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# 5 - G-n-R APA (BIAB) Collaboration Brew

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Thanks to FedoraDave for setting up the collaboration brew pairings. WretchedRon and I were paired up, and decided to do a BIAB brew. Since this was the first time for either of us doing a BIAB, we decided to keep the recipe as easy as possible and do a very simple American Pale Ale. Beersmith was a big help in putting the recipe together. It figured the strike temp, water volumes and made it easy to stay within the style guidelines. Here’s one of the Beersmith printouts.

Recipe: G-n-R American Pale Ale
Brewer: GWCR & WretchedRon
Style: American Pale Ale
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 2.13 gal
Boil Size: 2.50 gal
Estimated OG: 1.057 SG
Estimated Color: 8.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 33.9 IBU
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
3 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 77.78 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 22.22 %
0.33 oz Centennial [9.10 %] (60 min) Hops 24.6 IBU
0.25 oz Cascade [5.00 %] (22 min) Hops 6.6 IBU
0.25 oz Cascade [5.00 %] (7 min) Hops 2.7 IBU
1 Pkgs SafAle American Ale (Fermentis #US-05) Yeast-Ale


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 4.50 lb
----------------------------
Single Infusion, Medium Body, No Mash Out
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 5.63 qt of water at 165.9 F 154.0 F

Had a free Saturday yesterday, so time to dive in! I cracked the grains with an old meat grinder that I found at my parents’ house. That was a lot of work, and it wasn’t a very consistent crush. However, I was OK with it for my first time. My brew pot is a 3 gallon enamel pot that I used to use for canning veggies, and used a 5 gallon paint bag from Lowes for the mash. Heated the water to 166, took about 2 minutes to mix the grain in, and I stirred well to get rid of any dough balls. Temp ended up at 155 so I removed it from the stove, wrapped in towels and busied myself with other preparation. Stirred every 15 minutes, and the final temp ended at 146 after an hour.

Pulled the bag out and gave it a spin to squeeze out its precious bodily fluids. Then sparged with a gallon of 168 water. After another spin, I put the bag in a colander which was in another pot. Pressed the bag with a lid to get some more juice out, and added that to the wort. Added a bit more 168 water to bring the pre-boil volume to 2.5 gallons.

As this was also my first real boil of any kind, I was a bit cautious. I kept an eagle eye on it to prevent any boil overs. Very hypnotic watching the rolling boil and seeing a hop sack churn by every once in a while.

After the boil, the kettle went into an ice bath in the sink. Took about 25 minutes to cool down to about 95.

Transferred the wort to the fermenter by pouring from the pot (no spillage, yea!, but lots of muck/crap, boo!). Topped off with cold water (lost a couple quarts or so during the boil), stirred vigorously, and took a hydrometer sample. 1.047 corrected for temp. Pretty far off from the target of 1.057, but decent for my first attempt and I will still have beer.

Pitched the yeast at 76 degrees, another vigorous stir and into the cabinet it went. Checked it 6 hours later, and the yeasties were already partying. Nice krausen this morning and smells wonderful.

Lessons learned/what to do different next time.

- Have online LHBS crush the grains, or get an actual grain mill. Too much time and effort for the grinder I have, and I think it affected my efficiency.
- Wrap kettle with additional towels (especially the lid, and don’t forget the bottom), or put kettle in warm oven for duration of mash. Possibly more efficiency points here.
- Get longer thermometer. My short one couldn’t reach the mash with the lid on, so it took longer with the lid off during the stirs to get a reading. Probably lost some heat there too.
- Use auto-siphon to transfer wort from kettle to fermenter. Too much filth and muck made it into the fermenter. Not sure what affect it will have, but I just didn’t like seeing it pour in. Possibly transfer to secondary fermenter after primary fermentation is done?
- RDWHAHB. This was not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. I will definitely be doing BIAB again. Feels great to do it from “scratch”. This was a lot of fun!

Any thoughts, comments and/or questions?

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Thanks for posting the info on your BIAB Glen. I'm going to give it a go soon, and your info will be a big help. :chug:

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If you're not going to do it often, get the grains ground by the brew store. But if you're going to do it often, get a mill. You can get a hand operated mill for around $25-30 (delivered) on Amazon, or you can get one that fits a kitchenaid mixer for around $90. Online brew stores also sell mills. I think they tend to be more expensive, but also more capable.

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Just updated the OG in Beersmith, and looks like I came in at 62% efficiency. I believe the major problem was the crush. Definitely too floury. Will change out the plate on the grinder and do a small test to see if that helps as I still have about 1.5 lbs of 2-row left.

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Update to the recipe details. The original assumed 75% efficiency. Coming in at 62% changed a few things.

Est OG 1.057 - Actual OG 1.047
IBUs up from 33.9 to 36.6
Bitterness Ratio from 0.596 to 0.778
ABV now estimated at 4.65 instead of 5.65

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Congrats on your first BIAB. I agree that it does feel good to do it from scratch.

I think the two main things that likely affected your efficiency are what you've already called out:
1) The crush of the grain
2) The temperature


Other than that, sounds like it all went smooth. It sounds like you got all you could from the grains by twisting/squeezing the bag and then using a colander as well.

I love a good pale ale and this sounds like a great, simple recipe.

Enjoy!

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Thanks Ron. I kept thinking that I was missing something since it went as smooth as it did. Had plenty of time inbetween stirs of the mash and hops additions to keep checking the web to see if I forgot something, but nothing to be found.

It may sound wierd, but looking back (and forward) I could see this as being a more relaxing way to brew. Plenty of time to get ready for the next step. Sure there are a few more steps, but after doing it once I don't think anyone should be too apprehensive about doing it. The Beersmith software basically kicked out a basic instruction sheet, and all the other great info that the Borg provided made it much easier than I thought it would be.

