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Old 07-02-2009, 04:58 AM   #1
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Default Double batch brewday (with data!)

Last Friday I brewed two 5gal batches, a Saison and an APA, and took some screenshots. I've brewed this APA before, which is (not so) loosely based on Jamil's APA from Brewing Classic Styles. The Saison is also based on a recipe from his book.

First up was the APA.

Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Amount Item Type % or IBU
11.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 84.62 %
0.75 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 5.77 %
0.75 lb Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 5.77 %
0.50 lb Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 3.85 %
0.66 oz Horizon [13.00 %] (60 min) Hops 25.6 IBU
0.50 oz Cascade [6.00 %] (10 min) Hops 3.3 IBU
0.50 oz Centennial [9.00 %] (10 min) Hops 4.9 IBU
0.50 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (0 min) Hops -
0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] (0 min) Hops -
1 Pkgs American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.064 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.015 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.40 %

My system is a 48qt cooler based MLT, with a small ~2gal external heat exchanger with a heating element and herms coil. My BCS-460 controls the element and the pump. I went home over my lunch hour and assembled my system, measured out the strike water, and dumped it into the MLT. Then manually primed the pump to make sure that everything was flowing. Then back to work!

My little 1500W is great for maintaining temps, but slow heating strike water. So about 2 hours before I left work, I logged into my BCS-460 and kicked off the heat strike process.

Click img for an interactive chart (as you would see in the BCS). There are 3 probes in my system. from top to bottom:

  • The top grey (trace3) is the temp inside the dedicated heat exchanger
  • Blue (trace1) is the wort temperature, as it exit the heat exchanger coil. This temp controls the element via PID algorithm.
  • Red (trace0) is a probe directly in the MLT. This temp usually lags the hex output temp by a degree or 2, but settles out when the system stabilizes.


Mash in. At about time 12min, I dough in at 1.25qt/lb, stir, and then close the lid and recirculate.


40 minutes into the mash. Aiming for 152deg, and its looking good.


My feeble attempt at a mashout:


Sparged, and got the APA boiling. While the APA was mashing, i preheated some water for the Saison. The APA brew was extremely smooth. Too bad the second half of my brewday wasn't as easy...
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Old 07-02-2009, 05:14 AM   #2
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For round 2 I brewed a recipe based on Jamil's Raison D'Saison. This was the first time I brewed a Belgian beer, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it will turn out.

Ingredients
Amount Item Type % or IBU
11.50 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 80.70 %
1.00 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 7.02 %
0.75 lb Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 5.26 %
2.00 oz Hallertauer [3.00 %] (60 min) Hops 17.2 IBU
1.00 oz Hallertauer [3.00 %] (0 min) Hops -
1.00 lb Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 7.02 %
1 Pkgs Belgian Saison I Ale (White Labs #WLP565) Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.074 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.021 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.93 %

So I get my strike water up to temp, an dough in. Right off the bat I see that somethings wrong... The mash looks like thick oatmeal. I used the same 1.25 ratio that I always do, but this looked THICK. Same crush via my barley crusher, so it must've been the belian pilsner base malt and/or the wheat. It was obvious that there was no way that this was going to recirc in my herms. So I added some (room temp) water to loosen it up. My thinking was that the herms would eventually heat it up, but in hindsight this was a mistake. I wish I would've taken a pic.

I mashed in at about 28min on the chart:


I couldn't get any kind of a flow rate. The wort was just trickling out of the return. This is the first time that I've ever had a stuck recirc. I stopped, stirred, started probably 10 times trying to get it moving. The wort temp (blue) was at my target 150, but there wasnt' enough flow to get the mash up to temp. You can see the red trace which is the MLT probe sits around 140. Thank god this was a 90 min mash, because while tending to my APA boil/chill, it took me 45min to get an infusion figured out to bring it back to temp (that was about 1:15 on the chart). After the hot water infusion everything started jiving.

I came within 1 pts of my OG, which was surprising. Anyone know what a 45min rest at 140 will do for my beer? I'm guessing its not going to be the end of the world.

So my lessons learned: 1.5qt/lb is probably better for a herms system. And if you're trying a new type of grain on a double batch brewday, do the new brew first.

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Old 07-02-2009, 03:15 PM   #3
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Cool system! I like pictures.

The low, long mash should result in more fermentable wort, which means you should have a lower FG. I'm not a saison expert, so I don't really know what that means as far as style goes. I bet it'll be fine, though.

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Old 07-02-2009, 05:35 PM   #4
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Nice brew day and nice pics of the BCS-460. I think everything will turn out fine.

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Old 07-05-2009, 02:47 AM   #5
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Thanks Ed. All ingredients arrived from Brewmasters Warehouse in time for the brew! The WLP565 Belgian yeast really took off.

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