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Old 01-19-2009, 10:22 PM   #1
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Default Epic brew day...

Brewed the Maharaja clone on Saturday. What a brew day.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/maharaja-clone-93250/

Since I was brewing 10 gallons at OG 1.090, I was mashing a whopping 42# of grain; 38# of 2-row and 4# of specialty grains. I ended up encountering a few challenges and doing a little seat of the pants engineering to get through this brew day!

Challenge #1: How to heat 13 gallons of strike water in less than a year.
Solution: Dough in half the grain, then heat the other half of the strike water. Use a big burner. Borrow Soperbrew's brew kettle. Melt the plastic off of the valve handle of Soperbrew's kettle. Oops.

Heating sparge water for the second half of the mash while the first mash works its magic:

dsc01725.jpg

Challenge #2: Realize all the grain won't fit into your mash tun, which is a measly 17.5 gallons in capacity. DO'oh!
Solution: Mash half the grains in a 48qt cooler. After sparging the first half of the mash, transfer spent grain into a kettle (will get to that later), and then sparge the second mash in the MLT. This added about a half hour to the brew day but otherwise wasn't complicated at all. In fact, it was so simple, I think I will try to brew a double batch sometime using this method!

Doughing in the second mash:

Attachment 9305

dsc01727.jpg  
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:23 PM   #2
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I bow to your AG awesomeness, warts (worts ) and all.

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Old 01-19-2009, 10:39 PM   #3
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... have to post the pr0n. 6oz of bittering hops:

dsc01728.jpg

Collected 13.5 gallons in a 15 gallon kettle. Yes, Ma, foam control drops really do work!

dsc01732.jpg

For the partigyle brew, I knew I would have too many spent grains to be able to steep the additional specialty grains properly, so I did a minimash in my 5 gallon cooler with a little 2-row and some 5.2 stabilizer to keep the pH from getting too low. I transferred the extra spent grains into the mash tun, and then sparged the spent grains running off into the 5 gallon cooler (basically using the runoff of the 2-row from the first mash to sparge the second mini-mash).

dsc01733.jpg

90 minute hop addition in the big kettle (yes, Texas beat their @$$es in the Fiesta Bowl):

dsc01734.jpg

I did a 30 minute addition in a separate hop bag, and a 15 minute addition was added to the same bag as the bittering hops. At flameout I pulled the hop bag out of the main boil and dropped it into the partigyle kettle for 45 minutes, making the partigyle beer a true partigyle beer including the hops!

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Old 01-19-2009, 10:45 PM   #4
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Drat, I don't have any photos of it, but it was really windy on Saturday as it often is in the winter here. The flames on the burners kept blowing out, so Chris had the idea to collect a bunch of empty boxes around the garage and put bricks in them to form a windbreak. That worked really well. I'll build a proper wind break before my next brew day.

I also learned that my new 30PSI Banjo burner will not work anymore once a tank is down to 1/3 full. There isn't enough pressure generated to keep the burner going and the flame goes out. Time to scour Craigslist looking for a 40# tank. Thankfully Chris brought over a spare LP tank along with his brew pot, and a burner I wanted to use to heat the sparge water for the partigyle but couldn't because it was too windy.

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Old 01-19-2009, 11:51 PM   #5
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I think the propane tank is getting to cold. I have had brews where the tank started forming ice on the outside. Set the tank in a container of warm water and this problem should go away.
Congrats a troubled but problem free brew!

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Old 01-20-2009, 01:49 AM   #6
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What a day! Hope they turn out well.

I think I have the same burner as you, and I really hate it. I'm on a fairly limited income, and I hate that I have to exchange my tank when it is still 1/3 full.

I think I'm going to try and find smaller used one...

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Old 01-20-2009, 06:29 PM   #7
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Holy ****, that's a lot of grain. I have that same huge coleman cooler and I guess now i know how much grain it can hold.

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Old 01-20-2009, 09:17 PM   #8
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Yeah at 1.25 qt/lb, I think about 30# is a practical limit for this cooler. 35# is probably doable, but you'd have to take forever to dough in to get the doughballs worked out of the mash.

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Old 01-20-2009, 09:50 PM   #9
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What a day! Hope they turn out well.

I think I have the same burner as you, and I really hate it. I'm on a fairly limited income, and I hate that I have to exchange my tank when it is still 1/3 full.

I think I'm going to try and find smaller used one...
There are still good propane suppliers around who will refill a tank and just charge you for what they put in, not for the full exchange. Blue Rhino is making a metric buttload of money selling the same 1/2 gallon of leftover propane over and over again.
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:39 PM   #10
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I'm so stealing your hop bag holder idea!

Looks like a heck of a brewday!

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