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Batch number 14 and this is my first partial mash recipe!  I brewed the El Gordito Mexican Lager and I am looking forward to trying it when it is ready (around the 4th of July I would guess!).

 

It did take longer than just an extract or extract and LME batch but it did feel more like making beer and less "easy-bake-oven" than some of the simpler recipes!  

 

I'll let everyone know how it turns out! 

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Great job and welcome to the partial mash family.  I'm wondering if a bit more water should have been used to completely cover the grain bag. 

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you also wanna make sure you don't tie the grain bag to tight ,,,you wanna make sure the water can get thru all the grains...looks good ?

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I wondered that too, Mini. I think my pot was too big.  I added an extra cup of water and it still did not cover the whole grain bag.  So I used sanitized tongs to flip the bag every 10 minutes or so for the 30 minute seep.  Next time I will use a smaller pot.

 

Also, when it came to adding the hops, I used the sanitized tongs to move it to the LBK.  It the past I had trouble moving the wort over to the LBK when the dry hop bag was still in there.  So this time I just moved it over first.

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There was some corn dust too that seeped out of the bag.  I assume that gets fermented or settles in bottling?  Probably not a bad idea to cold crash this batch before bottling, no?

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El Gordito seems like a lot of work (and fun) for a batch that nets an ABV of 3.5%!  :-)

 

Chasing taste, not ABV - repeat 20 times!

 

But I am sure it will be refreshing on hot days in July!

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it should be very good for the summer.  If you are chasing ABV, you can always add a booster.  If you want ABV *AND* taste, the LME's are always great.

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4 minutes ago, KaijuBrew said:

There was some corn dust too that seeped out of the bag.  I assume that gets fermented or settles in bottling?  Probably not a bad idea to cold crash this batch before bottling, no?

 

Cold crashing is never a bad idea, but I'm thinking some of the corn dust will be fermented and become part of the beer during the next three weeks.  Do you have a hydrometer or a refractometer to check the ABV?

 

 

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2 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

 

Cold crashing is never a bad idea, but I'm thinking some of the corn dust will be fermented and become part of the beer during the next three weeks.  Do you have a hydrometer or a refractometer to check the ABV?

 

 

Nothing like that just yet, Mini!  Heck, this is my first outing with the cooper's temperature gauge!  

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Don't worry about ABV......if you drink enough on an empty stomach you will get a healthy buzz....and if not just have a shot of clean, high quality vodka before each bottle. (And this is from a a guy who thinks anything below 8%ABV is a session beer.)

 

I don't cold crash before bottling and I don't worry. Everything will take care of itself during  a long conditioning and enough time in the fridge.

 

I always use enough water to cover my grains and it is never anywhere near what Mr. Beer recommends. Again, I don't worry. I drink a lot while brewing and let everything settle itself.

 

 

 

 

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Congrats!!

 

Side note... mix the grains before you put them in the bag (looks like they are layered in the pic for example it looks like all the corn is on the top) you get better extraction of the good stuff (or something like that... i cant remember the word for word explination...) 

You can use more water in the pot to cover the grains.. i think i used about twice what the directions said... then cooled it down by setting the pot in an ice bath for a bit because i knew there wasnt going to be enough cold water in the LBK to bring it down to pitching temp. (Stir the wort while it is in the ice bath... just use a sanitized spoon and sanitized thermometer till its below 100*F.. i went closer to 80*F before i poured into the LBK)

I ALWAYS Cold crash every batch... i was told it was a sin not to by @RickBeer

 

When all else fails.. RDWHAHB!!! (Relax, Dont Worry..Have A Home Brew!)

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Takes a little more time, but it is part of the enjoyment. BTW- I might be wrong, but from the picture it appears that your thermometer is touching the bottom of the pot. Try and keep it a inch or so off the bottom. You want the temperature of the wort, not the pot. 

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9 hours ago, Brian N. said:

Takes a little more time, but it is part of the enjoyment. BTW- I might be wrong, but from the picture it appears that your thermometer is touching the bottom of the pot. Try and keep it a inch or so off the bottom. You want the temperature of the wort, not the pot. 

