Klarstein Concoction.

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Eric
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Klarstein Concoction.

Post by Eric » Sun Mar 07, 2021 12:37 am

Here the equipment in regular use is 3V with optional RIMS, but 2 years since was the first outing for a very basic 25 litre Klarstein had its eighth outing on Friday. Unimpressed by my first effort, methods have been altered to improve performance. The first beer was reasonable enough, but efficiency was low, particles of grain were scorched to the bottom and clear wort into the FV wasn't possible. The Karstein was cheap enough, but a 30 or 35 litre version would have been a better choice.

Lorimer's Best Scotch was one of my favourites until brewing was moved to Sunderland. Many attempts have been made at replicating the original, but maybe that used by Vaux, not the original by Lorimer and Clark, was the recipe I used. The only others of Lorimer and Clark I remember seeing were in Ron Pattinson's blog and book Scotland! Vol 2 for XXP6, XXP7 and XXP8. Those were all pale beers, while Best Scotch was dark, but as it drank almost like a pale beer thought to make some mods to add some colour. I like roast barley, but although Vaux's version would seem to include this, but the original didn't have that sort of taste, so for colour I've used crystal and black malts. Ron's published recipe had only pale malt, but I've included a proportion of Vienna for a little colour and flavour.
L&C.jpg
One problem is the temperature sensor at the bottom of the kettle, quite distanced from the mashed grains. This is worsened if covered by debris from the mash. Mashing cold grains with liquor temperature of 75C on this occasion, even after lots of stirring, the display showed 71C while the mash was only 64C. This Klarstein has no recirculating pump, but while one could be connected, any flow rate necessary to keep the temperature even would likely compress the mash and force grain through the perforated bottom. With a separate temperature probe in the mash, occasional jugging and stirring, the surrounding liquor on the outside of the tube evened the temperature to achieve the desired mash temperature.

The tube is lifted and placed on a supporting ring at the top of the vessel for sparging. In doing so the grains in the mash are compressed and free flow of sparge liquor is restricted, potentially creating channelling while also causing grain particles to pass through into the wort prior to boiling. Further, this procedure does not allow free monitoring of the rate of extracting sugars from the grains, which means that mash extraction is inevitably fait accompli with randomised efficiency.

While many do a full volume mash, it's still old school here with liquor to grain ratio of 2.5L/kg, which required 7 litres additional outside the malt pipe. After 75 minutes, 8g of gypsum was added to the grains and wort was recycled until runnings cleared of grain particles. By refractometer the implied gravity was 1075. An old plastic FV was placed under the tap to act as an underback, a perforated sheet of kitchen foil placed on the grainbed when sparging began with the tap opened. This way progress was monitored, keeping the wort level constant in the pot and the mash still floating and not compressed. With about 10 litres in the FV, about 2/3rds of the potential sugars were extracted and sparging was stopped, the tap fully opened, the tube raised and moved to drain into another plastic FV. When the Klarstein's wort was at tap level, it was upturned to pour its remaining contents into the mash tube to recycle. The now clean Klarstein was refilled from the underback with the clear settled wort and full power applied, while the dregs with debris were put in the mash tube. Further sparging provided the remaining volume to fill the boiler, when last runnings were measured at 1006.

Pellet hops are used, any attempt at filtering cones has failed. Malt extract and invert sugars were dissolved in stages using hot wort, quickly returning any free running mixtures. After a 30 minute stand for the final hop addition, the wort was chilled with the supplied IC. After the hops settled below tap level, just a couple of litres needed recycling to get 21.5 litres of clear wort into the FV. 3 litres of pre-boiled, but cooled mash liquor were gently added to the hops in the Klarstein and after they settled were recovered at gravity of 1018. Further treated tapwater was added to achieve the intended OG. Vaux yeast was pitched, but I suspect that wasn't what Lorimer's better version used.
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Re: Klarstein Concoction.

Post by IPA » Sun Mar 07, 2021 8:42 am

A very nice write up Eric. Thanks very much. That kettle looks very similar to a boiler being sold by LoveBrewing for a very different purpose. I will check the dimensions. :lol:
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Re: Klarstein Concoction.

