Brew # 16 - Australian Sparkling Ale Mk II

This is a repeat of the previously disastrous Australian Sparkling Ale brew from a few months back.

Brew # 16 - Australian Sparkling Ale Mk II

The first time I tried this recipe I ordered the wrong grains and tried a modified mash process that resulted in something really nasty (although it's still improving).

I can't get the CaraVienne malt the recipes recommends, so I'm using Weyermann's CaraHell instead.

Start date: 02 MAY 21

Equipment

  1. 7 litre ("small") stainless steel stockpot w/ lid
  2. 19 litre ("large") stainless steel stockpot w/ lid
  3. Induction cooktop
  4. Fermentasaurus ("Fermus") w/ pressure kit
  5. 2x 20L nylon paint strainer
  6. Digital thermometer
  7. Sanitiser in spray bottle
  8. Long handle spoon
  9. Funnel w/ strainer attached
  10. 2 x 5kg Ice

Ingredients

  • 2.5kg light dry malt extract
  • 250g Weyermann CaraHell
  • 32g Pride of Ringwood (9% AA) hop pellets
  • 23g New Zealand Wakatu (6.5% AA) hop pellets
  • 100g Dextrose powder
  • 2x White Labs British Ale Yeast (WLP005)

Cleaning/Sanitising

Soaked the Fermus in Sodium Percarbonate overnight after kegging the Milk Stout. Emptied and rinsed with hot tap water, and allowed to drip dry before spraying with Iodophor (iodine) to sanitise. Rinsed again with hot and then cold tap water.

Spray funnel and funnel strainer with Iodophor. Allow to sit for 5 mins before rinsing with hot tap water.

Note: You are advised to use cooled boiled water for sanitisation, but as I top up the Fermus with filtered tap water after the boil, I don't see that there's much need.

Brew Day

  • Boil kettle
  • Place paint strainer over small stock pot
  • Add 1.5L boiling water
  • Wait until temp drops to ~70C
  • Poured grains into paint strainer in small stock pot @ 65C (17:05)
  • Left to soak for 30 mins
  • Added ~7 litres filtered water to large stock pot, plus 3 litres of boiling water
  • Add 1.1kg of light DME to stock pot
  • Placed the stock pot on induction cooktop and start to heat (Fry 280C)
  • After 30 minutes, removed paint strainer with grains from small stock pot and and allow to drain (no squeezing) (17:40)
  • Added grain wort to large stock pot
  • Continue to heat the wort to boiling point (NO BOIL OVERS!)
  • Place second paint strainer over stock pot for the hops
  • Once boiling, added the Pride of Ringwood hop pellets (18:00)

Quickly realised that the paint strainer was going to float and keep the hops suspended out of the wort, which is obviously not what we we want.

I pulled the paint strainer out and inverted it so the hops were on the outside, then put it back in the stock put to rinse the hops off. I added ~15g  more hop pellets for the ones I think were lost.

The plan now is to use the paint strainer to filter the wort as it goes into the funnel and fermenter.

  • After 45 mins, added the New Zealand Wakatu hop pellets (18:45)
  • After further 15 mins, turned off cooktop (19:00)
  • Added 1.5kg DME + ~100g dextrose powder, stirring continuously
  • Placed paint strainer into wort
  • Everything allowed to sit for 15 minutes (to Pasteurise)
  • In the meantime, added the two bags of ice to a laundry sink (deep) and filled to half way with cold water

Before I put the stock pot in the ice bath I realised I wasn't going to be able to stir the wort with the strainer in place, so I had to remove it. By this time it was Pasteurised, though.

  • Placed the stock pot in the ice bath to cool (19:05)
  • Stirred the wort to reduce the temp more quickly, taking care not to contaminate the wort with the ice water and to not splash the wort whilst hot
  • Once the wort was <40C, replaced the paint strainer onto the stock pot (hop side down)
  • Poured the wort into the Fermus through the paint strainer, funnel and funnel strainer
  • The funnel strainer dislodged (as is its way), but the paint strainer did an amazing job of filtering
  • Final wort volume was ~10 litres
  • Shook the wort in the Fermus to aerate
  • Added cold filtered (not boiled) water to ~22 litre mark
  • Final temp was around ~26C
  • Aerated again
  • Place the wort and yeast pack in the fridge set to 20C
  • Once the temp had stabilised around 20C (overnight), I measured the OG (1.044) and pitched the two liquid yeast packs (no prep or starter required for liquid yeast)
  • One final (less rigorous) shake and the wort is now done
  • Attached the PRV/spunding valve to ensure the Fermus doesn't explode

OG: 1.044

Primary Fermentation

After 36 hours a nice Krausen has risen.

I've been checking the pressure regularly to make sure the PRV is set correctly (~10PSI), but it's not getting above ~4PSI. I suspect there's a leak - probably at the well connection. The rubber seal on the screw top can be difficult to get in place, but I think I got it right this time.

Nice Krausen, though...

Krausen after ~36 hours

The wort was allowed to sit for just over a week before I started to cool to drop the yeast out ready for kegging on 11th May (9 days since start).

The cooling process involves using the temperature controller to drop the temperature by 0.3C every 2 hours. The temp controller I use allows up to 12 preset temperatures, so I have to reset every 24 hours. It takes ~3 days to bring the temp down to 4C, when it's ready to keg.

Kegging

  • Place a cleaned and sanitised keg into the keezer for 24 hours to chill to ~4C
  • Pressurise to 8PSI
  • Perform closed transfer of beer from Fermus to keg
  • Attach CO2 to keg at 49PSI for 36 hours to carbonate
  • Allow to sit for at least a week
  • Drink

FG: 1.012
ABV: 4.2%

Always enough left for a sample after kegging

Improvements for next time

  • Continue to use the paint strainers - they were awesome
  • Double-check the pressure seals - maybe don't use the temperature well. Can it be sealed off somehow?