Quantcast

BeerSmith 2 converted flaked oats to Carafoam for an oatmeal stout?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

J2W2

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Messages
386
Reaction score
48
Location
Lincoln
Hi,

I am planning to brew an oatmeal stout recipe from one of my brewing magazines. I'm an extract brewer, and the recipe is all-grain, so I ran it through BeerSmith 2 for the conversion.

All the ingredients remained the same, except for the 2 Row (obviously) and the 1.5 lb of Flaked Oats, which the software converted to 2.25 lb of Carafoam.

I've never had a conversion change a grain like that, and I'm concerned since this is an oatmeal stout. What are your thoughts?

Thanks for your help!
 

kh54s10

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 6, 2011
Messages
18,714
Reaction score
5,448
Location
Edgewater
I just tried to convert 2 stout recipes that had flaked oats. Neither one changed the oats. I don't know. I would try it again. I changed from a 5 gallon pot to my all grain equipment setup. I don't know if equipment would make a difference in the recipe.
 
OP
J2W2

J2W2

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Messages
386
Reaction score
48
Location
Lincoln
I just tried to convert 2 stout recipes that had flaked oats. Neither one changed the oats. I don't know. I would try it again. I changed from a 5 gallon pot to my all grain equipment setup. I don't know if equipment would make a difference in the recipe.
I used my profile for the conversion. I just tried it again with the generic Pot (4 Gal/15.1L) - Extract choice, and it still swapped in the Carafoam.

The full original recipe calls for:
6.5 lb 2-Row
1.5 lb Flaked Oats
12 oz Biscuit
9 oz Black Pearl
9 oz Caramel 60L
9 oz Pale Chocolate
7 oz Chocolate
3 oz Roasted Barley
0.7 oz Warrior (60 min boil)
1.3 packages SafAle S-04
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
16,700
Reaction score
6,832
Location
Pasadena, MD
It's an Oatmeal Stout, because there's oatmeal in it. It lends a smooth silky mouthfeel to the beer.

The conversion BS did is not correct. There are settings on how it converts different grains and adjuncts to extracts. However, there is nothing that can replace oatmeal.

To incorporate the flaked oats, you need to do a mini mash, similar to steeping, but more controlled. Use 1.5# of 2-row or another base malt like Golden Promise, Maris Otter, etc. and 1.5# of flaked oats in your mini mash. If there's any Carafoam/Carapils in the original recipe, it should be included too.

Most dark grain can be steeped, and I prefer to do that separately from the boil and add the black potion at flameout or a little later when the wort has chilled to around 170F, so they never get boiled. That adds more smoothness in the dark notes, prevents astringency and cooked coffee flavors, IMO.
 

kh54s10

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 6, 2011
Messages
18,714
Reaction score
5,448
Location
Edgewater
OOPS! I didn't read carefully and I was converting the other way, extract to all grain.... I tried the ingredients you listed. It changed to carafoam???? I would probably just change the recipe to use the oats.

Or look for an oatmeal stout extract recipe that you don't need to convert. I would not trust a conversion too much anyway because you don't really know what is in the extract.
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
16,700
Reaction score
6,832
Location
Pasadena, MD
I'd take automatic conversions with a large dose of salt too, unless I have control over the conversion protocol.

Just edit the recipe in Beersmith as I outlined above, using a mini mash. That Biscuit malt needs to be included in the mash too.
 
OP
J2W2

J2W2

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Messages
386
Reaction score
48
Location
Lincoln
It's an Oatmeal Stout, because there's oatmeal in it. It lends a smooth silky mouthfeel to the beer.
Exactly my concern! I've brewed oatmeal stouts before; just not this one. Having no oatmeal in an oatmeal stout just seemed way too weird to me. I'll put it back in and take the Carafoam out (the original did not call for any).

Thanks for the advice on the mini-mash / steep as well!

Thanks to all for your help!
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
16,700
Reaction score
6,832
Location
Pasadena, MD
Exactly my concern! I've brewed oatmeal stouts before; just not this one. Having no oatmeal in an oatmeal stout just seemed way too weird to me. I'll put it back in and take the Carafoam out (the original did not call for any).

Thanks for the advice on the mini-mash / steep as well!

Thanks to all for your help!
YVW!

How did you handle the oatmeal in those other recipes?

If you post your manually converted recipe, including the mini-mash grains, I'll be happy to look it over. Mash at 154-156 and you should be golden. That Crystal 60L can go in the mash too.

