Rolling with the punches on a double batch

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Inconceivable
Gold
Gold
Australia
Posts: 48
Joined: 2 years ago
Region: Oceania
Preferred Brewing Method: Single-Vessel All-Grain (SVA)
City: Burwood, Sydney

Rolling with the punches on a double batch

Post by Inconceivable » 2 months ago

So on my second double batch day I'd attempted I was a bit disorganised and short of sleep after recovering from illness.

Here are all the .. ahem.. challenges I confronted.

1 On the night before brew morning I was filling my kettles and was eyeing the sealed bags of grain from the LHBS. One should have been bigger than the other as one batch was for 26L and the other only 13L yet they looked bloody similar. I checked my Biabacus files vs the LHBS receipt and to my horror found I'd ordered grain bills from the 'Original fermentable bill' section instead of the substitution section that would match my batch size. :roll:
I recovered by recalculating the water into the kettles and yeast pitches and was ok to do both batches; I just lacked a second fermenter that would fit all the extra wort I hadn't planned to produce...

2 I awoke the next day and got the first mash on in my mid-sized kettle. As I wrapped the kettle I realised I'd forgot to put in my BiaB bag so the grain was in water with no means to drain it! :nup:
I recovered by moving the sweet liquor via a 1.5L jug and eventually the help of my wife to lift and pour it into my spare large kettle I lined with the BiaB bag then proceeded to pull the bag and squeeze and proceed to boil as normal.

3 On the way up to boil I grabbed a little tub of First Wort Hop additions I had prepared and chucked them in. I immediately facepalmed when I realised those EKG hops were for my other batch!! ( a Best Bitter) not for my bloody Oatmeal Stout. In my stress I compounded my error by adding the recipe amount of 60 min bittering hops so with the combination of the FWH and 60 min I had now gone 15 IBU over my recipe target!
I didn't really recover from this I just pushed my 15x min flavour additions to 5 mins to reduce their IBU contribution a shade.

4 As the boil got to 15 x mins I realised my immersion chiller which was due to go in was still filthy so I skipped putting it in. No biggie.
I recovered by cleaning the chiller then dumping it in my large FV full of Starsan to sanitise it

5 In phase 2 of my chill when it was time to switch from hose water to chilled ice water I assumed my new pump would have no problems getting the ice water moving so lost 10 x mins with the pump too weak to move the water through the hoses which had a long vertical drop to the ground then back up to the chiller in the kettle. Again no biggie.
I recovered by running the hoses in a more gravity efficient fashion so the ice water flowed and finished my chill ok.

After the stress of my first batch all went right with the second batch. I finished by pitching my yeast starter without dumping the stir bar into the wort (a win!) and got the FVs into the fermentation fridge and on their way to making beer.

I overcame the excess wort issue from batch #1 by fermenting two spare litres of wort in my 3L Erlenmeyer flask with Cling film for an airlock and dumped the other 2-3 spare litres which were full of trub and accidental hop additions anyway

I won't repeat this many screw ups next time but I can tell you.... tonight 12 days on the hydrometer readings were ok and both batches will be at least fair-good beer so RDWHAHB

Note: I didn't have the mental energy to try to fix the accidental FWH batch in a more elegant way. I was shattered and had neglected the family too long to do anything more.

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