Not-So-Black Liquid

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Not-So-Black Liquid

Unread postby niels » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:49 pm

Recipe: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=337

Brew day is over. Well... the carboy went into the fermentation fridge about 5 hours ago. It wasn't a brew day without some "issues", though.

Using the hood to throw in the malt is not a good idea with this amount of malt and the short malt pipe. I spilled a bit of the malt and had to fish for husks during the first minutes of mashing. No big deal, but my old method (which consist of adding the malt using a saucepan) works better as you see what you are doing and you're able to spread the malt better.

I tried the no sparge method and brewed with 36 liters. Not a wise choice in this case as I was too confident about the grain bill and 7.5 kg is just too much. I had to turn the top filter upside down to be able to turn down the wingnut. Since the grain was too compacted I needed to stir, but this meant that I had to drain some of the water/wort before I was able to safely remove the top filter.

When I was about 55 minutes into the 67*C I checked the gravity and this was way too low: 1.053. So I restarted the mash and ended up doing a 2 hour 67*C step. After that the pre-boil gravity was 1.06x (need to check notes) and so I resumed to mash out and boil.

Boiling happened with the stainless steel hood for the first time. Main advantage: I connected a flexible aluminum pipe to the hood which lead all the vaporization outside. Big plus as I didn't have to watch for condens dripping of the ceiling!
Main disadvantages: The hood get hot! So does the aluminum pipe. Hop additions are dangerous as there are no handles on the hood. Also, the seal tends to get loose when you're sliding the hood instead of picking it up. And as last: you don't see what is going on in the kettle :(
But I'm still happy with the purchase as I really like the way I get rid of the condensation now! I'll ask my father-in-law to weld some handles to the hood. I'll search the web for some stainless steel with wood handles.

I also noticed that when draining the wort in the carboy the Braumeister stated 19~20*C. When I connected the temperature controller it said 25*C. My immersion chiller must have been too close to the probe and gave a false reading.

So... I ended up with a little under 25 litres of 1.072 wort in my fermentation fridge. I hydrated 2 packages of S-33 and start the fermentation at 18*C. When the fermentation is in high krausen I'll increase the temperature to 20*C over 2 days in 0.5*C steps. I hope to get to the upper limit of the S-33 attenuation (75%) instead.

The wort has a very nice colour and smelled/tasted very well.

My fifth brew on my Braumeister and still it wasn't a perfectly smooth brew day. I'll get there, though!

:cheers:
- Niels

EDIT: Major type: I meant 25 liters instead of 15 liters.
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Re: Not-So-Black Liquid

Unread postby BrauTim » Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:19 pm

Nice one Niels, I bet your not-so-black liquid will taste great once it's turned into beer 8)
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Re: Not-So-Black Liquid

Unread postby Victor Coelho » Fri Jun 27, 2014 10:58 pm

BrauTim wrote:Nice one Niels, I bet your not-so-black liquid will taste great once it's turned into beer 8)

+1

Well done Niels!
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Re: Not-So-Black Liquid

Unread postby Lylo » Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:50 pm

Yeah well done niels, maybe not the best recipe to try the no sparge with though!
I wasn't planning on going for a run today but those cops came from nowhere!
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Re: Not-So-Black Liquid

Unread postby niels » Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:41 am

Fermentation kicked off!

Last night (after about 5 hours):
IMG_20140627_224043.jpg

This morning:
IMG_20140628_092130.jpg

- Niels
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Re: Not-So-Black Liquid

Unread postby Victor Coelho » Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:28 am

That looks really nice!
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Re: Not-So-Black Liquid

Unread postby niels » Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:22 am

I just checked the fridge and the krausen is almost gone. Strangely almost all StarSan has vanished from the airlock. I suspect it was blown out instead of sucked in, though. Filled it up a bit and raised the temp to 19.5°C.

- Niels
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Re: Not-So-Black Liquid

Unread postby niels » Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:53 am

Last night I took a small sample and put it on the refractometer. It isn't a very accurate reading, but it gives me an idea of the progress (and limits the "wasted" beer when using a hydrometer).

SG was 17.5~17.6°Brix and the reading last night was about 10°Brix (although I'm probably a bit optimistic). This would mean that the current SG is around 1.019. Not bad after a little over 48 hours :)

I raised the temperature a bit more and I'll leave it in primary until next weekend while "shaking" (the correct word slips my mind) the fermentor twice a day to keep the yeast in suspension. Saturday or Sunday the beer goes to secondary and will be dry-hopped after a few days (after possible re-activated fermentation ends).

- Niels

PS: The sample tasted really nice :) And I must say this was the most hoppy smelling fermentation I've ever done.
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Re: Not-So-Black Liquid

Unread postby royco » Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:29 am

Niels that looks awesome. I can almost taste it from here. When you use the refractometer at night what light do you use? It apparently can interfere with the reading but maybe it is not a huge difference.
Are you happy with agitating the primary? I suppose the wort is covered in a nice blanket of CO2 so infection should not be an issue.
I have an Amber Ale in the primary and dry hopped after one week. Is this wrong? Last time I did this in secondary.

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Re: Not-So-Black Liquid

Unread postby niels » Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:57 pm

royco wrote:Niels that looks awesome. I can almost taste it from here. When you use the refractometer at night what light do you use? It apparently can interfere with the reading but maybe it is not a huge difference.
Are you happy with agitating the primary? I suppose the wort is covered in a nice blanket of CO2 so infection should not be an issue.
I have an Amber Ale in the primary and dry hopped after one week. Is this wrong? Last time I did this in secondary.

