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Old 02-16-2013, 11:46 AM   #1
keend0
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Default Need a coach to review my first AG brew plan

This is my first ever AG batch and my first time using BrewSmith. I have read numerous threads and have learned a lot (Thanks!), but would appreciate someone reviewing my brewing plan and providing feedback so that I don’t screw up my first AG.

Recipe – 5 gal

12lb Rahr 2-Row
8oz White Wheat
8oz Carapils
12oz Crystal 15L
.5 oz Magnum – 60 min
1oz Citra – 15 min
1oz Citra – 5 min
1oz Citra – Dry Hop
US 05 with 1L starter

Using 10 gal Rubbermaid Cooler with SS mesh. Estimating Mash Eff at 70%
BeerSmith settings:
Equipment:
Brewhouse efficiency = 64.17% (that gives me 70% mash eff, same as recipe)
Hop utilization = 100%
Mash Tun vol = 10 gal
Mash Tun Wt = 9 lbs
MT specific heat .3
LT dead space = .3
Adjust mash Vol dead space checked
Boiler:
Top up water for kettle = 0
Calc boil vol checked
Boil time = 60 min
Boil off 1 gal
Cooling shrink 4%
Fermenter/Bottling:
Loss to trub =.5 gal
Top up water = .5 gal (my kettle is 7.5 gal)
Batch volume = 5.5 gal
Loss to fermenter = .5 gal

Grain and MT temp set in BeerSmith at 72 degrees (did not plan to pre heat MT)

Plan to use ¼ campden tablet for chlorine. Plan to turn off water softener when collecting my water. City says water pH is right at 7.5 and the alkalinity is around 330 as CaCO3. Do I need to do anything to adjust for this?

For Mash, I choose the “Single infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge” and using equal batch sizes and draining mash before sparging. BrewSmith suggest 18.39qts water at 167 degrees shooting for a mash temp of 152 for 60 min. Drain and use 4.07 gal of 168 (Seems like a lot of water to me)

The BeerSmith numbers are coming out a little different than my recipe targets. Not sure why.

OG - Beer Smith = 1.058 and MB Recipe = 1.050 to 1.055
SRM - Beer Smith = 5.2 and MB Recipe = 5 to7
IBU’s- Beer Smith = 47.6 and MB Recipe = 45 to 48
ABV - Beer Smith = 6.1 and MB Recipe = 5 to 5.5

Well, I think that’s all the info needed. Thanks in advance for helping out!

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Old 02-16-2013, 11:53 AM   #2
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I did not really see what it is you are trying to brew.... I am assuming an american pale ale based on hops and grain. I think your recipe looks like it should be a nice beer in this style.

The one thing that really caught my eye -
"Plan to use ¼ campden tablet for chlorine. Plan to turn off water softener when collecting my water. City says water pH is right at 7.5 and the alkalinity is around 330 as CaCO3. Do I need to do anything to adjust for this?"

Alkalinity of this amount is going to cause you all kinds of problems with a beer like this. I fought this problem for more than a decade (and lost). My advice - even though you are a beginner, you need to learn more about your water and adjusting it. Until then, I would really advise simply starting with Reverse Osmosis water and make a few simple adjustments to it.
THere is a basic water primer sticky in the brew science forum that will give you a pretty basic formula for adjusting RO water for different styles.

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Old 02-16-2013, 12:10 PM   #3
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Agreed, your water is very alkaline which isn't ideal for your mash. You'd be better off getting the pH of your mash water down to around 5.4 if you can. Definitely consider mixing your water 50/50 with distilled or reverse osmosis water in the mash. As mentioned, check the brew science sticky.

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Old 02-16-2013, 12:27 PM   #4
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By the way, you can buy RO water for .39 cents a gallon if you refill jugs. Walmart and other stores usually have some kind of "refill station" that you can use. I think you are going to dilute at least 75% if not 100% for now.

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Old 02-16-2013, 12:41 PM   #5
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Yes, the recipe is for a Pale Ale. I just read portions of the Brew Science thread and it scares me. I think I will stick to RO water for now. Any "simple" additions to RO I would need to make? Thanks for reviewing.

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Old 02-16-2013, 12:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keend0 View Post
Yes, the recipe is for a Pale Ale. I just read portions of the Brew Science thread and it scares me. I think I will stick to RO water for now. Any "simple" additions to RO I would need to make? Thanks for reviewing.
Yep, it's easy! If you're using all RO water, just add 1 teaspoon of gypsum and 1 teaspoon of calcium chloride to your water. That'll get you pretty close without getting into water chemistry right now.

The recipe is good- I like it.

I'd plan a bit more loss to boil off- you have 1 gallon, and I think it should be more than that. With only a 7.5 gallon kettle, though, you may not be able to start with more than about 6.25 gallons. I'd suggest "Ferm cap" to help with boilovers!
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:45 PM   #7
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Why are you planning on using wheat?

I known I have seen it in some APA recipes on here, but in my opinion it is not necessary. I'd use something like Munich, but I like my APAs to be a bit bready/ toasty.

The hop schedule looks good to me. I love magnum as a bittering hop. Makes the bitter very smooth and not harsh.

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Old 02-16-2013, 07:44 PM   #8
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This recipe is an AG kit from MB. I assume the wheat was added for head retention.

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