If you've never done a mini-mash, you can do it in a large pot and stick in a warm, but turned off oven to keep the mash temp constant. Strain through a sieve or colander. Then sparge 1x or 2x.
 
OP
J2W2

J2W2

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Messages
386
Reaction score
48
Location
Lincoln
YVW!

How did you handle the oatmeal in those other recipes?

If you post your manually converted recipe, including the mini-mash grains, I'll be happy to look it over. Mash at 154-156 and you should be golden. That Crystal 60L can go in the mash too.

If you've never done a mini-mash, you can do it in a large pot and stick in a warm, but turned off oven to keep the mash temp constant. Strain through a sieve or colander. Then sparge 1x or 2x.
I have not done a mini-mash before. The last oatmeal stout I did was from a kit (as was the one before that I think), and it was pretty basic. It had 6 lb of dark LME, with 8 oz Flaked Oats, 4 oz Chocolate Malt and 4 oz Roasted Barley. It just called for a 30-minute steep of the grains, which is what I did. It was fine, but I'm looking for something more this time.

I took the Carafoam out and put in 1.5 lb Flaked Oats, which is what the all-grain recipe called for. I also upscale my recipes to 5.5 gallon, just so I know I'll have enough for a full keg. I also replaced some of the LME with some DME and tweaked it to hit the original recipe's 5.9 Est ABV. Based on that, here's my recipe:

1.5 lb Flaked Oats
1.17 lb Caramel 60L
7.5 oz Black Pearl
7.5 oz Caramel 60L
7.5 oz Pale Chocolate
5.9 oz Chocolate
2.5 oz Roasted Barley
6.3 lb Pale LME (2 - 3.15 ib containers)
2 lb Light DME
0.7 oz Warrior
1.4 package SafAle S-04

My usual process had been to heat my full pre-boil volume of water to 155 degrees, then cut the heat and steep the grains in the full volume for 30-minutes.

A year ago I modified that process after I'd read that it isn't good to steep in that much water. Now I heat my full pre-boil volume to 160 degrees, then pull off a gallon of that into a small cooler, and another half-gallon into a thermos.

Then I steep in the cooler for 30-minutes. While that's going on, I add half my malt extract (I add the other half late in the boil) and start heating the kettle up to 200 degrees or so, just to save some time. After the 30-minute steep, I pour the liquid back into the kettle, put the steep bag over the kettle in a colander, and rinse it with the half-gallon of water.

I've got a couple of small coolers. I assume I could do a mini-mash in one of those, and steep at the same time in the other? I've also got three half-gallon thermoses, could I just sparge with one or two of those and my colander?

Added Question: Pardon my ignorance on all-grain methods. I know specialty grains require a base malt to aid the starch conversion, but other than lost potential sugars, are there other differences between mashing specialty grains and just steeping them? You have me curious since I've never mashed the specialty grains in all the extract beers I've brewed.

Thanks again for the help!
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
16,700
Reaction score
6,832
Location
Pasadena, MD
@J2W2
OK here's what I came up with, based on what you wrote above. Your existing methods look good.

Here we go:

1.5 lb Flaked Oats
1.17 lb Caramel 60L ==> That must be an error! Replace with 1.5# 2-Row! You need the enzymes to convert the Flaked Oats.
7.5 oz Caramel 60L

What happened to the 12 oz Biscuit malt? It gives a nice biscuity flavor to your Stout. Also add it to the mash.

All grain should be milled of course. Milling the flakes is optional.
Mash these 4 ingredients together in 6-7 quarts of water in a small cooler, or divide equally over 2 coolers or pots. The temp should be held at 154-156F for an hour. The temp can be a little lower, say 150 at minimum, but not higher than 156.

When your mini mash is done, strain and sparge 2x with 4-5 quarts of water each time.
Add enough water to the collected wort to get to your pre-boil volume MINUS 1 gallon (you'll be adding this missing gallon after the boil, from the steeped dark grains below). Add the DME, and one can of the LME. Add the other can at flameout, like you normally would.

Steeping Dark Grains
7.5 oz Black Pearl
7.5 oz Pale Chocolate
5.9 oz Chocolate
2.5 oz Roasted Barley

Steep these 4 (milled) dark grains separately in 2 quarts of 155F water for 30', while boiling the main batch. Sparge 2x with 1 quart water (~140-160F) each time. Add the resulting black potion to your boil kettle after flameout, when your wort has cooled to around 180F, and keep it there for a minute or so. As long as it all stays above 165-170F it will be fully pasteurized. Leaving it longer or a little hotter won't harm it. Just don't boil it!

