March 22, 2015
I decided to brew a small 5 gallon batch of Yorkshire Bitter.
The recipe I planned for a single infusion:
7 lbs Maris Otter
1 lb Crystal 40
1 ounce Kent Golding
1 once Fuggle (last 15 min of boil)
I was going for a lighter hoppier beer since it’s springtime.
I used an old cast iron adjustable grain mill. This was adjustable to
grain cracking opening. However, grain kept getting wedged up in the
mill threads and becoming pulverized into a powder to I didn’t get a
consistent product. This became a problem later on with the
lautering. To be honest, I assumed it would be a crappy mill but it’s
an antique from my great grandmothers so I had to try it out. 🙂
Started with a mash at 155F and held for just over 1.5 hours until the
temp dropped to 150F.
That was the easy part.
I realized I didn’t have a false bottom so I used a fine mesh net that
was about the same size as the bucket, which was ratchet strapped to
the rim of the bucket to leave space for liquid to collect on the
bottom. This worked surprising well when re-circulation began. Things
started to settle nicely. Then, the mash became stuck almost
immediately after the beer cleared up and the fine power muck settled
I Tried several time to get the mush unstuck but it continued to plug
up and make a perfect seal stopping the wort from passing through.
I finally just said fuck it and let the sparge water pass through
whatever tunnel it could bubble through which meant a high
inefficiency of sugar collection.
I tested the wort collected before it hit boil and discover that I was
way low at 1.020. So… I had no choice but to boil is down more and
tossed in a cup or so of Briess Bavarian Wheat LME I had on had to add
some much needed sugar.
I ended up with about 3.5 gallons due to all the gunk that worked its
way into the wort. The gravity ended up at 1.040 which is quite a bit
on the low end for what I was aiming for. I’ll probably toss in some
gelatin to attempt to clear it up more during secondary fermentation.
Today’s lesson learned: Get a grain mill or borrow Tom’s and stop
fucking around with grandmas farm equipment.
I’ve decided to dub this a “House Beer”.