Tomorrows Brew Day, Some Thoughts

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Lurks

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I can't believe this worked but ... I managed to divert attention from the fact I splashed out on a second fermenter and a 50L stockpot by telling the missus she could choose the next beer. At least I'm still alive anyway. She chose Boddingtons, a Brit bitter she remembers fondly from the pub back in Blighty.

So I found this recipe and ordered the goods from Grain and Grape, completely forgetting to buy the bittering hops (I have heaps of EKG anyway) ... so need to make recipe changes, easy enough to Beersmith. What I ought to have done was feed the recipe into Beersmith first, because when I did it looked pretty darn thin to me.

Allegedly for a 23L batch:

3.30 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter
0.25 kg Cara-Pils/Dextrine
0.12 kg Crystal Malt - 60L
0.03 kg Chocolate Malt

The issue is that I think the alcohol and gravity are pretty low unless reducing the batch, so efficiency looks like it will count. Fiddling with various mashing regimes in Beersmith, I tried to find something that would get me the beer I want. The best I can do is BIAB medium body profile (which is a 75 minute mash) and with the volume reduced to 20.5.

I do have I have an actual point here... and that's whether I can squeeze out some efficiency by doing some sort of dunk sparge, or not?

Some things I could do:

1. I could mash in the esky and just hope, somehow, I imagine to get the temperature right this time.... heat up some sparge water in the Big Ass Pot and sparge in that for 10 minutes, then drain, tip in the esky and go for boil.
2. I could just do what Beersmith seems to think the best is, which is a 75m mash with a massive 26L of water (isn't that a ridiculous grain to water ratio?!) with no-sparge at all. At least I'll get the mash temp right since I do it on the stove.
3. I could do some sort of staged sparge. Although setting two-step batch sparge infusion in Beersmith seems to get worse results than the BIAB.

I'm all for going simple but the weedy grain bill looks like there's some benefit to getting a bit more out of them. You can tell I'm a bit baffled how to approach BIAB in Beersmith if you're going to do anything other than no-sparge. The last two AG (my first two) brews I did, I basically just kept emptying and filling my esky with sparges until my kettle was full but that's just totally out there was far as trying to aim for a specific result in Beersmith.

Save me Obi-aussiebrewers, you're my only hope!
 

cam89brewer

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I can't believe this worked but ... I managed to divert attention from the fact I splashed out on a second fermenter and a 50L stockpot by telling the missus she could choose the next beer. At least I'm still alive anyway. She chose Boddingtons, a Brit bitter she remembers fondly from the pub back in Blighty.

So I found this recipe and ordered the goods from Grain and Grape, completely forgetting to buy the bittering hops (I have heaps of EKG anyway) ... so need to make recipe changes, easy enough to Beersmith. What I ought to have done was feed the recipe into Beersmith first, because when I did it looked pretty darn thin to me.

Allegedly for a 23L batch:

3.30 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter
0.25 kg Cara-Pils/Dextrine
0.12 kg Crystal Malt - 60L
0.03 kg Chocolate Malt

The issue is that I think the alcohol and gravity are pretty low unless reducing the batch, so efficiency looks like it will count. Fiddling with various mashing regimes in Beersmith, I tried to find something that would get me the beer I want. The best I can do is BIAB medium body profile (which is a 75 minute mash) and with the volume reduced to 20.5.

I do have I have an actual point here... and that's whether I can squeeze out some efficiency by doing some sort of dunk sparge, or not?

Some things I could do:

1. I could mash in the esky and just hope, somehow, I imagine to get the temperature right this time.... heat up some sparge water in the Big Ass Pot and sparge in that for 10 minutes, then drain, tip in the esky and go for boil.
2. I could just do what Beersmith seems to think the best is, which is a 75m mash with a massive 26L of water (isn't that a ridiculous grain to water ratio?!) with no-sparge at all. At least I'll get the mash temp right since I do it on the stove.
3. I could do some sort of staged sparge. Although setting two-step batch sparge infusion in Beersmith seems to get worse results than the BIAB.

I'm all for going simple but the weedy grain bill looks like there's some benefit to getting a bit more out of them. You can tell I'm a bit baffled how to approach BIAB in Beersmith if you're going to do anything other than no-sparge. The last two AG (my first two) brews I did, I basically just kept emptying and filling my esky with sparges until my kettle was full but that's just totally out there was far as trying to aim for a specific result in Beersmith.

