Mark K’s Brewdays

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Cheshire Cat

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Hi Mark
You state in an earlier post that your mash ratio was lowered to 2.8 but from the recipes appears to be 4. I've thinned my mashes to 3.5 and lowered the sparge volume. What do you think is an optimum ratio?
Thanks CC
 

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Hi Mark
You state in an earlier post that your mash ratio was lowered to 2.8 but from the recipes appears to be 4. I've thinned my mashes to 3.5 and lowered the sparge volume. What do you think is an optimum ratio?
Thanks CC
Hi
I have a Brewzilla 35l which has over 6l dead space under the malt pipe so Brewers friend takes this into account and adds it on when calculating the volume of mash water needed.
 

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Thanks. Doesn’t recirculation take care of that so the water is not “dead”?
The space below the malt pipe still contains water which forms a part of total water volume that’s true, but it is dead space in that the grain doesn‘t reach it so it can’t be included when calculating mash thickness.
 

cushyno

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The space below the malt pipe still contains water which forms a part of total water volume that’s true, but it is dead space in that the grain doesn‘t reach it so it can’t be included when calculating mash thickness.
If you're recirculating I'd argue that Cheshire cat is correct and you must include the full volume in your calculations. You will be constantly refreshing the mash with additional liquid from the dead space so mash enzyme density will become uniform throughout full volume not just the volume above the plate.
 

Cheshire Cat

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If you're recirculating I'd argue that Cheshire cat is correct and you must include the full volume in your calculations. You will be constantly refreshing the mash with additional liquid from the dead space so mash enzyme density will become uniform throughout full volume not just the volume above the plate.
You took the words straight out of my mouth 😂
 

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If you're recirculating I'd argue that Cheshire cat is correct and you must include the full volume in your calculations. You will be constantly refreshing the mash with additional liquid from the dead space so mash enzyme density will become uniform throughout full volume not just the volume above the plate.
Hmm, I’m not sure then. I input my equipment data into BF aiming for 2.8L per kg and this is what it gives me.
I dont circulate the wort until about 10-15 minutes after mashing in. If I didn’t account for the dead space, I’d probably not be able to fit the full amount of grist in.
 

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Hmm, I’m not sure then. I input my equipment data into BF aiming for 2.8L per kg and this is what it gives me.
I dont circulate the wort until about 10-15 minutes after mashing in. If I didn’t account for the dead space, I’d probably not be able to fit the full amount of grist in.
Tricky one that. If you're not recirculating wort all the time, then your wort density will be more dense for first 10-15 mins, then effectively less dense after you have recirculated. Is there any advantage to be had by that? I bet there is. There could be a benefit in concentrating the enzymes to start in the smaller volume but when they're approaching their limiting factor of too dense a mash, recirculating will lower the density and set the enzymes to work on more fresh sugars washed from the grain. This is just a theory, I think there could be an advantage to the dead space through your particular mash schedule.
 

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The reason I do it like that is just that I’ve found if I circulate whilst mashing in the circulation slows to a dribble after a couple of minutes. It may be that the smaller particles get drawn to the bottom and clog the mesh. If I mash in and leave it for 10-15 minutes before circulating the smaller bits tend to be caught between the wet grain and not drawn to the bottom and I get a good circulation going which continues throughout.
 

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The temperature on my APA was dropped to 15 degrees on Monday and dry hopped with 110g CML punked pellets. First time I’ve ever added a dry hop without a hop bag. Just straight in 😬. Today (Thursday) I opened the FV to add Gelatine and was overwhelmed by the hop aroma. Wow, I’ve not had it this strong using bags before. Hopefully this will mean more hop flavour too. I started the cold crash reducing the brew fridge to 1 degree and plan to keg this on Sunday. Really hoping three days at this temperature will drop it clear. If it does, I won’t be using bags for a dry hop again.
 

