Help fill in the gaps
Been following the boards and doing plenty of research. I helped friends brew and i did my own extract brew. I intend to do a partial mash on my stove top and was hoping that you might see something that I do not. SO help me fill in the gaps I am missing.
Recipe: (i used hopville Brew Calculus)
Oatmeal Stout. 4.5 Gallons
% LB OZ
40% 3 ~ Briess Amber DME Boil
27% 2 ~ Briess 2 Row Brewers Malt
13% 1 ~ Flaked Oats
7% ~ 8 Briess Organic Chocolate Malt
7% ~ 8 Briess Caramel Munich 60L
7% ~ 8 Black Malt
-Bring 1.5 Gallons of water to ~ 153 degrees
- Slowly add grains in a nylon bag
- place lid on pot and place in a preheated oven (170, turned off). Leave alone for one hour.
- Bring 1.5 gallons of water in a second pot to ~170 degrees
- Remove Mash from oven
- Remove grain bag from mash and place into second pot. Let soak for 10 minutes.
I am most confused about this part. Should I soak the grain bag, or try to do a batch sparge and pour the water over the grain bag? Or some other method
-Discard grains, combine wort. Bring to boil and add hops. ( 2oz new zealand Fuggle)
- Add DME in the last 15 minutes of boil. Total boil time: 60 minutes
- Cool down to 70 degrees
- Put to carboy, add top off water to desired amount. To 4.5 gallons to prevent overflow during fermentation.
- Pitch London Ale Yeast.
What do you think? I am not following any exact recipe. Does it look okay? Method Look okay?
The couple of times I did a partial mash I sparged...expect low efficiency though, maybe expect about 50% as a starting point; but, have some extra DME on hand just in case you have to make up for it. The other consideration is when it comes to topping up, top up to the gravity and not the volume, it is better to have 4 gallons of the desired gravity than it is to have 4.5 gallons of thin wort.
The method you describe is basically a dunk type sparge which will extract some additional sugars from the mashed grains. For a batch sparge put a colander over the brew kettle, put the grain bag in the colander and pour the 170 deg water over it.
Something to think about is a yeast starter, but that is up to you. If your OG is about like 1.060, I think they are recommended, but listen to others' advice over mine.
Also, I like the method of putting the kettle in the oven. That's what I did and it worked really well (temp only dropped 3-4*f). Make sure your kettle will fit as mine was really tight with the rack actually below the lowest setting. And one last thing - I read today that some people have increased their mash efficiency by stirring a couple of times during mashing. Maybe every 20 minutes. The trade off is a loss of temperature. Just something to think about.
Good luck and happy brewing. Let us know how it turns out. Sorry to be long-winded.
Dont forget to take your OG reading at the end.
That method is actually what I do, mainly due to the equipment I'm working with.
For the part you're not sure about:
Just put the bag in the 170 degree water, then mix it up really well. There are so many ways that people sparge, I don't know why home brews get so complicated when all you want to do is increase the solubility of the water. This is done using two factors: heat and surface area.
The heat comes from having 170 degree water. If you were to dump that water into your original mash pot, then you'd end up with water between 150 and 170. The surface comes from stirring up the mash, the more you stir, the more sugars come in contact with water. After you stir for a bit, dump it in the original pot, and (optionally?) drain the grain bag above the pot. What I do here is put the oven rack that I took out on top of the pot, then a strainer on that, and the grain bag in that.
Batch sparging (what we're doing) works well with BIAB since you don't really need to worry about messing up a grain bed and getting particles in your wort, the bag acts as a pretty decent filter.
For the rest:
I agree with freisste that you need to have warmer water before you put grains in, so that it ends up being 153. If you put grains in at 153, it will probably be at like 145.
If you do take a gravity reading before pitching yeast, make sure it's after you've added your top-off water, and that you've mixed the whole thing up a lot.
Thank you everyone for the help.
Sounds like the basic idea is sound. And I think I will do the dunk sparge method and be sure to stir it up. That also seems like the easiest way. I designed my recipe around a 65% efficiency. Sounds about right?
Also, any comments on the recipe itself? Does the grain percentage seems about right? Maybe I am using a bit too much oatmeal? Should I use crystal malt?
Caramunich is a crystal malt.
Edit: Actually just noticed you have amber DME there. I'd swap for light, you've got enough specialty malts in your partial mash.
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