Brewed today

It’s been almost two months since I brewed, so I knocked the cobwebs off the brewery and made another batch of Carbon River Hefeweizen. I’m trying a dry yeast that I’ve never used before – Safale WB-05.  I’m curious on how well its going to work but after seven house I cant see visible signs of fermentation yet.

I’ve been using While Labs Yeast exclusively in my brewing for many years but in the last year I’ve been trying a few dry yeasts instead.  I brewed my first Belgium Saison this past year using Danstar Belle Saison Yeast and it really turned out well!

Maybe I should use this blog to review the new products I’ve tried and share what has worked and what hasn’t!  Is anyone reading this?  Email me if you are reading this!


Sekiu Soda is in the fermenter!

We brewed “Sekiu Soda” Sunday June 8th, in preparation of the annual Salmon fishing trip to Sekiu Washington.

It was a bear to mash, I milled the grain down to 0.035″ and it stuck the mash at least three times.  Luckily I figured out how to float my mash again using sparge water underneath the false bottom!  My efficiency improved from the previous batch of Carbon River Hefeweizen, which is essentially the same recipe minus the raspberry flavoring from 56% to 67%.IMAG0192

Specifics on this batch are as follows:

  • SRM 5.2
  • IBU 10.5
  • Measured OG 1.051
  • ABV 5.4%
  • 43% Wheat
  • 43% Pale two row
  • 14% Munich 10L
  • Hallertauer Herbrucker Hops from Germany
  • American Hefeweizen Yeast (WLP320)It should be good!

The blog is now on it’s own server!

I loaded up an old Dell P3 computer of mine with Debian Linux

And out the brewery blog on it!  It should be much faster now!  Took some time to figure out Apache’s reverse proxy modules – so that I could put both the brewpi fermentation controller and the web server all on one external IP address – but it works!

If you want to do something like this yourself, find an old computer and load Debian Wheezy on it.  Make yourself a LAMP server by following these directions.

Install your favorite CMS or blogging scripts – or just create your own web page and the main server.

Follow the directions here

To turn on the revers proxy features!

The beginnings of Sekiu Soda have been started!

I started the yeast for a batch of Hefeweizen that I’ll be brewing this weekend.  

When it’s finished, I’ll brew another batch, which will become Sekiu Soda,  and pump it right on top of the same yeast cake.  Sekiu Soda is a beer that my fishing buddy used to brew.  It’s a American Hefeweizen style beer but with Raspberry’s in the fermenter too.  While I dont put Raspberries in my fermenter, I do add natural raspberry flavoring at the time of kegging and it tastes the same.

I’ll be brewing that batch on June 8th and it should be ready to consume when we get to Sekiu in August for Salmon Fishing!

New addition to the brewery

Not sure if anyone has noticed the links on the left side, but they say “Fermentation Status” and “Fermentation Control”. The control portion was the latest addition to the brewery and it is now controlling fermenting beer temperature  to within a quarter degree and has the ability to run temperature profiles.

The current profile is for hefeweizen yeast and starts out at 66f for three days and then ramps to 68f over three days.  The profile will stay at 68 for about ten days and then come back down to 65f for the remaining couple of weeks.

This batch will only be in the chamber for two weeks and will be replaced by another similar batch of hefeweizen that we names “Sekiu Soda”.

Everyone can click the “Fermentation Status” link and it will show you the temperature log since it began last Saturday.  The control link is unavailable unless you have a password – sorry I dont want anyone ruining my batch of beer!

The software resides on a Linux computer the size of a credit card called a Raspberry Pi.  It speaks to an Arduino UNO micro-controller card over a USB link and the UNO handles the Process and digital I/O.   The UNO has three waterproofed Dallas One Wire temperature sensors and two hardened 10 amp relays connected to it to control a 200w personal heater and a 4000 btu air conditioner.  The whole software system is called “Brewpi” and can be implemented fairly easily and inexpensively.

This page is served from a Dell Pentium III computer computer I had laying around and by reverse proxy, talks to the Raspberry Pi so that the status page is accessible on the internet.  It’s all kinda cool!  The next little project that I’m planning is a tap list server called Raspberry Pints and it will reside on another Raspberry Pi and should be web enabled.

Stack Lights

The brewing that I’ve done with my new and improved control panel has been outstanding but I always want it a bit better.

I’ve noticed that when I’m heating strike water, I usually hover around the rig watching the PID’s until the strike water is up to temperature.  I realized that I could be doing something else instead.  I also noted that one of my PID controllers has a hysteresis alarm that I wasnt using. The PID I had on my HLT unfortunately didnt have a hysteresis alarm (SYL-2362) but only the normal alarms, so I ordered up another SYL-2352 to replace it with!  I ordered some stack lights from Ebay for $25 bucks and an ice cube relay in a DIN socket from Amazon for $5 bucks.

If the MLT is out of temperature range then the red light will come on.

If the Timer has timed out, the yellow light will come on.

I need the relay to invert the alarm signal from the PID on the HLT. It closes contacts when it is in alarm – I need it the opposite – I need contacts to close when it’s not in alarm so that the light comes on when the temperature is within the deviation window.