It is summer here at the moment, so it's pretty light until 22:00 or so. But when I use my refractometer during brewing I have a normal light bulb (the new ecologic version of a classic Osram bulb) or in the kitchen I use TL lights. Until now I didn't notice any problems.
During fermentation it is not so clear what the reading is, but I always put a piece of paper towel on the glass and drip some beer onto that. Then I remove the paper towel and a drop of pretty clear wort stays on the glass. At the end of fermentation (or when I'm really in doubt about the progress) I use the hydrometer.

I always agitate the primary during the first few days after high krausen. Since I use an airlock all air is out of the fermentor and I don't have to worry about oxygen or an infection. When there is still a lot of CO2 in the beer you have to be careful you don't blow the fluid out of the airlock :)

Since this is the first beer I will be dry hopping I can't speak from experience, but I would prefer dry hopping in secondary. I always transfer to secondary and use a bottling bucket, so when dry hopping in secondary I expect to siphon the beer off the trub after cold crashing.

I'll let you know how it goes. If all goes well I'll be sipping the Not-So-Black Liquid in 4 weeks. :drink:

- Niels
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Re: Not-So-Black Liquid

Unread postby BrauTim » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:46 pm

royco wrote:Niels that looks awesome. I can almost taste it from here. When you use the refractometer at night what light do you use? It apparently can interfere with the reading but maybe it is not a huge difference.


That sounds like a myth in the making - where did that one come from :lol:

A refractometer just bends light through the liquid onto a scale, the degree of refraction depends on the viscocity of the liquid caused by sugar (in the case of a brewers sugar refractometer) and they make refractometers with different scales for liquids containing different things that would cause different degrees of refraction).

I think you would have to have light beyond normal daylight Kelvin range to possibly cause issues with a refractometer, so unless you are in the red spectrum or blue spectrum, I'm sure you will be OK with ordinary domestic incandescent, flourescent, LED, xenon, neon, kryptonlite or even just bog standard sunshine.
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Re: Not-So-Black Liquid

Unread postby royco » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:57 am

BrauTim wrote:
royco wrote:Niels that looks awesome. I can almost taste it from here. When you use the refractometer at night what light do you use? It apparently can interfere with the reading but maybe it is not a huge difference.


That sounds like a myth in the making - where did that one come from :lol:

A refractometer just bends light through the liquid onto a scale, the degree of refraction depends on the viscocity of the liquid caused by sugar (in the case of a brewers sugar refractometer) and they make refractometers with different scales for liquids containing different things that would cause different degrees of refraction).

I think you would have to have light beyond normal daylight Kelvin range to possibly cause issues with a refractometer, so unless you are in the red spectrum or blue spectrum, I'm sure you will be OK with ordinary domestic incandescent, flourescent, LED, xenon, neon, kryptonlite or even just bog standard sunshine.


I did a search after getting a crazy post-boil reading of 1070, but the problem was I had forgotten to allow the wort to settle and there was a lot of flotsam suspended. When I re-checked it was spot-on at 1046.
Anyway there was divided opinion and at the end of the day it probably doesn't make a difference. Just checking. :)
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Re: Not-So-Black Liquid

Unread postby niels » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:44 am

When I took the sample on Sunday I've put it in the fridge afterwards. Yesterday I pulled it out and carefully took a sample from the sample :lol:

After letting the clear beer sample come to room temperature I did another reading with the refractometer. This time the reading was very easy as I had a nice clear line on the scale: 9.8°Brix or 1.039 SG.

Using a calculator this would mean the beer has a current SG of 1.019 and the apparent attenuation is 72%. Not bad at all!

- Niels
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Re: Not-So-Black Liquid

Unread postby Luis Coentrao » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:34 pm

Great Niels,

It really looks like "My Brew Diary"!
A lot of usefull information.

Some points:
1. Hood: in the BM20, malt addition throw the lid is safer than using the BM50 plus short malt pipe?
2. Batch volume: you got 15L? Was it for purpose or did you perform a long boil in order to get the OG target?
3. Refractometer: what calculator do you use? The Seanterril or the one from the morebeer website?
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Re: Not-So-Black Liquid

Unread postby niels » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:02 pm

Luis Coentrao wrote:1. Hood: in the BM20, malt addition throw the lid is safer than using the BM50 plus short malt pipe?
2. Batch volume: you got 15L? Was it for purpose or did you perform a long boil in order to get the OG target?
3. Refractometer: what calculator do you use? The Seanterril or the one from the morebeer website?

1. There is no difference if you're using a hood on the BM20 or the BM50. The hood just becomes very hot and since there is steam coming out of the top. So you have to be careful not to burn you (and wear gloves).
2. I made a major typo! The goal was 23 liters and I ended up with just under 25 liters. Pretty close and the OG was only 1 point under the estimated OG. Efficiency was ~74%.
3. Normally I have to google every time for the calculator as I forget to bookmark it. Last times I used this one: http://onebeer.net/refractometer.shtml
I am working on a tool to do all my recipe calculations and I will also add the refractor calculator. All the formulas can be found on the web. So easy :)

:cheers:
- Niels
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