Grain for stout- soaking them

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kadmium

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Hey mate,

Without accurate volume measurements you will never work out your efficiency. The efficiency is a function of the volume, less wort will naturally be a higher gravity. So, you need to ensure that you are accurately measuring and calculating using pre boil, post boil gravity readings and volumes. Including mash volume, sparge volume, pre boil, post boil and fermenter volumes.

Use something like Brewfather to work out your efficiencies for you or your will forever be chasing your tail.
 

Miran

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Hey mate,

Without accurate volume measurements you will never work out your efficiency. The efficiency is a function of the volume, less wort will naturally be a higher gravity. So, you need to ensure that you are accurately measuring and calculating using pre boil, post boil gravity readings and volumes. Including mash volume, sparge volume, pre boil, post boil and fermenter volumes.

Use something like Brewfather to work out your efficiencies for you or your will forever be chasing your tail.
Question chief.. minimum water volume i can have in BM 20 plus is 23 to 24 liters to fill the mash pipe and cover heater elements. In the last week brew I did my calculation in reverse. I started to check how much water I need to have a 15 liters worth at the end of boil using 4KG grain ( 4 liters absorbtion by grain+ 5 liters evaporation+ 2liters turb and hops absorbtion) and I used about two liters water sparge. My efficiency was too low ( getting 44 after mash/sparge and 56 after finishing extended boil. Calculated one was 65) . The volume of brew during mash was 28 liters ( 4kg milled grain took 4 liters space).

Now my question is should I increase grain? for 24 liters strike water should I go for 8 kg grain? I know the final volume of wort will be less but thinking to have a decsent efficiency?!

Tnx Miran
 

kadmium

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Question chief.. minimum water volume i can have in BM 20 plus is 23 to 24 liters to fill the mash pipe and cover heater elements. In the last week brew I did my calculation in reverse. I started to check how much water I need to have a 15 liters worth at the end of boil using 4KG grain ( 4 liters absorbtion by grain+ 5 liters evaporation+ 2liters turb and hops absorbtion) and I used about two liters water sparge. My efficiency was too low ( getting 44 after mash/sparge and 56 after finishing extended boil. Calculated one was 65) . The volume of brew during mash was 28 liters ( 4kg milled grain took 4 liters space).

Now my question is should I increase grain? for 24 liters strike water should I go for 8 kg grain? I know the final volume of wort will be less but thinking to have a decsent efficiency?!

Tnx Miran
I don't have a BM, I use a Guten. But generally if the efficiency is low then there are things you need to focus on to improve them. When I started on the Guten I was hitting around 55% brewhouse efficiency. I have now dialied it in a bit better and sit at around 65-70% with a 10L sparge.

For 15L post boil, you would need 1L / KG of grain, 5L boil off and 2L trub making it 11L lost liquid plus the 15L makes it 26L of water. Adding the grain would then be around 28L so that sounds right given the numbers you have used for water.

To work out your efficiency you need to know the gravity readings after you mashed but before you started boiling (I take this as I hit the boil) and then the gravity when you finish the boil. You also need to know your pre-boil volume (how much wort was in the BM before you started the boil) and how much was there after the boil plus how much went into the fermenter.

Something like Brewfather or Beersmith will help work out your efficiencies for you.

To really nail efficiency there are a few things you can focus on. The crush of the grain (if you mill yourself), how well the mash recirculates (does it flow properly or is it stuck), the pH of the wort and a few other bits and pieces.

I focused on nailing my water quantities and measuring them, plus adjusting the pH of my mash and I got my own mill and mill my own grain. I now see as I said about 65-70% eff on a single vessel which is lower than some, but it's acceptable for me on a single vessel system.

Once you dial in your efficiency and your process, a program like Brewfather will scale the recipe for you, to achieve the OG you want with the efficiencies of your system. I believe the BM is a quality unit and should produce good efficiencies, so perhaps maybe start a new thread asking anyone with a BM what efficiencies they are getting and some tips and tricks?
 

