My first Brew - Gales HSB Clone - Hollybank

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My first Brew - Gales HSB Clone - Hollybank

Unread post by hambrook »

So my shiny new BM 20L had arrived; I had flushed it all through with warm water and was ready to go. Now rather than mess around with a new recipe I wanted to try a slight refinement on a brew I have done 3 times before - Gale's HSB - I call it "Hollybank". Here's my Braumeister 20 litre set up with jacket and hood; its the 2015 version with the bling new controller
So based on the Graham Wheeler recipe all I have done is added slightly more black malt and swapped out the white sugar for molasses with a goal of producing a more chestnut colour; as a Mac user; I use BeerSmith; here is my recipe (I actually did modify this after brew day but I'll come to that in a bit)
BeerSmoth BM 2 April 2015.png
After reading / watching many an article on brewing with the Braumeister (esp this one: ) I set about making a 25 litre batch. I used the 25 litre recipe from the Graham Wheeler book but expected a higher ABV as a result of the efficiency of the BM; 25 litres up to the top notch on the BM; half a Campden tablet added:
One of the nice tips I got when ordering the BM is that the domed hood, used for the boil off, can also be inverted to help loading the grain:
All mashed in;
Mash schedule - the BIGGEST unknown and I need some help here!. BM seems to have lots of stepped mash programmes but they seem to be more for European Lager / Beer formats rather than the malty, chestnut ales I am looking to brew. So I thought for my first brew I would keep it as close to the 'traditional' mash in the Graham Wheeler Book. So I mashed as follows:
- 55 degrees (filled from hot tap as we have fresh hot water) - 0 minutes
- 66 degrees - 75 mins
- 78 degrees - 10 mins

Result was a lovely clear wort;
I sparged with 10 litres of hot water at 78 degrees; I used my old Buffalo boiler to maintain the temp and added slowly 2 litres at a time over a 30 minute period. I removed the Malt Pipe and placed over a bucket to catch any residual drips. I took a pre boil sample, cooled it to 20 degrees - 1036 - WAY OFF what it should be and I was really worried I had over sparged or gone with the silly wrong mash schedule. At this point we had to nip out for a couple of hours so I swicthed the BM off; all covered up.

Got back home. added the fluid from the bucket ; must have been a litre or so in there; took another pre boil sample - 1044 - WOW did that 1 litre in the bucket really boost the gravity by that? There had been no boil yet and the fluid level was way above the 25 litre top notch? Onto the boil;

I have ordered a Hop Spider from Utah Bodies that is currently crossing the Atlantic Ocean so for the moment I used 2 muslin bags with my hops in; I am using a mixture of leaf and pellet and did not want the brew to clog on drain;
As I had gone out and turned the BM off (or it would have sat at 78 degrees after mash out) - there is no way of resuming or restarting a recipe so I had to go into manual mode for the boil; no biggie but a resume or "start from step 4" would be really handy; I programmed 102 degrees and after a wait of 20 mins or more it was finally on the rolling boil (before I added the hops in above pic)

End of the 90 mins I dropped the stainless immersion chiller in and switched the pump on and within 22 mins was down to 25 degrees. Dumped into the FV but a lot of wort sill in BM so tipped (on edge of chair so as not to damage the controller under the BM) and got as much as I dare out of the BM - 25 litres in the FV - I'm putting that down to fluke - and the final Original Gravity;
Now 1050 OG is what the Graham Wheeler book quotes so good in that respect BUT; I had punched a Total Efficiency into BeerSmith of 78%; when I reduced that down to 70% Tot Efficiency then I got 1050 OG with a pre boil of 1044. I am happy with the end results but would appreciate some help with the following questions;

- What should be the Total Efficiency figure be (ish) for a Braumeister? I keep seeing 75%-78% being mentioned?
- Clearly the mash schedule did not deliver the efficiency - WHAT is the BEST mash schedule for English Ale? Should I be using a 4 step mash like this?:
4 step mash.png

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Re: My first Brew - Gales HSB Clone - Hollybank

Unread post by dinnerstick »

Welcome to the club. It looks like your brewday went fine for a first go on the machine. Over a few brews you will get to know it and start to hit your numbers better. But I would suggest judging your success by the beer, if it is coming out how you want it then don't worry about the numbers, use them for brewing repeatability and recipe design. If the beers are lacking something (ie something outside the recipe, and not fermentation-based), then definitely go back and change something in the technique. But for me fermentation is top priority, recipe design second, mash schedule generally third (except certain beers that really need multi steps), and efficiency is only important when i'm trying to cram as much malt in as i can.
Obviously you need your efficiency numbers as a starting point for recipe formulation, so I would now start now with these lower numbers, and if they go up a few points on the next brew you can use the new efficiency for the next batch, and just dilute with a bit of water at the end of the boil to hit your desired gravity.
Good luck and enjoy your first BM brew.

Posts: 283
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:28 pm
Model: 20 litres
Location: Victoria, Texas

Re: My first Brew - Gales HSB Clone - Hollybank

Unread post by ibbones »

Wow Hambrook, that's a great write-up.
I am on the other side of the fence as I really do not worry about mash efficiency. If I hit my numbers, fine. If not, fine. I mean I DO try to make it work but it's not the most important thing for me. I just want to brew something that we like.
20 Liter BM

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