Save me Obi-aussiebrewers, you're my only hope!
Maybe the recipe is for the European version as it is only 3.5% as most other beers over there... ? and it seems to have really low carbonation which i'm sure will be interesting to get priming sugar or gas right. But the recipe seems like it would be close to the real thing.
 

Lurks

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Maybe the recipe is for the European version as it is only 3.5% as most other beers over there... ? and it seems to have really low carbonation which i'm sure will be interesting to get priming sugar or gas right. But the recipe seems like it would be close to the real thing.
I don't ever recall seeing one less than 4. Normally 4 or 4.1. The guy in the thread reckons it's 4 but I can't see how that's possible with the volume and grain bill at all?
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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Look at BJCP guidelines for English Bitter and Best Bitter and ESB.

Really clear there that domestic English Bitters such as Boddos are lower in abv than the export versions.

That might be the confusion.

Well done OP on not getting executed.

Goomba
 

ekul

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He says his efficiency is 80%. Which makes the beer 3.9% (in brewmate)

You could do a dunk sparge, and this will increase your efficiency. however wouldn't it be easier to just upscale the malt?
 

Lurks

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Ordinarily yes, but I had bought the ingredients off the recipe so I've got a full bag ready to go tomorrow.
 

yum beer

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Brewmate tells me a 20 litre batch at 70% efficiency will get you 4-4.1% ABV, add .5% for priming if your botttling, no problem. BIAB 29.5 litres at 68.5c. Mash 60 minutes.
If your kegging add 250gm gms of LDM or dex to up your ABV a bit.
 

eamonnfoley

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Reduce the batch size like yum has said. Chuck some late EKG for a nice finish to the beer. Nothing like an bitter with a nice EKG nose.
 

Lurks

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Hrm, my Beersmith was set on a default of 70 odd efficiency so it was hard to hit the 4% mark...

I suppose it's no stretch to expect nearer 80 with a good old dunk sparge?

I'd like to be able to measure this but the Coopers hydrometer I've got appears to have been replaced by some device that that attempts to burrow to the center of the earth the moment it's let go.
 

Lurks

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Righty so, I did away with the esky mash tun and mashed in 20L of water in the 50L pot. Temperature control was still hard due to my shitty spirit thermometer but it was way better than the esky, and more importantly - easier to control, as well as being straight forward to mash out.

After a 10-minute mash out, I drained grains and dunked into my old 21L pot for ten minutes.

Overall it went absolutely swimmingly. The big pot is so big I can get a couple of stovetop burners under it which is nice to get up to the boil fast. Tying the hop bag on a large stiring spoon worked nicely as a hop sock sort of thing.

Unfortunately the large pot no longer fits in the bath so I'm back to no-chill. Although I put it on a table with an aircon blowing at it and I can get it down in a few hours at least. It took a fair bit less time to get it down than 20L pot, despite having 25L in it. I guess it being massive helps heat get out of it.

I also performed a bit of an experiment with the yeast. This time I hydrated at 40 making sure the water was exactly that temperature. I then added it to some drained off wort liquor, again at 40C, then let it cool a bit. It went off like a rocket in the jar. At the very end I added this sort of mini starter to the wort when it was about 28C, and fermentation had kicked off faster than anything I've managed before. So that was interesting anyway.

Only slight bugger up was water volume ended up a bit high in the fermenter. I guess the boil off rate wasn't quite right, very easy fix for next time. Third all grain and I'm pretty happy with how that went.

Another crackpot idea/experiment was to measure ph of mash using my hydroponics liquid ph test kit. Ordinarily that wouldn't really work with a mash because of the heavy colouration but with a light beer and BIAB's large water to grain ratio, it seems to work pretty well. Having added a calcium chloride and a tiny bit of phosphoric acid based on testing my water before hand, the ph meter seemed to indicate I was bang on the money during the mash. Woohoo.
 

Lurks

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You could do the 2 pot stovetop method - I can chill in the kitchen sink.
Brewing with the big pot has definitely made things more pleasant so there's no going back to little pots :) I'm not really convinced I need to crash chill anyway...

I suppose I could always knock up a wort chiller if I had to.
 

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