Author Topic: Newbie here! Can someone help me with my first recipe - Pliny the Step Child?  (Read 28043 times)

Offline Scott Ickes

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My fault.  I forgot that you were making the same beer again.

Clear plastic fermenting buckets.  Now there is an idea that might be profitable!
Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline tom_hampton

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Thanks guys, I hope it will be a tasty 3 gallons!

I'm starting my second batch now... Hopefully I'll do less mistakes!

My advice?

Make exactly the same recipe again.  Don't change anything, except the mistakes.  Repeat until you can make the same beer multiple times in a row.  Of course, you have to temper this with some reason....drinking 60 gallons of DIPA, in a row can be a challenge!  But, the closer you get to this goal, the better you will be as a brewer. 

Its quite amazing what simply repeatedly brewing the same recipe, over-and-over can teach you about consistency and process control.  Besides, if you do it every week or two (multiple times a month) you will quickly get the process duration down to a much smaller number. 


R.I.P.:Belgian Blonde
On Tap: Apfelwein, Kolsch(v2), Pumpkin Ale, Belgian Specialty 
Aging/Storing: Coffee Porter, Chocolate Porter, Flanders Red, English Barlywine
Fermenting: Maggie's Altbier
Next Up: PtE(1.1), Belgian Dubbel?

Working thru all BCS recipes

Offline brewfun

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+1 to Tom's advice. I couldn't have said it better.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline electrotype

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tom_hampton, I agree with you 100% and that's why I'm brewing the same recipe. But in addition to trying to correct my mistakes, I'll change 1-2 parameters each time, to see the effects. Next recipe I'll probably try to change one hop. Except maybe if I really dislike the first batches or it's not what I was expecting at all!

And don't worry for me for the drinking part, this is not the part that stresses me the most!  ;)

Offline tom_hampton

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tom_hampton, I agree with you 100% and that's why I'm brewing the same recipe. But in addition to trying to correct my mistakes, I'll change 1-2 parameters each time, to see the effects. Next recipe I'll probably try to change one hop. Except maybe if I really dislike the first batches or it's not what I was expecting at all!

And don't worry for me for the drinking part, this is not the part that stresses me the most!  ;)

In an ideal world the BOLD above is not a good idea.  Until you can make the same beer the same way multiple times in a row, you don't know what effect your brewing is having and what effect the CHANGE is having.  Until your brewing is consistent you will just muddy the results and minimize the learning value. 

When I said exact, I meant exact.
R.I.P.:Belgian Blonde
On Tap: Apfelwein, Kolsch(v2), Pumpkin Ale, Belgian Specialty 
Aging/Storing: Coffee Porter, Chocolate Porter, Flanders Red, English Barlywine
Fermenting: Maggie's Altbier
Next Up: PtE(1.1), Belgian Dubbel?

Working thru all BCS recipes

Offline electrotype

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When I said exact, I meant exact.

I understand, but I want to keep a part of fun in it! Brewing the exact same recipe without changing anything is less fun, in my opinion.

Offline tom_hampton

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understand, but I want to keep a part of fun in it! Brewing the exact same recipe without changing anything is less fun, in my opinion.

Fair enough.  Compromise then.  Try it twice, exactly the same.  See how close you get.  At least until you stop making any obvious mistakes.  See how they compare.  You may find yourself intrigued with "why" they aren't the same.  Particularly, when you THINK you've done it identically.  Then you get to ask yourself: "What's different?"  Its not as boring as you might think. 

My approach has always been the above, whenever I start making a totally new style (english brown ales, american DIPA, german ales, belgians) I follow this method.  Its the ONLY way to really master the basic techniques that really drive a style.  New yeast, new ferm-temp ranges and profiles, new ingredients like candi-sugar, new hopping methods, new mashing technques like decoction...these all take time to learn and understand how to repeat.  The first time is almost always a thrash as you learn the importance of the course steps...just the basic "how".  The next time, is simply "oh that was better" followed by a "ok, I need to manage this too" some new measurement, etc.  Then it refines from there. 

After quite a number of years in brewing..I can generally get there in 4 brews or so.  The 5th is usually "identical" to the 4th.  At THAT point, I'm ready to make a tweak.  NOT BEFORE.  But, my first time through this method, it was probably 10 brews?  Uggh.  Lots and Lots of english porter that year.  The last batch sat in a carboy for a year...because I simply lost interest. 