6.3 lb Pale LME (2 - 3.15 lb containers)
2 lb Light DME ==> 1 pound maybe enough, you'll get about a pound's worth of sugars from the mash. Beersmith should tell you what your expected OG is, with all those ingredients.

0.7 oz Warrior
60' boil right?
Are there no other hops for flavor/aroma, like a little Willamette or so 5-10' from the end?

1.4 package SafAle S-04 ==> 1 properly re-hydrated package is plenty (see re-hydration instructions).
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
16,700
Reaction score
6,832
Location
Pasadena, MD
One more detail...

Do you know how much you're boiling off during your hour boil?

If that's around a gallon, you can ignore the MINUS 1 gallon above, and instead, fill your kettle to whatever level you normally boil or are comfortable with. You'll be replacing that evaporated gallon with that gallon of black steeped potion at the end of the boil.
 
OP
J2W2

J2W2

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Messages
386
Reaction score
48
Location
Lincoln
@J2W2
1.17 lb Caramel 60L ==> That must be an error! Replace with 1.5# 2-Row! You need the enzymes to convert the Flaked Oats.

What happened to the 12 oz Biscuit malt? It gives a nice biscuity flavor to your Stout. Also add it to the mash.
Good catch on both of those. BeerSmith 2 really altered this recipe! Normally the magazines provide both all-grain and extract versions, so I usually don't have to convert them.

The conversion kicked up the Caramel to 1.17 lb, and changed it from 60L to 20L (I missed that too), and removed the oats and biscuit. Do you think I could go with the original amounts of specialty grains? Then add 1.5 lb 2-row for the mini-mash? And if I keep the 9 oz Caramel 60L (from the original recipe), should I include that in the mini-mash or the steep?

I created a recipe with the original specialty grains, added 1.5 lb 2-row and adjusted the DME and LME to hit the 5.9 Est ABV (see attached). As a test, I removed the two chocolate malts and the roasted barley from the recipe, which dropped the Est ABV by 0.4%.

I have no idea if I can hit the default 72% efficiency, but based on that, I removed one entire container of LME and added a little more DME to hit 6.3% Est ABV (again, the extra 0.4% is to account for only steeping the chocolate malts and roasted barley).

I might kick the hops up a tad, but the original recipe only uses Warrior, and has an IBU of 35. I'll adjust my starting volume accordingly, but I usually boil off a gallon or so in an hour. I also tweak my burner a little, depending on how the boil-off goes.

Thank you very much for all the effort you're putting into this!

Oatmeal Stout.JPG
 

Yesfan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2012
Messages
2,173
Reaction score
440
Location
Cleveland
................

Steeping Dark Grains
7.5 oz Black Pearl
7.5 oz Pale Chocolate
5.9 oz Chocolate
2.5 oz Roasted Barley

Steep these 4 (milled) dark grains separately in 2 quarts of 155F water for 30', while boiling the main batch. Sparge 2x with 1 quart water (~140-160F) each time. Add the resulting black potion to your boil kettle after flameout, when your wort has cooled to around 180F, and keep it there for a minute or so. As long as it all stays above 165-170F it will be fully pasteurized. Leaving it longer or a little hotter won't harm it. Just don't boil it!......

Man, I'm glad I saw this post. I'm gonna brew an oatmeal stout tomorrow and I may try this method you mentioned.

:off:

I plan on using 1lb of "old fashioned" Quaker Oats. They are rolled oats and the cooking time on the packaging suggests 3 mins for stove top or 2-2.5 min if microwaved. I'm guessing they should be good as they are (no cereal mash required?). I don't plan on milling them with my grains since they're rolled. Will chucking them into the tun as I stir the grist be good?

For the hops, I was thinking of Palisade for 60 min. I have some East Kent, but don't think I have enough, hence the Palisade. I'll plug in the numbers in Beersmith and see what I get. If it helps, the recipe is just the plain ole oatmeal stout one that NB offers in their kits (I'm not brewing a kit btw).

Thoughts?


Apologies for the off topic OP.
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
16,700
Reaction score
6,832
Location
Pasadena, MD
Man, I'm glad I saw this post. I'm gonna brew an oatmeal stout tomorrow and I may try this method you mentioned.

:off:

I plan on using 1lb of "old fashioned" Quaker Oats. They are rolled oats and the cooking time on the packaging suggests 3 mins for stove top or 2-2.5 min if microwaved. I'm guessing they should be good as they are (no cereal mash required?). I don't plan on milling them with my grains since they're rolled. Will chucking them into the tun as I stir the grist be good?