Post by Eric » Sun Mar 07, 2021 11:09 am

IPA wrote:
Sun Mar 07, 2021 8:42 am
A very nice write up Eric. Thanks very much. That kettle looks very similar to a boiler being sold by LoveBrewing for a very different purpose. I will check the dimensions. :lol:
Thank you. Yes, there are many similarities such as the tap, control panel and basic layout, but mine doesn't come with a jacket, plastic sleeving on the handles or volume markings. However, there are some other differences, so it seems likely to be a bespoke piece of equipment from the same factory in the Far East.

Mine is not particularly robust or made of a particularly decent grade of steel (I hesitate to use the word stainless), but for my purposes it has been a worthwhile as well as interesting purchase, just wish I'd waited for and bought the 35 litre model. Like suggested in the video on that site, it can have additional uses and has been used in combination with the 3V system for small volume brews as HLT, MT and kettle.

Good luck with your project.
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Re: Klarstein Concoction.

Post by Trefoyl » Sun Mar 07, 2021 2:43 pm

With your water I’m surprised you still need to add as much as 8 grams of gypsum. I thought your water would be close to perfect after treatment. I will be adding 10 grams of gypsum to my water today + other salts for 19 liters of ordinary bitter because you know my water has very little to start with.
Inspired by your Bitter and Twisted I will finish the boil with 14 grams Celia hop pellets that I bought some time ago but have never used yet. The plan is to dry hop with another 14 grams (1 ounce total) and use Nottingham because it’s fairly neutral.
I also saw you used Cluster hops for bittering in one of your brews and I used that for the first time last week and it was wonderful! It was the most common American hop in the past and for some reason I don’t see people using it much now. My friend and I even thought it must be a terrible hop when we were first reading about beer because it was used in all the wretched, foul tasting, cheap American beers. I just bought 8 ounces (227 grams) of pellets so I will be using it regularly now.
I’m really enjoying the American grown whole leaf Goldings too. I really missed the feel and naturalness of whole hops.
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Re: Klarstein Concoction.

Post by f00b4r » Sun Mar 07, 2021 3:53 pm

Great write up Eric. It’s always good to see the viewpoint of those coming from another system, as I think those using one pot systems often don’t remark enough on the deficiencies in them.
What was the actual mash temperature you were aiming for?
What was the purpose of the malt extract in the recipe or was it just because the original had it in?

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Re: Klarstein Concoction.

Post by Eric » Sun Mar 07, 2021 6:33 pm

I thought 8 gm of gypsum was correct, but will check it shortly. Used to do these things by hand and then by calculator, but laziness has got the better of me and now have a spreadsheet which I'd better recheck. Recent rains have diluted the aquifer and wanting more than 150 ppm calcium per litre of beer when starting with 80 ppm.
155Ca.jpg
My salts are always added to the grains and are assumed to be rinsed through with sparge water or, in the case of disassociated calcium, deposited with phosphates, oxalates and whatever else in the MT and with hot break in the kettle. Don't ask me to explain, I can't.

Good luck with the Bitter and Twisted, that I did a couple of weeks or so ago and shown on here is now drinking well. For some reason the Cullercoats yeast hasn't flocculated well. When you say dry hopped, will that be in the cask or in the FV. I'm intending to dry hop the Lorimer's in the cask.

Was it me with Cluster? I can't remember that. It certainly was used in UK for bittering, I think then recorded as Oregon at many breweries. Glad to hear you are pleased with the Golding cones, they are a great favourite of mine too. I can't use pellets in the main rig and can't use cones in the Klarstein, but at the very least I can use both.

Hope that brew is going well in NJ and has the weather warmed up yet?


-----------------------------

Yes, but when you start brewing and produce beer for the first time, whatever you've used is an absolutely fabulous piece of kit. I can still remember drinking my first Guinness to Dave Line's book without even grain bag, never mind a mash tun. A single pot can be a great expense when beginning and compared to some home brews most of us have come across and remembered for the worst of reasons, why start looking for problems?

The target mash temperature was 65/66 for this brew. The original, from memory, seemed to be well attenuated, but I was concerned that my early attempts with the Klarstein produced rather thin beers with only a modest head and was concerned that mash temperature was too low.

The malt extract was in the original recipe of Lorimer and Clark. Maybe their MT capacity was small, I know the brewery originally had 3 coppers, so it could have been a brew extender. DCL, I think it was, was a common additive by many breweries and the "D" stood for Distillers who produced it in large amounts for sale to breweries and distillers. I've got a link somewhere and will have to post that and a link to Ron's recipe.
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Re: Klarstein Concoction.

