Home > Brew session > Another 20 gallon batch

Another 20 gallon batch

De-labeled and de-funked bottlesBeen busy the last couple of weekends. I spent Father’s Day de-labeling and de-funking about 8 cases worth of bottles that I have amassed over the past 6 months. 6 cases were 12oz bottles, and about 2 cases were belgian-style 750mL bottles / Champagne bottles. It took me about 6 hours, a 1/4 cup of PBW, and a whole lot of scrubbing… but in the end, I have bottles for another 20 gallons of whatever I deem worthy of going into a bottle instead of a keg.

New 28 gal HLTThis weekend I broke in my new 28 gallon Hot Liquor Tank by brewing 20 gallons of Travelers & Tourists Belgian Red Ale. I won 2nd place at the Buzz Off competition in the Dubbel category, but I really didn’t intend for it to be that (it just fit that category best)…. I just wanted it to be a damn-tasty belgian-style brew, which it is. It even seems to satisfy Oliver’s picky palate. The HLT has a cool site glass on the side that shows the current liquid level, and ultimately I’ll get digital readings from the site glass too. This time around, I mostly just used it for no reason at all (Could have used my kettle)… but I really wanted to break it in.

20 gallon brewingThe equipment was pretty much the same as my other 20 gallon batches – I used the pump skid to move hot water around (From the HLT on the burner up to the 10 gallon cooler reservoir), split the mash into 2 different tuns, and used my 14 gallon kettle as a measuring grant. The after first 13 gallons sparged, I pumped the remaining hot water into the reservoir cooler, put the kettle on the burner, and then pumped the wort up into the kettle. Then it was time to start sparging the second 13 gallons using the second tun.

Gorgeous wortThe wort was an absolutely gorgeous reddish-brown color, and smelled heavenly. I tried to be careful not to get too much air into it during the pump transfer, but some happened anyways – hopefully not enough to cause hot-side aeration.

Man, that is alot of boiling wortBoiling 26 gallons of wort is just such a cool feeling. It was a really long brew day (about 9 hours), but in the end I got some pretty great beer (and alot of it). The hop additions did a really good job of catching hot and cold break (they formed their own filter bed ontop of the false bottom), and about my only big mistake was forgetting about the Candi Syrup and Corn Sugar addition until about 5 minutes from the end of the boil (were supposed to be added around 15). I had to scramble a little and didn’t incorporate them as smoothly as I wanted to, but in the end I didn’t have any scorch marks on the bottom of my kettle and the wort was the correct target gravity (1.070 SG by hydrometer).

Fermenting TnTFermentation is nearly done at this point – almost 48 hours later. The kraeusen has started to subside, and the airlock CO2 bubbles are coming more slowly. The yeast was pitched at 66 degrees, and rose to about 73 while fermenting. I don’t want the yeast to prematurely crash… so I have wrapped some sleeping bags around them to try to retain some of the heat and let the yeast finish up.

I love 20 gallon batches.

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Categories: Brew session
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