Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Sputm IPA

Alright, it has been a busy past few months .  I think my last post was in June! Holy crap!

not too much had been going on. I have brewed a few beers since. A whiskey barrel stout, and a coffee stout that turned out incredibly well, and was very well received by all who had the opportunity to sample it.

This post is a bump to keep the blog alive. A few weeks ago I made my second ever online purchase with @hopsdirect. They continue to be my favorite online hops supplier.  I ordered 5 pounds, 1 pound each of pellet Magnum, Columbus, Bravo, and leaf Citra and Belma.

This past weekend I brewed up about 12 gallons of what I have dubbed Sputum IPA in lieu of my recent recovery of pneumonia. Brewday went off without a hitch, pre boil gravity was 1 point under at 1.059, but OG ended up a point over at 1.071.  I split the brew into two 6 gallon batches, and innoculsted one with @WhiteLabs WLP001, and the other with WLP007.

Today is the 4th day of fermentation, and when I checked yesterday, the WLP001 was still blowing of a little while the WLP007 had subsided. Hoping to switch to airlocks today or tomorrow.

The plan is a 21 day primary, cold crash at 32F for 3 days rack to secondary, dry hop and allow the beer to warm to about 65-70F for 7 days and then cold crash a second time before racking to kegs and carbing.

I plan to dry hop one with Citra and Columbus, and I think the other will be strictly Belma which is @HopsDirect very own pedigree of hop.  I have heard mixed reviews on its place for bittering, flavoring, and dry hop additions, so I think I'll experiment with it as a sine dry hop and see what my perception is of its flavor. Worse comes to worst, I can throw some Citra in the keg to compensate if the flavor doesn't bode well.

American IPA
Type: All Grain Date: 12/15/2012
Batch Size (fermenter): 11.00 gal Brewer: Tyson
Boil Size: 13.81 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: My Equipment (15gal Kettle & 52qt Coleman Xtreme MLT)
End of Boil Volume 12.48 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 79.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 11.00 gal Est Mash Efficiency 86.2 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes: ~
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
20 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 76.0 %
3 lbs 8.0 oz Maris Otter (Crisp) (4.0 SRM) Grain 2 13.3 %
1 lbs 5.3 oz Borlander Munich Malt (Briess) (10.0 SRM) Grain 3 5.1 %
1 lbs English Crystal 15 (15.0 SRM) Grain 4 3.8 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 5 1.9 %
42.00 g Bravo [15.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 44.9 IBUs
28.00 g Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 27.1 IBUs
28.00 g Belma [12.10 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 8 7.2 IBUs
28.00 g Citra [12.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 9 4.2 IBUs
14.00 g Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 10 2.7 IBUs
14.00 g Citra [12.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 11 1.8 IBUs
14.00 g Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 12 2.3 IBUs
28.00 g Citra [12.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
28.00 g Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.069 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.071 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.012 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 7.2 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 7.8 %
Bitterness: 90.1 IBUs Calories: 239.5 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 6.5 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 26 lbs 5.3 oz
Sparge Water: 7.10 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE Mash PH: 5.30
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 39.61 qt of water at 162.0 F 149.0 F 90 min
Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 3 steps (Drain mash tun, , 3.55gal, 3.55gal) of 168.0 F water
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Bottle Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 244.93 g Carbonation Used: Bottle with 244.93 g Corn Sugar
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 70.0 F Age for: 30.00 days
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Storage Temperature: 65.0 F
12/30/12 - gravity check:
WLP001 - 1.011 @ 71°F = 1.012, Smellsof tropical fruit, priamrily pineapples.
WLP007 - 1.012 @ 71°F = 1.103, Smells of tropical fruit, primarily pineapple, the bitterness seems less harsh than the WLP001.

1/06/2012 - Racked to secondary:
WLP001 - 1.010 @ 56.5° = 1.010, Added 2oz of Citra for dry hop, plan to dry hop for ~7 days.
WLP007 - 1.012 @ 58.3° = 1.012, Added 2oz of Belma for dry hop, plan to dry hop for ~7 days.

Additionally, I have a batch of Apfelwein fermenting as well, its a deviation from @EdWort recipe, I don't care for it as dry as his recipe makes it, so I use either US-05 or Notty when I make it, and I cut back on the sugar slightly.

