10BBL Braggot Brew at Harvest Moon

A couple months ago Harvest Moon held a homebrew competition with another local company. The winner got to get a 10bbl batch (310 gallon) of beer brewed and served at the brewpub!! I entered with a bunch of my club mates from the WHALES. Brad and Jen won with a Chamomile Braggot. I came in 2nd with my German Chocolate Stout, and Nick came in 3rd with I think a pale ale. I got a couple growlers, carry case, and a free refill as a prize...and we all got invited to brew the beer today!


So showed up at 9:30am this morning and got to it! Matt, the brewer at Harvest Moon, had already worked out the grain bill, milled the grain, transferred into the grain storage hopper, and filled the hot liquor tank. We were ready to mash in! I guess I won't get into the details, but its basically a "big kids" home brew setup. Its all the same principals and all grain process as homebrewing. We filled up the mash tun, I used a big ass paddle and hoe to break up dough balls.

While that mashed we went downstairs into the basement to clean out one of the conical fermenters. It had a cake from a stout in there, and needed to get emptied, rinsed, and sanitized. Procedure here involves using a stick to loosen up the trub and get it flowing through the hose. It comes out in this big ol poop lookin thing. Once that happens you get a hose in there to knock off all the big stuff. There's a CIP (clean in place) spray ball that does the rest with the help of PBW and other sanitizers.

We started the sparge which uses a grant vourlauf pump. Basically its a big pot with a float valve setup in it. You sparge into the pot, and when the level gets high enough it turns on a pump. You regulate the pot volume with a butterfly valve so its always on, but doesn't overflow. You circulate at first until its clear then you are good to go and pump into the brew kettle.

Its a fly sparge setup, so once you are at your boil volume you are done. The kettle will take the wort up about 1 degree F per minute. Notice the CIP spray ball incase you have never see one. Boil is the same, no biggie. We used two pounds of First Gold hops at 60 minutes, added some honey and HUGE tea bags at the end of the boil.

Even with a MASSIVE brew kettle, yes, you can still boil over! The only kettle that will boil over is the unwatched kettle! (right brad?)

So we used over 100lbs of honey for this brew, and used a CRAP LOAD of tea. I'm not sure about the tea weight... it was $100 bucks worth. It had to be like 4-5 pounds of tea. We used big ass grain bags for the tea, and added the both as close to flame out as possible.

Tea, honey and beer meet.

Back downstairs we collected our yeast from one of the other conicals. This included acid sanitizing a bucket and pulling out a 5 gallon batch of yeast. It comes our like creamy poop heaven. LOL.

Our braggot is destined for the #2 10bbl tank.

We used a heat exchanger that uses both city water and glycol to chill the wort to your desired pitching temp. We only needed to use some city water, but if you were lagering you could crank both and achieve pretty dang low pitching temps. There is also an oxygen tank in the basement with a line run to a fitting just past the heat exchanger. When you start pumping beer downstairs, you crank the O2 and oxygenate your beer that way.

This is a brewery right in the heart of New Brunswick. Its amazing that they can have 10 homebrew beers on tap at once here. They have a walk in with a bunch of 10bbl tanks shoeshorned in there. When the tanks get low they pump the beer into Sanke kegs and serve off those. Yes, Coors...lol...got those BMC drinkers. Notice the boxes of hops!! BOOM!

Another brew day complete!! WOOT!

You can check out the rest of the pics here: Pics!

The brew came out to 1.059 OG...should be on tap in 2 weeks!!