Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Right time for some more Beer -- Winter Rye Ale -- Brew Day

The grains needed for a warm winter
Last week I decided that it was time to revive making beer at my new house thanks to some financial leeway, the change of seasons, and some extra free time. I decided it would be more efficient to scale back up to doing 5 gallon batches.

In order to accommodate making 5 gallons with my setup, I needed a new kettle. While out shopping however, my favorite supplier of kettles did not have the one I desired to allow for a full boil. Since I did not want to wait any longer to get a batch started, I adapted and bought a cheaper, but smaller kettle.
2 Kettles 1 Stove
7 gallons of kettle capacity in two separate vessels.
The idea with the 2 separate vessels is to split the wort and hops into two partial boils while combining them in the same fermenter in the end. Mashing would be done all in one separate vessel, and the weak and strong runs of the wort would be balanced out before starting to boil.

For mashing, I decided to do the "mash in a bucket" method, replicating the process I did on my last batch of beer.

To accomplish this, first I heated up the total amount of mash water I would need in both kettles. Using the smaller 3 gallon kettle, I added that water to the bucket first. I waited for the temperature to stablize from the transfer before I slowly added the grain to the bucket. Once added, I added more water from the second kettle to bring the temperature into mash range (65°C) before covering the lid and wrapping the bucket in a blanket. That sat for an hour while I went to do other things.

Wrap me up all nice and snug
A+ Mashing method
At the end of the hour hold, I carefully removed the grain bag, placing it into another identical bucket while I added the wort remaining to the 3 gallon kettle. Using the heated water from the 4 gallon kettle, I sparged the new bucket with that water. Letting that sit for about a minute, I repeated the process to refill the 4 gallon kettle with wort. This cycled a few times before all the mash water was used up.

I took a gravity reading of the first run of wort at this time and it was up around 1.080. No telling what it was after decanting it with the weaker runnings though. The wort came out as a muddy-reddish color.
Boiling up some mud
Two kettles full of wort ready to boil
Once the wort was done being cycled, I started the heat up in both kettles simultaneously. I split all the hops evenly by weight between both kettles in an effort to achieve better extraction from the hops. The kettles both boiled for 1 hour each before being cooled down.
Beer rules everything around me
Creamy wort deliciousness!

Finally, after cooling down, the contents of each kettle were added to a new ferementing bucket I purchased. The final volume was slightly less than 4 gallons total, so I added a bit of water to bring the total volume to 4.5 gallons. The gravity of the beer at this time read at 1.050, but I'm betting it's slightly higher as I didn't give the wort enough time to equilibriate with the top-up water and due to the liquid being hot at the time.
I measure in gallons, not length
These buckets are the greatest
The lids I'm trying out for my fermenters this time have a drilled hole to attach a bung and an airlock. These should not leak like some of the other lids I've used. Additionally, if there is any blowoff, I can use the three piece airlock to attach a blowoff tube.
If only I could use my containment as a fermenting vessel
The beer's new home for a week (in proper containment)
After it's done fermenting, I'll decide whether or not it needs secondary for clarification or if it can be bottled straight away. I'm hoping I can do the latter to save some time. Update to come soon.

Not meth
Winter Rye Ale (5 Gallons)

9 lbs 2 Row
1.5 lbs Rye Malt
1.5 lbs Brown Malt
0.75 lbs Crystal 60
0.5 lbs Victory

1 oz El Dorado
1 oz Willamette

Safale US-05

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