Monday 24 June 2024

Pacific Pale Ale - BrewZilla Brew Day


Here's the rundown from our latest BrewZilla Brew Day for our Pacific Pale Ale

We started off collecting our source water. We recently installed a single stage under sink water filter so we can fill our BrewZilla and Digiboil sparge water vessels much more quickly than our previous method of using the in built fridge water filter in the kitchen.

Not a particularly large grain bill at 4.7kgs. With 21L of mash water, there was plenty of head space left and made for a quick and easy mash in.

We left the grain bed to settle for 10 minutes before taking our first pH meter reading. 5.54 was a bit high so we added another 0.5mL of phosphoric acid.

Second pH reading 5.39 - right in the middle of the 5.2 - 5.6 range, so we were happy with this.

We began recirculating the wort using the sargeant sparge head

We had really good recirculation which we were a little surprised by. Even with a relatively low amount of malted wheat (~8%) we expected to have to work the grain bed a bit more (but it was nice that we didn't!)

Mash temp was a consistent 65°C. Since we didn't need to mess with stirring the grain bed too much, our mash temp was bang on for pretty much the entire mash with only very minor temperature adjustments on the BrewZilla required.

After the 60 minute mash, we raised the temperature of the grain bed to 75°C for the mash out.

Wort starting to run much clearer at the end of the mash compared to the start

Raising the grain basket out of the BrewZilla is always a nerve-wracking experience for us. The handle doesn't fit perfectly and we're always worried it's going to slip out and send the grain basket crashing back into the unit which would splash hot sticky wort everywhere. Hasn't happened to us yet though.

Grain bed lifted and sparging begun. We tried using an automated sparging system using a pump but we find manual sparging using a simple 2L jug gives us better efficiency.

Much like the mash, the sparge went really well with no stirring of the grain bed required to get the sparge water flowing through.

Pre-boil gravity of 1.047 - a couple of points higher than expected. Nice win and a tiny bit more ABV now to be expected.

Pre-boil mash pH remains pretty much the same at 5.42 (3 points higher than measured value at start of mash)

Simcoe and Mosaic hops ready to go

Measuring out our first hop addition - 11g of Mosaic to be added at beginning of boil to provide the majority of bitterness.

Waiting for the boil - hot break starting to from on top

Pre-boil volume of 25.5L - spot on. 

Boil now underway, so first hop addition to be added.

Measuring out our second hop addition of Simcoe and Mosaic hops (to be added with 10 minutes left in the boil). We always like to document these to remove any doubt as to whether we added the right amounts or not!

Yeast nutrient and 1/2 a whirlfloc tablet also measured out to be added with 10 minutes remaining.

10 minute hop addition going in.

Measuring out the final whirlpool hop addition

At the conclusion of the 30 minute  boil we chilled the wort to around 80°C (83 is close enough) and added the final hops and began recirculating the wort using the whirlpool arm attachment for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes we continued chilling until the wort was around 25°C. 

One of the great things about winter brewing is the town water is super cold so we're able to get from boil/whirlpool temp to low 20's in around 10-15 minutes, which we can't get anywhere close to in the warmer months!

Starting gravity of 1.050 - a couple points higher than the recipe, but expected after we had a slightly higher pre-boil gravity.


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