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Big Easter Brew

Saturday I stepped out of my comfort zone and brewed a really really big batch of beer (at least for me)… 20 gallons. I have to admit it is one of the more exhilarating experiences I’ve had recently. I tried out a couple of new toys, learned so important lessons about brewing big batches, and found that I really really love it… So if I ever end up investing in a big stainless system, it’ll most likely be sized for 20 gallon batches (of normal gravity, or 10/15 gallon of high-gravity).

I calculated the material cost for this batch at around $75. The ingredients were as follows:

  • 32 lb American (Briess) 2-row Ale malt
  • 4.5 lb Caramunich 80L
  • 2.2 lb French (Franco-Belges) Chocolate malt
  • 2 lb flaked barley
  • 10 oz black patent
  • 8 lb Buckwheat honey (added after initial fermentation subsides to primary).
  • 1.2 oz Magnum pellets
  • 4 oz Liberty pellets
  • 4 oz Northern Brewer pellets
  • 3 whirfloc tablets (could have gotten by with 2)
  • 4 capsules servomyces

I split the mashes into 2 tuns, used my 14 gallon kettle as a grant, then pumped the sparged wort into the 25 gallon kettle on my burner. I split the yeast cake from my batch of Stewart’s McBride Strong Ale 4 ways, and it is doing fantastic. The only minor glitch was not filling my carboys evenly and boiling off more water than anticipated, which I compensated for when adding the honey. So… here are some pics!

Here you can see the wort pump on a skid w/ a water pump, the 25 gallon kettle, the 2 mash tuns, HLT, and my 14 gallon grant. It was a glorious day to brew beer.

Pumping the wort up into the 25 gallon kettle… beats trying to lift that much hot, 170 degree liquid and pouring it in…

Filling the kettle full after sparging the second mash tun… it ultimately came up to the handle rivets you can see there. YUM! Black crude goodness… and a whole lot of it!!!

I have other pictures, but stupid blogger won’t let me upload more than 3. You all will have to wait until I put them on my personal site or the FSB gallery.

I’ve got 7 full carboys right now… Wow. That’s alot of beer. Quick calculation tells me I’ve already brewed 70 gallons this year… Sweet.

Meeting this friday… don’t forget! We have to change venues b/c Hank bailed on hosting. Looks like it will probably be at Scott’s house down in Middletown. I’m sure he’ll send details out soon.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. April 18, 2006 at 4:04 pm

    That is slick stuff man.. Get me the info on the meeting friday. I think I will make the trip up.

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