For the hops, I was thinking of Palisade for 60 min. I have some East Kent, but don't think I have enough, hence the Palisade. I'll plug in the numbers in Beersmith and see what I get. If it helps, the recipe is just the plain ole oatmeal stout one that NB offers in their kits (I'm not brewing a kit btw).

Thoughts?


Apologies for the off topic OP.
Sure, any "Old Fashioned Oats" are great, I've used those often. I do mill them on pretty tight gap for faster hydration and conversion in the mash. I doubt a cereal mash is needed or makes a significant difference, I've never had any problems using them directly in the mash.

Rolled and Old Fashioned Oats are pregelatinized from the rolling process. Now Palmer claims there are levels of pregelatinization, so the closer they are to the whole kernels the more they warrant a cereal mash. Instant oats are more processed and thus more pregelatinized than flaked which in turn are more pregelatinized than Old Fashioned which are more pregelatinized than rolled ones. Often rolled and Old Fashioned type oats are heaped together and labeled as "flaked." However, flaking is an additional step after rolling, cutting them into smaller, thinner bits, sort of what instant oatmeal looks like.

Now groats or steel cut oats do need to be cereal mashed to gelatinize and convert them. There's not much advantage using them over the available rolled/flaked alternatives.

Those hops would be fine. You can even bitter with Magnum, Warrior etc. you won't need much of them, probably 1/4-1/2 oz, and use the Palisade and/or EK Goldings later on for flavor and aroma. Palisade is a really nice hop for late additions, even as hopstand/whirlpool.

Is that the recipe that uses 1/2 pound of roasted barley? That's a lot.
 
Last edited:

Yesfan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2012
Messages
2,173
Reaction score
440
Location
Cleveland
..........

Is that the recipe that uses 1/2 pound of roasted barley? That's a lot.

Yes. I wondered about that too. Would that amount make the beer more bitter? It is an oatmeal stout, so I wonder if the amount of roasted barley is to help balance out the sweetness from the 1lb of oats. I noticed the hop addition of glacier at 60 min is around 28 IBUs, so I wonder if that plays a role as well. This is my first beer with oats in it, so I don't know.
 
OP
J2W2

J2W2

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Messages
386
Reaction score
48
Location
Lincoln
Hi IslandLizard,

I'm still trying to nail down my recipe, and I have the following questions:

1) Per my previous post, do you think I can go with the same amount of grains (except the 2-row) that the all-grain recipe calls for if I do a mini-mash?

2) It looks like I may substitute Dingemans Debittered Black Malt for the Black Pearl. I only found Black Pearl at Strange Brew and Chicago Brew Works, and both want to charge $30-$40 for shipping on the ingredients I need! I believe the Debittered is similar to Black Pearl, but the color is 500-600 instead of 340 for the Pearl. Should I leave that at 9 oz or back it off?

3) Based on this grain bill, is 1.5 lb of 2-row adequate for conversion in my mini-mash?

Thank you very much for the help!
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
16,700
Reaction score
6,832
Location
Pasadena, MD
Good catch on both of those. BeerSmith 2 really altered this recipe! Normally the magazines provide both all-grain and extract versions, so I usually don't have to convert them.

The conversion kicked up the Caramel to 1.17 lb, and changed it from 60L to 20L (I missed that too), and removed the oats and biscuit. Do you think I could go with the original amounts of specialty grains? Then add 1.5 lb 2-row for the mini-mash? And if I keep the 9 oz Caramel 60L (from the original recipe), should I include that in the mini-mash or the steep?

I created a recipe with the original specialty grains, added 1.5 lb 2-row and adjusted the DME and LME to hit the 5.9 Est ABV (see attached). As a test, I removed the two chocolate malts and the roasted barley from the recipe, which dropped the Est ABV by 0.4%.

I have no idea if I can hit the default 72% efficiency, but based on that, I removed one entire container of LME and added a little more DME to hit 6.3% Est ABV (again, the extra 0.4% is to account for only steeping the chocolate malts and roasted barley).

I might kick the hops up a tad, but the original recipe only uses Warrior, and has an IBU of 35. I'll adjust my starting volume accordingly, but I usually boil off a gallon or so in an hour. I also tweak my burner a little, depending on how the boil-off goes.

Thank you very much for all the effort you're putting into this!
Beersmith is pretty good in that regard. Just don't trust those conversions.

