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Old 06-18-2007, 09:45 PM   #1
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Default 1st batch in bottles, advice on the next?

Ok, I'm still extremely new to brewing but I'm loving all of it. I also work in a brew pub and know quite a few brewers that hang out at the tasting room of another brewery in town. I just bottled my first batch a few days ago. We cracked one the other night because we were out of store-bought and it was very late. It tasted great. So now I'm ready to brew again. The last one I did was a "Brewer's Best" pale ale ingredient kit, and that was fine, but I've been doing a lot of reading and I'm ready to start formulating my own recipes. I'm thinking this next beer should be drinkable late July, when the normal temps here will be in the 90's. So I wanted to do a lighter style beer for BBQ's on those hot nights. I decided a koelsh style beer would suit that well. I looked at some recipes and they were pretty boring, so I decided to take a lead from the Northern Brewers honey koelsch. I tweaked it a bit and am going to try a few things that I've learned since my last brew.

Just thought I'd put my plan up here and see what kind of feedback I get from the many experienced brewers here.

Chuck's Summer-Honey Koelsch

Ingredients:
6.6 lb. Coopers light LME
10 oz. Paul's Mild Ale (steeping grains from northern brewer)
1.5 lb. local honey (to be bought at the farmer's market next weekend)
2 oz. Hallertau Pellets (1.5/.5 for boiling/finishing)
1 oz. Irish moss (i want it very clear)

Schedule:

(this is going to get pretty detailed because I'm bored and also i'm trying a few tips learned from reading articles, forums, and friends)

I'm going to start with 2.5 gal. tap water, 1.5 for steeping and the other gallon in a seperate pot to do a mini-sparge with the grain bag in a colander.

I'm starting with the grains steeping for 20 minutes in 155 water in the brew kettle, then the grain bag in a strainer, and pouring the other water over it to get out all the good stuff from the grains. Then right before it boils, I'm taking it off the heat (scorched the malt on the bottom of the pot last time) and mixing in the honey and one can of the extract.
60 Min starts, 1.5 oz of the hops
15 min, irish moss
10 min, finishing hops
0 min, take off the heat, mix in other can of extract. Cool with wort chiller, dump into plastic primary fermenter, top off with bottled spring water to 5 gal, pitch yeast, stir till my arm is sore, put on lid and airlock, then move it to my basement (64-68 degrees)

I'll move to a glass carboy for secondary when the bubbles slow up, and bottle when bubbles stop. The yeast is going to come from the brew pub I work at, probably from a day when we brew our golden ale. Promash puts OG at 1.061, which is high for a true koelsch, but I like a little extra bite from alcohol. It should be very clear and I'm looking for the honey to be present, but not over powering, hopefully with a pleasant floral sweetness to it.

that's it, what do you all think?

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Old 06-18-2007, 10:18 PM   #2
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Sounds alright, though I've never made a Kolsch before. I'm just not terribly enamored with the style, but to each his own. The one thing that stands out to me is the ounce of IM. Do you realize how much that is? And more IM doesn't necessarily mean more clarity. Have you ever smelled the stuff? Or tasted it for that matter? It's akin to dead fish. An ounce of that stuff in your brew and it just might end up tasting like the floor of a fish market in the summer. My advice instead would be to use the typical teaspoon or two of IM, and if you don't get the clarity you're looking for, you have two options: cold-conditioning, and/or a clarifying agent (KC Superkleer works great for me, as long as you're not allergic to shellfish).

And my personal opinion? Move to partial mash as soon as you can. You'll be amazed by how much better the beer gets. Do you have Papazian's Complete Joy of Homebrewing? He shows you how to mash, step by step. I started out partial-mashing with no extra equipment...I just sparged using a pasta strainer insert that came with my dutch oven. If you'd like, I could explain to you the basics of a step or single-infusion mash.

A question: how do you aerate your wort prior to fermentation?

Another question: what yeast are you planning on using?

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Old 06-19-2007, 12:24 AM   #3
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i'm glad you caught that about the irish moss. i read just a teaspoon or two, but i got messed up in the volume vs. weight measurements.

I do have the complete joy and I've read most of it at least twice. I definitely plan on moving to partial mash, and eventually all-grain soon, but I wanted to get a few successful, less complicated batches first. I don't quite have sanitation going smoothly yet. I get it all sanitized, but I make a mess and I know it could just go smoother.

I aerated the last one just by doing a lot of splashing when I poured into the fermenter and when I poured in the water to top off 5 gallons, then I stirred like hell, pitched the yeast and called it good. it worked the first time, so I'll probably stick to it until I hear a reason why that would be bad.

I'm not sure what the yeast strain is that I'll be using, but I'm getting it from the brewery at the brew pub I work at. The brewmaster (and many other people) all swear that fresh, active yeast from a brewery will most always give better results. Plus it will be free. The brewery does all ales and they use the same yeast for all their beers with a few exceptions for specialty beers.

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Old 06-19-2007, 12:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan!
(KC Superkleer works great for me, as long as you're not allergic to shellfish).

Chitosan is harmless to people with shellfish allergies.

Quote:
Chitosan's properties allow it to rapidly clot blood, and has recently gained approval in the USA for use in bandages. SAM Medical Products of Portland, Ore., developed a bandage called Celox that is made of Chitosan. The bandages include a layer of carefully produced chitosan that, when applied to a wound, causes rapid clotting, stopping the bleeding. Chitosan is hypoallergenic, and has natural anti-bacterial properties, further supporting its use in field bandages.[6] In addition, bandages made of chitosan from the shells of shrimp are marketed by HemCon Medical Technologies Inc. [7]; they have been shown to reduce blood loss in comparison to gauze dressings and increase survival [8]. They have been sold to the United States Army, who have already used the bandages on the battlefields of Iraq
Ask the guys at work what yeast they gave you. It's likely a wyeast or whitelabs yeast.
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Old 06-20-2007, 06:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny's Evil Concoctions

Ask the guys at work what yeast they gave you. It's likely a wyeast or whitelabs yeast.
You were right, it Wyeast 1028 London Ale Yeast
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Old 06-20-2007, 06:25 PM   #6
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Also, our brewmaster suggested that i just pasteurize the honey by heating to 170 for 20-30 minutes instead of boiling it. I think I may to this in 2.5 gal of water before I brew then setting that aside in my sanitized primary fermenter. Then I'll have room to do my 2.5 gal boil and mix it all up at the end.

and he said I should use bottled spring water to keep it truer to a koelsch style since our city water is pretty hard.

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