Sunday, October 21, 2007

The new brewery

In the house where I live there is a nice terrace and a little garden. It is great for brewing. The above photo was taken on the day when I brewed the weissbier. As you can see it was raining a little that day but that didn't stop me from brewing. In fact a little rain isn't a problem on brew day, at least as long as the burner or the pump doesn't get wet.

The new brewery consists of the following pieces of equipment:

A robust 100 liter stainless steel brew pot. The thickness is 1.2 mm. It is 50.8 cm wide and 50.8 cm tall. There are two 7/8" holes in it, one 1.5" above the bottom and the second 7" above the bottom. As you can see from the photo the holes are there for the weldless thermometer and the weldless spigot.

Bayou Classic Kick A Banjo Burner, a propane burner that outputs 65kW (210.000 BTU). This is definitely overkill by far, but it works great at [much] lower output. It can be adjusted all the way down, so that you can keep a cup of coffee warm. In my experience with two 40 liter batches it uses about 3.5 kg of propane per batch.

Two 11 kg propane gas containers. I bought two as it is nice to have a backup if the first one runs out. Then I can just go and get the second one from the shed. It also means that I can refill between brew days instead of having to do it on brew day. Or in worst case bringing the brewday to a halt if the propane shop is closed.

Hop Stopper, all stainless steel construction. It is installed inside the brew pot and works as a hop filter.

Therminator, a very effective plate-chiller. It is probably overkill for a brewery of this size, but it can't hurt. In any case it is very cool.

March H315 High Temperature Polysulphone Pump, a 230 volt impeller pump. I bought this one used from someone who had just recently upgraded to a much larger pump. It works nicely, but I find the fact that it needs to be primed a little annoying. If it had generated just a little suction it would have simplified the process of moving the wort.

5 meters of 1/2" silicone tubing, cut into 1, 1, and 3 meter pieces.

The brew stand is home made. The garden furniture works nicely, and was cheap too.

I bought the brew pot and the burner from Austin Homebrew Supply. As the brew pot was too big to ship through US Postal Service I got it shipped with boat freight via JetCarrier. I took advantage of the $5.99 shipping to their shipping hub in New Jersey. It took about a month before it arrived at my doorstep.

Austin Homebrew Supply:
1xSuper Stainless Steel Stock Pot (100 qt)$239.99
1xTwo holes drilled$19.99
1xHigh Output Propane Burner$99.99
1xTherminator Wort Chiller$195.00
1xBrewVint - Plate Chiller Backflush Adaptor$16.99
3xBlichmann Stainless Steel 1/2" QuickConnector$19.99

Innovative Homebrew Solutions:
1xHop Stopper, All Stainless Steel Construction$90.00

Northern Brewer:
1xWeldless Deluxe Plus, S/S Kettle Valve Kit w/barb$39.99

1xThermometer (3'' Face x 2" Probe)$34.95

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A quick update

Alright, enough procrastination. It has not been much of a summer this year as it has been cold and raining most of the time. Better luck next year I guess. A lot of things have happened since the last post though.

First of all I've built a whole new brewery. This one is dedicated to outdoors brewing. The plan is to use this brewery when the weather is OK and when it makes sense to brew bigger batches. In this part of the world this means early spring to late autumn.

The brew pot holds 100 liters, which in theory should make it possible to brew 80 liters of beer at a time. I have brewed with it twice this summer, an American IPA and a Weissbier. I'll post the recipes and my experiences with this new brewery shortly. In the meantime you get a photo of the brew pot and gas burner in action.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Brew #53: Weissbier

The batch was brewed 2007-10-10.

40 liters. All grain, batch sparge
10 EBC (Golden)
12 IBU
7300g Wheat malt
5000g Pilsener malt
500g Melanoidin malt
500g Pale malt
400g Münchener malt
67C, 60 min
76C, 10 min (mashout)
74% efficiency
100g Hersbrucker pellets, 3.1%, 45 min
30g Styrian Goldings pellets, 3.2%, 15 min
Wyeast 3068 Weihenstephan Weizen Yeast, production date 2007-04-16, 2 liter starter
60 min
OG: 1.052 FG: 1.016 abv: 4.8%