Brew Day No. 1

 

Finally after months of storing our brewery equipment we have had our first brew day. On the 29.11.13 we brewed a Christmas Ale which we named Ho Hop Ho Hop. A hectic brew day it was with many visitors throughout the day and various problems that seem always to occur when brewing on a new system for the first time.

Firstly I’d like to give a review on the EBClll from High Gravity in the USA. We would have liked the brewery to have undertaken a ‘dry run’ before our first batch but unfortunately we had no time. Therefor our first batch was the first time the brewery was used. Consequently, finding out that pumps were wired incorrectly inside the controller, in turn they did not correspond correctly with the controller’s external controls. Upon dismantling the controller we also found three loose wires due to dodgy soldering. Luckily we had time during mashing to fix these problems. We have not had any further issues with the EBClll and are relatively happy with its performance. However, it would be an advantage to run both heating elements simultaneously for back to back batches for a double brew day. Due to this downside and the issues spoken about we would recommend the 50A controller from The Electric Brewery even though it’s more costly.

In addition to fixing the problems with the controller during the mash we also had to rig up a ventilation system before transferring to the boil kettle. All in all, the brew day went well. The last piece of equipment needed to complete our brewery set up is a system for oxygenation. The days of shaking our fermentation vessels are over.

Here is some information regarding our system that you may find useful.

Heating Elements

We use 5500 watt heating elements for our brewery at Little Brother Brewery. Running at full capacity our HLT reaches a strike water temperature of 75 degrees for 100 liters of 8 degree water in 90 minutes.
75 – 8 = 67
67/90 =0.74
Raising the temperature 0.74 of a degree per minute. This is with continually pumping strike water through the water pump. Initially we hoped this would only take an hour but didn’t compensate for a starting water temperature of 8 degrees. However, we achieve a high efficiency from our wort chiller which saves us a lot of time at the end of the brew day making up for some of this time.

Mash Efficiency

At Little Brother Brewery we use our HLT for only heating strike and sparge water but also as a heat exchange for a consistent mash temperature. LBB-Batch-001 showed us the following.

We achieved a mash efficiency of (TBC – we’ll be updating this information shortly) %

We managed a mash out temperature of 78 degrees from a mash temperature of 67 degrees over 11 minutes giving a 1 degree temperature rise every minute.

Boil Kettle

Time taken to raise wort temperature from 70 degrees to boiling (100 degrees) was (TBC – we’ll be updating this information shortly) minutes.

Chilling the Wort

To be continued shortly…