Author Topic: Multiple grain bags per brew  (Read 731 times)

Offline DukeBrohnston

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Multiple grain bags per brew
« on: November 23, 2014, 07:01:43 PM »
Currently prepping for a heavy, dark brew using a kit with additional ingredients. I intend to leave it in the secondary for at least a month, then transfer again to a 3rd. The 3rd will be "on lockdown" for no sooner than 6 months due to the "alcohol burn" being so prominent in previous batches.

Base:
-Robust Porter (5 gal kit)

Additional (primary):
-1 lb Red wheat (thickness)
-1 lb un-malted barley (thickness)
-1 lb ground almonds (thickness)
-1 lb traditional barley malt syrup (hopefully more alcohol)

Additional (secondary carboy 3-5 days after):
-1 lb agave
-1 lb local honey
-1 lb sourgum molasses

*** my concerns:
1- Should I consider steeping 2 different grain bags because of the excess ingredients?
2- Should I wait longer to transfer to my secondary to allow the yeast to consume more of the sugars?
3- Do I even bother with the 3rd transfer?
Dude abides

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Multiple grain bags per brew
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2014, 07:52:45 PM »
Well, for starters, you definitely don't need a third vessel to age in. You can secondary in a carboy or better bottle if you like, or just give it a solid month in primary, verify you're at FG, and bottle or keg it for aging. As for aging out the 'alcohol burn', that screams out that you're fermenting too warm. Do you have temp control ? What temp do you pitch your yeast and ferment at ?

EDIT - Also, I'd drop the almonds at very least - they contain oils that could hurt head retention and honestly serve no purpose here. And multiple grain bags would be ok, but better would be to steep the grain loose in 1/2 gallon of 155F water for 30 minutes and strain them through a sieve or colander.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 08:46:04 PM by HoosierBrew »
Jon H.

Offline DukeBrohnston

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Re: Multiple grain bags per brew
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2014, 07:59:18 PM »
HoosierBrew

Temperature control is the almighty "central air-conditioning". I have been adding the yeast to the specifications of the brewer's kit, a previous brew led to deliciousness after 5-6 months so I haven't had reason to change that.

Thanks for the input!
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Multiple grain bags per brew
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2014, 08:05:49 PM »
HoosierBrew

Temperature control is the almighty "central air-conditioning". I have been adding the yeast to the specifications of the brewer's kit, a previous brew led to deliciousness after 5-6 months so I haven't had reason to change that.

Thanks for the input!

Ok. Thing is, those kits sometimes have spotty instructions at best. If you can cool to 62-63F or so and pitch, then manage to ferment at around 64F, you'll have a beer that won't need to age that long. The heat produced when a big beer ferments is enough to drive your actual fermentation up temp 5 -10 degrees F. FWIW, I make big beers fairly regularly and they are drinkable (not hot) at 6 weeks.
Jon H.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Multiple grain bags per brew
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2014, 08:16:16 PM »
+1 to pitching big beers around 62°. I like to pitch at 62°, hold at 64° until the krausen starts to drop, then raise a degree or two a day until I get to 70°.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Multiple grain bags per brew
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2014, 08:26:10 PM »
I like to pitch at 62°, hold at 64° until the krausen starts to drop, then raise a degree or two a day until I get to 70°.


Yep, that too. Should've thrown it in at then end !
Jon H.

Offline Stevie

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Multiple grain bags per brew
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2014, 08:50:02 PM »
As far as the multiple bags, I'd say do what you need to do. I brewed a MoreBeer kit that had an insane amount of steeping grains back in my extract days. Something like 6 pounds. I wish I had split it in half and steeped in two kettles.

And the additional sugars. If I wanted to add them after pitching, I would add them as fermentation was winding down. I'd be worried about pitching off of the yeast cake.

Offline DukeBrohnston

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Re: Multiple grain bags per brew
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2014, 09:13:46 PM »
Steve

Thanks for the input. I usually let my primary sit for a few days until fermentation slows a bit, then I add the sweets (honey/agave). I don't plan on the molasses adding much (if any) additional %.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Multiple grain bags per brew
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2014, 09:22:04 PM »
That sorghum should be every bit as fermentable as the agave and honey, Duke.
Jon H.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Multiple grain bags per brew
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2014, 09:30:10 PM »

EDIT - Also, I'd drop the almonds at very least - they contain oils that could hurt head retention and honestly serve no purpose here. And multiple grain bags would be ok, but better would be to steep the grain loose in 1/2 gallon of 155F water for 30 minutes and strain them through a sieve or colander.

Didn't notice your edit. I have no opinion on the almonds as I have zero idea what they would add to the beer. Steeping loose is a good idea if you can do it. A colander with a couple of layers of cheese cloth will do you well as a strainer.