BIAB Sierra Nevada Hopped up!

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Hez

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Hi,

Presentation: I'm from Madrid (Spain). My company sent me to Australia for a 2 year project (software boring stuff) and I miss my woodworking workshop so much, I decided to learn pottery and homebrew beer as a substitute! jejeje

I bought a BIAB kit from Dave Homebrew (North Sydney) and he recommended me to start with a 5l batch of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I did, but I did several mistakes, the worst one being starting the mash at 72º instead of 66.7º as recommended (I tried to chill it but it took me 15' or so) among other things... this sunday they will be ready and I will open one to see the result. I guess they will be very thick and non-alcoholic, we will see... if they are not very good, I can use them for cooking.

For my second batch (2 weeks later), I didn't want to do exactly the same thing again, but I have a lot of chinhook and cascade hops, and 2/3 of the yeast, so I looked around and found a recipe called "American Hopped Up Pale Ale" which basically uses the same amount of malt, same blend, same yeast, and same hops but in a different proportion... a lot of hops!

In order to avoid the wort temperature issues I looked into the mash temperature scheduling technique. I thought it would be better to have a good schedule, set alarms in my oven (I brew in my kitchen) always increasing the temperature... so I found a belgian double recipe with the schedule and I modified it a little, i finally did:

- 42º -> add grain
- raise to 45º and wait 5'
- raise to 62º and wait 15'
- raise to ~66.7º and wait 20'
- raise again back to ~66.7º and wait other 20'
- raise to 73º and wait 2'
- sparge with 2l of water at 78º
(total time around 90')

After that I did the boil:
0' - boiling!
30' - add 7g Chinhook
45' - add 14g Cascade
60' - add 14g Cascade
75' - add 14g Cascade and 1/2 deltafloc
85' - add 14g Cascade
90' - start chilling...

2 hours later - after changing the water 3 times from the sink, adding frozen blocks (this camping things, I don't know the name) and taking the kettle outside, it chilled to 22º, I put it into the fermenter, shaked it a lot and pitched the yeast

4 days after - add 14g Cascade to the fermenter

The Original Gravity was 60 (just before pitching the yeast). I drunk the wort from the hydrometer tube and it was very very very sweet and a little bitter. jejeje (it was my first time, I didn't know what to expect). Is 60 ok for OG?

Apart from the temp, I'm also having a lot of trouble calculating the water. I tried to use biabcalculator.com.
I started with 13.75l of water and 2.6kg of grain, then I removed the bag, sparged with 2l of water, squeezed (gently) the bag and got 12.75l ! exactly as planned.
After the boil I should have 10.5l but I only got 8.5l or so... so I added 1l of tap water when it was chilling... Then I filtered it with a strainer and one of my girlfriend socks (brand new and "sanitized", made from lycra) to pass it to the fermenter and the sock grew and grew... I ended up with 8.6-8.8l and a thick layer of turb into the fermenter, 8 hours later, about 1l. So I think i've lost more than 2l of beer and I still have to make at least 2 more hydrometer measurements! :mad:

What do you think of this "filtering process" ? do you think it's a good idea? i think next time I'm going to skip the sock and go for a thinner strainer.

What do you think? what will I get? What about the "mash temperature schedule"? I found it much easier that just put the water to 66.7º and keep it to that temp by constantly switching on and off the burner...

Cheers!
 

mtb

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Welcome mate! If you mashed at 72C, it'll still be beer by all means, it just won't have the same body and mouthfeel as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. It will be lower in alcohol as you suggested, but not by too much; subtract ~.8% ABV for 6 degrees, if Beersmith's mash temp predictions are anything to rely on.
There's a current thread discussing higher temps than yours and is worth a read - https://aussiehomebrewer.com/threads/mash-on-a-higher-temperature.95057/ mostly to understand the implications of mash temp overshoots.

A key factor in planning your strike/mash temperatures is to take measurements as you brew, and understand how many degrees you'll lose when you mash in. It's all part of getting to know your brewing gear. For example, when I mash in with my 70L pot (I also do BIAB), I know with a 10kg grain bill I'll lose 4C, so I mash in at 71 to achieve an actual mash temp of 67. YMMV, you'll only know when you get a few brews under your belt.

Your suggested mash scheduling technique is fine but it's overcomplicated. Work to understand the strike temp you need to achieve when mashing in to achieve your mashing temp and you'll get it right every time.

1.060 OG is fine for a pale ale, if a little high, but not too high. Your mash schedule will likely result in a highly fermentable wort (lower mash temps equal lower FG and thus higher ABV) so maybe around 6 - 6.5% ABV.. see how you go though.

If you want my overall suggestion -
- ditch the complicated mash schedule and oven timers
- ditch the girlfriend's lycra (I'm gonna guess they look better on her anyway)
- ditch the burner during your mash; if you mash in at the right temp and insulate your pot, you will hopefully not lose much heat throughout the mash process (1-2 degrees C which is fine)
- download and install Beersmith and start a free trial. Get accustomed to the tool, it has an option for Mini-BIAB, which will estimate your water volumes/losses etc based on a 19L pot which it sounds like you're working with.
 

Hez

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Hi mtb,

So if 60 is too much, maybe I should have added another liter of tap water while chilling? :S I wasted too much beer this time...

