Brewery Commissioning – Test Batch #2 – Harvest Ale

Brewery Commissioning Day

In early March I invited a couple of brewing buddies around for a second brewery commissioning day. The aim was to test some new techniques and gather some more data. Being hop harvest time was also a great incentive to fire the 2HL system up as harvest ales are amazing.

The Recipe

92% Bairds Pale
6% Carahell
2% Acidulated
500g dry home grown Cascade flowers @ end of boil – Treated as a 15 minute addition
500g dry home grown Chinook flowers @ end of boil – Treated as a 15 minute addition
300g dry home grown Victoria flowers @ end of boil – Treated as a 15 minute addition
OG 1.059
Mashed at 66 for 60

Changes From Test Batch #1

  • Additional trending of process conditions over a 1.5 hr continuous period
  • Added HLT heating controls for smarter heating overnight
  • Testing out using the mash tun as a hop back
  • Test a faster lauter rate
  • Review of underletting as a mash in technique
  • Revised PID tuning on the mash recirculation heater
  • New mill – Mash Master with fluted rollers

What Worked

  • The mash tun as a hop back worked really well and actually trapped a lot of the kettle trubb in the flowers. Lost approximately 10L to the flowers reducing total yield. At the end of the 60 minute boil wort was continuously pumped from the kettle to the top of the mash tun. At the same time wort pumped back to the kettle. This was done for 15 minuted before pumping all wort back to the kettle and whirl pooling.
  • Mach recirculation temperature control to within 0.1degC of setpoint
  • Faster lauter with the restriction valve open 100%. Lauter was clear and complete in 20 minutes
  • The new mill was the best I have ever used. The grain husks appeared cut open and not crushed which resulted in a much faster lauter

What Didn’t

  • Mash efficiency was set to 70% which was achieved however there is room for improvement. Some sweet spots were tashed in the centre of the grain bed when cleaning
  • Underletting with 77 degC water to achieve the final mash temp. The bottom of the mash tun was much higher temperature than the desired 66 degC until all the mash liquor was transferred. Suspect I need a bigger HLT pump to speed up this process and reduce the time the mash is above the desired temp.


Brewery commissioning day #2 was a success. We had a lot of fun trying out some new ideas and ended up with 185L or harvest hopped wort. After many phone calls even managed to find enough people to give it away to! Who would have though that would be a problem.

Cleaning as always was a chore especially given we started this brew day at 2pm on a Sunday so clean up was around 9pm. In the future I will try a caustic spray ball CIP using the Chugger Max pump in the kettle at least.



Further Information

More photos and some videos from the brew day can be found on our Instagram Page

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