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The temperature on my APA was dropped to 15 degrees on Monday and dry hopped with 110g CML punked pellets. First time I’ve ever added a dry hop without a hop bag. Just straight in 😬. Today (Thursday) I opened the FV to add Gelatine and was overwhelmed by the hop aroma. Wow, I’ve not had it this strong using bags before. Hopefully this will mean more hop flavour too. I started the cold crash reducing the brew fridge to 1 degree and plan to keg this on Sunday. Really hoping three days at this temperature will drop it clear. If it does, I won’t be using bags for a dry hop again.
Chucking pellets straight in is definitely the way forward. A good cold crash and they'll drop straight away :beer1:
 

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Brew day yesterday. A (pseudo) Czech Pilsner. For some reason my efficiency was down from 80% to 75% on this brew but that doesn’t really bother me.

I didn’t get the wort to pitching temp with the chiller though. It was taking ages because of the outside temperature (28 degrees). I’d used nearly 100 litres of water through the immersion chiller and is was still at 30 degrees so I stopped, let it settle for half and hour before transferring it to the FV and into the brew fridge set to 19 degrees. Perhaps time to consider a counter flow?! I set an alarm for two hours time thinking I’d pitch the yeast then but it was only down to 24 degrees! I eventually pitched at 19 degrees at 10.00pm.

The adjusted recipe reflecting my true BHE and OG is below.

HOME BREW RECIPE:

Title: Czech Pilsner

Brew Method: All Grain
Style Name: Czech Pale Lager
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 23 liters (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 27.3 liters
Efficiency: 75% (brew house)

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.042
Final Gravity: 1.008
ABV (standard): 4.47%
IBU (tinseth): 30.8
SRM (morey): 2.99
Mash pH: 5.6

FERMENTABLES:
3.7 kg - Minch Malt Lager Malt (91.4%)
200 g - Munich Malt (4.9%)
150 g - Torrified Wheat (3.7%)

HOPS:
40 g - Saaz (3.5 AA), Type: Pellet, AA: 4.7, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 23.38
35 g - Saaz (3.5 AA), Type: Pellet, AA: 4.7, Use: Boil for 10 min, IBU: 7.42

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Strike, Temp: 64 C, Time: 60 min, Amount: 17.9 L
2) Sparge, Temp: 76 C, Time: 15 min, Amount: 12.6 L

OTHER INGREDIENTS:
0.25 each - Campden Tablets, Time: 0 min, Type: Water Agt, Use: Mash
3 ml - Lactic acid, Time: 0 min, Type: Water Agt, Use: Mash
0.5 each - Protafloc, Time: 15 min, Type: Fining, Use: Boil
0.25 each - Campden Tablets, Time: 0 min, Type: Water Agt, Use: Sparge
1 ml - Lactic acid, Time: 0 min, Type: Water Agt, Use: Sparge

YEAST:
Mangrove Jack - Californian Lager M54
Starter: No
Form: Dry
Attenuation (avg): 79.5%
Flocculation: Med-High
Optimum Temp: 17.78 - 20 C
Fermentation Temp: 19 C

TARGET WATER PROFILE:
Profile Name: 75% RO
Ca2: 30
Mg2: 2
Na: 13
Cl: 20
SO4: 28
HCO3: 0.2
 

Hopsteep

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Brew day yesterday. A (pseudo) Czech Pilsner. For some reason my efficiency was down from 80% to 75% on this brew but that doesn’t really bother me.

I didn’t get the wort to pitching temp with the chiller though. It was taking ages because of the outside temperature (28 degrees). I’d used nearly 100 litres of water through the immersion chiller and is was still at 30 degrees so I stopped, let it settle for half and hour before transferring it to the FV and into the brew fridge set to 19 degrees. Perhaps time to consider a counter flow?! I set an alarm for two hours time thinking I’d pitch the yeast then but it was only down to 24 degrees! I eventually pitched at 19 degrees at 10.00pm.

The adjusted recipe reflecting my true BHE and OG is below.

