First all grain recipe advice

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hi all

I have been allgrain brewing for a while now but I have been using recipe kits. I'm now about to try a couple of recipes I had found on brewers friends. I just wanted to confirm that the following is true for most brewing recipes

  1. 3:1 water to grist ratio
  2. 60 minute mash around 67 celcius
  3. 73 mash out 10 minutes
  4. 60 minute boil, or until you get to post boil volume
Another question is around yeast. Most kit recipes use two packets of yeast. Some of the recipes I have found specify the yeast but not how much, any thoughts on on this?

For additional context I ferment under pressure using an allrounder, generally brew ipas and transfer to kegs.

Cheers
Nick
 

MHB

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OK as no one else has had a go -
Don’t take this the wrong way but clearly you are at the start of the learning curve and there is lots you need to get your head around. I'll keep the answers short and try to be on point, that isn’t the same ad being terse, just don’t want to write a book.

1/ Not really, depending on lots of variables you might be mashing in any ware from 2:1 to 6:1 (always L:G Liquor being a name for brewing water Grist is your grain). Low L:G favours protein and glucan breakdown, higher L:G favours Amylase (starch degrading and sugar forming enzymes). You tend to get better efficiency at higher L:G and a more delicate beer.
The size of your grain bill and your mash tun or the grain capacity of your malt pipe will all play a role in choosing the ideal L:G
If you are doing long slow sparges, mashing in somewhere between 3&4:1 is probably a good place to start. if you arent sparging slowly a higher L:G will get you a better yield.

2/ 60m at 67oC is a pretty common option it’s a compromise between the best temperatures for Alpha and Beta Amylase, a little cooler (63-64oC) will give slightly dryer and more alcoholic beer, reverce for slightly warmer (66-68oC) gives fuller flavoured lower alcohol beer.
There are lots of good reasons to step mash (mash at various temperatures) if you can it will give more yield and more control over the flavour of the beer.
It would help if we knew what you were brewing on equipment wise.

3/ 73oC would barely be regarded as a mash out. The point of a mash out is twofold, first to end all enzyme activity, second to make the sugary wort as fluid as possible.
There are problems with getting the mash hotter than 80oC, mainly with Tannins extracting from the husks and giving the beer a harsh flavour.
Generally just under 80oC is ideal, acidifying your sparge water helps prevent tannin extraction to.

4/ Lots happens in the boil, it is really one of the most important and least regarded steps in the brewing process.
I know you will hear lots of contrary opinions but I would regard 60 minutes as a minimum for most beers and 90 minutes as a better option.
Don’t stop boiling based on volume, if you need to, top up your boil with water to keep your target volume. The boil time will affect the pH of the wort, the flavour, the colour how much bitterness you get from your hops and a bunch of other variables that will have a real effect on your beer. Best not to screw around with your planed boil time too much. This is one place where a refractometer is really handy, you canget an accurate gravity reading with just a couple of drops and pretty much instantly.

Yeast is so personal that many recipes will just leave it up to the brewer, it’s worth familiarising yourself with the difference between Ale and Lager brewing (stick to Ale until you have the basics right).
Even within the Ale family there are lots of options, again read up on them and see which sounds like it’s worth a go. US-05 is the best selling dry yeast, far from my personal favourite but it’s useful for some styles. Nottingham is well worth a try as are many others, have a look at the beer you are brewing and maybe Google the style and see what others are using.
I'm not a fan of pressure fermentation, if you apply pressure early you will suppress a lot of the flavours the yeast brings to the beer, in many styles these are a vital parts of the style.
No problem with closing up the fermenter late in the brew to build up condition (fizz) and/or using that pressure to push the beer into a keg...
Good temperature control is far more important than spending money on pressure gear.

If you want to dig into any of this deeper, ask, but please do inform as to what you are brewing on, that will help a heap.
Mark

Posted many times before but wort reading.
 

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OK as no one else has had a go -
Don’t take this the wrong way but clearly you are at the start of the learning curve and there is lots you need to get your head around. I'll keep the answers short and try to be on point, that isn’t the same ad being terse, just don’t want to write a book.

