Brewed: April 23, 2016
I very recently acquired a Grainfather brew system, and this was my shake-down brew to get the hang of using it. I used some washed White Labs 515 (Belgian Pale Ale) yeast I had in the fridge that needed using, as it was 2 months old. I write this at 5 hours after pitching, so I am not sure yet if the yeast was particularly viable.
The recipe is pretty straight-forward, and is based on experience with the first batch which was a little too Munich-forward. The recipe used today for a half batch (2.5 gallons) was:
2 lbs Pilsner
2 lbs Vienna
2 lbs Munich
0.33 lbs Caramunich
I used Tettnang to hop this batch, with 0.5 oz at 60 minutes and another 0.5 oz at 10 minutes. Should put it around 24 IBU.
For the mash schedule, I took advantage of the Grainfather’s control system and performed a dough-in of 113F for 10 minutes, a protein rest at 130F for 15 minutes, a sacc. rest at 149F for 40 minutes, then a mash-out at 168F for 10 minutes. I hope this process yielded a nicely fermentable wort, as I would like this beer to dry out as much as possible.
More interesting than this beer though is the Grainfather system itself. It’s a pretty darn well-designed system. It’s not perfect, but it’s packed with convenient features and it’s a bargain compared to most all-in-ones. It doesn’t feel cheap. It’s not super powerful, but it’s probably as much as you can expect off a 120V outlet. I still need to figure out the best way to avoid hop trub from clogging up the pump/chiller lines. Might pick up a stainless mesh basket for that purpose. I look forward to seeing how the beer produced on this system turns out, but I have every reason to expect this will improve the quality of my homebrew.
OG: 1.064 IBU: 24
May 1st, 2016 – First pull of primary, was concerned about attenuation as the yeast cake is very thin at the moment. It’s dropped to 1.012 though which is only a few points north of what I had expected. Colour is significantly lighter than batch 1, which is no surprise given the grist changes, but I will adjust colour next time. It’s tasting pretty good thus far though obviously tough to gauge final product at one week.