Introduction: Catalyst Sous Vide Brewing

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Use your Catalyst as a Mash Tun by using a Sous Vide device as a heat source, and transfer to and from boil kettle.

Step 1: Add Water and Grain Bag

Picture of Add Water and Grain Bag

Pre heat water to strike temp (or mash temp) and add to fermenter. I put the grain bag and sous vide in before adding the water to make sure it wouldn't overflow.

Step 2: Mash According to Schedule

Set temps/times as needed through the Sous Vide (I used an Anova unit w/ bluetooth)

Step 3: Cover Catalyst

Picture of Cover Catalyst

When mash is complete put lid on Catalyst to avoid spillage when lifting

Step 4: Transfer From Catalyst to Boil Kettle

Picture of Transfer From Catalyst to Boil Kettle

Place Catalyst is on top of boil kettle and open valve to transfer.

Instead of having to lift/squeeze grain bag, when liquid is transferred push down on bag with valve open to extract remaining liquid.

(optional) to sparge pour hot water (170-190) over the grain bag. I did this to reach pre-boil volume and extract any remaining sugars.

Step 5: Boil Wort

Boil wort as you normally would

Step 6: Cool/Transfer Wort

Picture of Cool/Transfer Wort

You can cool the wort in your brew kettle or transfer to Catalyst and use immersion chiller to cool there.

One advantage of cooling in the Catalyst is you can see the hot break drop and drain out any solids easily through the bottom.

Step 7: Pitch Yeast and Ferment

Pitch yeast and ferment. Everything after this point is pretty standard as far as brewing.

For specific features of the Catalyst see their website for details.

Comments

rolandblais (author)2017-06-01

This is a great idea! And, I've got both. :-) Thank you!

MatthewW230 (author)2016-10-27

Another note I took this apart to see if any residue was left on the heating element. There didn't seem to be anything visible, I ran it with some water after just to be safe and looks good as new. Since this has a propeller instead of a pump I was not too worried about pieces of grain causing issues with the circulation mechanism.

Can't wait to try this again, but need to wait until this brew's done fermenting since I only have 1 catalyst (for now).

MatthewW230 (author)2016-10-24

Wanted to add a few notes from my brew day:

Mash efficiency was around 72%, I mashed at a relatively high temperature to achieve extra body (155-158) and was able to "mash out" with the sous vide (up to 170).

Would definitely recommend preheating the water to your mash temp, or close to that, before adding to the mash tun. I can imagine the Anova would take quite a while to heat 5-6 gallons of water. It does a very good job of maintaining temperature accurately and making small (10-20 deg) changes.

I would also recommend the wifi enabled unit over the bluetooth version if you want to be able to monitor/set the Anova remotely. The range on the bluetooth was only about 20-30ft. Their app is pretty basic, I did a simple mash schedule and just used the controls on the device to adjust.

Circulation from the Anova seems good so I did not worry about stirring the grain in the bag like I usually do for BIAB.

Overall this worked great. I guess the only real limitation is batch size, as the Catalyst can only hold about 6.5 gallons total. When you factor in the volume of the grain that is about 4-5 gallons of wort, by sparging with 2 gallons I was able to meet my pre-boil volume.

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-10-23

Great DIY brewing tutorial.

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