1/ Not really, depending on lots of variables you might be mashing in any ware from 2:1 to 6:1 (always L:G Liquor being a name for brewing water Grist is your grain). Low L:G favours protein and glucan breakdown, higher L:G favours Amylase (starch degrading and sugar forming enzymes). You tend to get better efficiency at higher L:G and a more delicate beer.
The size of your grain bill and your mash tun or the grain capacity of your malt pipe will all play a role in choosing the ideal L:G
If you are doing long slow sparges, mashing in somewhere between 3&4:1 is probably a good place to start. if you arent sparging slowly a higher L:G will get you a better yield.

2/ 60m at 67oC is a pretty common option it’s a compromise between the best temperatures for Alpha and Beta Amylase, a little cooler (63-64oC) will give slightly dryer and more alcoholic beer, reverce for slightly warmer (66-68oC) gives fuller flavoured lower alcohol beer.
There are lots of good reasons to step mash (mash at various temperatures) if you can it will give more yield and more control over the flavour of the beer.
It would help if we knew what you were brewing on equipment wise.

3/ 73oC would barely be regarded as a mash out. The point of a mash out is twofold, first to end all enzyme activity, second to make the sugary wort as fluid as possible.
There are problems with getting the mash hotter than 80oC, mainly with Tannins extracting from the husks and giving the beer a harsh flavour.
Generally just under 80oC is ideal, acidifying your sparge water helps prevent tannin extraction to.

4/ Lots happens in the boil, it is really one of the most important and least regarded steps in the brewing process.
I know you will hear lots of contrary opinions but I would regard 60 minutes as a minimum for most beers and 90 minutes as a better option.
Don’t stop boiling based on volume, if you need to, top up your boil with water to keep your target volume. The boil time will affect the pH of the wort, the flavour, the colour how much bitterness you get from your hops and a bunch of other variables that will have a real effect on your beer. Best not to screw around with your planed boil time too much. This is one place where a refractometer is really handy, you canget an accurate gravity reading with just a couple of drops and pretty much instantly.

Yeast is so personal that many recipes will just leave it up to the brewer, it’s worth familiarising yourself with the difference between Ale and Lager brewing (stick to Ale until you have the basics right).
Even within the Ale family there are lots of options, again read up on them and see which sounds like it’s worth a go. US-05 is the best selling dry yeast, far from my personal favourite but it’s useful for some styles. Nottingham is well worth a try as are many others, have a look at the beer you are brewing and maybe Google the style and see what others are using.
I'm not a fan of pressure fermentation, if you apply pressure early you will suppress a lot of the flavours the yeast brings to the beer, in many styles these are a vital parts of the style.
No problem with closing up the fermenter late in the brew to build up condition (fizz) and/or using that pressure to push the beer into a keg...
Good temperature control is far more important than spending money on pressure gear.

If you want to dig into any of this deeper, ask, but please do inform as to what you are brewing on, that will help a heap.
Mark

Posted many times before but wort reading.
Hi Mark

Appreciate the feedback, yes I know that I am on the start of a learning curve and looking forward to it.

My brew gear is a 30L brewzilla, Fermenter is an allrounder and I have a 3 tap kegerator with 3 19 litre kegs.

An example is I am looking at 2 brews over Christmas, one has 7.5kg grain (NEIPA) the other is 4.5kg grain (pale ale). I do sparge slowly, 1 litre at a time.

I am very interested in your comments on the boil and the use of the refractometer. I bought a refractometer some time ago but have struggled to understand when best to use it. Are you saying that it is best to use it during the boil to understand when OG has bee reached? And that the boil should be continued until you get to the OG?

Cheers
Nick.
 

MHB

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Ok nice to know what you are brewing on; we will come back to that.

Bear with me. Brewing is a batch process; each step can be treated as a discrete process. It’s vital to remember that each step follows on the one before; if it isn’t what you expect and you don’t/can’t adjust the changes will travel through the rest of the process and end up in the glass!

As part of your planning you need to know where each step should finish, the aim being to reach a defined target at the end. This means we reverse engineer every brew.
In your case let’s say you aim to fill a keg, you need 19L plus the trub left in the fermenter, around 10% trub is a pretty reasonable estimate. From that we can determine that we need ~21L out of the kettle and into the fermenter.

