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Old 07-05-2012, 10:18 PM   #1
sidepart
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Default All-Grain Strawberry Tart (concerned about Diastatic Power)

Hi all, I posted an extract version of this that I never became all that excited about. Instead I'm getting into doing some all-grain brewing and I felt that it was time to see if I could make something interesting. My major concerns (since I'm new to AG) is whether or not I'll get enough DP out of this bill, especially since I'm doing a single batch infusion and batch sparging (full retard mode mashing).

The recipe is a strawberry tart. Think New Glarus Raspberry Tart but without the whole business involving lambic brewing. I wanted to experiment with making the sweet strawberries a little more tart by playing with acidulated malt. Not sure if this is a good idea, but I'm curious.

Grain Bill
73% 8 lbs Halcyon
9% 16 oz Caramel 10L
7% 12 oz Acidulated Malt
5% 8 oz Victory Malt
5% 8 oz Honey Malt

Quote:
Originally proposed recipe:
62% 8 lbs Halcyon
15% 2 lbs 6-row (trying to up the DP since Halcyon is so low)
8% 16 oz Caramel 10L
8% 16 oz Acidulated Malt
4% 8 oz Victory Malt
4% 8 oz Honey Malt
Mash all grains @ 152F for 1 hour. Batch sparge.
(Worst case) Efficiency: 73%

Yeast: WLP060 (going to wash and reuse some from a porter). Probably will try and get a nearly 1/2 gallon starter going with some golden DME.

Hops:
2 AAU Mt. Hood 60 minutes
2 AAU Mt. Hood 15 minutes (flavor/aroma)
4.8 AAU Fuggle 3 minutes (aroma)

Not going for a lot of bitterness here, so sanitation is going to be key (unless the acid malt can make up for the lack of hop acids). Looking for some cinnamon/spicy characters from Mt. Hood along with it's sweet aroma. Going to couple that aroma with the Fuggle woodsiness. Hopefully it'll be like picking strawberries in the wild.

OG: 1.058
FG: 1.013
ABV: 5.91%
IBU: 13

Primary: 1 week
Secondary: 5lbs of Frozen (fresh picked) Strawberries, 1 week
Tertiary: 1 week (to let the strawberry goo settle)
Bottle w/ corn sugar (5oz) and condition for 2-3 weeks.

I calculated an average DP of about 65L on this. That's with Halcyon at 56L and 6-row at 190L. I saw a fuzzy of about 75L somewhere is recommended for first-time all grainers. Not sure if that is accurate. I could add an additional pound of 6-row but that's going to really jack up my OG to about 1.063. FG wouldn't be affected that much though. Also not sure if the Honey Malt gives and DP. I've seen some that say 50 and some that say 0. No idea.

Thanks for the help. Questions, comments or flames are greatly appreciated.
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Last edited by sidepart; 10-13-2012 at 01:53 PM. Reason: Updated the recipe to reflect what I actually did.
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:42 PM   #2
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What is it you are concerned about converting? There really isn't anything in the grist bill in need of additional enzymes. The crystal, Victory and honey malts are all steepable specialty malts and the acid malt is just pilsner malt sprayed with lactic acid. No need for adding 6-row here.

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Old 07-05-2012, 11:05 PM   #3
sidepart
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Originally Posted by BigEd
What is it you are concerned about converting? There really isn't anything in the grist bill in need of additional enzymes. The crystal, Victory and honey malts are all steepable specialty malts and the acid malt is just pilsner malt sprayed with lactic acid. No need for adding 6-row here.
Just concerned about having enough to convert starches into sugar. I'm not sure I fully understand what situations would require higher DP. One source gave a hard and fast of 30 average, another quoted 75-100 if you're inexperienced with the process.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidepart View Post
Just concerned about having enough to convert starches into sugar. I'm not sure I fully understand what situations would require higher DP. One source gave a hard and fast of 30 average, another quoted 75-100 if you're inexperienced with the process.
The grains with any large amounts of unconverted starches in the recipe are all essentially base malts, the pale, 6-row and acid malt. They are not just self-converting but have enough additional enzymes to convert other starches present. All the other malts, crystal, Victory and honey are all variations of crystal or roasted malts that have very low if any unconverted starches. Re crystal malt quantities: while YMMV it would be unusual to use more than 5-10% in most recipes. I do use up to 15% in one recipe but it is counterbalanced with a adjunct addition to keep the sweetness in line. I have to admit that I don't use spreadsheet programs and their algorithms to create recipes and frankly would be leery of letting one make that particular decision for me.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigEd View Post
The grains with any large amounts of unconverted starches in the recipe are all essentially base malts, the pale, 6-row and acid malt. They are not just self-converting but have enough additional enzymes to convert other starches present. All the other malts, crystal, Victory and honey are all variations of crystal or roasted malts that have very low if any unconverted starches. Re crystal malt quantities: while YMMV it would be unusual to use more than 5-10% in most recipes. I do use up to 15% in one recipe but it is counterbalanced with a adjunct addition to keep the sweetness in line. I have to admit that I don't use spreadsheet programs and their algorithms to create recipes and frankly would be leery of letting one make that particular decision for me.
I'll do some more reading to get a better grasp on what kind of additions would require some more DP. I'm getting the feeling that there's no real "rule of thumb" on this? As long as it's not "0", you'll eventually convert...but the higher the DP, the less time you have to sit there waiting and mashing?

