Did my first partial mash...

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chiefbrewer

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...and my first batch in 2 and a half years...

So I used death brewers partial mash method
The Recipe
American Pale
3.5 lbs of Light LME

Grain Bill
3.5 lbs pale malt
.75 lbs 20L
.5 lbs victory
.5 lbs biscuit
.25 lbs 80L
1oz Cenntnial @60
.5 oz Cascade @30

The mash part actually went pretty smooth...I used the oven to keep my mash temp (between 148 and 152)...Drained the grain bag, put it in the 175 sparge water...stirred and let sit for 10 minutes...drained and tossed out the grain...then combined the batches. I did a conversion test with some idophor. I have never done this before...but it didn't seem to change color(of course I wish I would have done a test before so I could compare...live and learn)

Here is where I ran into my first hiccup. My plan was to figure out the volume collected and the gravity so i could calculate my efficiency...then I would calculate how much LME i needed to add to hit my target OG (around 1.052). Firstly I forgot to come up with some way to figure out how much wort was in my pot:eek: so i had to guess...also working with 140 degree wort to try and get a gravity reading is tough. The only hydrometer test jar I had is a combo wine thief/test jar...and I just didn't feel safe putting 140 degree wort in it...plus, the only temp correction chart I had was in Palmer's book...and it doesn't go up to 140, and I didn't have time to sit there and interpolate. Any suggetions on this?

Anyway, I just put in the entire 4 lbs of LME I had to be on the safe side. The boil went fine, added hops. Then the chilling disaster took place.

Okay, so my plan was to use a combination of an ice water bath in the sink and using ice cold bottled water to top off with. I decided this would work better, especially since the pot i have barely fits in the sink. So I put the pot in the ice water in the sink and added one gallon of ice cold bottled water. As far as I could tell, within minutes the wort got down to 100 degrees. Since i was shooting for 80, just so i could pitch the yeast...I figured one more gallon of ice cold water would just about do it. So I dumped the wort into the fermenter and topped off with another gallon of ice cold water...still didn't have 5 gallons, so i added more. I let it sit for another 10 minutes...now the wort was 110!!! Not sure what happened...but I made another ice water bath and put the fermentor in the sink(it's a plastic bucket fermentor)...another 15 minutes and it was only 100...another 15 minuted and it was STILL 100!!! I was getting worried because I used dry yeast(won't ever do that again) and the directions say to pitch it within 30 minutes of rehydrating it. So, i pitched my yeast into 100 degree wort.

Am I screwed???
 

HexKrak

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The 100 degree wort probably won't kill the yeast, but it will definitely jump start them and lead to poor yeast health with may result in off flavors (it seems like the first 24 hours of yeast activity matters the most).

You're not screwed just relax and have a beer. There's a very good chance this beer will still turn out better than 99% of the commercial swill at the store.

I guess this is a good example of why it's good practice to make a starter, especially when dealing with dry yeast.
 

Golddiggie

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There's a very good chance this beer will still turn out better than 99% of the commercial swill at the store.
There's so much truth to that statement it's almost funny...

I guess this is a good example of why it's good practice to make a starter, especially when dealing with dry yeast.
I've started getting into the habit of using starters even with liquid yeast (Wyeast punch packs)... I try to make the starter at least 24 hours before the brew day, so that it has time to do it's job. First one worked like a champ, blowing foam through the airlock within 6-7 hours of pitching. Second one didnt' take off as well, but it's fermenting away (had high activity for the first two days, it's getting calmer now). I'm planning to brew on 1/1/11, so I'll be getting my ingredients early next week. I'll pick up the yeast, and make a starter for it at least 2-3 days before brew-day... It's a good reason to keep some light/extra light DME on hand, as well as a large enough jar to make the starter in (I'll be using my 1.5L mason jar again, since it did really well with the first starter).

