Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Brewday Fun and Mayhem

Savannah Brown Ale
Today was a fun day at the DIY brewery. Man it takes a full day when brewing all-grain, but it's good fun. All my real work was done in the early hours, so I got a jump on brewing by milling 4kg of malt. (actually the wife did the hard part) I boiled up 10 litres of rinse water to use later in the day. I formulated a recipe for a brown ale based on brewer's malt, brown toasted and black malts and some dry malt extract.

By 10:30AM I was off and mashing. I mashed a single step infusion mash with a grist ratio of 3.4 litres of water for each per kilogram of malt. I think this works out to the standard 1.5 quarts per pound that my American friends use. Close anyways. I did a 20 minute protein rest at 50ºC as I know this malt has a little much protein. I started mashing at 11AM and held in at 66ºC for 80 minutes. Sweet!

While mashing, I made a make-shift lauter tun from my old friends the blue water jugs. I used a piece of food-grade 10mm tubing in a coil with slices in it as the manifold. I attached it right to the existing water tap on the jug. It fits perfectly. OK, you have to improvise here eh? See photo of the inside of the jug/lauter tun.

I really don't know if the plastic will make the final beer taste like plastic, but I couldn't detect any problems in the samplings of wort that I took before and during the boil. I do know that it works just like the real thing and after recirculating for a minute the bed was set.

For the sparge I used 10 litres at 75ºC and did a batch sparge. I can't be bothered with trickle and wait. I got almost 25 litres out in total and of course I had to use the two biggest pots I had on to hold it all. I like using two pots as I can make a side brew like I did today. In the smaller pot I added some different ingredients and changed the hop schedule.

The boil was 70 minutes all up with 60 of Nugget 12.8% AA, and 15 minutes of Cascade 7.5% AA. In the side batch I added 1/2 cup of brown sugar and in the main batch I added 500g of dark dry malt extract. This should give a more complex "brown" malty taste (I am hoping).

The big chill came with lots of bottles of ice. In fact I didn't have enough ice made to power the chiller tonight, so it's the royal treatment with air conditioning for these guys until they get into their own chiller tomorrow. By the way, on a hot day, the water here is 32ºC and really is not that great for chilling. At least 10 litres of ice is required to chill 20 litres of boiling wort to pitching temperature.

A package of Danstar Nottingham Ale yeast was rehydrated and tossed into a litre of wort pulled from the mash. I boiled and cooled the mini-wort and shook it like mad. Oh well, no harm done and Savannah Brown Ale is on her way. After 4 hours the yeast has gone into a frenzy, swirling and churning and bubbling like a city alive with people. Magic eh?

I'll keep you posted and take some photos of the action.I learned that the Heat index was 44C today. Man I could go for a beer right now.

No comments: