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Matts First Ag Adventure

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mobrien

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Rather than clogging up other threads, I thought I would detail today's disaster as it happens here, its own thread.

I'm a scientist and I'm a man. That means I can do anything, and I don't have to listen to anyone. OK? Well bad luck if its not, because I'm a scientist and I'm a man, and that means I don't have to listen to anyone :D

I was introduced to AG beers at the Big Brisbane Brewday at Jgriffins earlier this year. The beers were great. My kit beers weren't. I thought they were. But they weren't.

I remember afterwards that Ross said "I didn't taste a bad beer on the day". This filled me with some confidence. Then I realised that my kilkenny probably didn't even class as a beer.

So I bought batz's AG setup. I probably started some kind of GMK v's Batz war that we will read about for the next 5 years, as Kenny wanted my kettle.

<evil laughter>
Its mine. All mine
</evil laughter>

I'll put a link here later on to the AG setup I bought - but for now I better type quick - the urn is heating up, and the clicking is making me excited!

I then decided that I'd brew a wit. Why? because I can. I'm a scientist and I'm a man.....

AFter scouring the net, I found a few recipes, and decided on one from beersmith. Then yesterday a few people pointed out that I was probably out of my depth. So it got modified slightly - not much, but slightly. I added some more german pils to get some more enzymes in there, and I've increased the batch size slightly. I may be mad, but I'm going to do it.

My recipe:


BeerSmith Recipe Printout - www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Matts Wit like thing copy
Brewer: Matt O'Brien
Asst Brewer:
Style: Witbier
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (??.?) I'm stubborn and stupid - I'm doing this against all advice

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 22.50 L
Boil Size: 26.80 L
Estimated OG: 1.046 SG
Estimated Color: 7.4 EBC
Estimated IBU: 18.0 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
2.00 kg JWM Traditional Ale Malt (5.9 EBC) Grain 44.4 %
2.00 kg Wheat, Torrified (3.3 EBC) Grain 44.4 %
0.50 kg Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (3.9 EBC) Grain 11.1 %
27.00 gm Goldings 5.9 [5.90%] (60 min) Hops 18.0 IBU
0.75 oz Coriander Seed (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
0.75 oz Orange Peel, Bitter (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs Weihenstephan Weizen (Wyeast Labs #3068) Yeast-Wheat


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 4.50 kg
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temp Step Time
Mash In Add 11.74 L of water at 76.7 C 67.8 C 60 min
Mash Out Add 6.57 L of water at 92.1 C 75.6 C 10 min


Notes:
------
Based on Brad Smiths recipe in beersmith - modified a bit based on AHB feedback and G&G recipe


Full Grain Version (23 litres)
Grains - 2700gms Pilsner Malt (approx 52%)
2000gms Torrefied Wheat (approx 38%)
500gms Oat Malt (Yes - malted oats) (approx 10%)
2 litres Rice Hulls
Mashing regimes are many and varied. Most modern malts are very well modified and only need a simple single step infusion mash to obtain very good results. Wheat malt is somewhat different to barley malt in that it has a much larger proportion of high molecular weight proteins (this factor then demands a slightly prolonged protein rest be undertaken) and is also huskless (this will effect the lautering process as the ratio of husks to grains is the key to effective lautering - hence the addition of the rice husks) in this case I suggest mashing in at protein preparation temperature of 50C and rest for 30 mins, raise to 1st saccrification temperature of 60C and rest for 50 mins, then raise to 2nd saccrification temperature of 70C and rest for 10 mins. Raise temperature to mash out of 78C for 10 mins.
Hops For bittering aim at around 16 IBU's using any noble hop. Total boil time need only be 60 minutes with the bittering hops added at the start of the boil.
Yeast - There are a myriad of wheat yeasts available but only two specific Belgians, I recommend Wyeast 3944 Belgian Wit as a first choice or Wyeast 3942 Belgian Wheat as a second choice, both are good but have different flavour profiles and it is a matter personal of choice. Grain & Grape staff will be happy to advise you on the pros and cons of each. If you prefer the convenience of dry yeast then try DCL Saf Wheat.
To obtain the distinctive coriander and orange/citrus flavours so characteristic of this style add 6gms of freshly crushed coriander seeds and the finely sliced zest of half an orange for the last 5 minutes of the boil. Once the beer has been racked into a secondary fermenter taste it and ascertain whether YOU want any more coriander or orange flavour. If you do then add either coriander or orange or both depending on what YOU are aiming at, the amount to add is somewhat hit and miss or guesswork and is really a personal choice.
 

mobrien

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The cast!

Before the show began, some of the main cast members were relaxing in the tub after a nice day spa treatment.
IMG_7359.jpg

However, the urn is fired up and ready to blow some steam.
IMG_7360.jpg

Speaking of fired up, there is some randy yeast ready to get it on
IMG_7361.jpg

And the grains of course are all wrapped in plastic, ready to seduce that yeast
IMG_7362.jpg

Finally, the hops is a bit fridged, and while she is in good company in the freezer, Miss golding is hiding in the glad bag changing for the show.
IMG_7363.jpg
 

mobrien

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Of course there are two more stars (I had to show them, otherwise they were going to lock themselves in their change rooms).
IMG_7364.jpg
 

mobrien

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10:30 and the urn hit 76.7

Rinsed the mash tun out, added 6L of the water, and all the grain. Stirred it all up, and then added another 4L. Stirred and took photos.

IMG_7365.jpg

IMG_7366.jpg

Checked the temp - 65 degrees, a bit low, which was good given I want 67.8 and had 1.74L to add.

Added the rest of the water (well, 1.75 actually) and reached 66.5 which is close enough for me.

Lid on 10:35.