Like I said not a whole lot happening, but things are a brewin'.

Keep tuned for big news coming in the next several months. I know its a cliffhanger right?  There will be some big announcements in the not too distant future. Thanks to those of you following, and if you've stumbled here by accident or for a peek please follow.

My posts are sporadic at the moment due to school, but I only have three semesters left, then it will be back to normal (fingers crossed).

I do apologize for the lack of photos in this post I was trying to focus on brewing a great IPA rather than documenting my brewing process and procedures, but photos will come.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Logos and Bullshit...

I have been working with a graphic designer on a brewery logo. My requests were something simple that could be used for screenprint, perhaps signage or stickers as well. I worked with a guy named Josh at Brew Brand Creative. He's a really great guy who definitely has an interest in providing a quality design at an affordable price. When it comes to prices I don't want to give anything away in the event that he has to change his price structure, but I will say for the price and for the amount of work he is willing to put in to ensure your complete satisfaction it is well worth the coin. So if you are interested in a brewery logo, or any other graphic design work contact Josh you will not regret it. While working with Josh I think we came up with about 4-5 different concepts, but for the "Broken Glass Brewery" I didn't want something that was going to be literal. If you are like me the first thing that pops into your mind is the image of a broken beer glass or mug leaking beer. And that was the first concept Josh came up with, and while he did a great job of it, it was just, well...plain. So I mentioned perhaps a stained glass window, maybe broken with a beam of light shining through, or something to that extent. At any rate, here is the design we came up with.
There were a couple versions of this design incorporating barley spikes and hop cones, but none looked as nice as this design. The others looked cluttered. So at any rate, here is the Broken Glass Brewery logo for now. I plan to have a few T-shirts made, and perhaps some stickers for the brewery. Nice thing about it is Josh sent me an .eps, and .svg file, so I can alter the image as I see fit if necessary, to be honest I already did a couple different things to it to make it perfect--to me anyhow.

 Now for the bullshit, it's in the title right? I was laid off today. What-the-fuck!?! It was a surprise. I have been with the company I work for over 16 years, and I have been working part time for the past two years while attending college. I go to work this past Friday and see that I'm not on the schedule. I didn't say anything about it right away because in all honesty I was studying for an online final exam that I had to take tonight (finished it about 45 minutes ago). So, I ask today why I wasn't on the schedule for June at all, and lo and behold a slew of excuses was hurdled at me as if I should have been prepared for this. I can handle the hard truth, but for 16 years I think that this could have been handled in a more professional manner. Regardless, I could complain about it all night, all I will say is that don't kill yourself for a company that isn't yours because in the end they will get rid of you to save a buck if they need to. So that's my rant, I hope you like the logo, and I hope you'll comment if you visit this page. Cheers!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Keg/ Carboy Washer

Hey all, it has been a while since I have bad!  Without sounding like a broken record school and family takes up about 99% of my time, with the other 1% is being my time, and I don't always get around to posting to my blog.

At any rate.  I have brewed a Belgian Wit since my last post, it is becoming a spring seasonal that I seem to brew each March/April.  Since I was working on Big Brew Day I had to brew something on the bigger side.   Just yesterday I brewed 10 gallons of a Belgian Tripel, and split it into two fermenters, one was inoculated with WLP 540, and the other with WLP 550.  The 550 started sooner despite the higher "optimum" fermentation temperature, but it was also two months fresher.  Regardless, both fermenters are going strong and all I have left to do is add the ridiculous amount of sucrose (2.5 lbs/ fermenter).

So that is my update, now to the purpose of this posting...keg/carboy washer.  Unlike many of my other builds I did not document this one with photos like many of my other posts.  I didn't because this is so simple a monkey could do it.  However, here is a parts list:

Here is a quick video of the washer in action:

This has made keg and carboy washing bearable.  I would highly recommend this to any brewery if there is kegging involved, multiple batches per brew day, large batches (using more than one fermenter at a time), and anyone that would like to save their back and some elbow grease.

I hope you enjoyed this, Please comment, and please +1 if this was helpful or informative.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Randall Build for Under $100! (I'm Back for Now at Least...)