R.I.P.:Belgian Blonde
On Tap: Apfelwein, Kolsch(v2), Pumpkin Ale, Belgian Specialty 
Aging/Storing: Coffee Porter, Chocolate Porter, Flanders Red, English Barlywine
Fermenting: Maggie's Altbier
Next Up: PtE(1.1), Belgian Dubbel?

Working thru all BCS recipes

Offline electrotype

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Well, the only change I'll make with this one is to not use a secondary fermenter. Anyway, I only have one carboy so I do not have any choice...

But I realize that my mash temperature was probably off in the first batch! As I said, I didn't have a themometer so I went to 160F hoping it would be ok with the cold grain. But now I do have a termometer, and I had to add extra hot water in the mash to bring it to 153F.

But I'm not 100% sure how much hot water I added to the mash now (I guess I should have mesured it)! Should I add less sparge water then? Or Isn't it very important?

« Last Edit: December 01, 2013, 02:14:57 PM by electrotype »

Offline electrotype

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I think it may not be my lucky day!  :(

The thermometer I bought doesn't seem to work properly.

But I think it was working when I checked the mash temperature (I hope).

This is the themometer with its probe in the boiling wort... 242F? Yeah, of course...


Offline tom_hampton

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Well, the only change I'll make with this one is to not use a secondary fermenter. Anyway, I only have one carboy so I do not have any choice...

But I realize that my mash temperature was probably off in the first batch! As I said, I didn't have a themometer so I went to 160F hoping it would be ok with the cold grain. But now I do have a termometer, and I had to add extra hot water in the mash to bring it to 153F.

But I'm not 100% sure how much hot water I added to the mash now (I guess I should have mesured it)! Should I add less sparge water then? Or Isn't it very important?


That's fine.  A secondary has no value on a beer like this.  At best, it does nothing.  At worst it slows down the yeasts ability to clean up some of its intermediate byproducts (diacetyl, etc), or introduces an infection (wild yeast or bacteria) which then produces an off flavor after several weeks or months.


Yes, its all important. 

Mash water to grain ratio matters (a little)
Mash temperature matters (lots).
Mash water to Sparge water ratio matters (some)
Sparge temperature matters (a little).
Sparge METHOD matters (lots)
Extract efficiency matters (lots...but not in the way many people think)
etc....

Then there is the boil....the chill....the ferment (which is where real beer flavors are made)....

That is really my point.  When you can manage to control all of the things that matter and make the same beer twice...then you will have DONE something. 

To answer your question more specifically: you need to use an equipment profile setup for your equipment, and a mash profile setup for your recipe.  You need to select a sparging method: batch or fly.  Then BS2.2 will give you a set of instructions that will include water volumes and temperatures.  Your job is to do it EXACTLY as BS2.2 tells you to.  You need to record everything that you do, including all ACTUAL measurements that BS2.2 tells you.  Sometimes its not the same. 

You need to record your results: gravities, volumes, temperatures.  At every step (mash, sparge, pre-boil, post-boil).  Always record the temperature of the sample as it is ACTUALLY measured.  Apply the correction factor later.  If you batch sparge, record everything for the runnings from every batch. 

When you try and repeat you are going to find that these numbers vary wildly from one brew session to the next.  Then you will have to figure out why. 

R.I.P.:Belgian Blonde
On Tap: Apfelwein, Kolsch(v2), Pumpkin Ale, Belgian Specialty 
Aging/Storing: Coffee Porter, Chocolate Porter, Flanders Red, English Barlywine
Fermenting: Maggie's Altbier
Next Up: PtE(1.1), Belgian Dubbel?

Working thru all BCS recipes

Offline tom_hampton

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I think it may not be my lucky day!  :(

The thermometer I bought doesn't seem to work properly.

But I think it was working when I checked the mash temperature (I hope).

This is the themometer with its probe in the boiling wort... 242F? Yeah, of course...


Oh, bummer.  This is what I use:

http://bit.ly/1eNgK4l

There are other options, but it is accurate, its water proof, and it reads very fast (1-2 seconds). 


R.I.P.:Belgian Blonde
On Tap: Apfelwein, Kolsch(v2), Pumpkin Ale, Belgian Specialty 
Aging/Storing: Coffee Porter, Chocolate Porter, Flanders Red, English Barlywine
Fermenting: Maggie's Altbier
Next Up: PtE(1.1), Belgian Dubbel?

Working thru all BCS recipes

Offline electrotype

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Thanks for those informations tom_hampton! I think I'll have to invest in a better thermometer, indeed!

Cheers everybody!



 

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