Maiden Voyage Results
The maiden voyage brew session was successful but with a couple minor glitches to correct. I had cavitation issues with the pumps but managed to get them primed. Overall the session went real smoothly and my brew buddie JD was on hand to help out. Since then I have changes a couple of things with the brewery's plumbing configuration and installed the Blichmann easy connectors on both pump's suction lines. I also re-installed the drainage plumbing to be on the pumps out going side and added a HLT above the mash tun to hold hot liquor for the sparge. I guess you can say that I now do a modified batch-fly sparge using 3 vessels.
Using the 30 plate heat exchanger instead of an installed coil for the HERMS system was a huge improvement on performance and it serves double duty during the wort chilling process as well.
I have since brewed on the system 5 times and it is performing very well. It is real easy to use and the results have been better that I anticipated! Seems that the quality of the beer has improved quite a bit too! Yayyy!
Below are a few pics of the brewery as it stands now....but I already have a couple minor changes in mind which concerns the control panel and the SSR wiring....more on that later....!
|Here's the reconfigured system in full operation performing the mash. The cooler is for storing sparge water when pumped to it from the boil kettle (on left)|
|Here's the control panel holding temperature at 151 degF|
|This is a shot of the home made sparge and liquor return arm.|
|The sparge arm in action returning the wort to the top of the mash.|
|Running off the wort into the boil kettle.|
|Wort coming up to a boil using 3 heatsticks.|
|While the wort is boiling, the mash tun is cleaned of spent grains and filled up with 60 lbs of ice and enough water to prime the pump and start the cooling process.|
Well that's it for now as I have to go downstairs and bottle the Imperial Rye IPA and check up on the Belgian White that's now fermenting. My next session will be next week and we'll be doing a Hefeweizen complete with decoction.
I'll be posting more next week.....until then....