Sunday, October 6, 2013

“Peter Peter Porter Eater" #2

Brew date: Sept. 21, 2013
#19 - 5 gal

My first brew attempted on the new stand! While it was great getting outside on a beautiful day to brew (and even meet some of the neighbors who were wondering what the hell I was doing), it was a rather stressful session as I was constantly attempting to tweak what I was doing. Over the next two or three brew days, there will be lots of refining to do.

First and foremost: Figure out how best to chill the wort without using so much water. It felt like I was running the hose for 20-30 min trying to get the wort down to pitching temperature. This wouldn't be so bad, but my street has no curbs or gutters, which means the water ends up making a swamp out of my yard. Possible solution: Put 2-3 frozen gallon jugs in a tub of water, and pump this through the chiller using my steel head pump. I'll need to get some hose connections for the pump.

I definitely need a cheap 5 gallon kettle for heating sparge water. My old 3 gallon pot just wont cut it on a full five gallon batch. Until I get this, I will need to heat the sparge water in my second 10 gallon kettle, then empty it into two other pots before collecting my initial wort run off.

I need a table or workspace to rest utensils. A simple solution would be to attach sheet metal to the center of the brew stand to act as a table top.

Additionally, I should attach sheet metal around each burner to act as a wind guard and to focus the heat on to each kettle. Hopefully this will also improve heating consistency. It felt like I was constantly adjusting the flame to stabilize my temps.

Love the beautiful pumpkin color against the mash!
Finally, I need a large tub in which to do my cleaning and sanitizing. A large Rubbermade should do the trick.

It may have been biting off more than I could chew for this first go around, but I decided to brew my pumpkin porter from last year converted from a partial mash to an all-grain. That meant some educated guesses about the grain bill and efficiency on the new stand. In the end, my efficiency was way low -- maybe 69% -- and I was working hard to wring enough runoff from my grain for an appropriate 5 gallon batch. I'll need to do a much better job calculating grain absorption, dead space, and evaporation need time around. I really need to calibrate my Beer Tools Pro software to my new set up.

  • 8.75 lb 2-row
  • 1.5 lb 6-row
  • 0.5 lb Caramel 40L
  • 1 lb black malt
  • 0.5 lb chocolate malt
  • 1 lb Vienna malt
  • 1 lb Victory malt
  • 0.25 lb debittered black malt
  • 30 oz pumpkin (canned)
  • 1 oz Hallertau (60 min) (4.1% A)
  • 0.75 oz Cascade (30 min) (7.7% A)
  • 1 oz Cascade (20 min) (7.1% A)
  • 0.5 oz Hallertau (10 min) 4.1% A)
  • 2 t Irish moss (20 min)
  • 1 t Allspice (5 min)
  • 1 t Cinnamon (5 min)
  • 1 t Nutmeg (5 min)
  • Wyeast 1056 American Ale starter (4th gen)
  • Mash with 3.5 gal water @ 156 'F for 1 hr
  • Mashout @ 168 'F for 10 min
  • Vorlauf and strain into boil kettle
  • Sparge grain with 3 gal water @ 170 'F for 5-10 min
  • Vorlauf and strain into boil kettle
  • Bring to boil, add hops at designated times, boil for 1 hour, chill, pitch yeast @ 70 'F
  • Ferment at 65 'F 
OG: 1.064
Added 0.5 gal water to fermenter to increase batch size to just under 5 gallons.
Beer has more bitterness than I was hoping for. Cut back amount of cascade at 30 min?

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