Northern Craft Brewers UK Hop Black IPA

One or Two of my Brewing Friends belong to the Northern Craft Brewers group (They have a website but most of the day to daystuff is on their facebook group page) . Our small group of brewing friends regularly communicate using a whatsapp group created after the breakup of the Olicanabrewing home-brew group..  ‘Bromo‘ shared a recipe for an upcoming competition in October. He asked for feedback and comments, after several of our group commented and gave him feedback, I thought I’d have a go myself, what the heck…. a little bit of friendly competition never goes amiss.

So I Used Beersmith to do my own recipe

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As mentioned in my previous post the brew day went slightly awry after the element in my HLT failed just as the mash profile was about to be fixed using my BrewPi configured to do HERMS. I Also decided to use Propino malt as the base malt instead of my usual default of Maris Otter.

The OG came in at 1.060  a little below par but I decided to keep it as it came out instead of boiling it out further to get a higher OG.

After 5 days in the primary FV loosely following a profiled fermentation I transferred into the secondary

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Profiled ferment

During its time in the primary my Brewometer/Tilt arrived from the USA , so at the time of the transfer I sanitised it and popped it in .

Brewometer Tilt
Brewometer Tilt

This has tracked the Secondary Fermentation, giving me a visual indication for the ideal time when fermentation has all but stopped to add my Hops for the Dry Hopping.

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I took the opportunity to sample the brew before the dry hopping. My Initial conclusion was not enough hops, the back bone was a little too malty and it didn’t have that Crisp Hoppiness that its American Cascadian cousins have ! Lets see what 3 or 4 days of dry hopping  at 14˚c brings to the palate…….

HERMS using @BrewPi Spark and the @Baronbrew Brewometer/Tilt

I finally got my HERMS panel finished and installed in my Shedquarters .

HERMS Panel up and Running

It’s had two shakedowns, both times it has had different problems. On the first run I decided to do an Anchor Steam Clone. The BrewPi was set to Fridge constant mode to get the HLT up to strike temperature and then after doughing in, on changing modes to Beer Constant the Beer probe temperature switched to 85˚C and stayed there, stubbornly refusing my attempts to 1) remove and then re assign the probe and 2) swap out and configure a standby probe. I only sorted it by cycling the power on the controller…. note to self add an external  switch, I don’t want to either open up the panel or SSH in to the Pi  to issue

sudo shutdown -r now

midway through  a mash….

Anchor Steam Clone underway

On the second Run things went smoothly (well nearly ), Fridge constant mode  successfully switched to profile mode after dough in  and was holding the temperature on the  at beer sensor ( probe in a T piece just after the tap on the Mash Tun ). There was approx a 2˚C temperature difference between the Beer sensor and the Room sensor which was just hanging into the top of the grain bed.  this second brew was a test for an NCB competition to brew Black IPA but only using English hops. Things seemed stable at 64.5 ˚C , so I left it in search of a cup of Tea.  I checked just before the profile was about to start its ramp up to 76.5˚to  fix the wort profile and noticed it was down a whole 1˚C.

The Element had gone !

In my efforts to diagnose it, I switched the BrewPi spark to  test mode  but this seemed a bit  buggy! The state of the outputs seemed to be locked into profile mode and wouldn’t allow me to change them, yes, the display on the spark changed but the logic seemed to be locked in to what it was doing previously… only changing when I  came out of test mode and changed it to mode OFF  and then back into test mode ..I am glad I put an isolation switched socket on two of the outputs !.  Brew rescued by just putting it in the copper and starting the boil without fixing the profile…(it was down a couple of points on the forecasted OG but I can cope with that…) Recipe below for completeness..

Caputre 2016-06-20 at 15.34.10

Whilst the Black IPA was in the FV the Brewometer from  that I ordered 3 weeks prior arrived .


I checked it’s calibration….(  I left it uncalibrated as it was spot on)IMG_1398

sanitised it and then when the Black IPA was transferred to the secondary over the weekend in it went…

I’ll post another screenshot when it looks like the Fermentation has stopped. This looks like a really  promising bit of electronics and my thanks go out to SBowler in the BrewPi Community for his integration of the Brewometer/Tilt into the BrewPi.. and of course BaronBrew for making it…

I’ll just finish off with a picture or two of the HERMS Panel with the door open showing its internals.




oh and NCB = Northern Craft Brewers..

My @brewpi Based HERMS Panel takes shape… well a bit more in Shape !

This weekend we should have been seeing friends but unfortunately this didn’t happen (I missed out on BeerTownMalton and the NCB meeting in Sowerby Bridge too )  so …
I made a bit more progress on the HERMS panel. The LV side is nearly complete.

