Wednesday, June 9, 2010

AG #3 - ISO Standard Stout - Brew day

Brew day for my first ever stout went very well. Full recipe here. I was particularly pleased with this brew day as there were three new elements introduced to my brewing process and I thought I coped well with the changes.

My three tier system
with new mash tun
The first change to my brew day was that I was using a new piece of equipment. Up until now I have been using a BIAB type system that allowed me to mash in a converted fermenter. However due to the fact that this system limited the weight of grains I could use, I decided to purchase a cooler box mash tun from Hop & Grape in the UK. I was worried that I would make some form of error with this however everything went very smootly and I got a decent 75% efficiency which was slightly lower than I would have liked, but not bad for a first attempt.

The second change to my brew day was a process change. In my previous two all grain brews I had used a batch sparge method. However on this occasion, due to the fact that I had the new mash tun, I decided to try fly sparging. I found this to be a lot easier to do as you only have the one vorlauf to do and once you get your flow rates equalised you can pretty much leave the sparge to look after itself. It does take more time, but I think I will see a better efficiency as a result of using this method.

Fly Sparging using a perforated SS
plate and a colander to diffuse the
sparge water
The third change I made was that this was the first time that I have used a liquid yeast (WYeast 1084 Irish Ale). This involved making a starter during the week in which I dissolved 200g of DME in 2 litres of water and then brought it all to the boil and maintained the boil for 10 minutes. This was then cooled and placed in a 5 litre plastic container. The yeast was then added and an airlock placed on top. This was then left to ferment for four days. By the time I got around to making this brew the starter had fermented out and the yeast had formed a nice cake on the bottom. This yeast was then pitched directly into the wort. Due to the fact that this was the first time I had made a yeast starter I am hoping I did everything right, fingers crossed I get some fermentation activity in the next 24 hours or so.

I know that using liquid yeast offers you a much greater range of yeast than is availble in dry form. However I have to say that wherever possible in the future I will use a dry yeast as I thought the amount of effort in creating a yeast starter was a bit too much hassle. In my previous eight or nine brews I have used dry yeast and never had any problems with it.

AG #2 Update - I have moved my Steam Punk ale into the fridge after a week of conditioning at room temperature, I will leave this for a few days and then force carb for 3-4 days, should be ready for a first taste test by the weekend.

No comments: