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Old 02-05-2010, 11:14 PM   #11
mattinboston
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Alright, here is my plan, feel free to critique it as I am not a rocket scientist. I plan on doing the Northern Brewer "Tongue Splitter" recipe as listed above, but will substitute 20 pounds of chestnut chips (1/2 medium roast, and 1/2 light roast) and 5 lbs of honey for the fermentables. I think that will get me close to 1.05 to 1.06 starting gravity. What do you think?
Wow - how did you come up with the 20lbs chestnut chips & 5lbs honey for the 1.06 OG? Are you talking about a 10 gal batch instead of the 5? I'm not being critical, but in a 5-gal batch it looks to me at a glance like you're going to be making a huge alcohol content brew. It looks much higher than the recipe you posted if you manage to convert at a decent rate.

I have no experience with honey, but my understanding is that it is mostly fermentable. In a 5-gal batch it looks like you could get to 7 or 8% with just the 20lbs of chestnuts (with amylaze). Adding the honey too... well... I'll be very interested in your results!

LeeinWA - any thoughts if you're watching this thread?
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:25 PM   #12
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Honey is more or less = to corn sugar. You won't taste it much at all, its highly fermentable.

I have no idea what fermentability chestnuts have, but it does look like a lot of sugar in there...for a 5gal 1.06 anyway.

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Old 02-06-2010, 02:36 AM   #13
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Yes, its a ten gallon batch. I figured Lee says he gets about 4% Brix with 5 pounds of nuts in 5 gallons. I have never worked with the brix scale before, but the conversion table I checked looks to be about 1.016 - 1.02 or so for 4 on the Brix. So, ten pounds of nuts would give me the same for ten gallons. If I double it to 20 lbs for ten gallons, I get double the Brix or gravity, no? This is around 1.032- 1.04 or so. One pound of honey in a gallon of water is about 1.035 SG. 5 pounds in 5 gallons wouild be the same, so if I do a ten gallon batch with 5 pounds of honey, shouldn't I get about half that, or close to 1.017 - 1.02? I'm learning here, so let me know what you see

The 20 pounds of chips are soaking in the mash tun with the amylase. I mashed in at 150 and it seems to be holding pretty well at the moment. I won't be adding the honey until the boil, so let me know if you see something wrong here.

Thanks

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Old 02-06-2010, 01:55 PM   #14
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Wow - how did you come up with the 20lbs chestnut chips & 5lbs honey for the 1.06 OG? Are you talking about a 10 gal batch instead of the 5? I'm not being critical, but in a 5-gal batch it looks to me at a glance like you're going to be making a huge alcohol content brew. It looks much higher than the recipe you posted if you manage to convert at a decent rate.

I have no experience with honey, but my understanding is that it is mostly fermentable. In a 5-gal batch it looks like you could get to 7 or 8% with just the 20lbs of chestnuts (with amylaze). Adding the honey too... well... I'll be very interested in your results!

LeeinWA - any thoughts if you're watching this thread?
LEEINWA HERE! I have found that anything over 5 pounds of chestnuts per 5 gal batch doen't do much good. I always start with about 6 1/2 gals of water and will end end up with about 5 1/2 gallons of wort after I remove chips. You've already extracted your full flavor and will have a brix of 3-5 %. I don't add corn sugar or other fermentables until the extraction of the sugars and flavors are complete from the chips alone as described below. I used to but have stopped that addition until the later time. I NEVER use sourgum. No matter what you do that flavor comes through. I grew up with a bottle of sourgum on the kitchen table to put on bisquits. That was back in the Missouri Ozarks. I still don't like that flavor. I've used honey before but not as a full compliment of fermentables. The honey flavor still comes through. Okay after 3-4 aging. I have also make several batchs using about 3 pounds of DARK roast chips for a milder dark beer. Glutens are what makes dough,dough. ie a congeled adhered mass. You can boil the chestnut chips and they won't gum up like barley if you get your sparging water too hot or too long.

Another thing I've learned when I started making a chestnut liqueur that I wanted crystal clear without expensive filtering is that chestnuts are really a fruit they have pectins. Apple juice that has a cloudy look has not been treated with pectinase. The crytal clear stuff has been treated. Bring your water with chips to boiling, let it cool back back to 160 degrees or so and add your amylase and pectinase. It's surprising how long the pot will stay warm due to the break down action. Stirring every hour or so helps extractions. When you reboil with your first hops any remaining enzymes are destroyed. They are not heat stable at that temp.
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Old 02-06-2010, 02:27 PM   #15
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Well, it stayed at about 120 degrees last night in the mash tun, so it didn't lose a whole lot of heat. The color is good and it tastes sweet. I tested it with iodine and it does show the presence of sugars. It is recirculating right now and being brought back up to 150 area. I will then mash for at least another hour at this temp, before the sparge and boil. I used to fly sparge but I guess this is going to be more of a batch sparge as there is alot of water with the grains. I didn't use a grain bag. I have a false bottom at the bottom of the mash tun. It seems to be going well so far (exept for the usual pump losing its prime, stuff falling on the floor, dog running down the street...) I will take a gravity reading before I start the boil and see where I'm at. I read somewhere that if you do a 60 minute boil with the honey, you lose most of the honey flavor and get just the fermentable sugar (and the bee parts, heads, antennae, etc. lol) What do you all think?

