After 20L has been collected, I start the Rambo burner.



This is a shot of the hose configuration for sparging.



Poppy decided to come and check out what was going on half way through the sparge.



The end of the sparge - and you can see that the wort is near boiling, and the top of the grain bed is very flat.



A nice rolling boil with the Rambo burner set to about 1/4 open. In all I used about 2KG of gas to boil 75L down to 65L. The burner was running in total for 135 minutes (give or take).



After cooling the whirpool runs for about 5 mins.



Getting towards the end of the transfer to FVs you can see the cone formation through the wort. In this shot there is about 10L of wort above the trub.



This is where I called it quits. The break has started coming through the outlet (I overdosed the brew with carageenan so there is a bit more than normal) and the hops have formed a brick in the middle of the kettle.


And that is pretty much it. I have to admit to this being the easiest batch of home brew that I have brewed yet. It really was effortless. The hardest part was carrying around 3 carboys full of wort!


In all it took me about 20 hours or so of fitting and welding. Then after that - the fun begins!


I made a video of the brewday, if your interested in watching - the link is below...




Views: 1646

Comment by Nick T on August 22, 2010 at 10:41am
very nice Jo - good vid too!
Comment by jt on August 22, 2010 at 10:48am
hey, looks good.

Love the colour and the clarity of the wort !
Comment by James P on August 22, 2010 at 12:39pm
Awesome stuff!
Comment by Soren on August 23, 2010 at 7:23am
YEAH! So sweet!
Comment by DP on August 23, 2010 at 8:19am
Wow, I love the clarity of the wort in that second-to-last shot. And after reading about your 15 min recirculation I'm beginning to suspect that my manual 6L recirculation might need to be increased somewhat. Would you say that the clarity of the wort into the kettle plays the biggest part in the final beer clarity? (or is the 5min Irish Moss addition and the likes of gelatin at the end of fermentation equally important?)
Comment by JoKing on August 23, 2010 at 8:48am
Damian - all of the factors towards wort clarity play a part in the final products level of clarity. I wrote a blog about clarity here. I've tweaked things a wee bit since then, but it'll point you the general direction towards clear beer.
Comment by Stu McKinlay on August 23, 2010 at 8:55am
Jo - great work. You are officially a beer geek (like you weren't already).

Soren - you won't want to carry all those sack of grain up the steps at Renaissance now you have this toy!

Damian, I do a 10L manual recirculation on my 40-50l brews and find it is enough. Run-off clarity is important but so are many other things depending on the beer you are making. You need a vigorous boil, a good dose of hops helps, as does kettle finings, a good healthy quick ferment, a good floccing yeast, possibly some post ferment finings (rare for me) and that old magic chestnut: 3 weeks cold conditioning!

Here's some pics...
middle of the run off from an ordinary bitter (the jug pic at):

last of the run off from an NZ-style summer ale (1.006 at this point, that's why it is so pale):

Next time I brew I'll get a picture of the first kettle runnings hitting the ketle (better scrub off that beerstone first though!).

The beauty of Jo's set up is that you can play with the kids while it is all taking place!
Comment by DP on August 23, 2010 at 10:27am
Thanks Jo and Stu. Some good advice there. I've also noticed quite a difference with the cold conditioning (the most I've ever done was 10 days and will look to increase on the next batch) but wasn't sure what contributes the most to clarity and it now seems that lots of things do. Which makes sense I guess.
Comment by Stu McKinlay on August 23, 2010 at 10:42am
filtering would help too but that opens a new can of worms!
Comment by DP on August 23, 2010 at 11:06am
Yeah, got to go gently, gently with the spending lest I frighten the Financial Controller. Manual recirculation, kettle finings, gelatin and cold conditioning is all I've got to play with at the moment and it looks like I can improve the first and last of these.


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