Since I lean towards higher gravity brews, a starter is more important to me than people making lower gravity brews. The recipe for 1/1/11 has an estimated OG of between 1.092 and 1.099, depending on how well I do with the mash/sparge...

I do wonder, at what point (percent wise) does it become less partial grain/mash and more all grain?? Is using any DME considered a partial mash? My first 'partial' was about 21% DME, with the balance grains (pale malt and specialty grains)...

I'm looking forward to the next brewing, and going all grain. I'm still dialing-in my setup, but I hope that I'll get good efficiency on the coming brew day. Just need to get my own grain mill so that I can get bulk grains (whole) and crush them within a day of brewing.
 
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chiefbrewer

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Well...the yeast has been pitched for about 18 hours...just took a quick peek and a hydrometer reading....not a lot of airlock activity...but there is definately a krausen and it has dropped about 8 or nine points in the past 18 hours...all seems well..

But I did learn some lessons...first I need to calibrate my boil kettle by making some marks on my paddle, second...I need to get a refractometer...it will just make taking on the fly readings so much easier, third...I need to get an instant read thermometer...I think the reason for my chilling debacle was that I was too impatient and those floating thermometers take a while to show the actual temp. And finally...liquid yeast with a starter next time.

:mug:
 

BennyN

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Congrats on you first partial mash! A few hiccups are par for the course. Hope it turns out great.

I always have a tough time trying to figure out what's behind lower-than-expected efficiency. Could be the crush. Plus the instant-read thermometer you are picking up should make it easier for you to check/keep your mash temps in order. I use an unmodified Igloo cooler ($10 at Walmart) and a large grain bag to mash and that always works out great for my partial mash efficiency, usually upwards of 70-75 percent.

Anyway, congrats again and I bet the beer will taste great.
 
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chiefbrewer

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Well...five days in and I cracked the top...Krausen has fallen...took a quick hydrometer reading...allready down to .010...primary is done!! So I added my ounce of Cascade for dry hopping and gave my sample a taste...tastes like young flat beer!!:rockin::ban::mug:
 
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chiefbrewer

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Quick question...

The last time I brewed beer that was going to be bottled, i used the rigid "2 Weeks in the Fermentor and 2 weeks in the bottle"

If I have already reached final gravity, is there any harm in bottling it and letting it condition in the bottles an extra week?
 

Golddiggie

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I would lean towards letting it batch condition in the primary. If you're going to give it that extra week anyway, far better (in my opinion) to leave it as a batch and then bottle it as you would have (after two weeks)...

I would also advise taking another hydrometer reading in a couple of days to ensure it really is done fermenting...
 

Golddiggie

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Probably a good idea...it will give the dry-hopping more time as well.
:D
From my understanding of dry hopping, you don't want to let the brew sit on the hops for more than a week... I know it has been referenced here, as well as other places, just can't nail down if it's a week, or less time... I've not done any dry hopping yet, but I might add some hops at flame-out with the coming brew, or the one after that...

When are you going to go all grain?? :rockin:
My first AG batch is this coming weekend... I only did one partial (BIAB)... Really like the cost savings by going AG... I don't mind spending half the day brewing, especially in the kitchen... Just need to remember to stay 'hydrated' via HB... :D:drunk:
 
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chiefbrewer

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From my understanding of dry hopping, you don't want to let the brew sit on the hops for more than a week... I know it has been referenced here, as well as other places, just can't nail down if it's a week, or less time... I've not done any dry hopping yet, but I might add some hops at flame-out with the coming brew, or the one after that...
Yeah...I think I will leave the hops in for a week and then bottle...that will give it 12 days in the primary...close enough to two weeks.
When are you going to go all grain?? :rockin:

Well..it will be a couple of batches away...to go all grain I still need a 10 gallon pot for my full boils(probably will find a sankey keg on craigslist) and a burner that can handle it...plus I will probably build a mash tun out of a cooler...
I think, for now, I will be happy with fine tuning my process and doing a couple more partials.
 
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