I recently built a Randall.  My wife is a stout lover, and at the 2010 GABF, she made some bold comments about the Randall Dogfish Head was using.  They were serving Bitche's Brew through the Randall which was packed with Espresso Coffee beans.

I decided to make a Randall so that she might experience some different flavors through the contraption.  Of course I am a Hop-a-holic, so I will be happy serving through some yummy citrusy goodness.

Here is my build parts list: Here are some pictures of the build:
Before the mayhem began
Simple QD to faucet with adapter

Snug fit in the Kegerator
Snug fit in the Kegerator

Moral of the story is you can make yourself a pretty sweet Randall for under $100 bucks. I have seen the different designs with the two stage filters and such, but it seem to me that people want to "show" off  their Randalls and have them outside of the serving fridge. I don't expect this to foam too much after pressure equilibrium is reached. Of course, the nucleation sites will be increased 100 fold by the hops once the beer hits them inside the Randall , but after the hops are wet I don't foresee a continuing problem. I have 10' of beer line between the keg and the Randall, and another 5' of beer line to the picninc tap that the Randalled beer will be served from. What is unique about this setup, is it is a quick disconnect to serve from the Randall out of the picnic tap to the Faucet, so I can choose to have the Randall inline with the faucet, or serve  beer separately via the picnic tap. Diversification...simplified for a few extra dollars.

Please comment, and if you build it, please submit links to photos. Let me know how your experience was, and if this was helpful to you.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Brewing soon

I just needed to bump my blog, I have been ├╝ber busy with summer school, never taking to summer classes at the same time again! And I am never going to take a summer math course again unless it is absolutely necessary. I just don't have the time with work and family to do the full time student thing which IMO is really what you need to be able to do for summer school.

Anyhow all bitching aside, I will be brewing my first Saison soon, I might make it a Saison/Gose partigyle if I can work it out, but seeing as I only have a single pot an burner, I dunno if I could pull it off.  Come to think of it a fellow brewer just had his second kid, maybe he will be willing to lend me some equipment? We'll see I'm still deciding if I want that intense of a brew day, but I would love to have the two different varieties of beer in my kegerator.

Anyhow, stay tuned for the Saison brew day, I will document it as best I can. I need some more brewing related projects too, I think I'm going to build a Randall for my kegerator, but other than that, I don't know exactly what I want to add to my brewery next. Please comment with suggestions if you have any.

Well for those of you who have been following thank you for your support, I'll try to keep entries from being so far apart.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pump Projekt

I have been wanting a pump setup for over a year now, and after I recently stepped down from my position at work to return to school finances have been something we have been monitoring closely.  All of that in addition to my sons first birthday, money has been tight to say the least.  So when my wife gave me the green-light to get what I needed to put together my No-Sparge/Rims setup, I was stoked!. . . And I probably went a little overboard. 

Thanks Sweetheart!

To begin, when I originally wanted to start my pump project, the March 809 pumps were selling for about $110.  Fast forward to about a year later--the lowest price has been steady at around $140.  An online source called Chugger Pumps has the best price by far ($125).  However, their +$12 shipping makes them only about $2 less than the other guys.  Needless to say, I was bummed at the nearly $30 increase in cost I was looking at paying.  I was keeping my eye on ebay because everyone I know that has a pump and a great majority of HBT'ers have purchased their March pumps from USA Pumps on ebay.  I caught a break when I saw a listing for $121.99 with free shipping, that was $18 less than most online prices, and it was $16 less than Chugger Pumps!  There were only two available, so I got permission from the finance department, and grabbed one.
Before I get into the actual build I want to make it clear, this isn't just a pump-in-a-tool-box build, this is the beginning of my no-sparge phase in my brewing process, hence the many additional fittings and such that you will see in my build parts list.  Having said that, on to the show.

Here is my build parts list, it will be updated as necessary:

(This is an interactive table, almost all parts are linked to the source, so click on any item you are interested in and the link will open in a new window.)

