First brew story....

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by [email protected], Nov 21, 2015.

  1. johow440@gmail.com

    [email protected] New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2015
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    So this evening was my first ever solo all grain brew, it didn't go as planned... The recipe was a simple IPA http://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/r ... -citra-ipa. I posted it earlier for review. I crushed my grains in my new mill and started my strike water. This is brew in a bag. Got it up to 160 and cut the heat and doughed in. The temp went to about 149 (shooting for 152) so I hit the flame again and brought it back up while stirring and then cut the fire again at 152. I wrapped the pot in a blanket. A couple of minutes later my thermometer with the element in the pot is reading about 188. I start into panic mode and tear off the blanket and start stirring like mad. Fortunately I realize that this doesn't make any sense and that my cheapo thermo has gone south. I decide to play it by ear and stick my finger in the mash, and realize I'm not that hot and bring the heat back up a bit. I could'nt find another thermo at the time so played it by ear and finished the mash. I squeezed it to death at the end and proceeded with the boil. After all is said and done I was a little short on my volume and my OG was 1.062 instead of 1.057. I learned a lesson and will replace my thermo with a quality unit but I think I somewhat lucked out and will get beer from this brew though it may me a little stronger than I was shooting for. Also I learned that I probably can't make a 3 gallon batch of this in a 5 gallon pot. I did finally find another thermo and got it cooled down to around 68 deg and pitched some us-05 so we'll see what goes.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. GernBlanston

    GernBlanston New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Congrads johow on the firsts solo brew. Here are a couple of thoughts:

    1. Don't worry, first brews rarely go as planned. You made beer, so you win. Improvement comes with time and experience.

    2. You spoke of cutting the flame, and having an element in the pot, so I can't tell if you propane or electric brew, but in either case be careful when heating a kettle with a bag full of grain. You can burn a hole right through the bag. Ask me how I know. Be sure to lift the bag off the bottom, or off the element, whichever case would apply.

    3. When heating or cooling a mash, be sure to mix well and give it time for the temperatures to equalize. When you first dough in, give it at least five minutes before checking temps, and then check in more than one spot. If you are too quick to decide to adjust, you can get into that yo-yo cycle of heating and cooling, when all that was needed was some patience.

    4. If your gravity is higher than expected, but your volume is low, then you are probably spot on. The expected gravity is calculated for an accurate final volume. If the volume is low the gravity would necessarily be high.

    All in all, you did well. I have found that if you get the big things right, you will get a decent beer. It is actually quite difficult to screw up a beer. It probably wont be perfect, and usually is not exactly what you were wanting, but it is beer, so cheers!
     
  3. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    7,767
    Likes Received:
    3,976
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Managment
    Location:
    The Ozark Mountains of Missouri
    one issue I see is you might not have used irish moss or whirlfloc, seems bit cloudy
     
  4. johow440@gmail.com

    [email protected] New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2015
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Thanks, by element in the pot, I meant the temperature probe. Yep, it'll probably be beer. Cheers!

    Your right Ozarks, I had it and forgot it. Always next time......
     
  5. EbonHawk

    EbonHawk New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2015
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've been brewing 20+ yrs and I forgot to add Irish Moss 2 nights ago when I brewed a double-batch Honey Pale Ale. I only recently started using it anyway, as I never had a significant need for the stuff, but I figure it can't hurt now that I switched to all-grain brewing.

    I also say I'm going to print me up a "brewing checklist" to keep at the brewtable, but I've been talking about that for a couple of decades too. :p
     
  6. johow440@gmail.com

    [email protected] New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2015
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Mike, I had a checklist sitting on the table next to the brew kettle, think I looked at it, nah.
    I need an app like the map app on my phone that talks to me and reminds me of the next step.
    They say something is the first to go but I can't remember what!!!!
     
  7. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    7,767
    Likes Received:
    3,976
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Managment
    Location:
    The Ozark Mountains of Missouri
    every now and again I get an odd batch of beer I call it "I don't care Beer" it gives me that feeling every time I drink it so Ive vowed to not drink it during brewing, now that Ive started this Ive been called a master many times as a result its also shortened my brew day....then I drink :lol:
     
  8. EbonHawk

    EbonHawk New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2015
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Now I could go for that...
    "30 minute mark.. Add hops."

    I'd buy that.
     
