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Michael Astfalk

Quick Run Down on Next Batch

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Just wanted to do a quick run down on starting the next batch to make sure I'm on track -

 

I'm going to try Ole Mole Stout.

I'm following the recipe exactly. I've got all those steps down. Sanitize everything.

Once completed and in the LBK, primary fermentation begins - I'm immediately putting the LBK in to my cooler, which is now in my basement.

I'm controlling the temp in THE LBK to be around 68 degrees - or even a bit lower, checking the stick on thermometer that I have on the side of the keg.

This is critical during primary fermentation when the yeast heats up and is most active.

I will be using ice packs in the cooler to get the temp down, checking several times a day.

 

Do I have all this right?

 

I have a couple of LME packs. Is there an issue adding 1-2 of these to the Ole Mole recipe? Does that affect anything?

 

Thanks in advance for your answers.

 

Again, I know I'm a bit redundant on this - just making sure I'm getting this.

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Adding two LME packs will both raise ABV AND lower IBUs. With the cup of brown sugar you are already mid 4s. Where do you want to be?

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Once completed and in the LBK, primary fermentation begins - I'm immediately putting the LBK in to my cooler, which is now in my basement.

I'm controlling the temp in THE LBK to be around 68 degrees - or even a bit lower, checking the stick on thermometer that I have on the side of the keg.

Any idea what the normal temperature is in your basement? I ask because a cooler and frozen water bottles over and over seem like a lot of extra work. My basement stays around 64° so I simply set my fermentor in the bathtub downstairs and let it go (that way if the spigot leaks it goes down the drain rather than all over the floor). I have never had issues with any of the yeast I have used and it's a lot easier to do the Ronco method (set it and forget it).

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Any idea what the normal temperature is in your basement? I ask because a cooler and frozen water bottles over and over seem like a lot of extra work. My basement stays around 64° so I simply set my fermentor in the bathtub downstairs and let it go (that way if the spigot leaks it goes down the drain rather than all over the floor). I have never had issues with any of the yeast I have used and it's a lot easier to do the Ronco method (set it and forget it).

 

It is in the 60s, but I should really check that. I use the cooler to regulate the temp. I was advised earlier to add ice packs to regulate it further. I was getting LBK temps in the mid 70s in the cooler when it was in my dining room.

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Adding two LME packs will both raise ABV AND lower IBUs. With the cup of brown sugar you are already mid 4s. Where do you want to be?

 

I'd like to get get it slightly hoppy but balanced.

 

If I understand Jim's graph correctly, a balance between flavor and aroma or flavor and bitterness would either be 12 min boil vs 30 min boil respectively?

 

How much hops would I need to add to balance it out? Should I boil or just add to the recipe? Most of these recipes don't require a boil of the hops, so I would think I am just adding hops in the bag and leaving it in?

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don't work that way. you need 2 additions to accomplish flavor and aroma half the hops in a 20 min boil the other half at the 5 min mark. this will raise both flavor and aroma, both of which has an effect on IBUs. anything over 7-8 min your actually loosing aroma.

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don't work that way. you need 2 additions to accomplish flavor and aroma half the hops in a 20 min boil the other half at the 5 min mark. this will raise both flavor and aroma, both of which has an effect on IBUs. anything over 7-8 min your actually loosing aroma.

 

Not sure I'm getting this? So I would boil the wort for 20 mins with 1/2 the hops for the first 15 mins, then the other half for the last 5 mins? Then what do I do with the hops, completely remove them? Do I have it right?

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Not sure I'm getting this? So I would boil the wort for 20 mins with 1/2 the hops for the first 15 mins, then the other half for the last 5 mins? Then what do I do with the hops, completely remove them? Do I have it right?

Yeah, depending on your hop schedule you might have multiple hops going in at different times. For instance, lets say you want something on the bitter side with pronounced hop flavor and aroma. Assuming a 60 minute boil, you might drop in a 1/2oz of Cascade at 60 minutes (as soon as you get a nice rolling boil). 15 minutes in you could drop in an ounce of Amarillo. At 30 minutes another 1/2 oz of Cascade and so on and so forth.

