Andrew's brew days

Discussion in 'Beer Brewdays!' started by Ajhutch, Jun 24, 2017.

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  1. Jun 24, 2017 #1

    Ajhutch

    Ajhutch

    Ajhutch

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    I thought now I have reached double figures for all grain batches it was time to make my own thread. I do quite a bit of splitting batches and extra experiments so this is a good way to record that kind of thing.

    Today's brew was a popular one, a New England IPA.

    The What

    23 litre batch

    5kg Maris Otter
    0.5kg malted oats
    0.5kg flaked wheat
    0.25kg carapils
    0.25kg caramunich I

    Mash for 60 minutes at 68C

    60 minute boil

    5g Summit and 10g each of Equinox, Mosaic, Amarillo and Citra at 5 mins
    5g Summit and 15g each of Equinox, Mosaic, Amarillo and Citra at 0 mins

    Water
    Bicarbonate 25ppm
    Calcium 120ppm
    Chloride 120ppm
    Sulphate 30ppm

    Yeast - Yeast Bay Vermont Ale, made into 2 litre starter

    The How

    I use a 30 litre kettle for brew in a bag. Normally I heat sparge water separately and dunk sparge but I'm temporarily without that kit so today I ran off my first runnings and pulled out the grain bag and had to hear the sparge water, adding time to the brew day. I was also doing various kid stuff so ended up mashing and sparging early afternoon then leaving it all in the kettle and boiling later. Not an energy efficient brew day, but did fit in with my non-brewing day and I was never run off my feet.

    It went ok, I need to pay close attention to the temperatures in m mash, as the bottom near the element is significantly warmer than the top where the probe thermometer is. The thermometers agree in boiling water so
    Im confident both are right as it were. I just kept stirring my mash fairly frequently.

    I missed my gravity target by 4 points, 1.060 instead of 1.064 but that's not too big a deal, it'll be a pretty strong beer anyway.

    I no chill so I also made my starter today and will pitch tomorrow.

    Dry hops will be the same suite of Equinox, Mosaic, Amarillo and Citra.

    Sample jar tasted good, lots of hop flavour without too much bitterness



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  2. Jun 26, 2017 #2

    Ajhutch

    Ajhutch

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    First dry hops in. 25g each of Equinox, Mosaic, Amarillo and Citra. After about 30 hours I think I've actually missed high krausen, the yeast is a monster!


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  3. Jul 6, 2017 #3

    Ajhutch

    Ajhutch

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    Bottled tonight. I hate bottling. It's done now though, and was my cleanest bottling day to date, helped by a great yeast that compacted nicely. I've harvested ready for reuse. It looks hazy as expected, I hope it doesn't go brown, it's looking less bright yellow than some of my samples. Trial jar tastes good, there's only supporting bitterness and tons of fruit. [​IMG]


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  4. Aug 6, 2017 #4

    Ajhutch

    Ajhutch

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    Brewing a Belgian dubbel today. Got the grains and water ready last night, and then after a rough night with our baby daughter ended up getting up at 6 and got the mash on before getting our toddler up at 7.

    The grain bill is a split of Belgian pilsner and pale ale malt with a dash of Caramunich, Aromatic and Carabelge malts. Homemade Candi sugar (I did rocks not syrup so I could freeze it) to be added later.

    Controlling my BIAB mash using an inkbird today as I'm going to be buzzing around so will see how that goes. 90 mins of mash at 65C now.



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  5. Aug 6, 2017 #5

    foxy

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    Clearing before bottling, try a cold crash at 0 degrees for 24 hours, and colour is made up in the boil not in the bottling.
     
  6. Aug 6, 2017 #6

    Ajhutch

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    I think you're answering my old post, which was about a beer that was deliberately hazy. My concerns around colour related to the delicacy of the beer and possible oxidation but fortunately it turned out well!


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  7. Aug 6, 2017 #7

    BeerCat

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    How did the beer turn out? When i made candi sugar it started to melt when i took it out of the freezer but worked well enough.
     
