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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.

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Comment by studio1 on July 17, 2009 at 2:46pm
Hi Haish. Thanks - I got the mag stirrer at labwarehouse.co.nz. It was about $50! But they only had a few in stock and weren't getting any until later this year. Might be worth emailing them.


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