"Small" Beer problem

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"Small" Beer problem

Unread postby Oz11 » Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:25 am

Hi
Using a 20L BM I'm trying to to brew a 3.5% beer. I suspect the cause of the problem was not enough malt? I used 3.45kg and mashed in with about 24L liquor. Consequently had a lot of trouble with wort fountains so lifted the pipe a few times and stirred the mash. This worked for a while but the fountains returned. As a result, I guess, the mash was still cloudy coming towards the end of the cycle so I left it mashing out for about 15-20 mins to try to get some modicum of clarity. When I did finally remove the pipe to sparge there was a lot of grain debris left behind in the BM and cloudy wort, and the sparge water bypassed the grains and just seemed to channelling directly out at the edges of the malt pipe. The malt was Crisps pale which is what I have been using up to now without any problems.

With all the crud in the BM now is it worth continuing or shall I abandon?

Cheers!
FV: Northdown/EKG Bitter
Cond: Oatmeal Stout
On MiniKeg: Boadicea Bitter, Single Hop Boadicea, Dogbolter, US Amber
Bottled: Triple Stout, English Wheat Beer, Salem Porter, Triple Stout '15, JHB, Exmoor Gold, APA, Foundryman's Gold, Whitbread 1905 XK, US IPA, Irish Stout, SNPA, Autumn Mild, US Stout, Summit IPA, Milk Stout, Jaipur, 1930's Courage Stout

http://www.PubsAndBeer.co.uk
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Re: "Small" Beer problem

Unread postby Dicko » Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:39 am

I quite often brew a mid strength beer that has a grain bill of 3.44 kg.
I do notice that I have small fountains usually around about 13mm high on the top of the wort when the pump is on.
I stir the wort every so often by pausing the mash and that really helps.
You could add rice hulls or crush a little coarser next time.
If you have your local home brew shop crush your grains then you need to tell them that you want it crushed a bit courser, usually around 1.2mm to 1.4 mm gap.
Don't abandon your brew, just switch to manual and hold the mash temps manually for the required time, then lift the malt pipe and boil as normal.
By doing this you wont gain the magnificent clarity that the BM will give you with the pump recirculating but you will have beer in the end and it will be no different than if you had mashed in a static mash tun or had done a BIAB brew.

:cheers:
The worst thing that can happen if I die is that my wife will sell all my brewing equipment for what I told her I paid for it
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Re: "Small" Beer problem

Unread postby swiggingpig » Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:41 am

I would just carry on regardless, thats how some of my early 3V brews went and I still got beer :)

My philosophy with the BM is to leave it alone once it's started and only touch it again once it bleeps to lift the malt pipe.

Yesterday I did a 3.3Kg Pilsner malt in 25 Ltr of water mash, the surface of the water/wort was 'turbulent' at times but I just left it alone, no stirring, just let the BM do it's job.

I ended up with lovely clear wort and hit my numbers spot on.
20L BM with Jacket and Copper Hood
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Re: "Small" Beer problem

Unread postby Oz11 » Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:45 am

Thanks for the swift replies

I've carried on and put the hops in.

I'm getting my malt pre-crushed from my brewery at the moment so I'm not keen to change my supplier ;) .

I'll try the rice hulls next time, any idea on how much?

Another option is to mash to a 4%-ish beer and liquor back.

Leaving it once the fountains started wasn't an option as it was spewing wort out onto the floor :(
FV: Northdown/EKG Bitter
Cond: Oatmeal Stout
On MiniKeg: Boadicea Bitter, Single Hop Boadicea, Dogbolter, US Amber
Bottled: Triple Stout, English Wheat Beer, Salem Porter, Triple Stout '15, JHB, Exmoor Gold, APA, Foundryman's Gold, Whitbread 1905 XK, US IPA, Irish Stout, SNPA, Autumn Mild, US Stout, Summit IPA, Milk Stout, Jaipur, 1930's Courage Stout

http://www.PubsAndBeer.co.uk
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Re: "Small" Beer problem

Unread postby niels » Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:56 pm

Oz11 wrote:...
Another option is to mash to a 4%-ish beer and liquor back.
...