Thanks.  The thermometer is about 1 cm from the bottom of the pot, good tip!

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9 hours ago, hotrod3539 said:

Congrats!!

 

Side note... mix the grains before you put them in the bag (looks like they are layered in the pic for example it looks like all the corn is on the top) you get better extraction of the good stuff (or something like that... i cant remember the word for word explination...) 

You can use more water in the pot to cover the grains.. i think i used about twice what the directions said... then cooled it down by setting the pot in an ice bath for a bit because i knew there wasnt going to be enough cold water in the LBK to bring it down to pitching temp. (Stir the wort while it is in the ice bath... just use a sanitized spoon and sanitized thermometer till its below 100*F.. i went closer to 80*F before i poured into the LBK)

I ALWAYS Cold crash every batch... i was told it was a sin not to by @RickBeer

 

When all else fails.. RDWHAHB!!! (Relax, Dont Worry..Have A Home Brew!)

 

More good tips.  I have two more partial mash recipes to make (Naughty Cream Ale and Brown Bag) and I am sure they will be better for these tips!

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Any tips on proper temps for the Salfager S-23 lager yeast?  This is my first time using this yeast.  The Recipe says brew between 45 - 60.  I am adding ice packs to my cooler / fermentation chamber to keep the temp down.

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you wanna try and hold it at 55 during fermentation....then do a diacetyl rest for three days at the end of fermentation,,that's where you then raise your temp to like 70 for those three days..... There's lots if info on here about the D-rest,, do a little search or someone on here might have a better explanation..... Good luck!!!.?

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1 hour ago, KaijuBrew said:

Any tips on proper temps for the Salfager S-23 lager yeast?  This is my first time using this yeast.  The Recipe says brew between 45 - 60.  I am adding ice packs to my cooler / fermentation chamber to keep the temp down.

 

Manufacturer's info on any  yeast is easily found via Google. Here's the info on the S-23: http://www.fermentis.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/SFG_S23.pdf

 

Fermentation temperature: 9-22°C (48.2-71.6°F) ideally 12-15°C (53.6-59°F)

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I'll add another vote for using a bigger grain bag. As was stated tie it loose. It will allow the bag to flatten out in the pot and you won't need to put in the extra water. 

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2 hours ago, efdbrian said:

I'll add another vote for using a bigger grain bag. As was stated tie it loose. It will allow the bag to flatten out in the pot and you won't need to put in the extra water. 

 

I just used the muslin sack that came with the recipe from Mr. Beer.  Should I have used two bags or gone out and bought grain bag?

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10 minutes ago, KaijuBrew said:

 

I just used the muslin sack that came with the recipe from Mr. Beer.  Should I have used two bags or gone out and bought grain bag?

 

I use the muslin sacks, too.  You want to leave room for the grains to expand and "lay out" a bit.  So when you tie it off, leave a good amount of room; you don't want the knot snug up against the grains.  Same goes for when you do hops, too, as the pellets will expand...a lot.

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Having a little trouble getting the temp of the LBK below 60 degrees to ferment.  I am using bottles of frozen water and liquid cooler packs in a cooler to try to do so.  Hopefully the slightly higher temps during fermentation won't be a problem.

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The trick to lagers (assuming this is what you made), is that you have to use a dedicated fridge or freezer dedicated to fermenting, and add this device.

 

http://www.mrbeer.com/digital-temperature-controller-outlet-thermostat

 

Put the probe in fridge, plug the fridge into the controller, and the controller into the outlet.  Then, program the controller for the temp you want inside the fridge.  I start a bit colder (say 53) than the 55 recommended for fermentation temperature, then bring the fridge up to 55 or 56 once the main part of fermenting is done. 
 

Note I said "dedicated".  You can't use your main fridge in your kitchen, or the normal food will spoil.

 

 

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Actually, the probe should be taped to the side of the fermenter, below the liquid line, with a pad of material (folded rag works) between the probe and the air.  This insulates the probe from the air temp, giving a more accurate reading.

 

Piece of duct tape, cloth, probe, side of fermenter.

