Category Archives: Brew Diary

Brewing Batch 40 in Los Angeles

I think I know how to fix the problems from batch 39.

The schedule for this batch is going to be tight, because I just barely have time to brew again and keg this batch before I leave Los Angeles. I will only get to drink a little bit of it myself, but I don’t care, I really want to brew again, get a better handle on this equipment, and do a better job of hitting my recipe’s target values than last time.

For starters, I’ve adjusted the efficiency of my mash based on the results from the last batch. I also adjusted the boil off rate of the kettle so I’ll start with a higher pre-boil volume today to hit my target post-boil five gallons.

Now, to adjust for the fact that the whole brewery setup is on an incline, which is skewing the volume measurements, I measure the water volume that goes into the HLT by first pouring into a separate container on level ground so I start with a correct measurement. Then I transfer into the HLT. In terms of measuring liquid volume to transfer from the HLT to the mash tun all I have to deal with are deltas, which aren’t affected by the incline of the sights.


To measure the actual pre-boil wort volume I wedge a piece of wood under the kettle and with a level I adjust the wood and the kettle such that the kettle is level. Then I read the volume from the sight.


I’m looking forward to kegging and tasting this batch before I leave LA!

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Brewing Batch 39 in Los Angeles

I’m back in Los Angeles, which means I can brew on Bushido Brewery’s equipment again!


I waste no time getting this started. After flying into LA on Sunday morning I put together the recipe for Bushi prototype-03, then head to the brew store to purchase ingredients. After that, the brewing equipment is unpacked from storage. Brew day is be tomorrow (Monday) morning.


Changing the recipe on the fly at the brew store.


I wake up to get started early in the morning only to find out that neither of my propane tanks are usable. One is empty and the valve on the other won’t open. I was silly and didn’t think to check this in advance, because these tanks have been in storage for a year. So I’m not surprised that there are problems.

Anyway, it’s off to Home Depot to acquire a replacement for the unusable tank.


The valve on the tank that has gas won’t open. The other tank is empty.

New tank acquired, I’m getting started significantly later in the day than I would like, but no matter, this beer is going to be brewed.


After being stored in the attic for a year the containers and brewing vessels need a good cleaning.

Everything is just how I remember it, and brew day completes without any major issues.


It’s great to be brewing in my own brewery again!

Since I started late in the afternoon this brew day goes well into the evening.


This brewhouse is in need of some calibration. I’ve drastically underestimated the boil off rate of my kettle, and as a result the batch volume is lower and my target of five gallons. The OG is also lower than my target, which leads me to believe that the efficiency of my mash is incorrect. Finally, the brewery is setup on a slope, which means that the fluid volume measurements I take from the HLT and kettle sight glasses are off, but I’m not sure by how much. I’m going to attempt to correct these issues next time.

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