My brewing brothers and I brewed two days ago and I decided to document a bit of it for questions and analysis. Hope you aren't bored. Opinions and observations welcomed.
We brewed a Roggenbier.
I know, I know, kind of a reach for guys who probably would be better off focusing on a brown or pale ale to work out the issues, but it was fun and boy did it smell fantastic, even just while crushing the grain.
Here is a capture of the final BTP numbers:
My thought here was have a "balanced" beer as I had read the bjcp guidelines called for "an initial malt sweetness (sometimes with a bit of caramel) to be tasted before yeast and rye character takes over" which in hindsight I perhaps misinterpreted as "balanced". So I formulated the numbers below.
The mash pH as predicted by BTP was 5.9 but I figured the munich malt and chocolate rye and caramel wheat would drive it down into the proper range.
I also had been reading that pH meters don't like heat too much, at least if you want to increase probe life, and that it is best to read the mash at the same temp that you calibrate at. So I cal'd my pH at 75 and cooled my mash to 75 and read 5.9. Which I thought strange due to it seeming that the toasted end grains had almost no effect.
So I decided to add some calcium chloride and baking soda and added 3.4 grams and 1 gram of baking soda. This lowered the mash by 1 tenth to 5.8 which I figured was the top end of the room temp scale and I let it be and startd mashing. I also decided to read the mash at mash temp and, oddly enough, read a pH 5.2 which was in the low range for that scale. See numbers below.
During the mash I worked the numbers a bit because I noted that my additions although driving the mash down a bit also changed my flavor profile to "very malty". I concluded my analysis with the thought that I could add some Calcium sulfate to the boil to bring my flavor profile back to an acceptable "malty". I did this by changing the mash water volume on the chart to the 6.75 gallon kettle pre-boil volume then simply adding Gypsum to the original numbers until I arrived at "malty" then subtracting the original numbers out.
My first thought when sampling the finished wort was that the sulfate levels added a little more bitterness than I wanted. We'll see upon final tasting.
I must admit that the whole locking and unlocking of the Kettle Vol/Final Vol/Efficiency buttons has me a little confused and I have to straighten that understanding out. I had a preboil volume of 6.75 and after adjusting my efficiency based upon my pre-boil readings I was at a 1.041 gravity pre-boil with a 69% efficiency, but after my boil where I felt pretty sure that I boiled away 1 gallon I read a 1.054 which changed my efficiency to closer to 75% which I was pretty sure once you read your efficiency then that is pretty much it since you really don't lose or add fermentables during the boil, just concentrate them. So that puzzles me, although I guess this is where our process needs to become more exacting and more closely monitored. I do realize that we needed to document "exactly" how much wort we ended with, but I am not sure of how I would unlock a button to change the volumes without screwing others areas up.
BTP has really nailed the water usage so far for us. That is pretty sweet as we were really able to end up with a full carboy.
For doing a Roggenbier with Rye as our second full mash it went pretty well. Our crush may have been ever so slightly finer than it should have been, because the grainbed was pretty dense, although we didn't really have much trouble sparging except toward the end of the first of two batch sparges.
Full fermentation activity was within 12-18 hours.
As mentioned a little stuck sparging at the end of the first sparge, where we also started to see much bubbles in the out hose. In hindsght I guess that is the air flowing through the grainbed which is the signal to STOP and add the second sparge.
Am I missing something or is there no way to print the water chemistry window?
The temperatures in the schedule were off again, but less than last time. I am feeling that we need to re-cal our cooler. The duration of the mash-in was shorter as there was not the need to break up as many dough balls this time as last. I figured that was due to the higehr grist to water volume that we used to offset the gummy Rye possibilities.
I am realizing just how critical the durations come into play as to their effect on temp as well, but I don't see how one can calculate how long it will really take for the mash-in to be "un dough-balled" enough, as well as the "futz-with the pH" time that is necessary.
1 other Question:(for now)
Is the pH that BTP calculates in water chemistry mash or room temp?[/img]