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Old 04-17-2007, 12:13 AM   #1
PenPen
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I brewed an irish red ale in late March. Fairly malty, low IBU beer. (first batch btw).

Anyway, I started with a 6g boil, hoping to end up with 5. I'm using a 30qt stock pot and thought I could prevent boil overs, but did so probably 5 times, a little each time.

I thought I was close to 5 g when I finished, but recently racked from my 6.5 to my 5g carboy and holy sh_t am I low. I am probably a tad over 3/4 full. Will this have a big impact on taste? (i.e. more hoppiness?) I tasted after two weeks in the primary and it smelled good, but had a bit of a bitter finish. I know it's not ready to drink yet, so I'm hoping the bitterness will mellow in time. Thoughts?

Here's the recipe:

7lbs Munich LME
.5lbs 2-2row
.5lbs Caramunich
.5lbs Crystal 120L

1.5 Hallertau 3.7 (60 min)
.5 Cascade 5.8 and Hallertau 3.7 (15 min)
.5 Cascade 5.8 (5 min)

White Labs Irish Ale #1084

BTW - I left it in the primary for 2 weeks due to a slow fermentation, and it will sit in secondary for a week before it's racked to a corny for cold conditioning. My OG was 1.052 and my last gravity reading was 1.18, which is a little short of the target gravity of 1.12, but I can deal with a 4.5abv beer. I'm more worried about how it will taste. Any thoughts on how it might turn out?

 
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Old 04-17-2007, 12:24 AM   #2
DeathBrewer
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you could probably let it sit long enough to reach your FG, but it looks to me like it will be a fine brew.

it doesn't seem like that hops would really make it that bitter...i'd let it go and it'll probably be fantastic.

RDWHAHB

Oh, in the future you may wish to brew less (3 gallons or so) and add water to reach five gallons once you're done. that'll help prevent boilovers, shorten cooling times and if you mark your carboy you can always get five gallons in that sucker.
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Old 04-17-2007, 01:02 AM   #3
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I'm pretty meticulous when I transfer my beer- so I lose quite a bit to trub myself. That's ok with me- as long as the beer tastes good, I don't mind being a 1/2 gallon low. You're fine, and that bitterness you're tasting will mellow.

One note: if you are following a recipe designed for a partial (2 or 3 gallon) boil, and you're doing a full 5 gallon boil, your hops utilization will increase. You'll have a lower total gravity wort, so the hops utilization goes up. What that means is your beer might be more bitter than you expect. For full boil extract batches, you can reduce your bittering hops by 20% and it'll even out.
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Old 04-17-2007, 02:15 AM   #4
PenPen
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Thanks. And now that you mention it Yooper, I did leave a bit on the trub out of the primary, so that may have contributed to my loss as well. I had heard that you should adjust your hops according to the boil volume, but didn't know by how much to adjust by. Thanks for putting a number to it.

I may do what Death suggested and cut down the boil volume until I get a bigger pot, although a 7.5g/30qt pot should do it I think. This, being the first brew, we learned that putting the gas on full blast is not such a smart idea and finally backed it off quite a bit to get a rolling boil. I've heard that doing 3g boils vs. 5g boils creates a difference in taste or mouthfeel or something. Any truth to that?

 
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Old 04-17-2007, 02:42 AM   #5
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you just have to make sure your malts are stirred in well so they don't burn. other than that, i've read that with grains it's actually bad to have them in a full 5 gallons...not sure what the science is behind this. anyone with a little more experience know what the water to grains ratio is and why it's important? something about enzymes breaking down i think??

i've recently (last 5 batches or so) been brewing with 1.5 gallons for grains, half-@$$ sparging (pouring hot water over grains) and bringing my final boil to 2.5-3 gallons. the beers have turned out great and it has dropped my cooling time by 30 minutes. also, my heating time by 30 minutes, because i'm not bringing as much water to a boil. makes a big difference when you start after work and try to finish before midnight

anyway, i know that boiling in smaller amounts will not hurt your beer, and it will make some things easier. Good luck...i'm sure it will turn out great and welcome to the party!
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Old 04-17-2007, 04:17 AM   #6
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DeathBrewer, do you mean its harmful to grains to steep or mash them in large amounts of water? you're probably right, you don't want to dilute the enzymes when mashing.

(on a side note, Im brewing partial mashes right now, with full boils. I mash in just over 2 gallons of water and I sparge with another 2, then top off my boil to 6ish. I can cool 5 gallons to 70 degrees in less than 10 minutes by stirring the wort with the wort chiller going, just don't foreget to aerate!)
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