Sunday, September 12, 2010

The New Kit

As payment for catering the SOBA Winter Ales Festival I received a sexy new 80 litre stainless steel kettle. Dion formerly brewer at Tuatara and currently full time dad and casual welder fitted a ball lock tap and suddenly my brew set up is a dam sight more professional.

This morning I christened the new kettle with a 40 litre batch of Somerset, my golden ale recipe. It went better than I could have hoped for, usually new bits of kit cause all sorts of unexpected problems but today went smoothly with the brew being completed in record time.

I used the kettle as a hot liquor tank for the strike. It was a luxury being able to mash in with hosed in boiling water rather than the usual ladling. The kettle was set up on my electric hot plate that was connected to a timer so the strike liquor was boiling away when I woke at 5am.

For the boil the kettle was set above 2 gas burners. This worked so well that I had a rolling boil 20mins after the end of the run off. I whirl pooled for the first time and it worked just like it did at Emerson’s which I must admit surprised me.
I used to cool my old small kettles by giving them a water bath, the new kettle posed the problem of finding a new form of wort cooling. In the end I decided to carefully run the wort off hot into corny kegs and place them in barrels of circulating cold water. I had the wort down to 18c in 60min. I then used co2 to pump the wort out of the cornys through a hose into the fermentor cornys making sure to aerate the cooled wort as I went.

With a forty litre batch under my belt next I will have a crack at a 60 litre batch of something. There is also this year’s batch of Merchant and Alfred’s Audit to brew.

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