Friday, 29 July 2011

First New Brewery Bling

Managed to score the first of the new Brewery Bling when I was visiting the LHBS today.  The idea is that the new setup will be all-stainless and silicon.  The plate chiller was an 'engineering sample' and so it was in the reduced-to-clear corner, while the newer production versions have barbed fittings this one has 1/2inch male threaded fittings, which was exactly what I was looking for, so I'm very happy about that.
The mill is nice and solid and will replace the Marga that has done a good job over the last few years.  The false bottom is for the new keggle-mashtun and I'll be trying out the carbonation cap in a couple of weeks when the current batch of lagers come out of the fridge.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Brew Day: Munich Dunkel

The last of this winter's 4 lager-beers is a Munich Dunkel and it will be using washed yeast from the Vienna Lager that has just gone into the fridge for lagering.
Munich Dunkel
Estimated OG: 1.053 SG,  Estimated Color: 13.5 SRM,  Estimated IBU: 27.9 IBU
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

86%    Munich I (Weyermann) (7.1 SRM)
10.8%    Vienna Malt (Weyermann) (3.0 SRM)
2.7%    Caraaroma (130.0 SRM)
0.5%    Chocolate (Simpsons) (630.0 SRM)
0.86g/L    Northern Brewer 08 [9.60%]  (60 min)    24.7 IBU     
0.42g/L    Hallertau Aroma 09 [8.10%]  (20 min)    3.3 IBU

0.01g/L    Epsom Salt
0.125g/L    Calcium Carbonate
20.83billion cells/L  (Repitch)  German Bock Lager  (WLP833)

Mash Schedule:
Protein Rest    Infusion    52.0C    30min
Infusion    62.0C    20 min
Decoction    Decoct and boil    Step @ 71.0C    40 min
Mash Out    Decoct and boil    Step @ 77.0C    10 min
After some debate, I decided to treat the water with Chalk.  The Style Guidelines suggest using "Moderately carbonate water" and there was no other way to emulate that without adding chalk instead of the usual brewing salts.  It's likely that I'll bottle this beer and store it for the Christmas Case Swap, which is usually in November, which should work well since it will go into the bottle in early Sept.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Brew Day: BoPils

Had a go at brewing a triple decocted Bohemian Pilsner today, with the recipe adapted from the info here at Brewing Techniques.
Estimated OG: 1.056 SG, Estimated Color: 3.4 SRM, Estimated IBU: 44.9 IBU
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Pilsner, (Joe White)        96 %       
Carapils (Wyermann)         4%        
1.9g/L Riwaka 09 [5.90%]  (90 min) (FWH)         32.7 IBU     
0.42g/L Saaz 09 [3.60%]  (60 min)          4.5 IBU
0.83g/L Saaz 09 [3.60%]  (30 min)           4.6 IBU           
0.83g/L Saaz 09 [3.60%]  (15 min)          2.4 IBU      
0.42g/L Saaz 09 [3.60%]  (5 min)           0.7 IBU      
0.0625g/L Calcium Chloride               0.125g/L Calcium Sulfate            
20.9billion cells/L  (Repitch)  PC European Lager (Wy2247)
Totally messed up the mash schedule and decoction, added a couple of extra hours to the brew day, the steps ended up something like this:
Protein Rest    @ 56.0C    40 min       
Infusion    @ 58.0C    20 min       
Decoction    Decoct & boil  Step @ 62.0C    30 min       
Decoction    Decoct and boil  Step @ 71.0C    40 min       
Mash Out    Decoct and boil  Step @ 75.0C    10 min
 But other than that things went well.  The new milling setup continued to improve the efficiency - managed to over-shoot the target gravity by 2 points, and since it's cold outside the counter-flow chiller cooled the wort to 16.5C nice and quickly.  The yeast was pitched after resting the wort in the fridge at 7C overnight and then racking off any break material and trub, the samples tasted good, so hopefully the 200ml of yeast slurry harvested from the Munich Helles will do a good job.

Monday, 11 July 2011

One man's trash ...

After spending Saturday drinking and sharing beer at the AHB 'Melbourne Christmas in July Case Swap' I couldn't help but notice how much I need a fridge for the new kegs. After a late night trip to the supermarket I noticed that our next-door neighbors (who have sold the house and are moving out) left a fridge out on the nature-strip for the council clean up. Given that it was about 5 steps from our drive-way it was almost too-good-to-be true, even if it needs a good clean.
The bottom seal was 'fixed' with a bit of gaffer-tape and an old fermentor gasket:
After a decent scrub and clean, it looks almost 'good as new':
After running the fridge to test it for a few hours, it seems that the compressor stays on without turning off, indicating that the thermostat might be stuffed (which is probably why it was being thrown out), however since I'll be using a temperature controller on it, that actually makes it more suited for my purpose.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

10 Min IPA

Here is my 10 Min IPA after being bottle conditioned for a few weeks:
The beer is surprisingly balanced, rich grain/malt, subtle and much lower than expected bitterness with an interesting hoppy aroma.  When they were drying, the home grown Chinook had an intense 'pine forest' aroma, but in this beer they are much more subdued and impart an interesting and different flavour.  The resulting bitterness level means that the beer is not really an 'IPA' as it's named but much like an English Pale Ale.  In hind-sight (and if I had had not used the last of the hops in that batch) a 60min bittering addition combined with the large 10min addition would probably have pushed the hop bitterness to where I was expecting it to be and balance the malt sweetness just a little more.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Cornelius Kegs

MyBeerShop were running an 'End of Financial Year' sale, so I couldn't resist the price they had on their corny-kegs.
The new (2nd hand) kegs are genuine Cornelius kegs, stamped 'SuperChampion' and appear to be in great condition.  In the near future, I guess I'll have to do some keg cleaning, maintenance and other related posts.