McSorley's Black and Tan

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by RoadRoach, May 16, 2021.

  1. RoadRoach

    RoadRoach Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2021
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    802
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Central Alabama
    Got the recipe from my supplier. I'm not game enough to mess up a bunch of malt to make pig swill yet. I'm still in the follow the recipe stages, with the possible exception of yeast recovery and repitch. This one will be a re-pitch of some White Labs English Ale Yeast that I used for Hobgoblin. I did a 'rinse' on that batch (which I was told to NEVER do again). McSorley's is actually a brown ale, apparently named after the mix of a stout and a blonde somewhere within a couple thousand miles of England. I find the references to be Irish, Welsh, and Scottish, so who knows WHERE it originated. Supposedly, it's a relatively old recipe. Target tastes are a sweet beer, low IBU (<30). I entered the recipe in the db, but somehow, I don't think the FG is being calculated correctly. Probably my screw-up for selecting the wrong malt base because what I have is not in the list and I have no idea (yet) where to get the numbers from. It's a 2-row American Pale Ale Malt, I'm assuming is a wheat based malt. It has 4 adjunct malts for color/flavor. The recipe is here. As I said, the FG is probably wrong, as well as the ABV. Who'd bother with a 1.25% beer? Not me.

    Brewing as we speak, so need to check steep timer.
     
  2. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    7,108
    Likes Received:
    11,816
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Nice!
    I wouldn't worry about the FG prediction in the recipe editor. I will assume that you are bottling, in which case you just need to make sure that the yeast is done for sure. This would be stable gravity reading over three days. Simplest thing is to leave it for a solid two weeks, then check the gravity. Wait another 2-3 days and confirm that the gravity has not changed.

    How many brews have you done to date?
     
  3. RoadRoach

    RoadRoach Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2021
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    802
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Central Alabama
    On to boil. Starting boil with lid on, but will remove after temperature hits 210F before hot break to prevent boil-over..
     
    Trialben likes this.
  4. RoadRoach

    RoadRoach Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2021
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    802
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Central Alabama
    About 30 batches since I started last year. Got a Belgian on right now that's been going 2 weeks, and it's still bubbling like crazy this morning when I checked. Krausen made it up to the air-lock three times, but I swapped it with another with StarSan solution in it and let 'er rip. I wait until I see no bubbles for at least a week or so. Sometimes, I find it's already started to carbonate slightly, albeit without pressure. But a good head forms if I put some in my little sample glass out of the bottle bucket. Doesn't last long usually, but pretty cool to know where it's going. I try to ferment at least 3 weeks on anything that's still active after 10 days. If it's bubbling, I leave it. If the bell in the 3-piece air lock I use is still floating, I leave it. I wanted to bottle that Belgian (Rapier Wit) this weekend, but that's not gonna happen. Still getting a bubble every 2-3 seconds. First time I've used a starter on that brew, so it's havin' a good ol' time.

    Strangely, though, this is the first recipe I've put in that didn't turn out REAL close to what the printed recipe says. But my recipes don't typically have the FG on them. The calculator says OG around 1.040. Pulled a sample, and letting it cool to check. My thief leaks at the check valve, and I haven't found one yet that doesn't, so I can't just leave the sample in the tube. I drew it to a bottle that I rinsed, and when I'm done checking the gravity, I'll dump it back in the boil.
     
  5. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    7,108
    Likes Received:
    11,816
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Ok, 30 brews, sorry, probably didn’t have to give you "make sure about the FG" talk!

    Curious why you would leave the lid on while coming to a boil?
     
  6. RoadRoach

    RoadRoach Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2021
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    802
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Central Alabama
    #6 RoadRoach, May 16, 2021
    Last edited: May 16, 2021
    At boil,bittering hops in.
    Faster temperature rise, but I pull it off as soon as I reach boil. Just burns a little less propane. A covered pot will heat up a lot faster than one not covered. Still gets rid of the bad stuff, but saves a few pennies along the way..

    Oh, BTW, don't spare the dispensation of expert opinion and experience in the processes of fermentation and chemistry. That's why I gave this site some money. I wanna learn more so one day I can make a beer that someone thinks is better than theirs. No offense taken, and no apology required. FYI, I'm just a southern redneck with an education. A Yankee's worst nightmare. I try not to take offense to anything except name calling and especially being called a liar. Got a short fuse for that kinda stuff.
     
    BarbarianBrewer, DanC and Craigerrr like this.
  7. RoadRoach

    RoadRoach Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2021
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    802
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Central Alabama
    Aroma hops in, 5 minutes to flame out ...
     