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Old 02-06-2010, 02:44 PM   #16
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Well, it stayed at about 120 degrees last night in the mash tun, so it didn't lose a whole lot of heat. The color is good and it tastes sweet. I tested it with iodine and it does show the presence of sugars. It is recirculating right now and being brought back up to 150 area. I will then mash for at least another hour at this temp, before the sparge and boil. I used to fly sparge but I guess this is going to be more of a batch sparge as there is alot of water with the grains. I didn't use a grain bag. I have a false bottom at the bottom of the mash tun. It seems to be going well so far (exept for the usual pump losing its prime, stuff falling on the floor, dog running down the street...) I will take a gravity reading before I start the boil and see where I'm at. I read somewhere that if you do a 60 minute boil with the honey, you lose most of the honey flavor and get just the fermentable sugar (and the bee parts, heads, antennae, etc. lol) What do you all think?
I think it sounds promising!... and I think you're right about the honey becoming pretty much straight fermentable after a 60 min boil. I have read that though I have never brewed with honey so I can't personally verify.

Glad you're doing a 10 gal batch with that amount of chips.
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Old 02-06-2010, 02:49 PM   #17
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LEEINWA HERE! I have found that anything over 5 pounds of chestnuts per 5 gal batch doen't do much good. I always start with about 6 1/2 gals of water and will end end up with about 5 1/2 gallons of wort after I remove chips. You've already extracted your full flavor and will have a brix of 3-5 %. I don't add corn sugar or other fermentables until the extraction of the sugars and flavors are complete from the chips alone as described below. I used to but have stopped that addition until the later time. I NEVER use sourgum. No matter what you do that flavor comes through. I grew up with a bottle of sourgum on the kitchen table to put on bisquits. That was back in the Missouri Ozarks. I still don't like that flavor. I've used honey before but not as a full compliment of fermentables. The honey flavor still comes through. Okay after 3-4 aging. I have also make several batchs using about 3 pounds of DARK roast chips for a milder dark beer. Glutens are what makes dough,dough. ie a congeled adhered mass. You can boil the chestnut chips and they won't gum up like barley if you get your sparging water too hot or too long.

Another thing I've learned when I started making a chestnut liqueur that I wanted crystal clear without expensive filtering is that chestnuts are really a fruit they have pectins. Apple juice that has a cloudy look has not been treated with pectinase. The crytal clear stuff has been treated. Bring your water with chips to boiling, let it cool back back to 160 degrees or so and add your amylase and pectinase. It's surprising how long the pot will stay warm due to the break down action. Stirring every hour or so helps extractions. When you reboil with your first hops any remaining enzymes are destroyed. They are not heat stable at that temp.
Skol
Great info Lee! Thanks. I will try the pectinase next time around. I found with one of my batches that it cleared up beautifully when I took the temp down to 29-32 degrees just above the beer freezing for 3 days prior to kegging. That beer is crystal clear.
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:21 PM   #18
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Its cooking time...sitting at 150 now for at least an hour. I am already surprised at how much the mash smells like barley. Its a little different, but very similar. I've never used the brix scale before, am I converting right....8 brix equals 1.032?

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Old 02-06-2010, 03:26 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Gonoles10 View Post
Well, it stayed at about 120 degrees last night in the mash tun, so it didn't lose a whole lot of heat. The color is good and it tastes sweet. I tested it with iodine and it does show the presence of sugars. It is recirculating right now and being brought back up to 150 area. I will then mash for at least another hour at this temp, before the sparge and boil. I used to fly sparge but I guess this is going to be more of a batch sparge as there is alot of water with the grains. I didn't use a grain bag. I have a false bottom at the bottom of the mash tun. It seems to be going well so far (exept for the usual pump losing its prime, stuff falling on the floor, dog running down the street...) I will take a gravity reading before I start the boil and see where I'm at. I read somewhere that if you do a 60 minute boil with the honey, you lose most of the honey flavor and get just the fermentable sugar (and the bee parts, heads, antennae, etc. lol) What do you all think?
Hey, those bee parts add protein! Honey itself is not all sugars. Studies done with protein electrophoresis methods reveal many protein factors that come from pollens and or bee secretions. These proteins are thought to be responsible for inhibiting microscopic stuff from growing. Remember that RAW honey can sit on the shelf for years with out spoiling. No mold. No baterial growth. Two things are required for for that growth. AVAILABLE water and nutrients. In honey any water is "bound" and not available. Boiling [pasturizing] breaks down those proteins and diluting makes the sugars available for yeasts to do their job. I didn't say that honey was a bad taste, I said it can be tasted in a mead type brew. Not that off flavored taste of sourgum.

I free mix the chips with water. After extraction I allow settling to occur. I then pump off wort with a hand wand [to keep out of the settlings] through a 400 mesh wire pre-filter to keep stray chip from fouling my diaphram pump, followed by an inline 1 micron water filter. I bottle carbonate every thing so I still need a few yeast cell to do that. 1/2 micron filters will trap yeast cells.

I've gotten so I use a refractometer. It gives a good accurate rapid reading of brix and alcohol poteniality.

I love that sweet chocolaty taste of the unfermented wort!!
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Old 02-06-2010, 03:45 PM   #20
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Good stuff! Am I doing my calculations correct with the honey? I'm trying to figure out how much honey to add to raise the gravity if I need to. 1 pound honey in one gallon of water equals 1.035? So, 5 pounds in ten gallons is half that, or 1.017?

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