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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Thoughts on my Best Bitter recipe
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:35 AM   #11
Cider123
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Finally got to make this today. I ended up with an OG of only 1.042, thought it would be a little higher than that. The wort has good flavor and it cleared real nice. This should end up a good session ale. I upped the whirlfloc to a whole tablet. I also downed the hops additions to:
.5 oz Challenger at 60 min
1 oz EKG at 15 min
.5 oz EKG at 5 min
I'll do 1 oz EKG for a dry hop

I made an extract IPA a few months ago and bittered with only 1 oz of EKG. For some reason it came out very bitter, so I'm a little fearful of the bittering addition.

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Old 02-03-2013, 05:07 AM   #12
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Nice, let us know how it tastes.

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Old 02-10-2013, 06:21 PM   #13
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I reviewed my efficiency for my last two brews. This bitter and a Wit. Both were my first BIAB AG. I am calculating around 60 to 65% for both brews. I thought I was pretty decent at maintaining my mash temps (within 2-3 degrees most of the time). I ordered the grains pre-crushed by Brewmaster's Warehouse. For the second brew above, I asked to double crush. I have no idea if they noticed the request.

What I have been doing is holding back about 1.5 gallons of water of my total pre-boil, which I heat to 170F. After mashing, I pull and drain the bag. Then I pour the 1.5 gallons through the bag as sort of a sparge. In fact, for the above recipe. After pouring most of the water though. I dunked the whole bag in the sparge water like a tea bag. Then I squeezed the bag well. I thought I got a bunch more fermentables.

So I want a higher efficiency for my next brew. It's gonna be Biermuncher's Centennial Blonde. Again, I ordered from BMW and asked for a double crush. Additionally, I ordered a Barley Crusher from the BC company. I don't think the BC will get here before the grains, but now I'm thinking that I will wait.
Is it bad to potentially crush the grains a third time? I believe I would set the BC to around .036. My fear is that the Blonde ale only has a 3.8% ABV if you have good efficiency. I don't want another 60% efficiency and end up with water beer.

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Old 02-10-2013, 08:31 PM   #14
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Hmm I wouldn't pour your sweet wort back through the grains, because you aren't trying to vorlauf, you're just trying to get the sugars out. What ever sweet 'first runnings' have come out, just keep them in the pot. I don't think runnings would be the correct term here, but you know what I mean. Just pour regular hot water over it, or do more of the sparge/steep maneuvers. Solutes will dissolve into the solvent more easily when there are less solutes already dissolved in the solvent. The sweet wort is already pretty concentrated with sugar, among other things. About the triple crush...I haven't heard about anyone needing to do that, so I would look elsewhere for the problem. Though, since you aren't sure if they even double crushed it for you, I would just go ahead and crush it again this time. Next time just do all the crushing yourself.

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Old 02-10-2013, 10:03 PM   #15
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I do plan on crushing all myself in the future. I ordered the grains before deciding to buy the crusher.

I think I didn't describe this well. I am not pouring wort through the grain bag. I was holding back 1.5 gallons of hot water from the initial mashing. So Beersmith told me to use a total of 9.5 gallons of water. So I mashed my grains in 8 gallons. Then I pulled the bag and "teabagged" it in 1.5 gallons of hot water. Then I squeezed the bag and poured that 1.5 gallons into the 8 gallons of hot wort and boiled.
Sorry for the confusion.

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Old 02-11-2013, 02:00 AM   #16
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Ahh ok, that makes sense. Maybe you could try to increase the amount of your dunking water, to give it two 'dunks'. How many pounds of grain are you using, by the way? 8 gallons of mash water sounds really really thin unless you are going some higher gravity 10 gallon brews.

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Old 02-11-2013, 03:23 AM   #17
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It's about 9.5 lbs of grain and a 90 min boil. Brewsmith gives me a total water amount of 9.5 gallons. So 8 plus 1.5 gallon sparge gives me my 9.5 gallons. After boil off and trubb loss, I get about 5.5 gallons in my fermenter. It does seem like a lot of water, but if my eff was in the upper 70's to 80's, I'd be getting a spot on OG.

Dunking twice sounds like a good idea, thanks

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Old 02-11-2013, 04:08 AM   #18
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This might be a problem...IMO you are mashing wayyy too thin. You need to have the correct substrate concentration for ideal enzyme activity. You should be mashing with 1.25-2 qts of water per pound of grain. You are currently mashing at about 3.4 qts/lb. You should try using something around 14 quarts for your mash, and use the rest of the water for dunking and top-off.

And not trying to critique every aspect of your brewing, but do you have to collect 9.5 gallons of wort to boil down to only 5.5? Seems super high to me...for a 5 gallon brew and a 90 minute boil, I usually only need to collect about 6.3-6.5 gallons. Are you sure about your volumes?

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Old 02-11-2013, 08:34 AM   #19
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Just thought of this: When you are doing your 'dunk' sparge, don't just steep the bag up and down like a tea bag. Put the bag around the rim of your pot just like your BIAB mash, and stir up the grains and let them sit in the water for a few minutes before pulling out the bag.. You may already do this, but it just sounded like you dunk it up and down like you're steeping a small tea bag, making it hard for the grains in the center to get rinsed.

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Old 02-11-2013, 03:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsmith View Post
This might be a problem...IMO you are mashing wayyy too thin. You need to have the correct substrate concentration for ideal enzyme activity. You should be mashing with 1.25-2 qts of water per pound of grain. You are currently mashing at about 3.4 qts/lb. You should try using something around 14 quarts for your mash, and use the rest of the water for dunking and top-off.

And not trying to critique every aspect of your brewing, but do you have to collect 9.5 gallons of wort to boil down to only 5.5? Seems super high to me...for a 5 gallon brew and a 90 minute boil, I usually only need to collect about 6.3-6.5 gallons. Are you sure about your volumes?
Of all the brewing literature I've read, I've never heard of a problem in mashing "too thin" as related to enzyme activity. How else would you do a no-sparge?
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