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Old 12-21-2011, 11:35 PM   #1
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Default Help Calculating IBU and Target ABV for initial brew.

I tweaked a recipe that came with my initial kit targeting a Hoppier American IPA.

My recipe is:

1lbs Pale Ale Malt
2 Cans Amber LME
1oz Chinook @ 60
1oz Cascade @5
1oz Nugget (DH)
.5oz Oak Chips
1Tsp Irish Moss @15
1 packet of s04 Ale Yeast

The recipe called for Crystal malt, they were out of it so I subbed it with Pale ale malt

I sanitized with 2 gallons of Cbrite infused water, did my initial in my bottling bucket as the risk of blowout in my 5gal carboy for initial spooked me

I brought the malt to a boil in a grain bag and turned it off and let it steep for 30 mins moving it around a bit.

I steamed the oak chips to sanitize, added them to the bucket and topped off with 3 gals of water and lidded the bucket with the lock on.

I brought 2 Gals of water to boil in a 24 quart stainless pot then added the 2 cans of Amber LME and the strained Pale ale malt. Added the hops and moss as above. after the boil I added the mix to the bucket, resealed and placed it in a ice water filled sink to cook. It started at 115 I had to rush out but was able to get it down to about 86 then out of rushed necessity pitched the yeast a bit warm. I came back after a few hours and the temp was 72-74.

Have had good activity and I am debating primary for 7 or 14 days then racking to a carboy and dry hopping for 2 more weeks with Nugget then back to the cleaned bottling bucket to add corn sugar and bottle.

I have a hydrometer that comes with my kit that gives grav and corresponding ABV. My question is what should my target abv be for this beer and how would I calculate my IBUs?

Also as far as transferring to primary I am thinking of just sanitizing the bottling spigot and using the tubing to transfer with as little sloshing as possible. vs using a siphon. Would this grab too much of the dead yeast?

Also any other tips or suggestions would be awesome as well since this is my first 5 gal batch.

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Old 12-21-2011, 11:44 PM   #2
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The one pound of base malt won't give you anything, particularly if you brought it to a boil before steeping it (it's a base malt and must be mashed and cannot go over about 162 degrees before the enzymes are denatured) and it's not a sub for crystal malt which provides color and flavor. In any case, the amount of grain is negligible.

Two cans of LME should give you an OG of 1.047 for 5 gallons. You should have about 35 IBUs with that recipe. It's easiest to calculate IBUs with brewing software, but if you want to do it by hand, John Palmer has a great book called "How to Brew" that can teach you how to calculate it.

I wouldn't dryhop with nugget, as it simply doesn't taste very good. It makes a great bittering hop, but it's harsh and not a great hop for flavor and aroma. '

I don't understand your last question about transferring to the primary. I assume it was already in the primary the day you made it?

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Old 12-21-2011, 11:54 PM   #3
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Ok....

Pale Ale Malt is a base malt, not a steeping grain so it has to be mashed. NEVER BOIL GRAIN!!! Steeping is done between about 145-160 to dissolve sugars and extract color.

Crystal malt and Pale Ale Malt are not really interchangeable, the Crystal (caramel) is for color and flavor, the PA Malt is a base grain for fermentables and body.

You should use your hydrometer to take a gravity reading just prior to pitching yeast, this is your original gravity, your recipe should provide a target number for this.....after fermentation is complete, you take another gravity reading....the difference is used to calculate your ABV. Were the LME cans 3.3 lbs each? If you got anything from the Pale Malt you are probably in the 5% ABV range.

What temperature have you been fermenting at?

Your IBU's are calculated using the amount of hops, their alpha acid content, and their duration in the boiling kettle, the recipe should give you a target value. Your IBU's look to be in the low 20's

Read this: How to Brew - By John Palmer - Brewing Your First Beer With Malt Extract

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Old 12-22-2011, 12:46 AM   #4
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Ahh that was unclear I meant when transferring it to secondary using the bucket spigot vs the siphon. Would the spigot pull too much yeast?

It has been fermenting 70-74 steady. The cans were 3.3lbs each, yes. As far as nugget for the dry hopping I have had a few beers that use it extensively and on the back end and I like the piney resin notes of it so that is my logic, a bit different then the traditional more aromatic hops but I figured why not if it works great if its a bit meh then just change it up next time.

So as far as the logic of not boiling the grain the logic is that you are heating to 140-160 to activate the enzymes for them to break down the existing starches in the grain to ferment-able sugars? When that's done the wort boil shuts down those enzymes? Well grain mistake aside hopefully it will turn out on the lighter ipa side.

I usually tend to like hop bomb beers but wanted to keep it simple first go around.

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Old 12-22-2011, 01:14 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savage06 View Post
Ahh that was unclear I meant when transferring it to secondary using the bucket spigot vs the siphon. Would the spigot pull too much yeast?

It has been fermenting 70-74 steady. The cans were 3.3lbs each, yes. As far as nugget for the dry hopping I have had a few beers that use it extensively and on the back end and I like the piney resin notes of it so that is my logic, a bit different then the traditional more aromatic hops but I figured why not if it works great if its a bit meh then just change it up next time.

So as far as the logic of not boiling the grain the logic is that you are heating to 140-160 to activate the enzymes for them to break down the existing starches in the grain to ferment-able sugars? When that's done the wort boil shuts down those enzymes? Well grain mistake aside hopefully it will turn out on the lighter ipa side.

I usually tend to like hop bomb beers but wanted to keep it simple first go around.
70-74 degrees is too high (depending on yeast strain), especially if that's the ambient temperature. It's too late now, but for your next batch do you best to never let it get above 70 degrees (the beer, not the ambient temperature!). There are ways to do that, so if you need some ideas on how to keep it cool we can help.