 

The hops that are in there for the longer periods of time will offer the desired bitterness (IBUs) while the 30 minute timeframes should give you the flavor while the hops dropped in for the last 5 minutes of the boil or at flameout will offer the aroma. Then you get in to dry hopping and all that jazz for even more aroma. It all depends on where your taste buds are on the IPA/pale ale/hoppy wheat spectrum and what you want to taste in your finished product. I wouldn't get too worried about some of this stuff until you get the basics under control and you get more comfortable with the process.

 

The easiest way to remove them is to put each type of hop in a muslin sack so that it can be removed from the wort at flameout (when you turn the heat off). You can grab the sacks with a sanitized set of tongs. Or, you can go commando and filter the hop/organic material out as you are moving the wort from your boil kettle to your fermentor.

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Not sure I'm getting this? So I would boil the wort for 20 mins with 1/2 the hops for the first 15 mins, then the other half for the last 5 mins? Then what do I do with the hops, completely remove them? Do I have it right?

You leave them in.

 

However, you say you're following the recipe exactly but adding 1 LME significantly changes it.

Imagine taking a 2.5 gallon recipe and adding another gallon of water to it.

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Yeah, depending on your hop schedule you might have multiple hops going in at different times. For instance, lets say you want something on the bitter side with pronounced hop flavor and aroma. Assuming a 60 minute boil, you might drop in a 1/2oz of Cascade at 60 minutes (as soon as you get a nice rolling boil). 15 minutes in you could drop in an ounce of Amarillo. At 30 minutes another 1/2 oz of Cascade and so on and so forth.

 

The hops that are in there for the longer periods of time will offer the desired bitterness (IBUs) while the 30 minute timeframes should give you the flavor while the hops dropped in for the last 5 minutes of the boil or at flameout will offer the aroma. Then you get in to dry hopping and all that jazz for even more aroma. It all depends on where your taste buds are on the IPA/pale ale/hoppy wheat spectrum and what you want to taste in your finished product. I wouldn't get too worried about some of this stuff until you get the basics under control and you get more comfortable with the process.

 

The easiest way to remove them is to put each type of hop in a muslin sack so that it can be removed from the wort at flameout (when you turn the heat off). You can grab the sacks with a sanitized set of tongs. Or, you can go commando and filter the hop/organic material out as you are moving the wort from your boil kettle to your fermentor.

But the Mr Beer recipes do not call for a boil of the HME. In what are we boiling the hops? Just the water? Then the recipes say to leave the hops in - pour the mixture in the LBK for fermentation.

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You leave them in.

 

However, you say you're following the recipe exactly but adding 1 LME significantly changes it.

Imagine taking a 2.5 gallon recipe and adding another gallon of water to it.

I have some LME bags. What do I do with them? I thought they were to be added to the recipes?

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I have some LME bags. What do I do with them? I thought they were to be added to the recipes?

Are you serious?  You were supposed to add the LME at the same time as the HME.

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Not sure I'm getting this? So I would boil the wort for 20 mins with 1/2 the hops for the first 15 mins, then the other half for the last 5 mins? Then what do I do with the hops, completely remove them? Do I have it right?

that is correct.

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But the Mr Beer recipes do not call for a boil of the HME. In what are we boiling the hops? Just the water? Then the recipes say to leave the hops in - pour the mixture in the LBK for fermentation.

boil only the LME/DME

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Yeah, depending on your hop schedule you might have multiple hops going in at different times. For instance, lets say you want something on the bitter side with pronounced hop flavor and aroma. Assuming a 60 minute boil, you might drop in a 1/2oz of Cascade at 60 minutes (as soon as you get a nice rolling boil). 15 minutes in you could drop in an ounce of Amarillo. At 30 minutes another 1/2 oz of Cascade and so on and so forth.