Post by Trefoyl » Sun Mar 07, 2021 7:17 pm

Only 3.8C today but very sunny, I’m brewing indoors. During the week it will be over 15C so that will be very nice. Maybe you were just suggesting Cluster for bitterness in a past post but I actually bought them to do some Australian recipes. I bought some Galena pellets too which I’m interested to try as a bittering hop.
I will dry hop in the fermenter but still might need a cask widge in the keg to filter out any hops the carry over.
I think adding the salts to the mash is a great idea. I usually add my salts to the HLT but I added to the mash today and my ph was exactly what was predicted by Brew Father, another thing I’m using for the first time. I will also try out Beer Smith sometime soon to compare.
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Re: Klarstein Concoction.

Post by Eric » Sun Mar 07, 2021 8:16 pm

Pleased the weather's improved, the last time we conversed the weather was too bad to risk driving to work. It's been a nice day here with some welcome sunshine, but we'll not get to 15C this coming week.

OK on the dry hopping, I still don't like the idea of putting hops in the fermentor, preferring to keep the yeast clean for harvesting. I certainly want to keep this Vaux yeast going. I got some from Vaux Brewery once, but never got to pitch it and was lost. That was when I was single, so more than 53 years since.

Yes, it's more convenient to add the salts to the grains or during the brew, but as you said, my initial water already has a reasonable level of calcium. In that way, without salt additions the mash pH will likely be about pH 5.4 without additions provided the alkalinity is controlled. When the salts are added, pH will drop by about 0.1 and to keep it low when sparging small additions of acid will be made to the mash liquor to further reduce alkalinity and keep pH below 5.6 as the last of the sugars are extracted, but I didn't bother taking any readings during this brew. Maybe next attempt with any modifications the meter will come out of hibernation.

This is the link to the recipe fore XXP 7, showing Malt Extract ingredient. It also used Flaked Barley, but my last was used in a recent Guinness brew, so torrified some raw barley and used that. There will be minor differences in viscosity and composition, but I doubt it will make much difference to the finished beer.

Below is a photograph from Nimmo's Brew Log of 1943 showing half a qtr addition of DCL, that's a hundredweight or 50 kg in today's money, 200 times what was added to my brew.
A1.JPG
The calendar here show what DCL was and by whom it was made.
It appears EDME carries on using letter codes for kettle additions.
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Re: Klarstein Concoction.

Post by Eric » Wed Mar 10, 2021 4:58 pm

This D.C.L. advertisement was what I'd hoped to previously post.
2A3N9H9.jpg
The brew is currently at 1011 by hydrometer sitting at 19C and earlier today was as below.
R0010761.JPG
The amount of yeast pitched at 7 PM Friday was obviously somewhat low, there being little sign of activity the following morning and full covering appeared only in the late afternoon. Even so, what rose to the surface was pushed back into the wort on three occasions that day.
Sunday morning showed a decent head which, despite all efforts, mostly didn't care to stay under the surface on all half dozen rousings that day. On Monday the krausen was roused once and when it didn't fully rebound it was decided to top crop yeast for the next brew, but events caused this to be delayed until the next day. After a day's gentle cooling to cellar temperature, the jar was today put into the yeast fridge.
R0010758.JPG
Will take another gravity reading later today and likely begin cooling to ready for casking.
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Re: Klarstein Concoction.

Post by Eric » Sun Mar 14, 2021 5:07 pm

A series of refractometer readings showed virtually no activity after taking the hydrometer sample, so the beer was allowed to cool. Nn Friday, a week from brew day, a 23 litre cask and 4 pint bottles were filled. The beer was particularly clear considering it had cooled to only 12C, suggesting it, perhaps, should have been casked sooner.

The FV after transfer.
R0010763.JPG
Initially I was pleased with the amount of retrieved top-crop yeast, but the amount left after racking was significant and maybe next time a second crop will be taken.

This yeast flocculated well and thus far there is very little carbonation in the plastic barrel making me think it will take a while to carbonate sufficiently to make judgement on the beer. Meanwhile, another brew will be got underway, which could be an attempt Vaux Sampson as I recall it from my first visit to their brewery in 1963. Fortunately there are figures for both it and Lorimer's Best Scotch in that year on Shut up about Barclay Perkins, but that would need to be another thread.
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