Part 1 of a series of instructional videos that explains how to make beer using the Blichmann Tower of Power brewing system.
Here Mark takes you through how he has his Blichman Brewing system set up, it’s different mechanics, and uses and gives names and meaning to each part of the system. For this demonstration, the Blichmann Top Tier stand is holding a ten gallon Boilermaker fitted with a false bottom for the mash and a fifteen gallon Boilermaker for the brew kettle . He explains the steps of making a 10 gallon batch of beer and sets you up with important information that will make the next steps in the brewing process make more sense. Note that Blichmann offers larger size kettles that also fit on the stand if you would choose to brew a larger batch of beer.
Part 2 of the Blichmann Tower of Power- Doughing in the grains.
For this demonstration, Mark is making a 10 gallon batch of amber ale with an ABV of 5.1% The total grain bill weighs 20.5 lbs. We need 1.25 quarts of strike water per pound of grain, so that equates to 6.5 gallons of water. The strike water should be heated to 120-140 degrees for this step. The recirculator and Tower of Power should be turned off once your strike temperature has been reached. Slowly stir your grains into the water in the mash kettle. Once grains are incorporated, the mixture should be of a “soupy” consistency and have a little extra water for adequate recycling for the Blichmann recirculating infusion mash system. Once your grains are incorporated into the water, place a lid on your pot and let the mixture rest for ten minutes before turning your Blichmann Tower of Power back on. This is the start of creating the mash mixture.
Part three of Blichmann Tower of Power brewing system.
After your grains and water have rested for ten minutes, your mixture will have a cloudy, or milkyness to it. This means that there is a lot of starch in the grains that need converted to sugar. It is now time to start recirculating the mash. You will want to put your return line into the pot so that it wraps on the inside of the vessel to get the flow started. With the heat still in the off position, turn the recirculator on, and slowly open the valve until the mash begins to circulate through. A good position for the valve to be open at is 1.5 gallons per minute. Now that your mash is flowing through you can adjust the heat to what you need and turn it on. Mark is boosting his to 153 degrees F. The top red number is the temperature your mash is at currently, and the bottom green number is the temperature you would like it to be. Once you have programmed in your temp. switch the button upwards to the “auto” postion. Be sure to turn your gas flow to the heat source down a little to keep your mash from scorching, but be careful not to turn it down too low or it will have trouble lighting in the end stages of heating. Also, if for any reason you need to turn the recirculator off, turn off your heat source as well or your mash will burn! Now that you are reheating the mixture you can turn the recirculating switch to the “on” position. This way if there are any problems with flow, or your heat goes out, the Tower of Power will start beeping to warn you. Now go relax and let the Blichmann Tower of Power do the work for you !
Part four of the Blichmann Tower of Power brewing system.
It will take about ten to fifteen minutes for your mixture to come up to temperature. Once it is at the temperature you desire, your heat source will perodically turn off and back on to keep up the temperature. An alarm will sound each time the heat is kicking on as a safety precaution. The mash liquid will begin to lose its cloudiness and become more clear. When there is about 30 minutes left in the recirculating process you will want to turn on the heat for your brew pot to begin heating the water for your sparge. Mark is using 9 gallons of water for his recipe. Eventually this water will be transferred to another container and added to the mash.
Part five of the Blichmann Tower of Power brewing system.
It is now time for the “mash out step”. You want to increase your heat on your mash mixture, Mark is increasing his heat to 170 degrees F. The sparging liquid will also continue to heat until it reaches 175 degrees. Once both pots are up to the temps, your ready to sparge your grains.
Part six of the Blichmann Tower of Power brewing system.
Your mash and water have reached the temperature desired and you can turn off the recirculator and the Tower of Power. You will want to transfer your sparge water into another container, Mark is using an igloo drink cooler which has a valve to easily start and stop the flow of water and a hose connected to the valve. The container can be placed on the top tier of the Tower and you will want to face the valve to the mash pot side. Next take the hose out of the mash pot and transfer it into the empty brew pot that your water was in. Then, put the hose from the water container into the mash pot and open the valve so the water is slowly trickling in the mash mixture. You will want to turn on the recirculator again so the mixture can be transferred into the brew pot. You will want the flow to be around .5 to 1 gallon a minute. Be sure the mash mixture stays at consistent height in the pot, if it seems to be getting low you will want to speed up the flow of sparge water into the mash kettle.