matt76's Brewdays

Discussion in 'Beer Brewdays!' started by matt76, May 14, 2019.

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  1. Oct 4, 2019 #121

    matt76

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    Pic: AG#25 Vienna Lager

    My so-called brew fridge with Vienna Lager in the FV, along with other drinking and brewing accessories athumb..

    20191004_081237.jpg
     
  2. Oct 4, 2019 #122

    matt76

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    Breaking News: AG#26 Bloody Head Stout

    More on this story later.....

    20191004_184527.jpg

    BG 1.054
    20191004_185121.jpg

    OG 1.058
    20191004_193618.jpg
     
  3. Oct 4, 2019 #123

    MyQul

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    There's no stopping you is there matt? You'd think you were stocking up for the zombie apocalypse
     
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  4. Oct 4, 2019 #124

    matt76

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    :laugh8:
    I'll have you know this is the first beer I've brewed this month!
     
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  5. Oct 4, 2019 #125

    Rodcx500z

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    It's only the 4th acheers.athumb..
     
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  6. Oct 4, 2019 #126

    matt76

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    AG#26 Bloody Head Stout

    This is a Drew Beechum recipe for an American stout from "Simple Homebrewing" by Drew Beechum & Denny Conn - I've adapted it here for my 10L-ish batches, a short full-volume mash and a 30min boil, plus something slightly more modest than 7% ABV (well, that was the plan anyway).

    About 45% Golden Promise, 20% pilsner and smaller amounts of flaked barley, crystal, flaked oats, roasted barley and carafa 3.

    38 IBU's
    OG 1.058
    FG predicted 1.013 which should give 5.9% ABV

    I did an oatmeal stout a few weeks ago and struggled to get a good bag squeeze - didn't make the same mistake again and mashed for 20 mins at 51degC before adding boiling water to bring it up to 65degC - shoulda been 67 but I'm struggling a bit still to hit my mash temperatures since i changed my process.

    The 50degC step worked a treat, no sticky glueyness in the bag squeeze and my efficiency was a lot higher than lately.

    30min boil, Magnum for bittering, Crystal (yeah, that's a new one on me too, description on the packet like interesting though) for flavour and Amarillo at flameout.

    It's now sitting and settling out, ready to syphon the clear wort to the FV - maybe later tonight, maybe tomorrow, and I've got a starter of fully foam-on WY1318 ready to pitch athumb..
     
  7. Oct 4, 2019 #127

    cushyno

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    I think it's great that you brew 10L batches. There's always something going on, something to ponder and write about.
    By contrast for those of us who brew larger batches and get carried away early in the year, there's little incentive or storage space to brew every couple of weeks. Smaller batches = double the fun, right? And plenty opportunity to experiment I guess. Keep at it Matt. athumb..
     
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  8. Oct 5, 2019 #128

    matt76

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    Agreed, yeah if you just want to add colour then Carafa 3 is a good bet as it shouldn't impart too much flavour. But the original recipe I used called for a touch of 350L chocolate malt (OK, mine is probably more like 425L!), something about the roast flavour adding a touch of dryness (the other option he gives is a small amount of carafa 2).
     
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  9. Oct 7, 2019 #129

    matt76

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    Several Updates:

    AG#24 Oatmeal Stout
    20191007_130314.jpg
    This has been in the FV now for 16 days so i checked the gravity - once the bubbles had cleared it looked to be 1.016, a couple of points higher than the 1.014 predicted by Brewer's Friend. I'll leave it a few more days and check again in case the yeast wants to nibble away a couple more points. Tastes good, just a little rough around the edges but a few weeks conditioning will sort that out once its bottled.

    AG#25 Vienna Lager
    20191007_112143.jpg
    20191007_112211.jpg
    Ooh, sir, suit you sir. Despite looking pretty black in the FV the colour looks pretty much bang on what I'd hoped and expected, nice mid to dark amber. A week in the fridge at 10degC and the gravity is down to about 1.017 so time to whip it out and put it somewhere a little warmer for the yeast to finish off. There's a really nice bready-toasty flavour going on - excited about this one.

    AG#26 Bloody Head Stout
    Topped up the FV with maybe 200ml wort I'd collected that had settled out - if nothing else it'll make up for any gravity samples I take. I tried using a cafetiere to filter out more crud but no joy, the mash filter is way too fine. Anyhoo, this brew is still bubbling away merrily with the FV sat in a crate of water - I'm doing occasional ice block swaps to keep the initial fermentation temps down around 19degC.
     
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  10. Oct 10, 2019 #130

    matt76

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    Update: AG#24 Oatmeal Stout

    Gravity still steady at 1.016 so time to bottle.

    In the end I got 18 x 500ml bottles, plus one more about 3/4 full. I used 55g brown sugar giving me just shy of 2.2vols CO2.

