Brewnaldos brewday

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Ben034

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Shame it didn't drop further but beer is beer and there's always next time.

I would ensure that you carbonate to a low level (1.5 vols max perhaps) as there's a good chance with a FG over 1030 that it could take off again and create exploding bottles. Keep the bottles cool as well and check one every so often!

Just out of interest, I ran a similar recipe through a recipe calculator and for an FG of 1030 you would need to add about 13-15% of the total grain bill as lactose powder.
 

Brewnaldo

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Shame it didn't drop further but beer is beer and there's always next time.

I would ensure that you carbonate to a low level (1.5 vols max perhaps) as there's a good chance with a FG over 1030 that it could take off again and create exploding bottles. Keep the bottles cool as well and check one every so often!

Just out of interest, I ran a similar recipe through a recipe calculator and for an FG of 1030 you would need to add about 13-15% of the total grain bill as lactose powder.
Ok. Might be unrealistic then to blame the lactose. As I said it should have stopped at 1.018 from 1.060. I ended up with about 20L in the FV as opposed to the planned 23. Perhaps if my water volumes were short throughout compared to the recipe then the effect of the 300g lactose would be a tad higher. Perhaps it's a combination of that and some unfermentables left behind from the mash. I am not convinced my mash temp was controlled all that well. My IR thermometer seems not to like foamy wort or the shiny outside of my boiler. The wifes sugar thermometer is limited at best so for my next brew I intend to get one with a ling probe so I can get it right down into the middle of the mash.
 

pilgrimhudd

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That's a shame, sounds like you did everything right though, temperature is key and perhaps like you say you overshot this time. I've got one of those long metal thermometers that I bought on amazon for a fiver, it's great.
 

Brewnaldo

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That's a shame, sounds like you did everything right though, temperature is key and perhaps like you say you overshot this time. I've got one of those long metal thermometers that I bought on amazon for a fiver, it's great.
Yeah. The bottom line is regardless of what's responsible I need to keep on trucking and if the learning from this one is that I need to control my mash temp better then so be it. Small price to pay. Just need to get a better thermometer and try to be more attentive next time. If I get a drinkable beer and a cheap ish lesson from my first AG brew then I am happy.

I will brew my next probably before I even try the stout as time is critical to get the right fermentation temp in the garage. Onwards and hopefully upwards
 

Brewnaldo

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Slung some beer brite into this today and switched off the heat/removed blankets etc from FV. Plan to bottle tomorrow.
 

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Most of (If not all) of us have had something turn out like that. I tried a blueberry saison, for my 2nd attempt at all grain. I'm not sure words can describe just how little it married up with what I'd imagine it would taste like. It was sour (unintentionally!) and watery and quite undrinkable. My wife loved it though, so what do I know?
 

Brewnaldo

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On the subject of trying to learn my lessons and avoid repeat mistakes can anyone recommend a good thermometer. One that can go right down into the mash with a quick response time preferably. I think where I lost it last time was a combination of the grain robbing much more heat than I thought when I put it in, and then not being accurate enough in bringing the heat back up. Would be helpful to know if anyone has any recommendations.
 

Ben034

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On the subject of trying to learn my lessons and avoid repeat mistakes can anyone recommend a good thermometer. One that can go right down into the mash with a quick response time preferably. I think where I lost it last time was a combination of the grain robbing much more heat than I thought when I put it in, and then not being accurate enough in bringing the heat back up. Would be helpful to know if anyone has any recommendations.
I have a thermapen which is extremely accurate although it has a short tip so will not get to bottom of mash. I use it for cooking mainly but it's extremely popular with homebrewers. I assume they just stir the mash vigorously.

I also have a cheap Wilko thermometer that is perfectly accurate. I'm able to heat and control mash temperature automatically but sometimes use it to check and it's close enough to the thermapen for me.
 

Brewnaldo

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Bottled today with a level half teaspoon of priming sugar in each bottle. I have to say the bottling process went well for the second time. Seem to have that at least well drilled! Credit to @Clint (I think) for the dishwasher trick. The beer looked clear enough so the findings plus a 24 hour cold crash which got down to 5 degrees has mayne helped that. Not just to monitor carbing and look forward to a taste of my first grain brew.

Hoping next Friday for a lager brewday
 

Clint

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I think I seen it on here...? Who knows it does save any cleaning up.
 

Brewnaldo

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Need some advice here folks on 2 counts.... Just made up 1 litre of wort for my starter into which I will put my yeast tomorrow. Jar was boiled, then sanitised in brew safe. Spraymalt and water was boiled then decanted into jar to cool. So how come there looks like there are bits floating in the jar? There is sediment forming in the bottom. Should I ditch this?

Secondly as it is a lager yeast, will the results be harmed by the starter being at room temp?
 

Ben034

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Need some advice here folks on 2 counts.... Just made up 1 litre of wort for my starter into which I will put my yeast tomorrow. Jar was boiled, then sanitised in brew safe. Spraymalt and water was boiled then decanted into jar to cool. So how come there looks like there are bits floating in the jar? There is sediment forming in the bottom. Should I ditch this?