Beyond the pump itself, the backbone of this build is the enclosure the pump is mounted in.  I chose a tool box that is over sized. If you plan on tackling a DIY portable pump-box for yourself, my suggestion would be to err on the large side, you can never have too much storage for all of your brew day gear.

note: Of course, there are a couple of fittings that aren't in this photo because I had to make a supplementary order.  The missing fittings are mainly for my MLT and the kettle lid for recirculation during no-sparge brewing.  They are on the build list, but will come much later in this post, or in the following posts concerning the no-sparge brewing method.

There is one item that I think sets my box apart from the many I have seen, and that is the male receptacle:

This little beauty allows me to use any standard extension cord for a power source, sweet!

The next task to take care of was to cut the openings for the gang-boxes so they could be installed, and to cut the hole where the pump was to be mounted.

I have found that using a Dremel to cut plastic makes a mess, and in my opinion, isn't worth the hassle. My preferred method is to use a utility knife. The cuts are cleaner, and you have more control over the size of the hole being cut.  It takes a little more elbow grease, but the end result is well worth the additional effort.

All I had was a 2 3/4" hole saw on hand which was much too large, a fellow brewer was kind enough to lend me his 2 1/8" hole saw which was perfect for cutting the hole for the pump.

The old-work gang-boxes are a snug fit.

Next comes the wiring, I will provide a few pictures of some of the wiring, but all of the wires look like a jumbled mess inside the gang-boxes.  I think this diagram does more justice than the photos and is easier to understand.

Wiring the main power/male receptacle, (Green=Ground, White=Common, Black=Lead)

Here is everything you need to know about GFCI's, and their installation.

This is an image of the completed wiring in the box. Like I said it looks messy in the gang-box.  However, I will provide a list of how the wiring attaches in sequence, and you can refer back to the wiring diagram for verification.

(Male-Receptacle Common connects to the Silver screw on the Load-side of the GFCI, and the Lead wire connects to the bottom Brass screw of the Main-Power switch.  A Lead wire is then jumped from the Brass screw of the Load-side of the GFCI to the top Brass screw of the Main-Power switch, a Ground wire is attached to the Main-Power switch  Ground screw [this completes wiring of he Main-Power switch]. Jump a Lead wire from the Brass screw on Line-side of the GFCI to the bottom Brass screw of  the Pump-Power switch, attach the Lead wire from the Pump the top Brass screw of the Pump-Power switch, and connect a Ground wire to the ground screw of the Pump-Power switch, then connect the Common wire from the Pump to the Silver screw on the Line-side of the GFCI.  Wire nut all Ground wires to the Male-Receptacle ground wire [this completes the wiring for the box.] note: cap all loose wires with wire nuts.)

GFCI and Main-Power switch installed:

A semi-finished photo with the Pump-Power switch installed.

Corner shot with the Male Receptacle, GFCI, and Main Power switch.

...and the opposite side featuring the GFCI, Main Power switch, and the Pump Power switch.

...Pump Head installed...

Finally all box installations, and wiring complete. (look at that clean wiring!)

Ball valve, reducing coupler, and male camlocks fitted to the Pump Head.

I believe that does it for the Pump-In-A-Tool-Box-Build.

I  have yet to brew with this beauty that will be this weekend (15-May-2011, if a catastrophe doesn't occur). Hopefully I will have some photos of brew day with he pump in action.  This brew day will more than likely be a standard brew day rather than a no-sparge brwe day. I just got this bad boy together.  I need to figure out exactly how it will be integrated into my brew day before I attempt to start an entirely different way of brewing.

It is my understanding that no-sparge brewing can cut a decent amount of time off of brew day, but there are some drawbacks, such as lower brew house efficiencies due to  the lack of sparging/rinsing the grain of sugars.

I plan on brewing a 10 gallon batch of a BriticA, which will be a 50/50 - US 2-row/English Marris Otter base malt, with a bit of Munich and Crystal 40L, basically an APA/BPA, but I will be using American hops, Chinook and Amarillo. However, I will split the batch, and inoculate each 5 gallons with dfferent yeasts, WLP 001 California Ale, and WLP 023 Burton Ale.  So I will have a more American APA with some Marris Otter, and an English ale Ale with American Hops...It will be interesting.

Thanks for following, I hope this post inspires you if you are interested in a portable pump setup.

