Author Topic: Ordinary bitter split between 030 & 033  (Read 1713 times)

Offline 69franx

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Ordinary bitter split between 030 & 033
« on: April 12, 2017, 06:43:16 PM »
So this weekend, I am planning on brewing 7 gallons of ordinary bitter as the title says. I know, from reading here, that a no sparge would help build some body into this brew that has OG target of 1.039. How do I go about doing this without thinning out my mash too much? My recipe only calls for 9.13# in the grist but for my target volume, I would need to strike in with 41 quarts, leaving me at at a ratio of 4.492qt/#. I know I should stay below 4qt/gallon, and ideally even a little lower. Can I use a figure in beersmith for say 3.25qt/# and add whatever sparge I need straight to the kettle? How much would this change my efficiency? Or I am just better off with a normal batch sparge with close to even runnings? Any thoughts would be a great help.
Frank L.
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In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline Jkrehbielp

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Re: Ordinary bitter split between 030 & 033
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2017, 07:25:03 PM »
Adding water to a no - sparge mash sounds like defeating the purpose to me.
I'd do a normal batch sparge after a mash at 158 F.

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Offline 69franx

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Re: Ordinary bitter split between 030 & 033
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2017, 07:29:02 PM »
Thanks, that was the original plan, probably still go that way
Frank L.
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In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline stpug

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Re: Ordinary bitter split between 030 & 033
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2017, 07:31:44 PM »
I generally float around 3qt/lb ratio but occasionally go as high as 3.5qt/lb, and have not experienced any detriment from doing so (or nothing so obvious that it stands out), but I also ensure that my pH is where it should be (low to mid 5s).  I also feel like 4.5qt/lb is pretty high and would probably just aim for a 3qt/lb ratio for the mash, and top up the kettle (or pour-sparge the grains) to get to your desired preboil volume. I can't imagine too much effect on efficiency due to the large water ratio available for sugar mixing. If you're BIAB then you can add in a squeeze to recover any sugars left in the grain; if you're batch sparging then a single-batch sparge will get most of those as well.  As for body, unless the yeast is bringing a lot to the table in regards to glycerol production, I would not expect a "no sparge" to give you much body on a 1.039 wort - I would use something in the grist to provide more body if it's important (then again, most ordinary bitters I've had are fairly watery).

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Ordinary bitter split between 030 & 033
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2017, 07:37:42 PM »
I agree with trying to not go above 3qt/#. While higher than this can probably be pulled off in a no-sparge setting it can thin out the helpful enzymes in the mash to a degree. If it were me, I would perform your no-sparge mash at 3qt/#, then add your remaining top-off water to your boil kettle.

Offline 69franx

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Re: Ordinary bitter split between 030 & 033
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2017, 07:42:52 PM »
I was just playing around with the idea of going with 3qt/# for 60 minutes at 154, then adding a mash out with 7qt boiling, then adding the remaining 1.5 gallons, also at boiling to the kettle. Keeps the mash at 3qt/# and lowers the dilution in the kettle. Still have a couple days to figure out exactly what I'll do, as not brewing til Saturday morning, so keep the thoughts coming
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
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In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline 69franx

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Re: Ordinary bitter split between 030 & 033
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2017, 06:50:52 PM »
     Don't want to disrupt the heated discussion about the Brulosophy exbeeriment post, but does anyone have any other thoughts on this recipe? Again, the plan is to top out the OG for standard bitter at 1.039. Beersmith projects an ABV in the middle of the range at 3.5% for mash temp of 154°, and 3.3% if I up mash temp to 158°.
     I made this back in 2015 with a mash temp of 149° (but miscalculated how much my efficiency would go up on such a low gravity brew, so I wound up with a special bitter per ABV%) that yielded an estimate of 4.6%. I have adjusted my efficiency for this brew to the 80.3% I saw that first time to try and stay right around 1.039 for this batch. I loved that brew, and want to try to replicate results without watering it down too much this and so am targeting higher mash temp. My first thought was 154° to hit mid range, but 158° was suggested to still have some body in a sub 4% brew.
     All this results in the following 2 questions:
  • What temp do you mash your standard bitters at?
  • No sparge with kettle top up or standard batch sparge?

     Any thoughts or insights are appreciated and thanks to those who have already pitched in
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg:
In Bottles:  
In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline stpug

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Re: Ordinary bitter split between 030 & 033
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2017, 07:06:58 PM »
     Don't want to disrupt the heated discussion about the Brulosophy exbeeriment post, but does anyone have any other thoughts on this recipe? Again, the plan is to top out the OG for standard bitter at 1.039. Beersmith projects an ABV in the middle of the range at 3.5% for mash temp of 154°, and 3.3% if I up mash temp to 158°.
     I made this back in 2015 with a mash temp of 149° (but miscalculated how much my efficiency would go up on such a low gravity brew, so I wound up with a special bitter per ABV%) that yielded an estimate of 4.6%. I have adjusted my efficiency for this brew to the 80.3% I saw that first time to try and stay right around 1.039 for this batch. I loved that brew, and want to try to replicate results without watering it down too much this and so am targeting higher mash temp. My first thought was 154° to hit mid range, but 158° was suggested to still have some body in a sub 4% brew.
     All this results in the following 2 questions:
  • What temp do you mash your standard bitters at?
  • No sparge with kettle top up or standard batch sparge?

