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Sluggo

brew process check -- it's been awhile!

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Can anyone look at his and let me know if I have my process right?  It's been 9 months since my last brew, and just want to make sure I have it all right.

http://www.hopville.com/recipes/s-sluggos-white-winterland-ipa-simple-extr-and-biab

This is a simpler version of a White IPA, using DME. The other version will be a full BIAB. It hits property ranges for the American IPA, except for SRM, which is intended with the white IPA.Place 6 gallons in 10 gallon brew pot. Put pot on burner and bring to 150. Put BIAB's in pot for 20 minutes, keeping temp between 145 & 155 as tight to 152 as possible. After 20 minutes, bring to boil. Add DME. Boil and begin 60 minute countdown for additions as noted below.After 60 minutes, bring Wort to 100F ASAP using cooling techniques. Add wort to fermenter. Top off fermenter for 5 gallons.Aerate.At 78F, add yeast.Seal fermenter.(could start with 3 gallons, and add fresh spring water after cooling)

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Your process generally looks fine.  You will need to remove your grain bag at the end of the 20' of steeping, but I assume you know that and just didn't say it.  At 170 F and above, you would extract unwanted tannins from the grain.  When you do all-grain BIAB, you would need a longer mash than the 20'.

When you add the DME to hot water, you are likely to get a lot of hot break (very active foaming).  I add DME when the water is just starting to heat from being cool, and have only low foaming while it heats, then when the wort reaches boiling, the foaming is done.  You could do this by steeping the grain in only about 1 to 2 gallons of water (1 to 2 quarts of water per lb of grain, and you have 3.5 lb), while heating the DME separately in the remaining water.

Make sure to pre-boil any water that you would have available for topping off the fermenter.  Tap water can contain a small amount of bacteria, which is not enough to hurt us when we drink it, but is unwanted in your beer.  Boiling will also eliminate chlorine in the water, which can produce a phenolic (band-aid or medicine) flavor and aroma.  If your local water supply has chloramine instead, it would produce the same result but would not go away through boiling, and you should treat it using a Campden tablet.  If you care to buy spring water, it would not have chlorine or chloramine, but should still be boiled because it can contain the bacteria.

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Foothiller - Thanks for the tips. I really appreciate it.  Couple questions:

1) how long should I keep the BIAB in the pot at 152?  And how do you know what the time should be for a full BIAB, and or a partial like this one?

2) So you add the DME after you remove the grain bag after steeping (approx 152, as the boil up starts?  Great suggestion.

3) Does it affect the results if you steep the grain in 2 gallons of water vs. 6 gallons.  I'm not a chemistry guy at all,, but I would think there would be some impact I'd have to compensate for as the 2 gallon steep would have less dilution....????

Thanks!

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On # 1, as I look back at your recipe, red wheat is a base grain rather than a specialty grain, and needs to be mashed to convert the starch to fermentable sugar, making this a partial-mash (a.k.a. mini-mash).  For specialty grains that only need to be steeped, 20' is adequate, and for ones like roasted barley you would want to limit the steep to 20' to avoid excess tannin extraction.  For a partial mash or all grain, I mash for 45' using well-modified grains, although some folks go longer.  (Some folks like the brewing process itself, so don't mind long process steps, whereas I like the creativity aspects and like to minimize the required brewing time as long as my techniques remain sound.)  You can use an iodine test if you want, to check when the starch conversion is complete - take out a small sample of wort, add a drop of iodine (Iodophor sanitizer works), which stays red if the starch is converted or turns blue if there is still starch.

On # 2, I dissolve the DME starting while the water is cold, as I start to heat the water, which controls the hot break.  I would mash your grain separately.  You need to mash with 1 to 2 quarts of water per lb of grain.  For up to 2 lb of grain, I mash or steep the grain without a grain bag in a small pot or a small beverage cooler, then drain the wort through a large kitchen strainer into the rest of the wort in the boil pot.  (2 lb of grain is the capacity of the large kitchen strainer.)  I use BIAB for up to 5 lb of grain in a 2-gallon beverage cooler, which is good for a LBK-size batch.  Sparging makes up the rest of the wort volume.  However you do it, don't heat the wort with the brew bag touching the bottom of the pot, because that could melt the brew bag.

On # 3, more than 2 quarts of water per lb of grain is too thin of a mash to get good starch conversion, since you would not have enough enzyme contact with the starch in the grain.  You will be able to make up the fulll wort volume in the boil pot.

Overall, I recommend reviewing John Palmer's book How To Brew, which covers the range of techniques from novice to advanced.  I often refer back to it, since I know I can't just remenber everything.

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