Dark wort from all base malt?
Just brewed a 6 gal batch last night using all base malt (8 lb of 2-row and 2 lb of 6-row). This is my second all-grain attempt. It's experiemental - I'd like to know the flavor that comes from just the base malt (1.050 OG) and moderate hopping (30 IBU). The wort is much darker than I anticipated (it being all base malt and all). My guess is that this could be from all the extra aggitation the mash gets since I'm mashing in a big pot on the stove and mixing it quite frequently (churning it ever 5-10 minutes or so). I did not notice anything caramelized or charred on the bottom at all. I started and 120 and slowly brought it up to a low saccrification rest at 145 for 90 minutes before moving it up slowly again to 160, then sparging with a spray arm.
When I stopped sparging after about 2 gal, the SG at about 1.010, the color was light yellow - what I expected. But everything mixed together, the first running made it very brown/amber. I did recirculate the first gallon or so of runnings to clear it out - though it wasn't anything near "clear" just clearer than it started. Lots of what I'm guessing are protein chunks/bits that are in the boil (after that long and those temps, I can't imagine I still have starch?
Now in a carboy. Small bubbles this morning already. An inch or so of crud on the bottom. Still fairly dark in color. Anybody know what could make it so dark with only all-grain base malt? Color from the hulls?
Since you have so much trub already, I'd go with a combination of hulls and caramelization during the boil.
My money is on hard water (high bicarbonate ppm). What are the numbers from your water report?
CONCENTRATION MAXIMUM MINIMUM MEDIAN
(MCL, mg/L) (mg/L) (mg/L) (mg/L)
Chemical & Physical Parameters
Alkalinity, as CaCO3 ' NR 130 94 99
Carbon dioxide, free (calculated) NR 12.39 3.92 5.8
Conductivity, uS/cm NR 335 254 294
Hardness, Total, as CaCO3 NR 187 130 135
Hardness, Calcium, as CaCO3 NR 123 86 93
Hardness, Magnesium, as CaCO3 NR 64 14 44
Odor (Threshold Odor Number) ' 3 1 1 1
pH ' 6.5-8.5 7.8 7.09 7.51
Saturation Index (calculated) NR -0.22 -0.67 -0.51
Specific UV absorbance, mg/m-L, calc. NR 1.4 0.4 1.1
Temperature, degrees Celsius ' NR 21.7 1.1 8.9
Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) calc. 500 267 151 178
Total Solids NR 180 150 165
Total Suspended Solids NR <10 <10 <10
Total Organic Carbon NR 3.2 1.1 1.3
UV-254 (cm-1) NR 0.017 0.011 0.014
Any of those numbers relate to your question?
Yup, plugging the numbers into Palmer's spreadsheet results in:
You should seriously consider using RO water and/or treating your tap water when brewing anything under an SRM of 11.
Est. SRM (Low): 6
Est. SRM (High): 11
Chloride to Sulfate Ratio: Bitter
I can work with that. Thanks for this huge piece of the puzzle. This'll help me adjust future recipes.
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