JJSH's brewdays

Discussion in 'Beer Brewdays!' started by jjsh, Jan 14, 2018.

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  1. Jan 14, 2018 #1

    jjsh

    jjsh

    jjsh

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    I thought I would start one of these posts to document my journey from kit brewer to all grain. I'm going out will also encourage me to blog more frequently.
     
  2. Jan 14, 2018 #2

    jjsh

    jjsh

    jjsh

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    Sat 13th Jan.

    Today's plan was to do a mini mash to use up one of the two remaining Cooper's kits I have in stock. This would have been my boilers first outing since getting it as a Christmas present.

    Woke up to read on Facebook that the water pressure was non existent in the village, confirmed by the better halfs screams from the shower. Anglia water predict it will be sorted by 2pm, so off we trot to Aldi to do the weeks big shop in the meantime.

    In Aldi, walk past an offer on still mineral water, work out that I can get my brewing water for £3, which will save one step in the brewing process, and might be a good idea as I'm not into water treatment (other than dechlorination, the saved step) just yet. Suddenly remember I've left the carrier bags in the car. Go out to fetch them, by the time I return it's time to pay and I forget to go back for the water.

    Return home, mains water still iffy. Have to delay and brewing as there is a slow leak under the basin in the loo. Fix that, then it's 3.30 already. Decide to do a quick dry run thought the brewing process, just to check everything is in place. Mmmm... that shelf in the recently made brewing fridge looks a bit flimsy - is only had a demijohn of wine in it at this point. Decide to build better shelf.

    Now nearly 5pm. Might still squeeze a brewing session in if I juggle making tea around it. Just test fit one of my FV's. Oh dear, all of my wide neck fermenters are to tall to fit in. Now, where's that normal 25l fermenter? Oh that's right, I used it to mix up self leveling compound when I fitted the kitchen floor and it's long since thrown away.

    Abandon brew day.

    Still, can only go up hill from here, eh?
     
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  3. Jan 23, 2018 #3

    jjsh

    jjsh

    jjsh

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    First mini-mash brew day.

    FERMENTABLES:
    1.7 kg - Coopers Brew A IPA
    2 kg - United Kingdom - Golden Promise
    0.2 kg - Torrified Wheat (4.3%)
    0.2 kg - United Kingdom - Crystal 50L (4.3%)

    HOPS:
    23 g - Styrian Goldings, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 5.5, Use: Boil for 15 min (should have been 25g, but only had 23 left)
    50 g - Cascade, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 7, Use: Boil for 0 min
    50 g - Cascade, Type: Leaf/Whole, AA: 7, Use: Hop tea after 5 days

    Yeast ~ CML US Pale Ale

    Mashed the grains at 63 deg in 8 litres of Aldi Aqueo still spring water for 50 mins. Raised up to 70 deg for last 10 mins and dunk sparged.

    Fermenting @ 20 deg C

    By my calculations, should have hit 1046, and actually hit 1042 ~ not to bad. Pitched the yeast at 26, but the brew fridge is rapidly cooling it down. More later - got to pick up kids from school.
     
  4. Jan 23, 2018 #4

    jjsh

    jjsh

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    I've double checked my figures, and as I got 20L in the FV, due to more losses in the boil than I anticipated, I should have hit 1.049. So, I've undershot a bit, but that doesn't overly bother me. If it drops to 1.008, then it will be 5.31%, which is plenty.

    Lessons learnt? I would like more in the boil, so next time I'll mash more like 14L I could have squeezed more out of the bag as well, but didn't have any gloves, or a colander or rack that would hold the bag over the boiler for draining, so I'll look out for something for next time.

    But for my boilers first outing, it was a sucess. Just got to see what the beer turns out like now!
     
  5. Jan 23, 2018 #5

    jjsh

    jjsh

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    and it's off....... After only 4 hours it's bubbling away like mad. The brew fridge has turned off the cooling and the exothermic yeast reaction seems to be keeping it at a steady 20 / 20.5 without the heater. Good to know the cooling part of the fridge works, only having used the heating function on the last brew. Smells malty and hoppy, with no fart / egg smells so far. I'm itching to get on with my next brew, but obviously the fridge will be in use for two weeks.

