The last brew made a very light beer, suitable for 소맥 but not very satisfying. The main problem seems to have been that I used the top plate in the grain pipe during the mash, and that ended up compressing the grains too much. As a result, the water would not flow through it very well. The resulting beer is something like 3% ABV.
Today's brew is a Lakefront ESB from Northern Brewer. We'll try the robobrew again and see how it goes this time.
- Briess Organic 2-Row (9.25 lbs / 4.1950113 kg)
- Briess Organic Caramel 60L (0.75 lbs / 0.34013605 kg)
- Briess Organic Caramel 20L (0.5 lbs / 0.22675737 kg)
- Total weight: 4.7 kg
I'm slowly converting my brewing to metric units, but the kit was in English units, appropriate for an ESB.
- 1.25 oz Cascade (90 min)
- .5 oz Cascade (30 min)
- .5 oz Cascade (15 min)
- One package S-05
- Sacc rest: 67 C for 60 minutes (15 L)
- Mashout: 77 C for 10 minutes
- Sparge: A bunch of water from 55 C to 75 C. See notes.
I found some formulas to determine mashing water. I wanted to collect 5.5 gallons of wort for my fermenter, and various parts of the internet suggested 5 liters would be lost to the boil and trub.
Here's a table with all the values.
|Target Volume L||25|
|Boil and Trub Loss L||5|
The first thing was to crush the grain. It occured to me that I could crush the grain directly into the grain pipe. So I set it up this way:
Figure 1: Crushing the Grain
It worked very well. I think next time I will use more water in the mash; it took a while to mix everything together. But I didn't have to get a bucket dirty, and since the base of the grain crusher covered the pipe completely I didn't have to worry about dust getting everywhere.
Here's the result after adding the carrying handle:
Figure 2: Grain is crushed
Another experiment today was brewing inside. Here are two pictures of the setup, one with the pipe resting on top, and one with the pipe inserted.
Figure 3: Setup 1
After inserting the pipe and stirring the grains, I could use the recirculating pump to keep the liquid moving.
Figure 4: Setup 2
The next experiment was to use the counterflow chiller instead of the provided immersion chiller. I used a pump to make sure the liquid could get into the fermenter.
Figure 5: The Chill
This brew went much better than the last one. I added some DME, maybe about a cup, to top off the gravity points, and was able to hit my target O.G.
The one mistake I made was it didn't occur to me to check the wort temperature before I added the yeast. It was still about 100 F! It doesn't seem to have hurt the yeast, fermentation started quickly. I guess I can pretend it's a Belgian ESB if there are esters as a result. :)
Brew date: 2018-12-15
- Liquid in fermenter: 5.5 Gallons
- O.G. 1.050
- Pitching temperature: 100 F (!)
- Time to onset of fermentation: 2 hours