March 2013 Brew Day

I made 2 beers, both our 2nd runs: Stock Lager and our Pilsner.  This time I changed from Mt. Hood to Liberty hops still going with the ‘American-made’ themed beer.  The Pilsner recipe also changed by moving some bittering hops over to the flavor and aroma side -maintaining the same bitterness units overall.

I made the mistake in pitching yeast.  I put the American Lager yeast in the Pilsner and the Czech Pils yeast in the Stock lager.  Oh well…they are both lager yeasts right? 😉

I increased the batch size from 10 gallons to 15 gallons again only due to the fact that I have only a few weeks left for ‘lager season’ here.

I also did 2 hour sparges instead of the usual 30-45 minute sparges based on some initial results last time.  I added 10-12 gravity points ABOVE where I wanted to be for both batches.  Sparge time is very important I have found out.  My brewing calculations have a 65% efficiency built in – which I knew was bad, I have now corrected it.

Stock lager wort at about 12 points above target.
Stock lager wort at about 12 points above target.
RIMS on Stock lager - very clear
RIMS on Stock lager – very clear
RIMS on pilsner...wow!
Sparge on pilsner…wow!

The sparge on the pilsner was amazingly clear.  There were NO particles…I couldn’t easily gauge the speed of the sparge.  I actually had to look hard to see the heat gradient changes moving to see how fast it was going.

I am also weighing the spent grains so I can start tracking water retention and try to correlate it with sparge effectiveness.

Weighing the spent grains
Weighing the spent grains
Boilover
Boilover

DSC06711

RIMS - Strikeout
RIMS – Strikeout
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