  8. Aug 6, 2017 #8

    Ajhutch

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    Looking alright, I did a 90 minute boil as well to drive a bit more colour. I also overshot the mash temperature so used some extra water so the extra boil will help equalise things. I'll no chill this and pitch a cultured up Chimay yeast tomorrow. Broke my hydrometer so will have to pop to Wilko for a new one before I can check gravity, pre-boil was right on though so should be fine. I'll have 15 litres at 1.063 all being well.


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  9. Aug 7, 2017 #9

    Ajhutch

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    Belgian Dubbel

    15 litre batch

    1.5kg Belgian Pale Malt
    1.5kg Belgian Pilsner Malt
    200g Aromatic Malt
    200g Carabelge Malt
    200g Caramunich I
    500g Candi syrup (homemade, cooked to amber)

    90 minute mash at 65C

    90 minute boil

    20g Challenger @60 mins
    25g EKG @5 mins

    OG 1.063
    17 IBU

    Pitched a starter of cultured up dregs from two bottles of Chimay Blue. If the beer tastes anything like the starter wort it's going to be good. Fingers crossed.
     
  10. Aug 9, 2017 #10

    sven945

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    I'll never get how people can get anything from the starter wort, other than horribly sweet bitterness! (Each to their own of course). I always have a tiny sip when I've done the initial gravity reading, more as a ritual thing than anything (as of course I drink samples during and post fermentation).

    Your recipes are looking good. I did a Belgian dubbel that turned out okay. Home made candi sugar/syrup is the way forward!
     
  11. Aug 9, 2017 #11

    Ajhutch

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    Totally agree with you regarding wort samples - to me they taste like tea! In this case I was actually referring to the wort (technically I suppose it isn't wort as it's been fermented) from the yeast starter, which had really picked up some of that lovely Belgian yeast character.
     
  12. Aug 20, 2017 #12

    Ajhutch

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    Not sure about the dubbel. 13 days post pitching and it's still chugging away but very slowly (a bubble every 5-10 mins). Gravity at the moment is 1.022 so there's quite a more I'd expect it to do. I did lose control of my mash temp a bit early on but recovered it pretty quickly so I would expect a fermentable wort. I wonder if the harvested yeast just hasn't got enough puff left. I'm off on holiday for a week tomorrow so I'm going to just leave this and see where it is when I get back.


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  13. Sep 9, 2017 #13

    Ajhutch

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    Grain weighed out for tomorrow's brew day: oatmeal stout. I see a few recipes with 5% flaked oats and the like but.......moderation has never been my strong point, so 11% flaked oats. And 11% oat malt. We'll see!

    18 litre batch

    2.5kg Maris otter
    500g oat malt
    500g flaked oats
    150g 60L crystal
    150g 90L crystal
    175g chocolate malt
    150g blackprinz (dehusked black malt)
    150g midnight wheat (dehusked black wheat malt)

    Challenger 30g for 60 mins

    Expected OG 1.050, lets see! Alarm set for 6am.

    [​IMG]


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  14. Sep 10, 2017 #14

    Manxnorton

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    Great read my pal.
    Atb
    Bri
     
  15. Sep 10, 2017 #15

    Ajhutch

    Ajhutch

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    Nice smooth brew day. Overshot my efficiency and got the planned 18 litres but at 1.056. That's a bit high for what I wanted so will dilute a little before I pitch.

    My 2.5 year old was quite interested in what I was doing and decided to 'make beer like daddy' in his play kitchen while I brewed. Start 'em young!


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  16. Sep 16, 2017 #16

    Ajhutch

    Ajhutch

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    Bit of an update on my last two brews. The Dubbel stuck at 1.022. I assumed it was a problem with the cultivated yeast so threw a pack of CML Belgian yeast in but it didn't budge. Then when I did my stout brewday I noticed that my inkbird which I had used to control the mash temp brewing outdoors wasn't tracking well unless I stirred or moved the probe around. I don't know if this is common or not. But anyway, I hadn't attended the Dubbel mash fully so it probably ran the heater when it didn't need to leading to an unfermentable wort. I hate wasting beer, so I've put two thirds of that into a separate FV with Flemish Ale Blend from white labs and one third had some blackberries and now the dregs of a Hanssens Oude Kriek, both now tucked away for the long haul. Who knows if they'll turn out anything good but the original product wasn't drinkable. Lesson learned on the mash temp control.