Best is to reformulate using brewing knowledge and only change what needs to be changed. The oats make it a little more complex as you need to add the 2-row for conversion. For example, your dark grain charge remains unaltered, unless you want a little more or less of this or that, because that's your preference or today's take on it.

Your C60 goes in the mash. You should have no problems getting 72% efficiency, it's likely a bit higher, in the 80s.

==> What kind of water are you using?

Dark malts like that add very little fermentable sugars, but don't be fooled, there are lots of (caramelized) sugars in there, adding color and those yummy flavor compounds. That's why they don't change the ABV much.

You can add a flavor hop late in the boil or after flameout and let it steep for 5-10 minutes. Although Warrior is fairly neutral, and doesn't lend a ton of flavor after a 60 minute boil, she does present her character. You know there are hops in there, they're just not very fragrant.

That gallon you boiled off will then be easily replaced with the steeped dark potion.
I just wanted to make sure you would have enough space in your boil kettle to add that gallon at the 185F point to pasteurize it. Reason is, the gallon of cooled dark liquid will drop your wort temps down at least 10-15 degrees, so make sure not to cool it down too much before adding it. Keep in mind, you need it to be 165F or above for pasteurization!

To answer your previous question I missed, there are some notable differences in the results when mashing or steeping specialty malts, as you said, mostly due to (lack of) starch conversion. For crystal malts and darker roasts the difference is none or negligible. For the other malts it can be quite pronounced, especially when a load of starch is released without a chance of conversion, or mash enzymes are needed to help break up cellular structures to extract the goodies inside.

As I said before, 1 packet of S-04 is plenty, rehydrated, no need for 1.3. Try to aerate/oxygenate your wort as well as you can when pitching the yeast slurry.

Good fortune with your brew!
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
16,700
Reaction score
6,832
Location
Pasadena, MD
Yes. I wondered about that too. Would that amount make the beer more bitter? It is an oatmeal stout, so I wonder if the amount of roasted barley is to help balance out the sweetness from the 1lb of oats. I noticed the hop addition of glacier at 60 min is around 28 IBUs, so I wonder if that plays a role as well. This is my first beer with oats in it, so I don't know.
After looking at it again, that NB Stout recipe has not much else going on in the dark roasts, so 1/2 pound of RB is probably just fine. Note, they use English malts in that recipe.

Here's some good detailed information about Roasted Barley. The key is: Not all Roasted Barley is the same... so know what you want or buy.

BYO is a very good resource, so is the Beersmith site, among many others, like our own HBT.

There is little or no sweetness from the oats. A lower Lovibond Roasted Barley may actually give some sweetness. The higher (darker) ones more dryness.

But the oats lend oils that give the beer a smoothness, a silky mouthfeel unlike anything else. And some higher sugars and dextrins, of course, that add to that. 1.5 - 2 pounds is a good amount for these beers.

You could make it a little more bitter with some extra bittering hops, to around 35 or 40 IBU. The recipe may rely on some bitterness from the roasts too. NB (and most others) always use ingredients in typical standard increments in their kits. .5# for malts, 1 oz for hops (1 baggie). When you're compounding your own, you can use any amount you want, substitute, or add other things. NB kits are to please a large crowd, so nothing is earthshaking. One of my friends got some IPA kits from NB that barely included enough hops for a Pale.

I always look around to find other recipes and see how other brewers approach them, then using the best of all worlds.
 
OP
J2W2

J2W2

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Messages
386
Reaction score
48
Location
Lincoln
==> What kind of water are you using?
I have always used straight, unfiltered, unsoftened tap water. That was always worked fine (as far as I know) for my extract beers. The only thing I do is fill my brew pot the night before and let it sit partially covered until it's time to brew.

According to our 2016 water quality report, our pH is 7.7, total hardness is 236 ppm, calcium is 66 ppm, chloride is 23 ppm, and sodium is 36.4 ppm.
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
16,700
Reaction score
6,832
Location
Pasadena, MD
Hi IslandLizard,

I'm still trying to nail down my recipe, and I have the following questions:

1) Per my previous post, do you think I can go with the same amount of grains (except the 2-row) that the all-grain recipe calls for if I do a mini-mash?

2) It looks like I may substitute Dingemans Debittered Black Malt for the Black Pearl. I only found Black Pearl at Strange Brew and Chicago Brew Works, and both want to charge $30-$40 for shipping on the ingredients I need! I believe the Debittered is similar to Black Pearl, but the color is 500-600 instead of 340 for the Pearl. Should I leave that at 9 oz or back it off?

