Brewnaldos brewday

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Brewnaldo

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First ever BIAB happening today.... Greg Hughes milk stout recipe with all grain, hops and yeast as per recipe from Malt Miller.

Progress so far.... Yeast starter made yesterday and despite no krausen forming has dropped from 1.040 to 1.020 overnight. I am no chill at this time so wont be pitching till later on.

Will post updates and pics as we go and do my best to review the digiboil boiler I got for xmas in case anyone wants to know
 

Brewnaldo

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Really enjoying my first brewday despite Mrs Brewnaldo throwing a spanner in to my timings. Had hoped to be about done by now. Instead the mash is just coming up on an hour now. It smells fantastic.

I was torn between full volume or batch sparge so I have opted for mashing in 25 litres of water, and will dunk the bag into a few litres in my FV, check gravities etc then make up to the boil volume of 27 litres as required.

One question I hope someone can help with, I dont have a cube so will let it cool in my FV. If I sanitised a sheet of greaseproof and put it on top of the wort to minimise air exposure would that be any benefit? Just trying to do anything I can to ensure it all goes ok. A wort chiller and pump is a few payday away I think.
 

Brewnaldo

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Fairly happy with my mash. Help temp pretty well although it may have started out a bit hot. The boil will have to wait until the wife gets home from the shops.

I did have a fairly sizable wort excursion as I pulled the bag out and a couple of litres came with it! Suppose it's all a learning curve. Have about 25.5 litres for the boil. Erred on the side of caution incase of boil over and stopped short of the 27 litres. Gravity seems ok. The mast was about 1.056 and the sparge water was about 1.025. Hopefully the post boil should come out somewhere round about the 1.059 I am aiming for.
 

chrisb8

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Glad you are enjoying your brew day athumb.. I would just seal the lid on your fermenter and leave it like that. Exposure to the air is not really an issue pre-fermentation, in fact you will want the wort to be aerated to provide oxygen for the yeast to use. Minimising oxygen in the beer post-fermentation is a must.
 

Brewnaldo

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Job almost done. All that's left to do is clean my FV and run the wort into it, then let it cool to pitching temp. Will set up my heater in case it goes past my bed time and pitch tomorrow morning.

As I cant chill I decided to fish as much of the hops out as I could, in order to hopefully avoid the profile changing too much with it being hot for longer. I assume the job of boil hops is done at end of boil
 

Brewnaldo

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Had a look (no touching though) today. Was just checking to see if there was any sign of krausen... No, though I, as I could see no discernible change in colour through the FV. Then I noted some discolouration of the liquid seal in the airlock. It's now sealed with beer and the krausen is right up to the top of the FV

Must be on the wane though as there is some residue where some had obviously escaped at peak. Hoping this means I did a good job on my yeast starter. Il probably take my first reading on Monday which will be 10 days in the FV, so my patience is improving!
 

chrisb8

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I usually take my first reading after 10 days to get a feel for how it is coming along
 

Brewnaldo

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First gravity test today after 10 days in the FV. Down to about 1.032 from 1.060. Think I was expecting it to be a bit lower than that by now. Will sample again tomorrow or Wednesday to see if it is still moving.
 

Brewnaldo

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Well I am definitely stuck at 1.032. Hasnt moved in 4 days.

Any help would be appreciated. I plan to stir it up a bit later on once I can sanitize my big spoon
 

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Just need a few more details. Hydrometer reading or refractometer? What was the mash temperature and what was the percentage of lactose power in the recipe? Yeast used? A full recipe would be great.
 

Brewnaldo

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Just need a few more details. Hydrometer reading or refractometer? What was the mash temperature and what was the percentage of lactose power in the recipe? Yeast used? A full recipe would be great.
Don't have to hand just now but 300 g of lactosewith an expected fg of 1018.its Greg Hughes milk stout recipe. It's a hydro meter I am using.

