A few technique questions

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jbsg02

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I'll be starting my 5th batch in the next couple of days and have a few questions before I begin. I bought a 3 gallon better bottle and will be doing 2.5 gallons. I'm trying an IPA recipe I made taking from the DFH 60 min.

1 lb 2 row pale malt (steeped)
.5 lb Amber Malt (steeped)
3 lbs Breiss golden light DME

Warrior, Magnum, and Amarillo Gold hops

White Labs California Ale Yeast

1 - I'll be doing a sort of mini mash with the 2 row and the amber malt. How much water do I need to steep the grains in? 1.25 quarts per pound? So around 2 quarts for my 1.5 pounds of grain. Since I will be trying to get some fermentables out of the 2-row, whats the best way to do this in a grain bag? Should I be aiming for 150-154, and for a whole 60 minutes? I don't have any iodine to do a test with.

2 - After the grains were steeped, whats my best option for sparging? Heating up a 2nd pot with water to 170 and pouring it over the grains or let the grains steep again in the water? How much water does this need to be?

3 - I plan on doing a full boil for the best hop utilization. After sparging, should I simply top off the wort I have with water to 3 gallons before the boil? How much DME do I need to add at the beginning of the boil for the best hop utilization?

4 - I want to do continuous hopping like the DFH 60 min. I have 1 oz each of Warrior, Magnum(they were out of Simcoe), and Amarillo hops. Any recommendations on a hop schedule?

5 - I was just planning on taking my remaining hops and dry hopping, is this okay? At what point in fermentation should they be added and for how long?

I know this is A LOT of questions, but my first few brews have been very disappointing and I really want to make a beer that I will love drinking. Thanks in advance for all the help! This forum has been great!
 

Captain Damage

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1 - Go here: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy-partial-mash-brewing-pics-75231/

2 - See above link.

3 - you'll want a little more than 3 gallons, say 3.5 since you'll lose some to evaporation. You'll have some wort in there from your minimash so you don't need to add your DME until the last 10 mins.

4 - Is that a trick question? Continuous hopping means you don't have a schedule. Check what other DFH90 clones suggest.

5 - After fermentation has stopped, and plan it as teh last thing you do before you bottle. If you're dryhopping for a week and your plan is to keep the beer in primary for 4 weeks, put the dry hops in on the fourth week.

Why were your first few beers disappointing? It's just my $0.02, but I'd tend to suggest that you stick to simple, proven recipes and start designing your own beers only after you've been able to get consistently good results.
 
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jbsg02

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1 - Go here: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy-partial-mash-brewing-pics-75231/

2 - See above link.

3 - you'll want a little more than 3 gallons, say 3.5 since you'll lose some to evaporation. You'll have some wort in there from your minimash so you don't need to add your DME until the last 10 mins.

4 - Is that a trick question? Continuous hopping means you don't have a schedule. Check what other DFH90 clones suggest.

5 - After fermentation has stopped, and plan it as teh last thing you do before you bottle. If you're dryhopping for a week and your plan is to keep the beer in primary for 4 weeks, put the dry hops in on the fourth week.

Why were your first few beers disappointing? It's just my $0.02, but I'd tend to suggest that you stick to simple, proven recipes and start designing your own beers only after you've been able to get consistently good results.
Thanks, beersmith calculated that I needed 2.89 gallons to boil to 2.5, so that's why I just went with 3.

So it's okay to top off to 3 gallons just before the boil?

My first batches were a couple of mr beer kits and a raspberry wheat recipe that is still conditioning in the bottles. I found that my water has cloromines in it, so that could be a factor.
 

gregpio85

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For sparging. Just in my experience doing AG on the stove, whatever I"m mashing with, I will sparge with enough water to get me up to my boil volume.

Then you can then take a gravity reading and determine how much boiling you'll have to do.

If your Gravity is low, you can boil for a little bit longer to get excess water out.

If it's high, you can either boil shorter or take some wort out and replace it with water.

Then again, I learned my brewing from whatever made sense to me and I'm by no means an "above average" brewer.
 
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jbsg02

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For sparging. Just in my experience doing AG on the stove, whatever I"m mashing with, I will sparge with enough water to get me up to my boil volume.

Then you can then take a gravity reading and determine how much boiling you'll have to do.

If your Gravity is low, you can boil for a little bit longer to get excess water out.

If it's high, you can either boil shorter or take some wort out and replace it with water.

Then again, I learned my brewing from whatever made sense to me and I'm by no means an "above average" brewer.
Sounds good, I will sparge with the remaining water left over after the steeping. I'll be adding extract, so taking a gravity reading after the steeping won't tell me very much
 

Captain Damage

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The chloramine will not come out of your water with boiling or resting. You need to treat the water Campden tablets, or just use bottled water.
 

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If you are doing 2.5 gal in 3 gal better bottle make sure you have a blowoff tube for initial fermentation. You WILL need it.

You don't really need to continuous hop with the high AA hops. I mean, you could, but since it's just for bitterness may as well add that at 60 (amount determined by how much IBU's you want). Then do continuous hopping for flavor and aroma with the rest starting at maybe 20-30 mins.
 

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1.25 quarts/lb of grain is correct.

Just a note: You could mash 4 lbs of grain in 5 quarts just as easily. Use a 5 gallon paint bag from Lowes or HD for the grains. Lift the bag up, drain, and then add to a second pot with 170 F water. If you have the pots, you could sparge twice, each time with 1 gallon of 170 F water. You will end up with 3 gallons by this method.

Mash for 30 to 40 minutes. Sparge each time for about 10 minutes. Occasionally stir the grain inside the bag to ensure the water and enzymes get to all the grain. You will probably get about 80% mash efficiency this way, or about 30 points per lb.

Use the Magnum for bittering. It does not have much flavor.

Treat water for chloramines or used bought water.
 
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jbsg02

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The chloramine will not come out of your water with boiling or resting. You need to treat the water Campden tablets, or just use bottled water.
I used store bought spring water instead, thanks.
 
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jbsg02

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1.25 quarts/lb of grain is correct.

Just a note: You could mash 4 lbs of grain in 5 quarts just as easily. Use a 5 gallon paint bag from Lowes or HD for the grains. Lift the bag up, drain, and then add to a second pot with 170 F water. If you have the pots, you could sparge twice, each time with 1 gallon of 170 F water. You will end up with 3 gallons by this method.

Mash for 30 to 40 minutes. Sparge each time for about 10 minutes. Occasionally stir the grain inside the bag to ensure the water and enzymes get to all the grain. You will probably get about 80% mash efficiency this way, or about 30 points per lb.

Use the Magnum for bittering. It does not have much flavor.

Treat water for chloramines or used bought water.
Thanks, I brewed this today and my only worry was that my mash dropped a little low midway though and I had to warm it back up, I guess since it was such little water in a stainless pot it lost its heat pretty quick.

I did the continuous hopping like Yooper's DGH 60 min recipe, but substituting magnum for simcoe. I have .75 ounces of amarillo left that I can dry hop with.
 
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jbsg02

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I just about hit my gravity spot on. Beersmith's calc was 1.069 and it looks like I'm at about 1.070
 
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jbsg02

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Question about dry hopping. I originally wanted to use Simcoe and Amarillo, but they didnt have Simcoe. I have 3/4 ounces of both Amarillo and Magnum left. I also have about 1/2 ounce of Hallertauer left from a previous brew. Should I just use the Amarillo, since the magnum is not known for being a good dry hop?
 
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jbsg02

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Just a little update, my beer has been in primary for 2 weeks, so I took a gravity reading and added 3/4 oz of Amarillo hops for dry hopping. I tasted some of what I pulled out using my thief to get a little idea of how it was coming along. It tasted pretty good, no detectable off flavors. It did seem to taste pretty strong, like there were a lot of unfermentable sugars still there. My gravity read 1.018, which is the calculated final gravity. My thief was sticky from the wort after it dried for a little bit. Is that normal, or are there too many sugars still in there?
 

gregpio85

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jbsg02 said:
Just a little update, my beer has been in primary for 2 weeks, so I took a gravity reading and added 3/4 oz of Amarillo hops for dry hopping. I tasted some of what I pulled out using my thief to get a little idea of how it was coming along. It tasted pretty good, no detectable off flavors. It did seem to taste pretty strong, like there were a lot of unfermentable sugars still there. My gravity read 1.018, which is the calculated final gravity. My thief was sticky from the wort after it dried for a little bit. Is that normal, or are there too many sugars still in there?
( 70 - 18 ) / 70 = 74% which is an average attenuation.

Test it again in a day or two and make sure that's your FG.

I don't know exactly what your options would be if you wanted to lower your gravity. Somebody else could probably answer that, but for an ipa that doesn't sound too high.

Worst case scenario you just give the beer a different name :) cheers!
 
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jbsg02

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( 70 - 18 ) / 70 = 74% which is an average attenuation.

Test it again in a day or two and make sure that's your FG.

I don't know exactly what your options would be if you wanted to lower your gravity. Somebody else could probably answer that, but for an ipa that doesn't sound too high.

Worst case scenario you just give the beer a different name :) cheers!
1.018 is what the final gravity is supposed to be, so I might have been overthinking my taste. I based the recipe on Yooper's 60 minute IPA recipe and the final gravity on that recipe is 1.018. I'm I think it's going to be a very good beer. I will check the FG after a week of dry hopping when I plan to bottle. Excited about this brew!
 
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jbsg02

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SUCCESS! I tasted my IPA tonight for the first time. After 3 unsuccessful homebrew attempts, I made something that I'm proud of! Very similar to a DFH 60 minute, and I'm happy to say that I like it just as much if not more than the DFH! I can say that I owe this one to the forum and for all the things I've learned here. Cheers!
 

joetothemo

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Congrats! Glad it worked out. Didja take pictures? I took so many of my first successful brew.
 
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jbsg02

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Yep! I would consider this beer to be between a DFH 60 minute and 90 min IPA, as the abv is close to 7% and there is a bit more malt sweetness than a 60 min. It was my first attempt at a partial mash, and I was a little worried after I steeped the 2-row malt that I didn't have complete conversion, but I guess I did okay cause it tastes great!

 
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