Grmblz

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Question chief.. minimum water volume i can have in BM 20 plus is 23 to 24 liters to fill the mash pipe and cover heater elements. In the last week brew I did my calculation in reverse. I started to check how much water I need to have a 15 liters worth at the end of boil using 4KG grain ( 4 liters absorbtion by grain+ 5 liters evaporation+ 2liters turb and hops absorbtion) and I used about two liters water sparge. My efficiency was too low ( getting 44 after mash/sparge and 56 after finishing extended boil. Calculated one was 65) . The volume of brew during mash was 28 liters ( 4kg milled grain took 4 liters space).

Now my question is should I increase grain? for 24 liters strike water should I go for 8 kg grain? I know the final volume of wort will be less but thinking to have a decsent efficiency?!

Tnx Miran
Hi Miran,
have a quick look at this Determining Sparge Water Volumes it's similar to your recipe of 15L 4kg grain, theirs is 23L 5kg grain, note: their sparge water volume is 19L yours was 2L, and their mash volume was 26L for 5kg of grain, yours was 28L for 4kg grain.
So a thicker mash, and a lot more sparging to rinse the sugars out of the grain.

To answer your question, above a certain amount (depends on individual systems/process) the more grain you use in a one vessel system the lower your efficiency will be, so no, using 8kg grain will not increase your efficiency, gravity yes, efficiency no.
 

philrob

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Technically, your efficiency does not go down with a large grain bill, it's just that you stop your extraction before rinsing all that is available from your grain bill. If you do a parti-gyle you should hopefully recover your efficiency.
 

Miran

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My good Brew masters,

3 boring questions for you. I have been through the HTB book and other websites and still not sure of below items:

-Actions (not question but happy to know what you think?) for me: Strike water: considering 3 to1 (water to grain) for having minumum 22 liters in machine I do not need to have 22 liters water. The total volume is grain+ water. Based on what I have seen till now 1kg milled grain ( I mill grain using two rollers malt king two times) occupy 1 liter space in mash so I can have 17 liters strike water + 5 kg grain to have final volume of 22 liters.I have to set machine to manual for temperature control during addition of grain. next brew I ll do this.

First question: - Temperatures: I am not sure what I am doing is right or not...Before getting to 66 degC for mashing I leave milled grains 20 minutes soaked at 40 and then further 20 minutes at 50 degC and then 60minutes at 66 degree (mashing temp). Reciepies I found on web just mentions 60 minutes mash but HTB book discuss some things about acid and protein rests.. which I can not understand very well. I want to make sure this extra 40 minutes at lower temperatures do not make any harm to mash?

Second question: Efficiency calculations: - My main traget is to have 15 to 17 liters wort inside frementer per week so I arrage my sparge to have final volume at this range ( I am thinking for second mash right after first using the used grain for first mash but will take damn long time with single vessel, seems need to buy another vessel , preference Guten?) I calculated three efficiencies, before adding sparge water, after adding sparge water and end of boil. I used my own excel sheets verified by examples in HTB book.
PPG at best case: 86
End of mash: 63% (17 liter volume)
After sparge : 85% (22 liters volume)
End of boil: 70% ( 17 liters into frementer)

Should I consider end of boil as my efficiency (70%)?

Last question: To increase my effciency I need to maintain water PH before mashing between 5 and 5.5? Is it true? I was checking the final PH till now but seems I need to make sure to have it in a limited range before starting mashing?

Tnx alot for all your advise!
 

kadmium

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Hey mate, there's a lot to unpack there.

Firstly, I think the BM20 is to produce 20L of finished beer so I don't think you need a bigger unit if your goal is to finish with 15-17L which is easily doable.

You should use an app like Brewfather which will scale recipes for you to end up with however many liters you want at the end.

If you set your gap on the mill right, you shouldn't need to double mill. Double mill is good for BIAB but if you want to get good lautering (ability to sparge) and avoid a stuck mash a good single crush should be sufficient. Milling grain is a whole other beast you can go down, but if you can dial on a fairly good crush you shouldn't need to mess around with it too much.

For the pH of the mash, you want it to be between 5.2-5.6 I target around 5.4 and you can use something like Lactic Acid to reduce the mash pH.

Water chemistry is a steep learn, and it can get pretty complicated or you can look at trying to go simple and just start with getting pH down to the right area.

