After about 9 months of on-again/off-again building of Kal's system, I brewed my first batch...
Yesterday (American Memorial Day) was my first time brewing on my new automated system.
Despite one big issue (one of my pumps broke mid-brew), everything came together. Luckily it broke right after mash, and I ended up fly sparging by hand! LOL
My first brew was a simple Blonde Ale inspired by New Belgium Somersault.
My goal is an ABV of 5.5 to 5.7% and an IBU (bitterness) of around 28. I had a target OG of 1.056 and achieved 1.052. Using BeerSmith 2.0, it looks like my efficiency worked out to 88.8%. I had programmed in 90%. I feel happy with my first attempt.
So here's the process (total time is about 7.5 hours from firing up the brewery to finishing cleanup). I can probably shave it down to 6 hours once I become more familiar with the equipment and process.
Crushing the grains in my barley crusher
Hops (Centennial and Cascade)
Brewing salts and mandatory refreshment of the day
The mad scientist's laboratory
The workstation (brewing software, beer platform, and general work area)
Mashing the grains
Initial Foam appears at the start of the boil (this is eventually skimmed off)