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Old 10-15-2008, 12:59 AM   #1
blackshirtproud
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Default Quick 1st AG questions.

This past weekend I brewed BM's Cream of three crops.
I used the same ingredients only I halved them from a ten to a five gallon batch and followed times and whatnot .

My questions are- I tried a whirlfoc tablet for the first time, Do these always create so much crud floating on the top? It hapened within a hour or so from the time i put it the wort into the carboy.

Also, My beer came out a little darker than projected, I think it is projected as a 3 or four SRM but it is almost a red color. Will this change as time passes or can you boil too hot and change the color or would a aluminum pot do this.

Thanks in advance

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Old 10-15-2008, 01:41 AM   #2
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Whirlflock will make 'floaties' in your wort, usually as soon as your wort is chilled (the quicker you can chill it, the more pronounced this cold break will be). Your beer will be nice and clear when it's all done - Whirlflock is good stuff.

A very vigorous boil can cause some caramelization which can darken the beer, however probably not very drastic. Once everything settles out after fermentation I think your beer will be lighten up. The pot won't have anything to do with the color.

Congrats on your first AG. How did everything go?

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Old 10-15-2008, 01:46 AM   #3
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I don't know how many extract or PM beers you've done previous to this one, but the color of the beer will seem to change with two things. First, the beer in the carboy will appear light and cloudy, but as it clears it will look darker, but not actually be darker; it will be light again once it is in a glass. Also, if the beer is in a bucket it will look darker because light isn't coming in through the sides the way you're used to seeing it in a glass.

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Old 10-15-2008, 02:14 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

I have done about 5 steeping grain kits before making the leap to AG.
What can I say I am a control freak and the science of AG enthralls me.

Overall the process went well, My homemade imersion chiller worked great I need to cut down the head space in the MLT (10 gal Rubermaid cylinder type) must be a bit too big for 5 gal batches as I had a hard time maintaining a constant temp for the mash time (lost about 5 degrees) . Anyone try some dense foam insulation as a false lid an inch or so above the mash?

P.S. the hydro sample tasted great

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Old 10-15-2008, 04:10 AM   #5
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I also have a big cooler capable of 10 gallon batches and have not tried the false lid, although it might be a good idea. I've heard mention of floating ping pong balls too, but I don't know of anyone who has done it. I do know that for my last mash I wrapped a blanket around the cooler for the first time and found that it was hot under the blanket after 90 mins, meaning that was all heat that the blanket saved and would have otherwise escaped.

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Old 10-15-2008, 05:11 AM   #6
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I also use a 10-gal rubbermaid MLT, and have had no issues with temp loss. The trick is preheating the MLT with hot water as you're heating the strike water (I used to use 170-180F water, but now only use the hottest tap water I can get). Then, when you are preparing to mash in, try adding the water a few degrees above your strike temp, stir it until it drops to your strike temp (during which is a good time to add the 5.2 pH stabilizer if you use it), then add the grain.

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Old 10-15-2008, 05:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianP View Post
I also use a 10-gal rubbermaid MLT, and have had no issues with temp loss. The trick is preheating the MLT with hot water as you're heating the strike water (I used to use 170-180F water, but now only use the hottest tap water I can get). Then, when you are preparing to mash in, try adding the water a few degrees above your strike temp, stir it until it drops to your strike temp (during which is a good time to add the 5.2 pH stabilizer if you use it), then add the grain.
I preheat by heating the strike water 10 degrees hot then letting it cool as it heats the MLT. It's the same thing you're doing pretty much. My temp isn't dropping because the cooler is absorbing the heat but because the heat is actually escaping the cooler (unless I put a blanket on it).
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Old 10-15-2008, 01:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackshirtproud View Post
My questions are- I tried a whirlfoc tablet for the first time, Do these always create so much crud floating on the top? It hapened within a hour or so from the time i put it the wort into the carboy.
Whirlfloc doesn't create the crud, it causes suspended crud to gather into larger clouds/clumps/alien-life-forms that will eventually settle out. That way you can keep it out of your bottling bucket/secondary.
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Old 10-15-2008, 04:42 PM   #9
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I use a 10 gallon, and made a flase lid like you were wondering about. It works great. The foam is real thick, I think I used the top of the styrofoam cooler that Omaha steaks come in.

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Old 10-15-2008, 05:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackshirtproud View Post
.... I tried a whirlfoc tablet for the first time, Do these always create so much crud floating on the top? It hapened within a hour or so from the time i put it the wort into the carboy.
I am a bit intrigued by your wording. It appears as if you added the Whirlfloc to the fermenter if I am not misreading you here.
If that is the case, the tablet should have been added to the boil 15 minutes before flame-out.
Regardless, the crud will settle out as fermentation progresses. Be patient...
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