I would go the "high gravity" brewing route and dilute the wort after the mash (or even boil).

- Niels
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Re: "Small" Beer problem

Unread postby Dicko » Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:19 pm

If you had fountains spewing out onto the floor then it will be a grain crush problem.

You may not want to change your supplier but if they only crush to that size you may have to find someone to crush it to suit the BM or buy a mill and crush it yourself.

:cheers:
The worst thing that can happen if I die is that my wife will sell all my brewing equipment for what I told her I paid for it
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Re: "Small" Beer problem

Unread postby Oz11 » Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:46 pm

What you say makes sense, except that my first brew with this BM was with only a little more malt (3.567kg compared to 3.45kg) and that went like a dream. The same sack of malt. Would 100g of malt make a big difference?

This one is tucked away in the fermenting fridge, 21L @ OG 1039, a point or two over what I expected. It looked clear enough in the hydrometer sample tube once the crud had dropped and tasted as expected so maybe it will be okay :beer:
FV: Northdown/EKG Bitter
Cond: Oatmeal Stout
On MiniKeg: Boadicea Bitter, Single Hop Boadicea, Dogbolter, US Amber
Bottled: Triple Stout, English Wheat Beer, Salem Porter, Triple Stout '15, JHB, Exmoor Gold, APA, Foundryman's Gold, Whitbread 1905 XK, US IPA, Irish Stout, SNPA, Autumn Mild, US Stout, Summit IPA, Milk Stout, Jaipur, 1930's Courage Stout

http://www.PubsAndBeer.co.uk
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Model: 20 litres

Re: "Small" Beer problem

Unread postby Dicko » Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:59 pm

swiggingpig wrote:I would just carry on regardless, thats how some of my early 3V brews went and I still got beer :)

My philosophy with the BM is to leave it alone once it's started and only touch it again once it bleeps to lift the malt pipe.

Yesterday I did a 3.3Kg Pilsner malt in 25 Ltr of water mash, the surface of the water/wort was 'turbulent' at times but I just left it alone, no stirring, just let the BM do it's job.

I ended up with lovely clear wort and hit my numbers spot on.


My observations are similar where the surface is turbulent with a small grain bill.
As the bill gets bigger it settles down so it is similar to what you are noticing.

I still think that the OP has a crush size problem.

Oz11, rice hulls are very light for their volume so I would go with 100 gramms or so.
If you use hulls make sure you give them a good rinse before you add them as a lot of dusty stuff will come out of them. There is a topic on rice hulls somewhere on here which will give you the details.

:cheers:
The worst thing that can happen if I die is that my wife will sell all my brewing equipment for what I told her I paid for it
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Re: "Small" Beer problem

Unread postby Dicko » Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:06 pm

Here is the topic on rice hulls.

:cheers:
The worst thing that can happen if I die is that my wife will sell all my brewing equipment for what I told her I paid for it
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Re: "Small" Beer problem

Unread postby Oz11 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:21 pm

Much obliged :cheers:
FV: Northdown/EKG Bitter
Cond: Oatmeal Stout
On MiniKeg: Boadicea Bitter, Single Hop Boadicea, Dogbolter, US Amber
Bottled: Triple Stout, English Wheat Beer, Salem Porter, Triple Stout '15, JHB, Exmoor Gold, APA, Foundryman's Gold, Whitbread 1905 XK, US IPA, Irish Stout, SNPA, Autumn Mild, US Stout, Summit IPA, Milk Stout, Jaipur, 1930's Courage Stout

http://www.PubsAndBeer.co.uk
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Oz11
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:05 pm
Location: Tonbridge, Kent. UK. Brewing at the Rockin Robin Brewery (15BBL), Maidstone.
Model: 20 litres


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