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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > My first attempt at Dogfish Head 120 with pics!
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:52 PM   #1
ThatGuyRyan
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Default My first attempt at Dogfish Head 120 with pics!

Here is a little background on this brew. I was planning on doing this a few weeks ago when I would have had some help. Unfortunately my order for my 15 gallon fermenter was lost or misplaced so they say but it finally came just almost a month later. So anyway I really wanted to get this bad boy under my belt and it was now or hold off for another month so I decided what the hell. I listened to the show on TBN a few times and studied all the recipes that I could find and they were all really almost identical. I really wanted to do a 10 gallon batch but with the shipment problem with the fermenter I held off picking up a larger pot. But when it came time to brew there was no way in hell I was brewing this by myself and only doing a 5 gallon batch so I decided to push my system to the limit. This is probably not the best beer to test your systems limit but hey isn’t that half the fun? So I decided to try a 7.5 gallon batch. Doing so I had to make due with what I had and let me tell you this was a basement, kitchen stove and out side brew all at once!

I had the do this over two days since the total process took about 12-13 hours. Here is my step by step for day one. I didn’t take a pic of me making my own amber malt but I did it by just slow roasting some 2-row per instructions that I found online slowly increasing the temp in the stove for about an hour and 45 minutes.

My starter was a big one since I started it almost two weeks earlier expecting my fermenter. After a week on the stir plate it was off to the fridge. Then once the fermenter arrived I took the starter out and decanted ¾ the liquid and let it warm to room temp. Once room temp I added another quart of wort and back onto the stir plate. And within an hour I that I was going to have to use a blow off on my flask it started up so vigorously.


Maxed out the cooler with 25lbs of grain.



Had to use two pots for strike water and sparge water one pot was filled twice.


Really wish I had a pump this one took forever to get clear running’s. I used a decoction on this also a first for me! Stike was at 128 to end up at 120.


Pulled 6qts off boiled and returned to raise mash to 135. Then pulled 7 qts boiled to reach 146. Held at 146ish for 60 min.


By this time I was tired! So I decided to sparge on the fly since everything else was a first for this why not fly?


Realizing that I could not get all 11 gallons of preboil in my bucket and also since I didn’t have a kettle to hold 11 gallons neither I decided to rig up a splitter so each bucket got equal running’s. This concluded day one besides clean up both sanitized fermenters were filled to 5-1/2 gallons and put on the back porch since the temp was at a nice 35 degrees. I also cooled both in the buckets with my wort chiller. I don’t think it was really necessary but why not.

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Old 12-14-2009, 10:04 PM   #2
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Day number 2!



Got 8 of 11 gallons in the pot. The other 3 are on the kitchen stove




One down 39 more to go! A few are missing from the pic since I also have the wife adding some to the 3 gallons on the stove but at about every 15 minutes.



I can almost see the finish line!



This is about 2/3 the way into the boil and I now took the wort from the kitchen stove and added it to the main kettle. This was about 80-90 minutes in so enough evaporated from both pots that I could just get it in!


WTF! Where did the time go?


Did I say I got all the wort to fit? Maybe it was too soon to call! But hey I am a pro! My boil is about to go volcanic and I still went for the camera first!


No problem the kettle only spewed an ounce or two on the ground!


My wort looks like an oil spill!


Claire agrees these are going to be good! Pulled off just a hair over 7.5 gallons.


And into the minibrew where I hit it with some oxygen!

I followed the recipes online but used Brewpal to scale it to 7.5 gallons. I also roasted my own grain for the amber so the color may not be exact but with the amount of grain I really doubt it will matter.

24 LBS pils
.75 Amber
2.25 Amarillo
2.25 Simcoe
2.25 Warrior

Mixed up then Split up into 40 plastic shot glasses. I believe it was about 5 grams per cup. I also fly-sparged for my first time. Brewpal gave me a gravity of 1.084 my real gravity was 1.081 possibly due to my fly technique or lack of! Other problems that came up, well lets say after a week of 15 below temps in Chicago when I turned on my outside hose it blew the pipe in the basement! Not good and I knew better. At least my spidy sense kicked in and after turning on the water I decided to check the basement and sure enough I had a geyser! I also have all the outside lines with a shut off separate from the main water so its not so bad. Just a little water to mop up and a new section of pipe in the spring.

Tonight I will start with the sugar additions but do you think I should add some DME to raise the gravity or just let it go.

Edit: Corrected OG per my notes. Also Boiled up 1qt of water with all the DME on hand (1.180) and dumped that into the fermenter. Note sure how that effects my OG though.

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Old 12-14-2009, 10:09 PM   #3
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sweet! this will be interesting to see how it turns out. So I guess you have a lot of fun ahead of your with the feeding of sugar for the next couple of weeks huh?

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Old 12-14-2009, 10:23 PM   #4
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sweet! this will be interesting to see how it turns out. So I guess you have a lot of fun ahead of your with the feeding of sugar for the next couple of weeks huh?
Definitely! This was a killer. I swear to you I was in bed at 9:30 last night and that was after I fell asleep on the couch at 9! Everything hurt this morning! I will keep up with some more pics of the additions this week.
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:16 PM   #5
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I would love to brew a 120 but man thats a lot of work. You rock!

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Old 12-14-2009, 11:27 PM   #6
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what no football game vibrating table for the constant hop dosing??

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Old 12-14-2009, 11:38 PM   #7
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what no football game vibrating table for the constant hop dosing??
I was watching the Bears game on boil day so I myself was shaking in anger the entire time!
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Old 12-15-2009, 03:35 AM   #8
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Are you going to give it oxygen over the first 36 hours, and are you going to add hops and sugar on the schedule during fermentation that they recommended on the TBN. You put some serious work in on this one.

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Old 12-15-2009, 04:03 PM   #9
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Prosted! Keep us posted on this Ryan! It's safe to say your giblets are bigger than mine...

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Old 12-15-2009, 05:44 PM   #10
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Are you going to give it oxygen over the first 36 hours, and are you going to add hops and sugar on the schedule during fermentation that they recommended on the TBN. You put some serious work in on this one.
I have been hitting it with oxygen twice a day for 30 seconds. Tonight I will start the sugar/hop additions and my super high gravity yeast is on the way. I just wish I got my starting gravity up higher to start off but what’s done is done. I am already planning attempt number two after the holidays where I will do two mashes and just use the 1st running’s from each.
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