Happy HolidaySs Giveaway - Last Sponsor Giveaway of the Year!

Come Enter the BrewDeals/FastFerment Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > My first AG batch results/questions
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-27-2012, 03:39 PM   #1
novahokie09
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Centreville, VA
Posts: 183
Liked 32 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default My first AG batch results/questions

Hello,

I've used this site extensively preparing for my first beer brewing experience. I decided to start AG, and it was a very long, rewarding day.

I decided to make 5 gallons of Pale Ale for my first batch. I wanted to make a Milk Stout, but I was convinced that I should start with something simpler my first time. Honestly, I don’t see how adding an extra 1# of unfermentable lactose to the equation complicates things, but I elected to go with the Pale Ale. For my recipe, I used 9# malted barley (2-row), 1# pale malt, 0.5# crystal 60L, 0.5# wheat flakes. My target mash temp was 153F for 60 minutes. I boiled for 60 minutes, and added 1 oz. Cascade at 60, 1 oz. Zythos at 20, and 1 oz. both Cascade and Zythos at 5 min. I however forgot to add the Whirfloc because I was too busy preparing my cooling chamber. I decided to use Safale-05 as the yeast, and I made a yeast starter 24 hr prior to pitching at high krausen.

My OG target was 1.055, and my actual was 1.053. I feel that I was pretty successful. However, I did encounter a few problems that I’d like for HBT to provide feedback on:

1) FWIW, I use a 5 gallon Home Depot cooler with a brass valve installed with a SS hose for my MLT. The total grain bill was 11#, and I used 4 gallon of water (1.45qt/#). My mash-in temp was 150F at the top at the start, and at 147F the top after an hour of mashing. This means I was 3F off my target temp, but I had no room to add hot water to raise the temp because I added 2 qt of 175F to get it up to 150F. Not sure how large a problem this is, but from my research, I’d estimate that the slightly lower temperatures will produce more fermentable sugars and will probably result in a lower FG. Can you confirm this?

2) When I attempted to vorlauf, I measured the exit temp at 114F. This tells me that I have a very large temperature gradient (~33F) in the MLT from top to bottom. Have you guys measured your exit vorlauf temps and found them to be substantially lower than your target mash temp? If not, how can I get a uniform mash temp? I think the most likely culprit has to be an incorrect reading because after an hour of mashing, the temp should be uniform throughout the MLT. I’m just curious if this is an observed issue, or more than likely an incorrect reading?

3) I ran off 2 qt of wort during the vorlauf; It was free of grain, but it was not clear as apple cider as Palmer references in his literature. I decided to heat the turbid wort on the boiling kettle anyway, so I could get to sparging. I did two batch sparge cycles with 2 gallons each at 165F. The exit fluids from both sparges were beautifully clear and orange. I hope the initial 3 gallons of turbid wort won’t impact the taste too much. Should I have kept running off the initial wort before boiling, or I am going to be okay with just running out 2 qt despite it not being as clear as the sparge runoffs? Here’s a picture of my SG reading. Does it look right for pale ale?



4) I targeted a 5 gallon batch, but only received 4.6 gallon of fluid in my fermenter carboy. I’m not worried about the 2 qt difference. I had ~6.5-7 gallon (3 gallon worth and 4 gallon of sparge) of wort pre-boil, and I was able to transfer 4.6 to the carboy. This means I boiled off 2 gallons during the hour. I had a strong full boil going and have a large diameter pot, so the air-wort interface has more surface area for the wort to boil off. I’ll just have to increase starting boil water next time. My real worry is that since I have a 6.5 gallon carboy, the head space in the carboy is large. I’ve read on here that it’s common to ferment 5 gallons in a 6.5 gallon carboy, but my issue is that the yeast didn’t really peak too much. I’m approaching 48 hr and the fermentation is decreasing. My max krausen layer was ~0.5”, and now there’s essentially nothing. The ambient temps range from 68F - 72F. I know the yeast is working, but the airlock activity has significantly dropped. Do you think this is a function of the head space, yeast starter bad, or am I just over-reacting?



5) Finally, I want to add 1 oz of both Zythos and Cascade to the primary after the fermentation has declined (~1 week from start), but I have no desire to transfer to secondary. What’s the best way to do this, or should I just neglect the hop addition entirely? Consider that I have a large head space (4.6 gallon beer in 6.5 gallon carboy). If I remove the airlock to add the hops, I fear I won’t have enough yeast activity to replace the O2 with CO2 and risk oxidation.

I appreciate any assistance you will provide, and I apologize for the wall of text. However, I feel that providing context to the situation will result in better comments and minimize the back-and-forth.

Thanks in advance!

__________________
novahokie09 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-27-2012, 04:33 PM   #2
rwinzing
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Bordentown, NJ
Posts: 456
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by novahokie09 View Post






1) FWIW, I use a 5 gallon Home Depot cooler with a brass valve installed with a SS hose for my MLT. The total grain bill was 11#, and I used 4 gallon of water (1.45qt/#). My mash-in temp was 150F at the top at the start, and at 147F the top after an hour of mashing. This means I was 3F off my target temp, but I had no room to add hot water to raise the temp because I added 2 qt of 175F to get it up to 150F. Not sure how large a problem this is, but from my research, I’d estimate that the slightly lower temperatures will produce more fermentable sugars and will probably result in a lower FG. Can you confirm this?

