Author Topic: What's next?  (Read 1530 times)

Offline quest4watneys

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What's next?
« on: February 01, 2011, 07:41:00 PM »
So I got my first Mr. Beer kit brewed and into the fridge and immediately went out and bought a kit that would allow me more versatility (it was love at first sight) :) I used that kit along with an immersion chiller I made with my own two hands (very fulfilling but laborious) to brew my first extract w/specialty grains (Imperial Stout). It's is in the bottles conditioning and by the taste of the sample which somehow found its way into my mouth, it's not bad for a freshman effort. I'm basing that solely on my own experience with store bought Imperial Stouts so it's likely to be a tad bit biased. I made an APA small batch called Tongue Splitter from a recipe I found and it's fermenting quite nicely now. I can't wait to taste that one! I'd really like to try a bunch of different recipes for s***s and giggles before starting the fine-tuning process of any one style. I've got my eyes on a Watneys Cream Stout clone I've found but noticed it has flaked barley and flaked oats among other things. I'm pretty sure these need to be mashed, correct? Should I get into mini-mashes yet or am I too green? If I throw caution to the wind, what kind of additional equipment should I be looking for to start with partial grain brews? You guys have been a tremendous help thus far and I'm certain without some of the advice I've gotten, I'd be cleaning Imperial Stout off of the ceiling and drinking a flat Mr. Beer while signing divorce papers! My fate in is the hands of the homebrew gurus!
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Offline hokerer

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2011, 07:55:58 PM »
When I started out, I did one "extract plus steeping grains" batch, then three "partial mash" batches, and from then on, it's been all grain.  You're definitely not too green unless you think you're too green.

When I tried partial mash, I stuck a stainless braid in one of those 2-gallon Coleman drink coolers and it worked great.  You can also just do it in a pot and use a colander to sparge.  Lots of easy options.  The only real difference from steeping is that you add some base malt, you control the temp, time, and water/grain ratio.
Joe

Offline quest4watneys

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2011, 08:09:49 PM »
Thanks! I'll look for some detailed info on partial mash recipes and give it a go!
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Online tygo

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2011, 08:09:58 PM »
I've got my eyes on a Watneys Cream Stout clone I've found but noticed it has flaked barley and flaked oats among other things. I'm pretty sure these need to be mashed, correct?

Yeah, those need to be mashed.
Clint
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2011, 10:04:37 PM »
All grain..... YOU CAN DO IT!
Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline euge

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2011, 10:40:59 PM »
The mechanics of mashing isn't that hard. But while gathering together equipment it'd be worthwhile to start educating oneself about grain brewing and the approach you want to take. It'll be a wild ride. 8)



 
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline quest4watneys

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2011, 08:54:58 AM »
Any recommended readings or advice to what approach works best?
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Offline euge

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2011, 12:14:47 PM »
Any recommended readings or advice to what approach works best?

Weeelll.... since you asked... :D

John Palmer's How To Brew is a great place to start. Batch-Sparging as a technique is easily done and not too hard to master. You might also consider a single infusion no-sparge. Here's a great source to get started batch-sparging: http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/.

My advice is don't get too caught up in the "numbers" aspect of mashing and brewing in the very beginning. Concentrate on getting the wort out efficiently and consistently and you'll find the numbers will fall in line.

You'll have more questions Lot's of them. :) One I would start asking now is about water and your local profile. If you can get a water report it would be optimal.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline quest4watneys

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2011, 02:55:41 PM »
I can get a water profile from my local company. I had read that somewhere and was shocked, first of all to see that I could get a profile but even more by how much control you could take of the entire brewing process!

I can tell you this; I know my water is hard by the white ring left in the pot after boiling water. And it's heavily chlorinated. Enough that I can smell it when I drink from the faucet. Because of the reading I've been doing, I know that's bad so I've used nothing but bottled water so far when brewing. I have a filter that attaches to the faucet but I'm not sure how effective it is at removing minerals although it does get rid of the chlorine smell/taste.
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Offline euge

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2011, 03:11:47 PM »
I can get a water profile from my local company. I had read that somewhere and was shocked, first of all to see that I could get a profile but even more by how much control you could take of the entire brewing process!

