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True Batch Brew all-grain Pale Ale kit

Started by Motorbikeman, March 27, 2014, 04:29:16 PM

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March 27, 2014, 04:29:16 PM Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 05:06:09 PM by Motorbikeman
Following Brians very informative step through guide, I thought I might add to it as I did the Pale Ale grain kit this morning. 

I had all the bits so I just ordered the refill kit .

It comes with the grain with malt added,  Bittering Hops ,   Aroma hops,  Irish moss, Yeast ,  a little bit of sanitizer  and instructions on request .  Usually a PDF but I managed to get a little booklet.
You need to get a funnel , a sieve and a big 7L pot . Any of your FV buckets will be needed also.   Oh .  and a colander .

After spending a bit of time sanitizing everything I was going to use and touch I got to work on The Mash. 


Keeping the temperature between 63-68 was a difficult as there where hotter zones around the pot.  The top was cool while the bottom would try and creep to 69+  .   I found the best way was to let a low gas flame go up one side of the pot and a lid helped keep the  temp stable.
3.3l of water  heated to 71c and then the grains mixed in.
It has to be kept between 63-68 for an hour now .  While this was going on, 4 more litres of water had to be heated to 77c   and at the end of the hour, the mesh temp was also raised to 77c.

Ready for the next step now.  The Sparge. 

This where my new improved veg steamer came into action.   


Was recycled twice though the strainer.
   I really think if you used a household sieve, you would be in trouble, as there is quite a lot of grain and a good bit of weight to it when soaked.   A colander is the way to go.  I never got the muslin cloth as i was to lazy to go out. 
For the next kit I will improve my strainer with larger pegs  to fit my bucket.  The wooden spoon and spatula has to go!

After all this it was back into the pot for boiling.   1 hour  with  hops added at the beginning of the boil,  Irish Moss added at 45mins and the aroma hops added in the last 5mins.

The lot needed to be cooled down to 21c next .   Took about 20 mins in an ice bath made up from frozen cups of water and ice cubes. 

In she goes and the supplied  yeast added when temperature was spot on at 21c
.   I had to add about 1/2 a litre of cooled boiled water to bring the wort up to 5L as I lost some due to evaporation while boiling.   

Finished and set aside in the dark .    Gravity before yeast was added was 0.050  at 21c

Took a few hours but was a great way to spend my day off.    Cant wait to do it again with the new amber ale.    If this turns out ok , I will be ordering the kit for sure.   


Nice work Motorbikeman  :) This really deserves a thread of it's own. Maybe LordEoin could split it?

That colander is genius!


It helps to keep mashing temperature if you put the kettle in preheated oven while mashing.

True Batch Brew

Excellent Work  Motorbikeman! We'll be reccomending your DIY strainer, Brilliant!
We'll have grain for sale at 57 Headline this Sat 1 -5. We'll have online grain soon, would there be a market for whole malt?


March 28, 2014, 07:37:45 AM #4 Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 09:08:23 AM by johnrm
Well done, small batch looks great fun!

Here's a few tips...

Wrap the mash in an old quilt to regulate temperature.

Get a disc of tin foil and cover your sparge. Punch a lot of holes in it with a skewer. Gently sparge your mash.
Your overall efficiency should increase.


What is the negative result with the sparge temp going down? 
I never preheated anything.    I will the next time.   Even a a bit of boiling water in the plastic bucket should help to pre warm.  Im also thinking I could warm an old floor tile in the over to set the bucket and pot on.     


Specific temperatures are required in the mash for conversion of starch to sugars.
Failing to hit and retain these temperatures will mean that conversion is incomplete.
Small variations will not impact much, but if quality and consistency (very achievable) is what you are after, insulation is key.

Heating over gas to get heat back up will create hot spots in the mash which will denature (stop) the enzymes and impair conversion.
On thin base pots, Gas rings generate a circular heat pattern which will convect/circulate liquid - up the outside, down the middle.
Convection cannot happen in a thick mash and so needs stirring; stirring with the lid off will lose heat and so you need more heat... and so on.


This brew is still spitting hard .  Very active still.   


I've split this off as it's own thread and linked it in the kit reviews.
Good job Motorbikeman :)


Day 5  and all has gone silent.   This brew was popping Co2 like a mad thing and spewing ale into the jug.   

All calmed down yesterday morn so I installed an airlock this evening.     Not much activity now at all .

     Lots of sediment in the jar.  It may benefit from secondary fermentation to clear things up a bit.    That's going to need the purchase of another bottle.   What do you guys think?  Should I bother?   


Meanwhile in the corner, stinking up the room is Coopers euro lager  


I hope you have a very cold room... That european lager should ferment at a stable 12-14C, it's one of the few kit lagers that actually comes with a true lager yeast.

The trub in that true batch brew is compacting nicely :)


the euro lager had to be brought in from the shed last week as the yeast went dormant.  It had come around and is bubbling away at around 18c. 

Its in an un-insutalted part of the attic now and dropping to around 14. 

The temp has been a bit of a mess with that kit.    Dont think I will bother with Lager again to be honest.  To much investment into temp control is needed to do it right.   



Either way.  It will be drunk or givin away.    Im fairly sure the taste may be a bit off, but so be it.  Not going to bin it .   Back up summer beer at the very worst.  Have not given up on it yet. 

The grain kit is the one i am really looking forward to.    In fact I want it out of the gallon bottle so I can get another on.