Right, as mentioned in my intro, not getting overly good efficiency. I've only really done 1 BIAB so far (the other AG I did was a bagless mini stove top, with even worst efficiency... lol). I came away from this knowing 2 things for certain:-
1) My boiler/mashing system is inadequate:-
30 litre SS stock pot, wrapped in about 4 layers of reflective loft insulation. Now the pot itself isn't a big problem, I should be able to get 18 litres into FV from this ok. The real problem is how I am trying to bring to the boil, the big ring on my gas hob. It JUST manages a gentle boil when the pan is near full, barely slightly more than a simmer. I only just got a gentle rolling boil with the pan only half full (stronger boil until I opened the bag door and kitchen window to let steam out, my wife doesn't like me using the industrial sized extractor hood we have as it literally eats electricity... lol).
In an ideal world, it'd be a simple fix. Get it outside on a propane burner, switch out the insulation for something more flame retardant first naturally. Not going to work though. Our back yard/garden has no shelter, unless you count a LOT of very large, very leafy, trees, all dropping rubbish down from on high almost constantly.
So, I'm looking at getting OFF the hob (my wife wants this too, as the pot almost fills it, leaving cooking meals a near impossible task when I am brewing. ), but still indoors.
So, right now I am looking at 2 alternatives:-
Electrim (PECO) Digital bucket (or the non-digital ones) (more volume) + a suitable bag
ACE digital boiler (comes with bag etc) off ebay - slightly less volume, possibly a bit safer than a big hot plastic bucket
I'd welcome thoughts on this. I certainly need a better bag than the one I tried so far (fine mesh nylon with draw string. Good diameter, not enough depth... Kept trying to pull off until I finally managed to secure it and put an SS trivet under it).
2) My process needs improving. I got an efficiency of just under 60% doing the following:-
Treated 23 litres of water with half a campden tablet. Water was 70 tap water, 20% RO water (I have a drinking water RO system with a 10 litre pressure tank, I keep sensitive freshwater shrimp as another hobby. lol).
Weighed out grain.
Weighed out, and labelled, hops and boil adjuncts.
Put 20 litres approx of water into big pot to heat.
Put 3 litres of water in smaller pan to heat for dunk sparge with.
Strike temp 72 degrees (probably a bit higher than needed, as it kept temps better than I expected)
Doughed in, realised I still had lots of headroom in my pot, put those 3 litres of already heated water (also at 72 degrees) into the pot. *probably one of my big mistakes right here, I should have left well enough alone.*
Dechlorinated another 10 litres of water with a 1/2 campden tablet, put 3 litres of this in a pan to heat up to use to sparge with.
Mashed at 65 degrees C for 90 minutes. Stirring gently every 30 minutes.
Mash out, raising to 75 degrees C then holding for 10 minutes. Was supposed to raise over 7 minutes, but even on full power it took a full 15 minutes to get to 75 degrees, so I paused the timer until it reached this, then held for the full 10 minutes at this. (first sign my hob wasn't up to the task)
Let the bag drain until barely a drip by resting on an SS cooling rack over pot. Then moved to bucket where I dunk sparged at 75 degrees C for about 15 minutes, pouring this into the kettle to top up.
Put lid on and brought to rolling boil. Boiled for 90 minutes. I went for this long as I was using pilsner malt as my base malt. Good job, as I had to put the lid back on (with a 1 inch gap) every 20 minutes or so to get back up to a vigorous rolling boil. ) The other sign my hob isn't up to the job...
Re-hydrated a 12g packet of a French Saison yeast (not one anybody outside the UK will know, but for those that do it was Crossmyloof Saison De Lille dried yeast) at 30 degrees in dechlorinated and boiled then cooled water (hence I did so much extra...).
1/2 protofloc tablet added at 15 minutes from end. Copper immersion wort chiller put in at 10 minutes from end of boil.
At flame out I activated the wort chiller, and less than 30 minutes later it had hit 20 degrees C and I transferred to a sanitised FV via sanitised auto-siphon through a sanitised fine stainless steel sieve (did a nice job of removing the hop pellet debris to be honest). 19.8 litres into the FV.
Even though I was working to a check list, and using Beersmith 2 app for my recipe and timers, I forgot to check pre-boil SG. Post boil SG though was 1.040, target was 1.045 though so I used Beersmith 2 to calculate how much pale dried malt extract I needed to adjust to target. Gave it a really good stirring with my mash paddle (now sanitised), then pitched the yeast. Followed advice I'd found on UK forums, and instead of airlock or blow of tube I used a square of foil taped over the hole in the FV lid (current thoughts over here are that back pressure from airlocks or blow of tubes and build up of CO2 behind these causes Saison yeasts to stall).
I took 2 things from this. My efficiency isn't good, and my boil down wasn't adequate (was aiming for 18 litres into FV).
The recipe I was using (from Brewdog DIY Dog, Electric India):-
3.8 Kilos Belgian pilsner malt
0.13 Kilos German light Munich malt
0.25 Kilos German pale wheat malt
Hops and additions
5g Amarillo hops at start
5g Amarillo hops at 45 minutes
5g Nelson sauvin hops at 45 minutes
2.5g lightly ground peppercorns at 45 minutes
8.5g lightly ground coriander seeds at 45 minutes
20g Nelson Sauvin hops at end
12.5g Amarillo hops at end
62.5g mexican orange blossom honey at end
Anyway, no idea what this is going to come out like yet, fingers crossed it's not a total disaster.
Need a better boiler solution (be gentle, outside just isn't an option, no garage, no shed, no shelter, lots of trees that want to add leaves to my beer if they can.... lol).
Need a better BIAB bag.
Need to re-order my brew day (do my grain weighing whilst the mash water is heating, weigh my hops whilst mashing, so I don't have grain and hops sat around waiting).
Need to make sure I get a pre-boil SG (I remembered this when I did a little stove top, which turned out more work than this brew.... lol)
Maybe tweak how I am sparging?
Try to be more relaxed whilst I brew, it's a hobby, not work.
NEVER brew with a migraine, EVER! I get cluster migraine, triggered by getting too hot (easily done, I'm type 2 diabetic... lmao) and which gets to super nova proportions I discovered if I get REALLY hot whilst I already have one.....
Need to brew where I am not getting in the way of meals been prepared (see type 2 diabetic comment..... )
I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Be blunt if you need to, I'm from an area of the UK where blunt is never taken as rudeness.
Post #1 made 2 months ago
Last edited by AdeDunn on 24 Oct 2017, 02:48, edited 2 times in total.
- SVA Brewer With Under 5 Brews From Great Britain