Irish Stout

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by aiello1965, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. beer1965

    beer1965 Active Member

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    Hi Guys..

    I' made a batch of honey blond lager in the spring that worked well and am now trying my hand at an Irish Stout. I'm following a recipe from a local brew supply place and have all the ingredients. I'm going to brew this Saturday but really don't want to screw this up. I've attached the recipe picture below. Would you mind reading this and seeing if I have it figured out right? Thank you in advance.. FRANK!

    - night before treat 8.5 gallons of water with 2 crushed campden tablets and cover
    - bring 3 gallons of strike water to 149 degrees
    - slowly add the grains (mesh bag in the pot) and stir gently so they don’t clump together
    - keep the water at 149 for a full hour
    - lift out the bag of grains and let drain over the pot for a few minutes
    - maybe the water is now down from 3 gallons to 1.5 ?
    - put grain bag in a colander over the wort pot and pour on 5.5 gallons of sparge water
    - so 1.5 gallons left in the pot after seeping grains and added 5.5 now I probably have 7 gallons of water
    - bring the water to a boil and let roll for one hour
    - immediately when starts to boil add the Target hops - it’s the 60 minute marker
    - 30 minutes in add the Fuggle hops
    - after 1 hour of boiling take off heat and put in the pot in an ice bath sink to bring down the temp
    - let it cool down to between 86-92F as I’m using Nottingham ale yeast and that's the instruction temp
    - while cooling put yeast into 4 ounces of room temp water for 15 minutes to hydrate
    - take the OG and record wort temp when range is 86-92f temp and before pitching the yeast
    - pitch the yeast and stir
    - pour into carboy with funnel as will help it aerate
    - put on the airlock, place in a cool place and cover with a blanket to stay dark

    So how does that sound? Make sense.. My questions:

    1 - did I get that right about 3 gallons of strike and then adding a full 5.5 poured over the grains before boiling? Sounds like lots if I’m looking to finish with 5 gallons. Because I have a mesh bag what if I just pour the 5.5g into the pot and then just pull up the bag and let water drain from it for a few minutes and done?

    2 - is cooling with an ice bath in the sink ok or to much of a temperature shock?

    3 - am I looking for a rolling boil or gentle boil?

    Seriously, thanks..

    irishstout.jpg
     
  2. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    I can't see any problems with your reading of the instructions.

    1. There's ways to predict your water usage, but they're just predictions. Eventually you have to brew a batch (or do some boiling) to see how good they are. So record the water volumes before and after mash, sparge and boil. You can then use that to set up an equipment profile to be more sure about things for the next batches. You've got a style that will tolerate some pretty big misses when it comes to water, so it's a good starter choice.

    2. Ice bath is not too fast. Many people use much faster ways of cooling and some use much slower methods. Though it will take a long time with the amount you're cooling so make sure you keep it covered. The other methods need extra equipment, so not really relevant for this brew.

    3. I just do the gentle boil, some make it really roll. I think the differences between the two approaches are so small it doesn't seem worth the extra energy for me. Whatever you prefer you want to get basically the same boil each time. As the amount you boil off is used in the equipment profile that feeds the water requirements.

    The most likely thing you'll ask about after finishing the brew day is whether the beer is done fermenting. To do that you'll need to work out how much sugar you had when you put it in the fermenter (the gravity). To do that you want either a hydrometer or refractometer. If you've got a chance to get to the home brew store before you brew that'll probably help. If you don't it's no big deal (just wait two weeks before bottling). If you do have one then you should write down the gravity at the end of the boil (and sparge if you want). Let us know if you want any help on using either of these.

    That's keeping things simple. If you want to dig into anything just let us know and somebody is sure to give you more than you need for a second brew.
     
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  3. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    You probably know this already, but I would pre-boil and then cool the water that you will use to rehydrate the yeast. Make sure everything that touches that yeast is clean and sanitized (jar, spoon). Then cover with foil as it sits.

    8.5 gal of water seems a little much, but there are other losses besides grain absorption and boil off that always creep into a brew day. Like Mark says, keep good notes and measure your volumes every step of the way.
     
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  4. ACBEV

    ACBEV Active Member

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    This is not hot enough!... Once you add grains the temp will be too cool to maintain 149f. Use the mash calc to get the right strike temp.
     