We all get to know our equipment and how it performs, if you put 25L of water in your zilla and boiled for an hour. Then measured what was left (we need the cold water volume) say there was 22L left, there was a 3L boil off, we usually express this as a percentage so 3/25=12% boil-off/hour.
You are going to be leaving 5-10% in the bottom of the kettle, best is to measure the volume under the tap, say its 2L. We now know that if we want 21 out we need to start with 21L to (fermenter/cube) + 2L (under tap) + 3L (boil off) gives a start of boil volume of 26L
Well that will be close, keep good notes and measure everything and adjust next brew if necessary.

Most of the functions of boiling are time dependant. When you calculate the bitterness, its the amount of hops, their Alpha acid content and the time boiling that determines the IBU's of your beer. Same with DMS formation and ejection, both are time dependant. Likewise protein condensation... Lots of time dependant reactions, which is why I wouldn’t change the boil time on the fly. If you know your equipment you won’t need to change the length of the boil.

When you boil a wort it concentrates, if the start of boil volume was 26L and it had a gravity of 1.048, we reduce the volume by 3L but have the same amount of extract in solution so the gravity goes up proportionally.
Important to remember that we can’t use 1.048 in a calculation, it’s what is called non-unitary (not a unit) it’s just a comparison to the mass of a volume of water, 1L of water weighs 1kg (close enough) 1L of your wort would weigh 1.048kg (1.048*the mass of water). We use points (ie 48 Points) or oP (Plato or likely Brix on your refractometer same/same)
Our 26L of 48 = 23l at the end of boil gravity (26*48)/23 = 54.26 or an OG of 1.0543

Back to where we started with brewing being a batch process, at the end of mashing and sparging you should have the right volume and gravity of wort in the kettle, this is where you make adjustments to both volume and gravity if you need to, having a little DME on hand if your gravity is a bit low, add some water if your volume is too low.
You could if necessary boil off a bit of wort if you have over sparged, get down to where you planned to start, then call that the start of the boil.

A Refractometer is really handy when it comes to getting your kettle full. A dipstick or sight tube will give you volume readings and the refractometer the gravity pretty much instantly.

One free tip.
If you have one of those false bottoms people think they should put in the bottom of the kettle during the boil. Take it somewhere high and check its aerodynamics, preferably over a cliff into the sea - they cause more trouble than they are worth and it remains a fact you really can’t filter hot break out of wort. Let the trub settle whirlpool properly and run off the clear wort.
Better to have 23L of good wort than 25L of less good beer.

Mark

Plato (brewers) or Brix (winemakers) are another way to measure wort, roughly
SG=(4*oP)/1000+1
12oP (or brix) on your refractometer would be (4*12)/1000+1=1.048
Clearly if you just use points 54.26/4 gives 13.565oP
You can use oP in calculations
26*12=23*XoP = 13.565oP
m
 

Grok

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Such a wealth of knowledge is thee, you must never die MHB !!!! :bowdown:
 
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GrumpyPaul

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Thoroughly enjoyed reading your explanations MHB. Absolutely brilliant!
Agreed - such great advice and breaking down the complex into simple explanations.

This forum needs a FAQ thread - and it should just contain links to all the @MHB past answers to all of our questions.
 

JDW81

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OT:

There's been a handful of brewing sage's who have posted here over the years, and unfortunately MHB is one of the last to still frequent this forum (Thirstyboy, Argon, DrSmurto et al are now sadly no longer contributing). His posts are based on a combination of experience, science and industry best practice and still able to distill that information down into stuff that most people with a bit of brewing nous can understand.

JD
 

peteru

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Yeah, I also miss LyrebirdCycles and adr0. Their contributions to some of the threads were top notch.
 
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There's been a handful of brewing sage's who have posted here over the years, and unfortunately MHB is one of the last to still frequent this forum (Thirstyboy, Argon, DrSmurto et al are now sadly no longer contributing). His posts are based on a combination of experience, science and industry best practice and still able to distill that information down into stuff that most people with a bit of brewing nous can understand.

JD
[/QUOTE]

I believe LyrebirdCycles went over to ************************, where postings from all members seem to have since slowed to a crawl.
 

JDW81

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Oh, the other, other forum. I won't say any more for fear of a group of balaclava wearing assassins showing up on my doorstep and doing me over for having the hide to mention "the forum that must not be named" here.
 

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