    Colour = Very-dark-brown to black
    Aroma = Not much
    Taste = Needs to condition but smooth chocolate/raisin/liquorice notes are there

    ABV = 5.2%
    SRM = 41
    IBU = 42

    Now the waiting begins! The porter I made last year really benefited from extra time in the bottle so I shall have to be disciplined with this one too.

    I'd noticed a thin layer of sediment in the FV, only up to about 0.5L so nothing like the 1-2L monster trub I've had in the past. I had assumed it was a bit of trub but having syphoned everything out of the FV I discovered it was a lovely big rubbery yeast cake, very handy as I planned to pitch a new batch of wort directly on to the yeast cake - to be continued.....
     
  11. Oct 10, 2019 #131

    matt76

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    AG#27 Chocks Away Best Bitter

    This is a rebrew of my AG#4 with a few tweaks (and not to be confused with my AG#18 ESB of the same name!).....

    The aim of this brew is to use a decent grain bill to get body and flavour but to mash at 70degC to keep the ABV more modest.....

    Full details here on Brewer's Friend.

    10L-ish batch:

    • 1655g Golden Promise
    • 170g Pilsner (as was a bit short on the Golden Promise!)
    • 250g Munich
    • 200g Belgian biscuit (I used carared here last time but hey, let's experiment)
    • 200g flaked barley
    • 25g chocolate malt
    • TOTAL 2.5kg

    The addition of chocolate malt is really just for colour and gives it a nice amber colour, about 10 SRM.

    30 min full volume mash using 15L water
    I added 17.5ml CRS, my first time using it, plus 2g gypsum

    I was aiming for 70degC in the mash as in AG#4, but I'm just not hitting my mash temperatures since I re-jigged my process and ended up at 68degC - no major harm done, I'm pretty sure I'll still get beer at the end!

    30min boil - 13.3L reduced to 11.7L, BG 1.044 & OG 1.048 - pleased with this, the amount of wort I get from the mash seems to be settling back down and my efficiency is improving a bit. Should end up about 4.6% ABV.

    I just used Simcoe last time at 60 & 5 mins and it turned out very nice. Could have done the same again but prefer to experiment, so:
    • 15g Magnum 11% 30mins
    • 25g EKG 4% 5mins
    • 23g EKG added at flameout
    About 35 IBU's all told.

    Chilled to 20degC in 7 mins and then left the crud to settle out for a few hours (in the meantime I bottled AG#24 as noted above).

    As is now traditional, i syphoned the clear wort over to the FV (9L this time, it's improving) - the difference in this case is the FV contained the yeast cake (WY1318) from AG#24.

    Next I put a sanitised grain bag in the brew kettle (to trap the worst of the hop sludge) and used a glass jug to ladle the remaining wort into a couple of 2L bottles - I use the jug to "squish" the wort out of the hop sludge, much easier than trying to syphon it and doesn't take long, only a few minutes. That netted me another 2.5L of gunky wort in bottles, which has already settled out in the fridge and will gain me at least another 1L one i decant it into the FV.

    Finally I tucked the FV up in brewers corner - I've gotten into the habit of sitting the FV in a water bath for the first few days of fermentation and swapping freezer blocks in and out to keep the temperature closer to 18-19degC rather than 21-22degC. I think i started doing it on AG#23 to try and manipulate the yeast character, and then just carried on doing it. I think I read somewhere that esters tend to be produced, if at all, during early fermentation - whether the water bath really has any benefit i don't know as I've not tried any of the resulting beers yet, but i guess there's a reason lots of people have fancy brew fridges!
     
  12. Oct 15, 2019 #132

    matt76

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    First Taste: AG#21 "Extra Viking" Baltic Porter

    20191015_212505.jpg

    It's been in the bottle for 12 weeks exactly so time for a cheeky taste...

    I was getting some liquorice flavours to begin with, which seemed to turn more raisiny as it warmed up. There's a lot of complexity from the malts going on so it's hard to nail down the flavours, but it's certainly good.

    It's not a beer that screams "down me and have another one", rather something to savour by the fire on a cold winter evening.

    It's actually quite sweet but not in a bad way: There's something - maybe the alcohol warmth or perhaps the carbonation - takes the edge off it. It's nice and warming as you might expect at 8.4% ABV - and that's warming not hotness, which is exactly what you want from a winter beer.

    Yep, very pleased with this one athumb.. :beer1:
     
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  13. Oct 15, 2019 #133

    cushyno

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    That looks rather good.clapa
     
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  14. Oct 16, 2019 #134

    pilgrimhudd

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    That looks lovely!
     
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  15. Oct 17, 2019 #135

    matt76

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    Update: AG#25 Vienna Lager

    Just bottled this, I ended up with 29 x 330ml bottles - somehow 500ml bottles just doesn't seem right for some beer types.

    Pretty pleased with that considering clarity and absolute minimal trub - just a big yeast cake!

    I batched primed with 53g table sugar giving me 2.25vols CO2.