HOME BREW RECIPE:

Title: Czech Pilsner

Brew Method: All Grain
Style Name: Czech Pale Lager
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 23 liters (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 27.3 liters
Efficiency: 75% (brew house)

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.042
Final Gravity: 1.008
ABV (standard): 4.47%
IBU (tinseth): 30.8
SRM (morey): 2.99
Mash pH: 5.6

FERMENTABLES:
3.7 kg - Minch Malt Lager Malt (91.4%)
200 g - Munich Malt (4.9%)
150 g - Torrified Wheat (3.7%)

HOPS:
40 g - Saaz (3.5 AA), Type: Pellet, AA: 4.7, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 23.38
35 g - Saaz (3.5 AA), Type: Pellet, AA: 4.7, Use: Boil for 10 min, IBU: 7.42

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Strike, Temp: 64 C, Time: 60 min, Amount: 17.9 L
2) Sparge, Temp: 76 C, Time: 15 min, Amount: 12.6 L

OTHER INGREDIENTS:
0.25 each - Campden Tablets, Time: 0 min, Type: Water Agt, Use: Mash
3 ml - Lactic acid, Time: 0 min, Type: Water Agt, Use: Mash
0.5 each - Protafloc, Time: 15 min, Type: Fining, Use: Boil
0.25 each - Campden Tablets, Time: 0 min, Type: Water Agt, Use: Sparge
1 ml - Lactic acid, Time: 0 min, Type: Water Agt, Use: Sparge

YEAST:
Mangrove Jack - Californian Lager M54
Starter: No
Form: Dry
Attenuation (avg): 79.5%
Flocculation: Med-High
Optimum Temp: 17.78 - 20 C
Fermentation Temp: 19 C

TARGET WATER PROFILE:
Profile Name: 75% RO
Ca2: 30
Mg2: 2
Na: 13
Cl: 20
SO4: 28
HCO3: 0.2
Counterflow is the way forward I think :beer1: Happy to make one for you if you go down that route
 

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Counterflow is the way forward I think :beer1: Happy to make one for you if you go down that route
Thats very kind of you. I think the only thing stopping me is the worry of cleaning it. With the immersion you can see and get to the bit that comes in contact with the wort, with a counter flow you can’t!
 

Hopsteep

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Thats very kind of you. I think the only thing stopping me is the worry of cleaning it. With the immersion you can see and get to the bit that comes in contact with the wort, with a counter flow you can’t!
Copper is easy to clean, just use PBW and run that through it. Anything acidic like vinegar will bring it up like new, in fact hot wort also does that so in effect every time you use it, it’s getting a good clean inside 🍺
 

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Hmmm, not sure chucking a 100g plus pellet dry hop into my APA was a good idea. I cold crashed to 1 degree for 5 days and it looked like everything had dropped out. The beer was clear as far as I could see down but after syphoning off about 10 litres or so I saw the hops debri starting to bubble up from the bottom. It reminded me of the volcanic lakes in the Azores! It wasn’t long before the FV was a hive of activity with these “explosions” taking place all aver the place and the syphon pulling up all sorts and clogging occasionally. I did eventually fill the Corny but there’s clearly loads of hop matter been drawn in too. Just hoping it settles so and doesn’t clog any pipes. Hoping a dodgy first pint or two is the limit of the damage. Back to nylon bags for dry hopping for me from now on though I think.
 

cushyno

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Hmmm, not sure chucking a 100g plus pellet dry hop into my APA was a good idea. I cold crashed to 1 degree for 5 days and it looked like everything had dropped out. The beer was clear as far as I could see down but after syphoning off about 10 litres or so I saw the hops debri starting to bubble up from the bottom. It reminded me of the volcanic lakes in the Azores! It wasn’t long before the FV was a hive of activity with these “explosions” taking place all aver the place and the syphon pulling up all sorts and clogging occasionally. I did eventually fill the Corny but there’s clearly loads of hop matter been drawn in too. Just hoping it settles so and doesn’t clog any pipes. Hoping a dodgy first pint or two is the limit of the damage. Back to nylon bags for dry hopping for me from now on though I think.
I always use a small mesh bag over the end of the siphon. The bags came in a Festival Razorback or Landlord kit I made a couple of years back and are ideal for filtering hop debris and yeast lumps from the the final packaging.

In similar with my boil routine I never constrain the hops but always filter through a sanitised mesh bag on exit, whether that's out of the kettle or out of the FV. It allows good hop utilisation in whatever vessel you're steeping hops in.
 
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