Thursday, December 8, 2011

10 Gallon Brewery Upgrade & Big Brew Day

I recently completed my upgrade from a 5 gallon brewery system to a 10 gallon brewery.
The equipment consists of (2) 15 gallon aluminum kettles, a 120 qt cooler mash tun, and (2) pumps.
I had a brew day with several friends to test it out and introduce them to the world of homebrewing last week, brewing up batches #22 and 23 for the year. We brewed 10 gallons of Dark Side of the Moon (Black IPA) and 5 gallons of a Scottish Ale. It was a lot of fun having so many people over to brew and introducing more people to the home brew craft.

Part of the upgrade included sizing the stainless steel water supply hose used for the mash tun drain to be 1" diameter allowing improved drain flow rates. I was able to hook a pump up to the mash tun and quickly mash out/sparge. I learned that it is important the batch size should be sized to the kettle. The 5 gallon batch of Scottish Ale was intended to be a Scottish Heavy 70 (1.036 OG), but due to the very small volume in the large kettle, 50% of my 7 gallon pre-boil volume boiled off in 70 minutes, leaving me with 3 1/2 gallons at an OG of 1.066. I guess this is a Wee Heavy, brewed without a lot of malt. I'm very interested to see how this turns out.

I began adjusting my water profile for these beers, but due to the distraction of having several new people to teach, I forgot to add the brewing salts until nearly the end of the mash. I threw in the salts anyway into the mash as well as the planned amount in the kettle. We'll see how it turns out.

The new 15 gallon kettles and yours truly.

Carefully calculating the next hop addition. I love this photo - it shows so many aspects of the brewing process in one photo.

Jon and Geoff made a great stirring team to keep the copper coil cold during chilling.

Brother Dave came in town to visit and brew with me.

Dave sporting his Adroit Theory Brewing shirt and my Hess Brewing glass.

Mike and I enjoying some great beer during one of the calm moments of the brew day.

Chilling down the 10 gallon batch. Liz is carefully overseeing the operation.

Yours truly is monitoring the kettle and the chilling procedures.

Dark Side of the Moon almost chilled.

Dark side of the Moon hitting the fermenter.

Stir baby, stir!
Pre-Brew Day: Making the Filter: I wanted to keep the fittings to attach the filter to a bulkhead fitting in the cooler. So I had to carefully pierce the rubber tube inside by using this small tool, then carefully work the tube out (see photo below).
Working the tube out of the filter proved difficult because a water supply hose is like a chinese handcuff!

The completed 120 qt mash tun with 1" stainless braided hose filter and ball valve.

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