Author Topic: First Big Beer  (Read 2233 times)

Offline jaftak22

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First Big Beer
« on: August 28, 2014, 09:42:51 PM »
So I am wanting to attempt my first big beer. My setup is  2, 10 gallon Rubbermaid coolers, one is the HLT and the other is the MLT. I have a Keggle for my boil. The only thing that concerns me about the setup is weather or not I will have enough space for all of the grain in the MLT. The grain bill is 23 pounds! That's a lot of grain. I can post the recipe if need be. Not worried about the rest, but if you have any good info for brewing big beers let me know

Offline jaftak22

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Re: First Big Beer
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2014, 09:43:59 PM »
Oh forgot to add that the Green Bay rackers mash calculator said this will take up 9.03 gallons of space

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: First Big Beer
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2014, 10:16:54 PM »
I've used their calculator and it's seems accurate. I've mashed about that much grain in my 10g cooler too.
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Offline duboman

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Re: First Big Beer
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2014, 10:18:53 PM »
Using 1.25qts per pound of grain you can do 23# of grain in a 10 gallon cooler, it's tight and you'll have to add the grain slowly with good mixing to ensure no dough balls but it'll fit
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: First Big Beer
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2014, 12:39:33 PM »
Make sure you have some DME around.  I sometimes take a big hit on efficiency when doing a high gravity beer.
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Offline mattybrass

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Re: First Big Beer
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2014, 01:21:19 PM »
Make sure you have some DME around.  I sometimes take a big hit on efficiency when doing a high gravity beer.

this is always a good idea. Or corn sugar depending on the type of beer.

Also ive mashed that much in my 10g cooler before. The other option would be to mash twice and boil once.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: First Big Beer
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2014, 04:52:34 PM »
and remember to brew a small beer a couple weeks before the big beer so you have enough yeast!

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Offline scottNU

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Re: First Big Beer
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2014, 08:32:57 PM »
Make sure you have some DME around.  I sometimes take a big hit on efficiency when doing a high gravity beer.

I brewed an imperial stout today that had a target OG of 1.100.  The pre-boil target was 1.079 and I came in at 1.068.  This is the biggest beer I have brewed and maxed out my cooler.  I normally hit my targets, but I knew coming in low was a risk with some much grain.  I added about 1.4 lbs and DME and hit the OG after the boil. 

The beer is a little more expensive than I expected due to the DME, but hey, it's fun!

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: First Big Beer
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2014, 08:34:30 PM »
Make sure you have some DME around.  I sometimes take a big hit on efficiency when doing a high gravity beer.

I brewed an imperial stout today that had a target OG of 1.100.  The pre-boil target was 1.079 and I came in at 1.068.  This is the biggest beer I have brewed and maxed out my cooler.  I normally hit my targets, but I knew coming in low was a risk with some much grain.  I added about 1.4 lbs and DME and hit the OG after the boil. 

The beer is a little more expensive than I expected due to the DME, but hey, it's fun!

In that situation you can also sparge more. unless the problem was poor conversion from too thick a mash or something, the sugars are in there, you just need to rinse them out. of course then you have to boil longer but that isn't always bad with a big beer as it will help develop some nice flavor complexity.
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Offline scottNU

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Re: First Big Beer
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2014, 08:38:13 PM »
Make sure you have some DME around.  I sometimes take a big hit on efficiency when doing a high gravity beer.

I brewed an imperial stout today that had a target OG of 1.100.  The pre-boil target was 1.079 and I came in at 1.068.  This is the biggest beer I have brewed and maxed out my cooler.  I normally hit my targets, but I knew coming in low was a risk with some much grain.  I added about 1.4 lbs and DME and hit the OG after the boil. 

The beer is a little more expensive than I expected due to the DME, but hey, it's fun!

In that situation you can also sparge more. unless the problem was poor conversion from too thick a mash or something, the sugars are in there, you just need to rinse them out. of course then you have to boil longer but that isn't always bad with a big beer as it will help develop some nice flavor complexity.

Good point.  Thank you.  I was a bit short of time and I was prepared for a second sparge but daddy duty called so I cheated a bit with the DME.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: First Big Beer
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2014, 09:12:57 PM »
Make sure you have some DME around.  I sometimes take a big hit on efficiency when doing a high gravity beer.

I brewed an imperial stout today that had a target OG of 1.100.  The pre-boil target was 1.079 and I came in at 1.068.  This is the biggest beer I have brewed and maxed out my cooler.  I normally hit my targets, but I knew coming in low was a risk with some much grain.  I added about 1.4 lbs and DME and hit the OG after the boil. 

The beer is a little more expensive than I expected due to the DME, but hey, it's fun!

In that situation you can also sparge more. unless the problem was poor conversion from too thick a mash or something, the sugars are in there, you just need to rinse them out. of course then you have to boil longer but that isn't always bad with a big beer as it will help develop some nice flavor complexity.

Good point.  Thank you.  I was a bit short of time and I was prepared for a second sparge but daddy duty called so I cheated a bit with the DME.

ahh daddy duty, know it well.
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Offline jaftak22

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Re: First Big Beer
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2014, 04:55:33 PM »
So. I brewed last night. Everything went well. The cooler was at its absolutes max. I need a bigger mash tun but I missed my target gravity. How do you guys check yours during the boil? I have been letting wort cool and then checking the gravity which I know probably isn't the best way

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Re: First Big Beer
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2014, 05:32:30 PM »
So. I brewed last night. Everything went well. The cooler was at its absolutes max. I need a bigger mash tun but I missed my target gravity. How do you guys check yours during the boil? I have been letting wort cool and then checking the gravity which I know probably isn't the best way

I gave up on refractometers.  Now I use a Pyrex measuring cup to pull 8 oz. of wort from the kettle.  I put it in an old metal cocktail shaker and swirl it in a bowl of ice water.  In less than 60 seconds it goes from boiling to 60F and I can get a reading.
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Offline jaftak22

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Re: First Big Beer
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2014, 06:48:00 PM »
I'm gonna try that. I wanna buy a refractometer but I am on a real tight budget.

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Re: First Big Beer
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2014, 07:22:34 PM »
I'm gonna try that. I wanna buy a refractometer but I am on a real tight budget.

They're around $25 on eBay including shipping from China.

I wouldn't brew without one. I just use a small syringe to pull ~0.5 mL of wort and by the time I walk over to the refractometer it's cooled enough to get a reading.
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