This week we received our new sparge arm which we purchased from morebeer.com. We noticed a big difference in the clarity of our wort. Because the grain bed was undisturbed during sparge the fine sediment was separated from the wort leaving a silty layer on the grain bed and a beautiful clean wort through to our kettle. This sparge arm also features a one way valve meaning that the wort can never travel back and into the Hot Liquor Tank (HLT). We can also control the flow from the ball valve on the sparge arm which will give our pump a longer life span.
We have been very busy this week putting some test batches through our brew house. We are currently working out our efficiency and best operating procedures. Looking forward to trying some of these batches next week!
We have converted some spent kegs into steel fermenters by opening the cap (you may need a special tool for this) and removing the keg spike. We then placed a bored bung with an air lock in the top where the spike would have been. To clean these fermenters we give them a good spray and use a cleaning and sanitising solution. Also to be extra safe we filled the keg 3/4 full of water and boiled it long enough for steam to heat the top of the keg.
On Saturday we had the first opportunity to run some grain through our newly built herms system. Things ran surprisingly smoothly. We did a 20L batch on both our herms and our old brew in a bag single kettle system. We are looking forward to seeing how the beer tastes and comparing the results.