To put the false bottom in the Mash Tun before adding grain
I finally got the remainder of the parts to complete Barney, my weldless brewstand.
I had leak-tested everything, run some preliminary tests, and everything looked good to go, so I decided to make some beer.
I just picked up a 50lb sack of Maris Otter barley from UBottleIt, and have been enjoying English IPAs lately, so I decided to try to brew one myself.
The recipe is pretty simple:
- 20lb Maris Otter
- 1lb Crystal 40
- 1lb Crystal 120
- 1lb Biscuit
- 4oz Challenger @ 60 min
- 4oz UK Fuggles @ 10 min
- 4oz UK Kent Goldings @ flameout
- 2 vials White Labs WLP022 Essex Ale Yeast
I loaded up my HLT with 14gal of RO water, added some 5.2 conditioner, and turned on the gas. While the strike water was heating, I conditioned and ground the malt. Once the strike water was up to temp, I transferred the water to my mash tun, fired up the recirculating pump and RIMS, and started adding grain.
I had added about 3 lbs of grain when the recirculating flow suddenly stopped, and the RIMS temperature started to climb rapidly. This is not a good thing, so I quickly shut down the RIMS and pump and started to investigate.
A quick check of the silicone tubing going to the pump showed that it was full of grain. I suddenly realized that I had completely forgotten to put the false bottom into the mash tun, a stupid rookie mistake.
Now I had to:
- Drain and save the liquor from the Mash Tun
- Remove and save the grain
- Rinse out the Mash Tun
- Clear the tubing lines
- Drain and clean the RIMS tube
- Disassemble and clean the pump head
- PUT IN THE FALSE BOTTOM
- Place the liquor back into the Mash Tun
- Restart the pump and RIMS
- Wait for the liquor to get back up to strike temp
- Add the grain
- Pick up where I left off
This took the better part of 2 hours to complete, but since I use tri-clamp fittings for the Mash Tun, pump head, and RIMS tube, the actual disassembly, cleaning and reassembly was easy.
After about an hour in the Mash Tun, I transferred the wort to the boil kettle and fired up the gas. I then batch sparged the grain with about 6gal of strike water, recirculated for about 15 minutes, and transferred that to the boil kettle, for a total of about 13gal.
The boil was uneventful, hop additions were on time, and then I transferred the wort to two 5gal ported Better Bottles. The transfer was accomplish by gravity feed, through my Brewer’s Hardware Hop / Trub Filter
and my Keg Cowboy
40-plate Wort Chiller. Both worked flawlessly, giving me clear, cooled wort. A quick check with my refractometer showed all of my gravities were spot-on, so I added the yeast and put the carboys into the fermentation chamber.
My checklist now has an entry to double check for the false bottom.