    Craigerrr likes this.
  8. RoadRoach

    RoadRoach Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2021
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    802
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Central Alabama
    Chilling down.

    If you like a dark beer, this one might suit. It's DARK. A lot darker than I anticipated for a brown English ale. Looks more like a stout.

    This is where I need a storage tank to capture the cooling water so we can use that in our garden. Too hot to put on the plants right now, but after cooling, no waste no want. I'm not a tree hugger, just somewhat penny conscious as I get closer to retirement.
     
  9. RoadRoach

    RoadRoach Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2021
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    802
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Central Alabama
    GRRRRRR!! ;Another hydrometer bites the dust. Glad I got my reading first. (OG at 1.045 after makeup. Right on the money. Bumped the hydrometer while cleaning it and then see water in it. No beer, just water, so pretty sure I didn't break it in the beer. This batch is dark enough to definitely know if it gets in something. Color of strong coffee. Tiny cracks at the weighted end. If I keep breaking these things, a Tilt might be cheaper. This will be the 3rd one I've broken, and I called myself being careful and gentle with it. One thing I've figured out is how important a hydrometer is to the process. Gotta have another before I pull the next batch for bottling.

    Ennyhoo, in the bucket, lid on, airlock on. Now to clean up.
     
    Craigerrr likes this.
  10. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2020
    Messages:
    2,836
    Likes Received:
    4,792
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Retired Engineer
    Location:
    Atlanta
    @RoadRoach Three things

    2-row pale malt is barley
    I say you're lyin' about having a short fuse:p
    Even with a tilt you probably want a hydrometer.

    (You KNOW I'm ribbing you about the lyin. Right? :D )
     
    Sunfire96, Craigerrr and RoadRoach like this.
  11. RoadRoach

    RoadRoach Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2021
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    802
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Central Alabama
    And brew day is done.

    Now time to go spray off the slab for my new shed and take the forms off.


    Roger on the barley. Should have guessed from the 2-Row name, yes? I've walked through a field of 2-Row barley in Scotland. Gotta love that Right to Roam thing. Sometimes all the fancy names are pretty hard to decipher, and especially confusing when two brands call the same exact thing something completely different. So, this brew has a lot of barley in it. Well, I've been wanting to try a barley beer. Just hoping I don't regret what I wished for.

    Yeah, I'll second needing a new hydrometer, and I probably should get a standard beaker too. I have a 2L Erlenmeyer flask for my starters now. I dunno why, but I've always just been too cheap to buy the graduated beaker to do my SG measurements in. A standard hydrometer fits in my thief, so I never bothered to get something separate (which would be something else to wash and sanitize)

    Yeah, I know you're stirring, because I also know my fuse is short. I'm old enough my filter doesn't work well at the best of times. When hacked off, ... Filter? What filter?
     
    Donoroto and Craigerrr like this.
  12. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    7,108
    Likes Received:
    11,816
    Trophy Points:
    113
    It is surprising how little dark/black malt it takes to turn a beer dark! I have broken a few graduated tubes, I now just use the plastic tube the the hydrometer came in, not fancy, it just works.

    Little hint to prevent breaking another hydrometer. Buy a spare hydrometer! I haven't broken one since I bought a spare...

    The sharpie line on the plastic tube is my fill to point, a 1/4" less beer, and it bottoms out...
    20210516_113351.jpg
     
    Sunfire96, Donoroto and Megary like this.
  13. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2020
    Messages:
    2,948
    Likes Received:
    8,640
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    RVA
    Have you thought about getting a refractometer? I got mine for around $30, and once I had it dialed in and my conversion factor calculated, I've only used my hydrometer once since getting the refractometer. Less chance of catching one with your elbow when you're moving around :D
     
    Craigerrr likes this.
  14. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    7,108
    Likes Received:
    11,816
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Very good point!
    I always use a hydrometer when checking FG. On brew day, I use the refractometer only!
     
    BarbarianBrewer likes this.
  15. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2020
    Messages:
    2,948
    Likes Received:
    8,640
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    RVA
    Yeah that's fair. I used the excel sheet available on BF to dial in my conversion factor, and then use the refractometer calculator here to calculate FG (since alcohol skews the Brix reading). The time I used the hydrometer was to double check the gravity when the refractometer said it was much higher than I was expecting. And of course all the testing equipment was working properly, I had a stuck fermentation :oops:

    I also use the refractometer since I do small batches; I can get a reading from 3 drops of liquid vs 100 mL in the graduated cylinder.
     