  9. EbonHawk

    EbonHawk New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2015
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    First brew and you DIDN'T look at your checklist?!?! Now that's hardcore. I didn't do that for at least 3 batches before I started just chucking stuff into the brewpot to see what could happen... :)

    I remember thinking that if I had to look at a checklist every time, this hobby could get really tedious. Now, I'm wondering why I don't have one handy.

    Oh, and I changed my screen name, just in case anyone gets confused.

    Edit: And I have to agree, that that's a pretty cloudy brew going on there. Looks like my milk jug stout that still had some milk left in it. :p
     
  10. GernBlanston

    GernBlanston New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's funny.
     
  11. johow440@gmail.com

    [email protected] New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2015
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    My son and I brewed up a Blue Moon clone yesterday for my wife who until recently didn't really like beer. All went well and then today I transfered my Citra IPA into a secondary over 2 oz of Citra whole hops. In a week or so, I'll be bottling. It has cleared up quite a bit and since I now have a temp controlled chest freezer, I'll cold crash it before bottling. It was supposed to be 3 gallons but I'm low on volume but just a little high on the other numbers. It was planned to end up at 6.14 ABV but it looks like it'll be 6.3 or so. I'm fine with that even if I only get 2 or 2.5 gal. I'll try to get the volume little better on the next batch.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    28

    First off is get rid of the digital thermometer and just use a long stem dial type. Of at least have one for backup. You would have been fine at 149 for an IPA that's were I mash mine. If your OG is highe you can add some water if you want to lower it.
     
  13. EbonHawk

    EbonHawk New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2015
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Are the digital ones not accurate? I've heard the same about the dial types, and the local brewery I volunteer at uses long-stem digital ones.
     
  14. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    95
    Trophy Points:
    28
    The digital ones are more accurate down to decimal points. That is not really a concern if you have a dial that that reads 2 degree increments you don't need to be that accurate down to .00 or whatever. I have a bunch of dials ( there inexpensive ) and I check them against each other and they are accurate and they stay accurate. The digitals I've had have gone bad and I've blown some mashes so I was told to double check with a dial so I stopped using them and havnt had a problem since. Of course I've never had a real expensive digital. Many small breweries have electronics that of course are digitals and they may still have a big old dial sticking out of their tun. Plus if they take reading they are not leaving the digital in there they pull it to read so the digital will hold the number for a minuet to read it when they take it out. Home Brewers keep the stem in and not opening the tun every 5 minuets to check.
     
  15. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,240
    Likes Received:
    1,557
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Accurate thermometers are accurate. Nobody would use digital thermometers at all if none of them were accurate.
     
  16. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,400
    Likes Received:
    6,643
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Also, be careful of the term "accuracy". This is a factor in dial or lab thermometers, too, but is more of an issue with digital thermometers. How many decimal places your thermometer has is called precision. I use the digital Checktemp thermometers because they are both accurate and precise to 0.1 degree F. If you imagine shooting, precision is how tight your grouping is, bias is how far it is from the center of the target. A precise thermometer will measure a sample at a given temperature - the temperature of ice water is a common standard, very near 32 degrees F every time. If the average of its measurement is 31 degrees, you have a bias of -1 degrees. Accuracy is a composite term of both precision and bias.
     
  17. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,400
    Likes Received:
    6,643
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    There is an issue with waterproofing - I can't find a waterproof digital thermometer with the accuracy I want (mostly for rehydrating dried yeast and dissolving gelatin finings). But for the most part, RDWHAHB - I don't care about a degree or so anyway on my setup! So I'll be installing a dial thermometer in my mash tun shortly after Christmas.
     
  18. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,254
    Likes Received:
    2,455
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Back in the mountains
    Good dial stem thermometers are adjustable also. I check mine (3 of them) with a lab thermometer all the time but once I got a permanent setup have not tweaked it very often. I always rely on the simple glass lab type for testing other types. The one digital I tried varied every time I went to use it so it is a dust collector now. Lab type are cheap, but breakable so I keep 2 on hand.
     
  19. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    7,767
    Likes Received:
    3,976
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Managment
    Location:
    The Ozark Mountains of Missouri
    a sure fire way to get a true reading is take your temperature, put it in your mouth for 5 minutes and match them up, most of the time 98 is good enough for dials anyway. I do this for all of my digital probes, I use pt100 rtd my self and they are very accurate but can be adjusted with most pids
     
  20. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,254
    Likes Received:
    2,455
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Back in the mountains
    Do you test ALL your digital probes this way? ;)
     

Share This Page

arrow_white