Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mash Tun

Update: After some extensive internet research I have decided that three oranges and one lemon will provide me with enough zest for this beer. I will be adding my zest at flameout instead of the last five min, however, and I will reserve one oranges worth for primary fermentation. I haven't read anything that would lead me to believe that my ph will be radically unbalanced by the orange or lemon, and will probably forego the usage of any gypsum.

Thursday Nick dropped off a cooler to be used as a mash tun. I thought that I had all of the equipment I would need for conversion, but quickly found that my drainage valve was not water tight with the recommended pipe fittings. I think I have the right set now, but still need some 7/8" stainless steel washers. It is my understanding that these are notoriously difficult to find outside of a specialty supply store. Guess what I am going to try and track down tomorrow morning... Anyway, the plan is to brew the Orange Wit (my first AG!!!) this coming Friday using the following recipe.

Grain Bill
  • 6.5 lbs Maris Otter
  • 4.5 lbs Flaked Wheat
  • .5 lbs Rice Hulls
Everything Else
  • Zest from 1-3 Blood Oranges (last five minutes of boil, plus some added to primary) (need to do some more research on the amount required)
  • 1 oz. Coriander (crushed and added last five minutes of boil)
  • 1 oz. UK Kent Goldings Hops pellets. (Half during boil and half during that last five min.) (5% AA)
  • Wheat Beer Yeast SW 06
  • Possibly some gypsum to balance the ph, the zest adds a lot of acidity
I based this recipe on the Orange Wit recipe from my post a couple days back, but made some modifications for batch sparging, as well as following the advice of my friend Aaron Rossell on the Maris over the Pilsner. I am very excited about this beer.

I plan on a 148-150 Degree mash for 60 min. Due to the high volume of wheat in this beer I will perform a mashout. Because I am using Maris Otter as my base malt I will raise the temp to 168 degrees at mashout, and plan on sparging at 168 as well. This should be hot enough to halt any enzyme activity, but not too hot that I start extracting tannins. The Maris Otter can't take temperatures any higher than 170, and even that is a degree or two too high.

With my 11.5 lbs grain bill I will need at least 17.25 quarts of water for my mash and another 24 quarts for sparging. Then I will just keep and eye on my wort level as I fill the brew kettle. Once I have hit that magic 6 gallon mark it'll be time to boil.

In other news, I started washing my own yeast this weekend. I now have a great starter for Nottingham Ale yeast. This is actually a cultured from a dry yeast, so I don't know how it will work, but it'll be a learning experience at the very least. I will be harvesting the SW 06 from the Orange Wit as well.

(Haven't decided on a name for this beer yet, leaning towards something blood related due to the Blood Orange zest)

P.S. I still need a 33 quart brew kettle, I have my eye on one from Bed Bath & Beyond, but I'm not sure I'll have the money for it by the end of the week. If anyone wants to buy it for me I would be greatly indebted... Otherwise, I'm looking at you for a loaner pot Rossell.


  1. Hey man, here's a good site for a homebrewer:
    There are always good forums with helpful admins that answer questions quickly. And a pretty big selection of recipes, etc.

  2. Thanks aaron, also I am a little disappointed that you didn't jump on the chance to suggest a name for the next brew. Hope you can make it over on friday.