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Old 01-30-2006, 12:13 AM   #1
pop_shots
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Default 1st brew complete ...(AG Trappist Ale)

Greetings,

This was my very first brew, I went all-grain, against the wishes of people at brewshops and even a couple people here.

The recipe I used was as follows,

base malts
------------
4lb 6-row pale malt
4lb munich malt
2lb wheat malt

specialty malts
-----------
.5 lb crystal malt
1.5 ounces chocolate malt

yeast
---------
belgian wit ale yeast (White Labs Liquid)

First I heated up about a quart of water and steeped the specialty grains in it, wrapped in cheesecloth. Worked pretty well, but I shouldn't have done this and it was my first mistake in this brew, imho, but I'll get to that in a second. Doing this ultimately messed up my 60 minute boil, I'll get to that shortly though.

Brought 3 gallons of water to 127-128 degrees on my propane burner, put heat on a tiny flame and added all my base malts. Mixed them in thoroughly, and let them have a 15 minute protein rest. After the protein rest I boiled to 158ish and again, put the heat on a tiny flame while stirring. Let this sit for about 10 minutes. Then I brought the water up to 169-170 degrees, turned heat off, while stirring violently. After 5 minutes here I removed the wort from the propane burner, and dumped it into my mash tun.

I checked the temp of the mash tun and it was at 150, I had about a qt of pre-boiled water around me in case it dropped below that. when it dropped below 150 I added the quart, stirred etc. While doing this I had brought 5 gallons (2nd mistake, used too much water) to a rollin boil on the propane burner, and had a pitcher nearby. Had the mash tun sitting on the tailgate of a truck backed under our carport, so it wasn't difficult to siphon from the mash tun back into the boiler. I took the lid off a butter container and used it to distribute the water while pouring it into the mash tun so I wouldn't disturb the grainbed. I'd put about 3 gal on top of the grainbed, siphon it out, and do that over and over again. Did it like 10 times, this was my next mistake imo. I heard wort should be drained off slow and I was using a 1 1/2 inch clear tube pumping it out at full speed, however I went back in with 3 gallons 10 or so times, so I got a decent extraction rate I guess...

So, I brought what appeared to be about 32 liters of wort (in a 36 liter boiler) about to get to a full boil.., this is when I pitched the hops and 1lb of belgian amber sugar cubes. (2oz hallertauer, 1oz goldings) I kept having to adjust the regulator, while stirring, so it wouldn't boil over. This is what extended the boil process, anyway long story short my boil ended up being about 125 minutes instead of 60 minutes...and this was because I waited until the water started boiling before I remembered about the quart of steeped specialty grain wort I had made 2 hours earlier that was cooled, which was added and stopped the boil, this added a good 10 minutes to my time at least. This was my next mistake...

The wort was a creamy brown, almost like over creamed coffee, before I pitched the steeped specialty grain. after that, it turned into a slightly darker tone, but still a nice creamy color. Looked great and tasted great, for that matter. Sweet, creamy malty slight coffee taste .

So I had 60 lb ice in my bathtub, cooled off my 6 gallons or so of wort and now it's fermenting sitting next to me in my computer room (room that gets little sunlight, yet has perfect climate for fermentation with this yeast (68-74F))

all I can say is I hope it turns out decent. thanks again for your helpful posts, you know who you are

-Patrick

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Old 01-30-2006, 01:03 AM   #2
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Good to hear you survived your first brew day, and an AG one at that. Cheers!

I'm a tad confused on your mashing schedule. You went protien rest > sachrification rest > mash out > sachrification rest I can't say I've seen it done this way before. My main concern would be that you wouldn't get full conversion during your first sach rest (10 minutes is kind of short), but I'm willing to bet enough enzymes survived you mashout to complete the job during your second sach rest.

To avoid leaving your specialty grains in the boil, you can just dump them in with your base grains during mashing as long as you have room.

All in all, it sounds like a good brew.

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Old 01-30-2006, 01:45 AM   #3
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Your mashing schedule is a much older approach that probably isn't needed with today's malts. You probably went a little high on the second and third steps, I would have stopped at 148 for 20 minutes and topped at 160, rather than 158 & 170.

I suspect you will have a successful brew.

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Old 01-30-2006, 02:35 AM   #4
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let's hope it turns out okay. thanks for the replies, those beers in your sigs sound delicious...


-Patrick

P.S. i bet that chocolate brown is great..im a fan of choc beer

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Old 01-30-2006, 02:56 PM   #5
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i know this probably wasn't the best idea in the book, but I Just boiled about .75lb of some Dark Dry Malt Extract (muntons) in about .80 liters of water, came out smelling great. let it cool, popped open lid to my fermenter,(no bubbling or any activity at all yet, but I pitched it about...15 hours ago, so. ) poured it in, and took a stirrer (which i had just ran under vigorous hot water for sanitization) and stirred the whole thing pretty well, and quickly put the lid back on.

i was simply afraid of ending up with a weak beer that lacked body, i have about a gallon too much water than the recipe called for...anyone else ever done this?

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Old 01-30-2006, 03:26 PM   #6
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Congrats, I guess you were in for a very busy day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pop_shots
Then I brought the water up to 169-170 degrees, turned heat off, while stirring violently. After 5 minutes here I removed the wort from the propane burner, and dumped it into my mash tun.
So it was a decoction mash w/o the decoction ?

Kai
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Old 01-30-2006, 05:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai
Congrats, I guess you were in for a very busy day.



So it was a decoction mash w/o the decoction ?

Kai

unfamiliar with decoction. I was following this guy's all grain method. 'mash out'
http://www.beerdude.com/howto_brew_allgrain.shtml
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Old 01-30-2006, 06:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pop_shots
poured it in, and took a stirrer (which i had just ran under vigorous hot water for sanitization) and stirred the whole thing pretty well, and quickly put the lid back on.

i was simply afraid of ending up with a weak beer that lacked body, i have about a gallon too much water than the recipe called for...anyone else ever done this?
First off, I'm sure you'll be fine, but in the future be aware that:

1) holding an object under "vigorous hot water" is not sanitation. Hot water from the tap is likely < 130F, but 160F at the best, and that is not hot enough to sanitize by brief contact.

2) "stirring the whole thing pretty well" is really not a good idea after fermentation has started.

3) a weak beer that tastes good is much better than a strong undrinkable one.
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Old 01-30-2006, 07:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai
So it was a decoction mash w/o the decoction ?
Sorry, I misred your description and it is actually a standard 2 step infusion mash.

One problem of having a separate mash and lauter vessel is, that you may aerate the mash to much when dumping it into the lauter vessel. For future ales I would suggest that you do a single step infusion mash (only saccrification) directly in your mash/lauter tun. This way you will have an easier time to hold the temp and avoid aerating. This is what most home brewers do for AG of american and british style ales.

Also, as soon as you start cooling your wort you want to cover it with a lid or a big piece of aluminum foil. This keeps contaminants from falling into the wort.

Kai
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