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Choc Choc Stout

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lael

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http://aussiehomebrewer.com/recipe/848-choc-choc-stout/#commentsStart

I'm looking at brewing this tomorrow. Does anyone know which original beer it is trying to emulate?

What is the addition of gypsum supposed to do? Is it only to reduce the pH? How do I figure out if it is necessary? (Sydney water).

Would adding more chocolate add a greater chocolate flavour? or might it also add other unwanted tones?

Thanks!
 

Bizier

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I can't see the recipe, but aside from lowering pH and adding essential calcium, gypsum gives a certain dry kind of mouthfeel, can be quite nice.

Seeing as sydney water is basically neutral and unbuffered, I would only add it in combination with calcium carbonate to raise the pH against the dark malt. You definitely want calcium in there, but low pH or low minerals give a plum like tartness to dark beers which I don't appreciate.
 

vonromanz

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Calcium Carbonate in pretty much useless in brewing, especially the mash. It will not dissolve under "normal" conditions. It needs an acid, time and pressure to dissolve in water. You want the alkalinity of your water to be in the 150ppm range when brewing with dark acidic malts, like roasted and chocolate malt. If Sydney water is below this, add Calcium Hydroxide (slaked lime) to your mash only and not to your sparge water. This will increase the Calcium content and the alkalinity of the mash.
 

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Bizier said:
I can't see the recipe, but aside from lowering pH and adding essential calcium, gypsum gives a certain dry kind of mouthfeel, can be quite nice.

Seeing as sydney water is basically neutral and unbuffered, I would only add it in combination with calcium carbonate to raise the pH against the dark malt. You definitely want calcium in there, but low pH or low minerals give a plum like tartness to dark beers which I don't appreciate.
Try scolling up after clicking the link.
 

lael

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Thanks for your help! So the dark malts will lower the pH by themselves anyway? (good for mash) but that might not be great for the overall mouthfeel (tart) therefore add gypsum (lowers pH?) and Calcium Carbonate (reduce pH?)

I think this is my water treatment plant water analysis: http://www.sydneywater.com.au/web/groups/publicwebcontent/documents/document/zgrf/mdq0/~edisp/dd_044725.pdf

though I'm not sure what to read and look for - any help before I go back and read Palmer's section on water again? (kind of glossed over it last time)
 

manticle

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Calcium carbonate is added to raise pH, not reduce it - however as pointed out above, it does very little unless dissolved in acid first.

Darker the malt, the greater contribution it has on lowering pH - one reason why people suggest carbonate additions with really dark beers although I avoid them and more recent reading suggests there is no point.

Gypsum is not recommended in dark beers by people like George Fix.

For dark beers I would add calcium chloride to get the calcium count to 50+ppm and if the dark malts drop pH too much then consider adding them into the mash at a later point. My method is to cold steep the cracked grains overnight (in a covered pot in the fridge), bring the mix to about 70 degrees and add in the last 10 minutes of the mash.
 

lael

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hmm, ok - don't have calcium chloride and I want to brew today. How much difference would it make to just put it in the mash? / late addition to the mash?
Any suggestions on a mash schedule (braumiser so stepping is easy).
 

manticle

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lael said:
How much difference would it make to just put it in the mash? / late addition to the mash?
Don't understand the question - can you rephrase?

Stepping depends on what you are aiming for. Full bodied? Dry? Full bodied with dry finish? etc
 

lael

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Instead of making water modifying additions / doing a cold mash overnight - what difference would it make to put the dark malts in the mash - either at the start or toward the end like you were suggesting? How low a pH is too low.

Sorry - only my second all grain brew - so still learning a ton.

Chocolate Stout - so would love full body, happy to have a slightly sweet finish - lactose is in the recipe anyway. Open to recommendations as I'm not working from any much of a base to really yet know what temps do what in the finished beer.

Thanks for your help!
 

manticle

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Dark grains will lower pH. If that pH is too low with the dark grains (say below pH5) you could add the dark grain in to the last 10 minutes of the mash. low pH is preferable to high but you should be aiming for around 5.3 - 5.8, measured at room temp (~5.0 - 5.5 around mash temps).

You will get less roastiness (and possibly less astringency). By the end of the mash, the pH of the mash will be pretty much set.

However if this is your 2nd AG brew and your water is soft, I wouldn't be getting too concerned with water adjustments. Keep reading about mash and water chemistry and then start to try a few things out but you can make good beer with soft water and no adjustments (even dark beers).

Best bet - brew as is, read more, then try out a few techniques on the same beer to ascertain the difference.

My take on water chem is here: (scroll down to post #11): http://aussiehomebrewer.com/topic/46120-ahb-articles-water-chemistry/?hl=%2Bwater+%2Bchemistry#entry887704


My recent summary without explanation for why is here: (post #5); http://aussiehomebrewer.com/topic/72079-im-just-starting-to-get-into-water-hp/#entry1027655


More good links here:

http://www.melbournebrewers.org/images/stories/BrewWiz/key%20concepts%20in%20water%20treatment.pdf

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=An_Overview_of_pH
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=How_pH_affects_brewing
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Mash_pH_control


And here: https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/water-knowledge
 

Bizier

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When manticle says 5.3-5.8 ... he really means 5.3-5.4 :)

If you add your dark malts at the end of the mash, they will not alter the pH during the conversion, and if you just sparge onto them without mixing, they might even lower the pH of your sparge.