You are correct. Mash in a little hotter next time. It takes a couple of batches to get your brewing setup dialed in. Lower mash temps dryer beer.

2) When I attempted to vorlauf, I measured the exit temp at 114F. This tells me that I have a very large temperature gradient (~33F) in the MLT from top to bottom. Have you guys measured your exit vorlauf temps and found them to be substantially lower than your target mash temp? If not, how can I get a uniform mash temp? I think the most likely culprit has to be an incorrect reading because after an hour of mashing, the temp should be uniform throughout the MLT. I’m just curious if this is an observed issue, or more than likely an incorrect reading?

Couple things here. I doubt you had that much difference truly in your temp. You could have hit a cool spot in your grains. Stir the bed before your readings. I have a direct fire mash and re-circulate during the mash. When you get to the point you want to invest in a pump you can do that with a cooler as well. It helps keeping a consistent Mash temp.

I would also look into getting at least a ten gallon tun. As you can already see head space is a issue with a five and you only brewed a 5% beer. If you want to brew something bigger going to become an issue.


3) I ran off 2 qt of wort during the vorlauf; It was free of grain, but it was not clear as apple cider as Palmer references in his literature. I decided to heat the turbid wort on the boiling kettle anyway, so I could get to sparging. I did two batch sparge cycles with 2 gallons each at 165F. The exit fluids from both sparges were beautifully clear and orange. I hope the initial 3 gallons of turbid wort won’t impact the taste too much. Should I have kept running off the initial wort before boiling, or I am going to be okay with just running out 2 qt despite it not being as clear as the sparge runoffs? Here’s a picture of my SG reading. Does it look right for pale ale?

No worries at all. This is to prevent a stuck sparage and keep the grains to a min. in your kettle. No flavor impact.



4) I targeted a 5 gallon batch, but only received 4.6 gallon of fluid in my fermenter carboy. I’m not worried about the 2 qt difference. I had ~6.5-7 gallon (3 gallon worth and 4 gallon of sparge) of wort pre-boil, and I was able to transfer 4.6 to the carboy. This means I boiled off 2 gallons during the hour. I had a strong full boil going and have a large diameter pot, so the air-wort interface has more surface area for the wort to boil off. I’ll just have to increase starting boil water next time. My real worry is that since I have a 6.5 gallon carboy, the head space in the carboy is large. I’ve read on here that it’s common to ferment 5 gallons in a 6.5 gallon carboy, but my issue is that the yeast didn’t really peak too much. I’m approaching 48 hr and the fermentation is decreasing. My max krausen layer was ~0.5”, and now there’s essentially nothing. The ambient temps range from 68F - 72F. I know the yeast is working, but the airlock activity has significantly dropped. Do you think this is a function of the head space, yeast starter bad, or am I just over-reacting?

Again nothing to worry. Every fermentation is going to be different. I did a Brown Ale over the weekend with a starter on a stir plate. Airated the wort it is in a controlled chamber and same thing. Airlocks are only a valve to release CO2. More head space most likely less airlock activity but does not mean less fermentation. Leave it be for a few weeks and it will be great.



5) Finally, I want to add 1 oz of both Zythos and Cascade to the primary after the fermentation has declined (~1 week from start), but I have no desire to transfer to secondary. What’s the best way to do this, or should I just neglect the hop addition entirely? Consider that I have a large head space (4.6 gallon beer in 6.5 gallon carboy). If I remove the airlock to add the hops, I fear I won’t have enough yeast activity to replace the O2 with CO2 and risk oxidation.

No you can remove add hops and place back on no issues.

I appreciate any assistance you will provide, and I apologize for the wall of text. However, I feel that providing context to the situation will result in better comments and minimize the back-and-forth.

Thanks in advance!
Hope this helps
__________________
Friendly Acres Brewing
fabrewing.blogspot.com
rwinzing is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-27-2012, 05:55 PM   #3
novahokie09
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Centreville, VA
Posts: 183
Liked 32 Times on 16 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Rwingzing,

Thanks for commenting. It's great to receive feedback specific to my brew experience.

If you don't mind, I'd like to ask a couple of other questions.

1) I feel the color is a bit dark for a pale ale. Would you agree?

2) Should I wait a week before adding the hops, or should I add them now while there's still a little yeast activity?

__________________
novahokie09 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-27-2012, 06:50 PM   #4
rwinzing
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Bordentown, NJ
Posts: 456
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

Don't mind at all

1) I feel the color is a bit dark for a pale ale. Would you agree?

60L may be a bit dark. I use between 60L-75L for my Brown Ale's depending on how dark you want it back it down to 40L or even 20L. I threw your recipe in Beersmith and you should be right in range. Beersmith says for a Pale Ale between 5-14 SRM and you should be in the 7 Range so it could be because you are under in your volume as well.

2) Should I wait a week before adding the hops, or should I add them now while there's still a little yeast activity?

I normally wait for 14-20 days, then dry hop for 5 days in my primary Keg or Bottle after the five days

__________________
Friendly Acres Brewing
fabrewing.blogspot.com
rwinzing is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My first batch and results gdbrewer Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 02-07-2011 03:23 PM
1st Batch - Results eighteez Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 11-09-2010 10:11 PM
First Batch Results Spyd3r Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 09-15-2009 02:00 PM
Results of my first batch ovejon Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 01-22-2008 11:40 PM
First Batch Results thebbqguy Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 11-18-2007 08:54 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS