So it’s been a while since I’ve updated anything about the Purity Matrix. Since the last update we did a few things to prepare ourselves for the matrix.
First thing that we did was build our own mash tun. We needed something that would be sturdy enough to support frequent use and which was able to be cleaned. To meet these needs, we used a series of copper tubes with slits in them. These tubes can be taken apart when necessary in order to clean inside of them. The durability of this will also be essential since it will be getting a lot of use during the matrix.
After building our mash tun, the next important thing we needed to do was to test out our system. We decided to do a Founders Porter clone. We know that in order to create consistency and the right environment, we need to be sure that things can run smoothly. From running a test batch of 10 gallons, we can better prepare. This will also allow us to discover other obstacles that we may not have thought of in previous planning.
From making the 10 gallon batch of this porter, we realized a few of the obstacles lie within the consistency of the fermentation temperature. It’s currently winter in New Jersey right now and we were letting this beer ferment inside a temperature controlled chest freezer inside my basement. Although we set the temperature at 71 degrees, we were having trouble with keeping it at this temperature. The cold basement would keep dropping it down between 65 and 69 degrees over the course of the two week fermentation. Although the fermentation itself produced some heat, it was clear that the colder nights were affecting the temperature within the chest freezer.
To fix this problem it was decided that in order to keep the consistency we want, we’ll have to brew when the weather gets a little bit warmer. Keeping a beer at a cooler temperature is much easier than keeping it at a warmer temperature, so waiting until spring would be the wisest decision.
When the test batch was finished we decided to carb one of the batches and then put the other 5 gallons into a secondary fermentation with cherries and vanilla beans. More updates will follow once both batches are complete. Although I doubt it will taste exactly like a Founders Porter, I’m just hoping to have something that is good enough to drink 5 gallons of.
Thanks to the guys at Carton Brewing for lending us their brew kettle for this project.