Sunday 15 July 2012

Ashburnham Pale Ale # AG61

I wouldn't normally blog too much about this brown beer with twigs but it was the first time I used my HLT, boiler and pump together. 

The beer itself was 40 litres of 4%-ish pale ale which I'm brewing especially for a party I've been invited to in  September. 

Because I was doing a double batch, I prepared the liquor in my 60 litre boiler pumping 25L into the HLT to mash in with, a further 11L for the mash out before sparging with 32L (split into 25 and 7 litres).

When I can afford another 12v 5A power supply (I've bought two from fleabay, one didn't work and the replacement blew up after two brews) I'll use my converted tyre inflator to drive the flojet pump, but until then, to paraphrase Wood Allen, I'm strictly a hand operator.

A few pics
Boiler on the left, HLT on the right, temp controller in the middle

Sparge Arm in Action
G56 Flojet pump with pressure
 spray "hand crank"

Some rather brown first runnings - twigs got added later

First Wort Twigs

Yonny from Copper Kettle's How To Brew

Always a good bloke to have a chat to when brewing a beer, and definitely a great place to shop for your ingredients. Yonny from Copper Kettle, shows us how he makes beer from grains. 

Final Hot Liquor Tank Modification

As I alluded to in an earlier post, my final modification to my hot liquor tank is the fitting of a sight tube. Why do I need one? As the HLT is made of stainless steel there's no way of accurately measuring the amount water going into the mash tun, either for doughing in or sparging.

My aversion to drilling holes in my gear meant that I was looking to integrate the sight tube into my existing tap fittings. My aversion to spending any more than I have to meant that I wanted to use existing fittings which meant a combination of compression and speedfit fittings.

I had a 15mm speedfit T piece in my possession so I added a 15-10mm reducer and a bit of 10mm OD beer line and put the whole caboodle in between the tank connector and the tap. 

Having made sure it was finally watertight, it was time to calibrate the sight tube. There were a couple of problems; firstly the beer line, being made from nylon isn't as straight as some clear polycarbonate tubing which I plan to get from here. The other issue was, due to the extra height added by the reducer on top of the T-piece, there are eight litres of water in the HLT before it registers on the sight tube. The second problem isn't really an issue because I hardly ever need to add an amount of water that small. 

This set-up is perfect for brewing a cornie's worth (19L) of beer. For larger brewlengths, I can always store the water in my boiler and transfer one to the other.