MacBourne's Musings

Time to go back to the land: Planning to be as off-grid as I can - in the process there'll be music, guns, guitars, a smattering of politics (really kind of over that), CNC routing, yeah - a bunch of other stuff, too. Conservative with libertarian leanings - no wookie suit, yet. Μολὼν λαβέ - ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE

Month: March 2013

Brew Kettle Update

Last night I did the maiden voyage of my new all electric brew kettle – 6.5 gallons (just water) from 60° F to a rolling boil = 1 hour and 10 minutes. The first 20 minutes was with one element, then I fired up the second. Probably under an hour with both elements from the start…color me happy. I can do 12 gallon batches with this one…

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16 gallon pot – guess they stop the markings at 14 gallons to “suggest” you not fill it past that to allow boil room…


 

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False Bottom in place – has standoff feet as well as a lip in the kettle to hold it in place…


 

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A little more of what’s beneath the false bottom showing through…


 

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Brew Bag in place – got it from www.bagbrewer.com – Jeff is great to work with – each bag is custom made with a super fast turnaround time. $35 including shipping in the US.


 

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He makes ‘em super heavy duty with handles to hang ‘em for draining the wort after mashing. He sizes the bags so you could actually fit the kettle in the bag…


 

Fermentations – Mead and Beer

Brewed up a small batch (3 gallons) of mead using local Western NC honey the other night. Split it into five jugs and pitched different yeasts for experimentation purposes. All are happily fermenting away…the “yeastie beasties” are busy!

My new brew kettle for electric “brew-in-a-bag” all-grain brewing just came in – Bayou Classic has a 16-gallon stock pot with most of the conversion work already done (they have smaller units converted as well).
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If you search around, you can find an even better price – just sayin’. I have to drill holes for my immersion heaters. I know one will work fine for mashing, but it’ll take two to handle a 12-gallon boil. My first few batches with the new rig will only be 6 gallon boils. I also got my new custom size brew bag to fit my kettle, recipe ingredients on hand for two batches and I’ll crank up a couple of yeast starters tomorrow night. It’s going to be a fun weekend!

I’m also going to experiment with the Australian No Chill Method using these…in the 6 gallon size. I just got them in this week,too. They have a similar unit that’s 15 gallons – if the little guys work out well, I’ll have some larger brews on the horizon.

 

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