IMG_7367.jpg

It smells awesome. I am basking in the glory of my first mash.
 

mobrien

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10:39 - check the tun - its leaking!

IMG_7369.jpg

But hey, its only a tiny bit - on the list of things to do for next time: Buy mash tun thermometer, install in leaking hole :D
 

mobrien

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11:00 - Stir and monitor temp.
It smells really great, and its obvious that the grains are absorbing water - its a bit thicker now, but still very easy to stir. Temperature has dropped to 66.0 degrees, so thats right on track.

Edit: I'm an idiot - of course I'm mashing at 66 degrees!
 

pint of lager

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You have done the research, you know the risks, you have your rice hulls, go forth and brew.

May your runoff be clear and steady.

May your boil be perfect.

May your chiller do the ob.

May you hit your og.
 

mobrien

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11:15 Stir number 2 - still at 66 degrees, still smelling awesome. Clear liquid section in the middle at the top, I assume due to convection currents in the mash - very cool!

Pint_of_lager - thanks for all the advice/suggestions - we'll see how it goes!!

Edit: I'm an idiot - of course I'm mashing at 66 degrees!
 

pint of lager

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You are mashing, you do mean 66 not 76 don't you!
 

mobrien

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Now we come to a trio of oversights!

1. I need more than one thermometer - I can't measure the temp of the HLT if the thermometer is in the mash tun! So buy another one for next time - but I've already said I want a dial on for the mash tun to plug the leaking hole! No biggy.

2. transfer hose? what transfer hose. Oh crap. Go make one.
IMG_7370.jpg

3. The biggy. So I got my burner and gas bottle out, and the bricks to hold up the boiler. All the right size. awesome - ready to go. Just screw the burner on the gas bottle...

Just screw the burner on the gas bottle.

Crap. Wrong size. No car (the wife is at work). Lucky I have a spare electric boiler! But it doesn't have a tap on the bottom - looks like I'm emptying it the old fashioned lifting way!

IMG_7371.jpg
 

mobrien

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yes, I do mean 66 - need to go edit those now!

M
 

mobrien

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11:35 - I hour has elapsed, and its at 65.8, so thats a nice contastant temp.

Now the recipe calls for 6.57L of 92.1 degree water, to bring it to 75.6 degrees for 10 minutes.

Water temp is fine, I just can't add 6.57L - 5.8 is all I can add - so temp is a bit low - 74.8, but thats life.

10 minutes till I find out if this thing will lauter. Sparge time ahead!
 

sluggerdog

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Looking good mobrien.

I found my first few times seemed like it was a huge job but now after only about 6-8 AG brews I find I spend most of the time sitting on the couch watching TV while brewing. Easy as.. haha

Gets easier every time...
 

mobrien

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righto - the scary bit is all done.

I setup the mash tun above the boiler on my custom built stand. OK - its a table.

IMG_7373.jpg

11:50 I started sparging the first lot of wort out was *really* murky!
IMG_7377.jpg

The first 8L out went back into the tun, and by then it was getting fairly clear, although the flow rate had dropped.
IMG_7379.jpg

It took about 30 minutes from there to get all the wort out along with the extra 14L called for in the recipe. In the end, I was 3L short of the target volume, which I made up with water (funnily enough).

The target preboil gravity was 1.039 - actual was 1.034 - a bit low, but probably not a drama.

Finally a shot of the grains at the end..
IMG_7383.jpg

Slugger: yeah, it all seems pretty cool - I've managed to do two loads of washing as well as fixing my oversights as I go - I can see this as an easy to do activity while I'm doing something else - especially when I have the bugs ironed out.

Its lots of fun too!
 

mobrien

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It looks like the pre boil gravity is actuall 1.035, I don't think I waited for the temp to cool enough for the first reading...

IMG_7394.jpg

The hops got weighed out
IMG_7382.jpg

And the boil started at 1:00
IMG_7388.jpg

Once the hops were added, the rolling boil really got started!
IMG_7390.jpg

And I'm glad I was watching, as I stuck the lid on, and it promptly tried to boil over! I spent about 5 minutes scraping the hops off the sides and lid and back into the pot :D
 

mobrien

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Nest step is the orange and coriander seeds. I weighed out what it said in the recipe (0.75oz) and that looked way to much. I remember speaking with hoops about his Wit, and he used 6g of corriander, but thought more could be better. I also checked the G&G recipe, and it calls for 6g corriander and zest of 1/2 orange. I ended up deciding 12g of corriander and zest of one orange - somewhere between the beersmith recipe and the G&G recipe, and about what Hoops reckoned.

I cut the zest off the orange with a knife, and crushed the corriander seeds with the butt of the handle of the same knife. I think I need a tool for this :D

IMG_7391.jpg
 

mobrien

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1:55 Corriander and orange added for 5min boil - wow what a fruity smell! If this beer tastes as good as it smells....

On an aside, the crushed corriander themselves have a very citrusy smell - nothing like the ground corriander I use in cooking. Very neat!
 

mobrien

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2:00 - poured the wort into the "real" boiler I got from Batz... the one I was *supposed* to use today. I decided do this to a) test it out at higher temp, and more importantly B) because it has a tap in it, so I can carefully get the wort and not the trub!

Awesome boiler - can't wait to use it for the whole brew!

2:05 - immersion chiller is in, and the wort is dropping temp

IMG_7395.jpg
 

mobrien

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2:20 The fermenter has been rinsed and is soaking in idophor, along with the orings, airlock and transfer hose.

Temperature is still dropping - now at 40 degrees. 20 to go!
 

Linz

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How hot was the wort when you trasferred from boiler to keg boiler??

Nice colour in the sight tube by the way!
 

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