Brewery update

More brewing on the go – so no change there.  I’m 19 brews in and all is going well with the setup, with some very reliable results.

One area that did concern me was missing a strike temp a few brews back (#16).  It was a hot brewday (>30C) and all my previous brewing was fairly cold weather.  My target temp was around 64C but things soared well into the seventies.  Very out of character for my setup!  The resulting brew needed some serious gravity corrections and in the process a dry ale ended up tasting more like a Belgian!  As unplanned as it was, it was still rather tasty… 😉

So lately I’ve been using my various temperature probes fitted to the HLT and mash tun to keep a track of water temps as they travel throughout the process.  I’m hoping that this data, combined with ambient air temps, will serve as the basis of a lookup table for future brews.  And so far the results have been good…

I’ve also been toying with the idea of converting my gravity-feed (5-tier!) brew frame into a low profile 2-tier system  by moving to a pump-driven system.  It must be more than just toying because I’ve already got the pump and a welder sitting here ready to go!  It will permit a much lower and smaller brew frame (which also means more stable), a permanent home for the CFC (and the ability to force wort through it at higher pressures than simply gravity – hello hop-backs) and the option of more complex systems (such as a HERMS coil in the HLT).  But I’m really pretty reticent to go at my perfectly functioning frame with a cutting disk.  Time will tell…

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