What would you have done differently?

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What would you have done differently?

Postby graphikone » Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:30 am

Hello,

Tonight I had my first go at brewing a beer from an online recipe. Since I found the recipe on this site I figured I'd post up my process for critique since I ran through a few "grey" areas during the brew. And I'm sort of a n00b so here goes..

Recipe for 5 gallon batch:Holiday Abbey

Bought 5 gallons of distilled water.
Smacked Wyeast 1214 Belgian Abbey Yeast (2 packages)
Added 3 quarts of water to my mash tun. Heated water to 170 degrees
Mashed CaraMunich 60L .25 lbs
Mashed English 2 row 1lb
Mashed English Chocolate Malt .062

I thought this part was weird but the recipe called for .25lbs of Malto Dextrin and 1lb of Candi Sugar Clear to be added to the Mash?
Stirred it all up well and let soak for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes I sparged with 3 more quarts of water @170 degrees

Added the strained mix to my boil kettle and added water for a total of 3.5 gallons.

Began adding:
1lb dry wheat
5lbs Dry Extra Light

Stirred until a nice rolling boil and added .5oz Galena hops
Partial cover and boiled for 58 minutes until my next addition of .5oz Fuggle

As I reached the 5 minutes to go mark I added my immersion wort chiller into the boil to hopefully kill any contamination that my cleaning didn't take care of.

Killed the heat and began chilling the wort.

5 minutes or so I was down to around 90 degrees. Removed chiller.

Poured chilled wort into primary glass carboy and added distilled water to get to the 5 gallon mark.

Pitched 2 oz packages of 1214 yeast, added airlock and logged onto this website.

One thing I'm not very clear on is when I take my OG readings.. Do I do it with the boil kettle contents or do I take it after I top off to 5 gallons?

I'm learning pretty much by myself to this point so any tidbits of knowledge or advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

-Josh
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Re: What would you have done differently?

Postby slothrob » Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:23 pm

graphikone wrote:Hello,

I thought this part was weird but the recipe called for .25lbs of Malto Dextrin and 1lb of Candi Sugar Clear to be added to the Mash?
Stirred it all up well and let soak for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes I sparged with 3 more quarts of water @170 degrees

Added the strained mix to my boil kettle and added water for a total of 3.5 gallons.

Began adding:
1lb dry wheat
5lbs Dry Extra Light

One thing I'm not very clear on is when I take my OG readings.. Do I do it with the boil kettle contents or do I take it after I top off to 5 gallons?

Hello, and welcome to the site!

-Adding the sugars to the mash is unusual. I've never heard of anyone doing that before. It would probably just result in losing a little of the sugar in the grain bed.

-I'd add 1/2 to 3/4 of the extract at around 15' from the end of the boil. This can help limit over darkening of the wort and, perhaps, the extract twang.

-It's difficult to get an accurate measure of the OG after diluting the concentrated partial boil with water, so I prefer to take a gravity reading from the kettle after it's been boiling for a couple minutes. Then I calculate the actual OG, correcting for the volume changes.

However, for an extract beer, you can simply calculate the OG from the extract added and the final volume. Estimate the gravity contribution of the grain at about 50% and you'll probably be as accurate as taking an actual OG measurement.
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Postby graphikone » Wed Dec 08, 2010 4:44 am

Thanks for the info Slothrob. I'm going to try your methods on my next batch.(Maybe this weekend).
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Postby nshack » Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:33 pm

I would chill the wort to about 75 degrees. 90 F is pretty warm for any ale fermentation, but I suppose it might give you that fruity, phenolic and estery Belgian thing. 75F is still on the warm side, but it seems more within the yeasts comfort zone?
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What to do differently

Postby slothrob » Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:24 am

Definitely, you need to cool the wort lower. I would prefer at least 68F, and lower would probably be better. I think the OP was relying on the added water to finish chilling the wort, which is fine, as long as that water is cold enough to get the wort temperature down to pitching temperature.
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Doing Something Differntly

Postby cggAK » Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:58 pm

It's my understanding that one should avoid using distilled water because it lacks minerals / compounds that are useful to yeast. "Spring water" or some such product that lacks chlorine might be a better choice.

Anybody know more about this? I'm pretty new to all this, too.

Thanks.
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distilled water

Postby slothrob » Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:54 pm

As far as distilled water, it depends.

The general consensus seems to be that extract contains everything you need to make good beer, unless you want to use salts to specifically augment certain flavor characteristics or perhaps to improve clarity by increasing the calcium concentration. Distilled water is probably fine for most extract beer.

Distilled water is probably insufficient, for a number of reasons, for making all-grain beer. There are sound arguments for using distilled water during the sparge, in many cases, particularly for batch sparging pale beers.
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