 

The hops that are in there for the longer periods of time will offer the desired bitterness (IBUs) while the 30 minute timeframes should give you the flavor while the hops dropped in for the last 5 minutes of the boil or at flameout will offer the aroma. Then you get in to dry hopping and all that jazz for even more aroma. It all depends on where your taste buds are on the IPA/pale ale/hoppy wheat spectrum and what you want to taste in your finished product. I wouldn't get too worried about some of this stuff until you get the basics under control and you get more comfortable with the process.

 

The easiest way to remove them is to put each type of hop in a muslin sack so that it can be removed from the wort at flameout (when you turn the heat off). You can grab the sacks with a sanitized set of tongs. Or, you can go commando and filter the hop/organic material out as you are moving the wort from your boil kettle to your fermentor.

The schedule he describes is great for IPAs.  As you can see below 30 min is well past the prime flavor boil.  For what your trying to do boil the LME and 4 cups of water for 20 min with half your hops.  With 5 min left in the boil, add the other half. Remove the bags at flame out I use nylon bags so I squeeze the hoppy goodness from them. Don't think I'd try that with a muslin sack. Then add your HME.

 

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boil only the LME/DME

 

I met you guys half way on this. I switched gears and I'm doing the Barley Smoked Porter Recipe - at least with ingredients that I could get for it here locally. I'll end up making a donation to this or another similar charity on my own. It was the only recipe I could find where it was close to what I want to do.

 

This way, i have an exact recipe to follow. I'll remove the hop sacks from the wort after the boil times - but it doesn't say that in the directions. Not sure why.

 

It actually is working out content wise - I had to buy 1 oz of hops for each of the types called for, so I can use those later in the other recipes.

 

UPDATE on this, (20 minutes after I originally responded) - I think I messed up the recipe. Will have to see how it turns out. We talked about removing the hops sacks at flame out. This particular recipe said to leave them in for the fermentation. Not sure why, because this recipe is doing exactly what we were talking about, 20 minute boil then 10 minute boil. I removed the hop sacks at flame out as we discussed and tossed them, then noticed the end of that paragraph in the recipe said to leave them in.

 

The other thing I noticed is that the recipe did not say to let the wort cool - but because I had heated it so long and boiled it, the temp in the keg was at 75 even after adding cold refrigerated water. Have it cooling down with ice packs in the cooler & will watch it.

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I met you guys half way on this. I switched gears and I'm doing the Barley Smoked Porter Recipe - at least with ingredients that I could get for it here locally. I'll end up making a donation to this or another similar charity on my own. It was the only recipe I could find where it was close to what I want to do.

 

This way, i have an exact recipe to follow. I'll remove the hop sacks from the wort after the boil times - but it doesn't say that in the directions. Not sure why.

 

It actually is working out content wise - I had to buy 1 oz of hops for each of the types called for, so I can use those later in the other recipes.

 

UPDATE on this, (20 minutes after I originally responded) - I think I messed up the recipe. Will have to see how it turns out. We talked about removing the hops sacks at flame out. This particular recipe said to leave them in for the fermentation. Not sure why, because this recipe is doing exactly what we were talking about, 20 minute boil then 10 minute boil. I removed the hop sacks at flame out as we discussed and tossed them, then noticed the end of that paragraph in the recipe said to leave them in.

 

The other thing I noticed is that the recipe did not say to let the wort cool - but because I had heated it so long and boiled it, the temp in the keg was at 75 even after adding cold refrigerated water. Have it cooling down with ice packs in the cooler & will watch it.

I'm not sure I get this, you made a MrB recipe with stuff you bought from your LHBS? I have to say, that changing recipes is not meeting us halfway. Nor would my advice necessarily have been the same.

 

However, removing the hop sack is not going to mess it up,  just change it...slightly. Unasked, however,  I make this suggestion. Read recipes a couple times before you brew them. This hobby is all about time and your rushing thru things.  Slow down I don't mean the speed at which you learning but the speed you do things. i.e. you missed leaving the hop sack in cause you rushed in to brewing the recipe. Slow down, make everything you do on brew day deliberate. (I hope this came out right)

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I'm not sure I get this, you made a MrB recipe with stuff you bought from your LHBS? I have to say, that changing recipes is not meeting us halfway. Nor would my advice necessarily have been the same.

