Mar 042012

Beer:  Spring electricity

Brew Date: 02/03/12

Brew Time: 10am


This is the first brew done solely by me (James) and not both of us.  I finally decided to sort out kit so I can brew in London as well as at Brewjam headquarters.  So really not technically a brewjam beer, but with no where else to put it I’m sticking it here. From the bad title of this post you may be able to surmise that I am making a variation of Hopback Brewery’s Summer Lightning.  While I am not a massive fan of making clones, it seemed appropriate to test out the new kit with something that is pretty easy to make and the expected outcome is known.  So onto the new kit: Mash tun is a cooler as per usual with tap fitted.  I reckon largest grain bill will maybe be 12.5kg if I dough in with only 1.5l of water per kg. Boiler is a 27l brewpaks electric boiler, which I may be falling slightly in love with. Only thing I don’t yet have as I haven’t yet built it is a sparge arm.  So it is currently a colander lined with tin foil and a few holes punched in the tin foil.  Not ideal, but it works.

Grain Bill – 19L Aim: 4.6%ABV  @ 75% efficiency

  • 5kg Pale Malt (100%)

Nice simple grain bill.  19l is about the maximum that I can handle in my kitchen.  I’m assuming 75% efficiency, but it will probably be lower.

Hops ~ 57 IBU

  • 60min- 57g Challenger  (7.6%AA) 53 IBU
  • 10min- 15g Goldings (6.6%AA) 4 IBU
  • 0min- 15g Goldings (6.6%AA) 0 IBU
  • Total – 57 IBU


Wyeast 1318 London Ale III First time using one of these as opposed to the standard sachets of dried yeast, so should be interesting.  Would otherwise have used SA-04.



Single infusion, aiming for a mash temperature of 67C.    Grain temp 14C, so boiled 10l of water (2l per kg of grain) to 78C.  Once doughed in mash temperature was 68.6C, not the aimed for 67C but livable.  Final temp was 67.1C after 1.5 hours, which isn’t too bad.  Pretty equal cooling through out mash tun – not a massive difference in temperature between middle and edges.  I forgot to take a photo of the mash in progress, so instead you can see a previous brew I made.

Fly Sparge

Without a sparge, I had to make do with tin foil and a colander, and it didn’t disturm the grain bed too bad at all.  A slight dent, but nothing that should have caused any issues. Recirculated first 5l. Sparged 20l at 77C, and collected 24l, which allowing for 20% boil reduction should result in 20l or so. Wort looked pretty cloudy as it came out – even the last runnings were pretty hazy.  Looked more like a wheat beer than an ale.  Not sure why, maybe due to different water?


Wort was added to boiler and temperature was set to very very hot. Once the hot break occurred, 57g of challenger hops were added and the wort was reduced to a nice rolling boil for 60 minutes. 15g of Goldings and a protaflock tablet were added 10min before end.  15g Goldings added at end of boil.  At the end of the boil the wort appears to have cleared up a  lot – a lot less proteins and crap in the beer and while the colour is still quite dark it is now a lot clearer, a nice amber colour. OG was way off what was expected.  0.044, rather than the expected .050,  so chucked in all the brewing sugar I had to bring the og up to 0.49.  Need to check on utilisation – probably low due to missed temperatures with mashing.


Came back from pub at about 1am and beer had cooled to 20C so yeast was added.  2 days later and a decent 2″ krausen has appeared.







For a first brew using this kit, things were okay.  I missed the mash temperature slightly, so utilisation was lower than it should have been.  My ultimate aim is 90%, and I should be hitting 75% with ease.  Boiler works brilliantly, and creates a great rolling boil.


First time brewing with this kit, so a lot of issues were expected.  Not too many occurred though.  Surprisingly the biggest issue, other than the lack of a sparge arm, was the fact that my 5l jug was crap.  The 5l is literally 3mm off of the brim.  Which is dumb.  What is dumber is that I knew this, having used it for sevreal kit beers, yet didn’t bother to do anything about it.  A new better jug has now been purchased.  Didn’t get to use wort chiller as forgot to buy right adaptor for sink, so had to let cool overnight.  Boiler would also benefit from a false bottom, if only to aid with cleaning.

 March 4, 2012  Posted by