Brewday got postponed.

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PashMaddle

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Brew...night?

I was going to brew an American brown ale tonight and got all my grains crushed and everything else weighed out and cleaned my anvil foundry.... again, then realized that I don't have any distilled water to calibrate my refractometer. I have since found a workaround but it's like 3 am and don't want to be up long into the day brewing (I work third shift so I'm a night owl). This was going to be my first brew day in like 10 years and my very first all grain brew but noooo I have to be a big dummy face and not have all the things I need. So, I just explained how brewing works to my ten year old daughter instead (which she was surprisingly interested in) and then came here to bellyache about it.
Anyway, here's what I've got milled/prepped and ready to go tomorrow when I get up:
4.5 lbs. of Pale malt
1lb caramel 60
6 oz chocolate malt
4 oz of oats ("quick" oats)
some?...4oz ish rice hulls

beta amylase @149 *F for 15 minutes
alpha amylase 2 @158* F for 45 minutes
mashout @167*F for 10

boil/hops schedule:
6 oz molasses @90 min.
.125 oz Sabro @60 min (I'm scared of this hop ruining my beer now but I already have it so....)
.25 HBC 472 @30 min
some yeast nutrients @15
.125 HBC 472 @ 5 min

...chill it to pitching temp, throw in some bry97, shake it like a bad babysitter and put it in my chest freezer @65 degrees until it turns into beer.

then I'll inevitably panic about everything and post a majillion dumb questions on here.
I left out all the sanitization stuff but Ill be doing that too...I promise.

thoughts? suggestions? I have no idea wtf I'm doing....does it show?
 
Refractometers read the refraction of light due to the sugars in the water. Tap water should not contain sugars and if the refractometer is slightly off it will not prevent you from making beer.

Unless you are trying to make a very dry beer, forget the amylase enzymes. Your pale malt contains all you need for starch to sugar conversion.

I'd also skip mashout. Move the molasses addition to the 5 minute mark and only do a 60 minute boil (or even less, about 90% of the isomerization of the hop oils happens in the first 30 minutes of the boil)

Yeast nutrients are needed for the fermentation of fruit juices. You are making beer, not wine. Wort (beer before yeast is added) contains all the necessary nutrients.

Relax, have a beer. Brewing isn't nearly as difficult as your mind is telling you.
 
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Refractometers read the refraction of light due to the sugars in the water. Tap water should not contain sugars and if the refractometer is slightly off it will not prevent you from making beer.
yeah.. This was the conclusion that my research led me to....after the fact. I'm gonna get after it tomorrow night...tonight? Saturday night and just calibrate my refractometer with my brewing water, that makes sense anyway since that's the water I'm adding the sugars to, so it seems like a logical baseline. I just wish I had come to this conclusion hours ago and I would probably be boiling by now
 
yeah.. This was the conclusion that my research led me to....after the fact. I'm gonna get after it tomorrow night...tonight? Saturday night and just calibrate my refractometer with my brewing water, that makes sense anyway since that's the water I'm adding the sugars to, so it seems like a logical baseline. I just wish I had come to this conclusion hours ago and I would probably be boiling by now
There is "accurate" and there is "close enough". What will you do if the original gravity is off by a tiny amount? Either way you will end up with beer.
 
There is "accurate" and there is "close enough". What will you do if the original gravity is off by a tiny amount? Either way you will end up with beer.
Wisdom... I like you.

I'm a machinist and "close enough" is something that makes me cringe when I'm doing machinist stuff. BUT ...I'm off the clock and this is beer, not components for those people I make components for and my doodad reads right at zero with tap water so it is indeed "close enough". Now I'm fighting the urge to go ahead and make some beer.

Also, does my whole strategy look like disaster? I made the recipe up on brewfather after a bunch of research but I still know FA about all grain brewing so I'm asking (according to BF's BJCP standards, it matches the criteria by like 94%)

2nd edit

I just saw your comment about the mashout and moving the molasses etc. I'll do that.
i had the molasses early in the boil because i read that it takes some time to "break down" I dont remember the whole spiel but my takeaway was : 90 minute boil with molasses added early. It seems I fell for marketing with the yeast nutrient I'll add it as long as I have it and just not resupply...I bought it, may as well use it if it wont hurt...it wont hurt ...will it?

Thanks for the input and shaving some time off my brewday.
 
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Had I known you were a machinist, I would have said, "within tolerance" instead of "close enough". :p

Your yeast nutrient would work good in apple cider, make some of that at the same time. Much easier than beer, just apple juice, sugar if you want, yeast nutrient, and yeast.

Making your recipe just a tiny bit easier, your 30 minute addition of HBC will add mostly bitterness as the aromatic oils that we perceive as aroma or flavor are boiled off. I'd be tempted to just do a 60 minute of Sabro and then all the HBC hops at 5 minutes (or less, depending on how quickly you can cool the wort) for the flavor and aroma they would provide. After you have made a few batches you can experiment with hop additions at different times.
 
