It’s been a long time coming, but summer has finally arrived in the Ottawa Valley. It’s been a particularly cold winter and spring, so it was great to see us top out at 25C on Saturday. So, guess what I was doing? Yup, brewing beer! My pipeline is pretty full, but I do have the equipment to store another 10 gallons; the decision to brew was a no-brainer.

In my last post I described my new BIAS set up, where the sweet wort is recirculated through the grain bed to filter out suspended particulates. The process, if you remember, is called “vorlaufing”. I was doing this with a kitchen pot – scooping out wort from the boil kettle, and pouring it onto the grain bed. It seeps through, out the drain valve, and back into the kettle, over and over. To help automate this process somewhat, I aquired a 12 volt food-grade pump for a really good deal thanks to eBay. It was ordered a month ago, and I think it literally was on a slow boat from China, cause I finally got it a few days ago. See the video below…

So now, with the cooler valve and pump valve adjusted properly, I can let it run till I see the wort clear up, which takes about 30 or so minutes. Why am I doing this? Well, since using a picnic cooler and recirculating, my beers have been amazingly clear, even from chill haze. They would normally be rather cloudy, and don’t get me wrong – I’ve always been proud of my beer, as they taste great. Making really clear beer is kind of a bragging point, and the hallmark of an experienced brewer.

My next equipment investment may be a valve on the boil kettle, just a little off the bottom. This would help with not having to create a siphon to the pump, which must be primed before it will work properly. After that, a heating element so I can get away from my dependence on propane, which is kinda pricey per batch of beer… electricity is far cheaper. But for now, this recirculation pump has helped me take a huge step forward in refining and improving my beer making. And as always, I will extend an open invitation to come and watch how beer is masde, and tip back one or two cold ones. Mmm beer…

 
Cheers for Beers,
Jim