    Craigerrr, Megary and Herm_brews like this.
  16. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    7,108
    Likes Received:
    11,816
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Every drop is precious, especially when brewing small batches!
     
    Herm_brews and Sunfire96 like this.
  17. RoadRoach

    RoadRoach Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2021
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    802
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Central Alabama
    All good ideas, guys, and thanks for them. Got a link for a good refractometer? Like anything else, I'm going to assume there's at least 5 different models better than all the rest.

    I usually put my hydrometer in my thief and slide it down easy to the end with the valve in it. Then, just cover the open end of the theif, stick it down in the wort, and let it fill up enough to float the hydrometer. I used to use the keeper tube too, but the latest one I broke had a different size storage tube which was already cracked when I got it. Not to mention, if I just used the thief, that was one more item I didn't have to wash. I must have let it go down too fast and cracked the weighted end. The glass is pretty thin on those things. I'd just used it for Before Boil OG reading, and again for After Boil. I did NOT put it in hot wort, so that isn't what did it. I've dropped two and scattered them in my kitchen, because I'm just clumsy. My mother used to say I was an accident looking for a place to happen. When ya mom says things like that, you should probably live in a bubble. I don't go looking for trouble, EVER. It seems to find me too often.

    Gonna check on my McSorley's and see if fermentation has started yet. Hope I didn't kill the yeastie beasties with the rinse I did. Didn't smell bad when I put it in there. Tiny hint of hops smell, otherwise, nothing. I took it out of the fridge before I started this morning, so the temperature was probably around 70 or so. Got the wort down to about 68 in the kettle, so dumped the slurry in the fermenter first, then let the wort splash like crazy while draining the kettle. LOTS of foam, so I'll assume it's appropriately oxygenated. Topped up with about a gallon of clean water, and popped the top on it.
     
    BarbarianBrewer and Sunfire96 like this.
  18. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2020
    Messages:
    2,948
    Likes Received:
    8,640
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    RVA
    #18 Sunfire96, May 17, 2021
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
    Like anything else, you get what you pay for. I got mine on Amazon for around $30, but there are models in the $60+ range. I don't know if I just got lucky but my refractometer has been consistent and I zero it in with filtered water every few brews.

    Some have lights to make it easier to read. If you want to get real flashy they make digital refractometers, but I think they're more like $150+

    The main thing with nondigital refractometers is calculating your Brix Wort conversion rate (changes from device to device). BF has a downloadable spread sheet to use, and you can add your BWR correction value to your equipment profile and it will automatically calculate the SG in a brew session log

    Here's what I bought, but it looks to be out of stock at the moment:
    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01LW2ZU6R?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title
     
  19. RoadRoach

    RoadRoach Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2021
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    802
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Central Alabama
    Hmm, the hydrometer, graduated cylinder, storage case, all for $19.95. One's in the shopping cart.

    Thinking about getting a mash tun too. Right now, I just mash in my kettle with a torpedo screen on the valve. I could make a mash tun easily, but in my head there's something inherently wrong with boring large holes in brand new water coolers. If someone else did it, I won't feel guilty. I found yesterday out thinner mashes are a little harder to keep warm, but a lot quicker than thick mashing. I went to a 1.5 qt/lb strike instead of 1.25. Really helped with the sparge and boil. This was a slightly smaller batch of grain too (9.5 lb total), so smaller volume, quicker cooling. I recirculated a couple gallons of the wort a quart at a time to let the grain build a filter bed and get some of the spent grain waste out, then drained to the fermenter bucket just to see how much I'd get out of it. Only needed about 6 quarts of sparge (instead of the 20 the recipe called for). Tasted the wort coming out as I sparged, and I could tell there was a quick and sharp drop in the sugar content being washed from the grain. That went a LOT quicker than a thick mash and lots of sparging, and had about the same results. Still got target pre-boil OG out of it. Then, my hops boil reduced it enough I had to add a few quarts of water back to the fermenter. I'm thinking thin mashing might be my go-to method on all-grain until I upgrade some of the equipment or get more specialized stuff. Let's see how this batch turns out first. No bubbling yet in the air-lock. Hoping I didn't pour a buncha dead yeast in it. Didn't stink, so hopefully not. Went ahead and put it in the normal cool dark place in the basement to see if the the yeasties get happier.
     
  20. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    7,108
    Likes Received:
    11,816
    Trophy Points:
    113
    My refractometer has an SG scale, no need to make any conversions from brix
     

Share This Page

arrow_white