Just finished a brew, could use some advice

Help Support The HomeBrew Forum:

will4009

Active Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
57
Reaction score
12
Location
NULL
Hello,

I have just put a BIAB brew in the fermenter. I have limited brewing experience, and could use some advice regarding the brew I have just done, and how to improve future brews.

My goal was 8-ish litres of beer. I did a smash beer, using Maris Otter grain and Cascade hops. I brewed in a 16L pot on the stove. The basic recipe was :
1. Bring 10 litres of water to 75C
2. Stir in 1.8kg of grain, tempriture was 68C, mash for an hour. I stirred the mash twice, each time raising the temperature as it had dropped slightly.
3. I squeezed the bag, draining as much liquid as possible.
4. Boiled for 60mins. Added 15g of hops as soon as I reached boil, a further 15g of hops with 5 mins left.
5. Placed pot within the sink, took about 30-40 mins to cool down to 20C.
6. Poured into fermenter, pinched about 5g of yeast.

So I ran across a few issues during the brew, and could use some advice.

I only ended up with approx 6 litres in my fermenter (I dont' know the exact amount, I didn't realise my fermenter didn't have litre markings until i filled it). Is this the excepted amount when starting a brew with 10 litres in the pot?

When pouring the wort into the fermenter, I did not include all the hops left over at the the bottom. I used a slotted spoon to separate and hold them back. Is this correct? What other methods are there for filtering out the hops?

My plan was to place my hydrometer inside the fermenter to get a reading, however as I only brewed 6-ish litres, the hydrometer was too tall get an measurement. Without taking a reading, how do I know when fermentation is complete?

I now have an open bag of hops and half a sachet of yeast. Is there a good way to preserve them for my next brew?

Would be grateful for any advice. I am planning on doing another batch, just want to iron out a few issues I had today.

Thanks
 
  • Like
Reactions: NPi

Nicks90

Landlord.
Joined
Jul 5, 2017
Messages
860
Reaction score
358
Location
West Yorks
10l water, minus 1.5l for grain absorption and another 2l in boil off (more if the boil is very vigorous) leaving you about 6l - sounds about right.
You did right to filter out the hops. What I regularly do is pull the grain bag out and clean it whilst the wart comes to the boil and then use the bag to drop the hops in. Then at the end of the boil, just pull the bag out again.
As for gravity, try pouring some in to a tall cider pint pot. That's what I use if I'm doing a small batch and gives enough depth to get a reading with my hydrometer. Then pour it back in the fv.
Obviously make sure it's all clean first!
 

Hazelwood Brewery

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
1,085
Reaction score
825
Location
Kent
Hydrometers usually come in a plastic tube you can use for measuring gravity. Don’t fill it with boiling wort though - you can’t measure boiling wort but also the heat will give the plastic tube an interesting new shape!
 

pms67

Senior Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2014
Messages
3,101
Reaction score
1,222
Location
Bannockburn
Wrap the hops in tinfoil and freeze what’s left.
Regarding filtering it’s a pain in the ass, I drop the temp right down for two days (cold crash) and it helps drop most but not all particles out of suspension.
 

NPi

Active Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2020
Messages
79
Reaction score
26
Hello,

I have just put a BIAB brew in the fermenter. I have limited brewing experience, and could
@will4009

I am in a similar position, only I have not yet completed my Smash BIAB, so interested to see further comments on this thread.

Regarding the reduction in the volume of your wort are you going to top this up? Would this result in a reduced SG?

Regarding taking samples from the FV, I searched and found people use a "wine theif" which is basically a glorified turkey baster, so as you can imagine I use a turkey baster. It works well, but make sure it's all well sterilised.

Best of luck!
Cheers
Nick acheers.
 

terrym

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2015
Messages
6,204
Reaction score
3,376
Location
North Sussex
@will4009

Regarding the reduction in the volume of your wort are you going to top this up? Would this result in a reduced SG?

Regarding taking samples from the FV, I searched and found people use a "wine theif" which is basically a glorified turkey baster, so as you can imagine I use a turkey baster. It works well, but make sure it's all well sterilised.
If you dilute wort it will reduce the SG i.e. the OG will be reduced. However the sugar quantities have not changed and the yeast will still consume what it can so the FG will also reduce in proportion as will the ABV.
As far as turkey baster and measuring cylinders for SG measurements are concerned after many years of just dunking a sanitised hydrometer into my beer in the FV to take a reading I decided to try the baster/cylinder method. What a faff. I'm back to dunking the hydrometer which is good enough for me, although might not suit everybody especially if they dont have sufficient depth in their FV to suspend the hydrometer.
 
Last edited:

Bigjas

Landlord.
Joined
Apr 13, 2016
Messages
534
Reaction score
273
Location
Fareham, Hampshire
For measuring the FG, I use a 100ml syringe and a measuring tube/cylinder. It cost a few quid from ebay and it’s so easy to use. Just suck up about 90ml from the fermenter and squeeze in to the measuring tube.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NPi

Ghillie

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Messages
1,317
Reaction score
581
Location
Scotland
Hydrometers usually come in a plastic tube you can use for measuring gravity. Don’t fill it with boiling wort though - you can’t measure boiling wort but also the heat will give the plastic tube an interesting new shape!
Trial jar is what you're really after @will4009

 

will4009

Active Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
57
Reaction score
12
Location
NULL
Thanks for the advice chaps,

airlock is currently bubbling away, I have ordered a trial jar, to take a hydrometer reading next time. Hops are in the freezer.

I might take a reading before bottling, I won't be able to tell the %, but it should give me an idea of in fermentation is complete. See how it goes, I have my next smash brew lined up, so will be making a few changes.

For my next brew I will aim for a few more litres in the fermenter, so will play around and adjust the recipe.
 

MrRook

Landlord.
Joined
Feb 10, 2017
Messages
632
Reaction score
225
Location
Crescent City, CA
I usually put them in a plastic bag then wrap in foil. They'll last quite a while.

All the Best,
D. White
Many years before I had a vacuum sealer and amarillo hops were hard to find I got a large amount from a hbs that did have them. I did what you said and put them in a freezer storage bag before freezing them. I got to the end of them almost five years later and they were still good.
 

dwhite60

Regular.
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
372
Reaction score
172
Location
Garner, NC, USA
Many years before I had a vacuum sealer and amarillo hops were hard to find I got a large amount from a hbs that did have them. I did what you said and put them in a freezer storage bag before freezing them. I got to the end of them almost five years later and they were still good.
I just finished off some Centennial that was over three years old. Were a bit past their prime but still acceptable.

All the Best,
D. White
 
Top