BIAB in Canberra: Adequate Ales MkI - MkIV

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mtb

Beer Bod
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Hello all,

Been brewing for 9m now. Graduated from Extract to All Grain BIAB 4m ago and getting some great results. I wanted to describe my setup to brew Adequate Ale MkIV (currently in the fermenter) and ask for any feedback/advice on my techniques. Always good to hear from the educated populace.
MkIV in the fermenter (smells fantastic):
DSC_0557.JPG

Adequate Ales MkI & II would've been great but I didn't do a secondary fermentation nor cold crash prior to bottling, also I bottled a day too soon. The result was a batch of slight gushers (nothing crazy but drinker had to either pour into a glass or contend with a fair bit of head). The sediment also affected the flavour and honestly it was a meal in itself given how much sediment I was drinking.. I swear I put on a kilo from that alone ;)

Adequate Ale MkIII was secondary fermented, cold crashed, and allowed to bottle condition for 2wks prior to 1wk refridgeration. It came out as well as it could've but I was too lean on the hops (.5g per L in the late boil) and it was 40 IBU so there was bitterness and not much else. A great hot-weather beer though, and people generally did enjoy it, but comments were made about its lack of flavour and complexity compared to MkI and II.

Adequate Ale MkIV http://beersmithrecipes.com/viewrecipe/1067076/adequate-ale-mkiv
I'd copy the recipe to here but the Beersmith site insists on displaying in Imperial units and the Imperial system is a crime against the developed world (hell will freeze over before I measure ANYTHING with the length of a dead king's foot). The recipe is shared on the Beersmith Cloud though, if you wanted to load it up and take a look.

I BIAB obviously. My brew station (excuse the mess):
DSC_0348.JPG

Pot: The pot is an 80L aluminium that I bought from a local hospitality store for $160. I installed an outlet valve on the side for drainage and wort recirculation.
Heating: I modified the pot by drilling out a hole and installing a 2400W electric burner I bought from eBay. I connect that to an el cheapo temperature control switch with its probe sitting in the mash, and when temp drops below 66 it turns on the burner to return it to 67. The pot is sitting on an OMAC Italia something something. Found it on Gumtree for $30. An absolute steal in my opinion;
1457394366956-233656117.jpg
I use the gas burner for boiling - the electric works just fine for mashing but it can't manage a rolling boil on its own.
Pump: I bought a Keg King Mk2 wort recirculator pump for $75 from the LHBS. I don't know about improving my mash efficiency (~80% according to Beersmith), but it helps to regulate the temps for my mash. Without wort recirculation I figure I can't trust the reading of my temperature probe and my electric heating element uses the reading of that probe to know when to turn on, so it's fairly essential if I want accurate mash temps.
Chilling: I scored a free 30m coil of copper pipe from a local air conditioning repair guy. He was the tenth guy I called and was happy to hand it over for a "sample of my finest". I had offered him money, but he seemed more keen to get a hold of my beer. Promising I guess!
Using that coil as an immersion chiller, I run a garden hose from the outside tap, into the garage, through the IC, back out through another garden hose, and onto the lawn. Seems to work well enough (boil temp to 35 in 30min) although the ambient temp in the man cave is ~35C so I can't expect lower than that without running the IC water through another copper coil in an ice bath before hitting the IC. Definitely will do this as soon as I can remember to buy ice before my next brew.
Accidents: I've not yet had a boilover (touch wood). I'd say this is due to the headspace in my pot; it's 80L although at most I have 60L in there for a double batch.
The outlet hose on my IC popped off at one point and water went all over the electronics & equipment on my brew station - this happened because I trod on the outlet hose outside and the pressure fed back to the connection to the IC. Fun times. This has since been fixed with some tube clamps.
Infections: I had a string of these earlier on, with a ginger beer I attempted to brew. Cause was a combination of insufficiently boiled ginger and poor sanitisation (I "feared the foam" as they say, from my no-rinse sanitiser, so I was washing it out and introducing new bugs from the tap water).

Thoughts? Opinions? I'm also interested to hear what the brains trust thinks of the MkIV recipe (and if there's a fellow Canberra brewer around)
 

Kumamoto_Ken

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Hi mtb,

Queanbeyan here...although I work in CBR, so close enough.

Is there any particular reason you do a secondary fermentation? I think the general consensus is that it's unnecessary unless you're leaving the beer on the yeast for a long time (> four weeks), and just adds more handling/infection risk.

Regarding your recipe, I suspect that 1 package of yeast onto a double batch is an underpitch.

I can't really comment on your system as I BIAB in an urn (no recirc, no chill).

All the best, let us know how Mark IV turns out.

Cheers,

Ken
 

mtb

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Morning Ken,

When doing MkI and II without the secondary fermentation I noticed that the trub bed sat above, or in line with, the spigot - meaning that when I bottled, the suction created by the escaping beer would pull sediment off the trub bed and into my bottles. This was the main reason - I wanted to lower that trub bed so it didn't find its way through the spigot. Not sure if that was a legitimate cause for concern but I heard Whirlfloc creates a fluffy trub bed in the fermenter which implies that the trub isn't compacted - and thus can be easily disturbed and mixed back into the beer.

