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Old 08-29-2011, 02:26 PM   #1
macleod319
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Default Posting for critique - BBD Brown Biscuit

Alright, first shot here at Deathbrewer's Partial Mash sticky with ChshreCat's "BBD Brown Biscuit" English Brown recipe... I'm posting this for people to peruse the steps/pics and chime in with anything right/wrong/weird you see, so I can do it better next time. Here goes...

Recipe:
6# Amber DME (Orig. was 7# LME)
1# Special B grain
0.5# Biscuit grain
0.5# Pale 6-row grain
0.5# Carapils grain
1 oz US Fuggles whole (5.6%) - 45 min. *
1 oz Willamette pellets (4.2%) - 15 min. *
1 pkg Safale S-04 English Ale yeast

Est. OG/FG 1.058/1.015

* Changed the recipe due to the fact that the alpha numbers on my Fuggles from the LHBS were larger, and I wanted to use 1 pack of whole hops for the filtering quality.

Alright, on to the show... please feel free to correct any terminology. Still pretty new to this...

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Old 08-29-2011, 02:34 PM   #2
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First, got everything together for the steeping. Didn't take a pic of the mash before the oven, but I got 4 quarts of water to 158F for the steep, added the grain, and got about 153F after a few minutes of stabilizing. Into the oven at 150 it goes...



After 30 mins, I have 4 quarts of 170F water on for the sparge...



Here, the temp dropped when I added the grain to about 160. I turned the burner on for a couple 10 sec. spurts to bring the temp up, and left it for 10 mins to sparge out.



After 10 mins on the sparge, I transferred the grain bag to the strainer and washed with my sparge water. Lightly pressed the bag to get some more of the goodnesss out, and added the DME on the way up to boiling...

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Old 08-29-2011, 02:40 PM   #3
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The meaning of life? Why, BEER, of course!



Uneventful boil (no boilover, sweet). Noticed I probably boiled off 1 to 1.5 quarts of water. Should I back off on the temp? Just keep it at a mild boil?



After the 60 min boil, into the "wort chiller" it goes... aka the pool, in front of one of the jets.



While its cooling, I'm getting my swamp cooler ready to go (First time with this one. I decided I needed something after my ESB turned into Banana Bread Beer)

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Old 08-29-2011, 02:48 PM   #4
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First time straining beer on its way into the fermenter. I was a little worried about plugging it up, but looks like whomever put this on the shelf at the LHBS knew what they were doing...



Just enough in there to make me feel good about it.



Temp is just showing on the meter here, throwing some ice cubes in the mix prior to pitching the dry yeast.



And my blowoff tube setup. Posting these because I want to know if it looks alright for fermenting. I'm about 12 hours into the primary right now and it's bubbling along great, just want to be sure I'm not screwing myself on the back end (Liquid is Starsan from my sanitizing dilution)


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Old 08-29-2011, 02:54 PM   #5
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Topped off the carboy to get to 5 gal. Mixed the hell out of it, took a gravity, pitched the yeast.

Actual OG - 1.059@ 70F. Awesome.

Alright, there it is. Active fermentation started almost immediately, with bubbling out of the blowoff tube w/in 4 hours. I have cooled the primary to about 68F with this setup w/in 8 hours, and looks a lot better to me than my last batch (high out of scale on the "fermentometer")

Things I've learned with this batch:

-Get a bigger stockpot. The 12quart job is good enough for me, but I need another one. That 6 quart one was a little small for that grain bill, and I want to get to 5-6# of partial grains.

-Whole hops are just as easy to deal with as pellets, and I feel confident in their straining ability (got a good bit of sludge with the leaves in the strainer basket). Granted, this wasn't an IPA, so I might regret that descision later. Maybe I'll use a combo of leaves/pellets on my first IPA...

-I'm really hoping this cooler for the carboy will kill my off flavors. My first couple batches were "OK", but I'm hoping this will be better.

Thanks in advance - Jeremey

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Old 08-29-2011, 05:03 PM   #6
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Looks like you've put a lot of effort into improving your process and setup - this will pay big dividends.

Swapping frozen water bottles in and out of your swamp cooler should make a big difference, you should easily be able to keep the temp in the 65 - 68 range.

Also, Brown Biscuit is one of my favorite recipes - good choice!

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Old 09-04-2011, 11:57 PM   #7
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Wasn't happy with the open cooler setup, so I went to Lowe's yesterday and got an Igloo Ice Cube and a sheet of 2" rigid insulation.

The only question I have with that setup is - Why didn't I do that sooner? Granted, I did have to cut 2 pieces for the 6.5 gal carboy, but this is great. 40 bucks for a low-hassle controlled environment. If I was a little mindful, I could probably cold-crash in this pretty easily too. I think I'll do that this week.

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Stock market crashed? Hurricane warnings? Job sucks? Weather sucks? Friends busy?

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Old 09-25-2011, 05:36 PM   #8
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Default A LOT better this time around.

Well, primary for 7 days, no cold crash (Fermented at about 66-68), and 2 weeks in the bottle. Popped my first (2nd/3rd) last night and was instantly satisfied with my improvements. I'll try getting a pic of this fantastic brew this week, but awesome so far.

Thanks for the help HBT.

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Stock market crashed? Hurricane warnings? Job sucks? Weather sucks? Friends busy?

None of that matters as I'm going to brew some beer with some loud rock music.
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