A few newbie questions

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A few newbie questions

Postby axslinger » Sun Nov 24, 2002 7:11 pm

Greets,

I recently finished my first batch since graduating from Mr. Beer. The batch was as follows:
5 Gallon batch
3.3 lb. Tripel Extract
2 lb. Muntons Plain Amber DME
.75 lb. Maltodextrine

All in all, it came out pretty good. I would campare it to a commercial "light" beer. Light flavor and aroma.
Question: What could I add to keep the basic recipe the same, but increase the flavor and aroma? I know this is a generic question but I don't know enough about the different malts etc. to specify the type of flavor I'm going for. I guess I want it just the way it is, but "more of it" without increasing alcohol. More body and fullness.

My second batch was started last night. Ingredients as follows:
4 lb. EDME Red Ale Extract
3 lb. Muntons Plain Extra Light DME
.75 lb. Molasses
1 large lemon, grated with juice

To cut to the chase, my boil was too large and when added to the cold water, I ended up with wort that was on the hot side (about 100 deg.). I pitched it anyways. This morning I noticed that the foam had pushed its way up through the airlock. I cleaned up the air lock and put it back in. It's definitely 'working'.

Did I do any damage by pitching when it still a little hot?

I see alot of people with a 2-gallon boil for a 5 gallon batch. How do you cool it down to pitching temperature?

Thanks!
Brian
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some answers to newbie questions

Postby jerseyboyintexas » Sun Nov 24, 2002 7:11 pm

Brian,
First off, welcome to the world beyond the beer machine. In the first recipe, I would add about a pound of 20 L crystal malt. Have the grain crushed by your local homebrew shop and put it in a mesh grain bag ( a stocking works, but don't let the stocking hit the bottom of the brew pot, or it will melt and you'll have a mess. bring the heat up to about 160 and leave it there for a bit til the water becomes dark, then remove and throw it away and brew as you did before.
For the second batch, if it foamed up, then yeast is working and you did no major harm. next time try cooling the wort. The easiest way with 2-3 gallons is partically fill the sink with cold water and ice and put the pot in the ice bath for 10 minutes or so.
any other questions, feel free to ask
jerseyboyintexas@yahoo.com
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I agree...

Postby Brewer2001 » Sun Nov 24, 2002 9:13 pm

Brian,

It is a little early for you to go to all-grain but I think you should go to partial grain. I would not steep the grains, especially crystal and roasted, at anny temperature above 148-152 F. or you may leach out a high amount of tannins.

I noticed that you did not list SG readings. You need to get a hydrometer. This will help you gauge the concentration of your wort and your ale.
You may be able to add more extract and dose in boiled water to adjust to the target gravity. The one problem with extract is that your profile,to a greater degree, has been determined by the maltster. You could also add some 2 row domestic (US) or English Pale malt to give the wort more 'base' without adding color or a large amount of sugar.

About your active primary...I have gone to a different method. I cut a short length of racking tube which I place in my fermenter lid and attach a length (14 inches) of flexable tubing which I place the open end in a jar of sanitizer. This allows the foam to be expelled with the CO2. I just change the sanitizer once or twice during the primary fermentation.

Good luck and good brewing,

Tom F.
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Hey Jersey...What exit?

Postby Brewer2001 » Sun Nov 24, 2002 9:20 pm

I lived in Cliffwood Beach, Aberdeen Township for 7 years. I also worked for Nortel and spent a lot of time in the Richardson/Plano area and worked a project in Austin/San Antonio. Where are you? Why?

Brew well in the flatlands.

Tom F.
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More info

Postby axslinger » Mon Nov 25, 2002 3:07 am

Tom,

Thanks for the tips. I do have a hydrometer. It started at 1.042 and finished at 1.014.

By partial mash, I assume that means using all unhopped malt extract w/grains and hops added in?

Brian
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Recipe Kits

Postby andytv » Mon Nov 25, 2002 4:50 am

Partial mash brewing is extract brewing (like you are doing now), with the addition of specialty grains to enhance flavor/color/mouthfeel, etc. My suggestion to you is to check out a few websites that sell recipe kits. When I used to partial mash brew, I bought alot of kits from www.beer-wine.com. They came with excellent instructions, and will give you a good start towards developing your own recipes. These are not "Mr Beer" type kits; they include extract, specialty grains, hops, additives, and even muslin bags for steeping. Some of the best beers I've brewed came from these kits.

Good luck!

Andy
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Partial mash vs. Extract w/steeped grains

Postby Gravity Thrills » Mon Nov 25, 2002 7:06 am

There is a difference between these two strategies, and the latter definitely allows a new brewer a greater latitude of relaxing and not worrying.

Partial mash or "mini-mash" brewing implies you really are conducting a mash for the purposes of converting starch to fermentable sugar. It's absolutely the essential stepping stone strategy to follow before going all-grain. But, if a new brewer worries about getting this complicated before at least a dozen or so simpler batches, I think he's jumping the gun. You need to get a little more equipment together to do it, and you need to pay a little more attention to temperatures, mash times, pH, figuring out a reasonably efficient sparge method etc. You also can't just use specialty malts like caramel or roasted malts because they don't have any viable starch conversion enzymes left in them.

Extract w/steeped grains is simpler, and exactly what the new brewer should look to as the next step beyond just opening the can and boiling it up. The caramel and roasted grains used here are for flavor, color, and body/mouthfeel enhancements, but not for the purpose of adding more fermentables. Steep a muslin bag of 1/2 to 1 lb. of your specialty grains for 30 minutes at 150F, rinse with a quart of 150F water and finish your brew as normal. If you add some pale malt in there you will get some starch conversion at that temperature for that amount of time
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Another dumb question

Postby axslinger » Mon Nov 25, 2002 7:47 am

What does 'rinsing' mean?

Brian
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there's no dumb question

Postby Gravity Thrills » Mon Nov 25, 2002 8:47 am

...not when asking it means a chance to brew better beer!

Rinsing the steeped grains is exactly that - pull the bag out of the water (or dissolved extract) you have been steeping it in and pour a quart of water through the grains to get the last of the goodies out. B2K1 is right, don't rinse with water that's too hot or you will extract harsh flavors from the grain husks that you don't want in your beer.

Cheers,
Jim
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