Just checked it over lunch, and the krausen has already fallen. There's a good 3/4 to an inch of trub on the bottom of the fermenter, and I can visually see more dropping out. I will definitely siphon instead of pour from the brew pot next time, and plan to rack to a secondary this weekend.

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Transferred to secondary MB fermenter Sunday. Man there was a lot of trub/gunk in the bottom of this one. Right about an inch. I'm about halfway between the 6 and 8.5 quart mark on the secondary fermenter, so hopefully I'll get 7 quarts out of this one.

SG was 1.010 corrected, so looks like it will come in around 4.8% ABV. Works for me. Hydro sample tasted ok, a bit grainy if that makes sense(taste not texture). Hopefully a couple weeks in the secondary will help with that, along with a month or so in the bottle. Smells great though.

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Worked up a couple versions of a label today.

Black
GNRAPALogo-1.jpg

White
GNRAPALogoWhite-1.jpg

Think I like the black one better, but that will be a killer on the toner.

Ron, if you see this, let me know if you want the Photoshop file if you do labels.

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LOL, I had to go back and read that you were paired with WR on this because I thought you were talking to me.

Love the label.

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Put the keg in the fridge to cold crash on Sunday. Will bottle this weekend. There was already another .25" or so of trub in the keg when I moved to the fridge. Still smells great. Have high hopes for this, even with the little bumps along the way.

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Bottled this afternoon. Batch primed with 50g of corn sugar. Got 20-12oz bottles plus a 12oz plastic tester. More than I expected after the huge layer of sediment in the primary.

I gotta say, after tasting the last 2-3oz that were left over, this tastes great. Now for the long 4 week wait before popping the tester in the fridge. Very pleased with how this is going so far...

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I couldn't wait any longer. Just had to try the tester last night at 3.5 weeks in the bottle.

It is definitely under carbed. Totally my fault on this. I shot lower on the sugar amounts as there wasn't as much beer in the fermenter due to the massive trub layer (or so I thought), and I didn't want to over carb. Turned out I only got one less bottle that I normally do, so I should have gone with the normal sugar level. There was a little carb on the tongue, but no head at all. Perhaps a couple more weeks in the bottle will help.

Flavor is very good. This being my first AG, I wasn't sure what to expect. It has a littly bit of a grainy flavor (not texture) that is most likely due to my over crushing the malt (too floury). That has been remedied for future AG batches with my new pasta roller mill.

However, as the beer warmed up a bit (frige is at about 35*) the hops flavors really started to come through. The grainy flavor was less noticable, I didn't really care about the under carbing and the finish was great. Kept just a bit of the hops flavor and bitterness on the tongue for a few minutes. Since I missed my OG by so much, the IBUs ended up a little higher than I wanted, but I like it more than I thought I would. I would put the body in the medium to medium-full range.

Will try one again next week and the week after to see if the carb improves (will show some beer p0rn then). Otherwise, I think this is ready for the rotation.

Can't wait for version two of this one. Definitely a beer I want to try to perfect.

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WretchedRon and I set out to brew an easy drinking summer beer with this collaboration. Mission accomplished. 5 weeks in the bottle, and I am happy despite the bumps in the road. Grainy taste is completely gone. This is a very easy drinking beer.

Body is very light, but it does have a kick. Hop levels are about perfect for me. If I had to compare it to something, I would say it is kind of a light version of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

Here is the first official pourn.
IMG_20110513_223810.jpg

It took a pretty aggressive pour to get the head, as it is very lightly carbed, but overall, it looks and tastes very good.

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Congrats on the first AG! :cheers:

I liked the look of the recipe and now am liking the look of the first pour. May have to make this my first AG down the road as well.

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Looks great! I'm glad the Recipe Collaboration Exchange worked out well for you.

Interestingly, I'm going to be tasting my first AG batch, myself, this weekend. It's an American Pale Ale, too. Preliminary taste tests indicated success, but I'm eager to sample the final product.

Brew on!

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Thanks guys. This was a lot of fun to put together, and it's a pretty simple recipe and process too. Ryno, if you do it, let me know how it turns out. Dave, big fan of the collaboration as you know. Count me in on any future ones! :chug:

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Just keep your eyes peeled for the announcement in the Community Drain Pipe. Probably shortly after Father's Day. All are welcome to sign up.

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This beer has transformed a bit more. The carb keeps improving even after 2 months in the bottle! Not so much the amount of carb, but how it feels. I would change the description from light carb to soft carb (not sure if that even makes sense). Very soft mouthfeel, not "flat" anymore as the carb sticks around for the entire glass. Flavor is great. It's almost too easy to drink though... :gulp:

This has now overtaken the German Hefe as my best/favorite one so far. With a few tweaks, this will definitely be a staple in my inventory. Only 12 left. Better get to brewing up the next batch...

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Grats on first BIAB. I make a similar Pale ale that is the only recipe I have done more than once(4 times to be exact). I just did another pale ALe that used all Cascades and it was great after only 3.5 weeks. This is one brew I plan on keeping the keg stocked with. I had planned to bring the keg on a camping trip in a week so hopefully I wont drain it too fast :)

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Tobias wrote:

Grats on first BIAB. I make a similar Pale ale that is the only recipe I have done more than once(4 times to be exact). I just did another pale ALe that used all Cascades and it was great after only 3.5 weeks. This is one brew I plan on keeping the keg stocked with. I had planned to bring the keg on a camping trip in a week so hopefully I wont drain it too fast :)

If that keg is empty, it's not too late to un-invite you :angry:

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Well, this one is now gone. :(

Had the last one last night, and it was the best of the batch. Have the ingredients to brew it again, now just need to find the time.

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