Actually I found the complicated mash to be easier... what do you use for "insulating" ? Maybe one of those insulated bags from IGA cut and made into shape with ducktape? or one of those shiny blankets they use for the dead people in accidents?

About the "lycra filtering", do you think it's better to leave all the turb into the fermenter and discard when I bottle? I use the other sock to put the hops when boiling and it works fine!

I'm using one of these 20$-15l pots from TARGET (or KMART, I don't remember), that's why I did the "sparge", because with the grain I didn't have space left for starting with all the water from the beginning.
I think they are a little bit over 15l though. I did the boil with the lid on almost all the time. the quality is so poor that a lot of steam scapes from it anyway...
The problem is I don't know if I will be able to take any of this stuff home when I go back to spain, that's why I want to keep the expenses and equipment to the minimum.

I will take a look at the beersmith...

Thank you very much!
 

mtb

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Hi mtb,

So if 60 is too much, maybe I should have added another liter of tap water while chilling? :S I wasted too much beer this time...
1060 isn't "too much" - but a typical pale ale is around 1050 to 1055. 1060 is fine too, but usually one mashes high when aiming for that OG so that FG is higher as a result, and the ABV stays within typical pale ale limits. You haven't wasted a drop of beer, it's just going to be a strong pale ale, verging in IPA territory.

Actually I found the complicated mash to be easier... what do you use for "insulating" ? Maybe one of those insulated bags from IGA cut and made into shape with ducktape? or one of those shiny blankets they use for the dead people in accidents?
A sleeping bag from Kmart, blanket, whatever holds in the heat. A yoga mat can be cut and shaped into a nice insulating jacket.

About the "lycra filtering", do you think it's better to leave all the turb into the fermenter and discard when I bottle? I use the other sock to put the hops when boiling and it works fine!
Using a hop sock is a good idea during the boil, the main concern with using it to strain wort before hitting the fermenter is that it's an infection risk, or just another bit of gear to sanitize. Typical fermenters have a litre or so bed below the spigot where the trub can settle, and with an extended cold crash, it won't make its way into your bottles (unless you move the fermenter right before bottling and shake up the trub bed)

I'm using one of these 20$-15l pots from TARGET (or KMART, I don't remember), that's why I did the "sparge", because with the grain I didn't have space left for starting with all the water from the beginning.
I think they are a little bit over 15l though. I did the boil with the lid on almost all the time. the quality is so poor that a lot of steam scapes from it anyway...
The problem is I don't know if I will be able to take any of this stuff home when I go back to spain, that's why I want to keep the expenses and equipment to the minimum.
Boil with the lid off. DMS needs to escape during the boil and the lid prevents that. Plenty online if you wish to research further, simply Google "beer boil lid on DMS" or something of the like. You can keep the cheap pot from Kmart, if you need a 19L, you can grab one for $20 from Big W. They're great.

I will take a look at the beersmith...

Thank you very much!
Not a problem
 
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Hez

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That means... I've made and IPA! weee!

I've read a couple of posts here and there about the DMS. It looks like there's a lot of people who think this is an urban legend or something like that... most of the people say they have only experienced while brewing lagers but not in pale ales or IPA's (like mine... :p).
Well, I had A LOT of steam, like 2litres, so I hope I don't have much corn-taste. Even if it is, with all the hops I used I hope it won't be noticeable.

A million questions...
- Apart from the corn-taste and rotten-egg smell, is DMS toxic?
- Or the problem is that if you have this DMS you can't tell if your beer is infected... is that it?
- How do you know if your beer is infected or not?
- What happens if you drink infected beer?
- Do you become a lysergic zombie?
- do you have diarrhea?
- fever?
- hallucinations?
 

Hez

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Well, tomorrow its time ti bottle my second batch the american hopped up strong pale ale (verging ipa).
I've taken a read and I got 1011.5 sg
On the calculator
Og 1060
Fg 1011
Abv 6.43%

It's been a while since I don't hear any bubbles from the airlock... I'm quite sure it's done. Tomorrow I will take another gravity reading again anyway...

I have a a lot of foam , thick with big bubbles inside the fermenter over the beer. I've drunk the hydrometer beer and it tasted ok.
Is this normal?
What would you do about it?
 

Stouter

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If you get the same reading, go for it and bottle. 0.005 off your calculated final gravity is nothing to worry about and may even be attributed to different temperatures, etc.
As long as it's finished fermenting you'll get a nice beer.
 
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Hez

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This is the first one.. Delicious!
Better than the original sierra Nevada pale Ale! [emoji14] (just kidding)
But it's actually good, I'm amazed!

I've done another read on the second one and it's exactly the same as yesterday, so I'm going to bottle it this evening.
I'll tell how it turns out in two weeks! Jejeje I'm excited.

Some friends back in spain told me their first one was a disgusting watery bland soup without any bubbles at all and mine is very good, I would pay for it. Jejeje

I'm planning to make a stout next week, I will make another post about it.

Thank you both for your advice, mates.
 

mtb

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Good looking beer, glad it worked out. Brew on my wayward son
 

Hez

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The hopped up Belgian mashed 6.5% alcohol sierra Nevada pale ale!

I poured It very badly, but the gas is ok.
Doesn't taste like ipa at all... It's sweet, not very hoppy, it has kind of a caramel taste... Kind of..
It's absolutely not as I expected but it's very good! Delicious!

I'm bottling my third batch, a stout, I made another post...

 

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