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Old 06-21-2007, 04:16 AM   #1
Ryanh1801
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Default First big beer attempt, wanting some advice

Well after Fathers day weekend, my dad was asking why I had not made a "big beer" yet. I told him manly because I did not have a big enough mash turn. Well he went and got me one. So I now have a 10 gallon cooler and a 5 gallon hot liquor tank. I plan on brewing this on sun. My main question is how soon should I start the starter? I only have 4 oz. of DME to work with. also since I only have a 30qt. pot so im going to have to collect the extra wort into another container until I have boiled down a few gallons. I don't see any reason why this would not work. Am I correct in thinking this? Im doing BP Water into barleywine, just with a little more grain to make up for my bad efficiency. Would you go with a single infusion or should I step mash it by decocation? I just want this to be the best it can be since I plan on aging it until Christmas. Thanks for any opinions or advice you have to give. Here is the recipe I am brewing.

--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 5.72 gal
Estimated OG: 1.110 SG
Estimated Color: 17.2 SRM
Estimated IBU: 74.6 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
12.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 55.8 %
5.00 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 23.3 %
2.50 lb Rye, Flaked (2.0 SRM) Grain 11.6 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 2.3 %
0.50 lb Cyrstal 55L (55.0 SRM) Grain 2.3 %
2.00 oz Chinook [13.00%] (60 min) Hops 59.1 IBU
1.33 oz Northern Brewer [8.50%] (20 min) Hops 15.5 IBU
1.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50%] (0 min) Hops -
1.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50%] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops -
1.00 lb Maple Syrup (35.0 SRM) Sugar 4.7 %
1 Pkgs California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) Yeast-Ale

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Old 06-21-2007, 04:25 AM   #2
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If you don;t have the DME to step up a starter, I'd make a quart starter 24 hours ahead, so it's at high krausen when you pitch.

I wouldn't fool around with decocting this...your decoctions will be enormous. Nail it as an infusion, and then decoct it next time if you want.

Finally, 70% efficiency is pretty optimistic for this much grain, especially if you don't normally get good efficiency. You'll probably have to collect 10+ gallons of wort to even have a chance. By way of example, I was routinely getting 75%, and when I brewed my BW (also 20# of grain) I got 62%, mostly because I wanted to keep the boil to 7 gal.

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Old 06-21-2007, 04:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bike N Brew
If you don;t have the DME to step up a starter, I'd make a quart starter 24 hours ahead, so it's at high krausen when you pitch.

I wouldn't fool around with decocting this...your decoctions will be enormous. Nail it as an infusion, and then decoct it next time if you want.

Finally, 70% efficiency is pretty optimistic for this much grain, especially if you don't normally get good efficiency. You'll probably have to collect 10+ gallons of wort to even have a chance. By way of example, I was routinely getting 75%, and when I brewed my BW (also 20# of grain) I got 62%, mostly because I wanted to keep the boil to 7 gal.
First off thanks for the advice. What would you do for water to DME ratio? Im pretty clueless when it comes to starters I have only done one so far. Well I have figured out my efficiency is from my bad grain crush at my LHBS. My First all grain when I had no idea what I was doing and sparged with about 1/3 of the water I should have I got 65% from AHB. I order all my grains from AHB for this batch. So im just hoping to get decent efficiency I am planing on getting around 10 gallons of wort, (although i still have not worked out the math). I am also probebly not going to start my 60 min. until im at 5.5 gallons so I will have just under 5 gallons when im done. Woo this is going to be a long brew day.
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Old 06-21-2007, 05:10 AM   #4
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Starters should be ~1.040. 4 ounces of DME in 1 quart of water gets you 1.045, so you should be good to go.

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Old 06-21-2007, 05:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bike N Brew
Starters should be ~1.040. 4 ounces of DME in 1 quart of water gets you 1.045, so you should be good to go.
Cool thanks for the help.
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Old 06-21-2007, 10:13 AM   #6
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If you plan on collecting xtra wort in a second pot. It shouldn't sit while you make room in your main boiler. You need to get the xtra pot on a 2nd burner. Adding cool wort to the main pot will kill the boil thus screwing with your hop schedule

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Old 06-21-2007, 01:59 PM   #7
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If you have an extra pot, say a 20qt canner, you can start boiling the extra wort on the stove to help reduce the volume faster. This is what I did on my first AG when I sparged with too much water. After 30min I was able to combine the two pots and start my 60mins. It may take you a little longer.

Craig

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Old 06-21-2007, 03:53 PM   #8
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I don't want to rain on your brew day but a 1 quart starter will be a major underpitch for such a big beer. Using Jamil's calculator (http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html) you need a gallon...

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Old 06-21-2007, 04:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Got Trub?
I don't want to rain on your brew day but a 1 quart starter will be a major underpitch for such a big beer. Using Jamil's calculator (http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html) you need a gallon...
True, but if a quart is the most you can make with materials on hand, and you want to brew, I wouldn't let that stop me. Other than when I pitch on a yeast cake, every batch I make is underpitched according to that calculator (as are many others brewed by people on this board).

Make a good starter, pitch at high krausen, and get lots of oxygen into the wort and you should be fine.
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Old 06-21-2007, 06:40 PM   #10
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In that case, there's a few more options and a few more days. I'd either grab a few more vials of yeast from the homebrew store (seems there's a few close to Arlington), visit a brewpub/brewery and ask for some yeast, or call a brew buddy and ask if they have some they could spare. His expected OG is 1.110, not 1.080 or 1.090

DEFINITELY oxygenate and don't expect much more than 50% efficiency. And be really patient.

Good luck!

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