Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bigger than planned

I haven't brewed nearly enough over the last few months. It was time to remedy this with a bang, so last weekend I planned to brew an American IPA. It got away from me a bit  thanks to some overly zealous hopping (is that possible in an American IPA?) and a better than expected extraction of sugar from the mash.

25 litres
5 kg Maris Otter
2 kg Munich malt
500g Cara Munich

35g Galena 13% AA 60 minutes
25g Centennial 10.5% AA  20, 10, 5, 0 minutes

OG 1.078

60 IBU estimated

Saf 05

I gave my mash tun a serious workout and it held up admirably. Once again I treated my water, bring the calcium up to around 160 ppm through additions of calcium sulphate and calcium chloride. I rid myself of around 130 ppm of pesky alkalinity using carbonate reducing solution and everything went very well indeed. I planned for 75% efficiency and an OG of 1.070, but achieved about 80% and ended up with 1.078. Very gratifying but the fact that my last runnings came in at 1.030 indicates that I just can't get the damn fermentable sugar out of the mash tun. The chemistry was perfect; the temperature held at 66 C and pH fell in a spot on 5.4, but the damn grain held on to the sugar. Not to worry. I'm not a penny pincher and have no problem dumping the grain. Perhaps in future I'll do some small beer.

I opted for some first wort hopping because Galena can be a little harsh,  and also the hop rate was quite liberal. I used pellets for the Centennial and had to break out some extra kit to cope with all the pellets. I planned to make a big beer with plenty of rich malt for quite some time, the hope being that the richer Munich malt will provide a decent base for the hops.

Below is a video of Saf 05 yeast hard at work. The wort looks like swamp water because my set up dumps all the break material into the fermenter, but the beer generally drops bright in the end with no ill effects.


Barry M said...

Nice to see the hops socks in action. I've only used them when using full leaf hops, as I don't have a hop strainer, and find a whirlpool takes care of the pellet hop material fairly well. However, when I used it with the last bitter I made (pellets for bittering with the last couple of additions being cones) I was impressed at how much more wort I got out of the boiler compared to having to leave some behind to pellet sludge. I had 25L in the fermenter compared to an expected 23.

By the way, what do you use for carbonate reduction? Is it a pre-made solution? And if so, where are you getting it? :D

I keep getting efficiencies of 80-85%, and I don't know it it because of my system, using 5.2 Stabilizer or are the specs for my grain different to what the software thinks it is.

Thom said...

I use the hop sock for pellets because I don't have a tap on my kettle hence everything get tipped into the fermenter except for leaf hops which I strain out.

The carbonate reducing solution (CRS) is made by Brupaks:


and I get it through Hop and Grape. It's an acid blend of which I don't know the mechanism, but it works a treat.

I have no doubt now that my efficiency is hampered by the run off, but it's respectable and there is little I can do about it.

Barry M said...

Thanks, Thom, I'll have to see if I can get some CRS locally. Brouwland probably do something.

Just thinking, next time you're brewing you can always tell your other half to stand back, as you don't know how big it'll get, and mean it! :D

Velky Al said...

Picked up some ingredients today for my next brewing projects, including some Galena for my winter Imperial Stout - Machair Mor - hoping for something in the line of Wrasslers but with more bang for your buck.

Thom said...

A bigger Wrasslers will certainly be an impressive beer. What kind of roasted grain have you in mind for it?

Barry M said...

I'll take that question, Al... :)

Pale Ale Malt
Flaked Oats
Black Malt
Chocolate Malt

(he gave me his recipe plans ages ago, so that's it unless it's changed :D)

Thom said...

I was interested in the quantities of the aforementioned roasted grains...

Barry M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barry M said...

Just realised I was looking at the wrong recipe. He has so many! :D

Pale Ale Malt 10
Roasted Barley 4
Chocoalte Malt 4
Black Malt 0,5

For 6 gals. Oh yeah, Baby!

Quite a high proportion of roasted barley though.

Velky Al said...

See my blog post today for details! Those recipes are all-grain plans, whereas I am doing extract plus grains for a while.

Barry M said...

Cool. I'm in planning mode for an Imperial Stout. I think there's a gap in the German market for it. Well, a gap in my cellar for sure! :D

Wurst/Whorst- Brewing Arts Instructor, CEO APRK said...

Don't you just love Better Bottles!!

I use pellets and also don't have a valve on my kettle. I start a whirlpool and let it sit for 20 minutes. Then I siphon off the side of the kettle. All the trub and hops stay at the bottom. Sometimes my wort looks like it's been filtered.