With Christmas fast approaching and my kegs being rather empty, yesterday I brewed a luscious Helles.
I typically try and start my brew days in the morning, however this brew day didn’t start until around 3 in the afternoon. Luckily, I had all the grain and hops weighed out from the night before.
I had been reading up on Denny Conn’s brewing process and thought that I would give it a try. The biggest difference from my previous way to brew is the time it takes to collect the sweet wort. Before, this process took me over an hour. But with the new method, I had my kettle ready to go in 40 minutes. I was worried that my efficiency would take a nose dive. But, what I have read stated that it should go up.
By the time I was mashed in, it was 4pm. I mashed for 75 minutes, then did a mash out for another 10 minutes. I started my run off and started slowly in order to get the filtering working. Once the wort was clear, I recirculated the first runnings and opened the mash tun valve to almost full into my kettle with my first wort hops*. Once the runnings stopped, I then added my sparge water, stirred, let sit for a couple minutes and stirred again. I waited a couple more minutes and started my second running. 40 minutes in total (first and second runnings) and my kettle was ready to go.
I managed to get my wort cooled and in it’s primary fermenters in time to watch the Leafs play the Sens with my son. Oh and my efficiency went from 72.5% to 77%. It was a good day…I can’t wait to taste it.
*First Wort Hops – Hops added to the boiler as the wort is first being sparged. These hops effectively get steeped and then boiled with the main boil. First wort hopping results in a better blending of hops flavor with the wort though it generally reduces hop utilization slightly when compared to traditional boiled hops.