Today, we are going to brew a London Porter using two different beer systems. The first system is a homemade setup, where we have a gas burner and are brewing outside.
The second system is an all-electric system called the Brew Easy, which is located in our basement. We will compare the results of both systems and see how they differ.
To start, we heat the sparge water, which will be used to rinse over the grain bed and wash the sugars off the grain. Once the water reaches about 170 degrees, we transfer it to a smaller orange hot liquor tank. We then use a gravity feed mechanism to spray the water over the grains in the mash tun. The water then flows into the boil kettle, where we will boil it for the brewing process.
In the Brew Easy system, we have all the grains in the top kettle and half of the water in the kettle beneath, which has a heating element. The temperature is controlled by the Tower of Power system, which cycles the heating element on and off to maintain the desired mash temperature.
Once the mash is finished, we drain everything into the bottom kettle, where we will boil the mixture. In addition to brewing the London Porter, we are also adding a third brew, a Scottish ale from Brewers Best.
This ale has a lower alcohol content, so if it turns out to be the best-tasting beer, we will be a bit disappointed. During the brewing process, we add three ounces of Fuggle hops for aroma, with 15 minutes of boiling. We also add other hops, but the video does not specify the exact amount.
After boiling, it is time to cool the beer. In the Brew Easy system, we use the Blichmann Terminator, which recirculates the beer to cool it down. Since our tap water is not cold enough, we also use a bucket of ice to send cold water through the pipe chiller. In the homemade system, we use an immersion chiller to cool the beer. Once the beer is cooled, we transfer it to a fermenter.
In the video, they use an in-line filter to remove any impurities. They also take gravity readings to determine the original gravity of the beer.
After a month of fermentation, it is time to taste the beers. The London Porter brewed in the homemade system had an original gravity of 1057 but stalled at 1032, resulting in a lower alcohol content of around 3%.
Despite this, the beer is still enjoyable. The London Porter brewed in the Brew Easy system also had a lower alcohol content of around 4.3%, but it tasted slightly less malty than the homemade version. To compare the two beers, the brewers conducted a blind taste test. They had two beers, one from each system, and tried to identify which was which.
Surprisingly, most of them got it wrong and couldn’t distinguish between the two beers. In conclusion, brewing the same beer using two different systems resulted in slightly different outcomes, mainly due to fermentation.
However, both beers were still drinkable and enjoyable. Ultimately, the taste and drinkability of the beer are what matter most.