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Old 04-20-2008, 10:09 PM   #1
boozy_la_belle
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Default What have I done...i've created a monster

Seems like I can't get started on a beer without a couple of crazy mistakes. Last time it was the carafa 1 instead of caramel. This time it's an adventure...
Started out to make a basic pale ale recipe with the intention of throwing honey and ginger into the secondary ferment.

SINK TUB ALE

Ingredients:
6 lbs light extract
12 oz british pale malt
2 oz fuggles (50 min)
1 oz fuggles (15 min)
((too much! oops!)) 5 tsps Burton water salts
2 oz ginger root (35 min)
2 lbs (?) honey (secondary ferment?)
1 oz candied pureed ginger (secondary ferment?)
1 tsp irish moss (35 min)
1 package windsor yeast

Put the pale malt in with 2 gallons of water, brought to 160 F then removed from heat and covered, let steep 15 minutes. Drained the grains and brought the wort to a boil, added 6 lbs of light malt extract and salts. When dissolved and boiling, threw in 2 oz of fuggles and started the timer. 35 minutes into it, threw in the ginger root and the irish moss. 15 minutes later, I threw in the last fuggles hops.
Took off of heat after five more minutes and allowed to steep.
**this is where it goes really wrong!**
Prepared two 1-gallon containers (glass) in lukewarm water bath, poured wort into the bottles. One was fine, but one cracked and spilled wort into the prepared sink bath. We debated....we debated....we assesed the damage...we debated....and then we siphoned the water out of the sink, except for the bottom several inches, and then we reboiled the wort with added sink water for ten minutes. After that we siphoned the other half the wort (which had been cooling in the sink bath) and put it all in one metal pot in a sink bath. one hour later we were at 68 degrees F so i pitched in the rehydrated yeast and we sealed it up.

Our initial gravitiy is 1.070 and the percent sugar is 18%, with a potential alcohol reading of 10%. We're planning on throwing 2 lbs of honey and an ounce of candied ginger into the secondary ferment.

My questions:

How risky are we being for contamination? Was boiling good enough?

The OG is HIGHER then we were expecting, as was the sugar percentage. Should we leave this to ferment longer then two weeks?
Did we use an okay strain of yeast for this level of sugar?

We'll see how it goes!

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Old 04-20-2008, 11:20 PM   #2
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Well you know the answer to that one.

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Old 04-21-2008, 01:57 AM   #3
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Can anybody else hear "last post"

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Old 04-21-2008, 02:16 AM   #4
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Boiling always helps. The longer the better. I boil wort for at least 60 minutes. If I am trying to kill stuff on bottles, I boil for 20 minutes.

I have a couple of questions for you.

How many gallons wort do you have? (1.070 is very high for your pale ale and your recipe. It must be less than 5 gallons.

What do you ferment in?

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Old 04-21-2008, 02:36 AM   #5
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wrong post

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Old 04-21-2008, 02:59 AM   #6
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Let's start from the beginning:

1. This thread belongs in the Beginner's Forum. It's not a partial mash or all grain recipe by any stretch of the imagination.

2. Where did you get this recipe? 8+ lbs of fermentables in two gallons is an extremely strong beer, and it' certainly not the basis for an English pale. The best thing that could've happened to this beer is accidental dilution.

3. Never add salts to your brew water unless you've done the appropriate calculations to correct your water chemistry. If you find yourself adding mineral content on the order of tablespoons or anything measurable in whole ounces by weight, your calculations were sorely off. As long as you're brewing with extract, you can safely eliminate ALL brewing salts from the process.

4. NEVER, EVER siphon hot liquid into a glass container! If you happen to make that mistake, and the glass survives the initial thermal shock, NEVER, EVER put that container into a cold water bath! You're lucky you didn't hurt yourself.

5. As long as you brought it back to a boil after the sink catastrophe, and the already cooling wort was covered while you boiled the dishwater, your chances of infection are minimal. Given the recipe and procedure, this beer's chance of success is also pretty minimal.

6. Whatever you do, don't add honey. You don't need anything else in this beer, it's already got the kitchen sink!

7. Your yeast selection is almost inconsequential. Windsor isn't exactly a high gravity strain, but yeast choice shouldn't be your biggest worry with this batch.

8. Let this one finish without adding anything else. See how it turns out. Chalk it up to experience and apply your lessons learned to your subsequent brews.

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Old 04-21-2008, 09:37 AM   #7
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And by the way, always make sure you keep extensive notes when brewing. That way, when your beer turns out to be delicious, you'll be able to recreate it exactly the way you made it the first time.

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Old 04-21-2008, 06:28 PM   #8
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fermenting in a plastic bucket with airlock, and it's BUBBLING. Now that I think about it, there is a chance that we took the gravity reading from half way diluted, which would explain how high and the precent sugar. That's a comfort.
Recipie? Did i hear someone say recipe? We worked off of a pale ale recipe from the HomeBrew Bible but then used british pale malt instead of crystal.
and i'm sorry if this is the wrong place to post, i thought partial mashing was when you started with some grains to add complexity, which we did.

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Old 04-21-2008, 07:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boozy_la_belle
and i'm sorry if this is the wrong place to post, i thought partial mashing was when you started with some grains to add complexity, which we did.
Partial mashing is when you use grains and extract fermentable sugars from them. It's basically a mini all-grain mash. 12 ounces of malt would give you negligible sugars, no noticeable flavor, and is not a substitute for crystal malt. Crystal malt would have given you some color and residual sweetness.

You did extract with steeping grains. And I don't know what else! I think experimentation can be fun in brewing- but maybe following a "set" recipe would give you more predictable results. At least for the first couple of brews. Just my two cents.
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boozy_la_belle
Recipe? Did i hear someone say recipe? We worked off of a pale ale recipe from the HomeBrew Bible but then used british pale malt instead of crystal.
I think you used a 5 gallon recipe for a 2 gallon batch.

Also, British pale is a very poor substitute for crystal grain. Crystal grain doesn't need to be mashed and adds flavor and body. British pale is a base malt that needs to be mashed. What you're doing is not mashing, it's steeping. There's a big difference. See www.howtobrew.com.
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