« on: August 04, 2011, 01:31:31 PM »
So, I did my first partial mash yesterday. Pumpkin Ale kit from Austin Home Brew. Followed the recipe, and ran into some problems.
1) I had pellet hops, and a new plate chiller. In the past, I was cooling the wort in an ice bath, as a result the hops residue and other trub settled below the valve in my brew pot. So when it came to pour off, I didn't have a problem with the residue getting into the primary. Now, running hot wort thru the plate chiller has the problem with trub and hops still in the mix. What's the best way to address this?
2) Recipe called for a combination of 3 gal of liquid once sparge and addition before boil. Once boiled, i was left with 1.5 gal in the primary, and easily a gallon below the valve in the pot. Does the liquid requirements on paper need to compensate for this difference?
3) After the mash I added 4 lbs of LME, and once my 1.5 transfer was done, I began to add the water to get my OG. I was only able to add 1 gal before I hit OG. So I have 3 gal of wort tormenting. Not cool. Clearly, I didn't mash quite right. So, is the 1 gallon of liquid that was below the valve in my pot the reason? Do I need to add 1 extra gal initially to compensate?
Looking forward to the input.
1) when you finish the boil, stir your wort in one direction for a few minutes. Slap the lid on it, put it where you won't be moving it until it's empty, and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. The hop trub and hot break should form a cone in the bottom of your kettle, away from your spigot. At least, that's the plan.
2) You need a false bottom with a pick up tube for your kettle to get that last gallon or so or wort. That's too much left in the kettle. If you add water to what's in the fermenter to get to five gallons, your OG will be too low. Or you could get a stainless racking cane and some sort of clamp to siphon the remainder out, and leave the cone of stuff behind.
3) If you want to leave "a good gallon and a half" of wort in your kettle, then yes, add more water up front to compensate. You might have to add more LME to hit your OG.
The first few batches will teach you mostly about your equipment--what it can and can't do. The next few will help you become consistent. Fermenting 3 gallons at the correct OG is the right thing to do for the beer, but not the best for you wallet.