Pushing the limits

Monday, April 14, 2008

Pushing the limits

This was the first weekend brewing with the NEW 100qt mash tun. While there is still a lot of work to be done on this hoss, we figured we would give it a test drive the old fashioned way; put her to work. We decided the best way to do that was a 20gallon batch of Mother's ESB.

This time around, I took the advice of Bad Ben and made some changes to the recipe. I replaced the chocolate malt with biscuit and dialed down the hops by about 10IBUs. I also cut out the dry hopping. This is what the recipe wound up looking like:

Mother's ESB - Round 2
Brewer: Travis & Nick
Asst Brewer: Meatball
Style: Extra Special/Strong Bitter (English Pale Ale)
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 20.50 gal
Boil Size: 24.57 gal
Estimated OG: 1.049 SG
Estimated Color: 12.4 SRM
Estimated IBU: 33.8 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

39.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) UK (3.0 SRM) Grain 82.19 %
4.20 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM)Grain 8.85 %
3.25 lb Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 6.85 %
1.00 lb Rye Malt (4.7 SRM) Grain 2.11 %
2.00 oz Target [11.00 %] (60 min) Hops 18.0 IBU
1.50 oz Brewer's Gold [8.00 %] (60 min) Hops 9.8 IBU
0.50 oz Liberty [4.30 %] (60 min) Hops 1.8 IBU
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (15 min) Hops 3.5 IBU
0.25 oz Liberty [4.30 %] (15 min) Hops 0.4 IBU
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (1 min) Hops 0.3 IBU
1 Pkgs London Ale (Wyeast Labs #1028) [StaYeast-Ale

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 47.45 lb
Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
75 min Mash In Add 12 gal of water at 164.2 F 150.0 F
Batch Sp 1 - 10gal at 168f
Batch Sp 2 - 5gal at 168f
Target preboil OG was 1.043

First off - The Mash tun - No need for words, just take it in. That's 47lbs of grain in there.

Picture below is the run off. We were concerned with the potential of anything in the false bottom that might not have come out in rinsing so we ran everything through a screen. It worked out pretty well.


1st addition - 12gallons at 166f mash settled in at 154f for 75min - 19brix (1.077) runoff gravity
Sparge 1 - 10gallons at 168f the mash settled at 155f - 14brix (1.055) runoff gravity
Sparge 2 - 5 gallons at 172f mash settled at 156f - 11brix (1.043) runoff gravity
Total water - 26 gallons

Those are two 5 gallon pots, one with 5 and the other with 3. The brew kettle (15gal) had the rest in it. The big pot was where we added all the hops. In order to ensure that everything was distributed properly in the end, we poured the other two pots in to the big pot as space permitted.

In the end the new mash tun gave us just under 20gal of brew at 1.060 - 73% efficiency! Pretty good for a first run at this. All was not totally perfect with the process though. The pressure inside the tun pushed out on the walls and cause a little steam to leak out of the handle area. It's a lot of pressure on the cooler so we're going to have to consider putting something around it for stabilization.

Over all we were very pleased with the process and so far with the results. The new tun has a lot of potential and may allow us to brew more beer while brewing less frequently. Bryan was over for his second shot at homebrewing. It was a great success and due to the high price of DME, he is ready to make the dive into all-grain.



Glibbidy said...

Aren't you worried about a little hot side aeration with that run off?

Travis said...

Never thought about it. In the past we had been using a tube for the runoff from the mash tun to the kettle. We didn't use it at one point and just never want back. Hadn't given it a second thought until you just mentioned it. Doesn't boiling take care of all that?

Kevin LaVoy said...

I was thinking the same thing.

Basically, any time you are aerating hot wort, there is the potential for off flavors in the final product.

Travis said...

Honestly the whole "hot aeration" thing totally slipped my mind. This is a pretty good write up on it here. From the sounds of things, hot aeration is bad, but not as bad as fermenting/post fermentation aeration. It does sounds like something to be avoided, but the Wizard points out that it beckons the question of how much is too much.

Since its not a big change to throw a tube on there, I'm going to do the quick fix and air on the side of caution. Thanks for the keen observations.