    Need another fridge obviously. :thumb:
     
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  6. Jan 23, 2018 #6

    Stephenj

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    Good stuff. Keep us informed
     
  7. Jan 25, 2018 #7

    jjsh

    jjsh

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    I've gone into more detail on my blog, but it looks like the CML yeast has finished already! Still going to wait the usual 2 weeks before packaging though.
     
  8. Jan 27, 2018 #8

    Slid

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    This is an underestimated approach, I think. I did a few like this using Coopers kits and 2.5kg or so of grain and they turn out very acceptable indeed.
     
  9. Jan 27, 2018 #9

    MmmBeer

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    I've noticed the same thing with CML yeast, it starts bubbling through the airlock very quickly, but usually finishes after 2-3 days. I think you're wise to leave it for the full 2 weeks. Take a hydrometer reading, as I have had a few brews that stuck around 1.020, they usually ended up quite palatable though.
     
  10. Jan 27, 2018 #10

    jjsh

    jjsh

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    My plan is to make the hop tea and add that in Sunday, as the rigorous part of the fermentation has certainly finished. I'll use that as an opportunity to take a sample and check the gravity and taste.

    If all looks good, I'll package next weekend, probably Sunday, which would be 12 days in the FV.

    I'm keen to get the brew fridge freed up (I'll carbonate the king keg using a water bath) so I can crack on with my next / last ever kit brew , another mini mash based around a Cooper's ruby ale kit.

    Then I'll need to make a wort chiller coil so I can go full BIAB.
     
  11. Jan 28, 2018 #11

    jjsh

    jjsh

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    Made a hop tea today with 50g of cascade. First error, boiled up 500ml of bottled water and poured it into the cafetiere containing the hops, without letting it cool to 80 degrees ~ however this may have saved me because when I went to pour this into the FV the glass part of the cafetiere slipped out and Plop! into the brew it went. I had sanitized the inside of it before use, but I can only hope that holding boiling water for 10 mins would have killed off any nasties on the outside. We'll see ~ I'm too long in the tooth to overly stress about these things if I am completely honest. Anyway, it will all sit in there until next weekend.

    The sample I took before hand measured 1014, which is a lot higher than I was aiming for, although I thing it was still pretty active, so perhaps it will drop a couple more points. If it doesn't, it will be a nice session IPA at about 3.5%, and I shall claim that was my intention all along. ;)

    Tasted quite excellent.
     
  12. Feb 3, 2018 #12

    jjsh

    jjsh

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    Packaged this today into a King Keg with a solution of boiled water / 75g of sugar. I looked to have totally got away with the hop tea container falling into the FV, and the beer tastes good, with no off flavours. In fact it doesn't taste good, it tastes fantastic. If you have ever had Aldi / Marstons 'Wild Bills IPA' it isn't to dissimilar to that in colour and bitterness, with similar hop aroma and flavour, but obviously different because of the different hops used. Considering this is a modified kit, I extremely pleased.

    On another note, I did some testing with my two hydrometers in pure water at their calibrated temperatures, and they both read read out. Given that, the adjusted OG and FG are 1043 & 1010, so this hasn't finished as low as I thought ( I predicted 1008), but after priming, it will be just under 4.5%, which is fine for me.
     
  13. Feb 4, 2018 #13

    Jakeyboi

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    I haven't had a beer finish below 1010 since I moved on from kit and kilo.
     
