This weekend Nick wasn’t available to brew, so Bryan and I brewed up hist first batch of all-grain. For this, I wanted to take another stab at my ribbon of participation winning California Common called Californication from last year. This year I made some changes to the recipe and quadrupled the recipe for a 20 gallon batch. Here is the tale of the tape:
40.2lb US 2-Row
3lb Crystal 40L
3lb Crystal 90L
2oz Brewers gold (60min)
1.5oz Target (60min)
3oz Cascade (10min)
1oz Cascade (1min-cool down)
We struck with 15.3 gallons at 161f for a mash temp of 155f (panned out to 150 at the end due to heat loss on the big tun) and collected close to 10 gallons on the first runnings. The gravity for the first runnings was 21.5 brix (1.090) which was pretty high. After the second and third runnings, the pre-boil gravity was 1.052, well above the 1.045 I was expecting.
One quick note; last time we brewed with this large mashtun, we noted that we were not able to get up to mashout temp because Beer Smith’s temps were low for our needs. With that in mind I made some observations this time around and played with the temps:
Sparge 1 – Supposed to be 168f – I used 9 gallons of water at 175f – Grainbed temp was 158f up from 150
Sparge 2 – I used 5 gallons of water at 185f – grainbed temp was 168f making me pretty happy
Lesson learned was two-fold:
First off, we loose about 4-5f every hour we mash (this was a 75min mash). I need to make sure that I overshoot temps with that in mind. Second, when I want to mashout or sparge, 5 gallons at 185 will get me 10f in increased grainbed temp on ~50lbs of grain. Good stuff to know.
Anyway, besides all of that, we would up with an OG of 1.053 (I must be taking my refractometer readings too high because it’s not adding up with what I am getting in measured OG at the end) and a very hoppy brew. We used a qt starter of Wyeast California Lager yeast and mine were firing away within hours.
In the end this beer was $38pp for 10 gallons of beer, not too bad. Bryan volunteered to take care of the spent grains because I wasn’t sure of a good place to dump 50lbs of wet grain in the suburbs.
It was a damn fine brew day and both of us left happy. We had some burgers for lunch, my wife made some pancakes for breakfast and we hit all our brew milestones. What more is there to say?