Saturday, January 17, 2015

Lager time!

So my last post here was about modifying my mini-fridge to serve as a fermentation chamber.

Today we begin our first lager. Hooray!

7lbs Belgian Pilsner
1lb Munich
.5lbs C60
.5lbs Carapils

1oz Hallertau FWH
1oz Hallertau @20

Whirlfloc @15

Yeast: W-34/70, rehydrated. Two 11.5g packs.

My little brew helper stirring it up! This was immediately after adding the sparge water.

I opted for a 4.5 gallon mash with 4 gallon batch sparge. Very straight forward on my setup, no issues. Mashed at 152F, sparged at ~175F. First runnings 1.073, forgot to take second runnings reading. But pre-boil at 7 gallons into the kettle at 1.040. With 5.25ish into the carboy, looking at 1.052 and ~80% (rough calculation in my head, not going to check because it's a good efficiency either way) brewhouse efficiency. Can't complain about that.

Overall the brew day was fairly straight forward. Aside from having to put new tubing on my immersion chiller, because the old tubing just wore out and a sprung a leak last time I used it. No big deal, but at least today I don't need to worry about the tubing bursting. I know I know, I can use silicone tubing that'll handle the heat much better, that's a problem for future me.

This worked out pretty well. There was an initial leak on the connection to the garden hose, but that was tightened up easily. Other two connections had no leaks at all.

Here it is all hooked up and in the chamber. Door closed perfectly and the compressor is working to get that temp down. Since it went in around 3:15pm I'm hoping to be able to pitch before bed. If not, tomorrow morning is fine too. I didn't want to waste water, so I chilled it down to ~80F before transferring to carboy. Figured might as well, since I've got this chamber now.

I'm going to be utilizing the Brulosophy Fast Lager method to ferment this baby. I'll probably end up cold crashing longer due to laziness/other things coming up towards the end of that fermentation schedule, but that won't hurt anything so not worried about that.

I know his method kegs. But since I can't see any logical reason to think it wouldn't work in bottles, I'm going to do it bottling. Also I don't have kegs. So easy choice to make, really.

Thanks for reading! Off to relax for a while with my family and perhaps go out for dinner. Hopefully I'll be able to pitch tonight, but if not then oh well. Always tomorrow to pitch the yeast! RDWHAHB, as the saying goes.

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