LV side nearly finished
LV side nearly finished

For Power I used a reclaimed  WII PSU  12v @3.7Aand a 12-5 v step down board with USB ports to power the Raspberry Pi and the spark shield,  I need two more heatsinks after my failed attempts at using an old CPU heatsinks…

Copper follies
Copper follies didn’t think copper would be hard to work with.. wrong…
managed to break several drill bits and two Taps:-(

and I need to get some more DS18B20 probes. The previous batch from an Amazon supplier ‘Tenflyer’ just don’t Work. ! so either its’ a faulty batch ..or… their wire colour code is wrong ! so thats 5 x RJ45 connectors wasted… I even went so far as to chop the RJ45 off one and splice in a known working probe from another supplier, all to check the RJ45 was crimped ok.. it was…!

checking out the bad batch of DS18B20's
checking out the bad batch of DS18B20’s connected to the RJ45 board..

So Now to decide on HV outputs and switches and protection…. !
Do I go with wires tails from the box bottom or go 16A CEE and switches in the Door Panel ?outlet $_103

or a combined interlocked 16A CEEinterlocked

decisions, decisions …

My PartiGyle brews are coming along and will be swapping into secondaries soon.  did notice some odd swinging from the new @BrewPi spark thats now on the fermentation fridge so I have just updated the firmware to 0.4.3 hopefully it will settle down.

a bit bouncy with the 0.42 f/w hopefully better now at 0.43
a bit bouncy with the 0.42 f/w hopefully better now at 0.43


Just a few @Brewpi screenshots

Just a supplemental post to my earlier PartiGyle brewday…

Two screenshots of the fermentation logging on the BrewPi’s

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1St runnings —Simcoe – Citra DIPA Profile to have a nice clean taste ? (BrewPi Spark)
Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 19.09.19
2nd Runnings — Coffee Porter with BrewPi set to fridge mode  (Original BrewPi rev C )

The Coffee Porter was a little cool and took a while to reach temperature but once it had and the yeast got established it shows a slight free rise in temperature due to yeast activity.

Another Partigyle Brewday and @Brewpi spark progress

It’s been a busy Extended Weekend !
Foundations for the shed are now extended , they just need to cure before the Egyptian style roll back happens..

Foundations Extended
Foundations Extended

Friday the 15th saw me doing another PartiGyle,  this time using 10Kg of base malt . Ist runnings used for another DIPA a Simcoe -Citra based brew hopefully coming in at 8% ABV and The second runnings used for a Coffee Porter  .Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 13.02.52

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jury rigged Old Brewpi and insulation..

The 1st runnings gave me an OG of 1.075 so it should hit the 7.9-8.0 % mark The Second runnings were just left to steep and not recurculated and came in at 1.036  a little low….
Since the Brewpi fridge in the Shedquarters has the Simcoe-Citra brew in it I have had to have the Porter fermenting in the Cellar ..

I have also progressed a wee amount on the Brewpi Spark for Herms Control. The RJ45 board has arrived and I have made a mounting for the Spark Shield to go onto the DIN Rail in the cabinet.

Spark Shield and Power Regulation board
DIN rail Mounting
RJ45 and RJ12 Adapters
RJ11-RJ45 scribblings

#BrewDay HERMS and @BrewPi Spark RJ11

Easter saw me upgrading my HLT to have a SS coil for HERMS Mashing, All went well and I was very impressed with the Q-Max cutter used to punch out the correct hole size for the BSP fittings.

SS Coil
SS Coil

So on the Tuesday after Easter  I tested the HY HERMS setup by doing a Pale Ale , Using my 2015 season Homegrown Brewers Gold Hops for Bittering. I used a recipe based on Rich’s Brew.


OG was a little under spec at 1.042 but apart from that Everything went well and the Wort came out of the Plate heat exchanger at a nice 21˚c.

Rolling boil
Boil just about underway
Starsan being used to kill off things even though it’d been boiled for 20 mins 🙂

Progress on my BrewPi based HERMS controller has stalled a little ! I couldn’t get the cables from my probes into the RJ11/12 plugs

Won't fit
Won’t fit

I have abandoned the RJ11/12 plugs in favour of RJ45’s

RJ45 crimped
RJ45 crimped

and so intend to have both RJ12 and RJ45 Din rail mounted adaptors fitted to my panels that I can use official BrewPi merchandise as well as home brewed, I could even use Cat 5 patch cables for interconnects…. I just have to wait on delivery from Audiowind..

RJ12 Din Rail adaptor
RJ12 Din Rail adaptor

I am not quite sure why Elco decided to use RJ11/12 but i’m sure it doesn’t matter in the long run….


Another Parti Gyle #BrewDay Chest Hair and Black IPA

Friday 30th Jan was another Brewday. A slightly later than planned start, I slept in 

I used the same quantities of  Malt as the last Parti Gyle and achieve a similar SG 1.093 for the brew from the 1st runnings ignore the dry hop quantities as it’s likely to change ..

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chest Hair 1st Runnings

The second runnings has an SG of 1.040 so  Ive inserted a  quantity DME  to get the numbers to match as a rough guide for he Black IPA

Black IPA from 2nd Runnings
Black IPA from 2nd Runnings

95L igloo in action..