Greetings, being a third shifter as you are, Law Enforcement on my side, I completely understand your situation. I spent the last two nights in my garage roasting coffee for my friends at work as Xmas gifts and am fermenting a Pale Ale to go with it. With that said, I don't do all the fancy mash stuff you do. I set it at about 152 or so on my kettle and watch the temp as I am using a propane burner for about 60 minutes. Dump the grain in a mash tun cooler with 170ish degree water and let it sit for about 15 mins. Mix it all together and start the boil. It does what it does and I have learned that we are not pro's so if it is off a bit so be it. My last brew was supposed to have an OG of 1.056 I think. I think I measured it at about1.052 or so. Close enough for me, still is going to be beer. LOL. I guess what I am saying is, don't sweat the small stuff, enjoy the process and relax and have a beer. Good choice on the yeast. I have used Bry97 for a few of my IPA's and it ferments clean, in my mind, and is a beast once it gets going. My advice there, put something under your fermenter in case you get a blow out. BRY97 was the only yeast I have used that I had an issue with as it clogged the airlock and blew out of my mini fridge fermenter and on the floor of the living room. Wife was not thrilled and that stuff is a drag to clean. LOL
 
I have since found a workaround but it's like 3 am and don't want to be up long into the day brewing (I work third shift so I'm a night owl).
I see some brewers talk about a 6 or 7 hour brew day and I wonder where they find all that time and what they do to make it last that long. My brew days are about 3 hours from developing the recipe to having all the equipment cleaned and put away. Here are a few of my shortcuts:

1. The time for full conversion of starches to sugars depends on the milling of the grain. I mill my extremely fine. I expect a mash period of 30 minutes instead of the 60 to 90 minutes that some do.

2. To take advantage of the finely milled grain I use a bag to hold the grain instead of a conventional mash tun. The finely milled grain will plug up the mash tun but the bag makes a huge filter area.

3. To get full isomerization of the hop oils for bittering takes about 60 minutes. To get 90% only takes 30 minutes.

4. Chilling the wort is quite fast with an immersion chiller but it does use quite a bit of water as it flows through the coil and is (most often) discarded. In winter I have lots of snow to use so sometimes I put water in a tub and add snow as needed to keep the water cold as the boil kettle sits in it. It isn't quite as fast as an immersion chiller but it only takes a couple gallons of water plus a bunch of snow. The past couple brews I poured the boiling wort into a bucket fermenter (HDPE plastic) and set it outside to cool. That takes quite a while but uses no extra water.
 
I see some brewers talk about a 6 or 7 hour brew day and I wonder where they find all that time and what they do to make it last that long. My brew days are about 3 hours from developing the recipe to having all the equipment cleaned and put away. Here are a few of my shortcuts:

1. The time for full conversion of starches to sugars depends on the milling of the grain. I mill my extremely fine. I expect a mash period of 30 minutes instead of the 60 to 90 minutes that some do.

2. To take advantage of the finely milled grain I use a bag to hold the grain instead of a conventional mash tun. The finely milled grain will plug up the mash tun but the bag makes a huge filter area.

3. To get full isomerization of the hop oils for bittering takes about 60 minutes. To get 90% only takes 30 minutes.

4. Chilling the wort is quite fast with an immersion chiller but it does use quite a bit of water as it flows through the coil and is (most often) discarded. In winter I have lots of snow to use so sometimes I put water in a tub and add snow as needed to keep the water cold as the boil kettle sits in it. It isn't quite as fast as an immersion chiller but it only takes a couple gallons of water plus a bunch of snow. The past couple brews I poured the boiling wort into a bucket fermenter (HDPE plastic) and set it outside to cool. That takes quite a while but uses no extra water.
I am, unfortunately, one of those 5 to 6 hour brewers. I could shave a bit of time off my day if I was to mill my grain and get all my stuff set up the night before, but I don't. I was going to outline my process, but found that typing it out was way too much of a pain. LOL. I could probably shave even more time off if I decided not to have a few beers while doing all of this and maybe being a bit more focused, but heck, this is a nice release for me and I enjoy the process so taking a day to do it doesn't bother me all that much. I do everything in my garage and don't have the setup like most, so that might take more time as well. Cleanup seems to be my biggest time waster, but by then I am pretty wasted anyway, so what does it matter. LOL. Anyway, Rock On and enjoy whatever you do.
 
