Partial Mash - input on first try please

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by mrskittle, Feb 29, 2020.

  1. mrskittle

    mrskittle Member

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    I've done a couple of extract brews so far and they've been tasty and very satisfying to drink but, I'm not really happy with how dark they've turned out. When I started down this homebrew path I knew that I'd move on to all-grain sooner than later so this is the first step down that rabbit hole. I'm looking to clone Bell's Two Hearted IPA and would really appreciate some input on the grain/fermentable bill I came up with and the accuracy of the numbers. I did the math on paper before I entered it into the recipe builder here on BF and the numbers came out identical so I think I'm on the right track.

    First of all, here's the link to the recipe from Bells beer store https://store.bellsbeer.com/products/two-hearted-ale-clone-all-grain-ingredient-kit

    Here's what I've got:
    4lbs - Briess 2-row Brewer's Malt
    1.5lbs - Briess Pale Malt
    1lb - Crystal 20
    .5lb - Crystal 40
    5lbs - Pale LME
    OG - 1.066

    Here's where I start to get a little iffy on exactly what I'm doing so please chime in. I'm operating under the assumption that I'll get about 75% efficiency on the base malts, 70% on the crystal malts, and 100% on the LME. This is based on what I was reading in Palmer's "How to Brew" book, among other online sources. There are 7 lbs of grain in the bill so I'm thinking of using between 1 and 1.5 qt/pound of grain so that puts me between 2-2.5 gallons for the mash. I will then sparge with roughly the same amount. This will put me at capacity for my 5 gallon pot. I'll do a single step mash at 152F for an hour. Around this point I've read some information that's not all in agreement, or at least I don't fully understand it. After sparging and ending up with about 4+ gallons of wort I'll add the bittering hops and get on with the boil. I'm planning on adding the LME late. Anywhere between 15 minutes out right up to flameout. Any suggestions on this timing? My last question has to do with the wort concentration after the mash. What do I need to be looking for? Should the specific gravity be within a particular range for any reason? I've read differing ideas on SG and hop utilization but I'm not sure what the answer is.
     
  2. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    As a first question, how much do you want to 'know' and how much are you prepared to have abstracted away from you by software?

    You could have nearly everything abstracted away by just going to https://www.brewersfriend.com/search/ and entering Two Hearted into the search box and choosing parial mash for the method. Then you can copy any of the recipes there. Once you're there you can start adjusting the recipe manually or using the tools menu to scale efficiency or size. That gets you something with little effort but will avoid (or implicitly answer) many of your questions.

    If you want to be more manual you can use the browse menu on the site to get an answer on your various ingredients and then enter that into a spreadsheet or blank recipe here.

    If you're doing a first partial mash you can probably simplify things by just buying a brew in a bag (BIAB) bag and skipping the sparge step. Or pour some water over the bag if you want to sparge. A light squeeze on the bag and you'll have close to the same efficiency. That also means you only need the one pot.

    LME addition timing seems good. 10-15 minutes from the end makes sense as you can then roll only making sure your ready for cooling.

    SG will definitely affect a bunch of things, including the hop bitterness utilisation. Again I'd rely on the software for something like that, but I'm sure it'll be somewhere on the net. Or to answer the question I think you have in another way... based on hearing about the beer but never drinking it I assume the smaller addition is the one for the start of the boil and the larger one is for late in the boil or at flameout.
     
  3. mrskittle

    mrskittle Member

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    Thanks for chiming in Mark. In response to your question, I want to know everything. As a scientist, I have a lust for information but in the case of my new hobby here, I've got a lot to learn. I'm fine with punching my info into the templates here at BF but I do want to have a good idea about what's going on.

    I have done some searches for Two Hearted, partial mash recipes but am coming up empty-handed. The recipe search here only turns up two and they are both essentially extract.

    I certainly should have included this info in my original post but, I do plan on using the BITB approach to the partial mash. I've got a nice big strainer and extra pots to get plenty of sparge water up to temp. I'll start my mash on the stove but switch to the propane burner for the boil.

    You are right about the hop addition. This beer takes a full 3oz for the dry hop. It's more than is put in during the boil.

    Here's a question that it seems like I should have come across before but what's the best way to get the SP of the wort when its 170+ degrees? What difference does temp make on the reading?
     
  4. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    If you plug what you have into a recipe on the site here and share it, you can post a link in here for suggestions, especially if you want to increase the contribution for the partial mash.

    A refractometer is a bit simpler for getting a gravity reading on hot wort. Just take a few drops, add it to the glass, wait 20 seconds and it'll be basically room temperature. If you've got a hydrometer the calculator at https://www.brewersfriend.com/hydrometer-temp/ will give you an estimate of the room temperature value of the hot wort.
     
