Partial Mash Blonde/pale Ale (hope I didn't ruin it)

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zachj9292

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I recently brewed up a partial mash recipe for a blonde ale and i think i got a few things wrong. I heated the three lbs of 2 row barley in a big bag for thirty minutes at about 150-155 and just removed the bag. I let it drip for awhile and squeezed it some. Then in the same container, i began the boil (during which i added the three pounds of extra light dme and some fuggles at 60 and cascades at 30 and 10.)

Was this considered steeping the grains instead of mashing them? If I didn't get enough alcohol what can i do? Add table sugar? (its been fermenting now for about a week.) I want around 4.5 to 5.5 abv.
 

MalFet

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Mashes are typically performed for a full hour, rather than just thirty minutes. They also typically involve a rinse, called a sparge. The procedure described here probably didn't extract quite as many of the sugars as it otherwise might have, but that's okay. It will probably be a relatively light beer. Adding a pound of sugar will up the ABV, but at the expense of making it taste terrible.
 

pablo1337

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It is fairly close to mashing, however you now you normally let the grains mash for 45-60min between 148-154 degrees fahrenheit. Or conversion of starches to sugars (evidenced by an iodine test). It is possible that with the 2-row that you got complete conversion.

For the alcohol content, did you take a SG reading with a hydrometer? Without that it is hard to estimate the alcohol content. Why is the abv extremely important?
 
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zachj9292

zachj9292

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I didnt take a reading cause i dont currently have a hydrometer (this is just my third batch, haven't been doing this that long). I was just making sure that the buzz was over an average light beer like bud light.

Thanks for the input. I think I am gonna just leave it instead of adding sugar.
 

Golddiggie

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Without a hydrometer, and an OG reading, there's no way to know how much you got out of the grains... 3# of DME in a 5 gallon batch will give you an ABV of about 2.5%...

IF you had properly mashed the grains, you could be about 4% ABV... So you're probably someplace in the 3-3.5% range (again, shooting blind without an OG)...

BTW, just because this is your third batch is no reason to NOT have a hydrometer. There was one included in my first kit (bucket for the primary)... I did have the small benefit of knowing someone that home brews (or did, he might be paused for now) that gave me a list of things I'll want/need from the start. If the person at the LHBS where you got the kit (if that's how you bought it, not online) didn't recommend getting a hydrometer from the start, shop elsewhere. If you bought it online, don't shop there again. A hydrometer, or refractometer, should be considered critical equipment for home brewing... I think it's in all the decent books, as part of what you need for hardware to start home brewing.

Not having either a hydrometer or refractometer is like driving without a dashboard instrument cluster... Sure, you can drive, but you have no idea how fast you're going, how much fuel you have left, how far you've gone, etc... You also won't know there's problems until you've thrown a rod through the hood.
 

MalFet

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I didnt take a reading cause i dont currently have a hydrometer (this is just my third batch, haven't been doing this that long). I was just making sure that the buzz was over an average light beer like bud light.

Thanks for the input. I think I am gonna just leave it instead of adding sugar.
Probably a good call. You can always up the gravity with sugar, but it ends up tasting pretty gnarly as a result. Do yourself a favor, though, and get your next kit started asap. Welcome to HBT! :mug:
 

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