Sunday 16 May 2010

An "As live" Brewday

This posting appeared on Facebook but for those who don't have access to that social media and would like to read my wibblings here please see below.

0810 Hot Liquor Tank on, before and of you fnarr fnarr about me having a hot licker in the shed, a Hot Liquor Tank is a posh name for a boiler, in brewspeak, liquor = water. Make the tea.

0820 While water is warming up, the shed needs to be cleared out so that both I and my brewery can both fit in there.
It's a bit tight in the brewing shed.

0830 Weigh out the grains; in this case 8.10 KG of Pale Malt (Maris Otter) and 840g of Crystal Malt.

0900 Temp of water up to 80C, run off a couple of litres to pre heat the Mash Tun

0910 23 Litres of Liquor at 77C and then "dough in" the grains, make sure the mash temperature hits 66C (which it does) and then cover it up and set the timer for 90 minutes.
"Doughing in"

0930 Hang the washing out. There's a lot of downtime in All Grain brewing as Russ Pope with tell you so it never hurts to earn those brownie points from the other half. During this time I'm also going to attempt to sterilise some bottles and a keg in preparation for kegging/bottling last week's brews.

1010 Weigh out items for the boil. 40g Northern Brewer, 40g East Kent Goldings, 840g Golden Cane Sugar (all for the 90 min boil) 20g Fuggles and a protofloc tab for the last 2 mins.

1040 Drain and recirculate the first few litres of sweet wort then, when it runs clear, collect it in a fermenter (or bucket). Top up with 15 litres of water at 75C then leave for 10 mins. Prepare the last 18L of water for the second batch sparge.

1200 Put collected wort back into the boiler and switch the elements on. I've collected just over 10 gallons which was slightly less than I needed which will mean the beer is a little bit stronger than I will originally have planned.

1300 Rolling boil achieved added the sugar, Northern Brewer and East Kent Goldings. Pop round to the neighbours with the spent grain for their chickens and return with half a dozen freshly laid eggs. Apparently the last lot of grain has caused the yolks to be even yellower. Woohoo.
Lots of hoppy goodness

1428 The late hops for aroma and protofloc to help prevent chill haze when the brew is bottled.

1430 Chillers in; this helps to cool the wort quickly to pitching temperature which helps prevent bacterial infection. Rehydrating yeast in some cooled boiled water
OG spot on. This may be a strong one. I think I'll call it "Gone for a Burton"
This takes about 40 mins so I've got time to bottle my last (but probably not last ever) kit brew. This one is one of what is known on Jims Beer Kit as an Out of Date Brewbuddy experiment. My good friend and fellow brewer James Wilson got his mitts on some out of date Youngs Brewbuddy kits from a supplier. I've taken five of them and am applying identical (kit) brewing techniques with different ingredients.

With this one I brewed with 1kg of Beer Kit Enhancer, a hopped tea made with 15g Nelson Sauvin hop pellets courtesy of Gadds of Ramsgate followed by a dry hop with the remaining 28g. My brewing colleague Philip Bird has also done such experiments and between us we have East Kent Goldings, Pacific Gem, First Gold and Nelson Sauvin versions. I've used S04 yeast with mine but not sure what Phil used with his. I've got an Amarillo version to do and probably a Fuggles one as well (but this time with Windsor yeast).

1530 Running the wort into the fermenters from a height to achieve good aeration. Because this brew is to 35L I'll need two fermenters. I've taken the OG which, adjusted for temperature, comes out exactly at 1067 which was the target OG.
Lovely clear wort

1600 Pop off to Tescos to do a bit of shopping, come back and split the yeast into the fermenters using a sterilised 60ml syringe.

1630 Fermenters in the brewfridge at 20C and time to clean up. Actually I had other things to do at this time so the cleaning up has still to be done.

I'm pretty pleased with my second all grain effort and I'll be going another brew in a couple of weeks time when I've had the opportunity to empty some kegs and some bottles.

For other pics please see the thread on the Brew it Yourself forum


  1. Nice one Sean, sounds like you're getting into the swing of it.

  2. Thanks Eddie, especially for all your support, but let's see what it tastes like before we jump to any conclusions. Might have to have a sneaky taster of the Amarillo Pale Ale on Saturday, strictly for QC purposes of course.