I should've elaborated on the yeast bit - I create a starter the day before as I'm too cheap to buy two yeast packets ($7 each!)
 

sponge

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Whirfloc is not a concern in the fermenter as it's used in the kettle to drop proteins/hot break out at the end of the boil.
 

mtb

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Understood sponge, but my thoughts were that some portion of the solid matter from the boil would find its way into the fermenter (whatever sits on the bed of the kettle is disturbed when I pull out the IC). So I figured some amount of "fluffiness" would find its way into the fermenter. That could be totally false though. I'd read articles like the below which gave me this impression and googling "Whirlfloc fluffy" yields similar discussions;
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=205536
http://www.beersmith.com/forum/index.php?topic=7535.0
 

Barge

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Whirlfloc additions to the kettle aid the precipitation of hot break. This is typically left in the kettle. Gelatin is usually used post-fermentation to aid in the precipitation of yeast. Gelatin does produce a "fluffy" yeast cake that is easily disturbed. I usually use gelatin and cold crash the FV. After a few days I lift the FV out of the fridge (garage) and carry it onto the kitchen bench. This doesn't seem to disturb the sediment greatly and the finished beer is usually quite clear (hop haze notwithstanding).
 

mtb

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Maybe that's the way to go then. Another reason I do a secondary fermentation is to separate the batch into two more easily handled fermenters; MkIV is a 45L batch in a huge fermenter and I'd much prefer to separate that into two 23L fermenters so bottling can be done in two stages without lifting anything too heavy. I also might consider dry hopping one and not the other for comparison but can't decide on Amarillo or Galaxy.. hmmm..
 

mtb

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Good idea, I'll use both. I was loosely basing the hop schedule on Hawthorn Golden Ale which I tasted recently and googled to try find their secrets.. it was described as having "passionfruit flavour with with citrusy notes" so definitely at least Galaxy

Bribie that looks like a good read, cheers
 

fdsaasdf

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mtb said:
I'd copy the recipe to here but the Beersmith site insists on displaying in Imperial units and the Imperial system is a crime against the developed world (hell will freeze over before I measure ANYTHING with the length of a dead king's foot). The recipe is shared on the Beersmith Cloud though, if you wanted to load it up and take a look.
Actually if you log in to Beersmith you can set the units to metric (much like each version of the app):
Code:
Submitted By: tastyjam (Shared) 
Download | Store a Private Copy | Bookmark
Brewer: Me	
Batch Size: 41.50 l	Style: American Pale Ale (10A)
Boil Size: 56.55 l	Style Guide: BJCP 2008
Color: 22.4 EBC	Equipment: Pot (18.5 Gal/70 L) - BIAB
Bitterness: 31.9 IBUs	Boil Time: 90 min
Est OG: 1.052 (12.9° P)	Mash Profile: BIAB, Medium Body
Est FG: 1.011 SG (2.9° P)	Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage
ABV: 5.4%	Taste Rating: 30.0
Ingredients
Amount	Name	Type	#
5.00 kg	Vienna Malt (6.9 EBC)	Grain	1
4.30 kg	Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (5.9 EBC)	Grain	2
1.00 kg	Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (157.6 EBC)	Grain	3
10.0 g	Galaxy [14.0%] - Boil 60 min	Hops	4
10.0 g	Magnum [12.0%] - Boil 60 min	Hops	5
30.0 g	Amarillo [9.2%] - Boil 15 min	Hops	6
20.0 g	Galaxy [14.0%] - Boil 15 min	Hops	7
20.0 g	Amarillo [9.2%] - Boil 5 min	Hops	8
1 pkgs	Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05)	Yeast	9
20.0 g	Amarillo [9.2%] - Dry Hop 3 days	Hops	10
 

IsonAd

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Do you bulk prime or prime from your fv straight into bottles? Bulk priming has many benefits, one if which is leaving trub/ dryhop gunk behind.
 

mtb

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I use the ol' carbonation drops, I hear lots about inconsistent carbing and priming sugar not mixing evenly in the FV so I've avoided it so far
 

IsonAd

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I highly recommended bulk priming. It gives you way more control on adjusting priming levels and lets you use various sizes bottles without fiddling around. I guarantee you won't go back. It's easy too once you've done it a couple of times. Just boil up some sugar ( use online calc to find exact amount). With a bit of water, tip into bottling bucket then rack beer on top leaving gunk behind then bottle away. Lots of threads here on processes and reasons for doing it. End of the day it's what suits you best though.
 

mtb

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I guess the main reasons I avoided it were twofold; adding the priming solution by racking into a bottling bucket introduces a third vessel - so more to sanitise - and I always use 330ml bottles so carb drops are always the perfect priming option for me. So like you say, what suits me best
 

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