Saturday, January 5, 2013

Expansion time

After coming up with some recipes that came out really well, I rue that fact that I was only brewing two gallon batches.  Being the impatient type, I couldn't help popping bottles before their time, leaving an insufficient number to really enjoy when they were really ready or to share with the family.  So it was time to upgrade to 5 gallon brews.  Did a lot of digging around on the web for ready built systems, but the low end Braumeister pot is too small to brew really big, high ABV brews.  Blichman's and Ruby Street's set ups are really cool, but pricey. 

I happened to see a leftover turkey fryer from Thanksgiving on sale at the grocery store.  Seven gallon pot - not quite enough for a big brew, but I decided I could do decoction mashes and use a cooler.  We had a couple box coolers in the garage, so I rigged one up with a braided stainless steel hose to use for a lauter tun.  I also put a wort chiller and a Victoria hand mill on the Christmas list that finally arrived this week.  I already had a 7 gallon fermenting bucket and will pick up a six gallon carboy as a secondary fermenter.

The first recipe I have in mind is a Dopplebock, over 10% ABV.  It has been cool enough to ferment the lager yeast out in the garage.  14.5 lbs of grains and 1.25 quarts of water per pound meant that I won't have enough room in the fryer.  When I realized that, I decided to retrofit the cooler and do a double decoction mash.  I found a great calculator on this site that helped in determining the size of each decoction:

Buying the grains and refilling the propane tank next week, so I'll let you know how it goes.

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