Yesterday saw the BeerBuddies club meet up for an other afternoon at Saltaire Brewery’s shop/bar., a very pleasant afternoon with a bottle swap and tasting taking place. In attendance were Pete,Gaz,Tom,Paul and myself. We sampled some of Petes christmas Ale, a bfew sips of Pauls infected bottle of pale and   Tom’s 2014  Vintage Russian Imperial Stout, Tom and Gaz had to go outside to open it for the tasting as Tom Said it was a bit lively which it proved to be. as I came down to find the following this morning !

It literally blew the arse out of the bottle… Pity I was looking forward to it !!

Tom's RIS Bottle on the floor sans its bottm
Tom’s RIS Bottle on the floor sans its bottm
Toms RIS contents  + Bottle Bottom
Toms RIS contents + Bottle Bottom
The bottle !
The bottle !


Sorachi Ace IPA on the go with @BrewPi – arduino

New Years Eve

Since Mrs Purpleogre was working I managed to get up relatively early and have a BrewDay The last of the Year 

I chose to do a Sorachi Ace IPA Recipe

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Mash Temperature was in the range of 67.5˚c to 68.5 ˚c as the HLT maintained its temperature using a PID controller . Giving a OG of 1.0575.

BrewPi Arduino rev c  shield
BrewPi Arduino rev c shield

New @Brewpi Photon takes form

After feeling under the weather for what now seems like an eternity. Christamas eve and the day before, saw me put a bit of effort into my version of the Brewpi Spark.

Back panel
Back panel

I decided to use IEC 10A rated sockets and mount the SSR’s on the side of the chassis


A bit fiddley to get a screwdriver in but with the PSU installed Last it’s do-able 

Not Ideal but It Works
Not Ideal but It Works

My Original Plan was to bring USB to the rear panel, but I couldn’t get a compact enough right angled Cable, in retrospect I have the Photon/Core too high on my board for my enclosure…, so holes in the Lid will suffice for the time being, two screws in the panel just coincide with the Pi case mounting slots to stop it sliding.

Last thing was to decide on the probe connection and inter connect. Since I already have 2 Arduino based BrewPi systems I wanted to be able to swap out the temperature probes so decided to stick with  a DIN connector. They use a 3 Pin DIN so a 7 Pin DIN socket will take everything  and still allow my existing Probes. I can see though that If I get any of Elco’s extra Expanders a DIN to RJ12 adapter will be necessary !

7 Pin DIN
7 Pin DIN


It’s Alive

I had a slight moment updating from ver 0.2.11 to the latest 0.4.1, I got the White screen of death after running the Updater. So off came the Lid and a into DFU mode to run the right Tool using Terminal and all was well.

Next put it through its paces and test as a Herms Controller, possibly with a crib sheet to hand for all the new settings….

Merry Christmas 2015

#Brewday first Party Gyle and Brewpi Spark build

Just a quick update on several Brewdays.

The Last batch of Holy Purple Cow wasn’t right and managed to pick up an infection, It didn’t taste the same as previous batches with a slight old orange chemical taste, This will probably put an end to my yeast harvesting and freezing project.

on the 30th of September I brewed a stronger version of my Black IPA weighing in at 8.5% slightly modifying the recipe to use Columbus as a mid Hop addition rather than the usual Chinook. Safeale US-05 was used to good effect. Very easy to drink but not a session Ale 

On the 19th of October I did my first ever Party Gyle !  It was also the inaugural mash of the new 100qt Igloo.  (95L)

Zod 100Qt
Sparge arm working well

In retrospect  I think that I OVERDID the split batch  12kg of pale malt and 500g each of Crystal, Caramalt and Torrified Wheat the first runnings formed the base for  An imperial Pale ale, it came out with an OG of 1.092  and a F.G of 1.019 = 9.5% ABV a bit too strong I should have liquored it back a touch. Hops used were Columbus,Centennial and Citra in the Boil and Centennial for Dry Hopping. it’s currently conditioning…


For the second Runnings I added 72g of biscuit Malt, 250g of Chocolate Malt and 350g of Black malt and let it recirclulate for another hour. This batch was slightly larger and formed the basis for a Chocolate Vanilla Porter at an of OG 1.056 and an FG of 1.012 it weighs in at 5.6 -5.7%  Hops used in the Boil were 35g of Home grown Brewers Gold and 18g of home grown Cascade. 100g of Cacao nibs soaked in Kraken Rum  and 1/2 a vanilla pod were added in the secondary for 7 Days. I’m very pleased with the result.. I don’t think it will last long…


1.056 ish

The Brewpi Spark is underway albeit slowly….

I’m not too sure of the Blue  front panel Colour and I am awaiting a 12v psu and IEC panel mount connectors. I plan on using this regulator for the particle / spark  ..


and I am still very undecided on how to implement the connectors for the Temperature probes. Do I stick with the 5 pin DIN as per my previous build or use an Neutrik ethercon and use ethernet patch cables for interconnects or both or even try and implement Elco’s RJ12 interconnect….?

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