Author Topic: 2nd All-grain - Seems to be getting better  (Read 854 times)

Offline gmac

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2nd All-grain - Seems to be getting better
« on: March 21, 2011, 01:16:22 PM »
Did my 2nd all grain today, an amber lager.
10 lbs Pilsener malt
2 lbs Vienna malt
0.5 lbs Crystal 40 (I just couldn't leave it out...)

Mashed for 75 mins at 153 with water adjusted to pH 6.  Mash pH 5.7.  Drained off 14 quarts of 1.072 wort.  Meant to mash for 60 mins but sparge water heated slower than I anticipated.
Sparged with 16 quarts of 180 degree water and drained off 14 quarts of 1.033 wort before it began running very slow.
Boiled 28 quarts for 75 mins with 2 oz of 3.1 AA Saaz hops added at start and 1 oz of 3.1 AA Saaz added at 45 mins into boil.  Was intending to stop at 60 mins but forgot to immerse chiller so boiled an additional 15 mins to sterilize chiller.

After boiling I got 6.5 gallons (23 L) of 1.062 wort.  Based on my calculations, that was somewhere around 89% efficiency.  Could this be possible? I'd be happy if it was but it seems a bit optimistic given that its only my 2nd batch. 

Cooled to 15C and put it in a water bath with a wet towel over it.  Pitched about 1L of Wyeast Czech Pils starter.  Maybe should have waited longer but I wanted to get done and clean up.  Freezer with temp controller isn't working - it's a very old (and mouldy)freezer that I was gonna discard anyway and I've already sourced a newer (free) one - so it's sitting in a 12" water bath with a towel over it.  Probably won't get it down to 50 degrees like that but should be 60 or slightly less, especially if I add ice occassionally.  I considered putting it in the cold room but that is only about 4C and probably too cold to ferment properly. But, that's where it's headed when it's done. 

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: 2nd All-grain - Seems to be getting better
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2011, 01:32:10 PM »
23L is closer to 6gal than 6.5.  Maybe thats where your efficiency is off?  Not saying you can't get 89% but 75-80 is more common.

Adjust your mash, don't worry about the pH of your water.  Seems like your mash pH was OK, a little on the high side especially if it was measured warm.

A chiller is sterilized the minute it hits the boiling wort.

Not too sure about fermenting a lager yeast at 60F.

Now that I beat you up... congrats on your second batch!  I just did a batch of Vienna lager yesterday.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline gmac

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Re: 2nd All-grain - Seems to be getting better
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2011, 02:16:42 PM »
23L is closer to 6gal than 6.5.  Maybe thats where your efficiency is off?  Not saying you can't get 89% but 75-80 is more common.

Adjust your mash, don't worry about the pH of your water.  Seems like your mash pH was OK, a little on the high side especially if it was measured warm.

A chiller is sterilized the minute it hits the boiling wort.

Not too sure about fermenting a lager yeast at 60F.

Now that I beat you up... congrats on your second batch!  I just did a batch of Vienna lager yesterday.

Thanks...I guess  :)

Based on 6 gals, that's 83% efficiency which is probably a bit more realistic and I think pretty damn good for a second attempt. 

pH was measured cooled only took the one sample and cooled it in the freezer.  I didn't want to over due it with the Citric Acid so I left it alone.

Should have mentioned that I thinned out this mash a lot from the first one.  First was 1.25 quarts/lb, this one was 1.96 (basically 2 quarts)/lb.  I put in 24 quarts and got out 14 which seems to be an awful lot for absorption but I'll live with what I got.

Offline gmac

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Re: 2nd All-grain - Seems to be getting better
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2011, 02:24:27 PM »
Sorry, missed one. 
Which do you think would be better?  60F or 40F?  I can probably do either but not 50F today.  I'm in no rush so longer in 40 is fine with me if that's better.

Offline Mark G

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Re: 2nd All-grain - Seems to be getting better
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2011, 02:30:08 PM »
I'd move it to the 40F area and at least let the beer temp drop down to the upper 40's. Then maybe move it back to the warmer area before it gets any colder. It's better to start the fermentation cool and let it rise, rather than just running it up close to 60F from the start.
Mark Gres

Offline gmac

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Re: 2nd All-grain - Seems to be getting better
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2011, 03:07:31 PM »
I'd move it to the 40F area and at least let the beer temp drop down to the upper 40's. Then maybe move it back to the warmer area before it gets any colder. It's better to start the fermentation cool and let it rise, rather than just running it up close to 60F from the start.
Done.

Offline dannyjed

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Re: 2nd All-grain - Seems to be getting better
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2011, 06:30:15 PM »
congrats on the great efficiency on your second all-grain batch.  It took me a lot longer to get those numbers.
Dan Chisholm

Offline gmac

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Re: 2nd All-grain - Seems to be getting better
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2011, 08:19:04 AM »
I don't really have a good way to test the temp in the fermenter but the water in the water bath is sitting at 46F.  Assuming the beer is maybe 2 degrees warmer I would think it should be OK.  There will be some fluctuation in temp due to the fact that it isn't in a controlled environment but I think it will be ok.  Any danger if it fluctuates slightly between day and night?  Hopefully the water bath will help with that.

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: 2nd All-grain - Seems to be getting better
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2011, 09:38:16 AM »
That ought to work fine, a little flucuation won't hurt.  When it gets close to done you can warm it up to help it finish.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline gmac

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Re: 2nd All-grain - Seems to be getting better
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2011, 10:00:03 AM »
I wonder how cold it can get?  I just checked it and there is ice on the top of the water bath.  The thermometer is reading 34 degrees in the water bath.  The beer is bubbling about once every 30 seconds which seems to be the same as before but it's supposed to get down well below freezing the next few days so I may have to slide it out into the regular basement at night so it doesn't get too cold.  Nothing has ever froze in here (it's where I keep my regular bottled beer in the winter) but I bet it gets awful close.