I am in Perth and the water has a lot of chlorides, so I prefer not to add calcium chloride. Sydney does not have this issue unless the desal is on the fritz (they were only just supplying from there when I left), but I bet with the rain, you are getting water from Warragamba.

I have watched calcium carbonate additions do their work added at start of mash. I know it would do bugger all in HLT, but the concentrated mash liquor with heat and agitation seem to dissolve it to a point where it affects the numbers.
 

manticle

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Bizier said:
When manticle says 5.3-5.8 ... he really means 5.3-5.4 :)
My understanding is that alpha is optimised by the lower end and beta by the higher so that range should be acceptable with a compromise in the middle working for both. Further, I understand that amylase activity decreases at a faster rate with alkalinity than it does with acidification. Thus 5.2 - 5.4 is probably super optimum but the likelihood of your regular homebrewer being able to be so specific is small. I think the range is acceptable - dropping below 5 or raising above 6 should ring alarm bell (esp 6), hitting the lower 5s is best.
 

lael

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This is awesome - thanks a ton for the education - I'll start reading those links.

I've mashed in at 40, 55c for 10, 66C for 45, 72C for 15 and 78 for 10. Thoughts? These were suggestions from a friend for another brew. My understanding is that the 66C is for saccharification and should lead to a more malty / slightly less fermentable wort? What do the other ones do? 78 for mashout to stop enzyme activity. 55C and 72C?

Any suggestions on where to get a pH meter for a decent price?
 

Bizier

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Worst case scenario (sanitation willing) it will be 20 litres or whatever of beer.

Mash schedule looks good, if a little excessive, but hey, go for it.
55 targets proteins, generally for ease of lautering and in 'under modified' malt, making starch accessible
72 is generally to just clean up any starch potentially left after sacch steps
 

manticle

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lael said:
This is awesome - thanks a ton for the education - I'll start reading those links.

I've mashed in at 40, 55c for 10, 66C for 45, 72C for 15 and 78 for 10. Thoughts? These were suggestions from a friend for another brew. My understanding is that the 66C is for saccharification and should lead to a more malty / slightly less fermentable wort? What do the other ones do? 78 for mashout to stop enzyme activity. 55C and 72C?

Any suggestions on where to get a pH meter for a decent price?
72 is also a glycoprotein rest which adds to head retention.

Decent schedule, similar to the way I regularly mash. I normally do 2 rests in the 60s - one for beta amylase at low 60s for 10-15 minutes, depending on how dry i want the beer and one longer one in the higher 60s for alpha amylase (which the 72 rest also favours).

55 is a short high end protein rest that also aids head formation and retention. Long protein rests and low end (50 is) are best avoided with most modern malts but 5-10 minutes is good. I usually go 5. Also helps avoid doughballs.
 

lael

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sweet. so beta-amalyse at low 60's - like 62 = dryer / more fermentable right? How long at each temp makes what difference? eg: if I was to add say 5-10mins (already beyond that now of course, but for next time) at 62/3C - would that be an appreciably dryer beer than skipping that step?

I'm going to read Palmer's section on stepped enzymes again. But... is there an easy -reference chart anyone has made for this?
 

manticle

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Very basically: Beta amylase chops up starch into shorter chain, fermentable sugars. Alpha amylase chops starch up into longer chainsugars including (but not limited to) dextrins. Dextrins add to body and aren't fermentable.

Getting the body and dryness you want relies on finding a balance that gives the result you want. Obviously there is a finite amount of starch available to the enzymes and once they are chopped up into sorter chains, there they will stay. You want more fermentability or dryness, you increase the beta rest. If it goes too long (and I'm not entirely sure how long is too long and it probably depends on multiple factors like yeast, grist, etc- I never go past about 15 minutes though) then there won't be anything for the alpha to work with.
 

lael

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Thanks for all your help guys - this is fantastic.

One final question - apart from trial and error - is there any way to figure a rough indicator of how much chocolate flavour gets left behind after fermentation?
 

bradsbrew

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lael said:
http://aussiehomebrewer.com/recipe/848-choc-choc-stout/#commentsStart

I'm looking at brewing this tomorrow. Does anyone know which original beer it is trying to emulate?

What is the addition of gypsum supposed to do? Is it only to reduce the pH? How do I figure out if it is necessary? (Sydney water).

Would adding more chocolate add a greater chocolate flavour? or might it also add other unwanted tones?

Thanks!
lael said:
hmm, ok - don't have calcium chloride and I want to brew today. How much difference would it make to just put it in the mash? / late addition to the mash?
Any suggestions on a mash schedule (braumiser so stepping is easy).
lael said:
Thanks for all your help guys - this is fantastic.

One final question - apart from trial and error - is there any way to figure a rough indicator of how much chocolate flavour gets left behind after fermentation?
This recipe was one that Sully created from the BYO article. We done the initial brew as a double batch at a brewday at Chappo's a few years ago. If you want the original beersmith PDF that gives all the mash steps generated and times for adjuncts etc, PM me your email and I'll shoot it through. Having said that if you want to get the exact results as our brew you will have to consume a few beers as you set up then forget to tighten the false bottom then proceed to scoop the grain out then drain through the hop sock, tighten false bottom, add everything back and continue the mash at 66 ( I think). The salts were for Brisbane water (southside). I don't adjust my water when brewing stouts and the turn out fine (northside). Have brewed a few choc stouts and have found the best results have come from adding melted chocolate mid ferment. Also others have added chocolate to the mash ( Ross?)
This is a good recipe to start with for a choc stout, you can then adjust for future ones to meet your tastes.

Cheers
 

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