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  5. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Your sparge stepn -putting grain in collander draining over pot- is pretty much my sparge step in my setup. If you pour over your sparge water through the grain do it in increments should take 5-10minutes all up to dribble the water through so you hear that steady fall into the kettle. This way vs just dunking the grain bag will yield you some extra sugars out of them grains you just spent an hour mashing.

    Try and heat that sparge water up I recon it makes a difference rinsing the sugars out from the grains.

    Looks like you've really thought this brew out.
    Don't stress too much if your numbers don't line up or things don't go to plan this brew. All things you do hot side won't necessarily ruin your beer it's once it gets into the fermentor that things can go pear shaped.

    Enjoy the process
     
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  6. beer1965

    beer1965 Active Member

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    --
    Thanks Mike - very helpful ! I very much appreciate your insight! And yes, I have a hydrometer that I'll use. Best, FRANK!
     
  7. beer1965

    beer1965 Active Member

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    Thanks ACBEV.. so I ran the mash calc and came up with this.. upload_2019-11-13_18-15-9.png
    So am i reading it right that I should be reducing the water volume to 2.7 gallons and getting the temp to 162.5 which will then go down as I add the room temperature grains and I should within the first 5/10 minutes have temp settle around 149? The calc uses the term "first rest temp" but I'm only looking for a single temp for the entire hour.. this all make sense?
     
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  8. beer1965

    beer1965 Active Member

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    Thanks Ben.. good suggestions.. I'll give it a try your way!
     
  9. ACBEV

    ACBEV Active Member

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    #9 ACBEV, Nov 14, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
    You could do, but you could also keep your strike water at 3 gallons...
    mash.jpg
     
  10. beer1965

    beer1965 Active Member

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    Ok. I think I'll split the difference... so the temp will drop from 161 to 149 (or so) after I put in the grains.. but I guess that makes sense given it's almost 9lbs of grains.. thanks..
     
  11. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    You will get a feel for this over time, it truly is math and physics. The temperature of the grain is part of the equation.
     
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  12. beer1965

    beer1965 Active Member

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    #12 beer1965, Nov 16, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
    delete
     
  13. beer1965

    beer1965 Active Member

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    #13 beer1965, Nov 16, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
    Hey.. sorry.. another stupid question.. so I just finished the brew, pitched my yeast at 88-90 (nottingham ale packet said to hydrate for 15 minutes and pitch at that temp) and now the wort is in the carboy cooling but it's still in the low 80s.. The room it's in is probably around 70 degrees.. it's on the cold floor so it will cool down to just under 70 i'm thinking.. but in the meanwhile i have a deep cold room that's about 45 i can put the carboy into for an hour or two.. should I do that to create a quick chill? I read about "clumping" protein that will help.. any thoughts? sorry for all the newbie questions.. and one last one, when I went to add the sparge water I realize that my pot was not big enough for the full 5 .5 gallons I was going to add so I added about 4.5.. i ended up with almost exactly 5 gallons in the carboy.. should I top up the beer with about 1/2 gallon or so of boiled and cooled water? thanks.. my OG was around 1.020 before the yeast

    Update: after reading on line I clearly screwed up pitching around 88 degrees. But when I look at the package I guess I didn't understand the back that showed 86-92.. i guess that was just for the 15 minutes to activate. I activated at room temp and then pitched at 88. I just (two hours after loading the carboy) moved it to a cold room that's right now 55. I'll let it sit there for two hours and get the carboy down to 65 or so and then put it back in the regular room and cross my fingers.. I"m thinking doing this might slow down the yeast and help to control esters and fusel alcohol.. crap.. oh well..
     

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  14. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    It'll cool before anything bad can happen. RDWHAHB.
     
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  15. beer1965

    beer1965 Active Member

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    I can't think what I did wrong. My OG was 1.02. It's starting to ferment but nothing over the top in terms of activity. I'm wondering if I should add a pound of honey?
     

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  16. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    At this point if it was my beer I'd just ride it out and take in all the lessons learned and experience gained. That's what I'd do.
    If you feel like you need to, you could boil up that water you're short and add some dme. I can't say where your ibu's are at this point so I can't offer much there, but I'm guessing with your low og you could be a little high on bitterness. Purely guessing tho.
     
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  17. beer1965

    beer1965 Active Member

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    Thanks .. I took a sip after the boil. It was bitter but it a good way.. the hops really did their thing well.. Ok. Thanks. As yo u suggest it's probably best to do nothing.. but I'll see how the next few days go..
     

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