February 28, 2012
TBD Decided at the last minute due to changes in other plans to go ahead and brew up a 10 Gallon batch of our Texas Sweat on Saturday the 25th. The brewday went quite well. We started a bit later than usual and finished up earlier than usual and hit all of our expected numbers, which was great!
New for this brewday is a switch to a new water source. We haven’t gotten lab reports yet to determine the exact profile of the water we’re using now but generally, we mixed half Reverse Osmosis water and half Filtered and Softened water from a whole house water softener. There’s probably very little of anything in the water which is a great starting point for building up a desirable water profile. We’ll be looking into the water profile more later.
During the mash, we checked conversion at about 1 hour and were pleasantly surprised to find that we had gotten complete conversion with no fuss based on an iodine test. We let our sparge water finish coming up to temperature and began our sparge. We’re still loving our rectangular cooler mash tun with the copper manifold. We’ve never had so much as a slow running sparge, much less a stuck sparge. We do however crank down the flow rate to get the best extraction rate from the grain.
Sparge took forever as usual, extended a bit by the fact that we needed more water than we really expected. All told we put 20 gallons of water in the HLT for a 10 gallon batch of beer. Personally I think we lost more during the boil than usual (which really doesn’t bother me much) as well as quite a bit in the HLT. Loss in the HLT is something I want to work on a bit as it will have a tendency to throw off any water profile we build. This should be remediable with a simple lid for the HLT keggle that is setup to drip condensation back into the vessel vs outside the vessel.
After collecting our wort we started ramping up the temps towards a boil. We noticed an odd look to what we assumed were the initial break materials. We’re chalking that up to the new water at this point but will be watching out for it on the next brewday and evaluating this batch as appropriate. The boil went flawlessly and we even hit all of our times for hop additions. Unfortunately, our additions weren’t as accurate as I would like due to issues with scale precision (only went to .1oz or 1g), something to remedy for the next brewday.
Post boil with the cool weather cooling the wort was no problem and we collected 5 gallons in each of 2 carboys and directly pitched a White Labs vial into each then shook to aerate. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing how this batch turns out with the change in water.