Lallemand has a number of PDFs and videos with current information on how to use their products.
1702123036012.png
 
I see some brewers talk about a 6 or 7 hour brew day and I wonder where they find all that time and what they do to make it last that long. My brew days are about 3 hours from developing the recipe to having all the equipment cleaned and put away. Here are a few of my shortcuts:

1. The time for full conversion of starches to sugars depends on the milling of the grain. I mill my extremely fine. I expect a mash period of 30 minutes instead of the 60 to 90 minutes that some do.

2. To take advantage of the finely milled grain I use a bag to hold the grain instead of a conventional mash tun. The finely milled grain will plug up the mash tun but the bag makes a huge filter area.

3. To get full isomerization of the hop oils for bittering takes about 60 minutes. To get 90% only takes 30 minutes.

4. Chilling the wort is quite fast with an immersion chiller but it does use quite a bit of water as it flows through the coil and is (most often) discarded. In winter I have lots of snow to use so sometimes I put water in a tub and add snow as needed to keep the water cold as the boil kettle sits in it. It isn't quite as fast as an immersion chiller but it only takes a couple gallons of water plus a bunch of snow. The past couple brews I poured the boiling wort into a bucket fermenter (HDPE plastic) and set it outside to cool. That takes quite a while but uses no extra water.
These are great pointers! Thanks! ..I do have questions though…
I think I got my crush right out of just dumb luck. I had it set @ .03 (what I mic’d a credit card at) but that made it too fine , almost flour so I just kinda fiddled with it until it looked like what I figured was right. I don’t have a bag for my malt pipe yet but it’s on my list. On to the question… once I get said bag, what is the ideal mill gap? Or is it just a "fool with it till its right" kinda thing?
IMG_0613.jpeg

It just occurred to me that I have a picture of my grain crush… for whatever reason…
That’s what I came up with and it worked out good I believe.
 
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I do use a bag and with the Corona mill I set it as tight as it goes. Lots of flour, no big particles at all. Be aware that if you do that you will soon be adjusting the amount of base malt as the mash efficiency will go way up. Since I dump everything but the grain into the fermenter, I have come to expect a brewhouse efficiency in the mid 90% range as I double sparge to get the volume with the boil pot a little small for a no-sparge batch.
 
With active dry yeast, aerating the wort is not necessary.
Not to hijack the OP's thread, but I have never heard this. (Granted I am returning to brewing after a 15-year sabbatical.) I have always aerated my wort by putting the end of the racking cane at the top of the primary so the wort splashes as the primary fills. I use an immersion chiller and have cold source water so am able to easily get the wort to 68-70F before racking to primary. I made a Fuil Croi Irish Red Ale on Friday afternoon, pitched a pack of Lallemand Nottingham Ale dry yeast directly into the primary (did not rehydrate) and by Saturday morning it was active and bubbling nicely.

You're saying aerating this way isn't necessary if I am using Safale -04, -05 or any of the dry Lallemand yeasts?
 
It is only quite recently that the yeast manufacturers have said that pitching the dry yeast right into the fermenter is OK. I still add some air into my wort as I pour it from a couple feet above the fermenter.
 
Granted I am returning to brewing after a 15-year sabbatical.

A lot has changed since (2023 - 15 = ) 2008.

Yeast
The Fermentis E2U™ 'branding' (no need to aerate or re-hydrate) started in the late 2010s. Here's a HomeBrewTalk topic (link) from May 2019.

Lallemand has a pitch rate calculator that uses volume, OG, and wort temperature to estimate the amount of yeast needed.

There are "edge cases" (sour worts, high OG worts, certain yeast SKUs (like "New England") where the "1 sachet for 5 gal of wort" pitch rate doesn't work well. Product information at their web sites (and in their videos) can be helpful.

BIAB & AIO systems
all-grain brewing doesn't require building a mash tun.

Simplified approaches to water adjustments using 'low mineral' water
Water chemistry for understanding tap water adjustments can be complicated. Making adjustments with RO/distilled water is much easier.

Liquid Malt Extract
Online stores with high volume that ship in oxygen barrier bags appear to make it possible to get fresh LME for most of the year. Some specific brands of LME are using "a minimum amount of heat and a slower evaporation rate" to further improve the product.

NEIPAs and the pursuit of hop flavors
There are a couple of excellent topics here on hazy beer (and on making IPAs clear again :yes:)

The pursuit of 'fresh malt flavor' (coming soon to a forum near you ;))
The shift from hazies to lagers has been going for a little while.

Is the "next thing" "turning the dial to 11" on "fresh malt taste"?
 
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E2U was in print ads in the summer of 2018.

In the 2010s, suppliers would use AHA's Homebrew Con™ to launch new products. As part of that product launch, there would also be ads in the July issue of Zymurgy.
1702221853777.png

A Fermentis ad in July 2017 of Zymurgy did not mention E2U.



Dear BYO,

Please consider adding full PDFs (for back issues) to your digital magazine subscription.

Sincerely,

Brewers interested in preserving home brewing history​
 
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