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I have my probe taped hanging from the top of the inside of the fridge, not touching anything, but close to the two kegs that are fermenting.  The reasons I have it outside and not inside is 1) I have two kegs, and 2) I have thermometers that tell me the temp of what is going on inside.  For the first 3-5 days, I keep a close monitor (check on it 3-4 times per day) and adjust the temperature controller accordingly to get the keg as close to and as consistent to 55 as possible.  After about the 5-7th day, things stabilize, and I'm able to keep the temp controller at 55 and the kegs stay at 55.

 

Don't get me wrong, I don't disagree with your method of putting the probe next to the keg.....the question is...which one?  So far, my method has worked for me.

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26 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

The trick to lagers (assuming this is what you made), is that you have to use a dedicated fridge or freezer dedicated to fermenting, and add this device.

 

http://www.mrbeer.com/digital-temperature-controller-outlet-thermostat

 

Put the probe in fridge, plug the fridge into the controller, and the controller into the outlet.  Then, program the controller for the temp you want inside the fridge.  I start a bit colder (say 53) than the 55 recommended for fermentation temperature, then bring the fridge up to 55 or 56 once the main part of fermenting is done. 
 

Note I said "dedicated".  You can't use your main fridge in your kitchen, or the normal food will spoil.

 

 

 

Mini - do you have a heating element in there too or just the fridge?

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15 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

Actually, the probe should be taped to the side of the fermenter, below the liquid line, with a pad of material (folded rag works) between the probe and the air.  This insulates the probe from the air temp, giving a more accurate reading.

 

Piece of duct tape, cloth, probe, side of fermenter.

 

I am seeing some folks suggest placing the probe in cup of water in the fridge and putting the probe in that.

 

Also Rick, do you use a heater too or just the fridge?

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28 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

The trick to lagers (assuming this is what you made), is that you have to use a dedicated fridge or freezer dedicated to fermenting, and add this device.

 

http://www.mrbeer.com/digital-temperature-controller-outlet-thermostat

 

Put the probe in fridge, plug the fridge into the controller, and the controller into the outlet.  Then, program the controller for the temp you want inside the fridge.  I start a bit colder (say 53) than the 55 recommended for fermentation temperature, then bring the fridge up to 55 or 56 once the main part of fermenting is done. 
 

Note I said "dedicated".  You can't use your main fridge in your kitchen, or the normal food will spoil.

 

 

 

Thanks - ordered the temp controller.  I do have a mini fridge (thanks to advice earlier this year from the group).  This is turning into an expensive batch!  :-)

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For now, just the fridge to keep it cool.  The unit is set to be plus or minus 1 degree of my target, so it kicks on at 56, turns off at 54, and naturally warms back up to 56 over time.  Understand that I'm in an upstairs apartment, so it doesn't take long for the fridge to get back to 56.  I'm not sure if there is a need to have a heating element in the fridge, but if I were running a tropical aquarium, I would use both the heater and the chiller parts of the device.

 

 

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The one that would be hotter.  If you put in both at the same time, then it doesn't matter.  If one is a week ahead of the other, put it on the new one.

 

I also put the newer kegs down low, so when they ferment actively and get warmer, the frig runs more, but the kegs up top are a tad warmer and that's good as they are past peak fermentation.  

In the air, the probe will cause the frig to run more.  

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3 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

The one that would be hotter.  If you put in both at the same time, then it doesn't matter.  If one is a week ahead of the other, put it on the new one.

 

I also put the newer kegs down low, so when they ferment actively and get warmer, the frig runs more, but the kegs up top are a tad warmer and that's good as they are past peak fermentation.  

In the air, the probe will cause the frig to run more.  

 

probably true on the frig running more.  Both times I made lagers, I made two batches of the same thing, so they were both put in the frig at the same time.  It's something to experiment with, but probably won't make another lager until after September, once the weather turns colder and I don't have to worry about the apartment being sweltering hot

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10 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

For now, just the fridge to keep it cool.  The unit is set to be plus or minus 1 degree of my target, so it kicks on at 56, turns off at 54, and naturally warms back up to 56 over time.  Understand that I'm in an upstairs apartment, so it doesn't take long for the fridge to get back to 56.  I'm not sure if there is a need to have a heating element in the fridge, but if I were running a tropical aquarium, I would use both the heater and the chiller parts of the device.