Most people consider the volume into the fermenter as the efficiency measurement
 

Miran

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@kadmium, Hi chief, I brewed three beers in China till now. Two IPA and one Irish dry Stout. For stout I followed your grain bills and outcome was ok. I have to go for Brew in Bag here in China as I am not sure how long I ll be here and do not want to buy any expensive equipment uphere for the time being. IPAs drinkable but honestly not good! seems I have some problems with grain bills. Now Looking for a decsent IPA grain bills (my preference is a west cost IPA type). I have maris otter, biscuit, caramel and viena malts. for hops citra, columbus and some galaxy. I got them by post from Australia. Looking forward for your advise :)
 

duncbrewer

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@kadmium, Hi chief, I brewed three beers in China till now. Two IPA and one Irish dry Stout. For stout I followed your grain bills and outcome was ok. I have to go for Brew in Bag here in China as I am not sure how long I ll be here and do not want to buy any expensive equipment uphere for the time being. IPAs drinkable but honestly not good! seems I have some problems with grain bills. Now Looking for a decsent IPA grain bills (my preference is a west cost IPA type). I have maris otter, biscuit, caramel and viena malts. for hops citra, columbus and some galaxy. I got them by post from Australia. Looking forward for your advise :)
Great to be brewing up there. Well done. I would have thought you had access to all of the equipment at much less cost than we do, especially for postage and duty. Perhaps you could give us an idea of your recipe that you are using.
The age old question about water also crops up ? whats it like where you brew? Chlorine ? Do you treat the water?
This could make a big difference to your beer without much of an equipment change.
Await your recipe and treatments.
 

An Ankoù

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It depends on what type of stout you are looking to make. If you want to go for a simple dry irish stout similar to a Guiness, then I would suggest upping the roasted barley, dropping the oats and carapills and adding flaked barley.

Should be similar to:
3kg pale malt (Maris Otter would be best if you can get it)
1kg flaked barley
500g roasted barley

Aim for a low mash ph, you can add acidulated malt if you can get it otherwise I use lactic acid.

Willamette or Fuggles or similar hops to about 30ibus try both a 60m and a 30m addition maybe around 20:10 IBU

US-05 is fine or notty yeast.

Really depends on your efficiency and equipment setup in terms of quantities, usually the best way is to either convert a recipe for your system or speak in percentages.
Haven't looked in on the forum for a little while so sorry if this has been answered already. This is a great recipe for a Guinness-like stout. The roasted barley should be enough to bring the pH down. Try to use softish or slightly bicarbonate water, but don't worry unless it's very hard. You don't need acid malt to correct the pH in this recipe, but use it to slightly sour the beer. Guinness, especially the bottled stuff, has a slightly sour taste from ageing part of the beer before mixing it back in.
 

Miran

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Haven't looked in on the forum for a little while so sorry if this has been answered already. This is a great recipe for a Guinness-like stout. The roasted barley should be enough to bring the pH down. Try to use softish or slightly bicarbonate water, but don't worry unless it's very hard. You don't need acid malt to correct the pH in this recipe, but use it to slightly sour the beer. Guinness, especially the bottled stuff, has a slightly sour taste from ageing part of the beer before mixing it back in.
Chief, My apology... I have used your suggested grain bill for my stouts and results are ok. My question was about west coast IPA grain bill? What do you suggest? If you prefer I can ask this in new forum? Tnx in advance :)
 
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Miran

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Great to be brewing up there. Well done. I would have thought you had access to all of the equipment at much less cost than we do, especially for postage and duty. Perhaps you could give us an idea of your recipe that you are using.
The age old question about water also crops up ? whats it like where you brew? Chlorine ? Do you treat the water?
This could make a big difference to your beer without much of an equipment change.
Await your recipe and treatments.
-Biggest issue up here in Qingdao, China is language! Complete another world. I am using VPN and google translator. No amazon here and buy everything online from Taobao ( chinese amazon) prices are less but quality of stuff Iget here is not as good as ones in Australia. I have to pay same or more if I want to buy what I was buying in Australia. Too much taxes on imported stuff too. Anyway no surrender :)
- I use tap water but boil it the night before. I try to keep PH between 5.3 to 5.8. I am doing 12 liters batches so normally 15 to 16 liters of water before mash. I have not had any issue with brewed stouts. tastes/ priming ok. Temperture also here is fine 15 to 20 deg C.
- My problem now is to get one fixed grain bill for IPA ( west coast type). I understand hops are very important but before that I need to have a proper grain bills for IPA. I am trying now 90% maris otter + 5% carapils +5%Caramel ( medium color). For hops I use columbus for bittering 60 minutes boil ( target IBU 60 to 70) and mosaic end of boil. Dry hopping (mosaic) every three days (3 times). I amnot sure about grain bills? Any suggestion is highly appreciated :)
 
