All American Brew day

I brewed an American Wheat today. And I was putting the brew day details into my spreadsheet, I just realized how far me and many other homebrewers have come, since we started brewing.
I started brewing around August 2013. Ingredients were hard to get, Hops and Yeast came from the US and Malt from Delhi ( in 50 kgs sacks ).
I had no equipment except a large pot ( borrowed from my mom ), an old nylon saree, thermometer and hydrometer. I used to do BIAB ( brew in a bag ). This makes good beer even today.
I had read books and searched online on how to brew beer. Literature mostly American showed large 5 gallon batches, Mash tuns, Wort Chillers, auto siphons, starters, propane burners and so on..

But when I brewed today, I realized that I had brewed a 5 gallon batch with a mash tun and all the  fancy equipment that I had only dreamed of having a couple of years ago.

Some pictures to show the "All American Brew Day"

Mash and Lauter Tun


Its a 25 liter mash tun and I can easily make 16 - 19 litre batches depending on gravity.
Instructions to make it are here - Indian Mash tun


Large Burner for the Boil


I have always used my regular gas stove for the boil. But for larger batches it can take upto 30 mins to heat the mash water and upto 40 mins to even get to a boil. And its difficult to get a rigorous boil for a 16 litre batch. Its painful to just sit there waiting for things to heat up.
So this large gas stove ( Propane Burner as the Americans call it ) is very  useful. Its basically the stove that street food vendors use. Its fairly cheap, this one cost me Rs 1000 inclusive of everything, the regulator, pipe, etc.


Cooling
This is the only department where I am still behind my American counterparts. I don't have a wort chiller. I don't think a wort chiller will work well in India because the tap water itself is very hot. So I would need a pump and chilled ice water to use the Wort chiller. Many homebrewers here employ this technique successfully.
If you want to make a basic wort chiller in India, here are the instructions - Wort Chiller

What I do is boil and cool 5 liters of water and freeze it in an airtight container, a day before brew day.
I just drop this ice block in the kettle instead of adding top up water to the fermenter. The wort cools down very quickly and the cold break is worth watching.





Yeast and starters

Till now I have only been using dry yeast and never even bothered to make a starter. But this limits the choice of yeast that I can use. Also its expensive to use a lot of dry yeast on larger batches, plus the lag time of the dry yeasts is almost 12 hours.

So I made a stir plate. This is some really cool looking stuff that many American homebrewers may not have. We need it because of lack to liquid yeast suppliers in India.
Now I plan to make starters, and even make a yeast bank some day. 
Thanks to another homebrewer in Pune who put up instructions to make a cheap stir plate - Stir Plate



That's my Safale K-97 starter. I borrowed some yeast from another homebrewer. The dark color is due to the DME which is really dark.



Fermentation

I have a temperature controlled fridge for fermentation. Its a necessity in India due to hot weather. This was my first big investment long time ago. I used to use a Son of a chiller earlier, but got tired of changing ice int it.

My old son of a chiller setup

Fridge with temp control


But there is more. I need more capacity. So I build a peltier cooled chamber. This is some really cool technology. I am still working on it, will post the design once it is successful.
But here are a couple of pics , teaser :)  No compressor, no ice, just cooling !!!






Other Homebrewers

A lot of this advancement has been a joint effort of passionate homebrewers especially from Pune, and around India.
People are now making their own specialty malts, making yeast banks, and pushing boundaries of homebrewing.
Not having things available easily has made us learn everything from scratch, which is so cool.
Only beer can bring so many people together, all willing to help each other, such a selfless act ;)


Future

The day is not far when we will have automated single vessel and 3 vessel breweries at home. All DIY !!!
America ... we are coming :)
This is a very exciting time for homebrewers in India, let have a homebrewing revolution !!!
Cheers to good beer.

7 comments:

  1. Just curious, How much does an Average Brew day costs..? With respect to Ingredients.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That really depends.
      For a 16 liter Hefeweizen batch -

      6 Kgs indian malt = 100 * 6 = Rs 600
      20gms hops = Rs 120
      2/3rd pack of yeast = Rs 180

      Total = Rs 900

      Add the energy costs if any.

      But this cost can vary largely depending on the ingredients / recipe and where you buy them from.

      If you want to do such a calculation, check the recipes at - http://www.indianbrewer.com/p/recipes.html

      And check the prices for these ingredients at -
      www.brewof.com OR http://diybrew.in/

      - Sapan.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the reply. I did check the prices of the malts and extracts etc on brewof.com and based on that site a kg of pilsner malt is rs160+Vat+shipping.
      Sorry to bother you regarding prices of ingredients and all.. Actually i am in the pre brewing research phase (if thats a thing).

      Delete
  2. hey Sapan, does the beer brew.in store work ? cause the collection there is a lot better that the other 2 popular sites...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not sure about the operation of these stores.
      Try contacting them directly.

      Delete
  3. hey i'm going to my first 20ltr batch. just wanted to say that your blog has been very helpful ! also where can i order the malts from Delhi(i am from delhi)... thanks again !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The online stores deliver everywhere. If you are willing to buy larger quantities of malt, you can buy from imperial malts or dvksp malts. It's cheaper and you can pick up from thier warehouse. Google to find their websites and contact information.

      Delete

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