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  5. mrskittle

    mrskittle Member

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    #5 mrskittle, Mar 2, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
    I went ahead and put together a recipe. Here's the link. Any input is welcome.

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/956160/two-hearted-clone

    I did make one small edit on the recipe that's different from what I provided in the first post. I eliminated the half pound of crystal 40. I can't edit the post to reflect the change since it's been a few days since it posted.

    Mark, thanks for the link to the hydrometer calculator. It's just what I need. I'm sure a refractometer is somewhere in my future but for now, I'm rocking the hydrometer.
     
  6. Megary

    Megary Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure if others have found this to be true, but I believe that my hydrometer readings are more accurate the closer I can get the temperature of the sample (wort) to the hydrometer calibration temperature (mine is 60°).

    I usually pull a sample of the wort immediately post mash and stick it in the freezer. By the time I'm just about ready for boil the sample has cooled to around 75-80°. I then take a hydrometer reading and dump the sample back in the kettle. I believe the readings are more accurate corrected for 75-80° then they are corrected for 150-160°. YMMV.
     
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  7. mrskittle

    mrskittle Member

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    Well considering most hydrometers are calibrated at a specific temp, I'm in full agreement that they read most accurately near that temp. Like you're saying, you're gonna get a better reading at 80 than 160. The larger the range that you have to estimate or correct for, the more room for error. Last time I put the sample tube of wort in the snowbank to cool it. The problem is that it melted the snow immediately around it and then didn't cool very well. I'm also thinking that wrapping it in an ice pack might work well. As I make the transition to all grain I'll have my eyes open for a good deal on a refractometer.
     
  8. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    I've found the same to be true. Enough so that, for quite some time before getting a refractometer, I felt much more comfortable cooling down to within just a few degrees of calibration temperature.
     
  9. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    It's giving a permissions error. In the edit view click the share command under the recipe tools menu to make it public.
     
  10. mrskittle

    mrskittle Member

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    #10 mrskittle, Mar 3, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
  11. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Still getting the permissions error message. The link looks good. Did you check the share recipe by URL option in the share dialog?
     
  12. mrskittle

    mrskittle Member

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  13. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Looks fine. I'd probably decrease the flameout addition and increase the dry hop, but that's just preference. The schedule you've got is fine (I tend to be all or nothing with hops). Anything in particular you're looking at? The split for DME to mashed seems reasonable, though it's been ages since I've partial mashed. I could be forgetting things.

    What's the water you'll be using?
     
  14. mrskittle

    mrskittle Member

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    Thanks for checking out the recipe Mark.

    I'm using local tap water. Being your on the other side of the planet, name dropping Lake Superior probably doesn't mean much. It's absolutely great water that's attracted 10 different breweries and cider houses (and growing) to my small city. When I read about the chemistry some folks have to engage in just to get started, I fell very fortunate that's not an issue for me as a new brewer. Maybe after some experience and the desire to brew a specific style I'll have to go down the rabbit hole, but for now I'm keeping it simple.

    My main question is really about where the wort ends up after the mash. Will the grain bill be sufficient to get the SG where it needs to be to get the most from the hops. I'm looking for an unmistakable bitterness from the early addition. The other issues that has given me trouble so far is anticipating/calculating the OG after I add plain water to reach my final volume. I need to learn more about this stuff so reading or viewing suggestions are also welcome. What I think I really need is a bigger pot so I can do full volume boils and eliminate some of the uncertainty. I'll be attending my first meeting of the local homebrew club next week so I'm hoping I can get some good advice there, as well as a used 8 gallon pot.
     
  15. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    So as it's an early attempt it's more likely to end up short, rather than above. The simplest options when coming up short are let it ride and add some DME. If you let it ride you'll get slightly more bitterness (percieved and calculated) than you would if you add some extra DME. Though my expectation is that it would be unlikely you could taste the difference. You can also extend the boil, as long as you haven't added any hops to the boil and you know your boil off rate.

    You could protect against coming in short after the mash by decreasing your expected efficiency. If you used the scale option in the recipe tools and put it down to something more conservative like 65% you'd make it more likely that you'd end up above you're ideal number. If you do end up above then the options to fix are simpler than before. It's add some more water or let it ride. And this calculator is useful for that question - https://www.brewersfriend.com/dilution-and-boiloff-gravity-calculator/.

    That calculator may also help you with the dilution after the boil question as well (and completely agree on the bigger pot - there's wonderful Chinese stainless pots being sold all over the place for less than expected).

    And there's also the long term view that tends to make me just choose to let things ride when I hit these problems. You see your brewing as constant improvement of yourprocess and any one batch as just a single data point in improving that process. So missing a number is disappointing, but as long as you're capturing appropriate notes and numbers you can work out what you need to change for the next batch. It may take a while and those dumped batches are annoying but you notice the improvement and suddenly people are keen to try your beer.
     

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