    Colour = Deep amber (it's almost exactly the same as a brown beer bottle!)
    Aroma = Not much
    Taste = Malty with notes of toast

    ABV = 4.4%
    SRM = 14
    IBU = 26

    It was already pretty clear but I also cold crashed it for a few days in the fridge as best I could. Looking at it in the bottles it's so clear now I'm starting to wonder if there's actually enough yeast in there to carb up. Guess I'll find out in a few weeks, hope so though as I've got high hopes for this one!
     
  16. Oct 17, 2019 #136

    matt76

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    AG#28 Munich Helles

    This is another Josh Weikert recipe from beerandbrewing.com:
    https://beerandbrewing.com/make-your-best-helles/

    As usual though I've adapted it for my 10L-ish batches and a 30min full volume mash + 30min boil - full details here:
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/887460/ag-28-munich-helles

    1950g Pilsner
    200g Flaked Barley
    200g Vienna
    50g Victory malt

    I heated 15L tap water in my HLT and added half a Campden tablet, 5ml lactic acid 80% and 1g CaCO3.

    I mashed with about 10L as my kettle struggles to fit the full 15L - for once I actually hit my mash temp of 67degC! I got distracted with some other things and ended up mashing for 51mins though I doubt it makes the slightest difference.

    After the mash and bag squeeze I added the remaining water directly to the brew kettle.

    30min boil with 25g H.M.Fruh for 30mins and another 15g for 15 mins.

    I chilled as normal then sat the kettle in a water bath with ice blocks as I didn't want to pitch a lager yeast at room temp. I left it a few hours for the crud to settle out before syphoning 8L crystal clear wort to the FV. The remaining 4L was collected into bottles to settle out, with more clear wort to be added to the FV over the next day or two.

    I bottled my Vienna Lager concurrent to this brew so actually I just syphoned the wort into the FV onto the existing yeast cake of Wyeast 2206. It's now sat in the fridge set to min temp to get it down to the lower end of the yeast's temperature range ASAP, ideally below 10degC. But it's already bubbling away quite merrily and smelling eggy and sulphury whenever I open the door!

    Excited for this one - fingers crossed!
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
  17. Oct 18, 2019 #137

    matt76

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    First Taste: AG#23 Bitsa SCA

    20191017_212122.jpg

    I tried a sneaky bottle of this last night, just two weeks after bottling..... basically an APA but made with bitsa this and bitsa that.....

    Colour = Golden to Pale Amber (I'd said amber before but it's actually pretty light). Not quite as clear as I'd hoped but I might have poured a bit of the yeast sediment, plus 1056 is not the most flocculant yeast going.
    Aroma = Citrus, tropical
    Taste = Biscuity malty backbone, bitter lemon/bitter orange peel, dry finish. Quite a lot of body and mouthfeel so maybe not so sessionable. Seems a lot more bitter than 40-odd IBU's...

    Footnote: As I carried on drinking it I started thinking about this bitterness. Couple of possibilities entered my mind:

    - Maybe I got a bit greedy and accidentally poured out some of the yeast sediment, giving an unusual taste.

    - Or I'm wondering if it could actually be sourness from the lactic acid used in the mash.....

    - (5ml lactic acid 80% added to 15L water in the HLT - I do full volume no sparge BIAB)

    I wouldn't describe it as unpleasant as such, not in this beer at least. But it's a bit of a concern as I've been using it in a number of beers recently.....

    Or maybe it just needs more conditioning time!
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
  18. Oct 19, 2019 #138

    strange-steve

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    It's certainly possible that you are tasting lactate from the acid addition. The commonly cited taste threshold is 400 ppm, which you are below at 333 ppm, but apparently some people can taste it at concentrations considerably lower. There's a good article by Braukaiser on this subject here: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Lactate_Taste_Threshold_experiment
     
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  19. Oct 19, 2019 #139

    matt76

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    Many thanks for your input @strange-steve , much appreciated athumb..

    My gut feeling is that it is lactic acid I'm tasting as I think there's something similar going on in my AG#22 Tin Miner's Ale, albeit less so (only 3ml into 16L for that one).

    The kicker here is I've used 5ml lactic in almost all my recent brews. But what i don't get is why I'm not picking it up at all when i try the hydrometer samples.

    The interesting one will be my AG#27 bitter which is still in the FV - that's the single outlier where I used CRS. Guess I'll know more in the coming weeks as well these brews become ready to drink. Fingers crossed...
     
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  20. Oct 19, 2019 #140

    foxbat

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    333pm is really quite high and if you're sensitive to the taste then I'll bet you pick it up. Phosphoric acid (GEB/THBC/Brewuk etc) should be your acid of choice if that's happening because it's neutral in flavour and doesn't mess with your mineral profile. I use lactic as the mash acidifier in all of my brews but since I brew with Ashbeck as the base I've never needed to go higher than 110ppm in a 100% pilsner malt lager and I actually want a little background aftertaste from the lactic to mimic the flavour from the sauergut that German breweries use.
     
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