    The stout is doing fine after six days, activity is chugging along at one bubble a minute after a fast start. Took a sample earlier and it's at 1.020 and tasting decent, nice roasts flavour but no roughness, so I'm glad I used the dehusked dark grains. That'll probably get two more weeks in the FV before bottling as we are going on holiday shortly and I won't get a bottling night in before we go.
     
  17. Oct 26, 2017 #17

    Ajhutch

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    On Sunday I'll be joined by a friend and we are brewing a beer inspired by Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. Not quite a clone but somewhere in the ball park. Sierra Nevada brew this in November using the freshest hops from that year's harvest, the best I can do is brand new packs of all of the hops! The malt bill is going to be based on this one http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=176201 though with a little more Munich and toned down to around 1.055 OG. The hops are in proportion to give about 65 IBU.
     
  18. Nov 1, 2017 #18

    Ajhutch

    Ajhutch

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    After a review of what grains I actually had, the recipe got tweaked a bit. Not really a Celebration clone any more but whatever.

    Aimed for 20L batch size (of which more later)

    5kg pale malt
    1kg Munich
    250g carapils
    150g crystal 120L
    150g crystal 60L

    12g Chinnok @60 mins
    48g Centennial @15 mins
    48g Cascade @5 mins
    48g Cascade @0mins
    24g each of Chinook, Centennial and Cascade Dry hop

    Irish moss @10 mins

    US05 yeast

    90 minute mash at 64C, 60 minute boil

    All good until I went to run off into the no chill cube. For reasons best known to me, I decided to do away with my normal hop bags and chuck the pellets in loose, and they completely clogged the bazooka after very little run off. In the end I had to do a mixture of scraping the filter and syphoning but I ended up with an absolute ton of debris. I lost five, count them, five litres of wort! Lesson learned, always use a hop bag (this episode actually may convince me to make a hop spider)

    After racking off the gunk and back into a freshly sanitised FV the next day I diluted with 2L of bottled water and ended up with 17L at 1.058 Andrew pitched my yeast. Went off like a train, thick Krausen after about 24 hours. Fingers crossed for the rest of the ferment, looking forward to this one at Christmas.
     
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  19. Dec 7, 2017 #19

    Ajhutch

    Ajhutch

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    Today I attempted an imperial stout. It was a decent day but my efficiency was rubbish. I basically had to lob in 500g of DME to get my OG in a 16L batch, which is not good. I actually ended up with 17L, as I overestimated the trub loss from the larger grain bill, but small comfort really. BHE in the low 60s......

    Dictator For Life - Imperial stout

    17L batch

    3.5kg Maris Otter
    1kg Munich
    509g flaked barley
    750g pale chocolate malt
    500g roasted barley
    300g Special B
    500g light dme

    90 minute mash, 45 mins at 64C, 45mins at 68C

    55g Magnum for 60 minute boil

    OG 1.081
    IBU 55

    Fermenting with S-04, one and a half packs based on the Mr Malty calculator.

    I recently bought some bourbon barrel chunks from Malt Miller and plan to age a portion of this beer with them.

    Some would argue this isn’t a big enough beer to qualify as “Imperial”. As I’ve been listening to the History of Rome podcasts and recently learned that contrary to my history lessons at school, Julius Caesar was not technically an Emperor of Rome I shall name the beer after his final position: Dictator For Life.
     
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  20. Dec 20, 2017 #20

    Ajhutch

    Ajhutch

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    I took a gravity reading on the imperial stout today after two weeks (actually a day short of two weeks) in primary. It's down to 1.020 which is more or less where I expected it to finish. I'm going to give it another week nominally to clean up but mainly because it's Christmas and I can't be arsed doing anything with it. I need to decide how much to bottle and how much to age on the oak chunks, I've got what looks like 15 litres of usable product and some 5 and 10 litre buckets.


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