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Old 04-20-2014, 02:19 PM   #1
BadWolfBrewing
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So, I had planned on trying to clone Tall Grass's 8-bit pale ale. Good stuff.

The LHBS had a pretty skimpy grain selection, so I made some last minute adjustments. They also only sold in 1 lb increments, so I had to get extra grain. Finally, they did the milling, so ALL of the grain got milled together before I remembered to tell them to only use some of it. Needless to say, this isn't the recipe I set out for. 6 gallon batch:

10 lb US 2-row
1 lb Munich
1 lb crystal 10
1 lb amber

It is that amber I'm worried about. At 1 pound, I think it is some pretty intense stuff. Also, I'm now at 15% unfermentable too.

So here's my plan. Reduce the mash temp to 147 to get all the fermentation I can out of it.

Add a bunch of citrusy leftover hops for flavor additions. To try and combat the amber malt flavor a little.

Thoughts?

Heating strike water now...

 
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Old 04-20-2014, 04:28 PM   #2
chickypad
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I don't know what you mean by unfermentables, amber isn't unfermentable it just doesn't have any diastatic power on it's own. Also contrary to popular wisdom crystal malt contributes a fair percentage of ferementable sugars when mashed with a base malt.

I accidentally doubled the amber malt in Yooper's Dogfish 60 clone once, so instead of 3% I used 6%. Looks like you're sitting at around 7-8%. I actually found it to taste not malty but exceedingly dry - and I see why people sometimes refer to amber as biscuit on steroids. I would probably do the opposite and mash a little higher than intended to offset that effect.

 
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:05 PM   #3
BadWolfBrewing
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Thanks for the info about unfermentable. I'm still in a binary thinking pattern, i.e., base grain = fermentable, specialty grain = not. I spent so much time learning about brewing equipment and building my brewery, I haven't spent enough time learning about the details of actually brewing. I'm certainly not a novice, by any stretch, but haven't focused on the ingredient / recipe side as much as the equipment / process side.

I'm working on that now, and need to get some new books on the subject.


That's what I ended up doing, mashed a little higher than I had planned.

But to continue the 'brew gone pear-shaped' saga, I got distracted and forgot to raise the mash temp before sparging. So the efficiency took a big hit, and I batch sparged a fair amount extra to make up for it. So I'm looking down the barrel of a multi-hour boil just to get up to OG. I have the rest of the brewery cleaned up and drying in the sun, and I'm still not to the planned preboil volume yet.

Wondering what a crazy long boil will do to the flavor. Between the long boil, the amber malt, and me upping the flavor additions, this is going to be quite the punch to the mouth. Hopefully in a good way, but we will see.

 
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:12 PM   #4
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It's too late now, but you didn't have to sparge more (which reduces the OG even more!) to make up for low efficiency. The converse is true- sparging more reduces the OG by diluting it more.

Next time, just recalculate with your efficiency and possibly reduce the bittering hops to keep the balance of the beer and don't boil for ages. It's super easy to adjust that on the fly.
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:33 PM   #5
BadWolfBrewing
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Sparging more, in this context, increases the OG, once the excess water is boiled off. In cases when a lot of the sugars were extracted in the normal sparging process, further sparging might not help much and you risk some problems with pH / tannins. However, I left plenty of sugar left on the grains due to a lack of mash out. As these 'third runnings' had a gravity of about 1.020, I was still getting plenty of sugar.

I'm almost boiled down to the planned pre-boil volume and gravity. This isn't the first time I forgot to mash-out. I think I need to hang up a sign, or get a tattoo in a visible place, like on my dog.

 
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Old 04-20-2014, 06:46 PM   #6
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Unless I'm not understanding the term correctly I don't technically do a mash out when batch sparging - just drain at mash temp. The batch sparge water is about 168 though. I get the same consistent 77-78% efficiency whether I batch sparge in a cooler, do a small dunk sparge with BIAB, or fly sparge on my bigger system. I just attribute that to the same crush.

 
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Old 04-20-2014, 07:12 PM   #7
BadWolfBrewing
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I use a herms system, so I can raise the temperature up to 168 before collecting the first runnings. When I forget to do that,i take a big hit in efficiency. When I remember and fly sparge,I can get low 90s. I'm questioning whether or not that is a good thing though. Could be a future experiment.

 
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadWolfBrewing View Post
Sparging more, in this context, increases the OG, once the excess water is boiled off. In cases when a lot of the sugars were extracted in the normal sparging process, further sparging might not help much and you risk some problems with pH / tannins. However, I left plenty of sugar left on the grains due to a lack of mash out. As these 'third runnings' had a gravity of about 1.020, I was still getting plenty of sugar.

I'm almost boiled down to the planned pre-boil volume and gravity. This isn't the first time I forgot to mash-out. I think I need to hang up a sign, or get a tattoo in a visible place, like on my dog.
When you batch sparge, a mashout is unnecessary, but maybe you did a fly sparge and then a batch sparge? I don't know, but sparging more and boiling more doesn't really help. You could just go with the runnings you had, and boil for an hour, and probably end up with about the same beer depending on what the actual preboil gravity would have been.

Boiling longer does reduce volume, but propane and fuel has a cost as well so it's not always cost effective to pursue efficiency.
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Old 04-20-2014, 09:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadWolfBrewing View Post
Wondering what a crazy long boil will do to the flavor. Between the long boil, the amber malt, and me upping the flavor additions, this is going to be quite the punch to the mouth. Hopefully in a good way, but we will see.
It will probably turn out to be one of your favorite batches, as "mistakes" often do

Like I said my was pretty dry, but it was still a good beer even for someone like me who tends to go pretty easy with the victory/biscuit/amber group. That recipe also didn't have anything else but base malt, maybe the lb of light crystal plus the munich will help round it out.

 
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Old 04-20-2014, 10:09 PM   #10
RonPopeil
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personally i think you're wrecked. you have 2 # of cara to 11# of base when you probably wanted less than half as much. I think you'll end up with a sweeter version of what you anticitpated.

nothing to worry about. just won't be close to the original. won't be bad.

easiest fix is to kill it with hops. stiffen the bittering addition and bomb it late.
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