Saturday, January 22, 2011

Brewing Big

As in big, I mean large.  This is not my normal "big" brew as in high gravity, but on a system that is five times as large than I normally brew.

I am now a co-brewer at a bar that brews in-house.  Our system is a 1-hl system (~26.4 gallons for all of you Americans), which has a mashtun (top left), brew kettle (bottom right), hot-water storage tank (middle), conical fermenter (top right), and an open fermenter (bottom left, that we will never use).  It is all electric controlled (center white box) and heat is produced with electric elements.  This brewing system is at the Quarter Barrel in Oxford, OH (near Miami University).

This was my first experience in having major influences in brewing something on a larger scale.  For my first brew here, I help them brew one of my tried and trued brews, Ol' Stouty McGee (in which we call Batch #3)

The grain bill is as follows:

46.20 lb Pale Malt (2 Row)
15.84 lb Rye Mat
3.96 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L
3.96 lb Chocolate Malt
3.96 lb Roasted Barle

The rye malt didn't come as pre-crushed, so we had to crush approximately 2-lbs at a time, to get up to the full 15.84-lbs.  That wasn't a long and painful process for me, but it was for my co-brewer Brandon.  After we completed crushing, and all of the grains were added to the mashtun, we then added 93-qt. of water at 179 °F to the grain and we held the grain temperature at 158 °F.

After a hour mash, we ran off into a pitcher so that we could vorlauf to clear the ending beer product.

With all the rye in the mash, and my inexperience, the run off took over an hour to get not very much wort.  We eventually had to disturb the grain bed to get the run-off done in a resemble amout of time.  Now I know not to runoff at full tilt, because that compacts the grain bed.

The boiling of the the wort went much better.  The boil was 60-min. and the hop addition were as follows:

15.09 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (60 min) Hops
5.03 oz Bramling Cross [6.00 %] (40 min) Hops
5.03 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] (5 min) Hops 

During the boil, we ran Iodophor through the system (pump, plate chiller, and fermenter) for 20-min. to sanitize the system.  After after sanitization, the wort was pumped to the fermenter (this time priming the pump wasn't as bad as previously experienced), through the plate chiller.  Then 5-packages of US-04, from Fermentis, was pitch with some excess wort.

For the most part, brewing on the bigger system isn't as challenging as thought of, except for priming the pump.  Our reading were a little low, but the lower then usual final gravity makes the beer a 5.6% ABV.

Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.050
Original Gravity: 1.055
Final Gravity:  1.012

This is the Quarter Barrel's Batch #3 and is estimated to be on tap on Thurs. Feb. 10, 2011.  Tomorrow (Sun. Jan. 23, 2011) we firkin Batch #3 for cask conditioning.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jason can you tell me who made this brewing system? I would be very intrested in exploring the purchase of one! Would love to get the spec sheets. My name is Paul and I can be reached at Thanks!