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Old 03-07-2013, 01:36 PM   #1
cherrob123
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Default Boiling Techniques

Here's a question. I am a partial mash brewer with about 15 batches under my belt. In the past, I've always mashed my grains in three gallons of water and then boiled and followed my hop schedule. I add the remaining 2-3 gallons to my wort just prior to pitching my yeast. This allows me to strain my wort as well as bringing the wort temp down a few more degrees below the minimum.

This last batch, a Kolsch, I boiled my wort with all 6 gallons of water and hopped as scheduled. I boiled without a cover on the kettle. I ended up with a little over 4 gallons of wort to ferment.

I have been lagering for a month now and I took a quick taste to gauge the progress of this beer. I plan on taking it to a party this weekend.

This beer is a St. Arnolds Lawnmower clone and, to me, it tasted very thin.

Is this thin taste due to the volume I boiled. Should that matter?



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Old 03-07-2013, 02:22 PM   #2
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Did you hit your target OG or test for starch conversion at the end of your mash? My guess is that your mash may have been too thin for proper conversion. Can you give us a few more details, such as:

How many lbs of grain did you mash?
How much water did you mash it in?
What was your mash temp?
How long was your mash?
What sparge technique did you use?
And any other details about your mash that you think might be worth noting...



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Old 03-07-2013, 04:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jwalker1140 View Post
Did you hit your target OG or test for starch conversion at the end of your mash? My guess is that your mash may have been too thin for proper conversion. Can you give us a few more details, such as:

How many lbs of grain did you mash?
How much water did you mash it in?
What was your mash temp?
How long was your mash?
What sparge technique did you use?
And any other details about your mash that you think might be worth noting...

Thanks for the response...those are all great questions.

My recipe called for 4lbs of Light Extract.
2lbs of two row pilsner
4oz of vienna malt
4oz of German Light Crystal
4oz of German Wheat.

Target OG was 1.046 and I got 1.045. The FG was scheduled to be 1.013 estimated and I achieved 1.014 before racking to my carboy for lagering.

I mashed in 3 gallons of water at 157 deg. and held the temp for 45 minutes. I sparged with two gallons at 170 degrees.

My hopping schedule was for 1 hour and I added a sixth gallon of water to the unboiled wort prior to starting my hopping schedule. Should I have boiled with the top on or off of my kettle? I lost almost two gallons to evaporation, but I wasn't worried because I thought that might increase the flavor because of concentration. It appears as though the opposite occurred.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:49 PM   #4
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That sounds like a pretty thin mash (I calculate 4.36) but since you hit your OG I'll assume poor conversion isn't the issue, and I also wouldn't expect that the volume you boiled would be a factor.

My only other suggestion would be to wait to see how it tastes once it's fully carbed. Carbonation level seems to make a huge difference in perceived body. Some of my beers taste very thin for up to a week or two after bottling, but then they fill out nicely once they're fully carbonated.

And you always want to boil with the top off your kettle, especially when your dealing with pilsner malt in order to drive off DMS. If you think you're losing too much to evaporation, reduce the vigor of your boil or add more water preboil to compensate, sparge amount preferably. A good target is to boil off 8%-15% per hour. Sounds like you're closer to 33%. I kind of recall hearing that a too vigorous boil can cause problems, but I don't remember what specifically.

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Old 03-08-2013, 12:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwalker1140 View Post
My only other suggestion would be to wait to see how it tastes once it's fully carbed. Carbonation level seems to make a huge difference in perceived body. Some of my beers taste very thin for up to a week or two after bottling, but then they fill out nicely once they're fully carbonated.

That is precisely what I was thinking also. Carbonation makes a difference for sure. I am kegging and force carbonating on Saturday. Hopefully, my issues with the taste and mouth feel is just me being picky.

I am making the exact same beer from the exact same recipe on Sunday. However, I made one huge change. I am going with the Wyeast 2565 Kolsch yeast vs. the WLP029. I am hoping that there will be a difference in taste.

What is your opinion?
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherrob123 View Post
That is precisely what I was thinking also. Carbonation makes a difference for sure. I am kegging and force carbonating on Saturday. Hopefully, my issues with the taste and mouth feel is just me being picky.

I am making the exact same beer from the exact same recipe on Sunday. However, I made one huge change. I am going with the Wyeast 2565 Kolsch yeast vs. the WLP029. I am hoping that there will be a difference in taste.

What is your opinion?
Well, kolsch IS thin. It sounds like you nailed it!

Carbonation will make a huge difference, but a kolsch is a light and crisp beer that is meant to be very drinkable for the masses. The BJCP says it's "smooth and crisp" and with a "medium-light body".
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:30 PM   #7
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Ok...I just got done force carbing this beer and it turned out fantastic. The slight change I made in the hopping schedule made a big difference and the beer is spot on.

Thanks for all of the advice.

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Old 03-10-2013, 12:52 AM   #8
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Maybe I'm misreading, but if you were close on your OG, it wasn't a boiling issue. Also, beer may just need more time.



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