Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Brewing for the big day... 5 gallons at a time

This past weekend was officially time to start brewing for the wedding since we only have two months to go. I decided to brew the stout first since it would probably benefit the most from longer aging. Saturday was a fun, but long day. Since I decided to brew ten gallons of each kind and my all grain setup yields five gallon batches, I knew there would be some hours involved. My intentions were to get started by 9AM and be done the two batched early... that didn't happen. I used the same recipe and tried to match the process exactly each time. If anything, I hope to learn how to be consistent from batch to batch.

If it wasn't obvious from the picture, I went with an oatmeal stout. It's the type of beer that you've tried it for the first time, it's hard to turn down. Plus it's a staple homebrew recipe for those looking to brew with an adjunct. Here's the recipe:

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Ringwood
Yeast Starter: 1L
Batch Size (Gallons): 5
Original Gravity: 1.051
IBU: 28.2
Boiling Time (Minutes): Batch 1 for 60 - Batch 2 for 75
Color: 35.2 SRM
Mash: Single Infusion - Batch 1 at 152 for 60 min - Batch 2 at 155 for 60 min

Grain Bill:
  • 7.25 lb Domestic 2-Row
  • 1.2 lb Quick Oats

  • 0.5 lb Biscuit Malt

  • 0.5 lb Chocolate Malt

  • 0.5 lb Roasted Barley

  • 0.25 lb Black Patent Malt

  • 0.25 lb Crystal Malt 80L

  • 0.1 lb Crystal Malt 40L (leftovers)

  • 0.5 lb Rice Hulls

Hope Schedule:
  • 1.75 oz Fuggles (4.2%) at 60 minutes
  • 0.25 oz Fuggles (4.2%) at 25 minutes

Action shots preparing the yeast starter:

Big thanks to Chris at Iron Hill for supplying some Ringwood yeast

This was some of the thickest slurry I've used, so I only added about 25ml to the starter.

Two identical starter ready to go.

The day game of a double header:

Weighing out the specialty grains.

Ready to crush.

The Phil Mill in action

Refreshments... this one is a cascade SMaSH (single malt/single hop)

A beautiful sight...

And the night cap:

A couple transition pics. I quickly transferred, pitched the yeast and cleaned the equipment for batch #1 while the second mash was going.

Light refreshments during the day, but dark ones at night.

Pretty cool lookin' pre-boil pic

Full blast. I did have some minor, controlled boil overs since the 7.5 gallon kettle was at maximum capacity

Happily fermenting less than 12 hours later.

Overall it was a successful brew day. I was surprisingly consistent by hitting an OG of 1051 with both batches. I was aiming for somewhere around 1056. My efficiency was a little over 70% for each batch. Had I hit 75%, I probably would have reached my target OG. Two batches down, 4 to go...

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