Dec 202322Fri

Started Bernsdorfer III

SG 1.053 16.0℃ started

Good brew day today with no hiccups and nothing unusual to report. 100g of rice hulls seemed perfect amount, sprinkled in from a separate tub at regular intervals during dough-in, maintaining flow perfectly through mashing and allowing mash temperature to get close to kettle temperature quite quickly.

Speedy Sparge

As a downside the sparge ran quite quickly, and this got me thinking: if HSA is to be minimised or even avoided, do I need to raise the malt pipe fully before I start the sparge? If I had a winch then I could bring the malt up while the sparge is in progress, getting to a point where we have just half an inch submerged when the HLT is empty, and eliminating a good amount of splashing. Unfortunately I don’t have a winch, but since we’re only talking about 40 litres here we should be able to knock up some kind of removable frame arrangement. Food for thought.

Hitting Numbers

Since changing the GAR a few brews back I’m closer to achieving the efficiency numbers I should be getting, but not quite there yet. Even on a light beer my mash losses are typically 5% more then they should be, which I then make up by boiling off more liquid than expected and equalise with fermenter top-up. Ideally I should be closer to predicted numbers throughout the whole process so I may do some measurements on future spent grain and revise the GAR accordingly, but it’s a hard enough day as it stands, and whereas volume isn’t too far off the mark I seem to have more trouble getting the goodness out in mash.

Boil Volume28.86 litres28.50 litres
Pre-Boil Gravity1.0391.044
Post-Boil Gravity1.0531.047
Post-Boil Volume26.46 litresn/a
Fermenter Volume23 litres20 litres
Expected Yield4.9%5.5%

Brew Day Notes

0625 Start dough-in

0635 Dough-in finished, start mash rest

0745 Nearly halfway through the mash, and it’s flowing perfectly. The level in the malt pipe is about 2 inches higher than outside, pumps are at 35% and balance is roughly halfway between centre pipe and recirculation. Wonderfully clear wort.

0825 Mashing complete. SG 1.046 @ 59.5℃ = 1.062. Raising malt pipe while starting sparge at 0833

0836 Mash complete, that was super quick! One advantage of such a quick sparge is there’s reduced dripping, so less HSA, but if I could reduce that altogether by raising the malt pipe more slowly then I may have to get a winch. Heaters to may for boil. SG 1.025 @ 58.1℃ = 1.039 against planned 1.044. There’s 28.5 litres in the tank, expected 28.86. Wort considerably more cloudy after sparge.

0925 Boil tracker started, 60 minute additions in. Took a bit longer to get malt pipe cleaned so I didn’t have the hose ready for the condenser, hence the delay.

1025 End of boil, going for chill. 23.5 litres in the kettle (chiller is in) and SG 1.035 @ 63.5℃ = 1.053 against predicted 1.047

1100 Transfer finished, 20 litres showing in the fermenter. I’m not going to do a top-up; the keg is only 19 litres and I normally manage to transfer from the bottom, so shouldn’t get too many losses. OG therefore 1.053 and aiming for 5.5%.

1235 Clean-up finished

19:00 First signs of fermentation; slight foam in FV, pressure building.