3) Based on this grain bill, is 1.5 lb of 2-row adequate for conversion in my mini-mash?

Thank you very much for the help!
1) Sure, either will work, the original amounts or amounts in the BeerSmith recipe you posted.

2) $30-40 for shipping? Steer well clear from those guys!
Don't get too hung up on obtaining the exact ingredients and definitely try to get everything from one source so you only incur one shipping fee. Patagonia malts are good, but not that good to pay such a premium.

Look for alternatives, ingredient and shopping wise. Look for similar Lovibond, and yes, choose dehusked or debittered (e.g., Carafa Special I, II, or III) over regular (husked) varieties if you can in the dark roasts section. What one maltster calls Chocolate, another one may call Light Chocolate, or Special Roast, etc.

3) Yes it is.
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
16,700
Reaction score
6,832
Location
Pasadena, MD
I have always used straight, unfiltered, unsoftened tap water. That was always worked fine (as far as I know) for my extract beers. The only thing I do is fill my brew pot the night before and let it sit partially covered until it's time to brew.

According to our 2016 water quality report, our pH is 7.7, total hardness is 236 ppm, calcium is 66 ppm, chloride is 23 ppm, and sodium is 36.4 ppm.
You don't happen to know your alkalinity?

Your water is a little hard. It's fine for steeping and sparging those dark grains, but for the mini mash you may need to add a little acid to your mash and sparge water to keep the mash and sparge pH within their target ranges.

Sodium is also a little high, but I wouldn't worry about it, it's minor.

For extract brews low hardness and low alkalinity water is recommended. You could mix your brewing water 50/50 with RO or distilled water. Stouts can hide a lot of those minerals, so I'd leave as is.

If your water is chlorinated (or has chloramines) 1/4 Campden tablet or a pinch of Sodium or Potassium Metabisulfite (Na-meta or K-meta) per 5 gallons is the preferred method to get rid of it.
 
OP
J2W2

J2W2

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Messages
386
Reaction score
48
Location
Lincoln
You don't happen to know your alkalinity?
Your water is a little hard. It's fine for steeping and sparging those dark grains, but for the mini mash you may need to add a little acid to your mash and sparge water to keep the mash and sparge pH within their target ranges.

If your water is chlorinated (or has chloramines) 1/4 Campden tablet or a pinch of Sodium or Potassium Metabisulfite (Na-meta or K-meta) per 5 gallons is the preferred method to get rid of it.
Our water alkalinity is 187 ppm. I've got some lactic acid on hand, and I added some pH strips to my current order, so I can adjust the mash and sparge water a little if I need to.

I know we have chlorine in our water; I'm not sure about chloramines. From what I've read, chlorine evaporates, which is one reason I let my brew water sit overnight. Regardless, I added some Campden tablets to my order as well.
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
16,700
Reaction score
6,832
Location
Pasadena, MD
Our water alkalinity is 187 ppm. I've got some lactic acid on hand, and I added some pH strips to my current order, so I can adjust the mash and sparge water a little if I need to.

I know we have chlorine in our water; I'm not sure about chloramines. From what I've read, chlorine evaporates, which is one reason I let my brew water sit overnight. Regardless, I added some Campden tablets to my order as well.
+1 on the Campden.

You may as well remove those pH strips from your order, they're not very accurate and tend to read high. Besides, they are hard to read for a conclusive answer. A decent pH meter runs over $100 (Hach Pocket Pro+) plus calibration fluids etc., etc.. The $10-15 Chinese ones (Amazon, eBay) are inconclusive.

Instead, rely on Brunwater's spreadsheet (free).

You may need to add (literally) a few drops of that Lactic Acid, based on the outcome of that spreadsheet. Of course for your mini mash, only use the volumes and grains that are being mashed, not your whole batch.

That 1/4 Campden tablet is way more effective than a night of outgassing. Regardless whether you brew all grain or extract, chlorine (and chloramine) play havoc with your wort forming chlorophenols, making your beer taste like bandaid, plastic. We are very sensitive to them, so a miniscule amount is detectable. Better be 100% sure, Campden (or "Meta") guarantees that within a few seconds of mixing in that little bit of powder (yes, crush that 1/4 tablet before adding). That's why I use a pinch of K-Meta powder instead.
 
OP
J2W2

J2W2

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Messages
386
Reaction score
48
Location
Lincoln
Sounds good. I've placed my order.

I'm looking forward to trying two new things on this batch: my first mini-mash, and my first post-boil addition of a dark grain steep.

Again, thank you very much for all the help!
 
Top