Sunday, July 11, 2010

Common brew day

As mentioned I planned to brew a California Common.

Here’s the recipe:

4.5Kgs Pale Malt (from SA Maltsters)
0.45Kgs Crystal 60L (from Weyermann)
28gm Northern Brewer 8.00% @ 40 minutes
14gm Northern Brewer 8.00% @ 10 minutes
14gm Northern Brewer 8.00% Dry hopped for 5 days
some Irish Moss for good measure
1 packet US-05

Pretty simple recipe. Here’s the goodies all laid out:


Step 1: Heat a bunch of water and clean everything with caustic soda.  No need to sanitize here since everything is still pre-boil.

Crush the grain.  Very handy grain mill provided by a friend from the local brew club (Worthog Brewers).  I need to make a hop feeder though, something that I can fill and it will pour the grain out at an adjustable rate.  I’ve got some ideas about that, just need to get around to it though.


Step 2: Mash

Dropped my thermometer in the water heating for the mash accidentally and broke it.  Had to swop out for a meat thermometer :/ Oh well.

I tea-bag mash at the moment, but that will change soon as well.  Until then though it means I can use equipment as is and only worry about cleaning one extra bucket (for lautering and recycling). Mashing at 67.8 C so this should be close enough.

Check the temp 30 minutes in.  I lost a couple degrees since it’s winter. In summer I don’t seem to have this problem so in winter I tend to check and topup a little more often.

Mash Temps

Step 3: Sparge.  Like I said, I tea-bag mash so once the mashing is done I take all the grain out and pour it into a bucket with a tap at the bottom.  I sparge with the grain still in the bag which means I don’t have to worry about stuck sparges or anything.  The wort does come out a bit more cloudy but it’s easier with my current setup.  Yes, it is ghetto, but it works… most of the time


Step 4: Sparge again. Same thing as before but with less water (just enough to get to our pre-boil volume)

While the second sparge is on the go I start slowly heating the previously mashed and sparged wort.  This just makes it a little quicker to get to the boil when it’s all done.

Step 5: Boil and hop additions. Nuff sed.  These Northern Brewer hops smell FANTASTIC!!


Step 6: Transfer to no-chill cubes and wait.


That’s it.  OG of 1.052, efficiency came in at 80%.  Projected FG of around 1.012.  Once the cubes have cooled down I’ll transfer them to the fermenter, pitch the yeast and let the real work begin.

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