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My First Partial Mash

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Boots

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Hi all,
I finally did my first part-mash yesterday (insert trumpet fanfare here), and have come away with a few questions :unsure:

Here's what I started with (I pieced it together from what others have posted here):

3 KG Cracked Light Malt (75 min mash, 70 min boil)
1.5 KG Dried LME (chucked in after putting in the last hop addition at 5 mins)
Centennial for bittering (4 plugs @ 60mins)
Cascade for flavour / aroma (2 plugs @ 15mins, 2 plugs @ ~7mins)

I used a normal esky to mash for 1 1/4 hours, (It's a pretty large esky so I folded up a heap of alfoil to place on top of the mash to reduce heat loss) which went no probs.

The boil process went fine, however I didn't see any definitive "Hot Break" at any stage. Is this a problem?

The night before I had frozen some boiled water in a sealed container. Throwing this in the wort after the boil, and using a sink full of pre-iced water, brought the temp down to 23degC in about 20 minutes.
HOWEVER, when i went to get it all into my fermenter, there was soooo much hop content, it took me about 10 minutes to put it all through the colander!

How do people manage the hops, should I have put them in one of the little bag things? Should I not be using a colander? (it is a reasonable size one) It took so long and so much mucking about I was getting worried of infections etc. (I have just acquired some food grade 17L buckets which I will do the Bucket-in-bucket trick for next time).

There was so much hop blocking the colander I was getting worried I would lose a lot of the sugars etc in the hop leaves, as they were still quite soggy after scraping them out.

After adding the water, the SG was at 1043ish, and when I tasted it, it was so bitter it was almost astringent! :blink: I had hoped for a bit higher SG, so I added the left-over 500g of DLME (making a total of 2KG Dried LME) that i had which brought it up to 1051. It also greatly improved the flavour.

Would I have lost sugars in the hop leaves? Is there a better way to manage the hops in the boil?

Apart from that, I really enjoyed it. It's a fair bit more work, but it's a lot simpler than I thought it was going to be :D

Cheers
Mike
 

Jazman

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well a hot break is a must as it happens when u get to a boil it has do with protians do this and that i m no good with the science of it .

i mash for 90 mins and boil for and hour
i use to have a colonder it a pain in the ass i use the bucket in bucket as a lauter which makes life easier.


i also do the ice block trick and with pellets i get a cold break in the bottom with left over pelllets bits but when i use hop plugs well i do strain them and pur more water through them to get all i can out of them


boots go see tom at Jovial Mon he will help you more with
you part mashes
 

Boots

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Thanks Jazman,
I actually bought my gear off Jovial Monk. I've been there a couple times now, and he's always good for a chat and some tips, but I was in a real rush when I picked up the stuff, so didn't get to talk as much as I could have.

At least I know that what I did wasn't too far from the norm.

BTW - what size holes did you use in your bucket in bucket? I'm gonna do the drilling on mine soonish.

I won't be doing partials every brew because of the time needed, but I'll probably do a partial every second or so (unless this one really knocks my socks off)
 

Jazman

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i did mine at 3.5 or 1/8 just a normal pot rivet size drill

you know when you get a hop break when u get heaps of foam on the top and then it goes away

Tom hos also given some good uideas and some good brew maths
 

jayse

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boots the hop particals wont hurt if they go in but what i would do is while your cooling the pot stir it around and make a whirlpool then let it sit and cool. this will leave everything in a nice pile in the bottom of the pot then you can use a hose to siphon to your fermentor either way the hops will be saturated with the wort so what sugars are in them dont worry about.
really what you did sounds fine the main thing is to remove the hot break. another way you could rack it too another fermentor 1 hour or so after you first put it in the fermentor .leaving everthing behind in the first
also youll find the bitterness will mellow out well and it will taste awesome you may even think it could use more bitterness.
 

Snow

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I agree with Jayse, although I don't remove the hot break and have had no problems. In some boils, the hot break is negligable, so you may have just missed it.

Don't worry about the hops going into the fermenter. They will settle out and you can rack the beer off them when you go to secondary. As for the bitterness, I have had some brews where they taste absolutely foul from the hops when they go into the primary, then after fermentation and a couple of weeks bottle conditioning they were fantastic.

Congratulations on your first partial mash! Enjoy!

Cheers - Snow
 

Boots

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Cheers guys,
I'll let you know how it goes when I rack it off - will prob do it tonight / tommorrow after reading Jayse's comments.
It's bubbling away like a trooper right now at 18 degrees (the yeast I got off JM is good down to 17).
 

GMK

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Boots,

According to Wes at Malt Craft, the optimum size holes for a false bottom is 1.5mm.

St pats sell a 10 inch SS false bottom for 20.00 USD that has the right size holes in it - i have one.

Before that i made my own by drilling hundreds of 1.5mm holes at 5mm intervals. Long tedius work.

Only bought the SS False bottom to fit my new Rubbermaid 10 gallon mash tun.

Hope this helps.
 

Boots

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Thanks Ken,
I think that for the $30 - $40, I'll spend an hour drilling holes. At the moment, I'm using any available $ on the brews and bottles. Nifty equipment will come ....... one day.
 

RobW

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Boots

Like the other guys said, the hops aren't a problem but if you want to keep things neat & tidy just put them in a stocking & tie off the end.
 

Boots

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Is the stocking safe for the boil? or is this for dry hopping?
 

RobW

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OK for both. In the boil I tie one end to the handle of the pot so the hops are suspended about half way to the bottom. For dry hopping put some marbles in so it sinks, & cover with boiling water to sterilize before you put it in. Watch out for ladders though or you'll be back where you started ;)
 

Boots

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Damn ladders ... and I only just bought this pair ;)
 

GMK

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Boots said:
Damn ladders ... and I only just bought this pair ;)
Boots,

You shouldn"t go climbing ladders in stockings - whether they are Fish Net or not. :p
 

deebee

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Ladders in stockings are like a stairway to heaven.
 

Jazman

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is that yeast u got from monk the danstar
 

Boots

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I can't remember the brand (he repacks it into little sachets and relables it). It's the Windsor Ale Yeast (Dried). I think it was $4.95.
 

Jazman

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i know the ones i think its from the same manufacturer he has nottigham ale yeast too from them may try one soon
 

Boots

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Well, I racked it off last night. It's still at 1021, but that's to be expected when fermenting at around 18deg. I'm going to bring it up to around 20 for a few days to make sure it finishes out.

It tastes SENSATIONAL!! There is still a real bitter after-twang but it is definitely not as bad as at the beginning - so I dry hopped with two plugs of the cascade, as there wasn't much aroma.

I ended up drinking everything I poured out to measure the gravity :blink:

Can't wait to bottle it.
 

Boots

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I finally got around to bottling this on tuesday (busy with work).
so.... I'd dry hopped with another 2 plugs of Cascade boiled for 5mins)

FG = 1015 - was almost worried that this was stilll too high, but it had been sitting at 20 deg for half the secondary fermentation. Put it down to not lautering properly (didn't recirculate the first run off ??? - does that sound like I don't know what I'm doing?).

After a surprisingly small amount of coaxing from JovialMonk, I used Dried Wheat Malt Extract for priming instead of my normal dextrose.

Looks = Quite cloudy - (fine with me)
Hops = Very Bitter - (astringent follow through) after earlier comments I'mnot worried, as it will probably calm down with a few weeks.
Nose = mmmmmmmmmmm cascade smells nice :)
Taste = aside from the "is that what astringent feels like?" ..... bloody bewdiful :chug:

Can't wait to taste it in a few weeks.
 

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