All Grain Number 1: Brown Armadillo

April 13, 2010

Well, after months of reading, pondering and shoddily manufacturing brewing equipment I’ve finally popped my all-grain cherry!  My wife and brother in law kindly took my 3 year old son out swimming so I could have the house to myself and indulge in a bit of brewing.

And here is the recipe.  Well, a truncated form of it as it’s not my own but taken from the book “Brewing Classic Styles” by Jamil Zainasheff.  The ingredients of the recipes contained therein are freely available on the web though, so I can list those, just not the quantities!

Brown Armadillo (AKA Dirty Water Brown)

Grain Bill:
Maris Otter
Crystal Malt
Chocolate Malt
Dark Crystal Malt
Amber Malt

Pacific Gem, Amarillo

1 x pack Safale05 yeast

Final Volume: 13 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.050

Total Cost £7.03;  27p/bottle

Hopefully it’ll be an American Amber with plenty of malt complexity with citrus from those Amarillo hops.

The day was a bit tense as you can imagine, so I didn’t take too many photos.  However, all in all, everything went quite well.  I hit my mash temp of 66degreesC first off and after the 60minute mash this had dropped to 63degrees.  I guess the thermawrap isn’t that good an insulator.  I sparged slowly.  Maybe more slow than needed but had no stuck mash as a reward.  Huzzah!  And after the second batch sparge I’d collected 14.6 litres.  My calculations were for 15 litres so I think that’s close enough.  So now to check the gravity….  Have I converted any starch?  How crap is my efficiency?  Well the wort at 56degreesC had an OG of 1032; so corrected for temperature that’s 1046 with an efficiency of 75%!  Huzzah again!

My 15 litre stock pot was basically filled to the brim and the boil went well.  After a few more test runs of my Burco boiler I’ll be using that in future.  I’m a bit worried how it’ll hold up to a prolonged boil at the moment.  However, I did under estimate the amount I’d lose to evaporation.  I figured on 10%, but actually lost more like 22%.  This meant my post-boil gravity was too high so I had to top up the fermenter with more liquor prior to pitching.  Finished!  In all it took 5 hours.

A fun day all in all and I’m already planning the next brew.  And I’m amazed at how cheap using all grain is.  It’s knocked a hefty chunk off my usual extract brew price per bottle.

Good old US-05 finished this off at 1010 so the brew was bottled tonight.


3 Responses to “All Grain Number 1: Brown Armadillo”

  1. pdtnc Says:

    *Claps* Nice going 🙂

  2. Geoff Says:

    Well done for getting it up and running! I’ve been tempted by that recipe – looks great. Looking forward to hearing how it turns out.

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