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In the space of a week I have gone from Bag and Pot (BIAB) to a conventional set up. I've added a new Mashtun made from a 38L plastic fermenter covered with expanding foam ala Joking. Also fitted all the various valves and fittings, purchased a pump, a mill and a 40L 3kw electric Urn for HLT, and converted my copper chiller into a whirlpool chiller. Phew! Anyways, I waited patiently until everything was in place before attempting a brew. I decided to use up a load of crushed grain and came up with an Extra Stout. I'm not sure how this beer will turn out, but the brewday was a breeze. Extra Stout type thing: 3.16 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter 2.50 kg Golden Promise 0.80 kg Oats, Flaked 0.37 kg Caraaroma 0.32 kg Pale Choc 0.31 kg Crystal Malt - 80L 0.31 kg Roasted Barley ( 0.18 kg Munich Malt 0.12 kg Caramunich Malt 45gm Colubus @ 60m for 60IBU.

The mash was going to plan and I was amazed at the insulation on the MLT - it seemed to drop only .5 in an hour! That was until I realized the new Mashaster thermomenter was 'stuck' and didn't register any change when mash out water was added. So god knows how much my mash temp moved. Anyone else had such problems with a dial thermo? I recirculated gently with the pump for about 5 minutes, then started fly sparging.

I turned the gas on whilst the kettle was filling up but soonafter turned it off again when I realised there was a rapid boil going on with the first 4 or 5 L in the kettle. After about 40 minutes fly sparging was complete. After a 60 min boil I fired up the whirlpool chiller (after 15min of sterilizing) and had cool wort in about 10m. Pumping the wort into a carboy was too easy. I popped it in the chest freezer whilst my 1968 grows some more on the stirplate.

I had set my pickup tube in the kettle to leave 3L behind. Normally with BIAB I would get loads of trub (even on low hopped beers) - here are the results of the last 3L in the kettle:

My efficiency was a bit lower than I expected - but I presume crushing my own grain will make a difference. OG on the stout came out at 1.062 The brew day was so smooth. Not having to carry barrels of hot water from upstairs, or carry the hot kettle near the outside tap for the chiller. And no siphoning! The pump is awesome. Cleanup was a piece of piss with the chiller water. The whole brew was completed in less than 4 hours and was a load of fun! I picked up my wife from work at 8. She declared a beer was in order and rather than heading the the Belgian Beer Cafe in Mission Bay (just down the road - but we've been there too much recently), we headed around the corner to Der Metz.

After an Aventinus and a Gosser Dark - I tucked into some excellent pork belly. I've got a copy of the menu (incl Beers) that I"m going to scan and put up here. I'll be visiting Der Metz a bit more often methinks.

Views: 244

Comment by Mike Neilson on July 15, 2009 at 10:17am
Too much bro!! Pumps kick arse!! so does conventional brewing!! I bet you will see well taste an instant diffrence in the finished product!!
Comment by JoKing on July 15, 2009 at 10:20am
Dude... you're wife's hot. And gongrats on the setup too - it looks great.
Comment by Stu McKinlay on July 15, 2009 at 10:56am
Yeh, it all looks good doesn't it Joking. Gorgeous beer drinking wife, yummy food, great beer, awesome brewery (making delicious beer from my limited sample). And are you guys sitting outside!!!?? WTF!? Life could be worse...

To think that Aucklander's are always complaining.
Comment by Stu McKinlay on July 15, 2009 at 10:57am
ps. I'm so jealous of you guys and your big spacious brewing rooms. I need a big garage with a water supply.
Comment by MrC on July 15, 2009 at 12:02pm
Yeah, Nice one Studio1. You and Mike are making me jealous with your fancy yet simple setups and all your comments about how easy it is to brew.

1. You mention that you pumped the wort into the fermenter, did you use the same pump that you used for recirculation with a quick sterilise in between?
2. Do you pump from the mash tun into the kettle or let gravity do the work?
Comment by studio1 on July 15, 2009 at 12:29pm
thanks for the comments lads. Stu - you might not think the next CS beer is delicious - I'm a bit disappointed with this one - hopefully its better in the bottle. We sat outside briefly for a smoko.

Mr Cherry - I used the pump and lines to whirlpool in the kettle (as part of my copper chiller)- for the 15 mins before the end of the boil, thereby sterlizing the pump and hose.
I gravity fed from the HLT into the MLT whilst pumping into the kettle, restricting the flow heavily to about half a litre / minute.

It was ridiculously easy (and fun) to brew with this setup. Everything is practically clean in place too.
Comment by vdog on July 15, 2009 at 1:31pm
Looks good, Studio1. Anything that shortens the brew day and makes it more enjoyable (ie gives you more time to drink the fruits of your labour) without sacrificing quality has to be a good thing!
Comment by denimglen on July 15, 2009 at 3:58pm
Give the probe a light tape with your spoon, will usually loosen it up.

Did you get your urn local?

Looking very nice brother.
Comment by Reviled on July 16, 2009 at 8:46pm
Damn fine set up bro ;o)
Comment by Haish on July 16, 2009 at 11:35pm
Nice brewery! Looks like you've got your process down. I like your stirplate - looks professional, where did you get it?


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