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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > First foray into partial mash brewing... Smoked Porter. Need some advice.
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:23 AM   #1
erockomania
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Default First foray into partial mash brewing... Smoked Porter. Need some advice.

So this Friday I will be brewing my first partial mash brew and it will be a Smoked Porter. I have grains and several different hops to work with and the batch will be 2.5 gallons.

Take a look at this list and tell me if I have what I need to be in the ballpark of what I'm going for...

Malts (I'll likely use all of everything here besides the Peated):
2lb 2-row
2oz Chocolate
2oz Black Patent
8oz Peated (I'll probably use 2oz... use more?)
8oz Chrystal 60L
4oz Carapils
8oz German Munich

2.5lbs of light dry malt extract
(trying to get to about 5.5% abv)

hops to work with:
2oz Fuggles (thinking 1oz of this at 15mins into boil and 1oz at flame out... use others below for aroma?)
2oz Simcoe
.5oz Chinook
1oz Amarillo
2oz Willamette

Questions...
1. what temp and how long should the mash be?
2. how much water should I mash with and sparge with... 2 and 1 respectively?
3. Soak the grains in sparge water or pour over grains into the mash water using a strainer? Temp?
4. add the sparge water at top of boil, right?
5. single infusion?
6. anything I'm doing wrong or forgetting?


Thank you! I'm thinking moving to partial mash from extract/specialty grains should be a little upgrade

E.

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Old 08-19-2010, 05:18 PM   #2
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First of all, make sure that you have a decent crush on your grain and get a nylon strainer bag you can get them at any hardware store or possibly at you LHBS. You may also want some pH strips (especially if you have alkaline water).

As for the peated malt, I don't know anything about it so I can't be much help there.

If you add all of those grains your wort is going to be like 1.080. I would mash all of the grains and sparge, then pour off a cup or so and stick that in your freezer for a bit until it is cool to the touch. When it is cool you can measure the gravity and decide how much DME to add (probably about a pound). You can probably cool the test wort while you are boiling and add the DME with like 15 min to go in the boil.

Fuggles is a good bet for porter I think and your hopping schedule should be ok.

Are you doing a full boil or a partial boil?

As far as your questions:
1) Temperatures vary from about 148-158 or so depending on how dry you want your final beer to be, a lower temperature will give you a dryer beer, a higher temperature will give you a sweeter, more full bodied beer. I think that a 1 hour mash is pretty standard practice.
2) I would probably mash that in 1 gallon of water. As far as sparging, you could probably get away with like 7-8 quarts at 175 F or so. I don't believe that tannin extraction is a huge worry for brew-in-a-bag.
3) I would do the mash in a nylon bag like I was saying before, then pull the bag out, let it drain and then soak it in the sparge water for 5-10 minutes. There is a sticky for BIAB at the top of the all-grain/partial mash page.
4) I would combine the mash and sparge water then boil, though I guess you could start heating up your mash water while you were sparging to save some time.
5) Single infusion is certainly the easiest thing to do, but it may or may not work for you depending on your water. If you have extremely alkaline water you may benefit from an acid rest around 100-110 F.

Good luck and read that sticky.

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Reason: I forgot this was a 2.5 gallon batch halfway through posting
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Old 08-19-2010, 06:09 PM   #3
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Here's a link to that sticky.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy...ng-pics-75231/

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Old 08-20-2010, 12:19 AM   #4
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Thanks for the detail!

I am using a 24x24" grain bag to mash the grains. They are crushed already... crushed them at my LHBS. I actually went through almost the entire thread a couple weeks ago and it's what made me move to this method. I will be doing only 2.5 gallons so I'll like do a full boil.

So you think mash in 1 gallon and sparge in 2, expecting that I'll lose a half gallon or so during boil?

I don't know how to test my water. Where can I go for information on my local water supply? I actually use spring water... no good?

Great idea about the cup in the fridge to check before adding the DME!

Looking forward to your responses!

E.

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Old 08-20-2010, 05:51 AM   #5
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Let me offer some unsolicited ideas:

* As far as your smoked malt, I see you have peat malt? Not rauchmalt? I can't speak to peat malt, since I have never used it, but I have used rauchmalt. As I understand it, peat malt has a more concentrated smoke flavor than rauchmalt. In my smoked porter, I used 1.3 oz of rauchmalt per gallon, which gave it a nice smokey aftertaste, but definitely less smokey than your typical rauchbier. It depends on how smokey you want your porter, but I think 8 oz is definitely too much in IMO. Again, just depends on how much you want to taste the porter.

*Hops. You definitely do not need to use anywhere close to the hops you have listed. Even if you are one to enjoy a hoppy beer, keep in mind that the smoke is the key flavor in a smoked porter, and too much hops will override the smoke -- making it muddy in the flavor -- or blend into a citrusy, hoppy, smokey blend that I don't think would make for a good beer. Porters are generally 20-30 IBU, and to make sure the smoke stands out against the porter (and the hops) I would err on the low side and do no more than .5oz per gallon total. Fuggles are definitely your best bet. At 2.5 gal I'd probably do 1oz at 60 and .25oz at 15 min. Remember, you're going to taste and smell smoke, so there's no reason to worry about aroma hops.

*As Pivovar_Koucky points out, your grain bill is very large, so you really don't need to use that much DME. Are you using any software to make this recipe? If not, you might try downloading beersmith or something else and plug that recipe in and play around to see how much of all that you really need. I think you're using a lot of specialty grain unnecessarily (I'm a believer that a few well balanced flavors is better than a beer with 50 flavors, but plenty of great brewers would disagree...) but if you've already bought it all, roll with what you have.

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Old 08-20-2010, 05:54 AM   #6
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Oh, and you will have to account for the water absorbed by the grains during the mash, so you're overall boil volume will need to be 3.5 gal so you'll need to use more than 3 gallons total during your mash/sparge.

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Old 08-20-2010, 08:28 AM   #7
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Good call on the grains absorbing water! I would have totally forgotten about that!

I was planning on using 2oz of peated... think that'll work?

I really don't know what the OG should be with this grain bill... I'm simply going by what the dude at moreBeer said I should do. I did not use any software to come up with that and it looks like he didn't either. I will certain take out a cup and check the gravity before adding the DME.

Good point about the hops as well. This is my first porter and I wasn't sure exactly how much hop aroma would pull thru the smoke aroma.

About my water... go tap or spring water or a mix? I don't have a way to check the ph of my water... don't really have the first clue on how to go about that. Suggestions?

Thanks!

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Old 08-20-2010, 01:09 PM   #8
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I am a big fan of: If your water tastes good, then brew with it. That's what I've been doing lately and my beers taste fine (to me at least).

From what I read about doing a smoked porter before I made mine last weekend, I think 2 oz of peat malt is going to be plenty. It appears to have a more "rough" smoke flavor than rauchmalt.

FYI, I followed one of Biermuncher's recipes for a smoked porter and used 6 pounds of rauchmalt.

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Old 08-20-2010, 04:19 PM   #9
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As far as spring water, you should be able to find their stats at their website. I know that poland spring posts theirs, its almost completely devoid of minerals.

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Old 08-20-2010, 05:28 PM   #10
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San Francisco is a pretty big place: Are you sure that they don't post a water report somewhere? It should be pretty easy to come by unless you're on a well. That would give you a reasonable value for the pH of your tap water, among other things.

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