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2nd brew- wee heavy with bourbon influence

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saeven

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rburrelli

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Steeping grains are bagged, like a big teabag. The instructions are pretty good on this recipe.
My suggestion would be to brew the recipe as indicated so you have a good idea of what a Wee Heavy is. You can add whiskey to taste when serving a just have a shot and a beer.
Either method you mention will work. Just be judicious.
 

Snuffy

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Be careful with that. Some beers don‘t take the barrel aging effect well. Oak by itself is a thing. Whiskey is another. I agree that you should brew the wee heavy first and then once you have it’s process and base flavors down, brew it again with adds. Play with small batches first.
 

mongoose33

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Let me also offer a note of caution. I'm of the belief that new brewers should brew relatively simple recipes to start, to get the process down. Brewing isn't rocket science, but neither is it simplistic. The more complicated the recipe and process, the more things that could go wrong, and then how do you decide what went wrong?

Of course, everybody gets to decide what makes them happy, including how you want to approach learning to brew. My approach has always been to help newbies brew good beer as quickly as possible. Think about where you want to be in six months, instead of trying to race ahead.

There's a lot to learn, but of all the things a new brewer has to learn, the most difficult is....patience!

Good luck either way.
 
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saeven

saeven

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Good advice by all. I’ll plan on just doing the wee heavy as even the grain part will be new.
 

Kickass

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You can split your batch. Package half when it’s ready to bottle/keg. Then add your bourbon and oak to the other half, age and package. You can compare the two that way.
 

hottpeper13

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I have access to barrels and also whisky soaked sticks and am a believer of subtle flavor, not over the top. so i've done this to get an idea of each oak and whisky additions. Soak the chips, sticks,spirals,you get the idea on the same day as brewing the beer. When the beer is conditioned and ready to drink fill 3 -50 ml beakers with 40 ml of beer and dose one with just the whisky,one with the liquor from the soaked oak and one control. Add 1 mil and taste, when you get what you want do the math and mix the keg. If you bottle just take good notes and brew another batch and add the whisky at bottling. I find that when putting the soaked sticks in the secondary also adding the liquor is too much, so I save it for packaging and dose it to taste.
 
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saeven

saeven

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two quick questions for my wlp028 scottish brew that I would like to happen today/tonight but we'll see what the answers to these questions are:

1) You think I can cold crash my 2L yeast starter in ~6 hours and then use (i just put it in the fridge at like ~38h post start)?
2) if a yeast has an ideal fermentation temperature of 65-70F, what does that mean could/would happen at 71/72?
 

VikeMan

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1) You think I can cold crash my 2L yeast starter in ~6 hours and then use (i just put it in the fridge at like ~38h post start)?
I don't think WLP028 is a particularly fast flocc'er. I would probably give it at least 48 hours.

2) if a yeast has an ideal fermentation temperature of 65-70F, what does that mean could/would happen at 71/72?
Probably not much difference between 70F and 72F. You might expect slightly elevated esters, but maybe not noticeable. Talking about wort/beer temp here, not ambient. At peak fermentation, the wort/beer is going to be warmer than ambient.
 

Cptblamo

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two quick questions for my wlp028 scottish brew that I would like to happen today/tonight but we'll see what the answers to these questions are:

1) You think I can cold crash my 2L yeast starter in ~6 hours and then use (i just put it in the fridge at like ~38h post start)?
2) if a yeast has an ideal fermentation temperature of 65-70F, what does that mean could/would happen at 71/72?
The higher you go, the more esters you're going to get. I am not too familiar with this strain, but the white labs website says pear and melon.

If this is your first time using this yeast, I would do your best to keep it in the range. If you feel it needs more ester, make it again at a higher temp. Brewing is part science part art. Unfortunately we all have to learn the science before we start painting...
 
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saeven

saeven

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Brew day went pretty flawlessly. I was a lot more comfortable with everything I was doing so I feel pretty happy considering this was only the 2nd batch. I will say though, that the recipe said the OG would be between 1.07-1.13. Why such a range? My OG was around 1.075. I was expecting it to be higher.

I split up the 5 gallons into 2 fermenters before pitching my yeast. One of them I put the bourbon-soaked oak spirals in. The other I put a couple shots of whiskey. Interested to see how different the tastes are.
 

VikeMan

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I will say though, that the recipe said the OG would be between 1.07-1.13.
The recipe you linked actually gave 1.092 as the target OG. The range is for the style, not that particular recipe.

Since you got 1.075 (vs the recipe's 1.092), we know that the recipe writer assumed a higher mash efficiency than what you're getting from your process. Whenever using someone else's recipe, it's a good idea to use the recipe's grain percentages, but substitute the amounts needed to get the target OG assuming your own mash efficiency.
 
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saeven

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So how do I increase my efficiency/what are the main killers of many brewers efficiency? Feel like it was relatively straightforward with the DME and Corn Sugar.. The only thing that i could see being different was the milled grain but even that seemed pretty easy.
 
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saeven

saeven

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Additionally, the target FG is 1.02.... why isn't it 1.00 (or closer to that)? Could you take it longer to get to that or are there other factors affecting the fg that i'm not aware of
 

VikeMan

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So how do I increase my efficiency/what are the main killers of many brewers efficiency? Feel like it was relatively straightforward with the DME and Corn Sugar.. The only thing that i could see being different was the milled grain but even that seemed pretty easy.
I forgot this was a (mostly) extract batch.
With an extract recipe, it's pretty hard to not hit close to the target OG. When you get a reading significantly lower than planned, here are several possibilities, alone or in combination...

- You didn't get all the extract into the kettle
- You topped off with water to more than the target volume
- You didn't mix the top-off water with the wort thoroughly before measuring the OG
- You measured the OG while the wort (and top off water) was still hot, and didn't adjust the reading for temperature.
- Some wort was left behind in the bottom of the kettle, so more water was used to top off to reach the target volume.
- Your hydrometer is inaccurate (try checking it with plain water)
- Operator error on the gravity reading
- Recipe/Software problem
 

VikeMan

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Additionally, the target FG is 1.02.... why isn't it 1.00 (or closer to that)? Could you take it longer to get to that or are there other factors affecting the fg that i'm not aware of
Beer worts contain some unfermentable dextrins. They also contain some amount of maltotriose, which various yeast strains are able (or not) to use to various degrees.

Also, there's nothing special at all about 1.000 FG. Although that's 100% apparent attenuation, it's still less than 100% real attenuation. 100% real attenuation would take the FG below 1.000, because alcohol is less dense than water.
 
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saeven

saeven

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I honestly don't even remember exactly when I took the hydrometer reading.. but definitely your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th points are very possible.
 
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saeven

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Are there better ways (yet not extremely expensive) to test gravity than the hydrometer?
 

VikeMan

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Are there better ways (yet not extremely expensive) to test gravity than the hydrometer?
There aren't really any better ways. An easier way (because it only requires a couple of drops of wort/beer) is with a refractometer, but that then requires the readings to be converted with a refractometer calculator.
 
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saeven

saeven

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Another thing I thought of.. Both of my fermentors are at very low working volumes.. Each of them can hold like 7 gallons but each have like 2.5 gallons in them. That would probably affect their bubbling out of the airlock right? Both are bubbling but not a lot. I'd say one bubble every ~10 seconds.
 
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