     Any thoughts or insights are appreciated and thanks to those who have already pitched in

Without knowing how the yeast will perform, I generally aim for a mash temp that will produce a decently fermentable wort.  That varies a bit by grist composition (i.e. unfermentables) and gravity (inverse relation).  Since your gravity will be low, I would aim a little on the high side, keeping in mind the fermentation characteristics of the yeast.  If it's a high attenuator the I'd adjust my mash temp a little higher, if it's a low attenuator then mash temp pushes a little lower.  However, grist composition affects my mash temp choice too.  My starting point would be about 154F, and most likely you won't see much variation between 152-156F.  It's hard without knowing the yeast because something like Danstar London ESB I would go really low (147F) with a step up to high 150s due to it's inability to ferment maltotriose, but a strain like 1028 I would mash closer to 158F because I've had high attenuations with it (80%AA).  Often times with a new-to-me yeast strain I brew a beer I'd like to drink, that drinks quickly, and has a relatively low ABV - and I use the beer both as a way of determining the attenuation level of the yeast and as a yeast propagation batch.

As far as brewing process, I'd go with your most comfortable method - perhaps even the method you did last time since you are basing this batch's efficiency off of that batch.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 07:08:29 PM by stpug »

Offline 69franx

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Re: Ordinary bitter split between 030 & 033
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2017, 07:16:15 PM »
     Thanks again stpug. The last time I brewed this, I used WL007 with attenuation from 70-80% and got roughly 75%, taking my 1.046 wort down to 1.011. Looking on Whitelabs.com, I see that 030 runs 72-78% and 030 runs 66-74. I think I will plan on staying at my original thought of 154° and standard batch sparge. That last part was a great thought that had not crossed my mind: go back and do what you did before. Kind of an aha moment on the AHA forum, thanks. Both of these strains are fresher than I am usually accustomed to, so I am really looking forward to this brew day on Sat. I also just found out that i will have a spectator/helper/learner with me, so I would rather look like I know what I'm doing ;)
Frank L.
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In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline stpug

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Re: Ordinary bitter split between 030 & 033
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2017, 07:39:26 PM »
Good luck with brewday and have fun with it.  If you make a mistake, blame your helper :D

Offline 69franx

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Re: Ordinary bitter split between 030 & 033
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2017, 07:53:27 PM »
Another brilliant idea
Frank L.
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In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline JT

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Re: Ordinary bitter split between 030 & 033
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2017, 12:44:15 AM »
My last bitter mashed at 154° and used Imperial Organic Pub Ale yeast (essentially 002 I believe).  OG 1.040, FG 1.013.  Plenty of body in that 3.5% ale (made sure to low carb).  Enjoy your brew day Frank!

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Offline 69franx

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Re: Ordinary bitter split between 030 & 033
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2017, 06:22:38 AM »
Thanks JT.


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Frank L.
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In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

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Re: Ordinary bitter split between 030 & 033
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2017, 06:33:12 PM »
A bitter is supposed to be a very sessionable style so you are really aiming for an FG between 1.008-1.012, making it any sweeter isn't going to be very productive so set your mash temps to aim you for somewhere in their.  I usually add some golden syrup to my bitters using a low attenuating yeast to get them to dry out to the appropriate level to be drinkable (usually 152-154F depending on yeast and amount of sugar added).  Your malt choices and water profile are going to have a much bigger impact on perceived body in the finished beer than your mash temps.  Choose the best quality English malts you can and if you are really worried about maltiness you can throw in a small about of aromatic, biscuit or amber (pick ONE only and only put in like less than 5% of your total grist but in all reality if you pick quality fresh malts you won't need it).  Also you can get away with full volume mashing with small beers like this by making sure your water profiles and pH is in check.  Using RO water and adding gypsum and calcium chloride to get about 300ppm sulfate and 50-100ppm chloride (small beers I find my preference and mash determines about 80ppm) and like 150ppm calcium should get your mash into check.  If you are worried about enzymes just add an extra 30 minutes to the mash to let them do their thing.  It will convert.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Ordinary bitter split between 030 & 033
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2017, 09:37:22 PM »
I'd be very careful about adding amber malt to a bitter...I've done so on a few occasions, and the result has always tended more towards brown ale than bitter.

IMO if the body is too thin, the most common culprit is too much carbonation. I would never go above 2 vols@55oF for a good bitter, and personally shoot for 1.8 vols@55oF for a kegged bitter.

My advice would be don't worry too much about the final product being too thin. I've had a mild finish as low as 1.004, and with the proper carbonation level and temperature it was not watery or thin at all.
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