Secondly as it is a lager yeast, will the results be harmed by the starter being at room temp?
I think the bits will just be clumps of protein from the malt extract boil that will naturally settle to the bottom (trub). I would add the yeast asap after cooling to prevent any other bacteria taking hold beforehand.

No need to ferment lager yeasts at lager temps just ferment at room temperature. Some people are concerned about off flavours from starters and crash chill them after they have fermented out and pour beer off the top and pitch just yeast. I would say this isn't necessary but do follow this procedure often, usually just because I can prepare starter a few days in advance for convenience. Which way you choose is still not dependent on whether it is a lager yeast or an ale yeast, although some may argue it would be more useful to only pitch the yeast for a lager since any off flavours will be more apparent in a lager. I personally wouldn't worry either way.

Also, your sanitation process was fine, however there's no need to sanitise with spray after boiling the jar.

If you have a high heat erlenmeyer flask or similar, you can put it into the oven from cold, set to 160c and leave for 20 mins. This will sterilise rather than sanitise which is important if you are reusing yeast batch after batch or overgrowing starters. Perhaps you can also do this with a normal jar as well but it is more likely to crack and not sure how safe it would be.
 
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Brewnaldo

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I think the bits will just be clumps of protein from the malt extract boil that will naturally settle to the bottom (trub). I would add the yeast asap after cooling to prevent any other bacteria taking hold beforehand.

No need to ferment lager yeasts at lager temps just ferment at room temperature. Some people are concerned about off flavours from starters and crash chill them after they have fermented out and pour beer off the top and pitch just yeast. I would say this isn't necessary but do follow this procedure often, usually just because I can prepare starter a few days in advance for convenience. Which way you choose is still not dependent on whether it is a lager yeast or an ale yeast, although some may argue it would be more useful to only pitch the yeast for a lager since any off flavours will be more apparent in a lager. I personally wouldn't worry either way.

Also, your sanitation process was fine, however there's no need to sanitise with spray after boiling the jar.

If you have a high heat erlenmeyer flask or similar, you can put it into the oven from cold, set to 160c and leave for 20 mins. This will sterilise rather than sanitise which is important if you are reusing yeast batch after batch or overgrowing starters. Perhaps you can also do this with a normal jar as well but it is more likely to crack and not sure how safe it would be.
Thanks. Put my mind at ease somewhat there. I will pitch the yeast into it today. Not worried about cleanliness really as it's one of those fermentation jars I use with the wee built in airlock deely. I reckon with brewing late morning tomorrow and no chill my yeast will get at least 36 hours in the starter before it sees wort.
 

Brewnaldo

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Starter made, looks to be pretty active. Any time I shake the jar it is foaming up like a badly poured pint. Fill the boiler and pop a campden in it tonight so that I just have to switch it on and get started tomorrow. Very excited for my second AG brew.
 

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Well its Cerveza brewday! Really need this. Kids have been hard work this week culminating in almost no sleep lastnight. Cant wait to get started.....

Or not, since having decided to unnecessarily adjust the table which my boiler was sat on, the leg went from under it, 25 litres of water all.over the garage and the boiler landed right on the tap, which burst right through.

Absolutely ******* seething doesnt even begin to cover my mindset atm.
 

Brewnaldo

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In something of a home brew miracle, I have managed to deploy a hammer and some light anger to beat my boiler back to a leak tight (hopefully) state.

From the jaws of defeat we are now mashing!!

Are brewday that go smoothly any fun??
 

Brewnaldo

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It's in the FV to cool down for pitch tonorrow. About 17.5 litres of wort at about 1.060 which is significantly higher than the intended 1.046 so I may dilute it a bit before pitching. High Hopes for this one compared to last having nailed the mash temp really well. Only thing is with the boiler drama earlier I put my yeast starter in the fridge. Iv now waken it out again so hope it's nice and active to pitch tomorrow.
 

Brewnaldo

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Yes.... I know... patience!!!!

Had to try one of my Milk Stout though. It's been two weeks in the bottle roughly, and I am moving it outside tonorrow to cold condition in the garage. Carbonation levels are bang on now anyway wouldnt want it any higher. I must say the flavour is pretty good. Maybe would benefit from some mellowing with time but if it gets significantly better than it is I will be suitably impressed with myself!!!

Edit to add, photo not great but as far as a stout can look "clear" I am pleased with that aspect of it. It's pretty bright already.
 

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cushyno

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A few trials and tribulations are to be expected. We've all done it, it's all part of the learning process. No matter how much you read online or from books the best way of learning is from your own mistakes.

Write down everything is my advice. Temperatures, times, amounts carbonation levels. I'm nearing 20 brews and still making different mistakes. The worst ones to suffer are when you know you've made a similar mistake before and didn't learn from it or couldn't remember it.

Stick at it, it takes about 4-5 batches to start nailing your process and if you're lucky you'll get some pretty good tasting beer to drink as a reward.
 

Brewnaldo

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Can someone give me a wee spot of advice re diacetyl resting.... I have gone from 1052 to 1018 in 6 days, expected FG is 1012. Should I be running the temperature up now?
 
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