I can tell you this; I know my water is hard by the white ring left in the pot after boiling water. And it's heavily chlorinated. Enough that I can smell it when I drink from the faucet. Because of the reading I've been doing, I know that's bad so I've used nothing but bottled water so far when brewing. I have a filter that attaches to the faucet but I'm not sure how effective it is at removing minerals although it does get rid of the chlorine smell/taste.

Building up from distilled water is an option. Or just by removing the chlorine from your tap you might have some good water for stouts etc... This can be accomplished by the use of a campden tablet in the hot-liquor tank. But get the report if you can. And if the bottled is working for you it's probably also good for ambers and browns.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline bonjour

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2011, 03:44:12 PM »
I too, like many others, started with Mr. Beer.
To move to Partial mash all you have to do is "steep" at 150-155 OG, OK, and add some base malt.
All Grain, nothing difficult, you just need some equipment.
Cooler to Mash, chiller (coil of copper), and a Turkey Fryer
There is nothing difficult, but it will take a lifetime to master.

go for it.
Fred Bonjour
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AHA Governing Committee; AHA Conference, Club Support & Web Subcommittees



Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline tubercle

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2011, 04:37:07 PM »
Go ahead and start all-grain as soon as you can.

 Its ironic that way back when, all-grain was all that was available. Then due to superior technology LME and DME extract became available and it became the modern and "improved" way to brew.

 Now all-grain is considered "advanced".

Full circle

You're really just getting to where you should have started to begin with.

 Pretend that extract never was invented.

What would you do then?
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Offline quest4watneys

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2011, 08:29:04 PM »


Building up from distilled water is an option. Or just by removing the chlorine from your tap you might have some good water for stouts etc... This can be accomplished by the use of a campden tablet in the hot-liquor tank. But get the report if you can. And if the bottled is working for you it's probably also good for ambers and browns.

Here's a profile in ppm except where noted.
Alkalinity     220
Ammonia     .46
Calcium        84
Chloride        66
Chlorine        1.4
Conductivity 750
Hardness (as CaCO3) 320
Hardness (as CaCO3) (grains per gallon) 18.6
Iron              .03
Manganese   .02
pH (pH Unit)  7.54
Sodium         42
Sulfate          62
Nickel (ppb)  1.5
Metolachlor (ppb) .10

I too, like many others, started with Mr. Beer.
To move to Partial mash all you have to do is "steep" at 150-155 OG, OK, and add some base malt.
All Grain, nothing difficult, you just need some equipment.
Cooler to Mash, chiller (coil of copper), and a Turkey Fryer
There is nothing difficult, but it will take a lifetime to master.

go for it.

I've got an immersion chiller and a turkey fryer with a 30 qt. stainless steel kettle :)

Go ahead and start all-grain as soon as you can.
Pretend that extract never was invented.

What's extract? ;)
« Last Edit: February 02, 2011, 08:31:58 PM by quest4watneys »
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Offline bonjour

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2011, 09:00:11 PM »
get a cooler and see this http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/
While I prefer tall yellow coolers with false bottoms (sorry Denny)
this is a cheap, easy and effective way to mash and lauter all-grain
Fred Bonjour
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Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: What's next?
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2011, 07:04:25 AM »
Your water is fairly hard, but the calcium level is in a good range.  The alkalinity is fairly high.  I know enough about water to say that you could make beer with it, after you remove the chlorine.  Read the John Palmer book, chapter 15 has a good, readable section on water.  There you will find the concept of Residual Alkalinity, which is what you need to understand.  There is probably enough information to calculate the bicarbonate (HCO3), but I will let a real expert do that.

Don't let all grain intimidate you.  It is not that hard.  Way back when I did my first one, I said - "Is that all there is to it?".
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 12:23:19 PM by hopfenundmalz »
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