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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...
14-B American IPA
Size: 65 L
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...