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duncbrewer

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There are so many recipes out there for West Coast IPA why not do a clone recipe and live off someone elses experience to start with. Triple dry hopping seems a bit much. You can make a good west coast without any dry hopping! Brewdogs first IPA Punk IPA wasn't dry hopped for several years.

More recipes and info here than you can shake a stick at.


Download the recipe for every beer they have ever made, even tactical nuclear penguin ( look it up for a challenge ).
 

chookherder

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-Biggest issue up here in Qingdao, China is language! Complete another world. I am using VPN and google translator. No amazon here and buy everything online from Taobao ( chinese amazon) prices are less but quality of stuff Iget here is not as good as ones in Australia. I have to pay same or more if I want to buy what I was buying in Australia. Too much taxes on imported stuff too. Anyway no surrender :)
- I use tap water but boil it the night before. I try to keep PH between 5.3 to 5.8. I am doing 12 liters batches so normally 15 to 16 liters of water before mash. I have not had any issue with brewed stouts. tastes/ priming ok. Temperture also here is fine 15 to 20 deg C.
- My problem now is to get one fixed grain bill for IPA ( west coast type). I understand hops are very important but before that I need to have a proper grain bills for IPA. I am trying now 90% maris otter + 5% carapils +5%Caramel ( medium color). For hops I use columbus for bittering 60 minutes boil ( target IBU 60 to 70) and mosaic end of boil. Dry hopping (mosaic) every three days (3 times). I amnot sure about grain bills? Any suggestion is highly appreciated :)
Hi Miran,

I have just completed a successful WestCoast IPA and have received very positive feedback. I did spend a few days researching the difference between West Coast vs East Coast IPA's and I can confirm there are a lot of opinions out there, and I'm not here to start argument

I liked this summary best:
West Coast IPAs are known for their piney, hoppy and resinous flavours, with the bitterness at the frontline, taking centre stage.
East Coast IPAs beers tend to be juicier, fruitier, smoother and sometimes with a citrusy kick. They strike a balance between malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness.

So using this as a guide I did not add any Crystal and I ran at a low Temp of 63c, I wanted a dry light body with little sweetness. For my dry hops I went with equal amounts of Amarillo (piney), Riwaka (lemony), Citra (yummy)!

So to answer your question I would use 100% Maris Otter for the grain bill.

Cheers big beers
 

kadmium

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and I'm not here to start argument
Thems fightin' words!

Jokes. I agree 100% MO is totally fine. I also think Carapils ain't an issue but I would ditch the 5% caramel for a West Coast. I don't think sweet caramels when I think WC IPA. That's just me. I think exactly as you described (Bitterness upfront, sharp and clean with a piney core to it)

Dunc is also on the money with water. While pre boiling can help, do you draw the clean cooled water off to brew with, or just add the water all in all?

To boil water for reducing bicarbonate you need to bring it to a boil for 10 minutes, and then either let the chalk precipitate and drop out or add a little chalk to move the process along quickly. Once the water clears, draw off the boiled water leaving behind the bottom crap. This will give you a base of 50-80ppm bicarbonate if your water was higher than that to start.

It doesn't reduce the other minerals, so you may be SOOL (Shit Out Of Luck) with the other salts.

I would try and find distilled water in bottles (often sold for older style car batteries) and use that as an RO (clean) slate to add your own salts per style.
 

Miran

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Noted. Will find distilled water. For grain bills 100% marris otter. Will let you know the outcome. Tnx alot for advices :) For yeast I ll use Safale US05 as before
 

duncbrewer

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@Miran
The other yeast to consider is kveik, very forgiving and clean ferment at cool temps and you can dry some residue at the end and repitch those dry flakes. Will save you some costs, I've used it in a sweet stout as well as lagers and an ale. No starters needed with it either and happy yeast is a happy brew. Do you use yeast nutrient ? worth trying to get some.
 

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