Think I posted some pics before of my uncles brew set up.. well just got back from a 5 day trip to Denver over spring break, and Sunday was brew day for my uncle and me, first time I've ever seen him in action. I had a huge surplus of hops here in Houston, so I overnighted some to him the week before and he formulated a recipe using them. We ended up donig a Pliny the Elder clone. He's been a homebrewer for about 12 years, and has won many homebrew awards for his brews. So while I did help a bit here and there, I mostly sat back and watched the pro do his thing. The entire setup is in their basement, which is a walk out, so that's nice. His setup is pretty much a homebrewer's dream. It's adjacent to their bar. This basement pretty much just kicks the ass of any one you've ever been in. The pictures do the talking.
Here's a quick recap of brew day, semi in order with some pics.
First of all.. some pics of brewery.. here is walking in the only door, looking left, then straight on. Every possible thing you'd need during brew day, he not only has it, but he has a specific place to store it. Also, stainless steel racks are great for drying. In second pic, you see he has several little jars for adjuncts and such.
Here's the brew sculpture we're working with. A "more beer" tippy sculpture, and the brain of the unit.
Another view of brew room, from the bar area, through the interior window.
Anyway, 7am, fire up the burner on his HLT and mash tun, which were prefilled the night before. While that's heating up, time to measure out and mill the grain. (recipe below). In the bed room next door he has his mill.
Here is the grain storage, with a nice desk to work on. Above desk is cabinets full of more stuff.. cleaning, adjuncts, oxygen tanks, etc..
And here's the almost 30 lbs. of crushed grain
This is during the mash. There is a copper coil inside the bottom pot, (the HLT) which the wort recirculates through so the mash remains a constant temp. He did a 3 step mash. Acid rest, 30 min. at 90 deg., protein rest, 30 min. at 120 deg., and sacc rest, 90 min at 152 deg. Then mash out, 10 min. at 168. This is all automated, when the digital temp probe drops below 150, it fires up the pump to recirculate it through HLT copper coil and bring it up to temp.
Now the mash is over, sparge it, and time to boil..
While that heats up to boiling, cleaning mash tun is a breeze.. first tip it to remove grain (which goes outside in the flower beds)
Then, take off mash tun, and plop it in the sink to rinse and clean
Close up of sink.. he has water supply, perfect for filling pots and for wort chiller, used later. Again, a place for everything.
It's a long boil. We sort out the hops by addition, so just set a timer.. in the meantime, it's about noon, so time to pour a beer. Just around the corner, his taps.
Most of these are some expermiental brews he did. The golden bee was half honey, half wheat. The braggot was very strange.. it had pepper and spices in it.. and it came through strong. The herb beer had some stuff I never heard of, I forgot what he told me. Hop monster was typical ipa, as was the bavarian hef, and doppelbock is one of his award winning brews he always has on tap.
On the other side of the tap wall, all the kegs are stored in the walk in, accessible from the brew room. (You see the door to the walk in in my very first pic). His buddy made the keg racks. 6 regulators so each brew can be dialed in to whatever PSI you want.
After boil, time to chill the wort, and oxygenate. Easy as pie, just hook up a myriad of hoses, all cut to length, and let the pump do the work. First though, assemble the oxygenator
Of course, the hoses have their spot:
Now hook it all up
Close up of oxygenator at work
That's all the pics I got of brew day, once it was in the fermentor, he pitched the yeast starter which he did that tuesday, close it up, attached blow off tube, and set the temp at 68 deg. His fermentor is thermoelectrically cooled. It can go 30 below ambient. During winter (and for this brew), he has a small radiator to keep the room warm, so then the fermentor can in turn cool to the right temp. Otherwise, it would get too cold down there. His fermentor only cools, no heat.
Recipe, 10 gal. batch:
25 lbs. of 2-row, 1 lb of C-40, 2.25 lbs. cara pils, 2.25 lbs. of corn sugar.
chinook, 2.5oz, mash tun
nugget, 4oz, 90 min
chinook, 1.5oz, 90 min
strisselspalt, 2oz, 45 min
columbus, 2oz, 30 min
centennial, 3oz, 0 min
cascade, 2oz, 0 min
columbus, 5oz, dry hop
cascade, 4oz, dry hop
strisselspalt, 3oz, dry hop
Yep, 31 oz. for a 10 gal. batch. 200+ ibus. 1.075 OG. Should come in around 85abv.
cont'd in next post