 

However, removing the hop sack is not going to mess it up,  just change it...slightly. Unasked, however,  I make this suggestion. Read recipes a couple times before you brew them. This hobby is all about time and your rushing thru things.  Slow down I don't mean the speed at which you learning but the speed you do things. i.e. you missed leaving the hop sack in cause you rushed in to brewing the recipe. Slow down, make everything you do on brew day deliberate. (I hope this came out right)

No. It was stuff I had from Mr. Beer already. Had to pick up the yeast at the LHBS. I have this box downstairs with refills, LME packs, hops, etc. I bought it on sale after the holidays.

 

I don't know how much slower I can go. It took me 90 minutes to make this recipe.

 

My trouble is work space/environment and being able to actually read the recipes. Type is very small and cramped and too many distractions in my house. 

 

Will read them a couple of times in the future. Will try to go slower next time.

 

Thanks for the guidance.

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I would lay everything out in order of use and insure that you have the directions handy when and if needed.

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I would lay everything out in order of use and insure that you have the directions handy when and if needed.

this

Don't be obtuse, I never said slow down the act of brewing. Make a list of everything you have to do on brew day and follow it. Your questions show your starting to understand, just slow down your approach to the brew day. You missed leaving the hops in 'cause you were in to big of a hurry and you made a simple mistake. Slow down, that's all I'm saying.

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this

Don't be obtuse, I never said slow down the act of brewing. Make a list of everything you have to do on brew day and follow it. Your questions show your starting to understand, just slow down your approach to the brew day. You missed leaving the hops in 'cause you were in to big of a hurry and you made a simple mistake. Slow down, that's all I'm saying.

 

No, you and John gave good advice here. Thank you.

 

I had copied the recipe in to my notes on the iPhone so I could lay it out - put the order to it - and was using that. It got too much between the recipe, the phone shutting off, and the activity in the house. Trying to sanitize equipment, prepare the recipe and then follow it got to be a bit of a challenge with a toddler & a preschooler under my feet shredding paper all over the kitchen floor.

 

In the end, my mistake and I'll see where it comes out on this batch. Next time I'll actually print my notes/recipe the way I had it in my phone. That ought to help me with the list for brew day and to follow it.

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It is difficult to brew with distractions. Try after they go to bed, at nap time, or have Mom take them out.

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No, you and John gave good advice here. Thank you.

 

I had copied the recipe in to my notes on the iPhone so I could lay it out - put the order to it - and was using that. It got too much between the recipe, the phone shutting off, and the activity in the house. Trying to sanitize equipment, prepare the recipe and then follow it got to be a bit of a challenge with a toddler & a preschooler under my feet shredding paper all over the kitchen floor.

 

In the end, my mistake and I'll see where it comes out on this batch. Next time I'll actually print my notes/recipe the way I had it in my phone. That ought to help me with the list for brew day and to follow it.

At the worst, you made beer. Maybe not the beer you intended, but still, beer. So name this batch, The Distracted Ale and figure you'll never be able to repeat it. :)

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It is difficult to brew with distractions. Try after they go to bed, at nap time, or have Mom take them out.

 

Wishful thinking on my part. There's four of them. The seven year old likes to help me - and is a big help. the distraction is the two little ones. Probably will get on to it better as I get more familiar with the process.

 

Early morning on a saturday might work. I'll figure something out for the next batch and give that a try.

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As with all little ones they want to see what Daddy is doing(its new), As stated just get everything in order take your time and you'll have beer(maybe even real good beer). Like I said lay it all out in order of use have the directions handy and go over them all the time while brewing(IT WORKS FOR ME, BUT TO EACH THIER OWN).

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I was brewing 4 batches last night.

 

I must have checked and double checked my boils 5-6 times for each recipe.

Then I worked 2 pots at the same time and did simultaneous boils.  If you know what you're doing, brewing should be like watering the grass:  turn on the sprinkler, let it do its thing,  and move it every 20 minutes

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