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Brewery Brew Day With The Anvil

Small batch so used the Anvil system. Brewery water comes in about 160 so only needed to raise it about 4 degrees. Easy to set the temp and mash in the basket. I was using a recipe for my 3 vessel system so the mash was very stiff. Added some strike to loosen it up so the mash temp was a few degrees high. Added some rice hulls as well which is not part of my home recipe. Mash went well. Temp stayed exactly where it should and recirculated the entire hour. Pulled the basket and sparged using the brewery hot water. Boil volume was about 6.5 gallons or so. Used a hop spider for the entire 3 oz. of hops in this beer and ended up with about a quart of hop debris. Everything else was pretty much business as usual. It was different using bulk yeast versus a packet and made me think about vulnerability to getting a bug in. All in all it went pretty well and hit my numbers. The last 5 gallons sold out in two days so we’ll see how this one does. :face_with_monocle: It’s fun working there and seeing the commercial side. I’ve adapted a couple of things for home.

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Glad to hear it went well. Must be great working at brewery and being able to sell your beer in 2 days. I sometimes feel like a chef who makes an awesome meal for 20 people then only feed a half a dozen people. But still get a lot of satisfaction seeing people enjoy my creation.

I almost bought an anvil but went with brewzilla because I thought brewzilla had a better system for lifting the grain out. Turns out its the same, lift and twist system. Getting old an starting to lose my strength. I need to use pulley system to lift it out when brewing 10 gallon batches. :frowning:

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Thanks for fixing the link. I moved to a Foundry 10.5 about a year ago or so. Once dialed in I find that I can be very consistent with my processes and my beer has improved as well.

The lifting of the basket is an issue. I did put a pulley system in to assist. The sparging of the pulled basket can also be a bit of an issue if you keep your base unit on a stand to begin with. You have to almost get on a step stool to sparge.

I do go with a thinner mash around 2 qts/lb. And a batch sparge.

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@mikem the brewery has a pulley system thank goodness. :sunglasses: It’d be a pain to get the basket where you need it for sparging otherwise. One think I think the Anvil needs is an exterior sightglass since it’s volume markings are on the interior and difficult to see while sparging. If it were mine I’d put one on. Batch sparging would address that as well so I think next time I’ll do that. With the diffuser plate on the basket I’m pretty sure the sparge would be well distributed. One other thing, I use propane at home and find the electric so convenient! Love the set and hold temperature for mashing. I can see where a person could get really consistent.

One question I have for you guys is, if your beer has lots of hops do you use any kind of containment? I was wondering if one could clean the grain out of the basket and use it as a giant hop spider. The holes are probably too large. :face_with_monocle:

I use a hop spider. You are correct about the size of the holes in the mash pipe. I made myself a metal measuring stick with gallon markings on it because I agree about them being hard to see,

I use a hop spider as well and continuously circulate through it during the boil. I tends to plug up after I add whirlfloc at last 10 min of boil. Have to scrape sides of spider with metal spoon then.

I have a sight glass on the brewzilla and it is indeed nice. Re temperature control, I wish the controller was true PID temperature controller. But by manually cutting back on the heat going to the heater prior to reaching set temperature helps avoid overshoot.

The dead volume below the false bottom is 1 gallon but the dead volume below the brewzilla grain tube is 2 gallons for a total of 3 gallons dead volume. This is too much dead volume particularly for high gravity brews so I plan to try eliminating the grain tube and just using a BIG brew bag. I plan to lift the bag with pulley, let it drain, then place it in the tube for sparging. This is what I used to do with brew in a bag. Its tricky to do without making a mess.

I have a big plastic storage bin which I put inverted bowls in support the tube and to allow the grain to drain. I sparge concurrently with the boil. Dump the first couple of sparges into the boil then do additional couple of sparges and boil these sparges separately with my old propane heater. I use this lower gravity wort for topping off brew if volume/gravity not where I want it and also save it for starters. I stop sparging when gravity of sparge wort is less than 1.025 to 1.03.

I use mesh bags. Cheap enough to just toss out. My brew system came with a little hook to tie a string on and suspend the bags. I put the bags in red Solo cups (other colors don’t seem right) with the times or any other hints marked on them fill them up and tie off with a string. This doesn’t work so well for whole hops due to the bulk.

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