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ukrazy

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About ukrazy

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    Brewmaster in Training
  1. You bring your water to whatever steep temp you're after, plus a couple of deg., on the stovetop. Meanwhile preheat oven to 170*. Put the grains in the water, dunk/swish them around a couple of times, cover the pot, put it in the oven, and turn the oven off. The steep should hold nearly constant temp for 30 min. This is a basic steep. For a basic mini-mash you'll need a base malt grain in the mix with your speciality grain. Use 1-1.25 qt. water per pound of grain. Need to increase the total time to 45-60 min., and then sparge/rinse the grains with 170* water the best you can. 1 quart of sparge water for under a pound of grain, slowly poured over the grain sack in a collander over the brew pot is fairly effective. This is from some instruction I found with a recipe. I've not actually done a mini-mash yet, but getting ready to. If you're using a brewing calculator, you can enter the effeciency at 50%
  2. I'm actually just getting well into my pipeline and I made lots of beer before ever getting a good taste of any of them. The majority were augmented Mr.B recipes. HME,UME,DME, steeping grain, and hops. Did some others recipes that were cut down from 5 gal. batches. Definantly need to just add more. Maybe I just have more of a taste for hops now. Used to really despise IPA's and now that's about all I buy.....for bottle harvesting purposes.
  3. Thanks for the info oly. I do end up trying to over think things a bit. It just takes so long to diagnose and correct things in brewing. Figure it takes nearly two months to find out if something worked or not. I keep great notes both on brewing and tasting, and most of the entries say "little or no hop flavor". I've been using chart #1 all along, and from what I've read, it's more accurate to home brewing. I've also decided, like you said, that maybe I need fresher/more hops for flavor. I'm getting ready to do a super SNPA, and just bought whole cone Magnum, Perle, and cascade's.
  4. I've been doing my hop boils in 1 gal. of water with 1# DME. The gravity is 1.036 using QBrew. While boiling, I keep another pot of water boiling and use that water to keep the brew pot at a steady level thru out the 60 min. hop boil. My understanding is 1.030-40 is good for hop utilization. On a whim I used a gravity temp. caculator and plugged in 212*. The gravity corrects to around 1.080. To get to my question: Is it better to start and end with the same ammount of water, or do like in all grain brewing and start with more water and account for evaporation? Starting with more water would lower the gravity at boiling temp. Seems like my bittering boils have ended up right around what I expected, but my flavor boils at 10-15 min. have been lacking in good results.
  5. Haven't tasted it yet but I did the recipe as suggested by "Doc" from this board. 2.4 gal. batch 2 cans Witty Monk HME 1# Wheat DME .5 oz. Saaz hops @ 15 min. IBU 18 .5 oz. dried sweet orange peel @ 10 min. 1 tsp. crushed corriander seed @ 10 min. White Labs WLP400 yeast (full vial) In the bottle now for 2 weeks. At bottling, the color and cloudiness looked perfect for a good clone. Nice hint of orange flavor. Could not detect the corriander.
  6. Batch primed using Screwy's calulator. CO2 1.9% with corn sugar. Used 2.4 gal. as batch ammount. Didn't really account for losses due to trub and hydro sample, so actual CO2 is probably near 2.1%. Feels just right for the style. While waiting for the first taste I worried it would be too malty/sweet. It's really balanced and an easy drinker. I downed the 12 oz glass in about 5 min. Just too easy drink in long pulls. Would make it again.
  7. Just drank my first one a couple of days ago and it's fantastic. I've become a huge IPA fan since starting to brew, but this beer may convert me back to the dark side. IMO, at 2 1/2 weeks conditioning it's fully ready to drink. Had a nice tan head and no hints of being too green. Easy easy beer to brew. Just make sure to hop it enough. GO FUGGLES!!!
  8. I have been doing the oven method as you describe. Someone mentioned it a couple of months back and I've done it ever since, it works perfectly. Yesterday I did a steep and started on the stovetop @ 156*. In the oven, I do turn it back on at the 15 min. mark. Takes less than 1 min. to reach 170* again. At the end of my 30 min. steep the temp. was still 156* The 30 min. of "no worries" time is perfect for weighing out DME and hops, and not having to fuss with a steep pot.
  9. I've been pouring over the "250 clone recipe's" magazine and many of the "extract plus grains" recipes call for around a # of 2 row for a 5 gal. batch size added with the steeping grains. Some steep for up to 45 min., but other recipes are the usual 30 min. steep. Don't recall any that rinse/sparge. Sort of half way between a steep and a mini-mash. I steep something with every batch, and now plan to add 1/2# of two row to the steep for a Mr.B size batch.
  10. My last few batches have all been drinkable in the 2-3 week cond. range plus a couple of fridge days. My first, (WCPA) at about 14 weeks now, still taste like crap. My beers are nothing special. No adjuncts, fruits, nuts, or berries. Just LME, DME, steeping grains, and hops. All are around 1.050-1.055 OG, and 2.4 gal. batches. I've used several yeast strains and try to ferment to style. Against Borg std. practice, I primary ferment for around 6-7 days @ 67* +/-1, then rack to secondary. I move the keg (slimline) to a cooler and using ice bottles, lower the temp. to the min. of the range where the yeast still works. After 14-16 days total I get set up to bottle. It might come a day when the batch is not ready, but so far I've hit a FG number at or lower than the est. Maybe with a high gravity beer or some fruity junk I may let it go 3 weeks in the keg and cond. for a long time, but so far my beers have come out pretty good and drinkable in 4-5 weeks total time. I do notice an improvement from 3 weeks to 4 weeks cond. in mouth feel and head retention/lacing, but the flavor really doesn't seem to change much. I have a few beers around that have cond. for anywhere from 6-12 weeks and they are great, but not all that different than they were at 4 weeks.
  11. I just made the Elbro recipe and bottled it around a week ago. Tasted great at bottling. 2.4 gal. batch OG 1.055 2.750# Briess Trad. dark DME .120# Black patent steep .250# Crystal 60L steep Fuggles Bittering, flavor, and aroma IBU 35 s-04 yeast No gypsum. QBrew gave it an SRM of 22. I think mine is darker. I tried to bitter it to near the recipe and I think it's going to be nice. In style, I carbed to 1.9 CO2
  12. Appreciate the DMS heads up from both of you. Thought I was being clever, and not boiling all my water away. Afterward, I went and researched all I could find on the subject. The general findings are that the DMS was driven off in the extracting process. But, there is no proof that it was all boiled off, or that some can re-form by a second boiling. Did find a few post on other forums about good possibilities of DMS (corn) aroma and flavor from extra light pilsen extracts if the wort is not cooled fast enough. (Or probably boiling with the lid on.) From now own I'll be boiling topless. I learn something new and interesting about brewing everyday. The quest always starts with something I find out from the Borg.
  13. I start with 1 gal. for the steep. Remove grain sack and add a lb. of DME. At hot break I add first hop sack. Soon as I get a steady gentle boil I put the lid on. (About a 20 gt. pot) I check it every 5 min. or so, but I've learned where to set the burner to keep a boil but not foam up too much. By the end of 50-60 min. I've only lost a little of the original gal. I'm starting with a gravity of 1.036 (QBrew est.) End up probably not too much higher.
  14. Mine did. Recieved it about two weeks ago.
  15. You deserve a big congrats for actually waiting the min. time for good beer. I, like many had to start dipping into the first brew at around 2 weeks conditioning. I was rewarded with a big glass of cider soda. Finally have a nice little pipeline going, so it's not hard to wait for them. I'll sure never forget that first taste. BADDD!
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