Drinkers with a Running Problem

Home Brewers... (Read 1574 times)


Prince of Fatness

    Steeping the roasted malts and grains on the left, mashing on the right.

     

    Can you describe this a bit more?  I don't think that the mash I am going to do will fit in one pot.  How did you break it up?  I found a recipe for Belgian Blond that I want to brew...

     

    5.50 lb US 2 Row Malt
    4.00 lb Wheat Malt
    0.50 lb Flaked Wheat
    0.50 lb Caramel Vienne Malt

    1.00 oz Williamette [4.5%] (60 min)

    White Labs WLP550 Belgian Ale Yeast

    Mash at 155 for 60 mins.
    Boil 60 mins.

     

    So I calculated that I need 4 gallons of water for the mash at 166 degrees.  How should I break this up into two pots?

    Semi-retired.


    A Dance with Monkeys

      More in a few minutes, but the short answer is that you won't need to steep so you can do it all in one pot.


      A Dance with Monkeys

        Okay, here is the deal.  The goal of mashing is to convert a mass of germinated (i.e., malted) grains that contain a bunch of unfermentable starch into a solution of fermentable sugar.  In addition to the starches, malted grains also contain activated amylase enzymes.  Amylases break down starches into simpler sugars.  Unmalted grains don't have the enzymes and certain roasted grains' enzymes have been deactivated by heat.

        In conventional brewing, most of the grains you use are malted.  You mix water with the crushed/ground grain to suspend the starches, and then the amylase goes to work, usually at around 155 degrees Fahrenheit.  After an hour, the starches will have been converted to sugars and your hygrometer will have risen and you can them sparge, hop, cool and pitch the yeast.

        When using raw unmalted grains, such as the steel cut oats I used in this last batch, you need to hydrate the grains extra-aggressively to get the starches into the solution.  This process is called gelatinization.  Basically, to gelatinize your grains, you simply need to cook them in water as if you were going to eat them.  This is what I did with the oats.  Many raw unmalted grains come in pre-gelatinized forms.  A classic example is rolled oats.  Had I used basic rolled oats, I could have just used them directly without cooking them.  Another example is the flaked wheat you plan to use.  Anyhow, once gelatinized, the unmalted grains still need to mash with the amylase, so you typically add them to the mash tun with some malted barley.

        When using certain roasted grains, the process is much easier.  The roasting process that gives us crystal malt, chocolate malt, roasted malt, etc, converts the starches into simple sugars through the use of high heat and, occasionally, steam.  Crystal malt, for example, has no starch content to speak of, just sugars.  So there is no need to mash these grains.  The only thing you need to do with these grains is suspend them in warm water to allow the sugar to dissolve, a process called steeping.  When you use them with extract brewing, you are really just steeping them into the extract pot.  There is no harm whatsoever to adding these grains to your mash.  However, if you don't have room for them in your mash tun, as was the case with my super-grain-dense stout, you can steep them in a second pot and then combine the two worts later.

        Make sense?


        Prince of Fatness

          Yeah.  I guess I was asking because I am not sure that I will fit everything in my 21 quart pot.  I have 10.5 pounds of grain plus 4 gallons of water.  Do you know how much volume that much grain occupies?

           

          I am going to buy a bigger pot and can mash in there, but I think that you lose less heat in a full pot, plus it will fit in the oven (not sure if the larger pot will fit).  I guess I will have to watch the temp a little closer if I am mashing in the big pot on the stove, and be careful not to scorch if I apply heat via the burner.  It'll get done either way.

          Semi-retired.


          A Dance with Monkeys

            Heat the water, then add it to the grain until you cannot.  You can always bring up the volume in the sparge step.  I only got about 2 1/2 gallons or so out of the grain in the mash and steep pots, total.


            A Dance with Monkeys

              Stick the whole pot in your oven set to 150 degrees and it will work gangbusters.  No way to scorch it via that method.

              That said, I have always done stovetop with a lot of stirring.


              Prince of Fatness

                OK, I'll buy that.  Now, I sparge until either the all of the sparge water is used or the gravity gets below 1.008 right?  So what if I don't have enough wort to boil?  Do I add more water directly to the wort or keep sparging until I get a minimum water amount?

                 

                Or was this never an issue for you?

                Semi-retired.


                A Dance with Monkeys

                  Yeah, I am rarely so scientific.  My sparge catch bucket (which is my primary ferment bucket) has gallons marked on the side.  I keep sparging until I get about 5 1/2 gallons or so.  Typically that is after the SG has dropped off. 
                    extra water to compensate for the volume lost in the boil? what about the loss from fermentation to the bottling bucket? seems like some is lost with the trub. do you add more water or just never really get a 5 gallon batch?


                    A Dance with Monkeys

                      That is why I usually get up to 5 1/2 gallons to start.  Or more.  There are plenty of places for you to lose volume.


                      Prince of Fatness

                        Yeah, I am rarely so scientific.

                         

                        Honestly I am not looking to go nuts with the science, either.  I am just looking to be in the ballpark.  I enjoyed brewing that first batch and want to keep it fun.  And simple.  And repeatable.

                         

                        Can't wait to brew my first all grain batch.

                        Semi-retired.


                        A Dance with Monkeys

                          I don't worry about being repeatable.  Too many beers to brew to go after the exact same one multiply.  And too much fun to experiment.

                          I see recipes like this all the time:

                           

                          Water Adjustment: .25 tsp acid blend, .25 tsp gypsum...protein rest
                          .5 tsp acid blend, 1 tsp gypsum, .5 tsp CaCl...sacch rest
                          1 tsp gypsun, .5 tsp CaCl...2nd sparge

                          Protein Rest: 128°F/.75 qt/lb
                          H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.3 qt/lb
                          Mash Ph: 5.4
                          Sacch. Rest Temp/Time: 152°F/1 hr
                          Mash Out Temp/Time: 164°F/15min
                          1st Batch SG: 1.059

                          2nd Batch Sparge Vol/H2OTemp/MashTemp: 3gal/182°F/169°F
                          2nd Batch SG: 1.028

                          Pre-Boil Vol: 6.125
                          Pre-Boil SG: 1.043
                          Boil Time: 80 min
                          Post-Boil Vol: 5 gal
                          Mash Efficiency: 79.4%

                          OG: 1.060
                          IBU: 42
                          Color/SRM: Pale Gold-Straw/6
                          Ferment Temp: 65-70°F

                           

                          Dude. Have some fun with it. 182 degrees? Really? Not 181?


                          Prince of Fatness

                            By repeatable I really didn't mean following a script, but more of a general work flow.  Fluctuations won't bother me.  Maybe a little deviation will result in a better beer.  And I'll do plenty of experimenting.

                            Semi-retired.


                            Prince of Fatness

                              Speaking of my first batch, I haven't checked on it in a couple of days.  Today I checked and there was a bubble probably a couple of minutes after I sat down, so still a little activity after 10 days.  I may bottle Sunday.  We'll see.

                              Semi-retired.


                              A Dance with Monkeys

                                I just racked.  Current SG is at 1.5% predicted alcohol, which is probably the final SG.  Since it started at 8%, that means this stuff is about 6.5% alcohol.  I also poured a bit into a glass to taste, still young and raw and yeasty and flat.  This: oh. my.  It is rich but not overpowering.  There are several layers of flavors, including a light toastiness and the molasses comes through a bit. The sweetness and creaminess are balanced by a sharp but brief hoppiness with a bit of an herbal undertone.  The stuff is inky black. The chocolate and molasses linger long after I swallow.  As does the caramel.