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Old 11-15-2012, 04:25 PM   #1781
psehorne
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Default Problems on first brew day.

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We had a near catastrophe yesterday

... and the top sieves and the grain under them suddenly rose, and before I could react, were 1/8" above the top of the malt pipe and grain was overflowing into the outer compartment...

Because of the aforementioned problem and other happenings (we spend too much time talking with a neighbor who stopped by during the brew), we got behind the curve and let the system get ahead of us.

I screwed up and added the Irish moss during the last few minutes of the mash instead of during the boil. Did not realize this until the system beeped during the last few minutes of the boil to remind me to add the Irish moss; so we added another 1g of Irish moss at that time.

We prepped the water and got it to around 100ppm hardness before brewing and expected to add more gypsum near the end of the mash, but when we measured the hardness near the end of the mash prior to adding more gypsum, the hardness was already above 250 ppm; so we did not add any more gypsum.

I started out will 15 liters of water, which covered the heater coils, but once the pumps started the water level on the coils dropped below the lever of the highest coil; the part of the vessel where the heating coil was closest to the vessel wall got very hot, and the insulating jacked melted somewhat and stuck to the vessel wall. We added another 4l of water and proceeded. The heating coil was not damaged and the brew moved on. After the brew we pealed the insulating jacket off the vessel, and the vessel cleaned up just fine; although the heating jacket has an area that is charred black on the inside. The outside is not blackened but does show some distortion in the area that got too hot.

Pics attached.












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Old 11-15-2012, 04:31 PM   #1782
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Originally Posted by psehorne View Post
I screwed up and added the Irish moss during the last few minutes of the mash instead of during the boil. Did not realize this until the system beeped during the last few minutes of the boil to remind me to add the Irish moss; so we added another 1g of Irish moss at that time.
Pic of wort attached. You can see some of the Irish moss sitting on the sieve near the bottom right of the pic. Wort is very clear at this point. Pic must have been taken before the grain overflow.

Because of the events of the day we did not get any other pics taken and only a minute or two of video.




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Old 11-15-2012, 05:48 PM   #1783
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Did you add the water to the correct marking on the center rod and then add the malt pipe? I don't see how the coils didn't stay covered?

Also, were the pumps still running when you started removing the sieve?

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Old 11-15-2012, 05:56 PM   #1784
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Did you add the water to the correct marking on the center rod and then add the malt pipe? I don't see how the coils didn't stay covered?

Also, were the pumps still running when you started removing the sieve?
I added water to the 15l mark before inserting the malt pipe, then added 4.3 kg of grains. I thought that 15l would be enough. It was not.

I believe the pump was not running when we started removing the malt pipe. If I remember correctly the system prompted us to remove the malt pipe and paused awaiting a response. Things got pretty hectic all of a sudden. Maybe the pump started up and pushed the grain and sieves up, but I don't think so. I don't remember rushing to stop the pump.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:56 AM   #1785
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Today we will be brewing our first batch on the 20L - not only our first batch on the 20L, but our first batch ever. ..

For this first brew we have chosen a simple recipe. Almost a SMASH (single malt and single hops), but not quite. We will be using two malts.
  • 4kg 2-row pale American malt
  • .300 10 degree crystal malt
  • One package of Willamette hops (1 oz/28.35mg)
  • One package of Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast
An American Blonde Ale (the camera makes it look a little darker)
SG: 1.051
Yeast has now been pitched. Let the fermenting begin!




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Old 11-16-2012, 01:50 AM   #1786
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I didn't know the 20L units were so dangerous

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Old 11-16-2012, 02:37 AM   #1787
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Crazy! Any damage to the machine? If you were boiling over those jackets must really work. I never hit above 99 un-jacketed with my temp set at 102

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Old 11-16-2012, 03:41 AM   #1788
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Crazy! Any damage to the machine? If you were boiling over those jackets must really work. I never hit above 99 un-jacketed with my temp set at 102
No damage to the machine. Just had to scrape off the sticky from where the jacket stuck to the vessel. Yay! for stainless.

I may not have needed the jacket. The water test with 15l and no jacket provided vigorous boil, but that was with no grain and less water than used during the actual brew. I figured that since I have the jack I may as well use it. Got to store it somewhere, what better place than on the vessel. So I will probably always use it. Just one less item to keep up with.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:44 AM   #1789
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An American Blonde Ale (the camera makes it look a little darker)
SG: 1.051
Yeast has now been pitched. Let the fermenting begin!
Measured SRM (before fermenting): 10.2
A little high for an American Blonde.
Will measure again when ready for kegging.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:22 AM   #1790
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You're not supposed to touch the metal grill and sieve, just open the nut and get rid of the bar, then lift the pipe to rest on the kettle. When you lift the malt pipe, the sieve and grill will move up too along the centre metal rod. When you then lift the malt pipe away say onto a big bucket to drain, no need to touch the sieve either.



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