Sunday, March 21, 2010

First All-Grain

Finished building all the equipment I'll need:

  • Coleman 70 quart MLT

  • Copper Immersion Chiller

  • High Pressure Propane Burner

  • 52 quart Boil Kettle

I went with an easy recipe that I can taste test against a commercial brew: a Fat Tire clone.  I made a ton of mistakes, but learned so much.  Missed my strike water volume, overshot my temps, draining the MLT took longer than I thought it would, almost had a 5 gallon boilover, and my immersion chiller blew up.  It was exhausting and after it was all done had a huge mess on my hands, but I loved it.  This is what brewing is all about.  

The beer came out great.  It was spot on, and other than the head retention, was exactly the same as its commercial inspiration.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Going All-Grain

So I've been brewing extract for a few months, and I've spent over $40 just on little plastic buckets for the LME.  Our local home brew store lets you bring your own, but I always stop by on my way home from work and have to spend another $4 on a new one (or two if I'm doing a big beer). everything else in my life, I make a drastic correction to a solve a minor now I'm going all-grain.

I ordered a Coleman 70 quart cooler from Walmart and will pick up some CPVC and fittings for the manifold and spigot once I can make the measurements in the cooler.  I'll use all of that to build a mash lauter tun that can handle 10 gallon batches.  I also ordered a turkey fryer that comes with a 32 quart pot that should be perfect for a full 5 gallon boil.

Doing a 5 gallon boil will take some serious cooling power to get down to pitching temps, so I plan on building a copper immersion chiller.  Good thing it's my birthday...I can treat myself and not feel guilty. =)