 

 

 

No real need for heating unless you are doing something like a Belgian where they ferment at higher temperatures. 

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1 hour ago, efdbrian said:

 

No real need for heating unless you are doing something like a Belgian where they ferment at higher temperatures. 

That depends on where you are fermenting.  I ferment in my basement and in the winter during fermentation my fermentation chamber never gets above 64 even without ice.  The temperature of my basement at floor level is 60 to 61 degrees (sometimes cooler).  I use heat in my chamber to ramp the temperature up to somewhere between 66 and 68 as the krausen begins to fall (usually day 4 or 5) and then let it go to ambient temperature after about 10 days. 

 

Things change in the summer because ambient is around 68.  Also, Belgians need much more heat.  I keep them below 68 at first and then I begin to heat them after day 4 and let them get to 75 to 78 by day 8 or 9.

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On 4/1/2017 at 5:44 PM, Stroomer420 said:

you also wanna make sure you don't tie the grain bag to tight ,,,you wanna make sure the water can get thru all the grains...looks good ?

 

Quick question - I have been tying off the grain bag / muslin sack to itself.  Are you guys using something else to tie it?

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11 minutes ago, KaijuBrew said:

 

Quick question - I have been tying off the grain bag / muslin sack to itself.  Are you guys using something else to tie it?

I tie it to itself.

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4 hours ago, KaijuBrew said:

 

Quick question - I have been tying off the grain bag / muslin sack to itself.  Are you guys using something else to tie it?

Tying it to itself is fine, just make the knot at the top of the bag instead of right on top of the grains :)

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Well today was the day to bottle the El Gordito and I am super impressed.  It tasted very clean with no weird after taste.  Also, it had nice color that was very light and pretty.

 

I put the sample I pulled in the fridge so the glass was a little frosty for the photo.  But this should be a great beer once conditioning is complete!

 

I am feeling good about the first partial mash recipe!

 

To celebrate, I immediately brewed a 1776 Ale in hopes it would be ready for the 4th of July!

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Looking at my wort color, I am really impressed with how this turned out such a light color.

 

I also only kept the brew chilled via ice packs and had not yet used a temperature control system with a fridge.  I kept it under 60 the whole time, I think. I hope it turns out.  Lagers are tough maybe?

 

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Lagers, to me, are a challenge. You have to ferment at or about 55F, carb at about room temp, then condition again at 55F.  I have to dedicate my fridge to fermenting and a freezer I have for condition, both times using the temp regulator.  Great product when done, but a pain in the hinny to get there

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I did not think it possible for brewing to lighten the color of the beer.  But the wort went in the coppery color of Sam Adams and came out a light yellow color like Bell's Oberon.  I was really suprised by this!

Edited by KaijuBrew

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59 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

Because you poured it into a gallon of water? 

 

Not to be dense but is that all there is too it?

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5 minutes ago, KaijuBrew said:

 

Not to be dense but is that all there is too it?

Yep.  Just like putting some Seagrams in a glass and adding some Sprite makes the whiskey look lighter. :)

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48 minutes ago, Shrike said:

Yep.  Just like putting some Seagrams in a glass and adding some Sprite makes the whiskey look lighter. :)

Well don't I feel silly!

 

Dilution - not some magic yeast thing!  :-)

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Fermentation also makes the color get lighter.  My blonde starts with that copper color (full boil all grain) and finishes with a nice yellow color.

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12 minutes ago, BDawg62 said:

Fermentation also makes the color get lighter.  My blonde starts with that copper color (full boil all grain) and finishes with a nice yellow color.

Say it ain't so! :blink:

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Sure.  But prior to that, taking a quart or a 1/5 quarts of dark wort and adding that to a gallon of water, plus close to another gallon of top off water, causes severe lightening of the color.  

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And here is the result of my first partial mash recipe!  El Gordito!  It tastes very light and refreshing and a wedge of lime does help!

IMG_3293.jpg

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