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Old 01-05-2009, 04:42 PM   #1
keelanfish
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Default Maiden Brew - Irish Stout

I've been brewing for over a year now, but have recently gotten excited about going all grain and being able to do 10 gallon batches. I've spent the last month fabricating and adding equipment and getting everything setup at my brother's apartment. Apartment brewing presents some challenges, but it can be done and done well. Below is a photo summary of our first brew with the new setup - a minimash 5 gallon batch of Irish Stout from Morebeer. Since we've never done all grain, I figured a minimash would be a good idea to get a feel for the process and the equipment performance.


New 10 gallon mashtun


Mashtun CPVC Valve


Mashtun Slotted Copper Manifold


Faucett Hose Connection - A must for apartment brewers


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Old 01-05-2009, 04:42 PM   #2
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Cleaning New Immersion Chiller in Vinegar Solution (notice new 15 gallon heavy duty brew kettle too!)


Clean Immersion Chiller


New Shelf (purchased from going out of business Linens-n-things)


Adding Grain to Mashtun


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Old 01-05-2009, 04:43 PM   #3
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Measuring Strike Water (this was a pain, any better methods?)


Starting the Mash - Smells good already


Starting the Boil


Other Ingredients - used hop bags for the first time, they are awesome!
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Old 01-05-2009, 04:43 PM   #4
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Cleaning the Mashtun (hose is the way to go)

That's all of the pics, but we ended up hitting 1.062. Morebeer says we should have hit 1.068, so we were a little under, but not bad for the first attempt. Immersion chiller worked awesome, cooling from boiling to 70 degrees in less than 10 minutes. On a side note, the immersion chiller was made with 60 feet of 1/4" inside diameter (3/8" O.D.) copper tubing. Even with the double coil, flow through was suffficient but not so much that I felt like I was waisting a lot of water.

Currently 5 gallons is fermenting in a 6 gallon carboy with blow-off hose in a swamp bucket. Temerature started at 68 degrees, but now that it is actively fermenting the temp is up to 70.

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Old 01-05-2009, 05:04 PM   #5
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Congrats! Love the pictures. I also love that beast of an immersion chiller. I end up measuring the strike water using a second 5 gallon igloo (it has hash marks on the side).
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:35 PM   #6
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If you plan to use that same kettle to heat your strike water for all your brews, go to HomeDepot and get a 3/4" or 1" diameter piece of wooden dowel. Then, with your measuring cup (they're cheap if you have to buy one), you can calibrate the dowel little by little as you add water. I calibrated mine for my keggle in half gallon increments, but you could go as high a resolution as you want! It works well. The thicker the dowel the straighter it'll stay longer, and therefor the more accurate your measurements will be.

Now you'll be able to get precise strike water amounts...just check the starting amount, subtract the amount of strike water, and stop the flow when you're at the difference on the stick
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:38 PM   #7
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The dowel is a good idea. I really eventually want to get a dedicated HLT with sight glass, but I'll have to wait a while. The 15 gallon brew kettle is a big upgrade from the 3 gallon one I had before. It would be nice if someone made an affordable in line flow meter though.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:25 PM   #8
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Nice pics. Thanks.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:07 PM   #9
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Awesome immersion chiller! Give us more detail how well does it work? I have never seen a design like that one before.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:39 PM   #10
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Well, originally I wanted to build it out of 1/2" copper tubing, but at the local Lowe's Home Improvement store, they only had 1/2" in 20' coils and it was $50. So I ended up buying the cheaper 1/4" diameter stuff which was around $50 for a 60' coil. Originally I was just going to coil it up into a 14" diameter coil (my brew pot is 18" in diameter) and make a normal immersion chiller out of it. However, I wasn't happy with how flimsy is was and is was also very tall. I brew mostly 5 gallon batches, which is about 5" deep in my brew pot, so if I went with the tall coil, most of it would be out of the wort and not doing any chilling.

So, I wound 8" high at the 14" diameter and still had some tubing left, so I wound a smaller tighter coil to use up the extra which ended up being about 10" tall. As luck would have it, I ended up winding the coils in the opposite direction, so cool water enters the inner coil at the bottom and the outer coil at the top. I have no idea if this has any advantages, but I figured I'd just leave it and now think it is advantageous to have cooling happening at the top and bottom.

At that point I had two beutiful coils, but they still felt flimsy and I figured I needed a way to connect the two and to separate the individual coils so they weren't just laying right on top of each other. I had a fair amount of 1/2" copper pipe and fittings laying around, so I just drilled holes in them with a drill press and threaded the coils through them. I then soldered the inner and outer supports together and was pleasantly surprised at how sturdy it turned out. I can take and post more detailed photos if anyone is interested.


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