Mash temp was 67 degrees and although I think it held well throughout it's not impossible that it was a bit hot to start with. I need to practice temp control and monitoring. Are you thinking non fermentables?
 

Ben034

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It sounds a little high for non-fermentables. If you're sure it's not still moving (check a couple of samples a few days apart) then as you said a stir or gentle shake of the fermenter could help. 1.060 is a high gravity brew. Was it a dry yeast? Just one pack? When possible some further details should help to get a better idea of the situation.
 

Brewnaldo

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It sounds a little high for non-fermentables. If you're sure it's not still moving (check a couple of samples a few days apart) then as you said a stir or gentle shake of the fermenter could help. 1.060 is a high gravity brew. Was it a dry yeast? Just one pack? When possible some further details should help to get a better idea of the situation.
The yeast was wyeast London Ale III made up with a starter which was 1 litre, SG of 1.040 with DME.
 

Brewnaldo

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I am soon to be ordering the next batch of grain for a lager before it gets to warm to maintain lager temps in my garage. I might order more yeast and re pitch. Not prepared to lose this beer
 

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Try giving a stir, raise temperature slightly - what temperature is it currently at? You could add some dry yeast if you have it and you're sure it's definitely stuck. I would personally give it another couple of days. I've experienced significant lags with certain yeasts in the middle of fermentation (usually Belgian yeasts) especially when OG was high. Take another gravity sample to double check - ignore lack of airlock activity.
 

Brewnaldo

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Try giving a stir, raise temperature slightly - what temperature is it currently at? You could add some dry yeast if you have it and you're sure it's definitely stuck. I would personally give it another couple of days. I've experienced significant lags with certain yeasts in the middle of fermentation (usually Belgian yeasts) especially when OG was high. Take another gravity sample to double check - ignore lack of airlock activity.
Inkbird is currently set at 21.9 which I have upped because I suspected it was stuck. I will try a stir tomorrow and a sample on Sunday. I have no yeast at all except bread yeast so if it needs a re pitch il have to order ore and wait. Il see what happens after a wee stir up
 

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Sounds like you've done everything correct. I assume the starter was going well with lots of yeast visible when you pitched.

I would give it a few days as with a 1l starter it should have finished to FG. Good luck!
 

Brewnaldo

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Sounds like you've done everything correct. I assume the starter was going well with lots of yeast visible when you pitched.

I would give it a few days as with a 1l starter it should have finished to FG. Good luck!
You will again have to forgive my inexperience re starters. It had dropped a good bit in terms of gravity and looked like a mini version of my FV with all the yeast sitting at the bottom so when I pitched it I stirred it all up and fired it in.

Anyway I have given the beer a stir this morning so I will sample it againstomorrow to see if it looks like it has got underway again.
 

Brewnaldo

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23 days in the fermented, still at 1.030. I have disturbed the original yeast and pitched a pack of alcotec restart yeast. I believe I have got as much as I am getting and will bottle this on Friday. Bit disappointed really but based on what I am seeing I am going to put it down to non fermentable sugars present. This could be that the lactose I added as per recipe was proportionately higher as I did BIAB rather than mash/sparge. It could also be down to poor mash temp control. I doubt it's down to poor fermentation temp control as my heating tape and inkbird seem to work well, and fermentation went off like a rocket with this brew.

So aye, the stout tastes ok but likely it will be a bit weak at maybe 3.9 or 4% and perhaps a touch sweet.

Lesson learned though and I think it will be very drinkable once its had some time in the bottle. Gets me my first grain brew under my belt and probably being a bit hard on myself to be so disappointed. Next brew is a Mexican Cerveza using Pilsner malt, carapils and flaked maize with Northern Brewer and Crystal hops. Hopefully I can just sneak this one in before ambient temp starts peeking about 13 or 14 degrees. No non fermentable additions so let's see if stuck fermentation is going to be a common theme for me or if its careless recipe adjustment to blame.
 
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