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The beer im brewing is a CAP - Classic American Pilsner, a pre-prohibition beer in the US, this is my recipe 2kg German Pils 1.5kg Bohemian Pils 1.25kg FLaked Maize 125g CaraPils 250g Munich II FWH - 12g Columbus 15 - 10g Amarillo, 15g Centennial FO - 15g Centennial Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager - 10litre starter The grain goes into the JoKing style hopper and is ready to mill
Post Crush - my mill gap is set at 0.040"
I then dough in at about 2 degrees higher than what my desired mash temp is, for some reason, every time, it settles perfectly 2 degrees lower, probably because of the slightly higher LQR that BIAB has... A PH check is essential to ensure lack of haze in my beers, I find the 5.6 mark gives me the desired results, a couple of pinchs of citric acid, and a teaspoon of gypsum solve this for me!
I then put the lid on the kettle, and cover it with a big fluffy blanket for insulation - I keep the thermometer in so that I can monitor the mash temp... Even tho I havnt calibrated my pot, I allways try to make sure its full to the brim when mashing as the temp will only drop about 1.5*c this way.. Im also having under-attenuation problems at the mo so have mashed this beer at 64*c to try to counter this...
Now after the grain has been mashing for around 60 mins its time to mash out, now with the standard BIAB practice, you raise the mash temp to 78 to make the sugars more soluble, so that they run off the bag easier and dont get trapped... I skip this part and have added my own extra sparge step - mainly because my 2 ring burner is piss poor and takes a good half an hour if not more to raise to 78*c with the lid off. So what I do, is stir the grain really well, lift the bag out, then line an old bucket fermenter with the bag, spread the grain out to make a bed, then sparge with 2 litres at a time of water at 78*c, I stop when ive sparged with 4-6 litres, collect all the runnings in a bucket, then recirculate this through the grain bed. And of course when the bag comes out, the FWH goes in :o)
The sparge bucket
Once the runnings have been recirculated a couple of times, its added to the kettle and the whole lot is brought to the boil. Its boiled for 90 min to drive any DMS off, especially as im using mainly Pils malt in this brew, and added carageenen and wyeast nutrient at 10 mins... Then the chiller is run for 5 mins before I put the FO hops in, and the batch is chilled for a further 30-50 mins... I then dump the contents into a sanitised fermenter, seal it up, then if I was doing an ale would let it drop naturally to 20-22*c then pitch, but in this case, I need to get the wort down to 10*c, so im going to put it in the keg fridge, and once its down to pitching temp transfer it into a fermenting cube (which is what i use for lagers) which has a nice big fat cake of yeast to pitch on! The cube is then put into my small lager fermenting fridge (which only fits a cube) and set to 1 on the dial, which funnily enough, keeps the wort fermenting at a perfect 10*c without a tempmate :o) By this time ive earnt myself a beer ;o)