Gowanus Brewery

First All-grain Batch by Jeremy
February 15, 2008, 12:00 am
Filed under: beer, brewing, equipment

Finally, I got around to brewing my first all-grain batch of homebrew.

I assumed, if I was going to screw anything up, it would be getting the temperature rests right. And I did, sort of. The water was too hot when I first added the grain, so it didn’t really get to sit at the dough-in temperature. Afterwards, though, controlling the temperature was simple, I just adjusted the burner up or down to add heat (at high heat, five degrees per minute) or take it away (with the range off, five degrees per ten minutes). The real obstacle it turned out was cooling the wort during the end game.

This MegaPot, which really is mega, is much harder to cool down with an ice-bath than the smaller four-gallon enamel pot we used before. The first reason is that the only basin big enough to put it in is the bathroom tub, which is, considering the full pot weighs in around 60 pounds, very inconvenient. We tried our sink first, but it’s such a tight fit it actually displaces nearly all of the water. The second reason is that there is just a lot more volume and not much more surface area with the MegaPot. I’m not sure what we’ll do the next time around, but we are definitely going to take a second look at plate chillers and other cooling options–equipment I had written off as too luxurious for the Gowanus.

But, what do I know?

5 Comments so far
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I live in Carroll Gardens and brew too. Love to swap beers and recipes if you are so inclined. Do you know any homebrew supply stores in NYC? I have never found a decent one.

Comment by Howie

get yourself a food grade hose for your pot to prevent hot side aeration http://byo.com/mrwizard/897.html

also I reccomend building a chiller with some copper from a plumbing supply store

Comment by Ray

I wonder if techniques to cool CPUs could be used to get the type of cooling you want. In particular, a few thin, copper/aluminum heat sinks w/ some thermo gel could help you reduce heat. You’d have to make sure you’re making contact w/ the pot, though.

Comment by Sean

Howie–Drop me an email at gowanusbrewer at gmail dot com. It would be great to swap some brews and recipes, though at this point I only have recipe ideas. All my batches thus far are from ingredient kits.

Ray–Thanks for pointing me to that article on hot side aeration. That’s an issue, as the photo at the top of the post shows, I hadn’t come across yet!

Sean–That’s an interesting idea that I’ve never read anything about. Probably for good reason. But, hey, people thought Larry and Sergey were crazy before we couldn’t live without Google.

Comment by Jeremy

[…] second issue I ran into I dealt with in my last batch. I just couldn’t get the wort cooled fast enough towards the end of the brew. Instead of […]

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