Please comment!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fermentation Chamber Build

I have brewed a few beers since my last post which was about 4 months ago, an Apfelwein (not really a beer, but a brew nontehless), a Cascadian Dark Ale (Black IPA), a Rye Pale Ale, and I have a Strawberry Blonde that I added 12 pounds of crushed strawberries to about a week ago.

Needless to say I have been busy!

Living in Arizona makes it difficult to brew quality beer without some type of fermentation control. Previously I was using the "swamp cooler" method in which I had room for two fermenters in a 70 quart Coleman Xtreme chest cooler filled with water, and I was swapping ice bottles out multiple times a day.

With a donated fridge, and a little work I finally put together a fermentation chamber that will hold 3 fermenters, pales, or carboys, or 2 fermenters with 2 corny kegs.

So on with the show:

This is what the fridge looked like before. An older model Sanyo that was an R-12, opposed to an R-134 refrigerant.

 I removed the door, the door hinges, the feet, and the plastic top (no images) and all other hardware from the topof the unit.
The power cord was in bad shape, and I neded to replace it.

The first step was to frame the chamber, naturally I started with the base (ground up, right?).

Starting the skeleton, forgive the cloth diapers drying in the background ;P.

After I finished framig the walls, I mocked it up to make sure the fridge would fit, needless to say the fridge was not square whatsoever.

After the frame was all finished up, it was time to add the insulation. I used R-max 1.5" Polyiso insulation, it has the highest rating of the sheathing insulation that I could find, with a R rating of 9.5 (that's good!). As you can see I used bucket lids to ensure I could get three fermenters inside.

Side view with some insulation.

A view from the back. Nice thing about this older style fridge is that the cooling coils are all on the rear, outside of the unit, so it doesn't matter if I were cover the entire fridge.  The reason the back half of the fridge sticks out of the frame is because there is a ledge on the underside for the compressor mount, and the compressor mount itself is offset which would have made it un-level.

Top view; I built the chamber with a little extra room to spare.  I wanted the footprint to be as small as I could get it, but didn't want things so tight that it would become problematic to fit fermenters comfortably.

This is a semi-complete shot, I have the lid finished, still needs some temp control though.

Hinged, and a nice tight fit.

After all the inner-insulation was installed, all the seams were caulked with silicone sealant, and foil-taped.

I added a piece of scrap vinyl flooring I had lying around. It serves two purposes:
1. The polyiso insulation's foil skin tears and punctures easily, so the viny will keep the floor from being damaged by the fermenters.
2. In the event of a spill or an active fermentation that blows-off and makes a mess, clean up will be less difficult.

Time for some temperature control.  I like the Love TS-2 temperature controller made by Dwyer Instruments (the same type I have installed on my kegerator).  I like the blue LED that they are available in.  The installation cut is 29mm x 71mm.  My freebie wireless Dremel made easy work of the fridge's metal.

The foam insulation makes a mess when dug out, FYI.

I unfortunately didn't take the opportunity to photograph the actual wiring of the controller. I wanted to get this project done since it was taking longer than anticipated.  With school, and my one year old son, time is not something I have an abundance of right now.

However, a fellow Home Brew Talk member (Claudius B), helped me out with a wiring schematic, very precise. Thanks Claudius!

Controller installed, outer insulation installed, and all insulation seams foil-taped.

The finished product came out quite nice with the insulation between the 2x4's on the outside, everything came out flush.

Temperature probe is approximately 5' long, and will be long enough for my needs.
I have been contemplating covering the outside with some very thin paneling or whiteboard, or chalkboard, possibly even a vinyl wrap, just to make it look a little nicer since it is inside our bedroom.  Luckily this fridge is really quiet, and the TS-2 relay click isn't obnoxious either.

The chamber holds temps really well, I do need to add a fan inside, some weather stripping around the lid, and I did not know exactly where my wife was going to allow me to put the fermentation chamber inside the house, so I need to turn the lid around since it opens away from the wall, so after I get those three little things done, I will update this post to be thorough.

Regardless, I can't wait to get some full fermenters in it to see exactly how it performs.  Next brew day, whenever that is, will be a 10 gallon brew day which will allow me to get 2 full fermenters in the chamber.

Stay tuned for an update!