  14. Feb 6, 2018 #14

    jjsh

    jjsh

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    Last ever kit (probably) went into today's brewday ~ 'Kitsters Last Stand'

    Title: Kitsters Last Stand
    Brew Method: Partial Mash
    Style Name: Old Ale
    Boil Time: 60 min
    Batch Size: 20.5 liters (fermentor volume)
    Boil Size: 12 liters
    Boil Gravity: 1.042

    STATS:
    Original Gravity: 1.058
    Final Gravity: 1.014
    ABV (standard): 5.78%
    IBU (tinseth): 52.41
    SRM (morey): 19.27
    FERMENTABLES:
    1.7 kg - Coopers Devils Half Ruby Porter kit - (late addition) (29.8%)
    0.5 kg - Dry Malt Extract - Dark - (late addition) (8.8%)
    2 kg - Golden Promise (35.1%)
    0.3 kg - Crystal 60L (5.3%)
    0.2 kg - Torrified Wheat (3.5%)
    0.5 kg - Vienna (8.8%)
    0.5 kg - CaraRed (8.8%)

    HOPS:
    25 g - Bramling Cross, Type: Pellet, AA: 6.5, Use: Boil for 15 min, IBU: 10.69
    25 g - Bramling Cross, Type: Pellet, AA: 6.5, Use: Boil for 5 min, IBU: 4.29

    YEAST:
    Mangrove Jack - Liberty Bell Ale M36 (2 packs)
    Fermentation Temp: 20 C

    Used my new ( to me, 2nd hand) cool box mash tun for the first time. Mashed at 62, sparged at 72. Still got appalling efficiency (48%) ~ addressing that is my next step. However, the resulting wort from today's brewing was lovely, but not at all hoppy ~ I couldn't detect the bramling cross at all. I also realised that I didn't sanitise the measuring jug I used to re-hydrate they yeast; however it was fresh out of a dishwasher hot wash, then mostly filled with boiling water, put in a water bath to cool to 30 degrees before adding the yeast. I will have either got away with this or not ~ I was running out of time to pick up the kids and was rushing. Lesson learnt.

    I used Aldi bottled water again, and left the ones not used in the boil outside at an ambient 2 degrees, so after adding the wort and bottled water to the FV and thrashing it about, it was at 26 degrees, so I thought I would risk pitching it and get it in the brew fridge like last time as I really had to go and get the kids. Except, after I had done this and attached the inkprobe it read 28 degrees. Must have misread the thermometer. Ooops. Its down to 25 now and falling. Again, I'll either get away with it or I won't. The fridge is set to 20, which is where it should settle.

    No dry hopping or anything to come, so it will be left now for 2 weeks to get on with it, assuming I see the airlock bubbling, or other signs of it fermenting.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Feb 6, 2018 #15

    jjsh

    jjsh

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    Down to 21 degrees now, so it went from 28 to 21 in 4 hours. I'm hoping that was quick enough. :beer6:
     
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  16. Feb 7, 2018 #16

    jjsh

    jjsh

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    Bubbling away. Smells really nice, a bit fruity. I assume that's the MJ Liberty Bell yeast?
     
  17. Feb 9, 2018 #17

    jjsh

    jjsh

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    A WOW Rose today. with the following fermentables;


    1 litre Red grape juice.
    2 litre Apple Juice.
    700g Sugar.

    I've done turbo ciders before but never a WOW wine. I was encouraged to do it after brewing my better half a 6 bottle Wilko's Rose wine kit, which she thought was drinkable, and 'not the worst wine she had ever drank', which is pretty high praise for such a cheapo kit. I've written at more length on my blog but I won't repeat it here as you have all probably brewed many a WOW yourselves and I was only following what had been written on this forum. No room in the brew fridge or builders trub water bath, so its on the side in the kitchen.
     
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  18. Feb 9, 2018 #18

    jjsh

    jjsh

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    Blimey, my WOW is off already, after about 2 1/2 hours!
     
  19. Feb 10, 2018 #19

    Duxuk

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    Mashing at 62C is at the low end to get a dry beer. If you mash at a higher temperature you're likely to improve efficiency and add a little sweetness. A longer mash will also help so long as you can keep the temperature up in the mashing range.
     
  20. Feb 10, 2018 #20

    jjsh

    jjsh

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    Thanks for the info. It was the first attempt at using a mash tun and didn't go to plan if I'm honest. Next time, which will be my first full AG beer, I'm going to spend some time working out strike temperatures, water volumes, etc, before I start, and allow myself much more time for both the mash and the sparge, which I hope will improve my efficiency.

    Otherwise, I'll be condemned to a life of 2.5% beers! :beer6:
     

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