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Old 10-29-2007, 02:09 AM   #11
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It was gearing up as my best, quickest, and most efficient (in all sense of the word) brew day yet.

I hit 77-78% efficiency on my first complete AG (have been mashing 10 lbs grains and adding extract because I had bigger OGs where the necessary grain wouldn't fit in my 5 gal rubbermaid).

I was hittin' up chat, and sampling some good beers I had gotten at the store.

Then, comes chillin' time: On Thursday night, I tried the method of pumping boiling liquid (used water for a test) through an immersion chiller submerged into an ice bath directly into the fermentor. Worked like a charm: boiling water in, 60* water out...however, it melted my autosiphon.

So I ran to HD on Friday and got the T-barb that Flyguy has posted about to use Friday night. Screw the autosiphon, this was gonna be fine.

Nope, couldn't get a strong enough siphon started, it even slipped out at one point and I lost about a 3/4 gallon wort to the floor/walls. Bollocks.

So I scrapped that plan, sanitized my IC (at least I think I did), and chilled the old fashioned method. Pitched fine, activity in 24 hours, and bubbling away steadily.

You live, you learn. Getting a Shirron and March Pump for Xmas.

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Old 10-29-2007, 02:16 AM   #12
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I'm going to try the ole march-pump and imersion chiller method put forth by Jamil.

Just need a march pump...

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Old 10-29-2007, 02:23 AM   #13
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Hit 81% efficiency on my Milk Stout today , just waiting for the fermentation to take off. Also bottled a batch of Apfelwein.

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Old 10-29-2007, 02:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher
I'm going to try the ole march-pump and imersion chiller method put forth by Jamil.

Just need a march pump...
March Pump CFC is super efficient.
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:30 AM   #15
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Hit about 70% efficiency, but other than that, was easily my smoothest brew day ever. No boil overs, new ball-lock valve on the MLT, smoooooooth wort collection. Wound up with 2/3 gallon more than I was shooting for, so the OG was a bit low, but still gonna be a tasty beer. 4 hours 45 minutes from heating up the strike water to finishing cleanup. Was my quickest brew as well. Oh, got a corded drill as well, so crushing my grains takes about 1/4 the time it used to.

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Old 10-29-2007, 02:42 AM   #16
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I'm still having issues getting my electric stove to do partial boils. At this point, I've realized it just can't handle even that volume. I've done late additions on my last two batches and it still hasn't helped much.

Had a small logistical dilemma when trying to figure out how to fill a rubbermaid tub with water. I could either carry it upstairs to the tub, fill it and haul it downstairs.(absolute last option). I could try to fill it outside and attempt to carry it to the brew closet. (Same level but still a decent distance with all that water). I even considered filling up gallon jugs and dumping them in one by one. Finally it dawned on me. Fill the sink with water, keep the water running and siphon it into the tub. Bingo! It's a lot easier to slide it than lift and carry it.

I almost forgot to add the remaining LME to the boil. I put a partial amount in a the beginning.

No major issues this weekend with mine, but still have a few things to work out.

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Old 10-29-2007, 02:53 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BierMuncher
I'm going to try the ole march-pump and imersion chiller method put forth by Jamil.

Just need a march pump...
Yeah, I'm actually thinking about this before I actually ask for the Shirron. I dunno, though.
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:12 AM   #18
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I had a cool brew day. Did a 10 gal AG batch of EdWort's Haus Pale Ale, 5 gal PM of DunkelWeizen, and 5 gal PM Doppel Bock.

I had 5 guys and their families over. One of the guys was the extract/PM guy but he hadn't brewed in a long time. He showed up late and a little unprepared/scatter brained. Ended up using a hodgepodge of equipment to get all 3 batches done, but we ended up with 20 gallons in the fermenters when it was all said and done.

We also grilled some AWESOME kabobs and had a nice feast to wrap up the day. I'm uploading some pictures to my website. I'll post some pics in the morning. I'm beat, so I'm going to bed now.

Cheers

Edit: I posted a thread with some good pics here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=43061

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Old 10-29-2007, 03:32 AM   #19
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Had a two-day brew day trifecta Thursday and Friday. I took a couple of days off from a major project and had planned to bottle my first batch, rack the second batch to the 2ndary and start my third (and first AG) batch in the same day. About 2:00 on Thursday I realized that was f'ing insane. There was no way to get it all done before having to switch back to husband/dad mode, so I broke it up.

Day 1:
Brought carboy of Apex Amber in from the 2nd fridge to settle and come up to room temp for bottling. Still dark out.

Hauled out the AG stuff. As you can see, both cats were very interested in the brewing process.

Using the dishwasher as a drying rack and the door as the bottling platform was a brilliant tip I picked up here. Any splashes or overflows run right into the dishwasher and out the drain. Nice. You can see the empty carboy filled with PBW off to the left.

Racked my cream ale/koelsch into the carboy for a couple of weeks of cleanup at fridge temps. I think John Palmer would be proud to see his book used as a racking aid.

Chad

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Old 10-29-2007, 03:33 AM   #20
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Day 2:
Got my AG stuff together and hit the big time with Apex Amber v2.0. Thanks to thorough planning and a detailed checklist it went remarkably well. I made a couple of rookie errors, but nothing soul crushing. I didn't account well enough for grain absorption so ran 1/2 gallon short of hot sparge water. I didn't cool the samples of 1st, 2nd and 3rd running when checking gravity, so was trying to get gravity readings at 100+ degrees -- that sort of thing. On the plus side, I hit my mash temp and target OG perfectly and somehow managed 75% efficiency.

The new 8 gallon pot is a little small, but about as big as my kitchen stove can handle at the moment. . Only really threatened to boil over once, but that quickly passed.

Pitched my yeast -- the slurry from a 2L starter -- at 1:00pm and had the first tentative bubbles by 5:00pm. Not bad.

I am also now a wort chiller convert and evangelist. Damn! My wort was amazingly clear going into the fermenter. I had no idea how much crud would drop out with proper chilling.

Saturday I toured the Carolina Brewing Company with Boston, Professor Frink & B.R. Loomis and wife. A good weekend for beer.

Chad

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Last edited by Chad; 10-29-2007 at 03:48 AM.
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