Brew Day 1: Brewers Best Brown Porter

posted in: Brew Days | 2

On January 4th, 2015, I finally got to this Brewer’s Best Brown Porter BIAB kit I have had sitting around for a while now.  This kit was on sale at my LHBS for half off or $19.99!  I thought it would be an easy way to get into all-grain brewing.

On to the brew day!  Ill try doing this with photos:

I started my heating the water in my mash tun with a bucket heater.  It took about an hour to get to a target temp of 167.1
I started my heating the water in my mash tun with a bucket heater. It took about an hour to get to a target temp of 167.1
Overshot my temp by a cunt hair but not too bad
Overshot my temp by a cunt hair but not too bad
I lost about 1.5 degrees when I pulled the bucket heater out so I missed my mash temp target or 155deg.  Could have added some hot water but I just went with it.
I lost about 1.5 degrees when I pulled the bucket heater out so I missed my mash temp target or 155deg. Could have added some hot water but I just went with it.
I only lost about 3.3deg after a 60 minute mash, pretty stoked about that
I only lost about 3.3deg after a 60 minute mash, pretty stoked about that
Right after I heated the water in my mash tun I stuck the bucket heater into the sparge water to heat that up.  I learned a couple things about the bucket heater.  I need to add something to lift it off the bottom of the HLT so I can get all the water I need in there.  I left the sparge water at 159.2
Right after I heated my mash water I stuck the bucket heater into the sparge water to heat that up.  Ill work on that temp…
Here is me fly sparging...  I use a BIAB bag because it's easier to clean up and is cheaper than a false bottom
Here is me fly sparging… I use a BIAB bag because it’s easier to clean up and is cheaper than a false bottom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I need a bigger pot!  I also noticed I used about a gallon more than I needed to reach my target pre-boil volume.  Need a couple more batches to nail my volumes
I need a bigger pot! I also noticed I used about a gallon more than I needed to reach my target pre-boil volume
Grabbed a sample of wort to measure my pre-boil gravity.  I put the glass into an ice bath to cool it down.
Grabbed a sample of wort to measure my pre-boil gravity. I put the glass into an ice bath to cool it down
Got a pre-boil gravity reading of 1.050, BeerSmith was looking for 1.043 so I am a bit over.  Thats a good thing
Got a pre-boil gravity reading of 1.050, BeerSmith was looking for 1.043 so I am a bit over. Thats a good thing
Here is the about.  Exciting isn't it?  I have a 8 gallon pot and a Blichmann Floor Burner
Here is the wort. Exciting isn’t it? I have a 8 gallon pot and a Blichmann Floor Burner
Cooled the wort in an ice bath to around 65deg, wasn't as easy with a full boil
Cooled the wort in an ice bath to around 65deg, wasn’t as easy with a full boil
I ran out of ice so I grabbed some ice pops I had in the freezer to try and help cool it down... Yes, they were sanitized
I ran out of ice so I grabbed some ice pops I had in the freezer… Yes, they were sanitized
US-04 was the yeast, have it re-hydrating in 93deg water
US-04 was the yeast, have it re-hydrating in 93deg water
And there it is, 5.5 gallons of brown porter in the carboy!
And there it is, 5.5 gallons of brown porter in the carboy!

What I learned from this brew day:

– My bucket heater is too short to heat the full amount of sparge water.  I need something on the bottom of the HLT to lift if about two inches so I can get the full amount heated.  It might take longer than an hour to heat that much water to 168deg, I’ll see what I can come up with.

– I really liked the BIAB bag as a false bottom.  No problems while sparging and I just lifted the sack to remove the grains.  Easy.

– I need a brew stand.  I could have boiled the full 8 gallon pot if I didn’t have to move it to the burner.  Still worked fine.  Maybe I’ll get a new pot too.

– I did have two hop additions, 0.5 oz of Brewer’s Gold at 60 minutes and 0.5 oz Northern Brewer at 30 minutes.

– I need a wort chiller.  With the water temps in the summer here in Phoenix, I might need two.  Now, do I build one or buy one?  I think I might make one out of copper to put in an ice bath and buy a stainless one to put in the wort.  We’ll see.

– Sorry, no photo of the original gravity (OG), ended up at 1.060.

– Almost forgot.  I broke my hydrometer when I was cleaning up… Luckily I have a spare!

So far so good on my first all-grain (AG) batch.  I have a video of me sparging if that is of any interest to anyone.  Maybe a YouTube channel?

Thanks for your time!

2 Responses

  1. avatar
    Robert S

    Hey Steve,
    Looks great, can’t wait to try it. That BIAB false bottom is a great idea.

    • avatar

      Thanks! It’s got to age for about 30 days so it will be a bit. The BIAB made it super easy to clean.

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