Yes, you've got the idea of mashing (sort of). The enzymes we want working are active at 147-158 degrees or so. There are two main ones, so 150-153 is the "sweet spot" where they both can work. That's why most mash temperatures are in that range. Once you get over 165, the enzymes start to denature and will stop working.

The spigot may or may not allow a ton of trub through. I'd use my racking cane to transfer. Well, that's not quite correct. I probably wouldn't transfer the beer at all, and just bottle in 2-3 weeks. But since it's in your bottling bucket, you'll have to get it out of there sooner or later or get a new bottling bucket. I'd use the siphon, instead of trying to get the tubing into the opening of the spigot.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savage06 View Post
Ahh that was unclear I meant when transferring it to secondary using the bucket spigot vs the siphon. Would the spigot pull too much yeast?

It has been fermenting 70-74 steady. The cans were 3.3lbs each, yes. As far as nugget for the dry hopping I have had a few beers that use it extensively and on the back end and I like the piney resin notes of it so that is my logic, a bit different then the traditional more aromatic hops but I figured why not if it works great if its a bit meh then just change it up next time.

So as far as the logic of not boiling the grain the logic is that you are heating to 140-160 to activate the enzymes for them to break down the existing starches in the grain to ferment-able sugars? When that's done the wort boil shuts down those enzymes? Well grain mistake aside hopefully it will turn out on the lighter ipa side.

I usually tend to like hop bomb beers but wanted to keep it simple first go around.
Lots of issues here- just critiquing:

You need to siphon to avoid splashing or oxidizing beer that is at any stage of fermentation other than before adding yeast (no fermentation), but there's no need for you to use a second vessel. I know you think you should, but at this stage in the game just leave it where it is until you bottle.

70-74 is just way too hot to be fermenting. I'm going to guess that's your ambient (room) temperature and not your fermentation temperature (inside the beer). Fermentation produces heat, and your beer will likely be a fair bit warmer than the ambient temperature 5-10 degrees in some cases. Even at 70F for some yeasts you can start to get some really weird flavors happening, clove and spice, as well as hot alcohol and solvent flavors the warmer you go. You need to cool that down right away. Shoot for low 60F ambient, or mid-low 60s in the beer.

Someone already said that crystal and pale ale malt aren't remotely interchangeable, they're totally different things. Anyway, if you did want to mash your pale ale malt to make more sugar, then you'd want to keep it below 160F, depending. For steeping grains, like crystal/caramel, you can stay below 170 and be fine as you don't need any enzymes to be active.

Above that temperature for any grain, and you will be pulling nasty tannins out of the grains (specifically the hulls). That's the flavor in big, young, red wines that dries out the back of your tongue and makes you smack your lips a bit. Not tasty in beer. That's why you don't heat grains up above 170F, let alone boil them. You beer may be pretty tannin-y, as well as hot and solventy.

Cool it down and chalk it up to a learning experience. These are all things you won't do on the next better brew, and you'll just keep improving.

Good luck!

Edit: darn you Yooper, so quick.
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Old 12-22-2011, 03:58 AM   #7
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Since I am in a tiny apt and temp control is really out of the question high 60s low 70s are probably as consistent of an ambient temp as I'll see so for next time what tips/tricks do you suggest.

I popped the hydrometer out sanitized and used a sanitized thief to steal a sample the abv was reading at 5% on the nose and the beer tasted very dry, not a tannic dry just like a dry white wine. So I am gathering you were right on the hot ferment. I sealed it back up. So as for tips to even it out, is it worth trying to add any more sugar to even it out or will that just cause it to get hotter? IE is it worth touching at all or just let it chill till bottling time and hopefully when it carbonates it will even itself out over time?

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Old 12-22-2011, 04:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savage06
Since I am in a tiny apt and temp control is really out of the question high 60s low 70s are probably as consistent of an ambient temp as I'll see so for next time what tips/tricks do you suggest.

I popped the hydrometer out sanitized and used a sanitized thief to steal a sample the abv was reading at 5% on the nose and the beer tasted very dry, not a tannic dry just like a dry white wine. So I am gathering you were right on the hot ferment. I sealed it back up. So as for tips to even it out, is it worth trying to add any more sugar to even it out or will that just cause it to get hotter? IE is it worth touching at all or just let it chill till bottling time and hopefully when it carbonates it will even itself out over time?
Let this one go as is. Also, for your hydrometer reading, use the SG scale (1.XXX scale) not the ABV scale. ABV is calculated, you don't read it directly.
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savage06 View Post
Since I am in a tiny apt and temp control is really out of the question high 60s low 70s are probably as consistent of an ambient temp as I'll see so for next time what tips/tricks do you suggest.

I popped the hydrometer out sanitized and used a sanitized thief to steal a sample the abv was reading at 5% on the nose and the beer tasted very dry, not a tannic dry just like a dry white wine. So I am gathering you were right on the hot ferment. I sealed it back up. So as for tips to even it out, is it worth trying to add any more sugar to even it out or will that just cause it to get hotter? IE is it worth touching at all or just let it chill till bottling time and hopefully when it carbonates it will even itself out over time?
Temp control isn't out of the question at all. I live in a tinier apartment than you, with 2 cats and SWMBO, and I have 3 batches fermenting right now. If the humidity is lowish, you can just wrap your fermentor in a wet towel and keep it wet. Evaporative cooilng will do the rest. A fan will get things even colder. Otherwise, you can toss it in muck bucket with some water and a few frozen water bottles (2L) and you'll be there. You won't be totally satisfied with your beer until you can get your fermentation temps down.

Also, just ignore the alcohol level reading on your hydrometer. Use the SG scale.
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