I don't really use software to create my recipes either. I like doing the math by hand for the most part (or with the help of Excel). Kind of shooting from the hip on how much of each grain type I use (i.e. 16oz Caramel 10L was just a gut feeling). My decision to up the DP was purely based on some reading I did, but that doesn't mean I understood it.

These are the sources I've read:

http://www.picobrewery.com/askarchive/diastatic.htm
This one mentions that 66 was too low for his recipe and upping it to 75 allowed for full conversion.

http://beersmith.com/blog/2010/01/04/diastatic-power-and-mashing-your-beer/
It said that the malt needs to be 35L to be self converting...I took that to mean that my grain bill should average 35L or better. Which it does, but the picobrewery article concerned me that I should shoot for 75L.

Anyways thanks for the help. At least I know I'm not interpreting this correctly so I'll keep working at it here.
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Old 07-06-2012, 03:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidepart View Post

http://beersmith.com/blog/2010/01/04/diastatic-power-and-mashing-your-beer/
It said that the malt needs to be 35L to be self converting...I took that to mean that my grain bill should average 35L or better. Which it does, but the picobrewery article concerned me that I should shoot for 75L.

Anyways thanks for the help. At least I know I'm not interpreting this correctly so I'll keep working at it here.
That article is to be kind, confusing, and beyond that either poorly written, edited, researched or all of the above. While it is true roasted and crystal malts do not contain any diastatic enzymes they also do not contain any uncoverted starches. Therefore they do not need any diastatic enzymes to be used. That's why such grains are steepable in extract recipes. The writer (and apparently that brewing program) is wrong is factoring their enzyme content in the manner he does. If your grain bill contained material high in unconverted starches with no enzyme content (like flaked grains, torrified wheat, plain rice, corn grits, etc) then you would have to factor that total weight against the enzyme content of your base malts.

A suggestion: If you do not own a good, basic brewing textbook buy one. John Palmer's "How to Brew" is recognized as the best one on the market. While there are others HtB is pretty up-to-date and covers just about all basic aspects of brewing. I'm not sure you fall into this category but if you solely rely on cherry picking information from brewing programs and internet forums it is too easy to be trapped into believing false information. Armed with at least a basic level of knowledge of the brewing process you will find it much easier to sort out the BS and mythology from good info.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:15 PM   #7
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Wow, so I can really just ignore (not average in) the other grains in my bill. If I was using a heavy amount of grains or adjuncts that don't have enough DP to self convert, then it becomes important to count them in my average.

I have the Palmer book and have read it cover to cover a couple of times...but I find the all-grain section a little hard to comprehend. I just re-read it and came away with the above statement to sum up my new assumption.

Aside from adjuncts, here are some malts that I'd need to concern myself with (in case anyone else trips on this):
Biscuit (6L)
Victory Malt (50L... MAYYYBEEE)
Dextrin/Carapils (0L)

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Old 07-06-2012, 08:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidepart View Post

Aside from adjuncts, here are some malts that I'd need to concern myself with (in case anyone else trips on this):
Biscuit (6L)
Victory Malt (50L... MAYYYBEEE)
Dextrin/Carapils (0L)
Those malts while considered specialty do not fall directly into either the crystal or roasted category. You can assume that they contain no enzymes but may also contain unconverted starches. Weyermann's
CaraFoam dextrin malt is an exception as it has both starches and enzymes, sort of a hybrid of base & crystal. However, they would typically be used in such small quantities in a recipe that whatever base malt is there would be almost certain to contain enough to easily take care of them.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:33 PM   #9
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This brew is working out great so far. I managed to get 80% efficiency (holy cow) on this batch...so my minor changes (i.e. stirring more) seemed to work. I ended up having to top off with some extra water to hit my OG.

I finished the primary, racked onto 4.5lbs of strawberries that I sanitized in everclear and then froze. I just racked it to the tertiary on Friday night, and it'll be ready to bottle this coming Friday. FG got down to 1.013 as predicted. Fantastic.

Some folks gave me some concerns about strawberry sludge when racking...I had no such problems. I was surprised, all of the strawberries stayed whole and floated on top. I didn't have any sludge issues.

The sample I took tasted good. A little tartness, hopefully from the strawberries. I didn't get a BIG strawberry flavor though unfortunately. I think next time I may try to throw in 6-7 lbs of these, or leave the batch in secondary for more than a week...or maybe see if quartering them helps release more flavor.

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