Making bigger beers with the BM.

How to get most out of brewing with your Braumeister? Help others and share your tips/best practices.

Making bigger beers with the BM.

Unread postby Beerkench » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:37 pm

As most of us know, one of the common drawbacks with the BM 20 is that the pipe limits the grain amount.

I haven't brewed anything too big yet (7% max) but I'm keen to go bigger. I think I will just use less water although I have heard of some doing 2 mashes with the same wort.
What's the most grain anyone has had in their malt pipes and what are your experiences in making bigger beers?
Last edited by Beerkench on Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Making bigger beers with the BM.

Unread postby Dan » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:11 pm

I've done 2 recently both with 6kg grists;

- IPA @ 7% - 6kg grain, 26.6L mash water, 8L sparge.
- and my 1st attempt at a Rochefort 10 clone - 6.05kg grain + 1/2 kg cornflour (=wheat starch), 27L mash water, 8L sparge. I suspect Beersmith calculated the extra 0.4L for absorbtion with the cornflour (couldn't find this in the grains list so entered it as raw flaked wheat), but in reality the cornflour just dissolved and added to the volume. Then added sugars to the end of boil) targeting 11% but slowed fermenting 3 days ago at about 1019 and 10% abv.

Neither had any issues with mashing and I'd happily have a go at 6.5-7kg if required. And as you mentioned Beerkench, reduce the mash water a little and increase sparge water.

With most brews I pour in 1/2-3/4 of the grist, give it a good stir to break up any dough balls, then add the rest and stir again. With the bigger grain bills, I think I did 3 additions/stirs.
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RE: Making bigger beers with the BM.

Unread postby Dicko » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:31 am

I have gone as low as 23 litres for mash in in my 20 litre with a five kilo grain bill.
I did it mainly to check if there was any improvement in efficiency...gained a couple of points so probably worth it with a bigger beer.
Main thing is to make sure the element is covered with the pump running.
And G'day Dan didn't take you long to find this new site. :)
Last edited by Dicko on Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Making bigger beers with the BM.

Unread postby cpa4ny » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:00 am

I did an all-Simcoe Imperial Pumpkin Ale back in October using the "double-mash" technique.

Here's the recipe + the notes:

http://www.brewtoad.com/recipes/imperial-pumpkin-ale-19

That had an 8 kg grain bill (plus 1 kg of baked pumpkin flesh), which was split into half.

I was very pleased how it came out.

On a separate note, I would hesitate to push my grain bill north of 6 kg for a single mash - that puts a strain on the pump, slows down the circulation and gets you a fairly precipitous temp drop on top of the grain bed.

That would obviously lead to a loss in mash efficiency.
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RE: Making bigger beers with the BM.

Unread postby Dan » Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:36 am

Dicko wrote:... G'day Dan didn't take you long to find this new site. :)


I believe you got in first though - must have more time on your hands than me;) And that's hard to do this time of year:lol:

Regarding going north of 6kg grist - one of the biggest benefits of the BM is it's "set and forget" simplicity. And it's pretty good at keeping the temp stable. So I can't see myself doing a double mash - at least not before trying a bigger grain bill in a single mash. And even if it didn't work so well, I think I'd stick to adding simple sugars to the boil instead to up the %
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RE: Making bigger beers with the BM.

Unread postby Dicko » Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:53 am

I am in hospital hernia op,at the moment Dan so plenty of time:cool: out tomorrow I hope.

Back to volumes... You can turn the top plate over and space it with a nut or sleeve so it sits higher on the kettle without going over the top and you will need to hook a piece of wire or make some method of lifting the plate off at the end of the mash.
Or, if you are doing a lot of big beers you could actually cut the extender pipe on the top plate so it is shorter but still don't take enough off to allow the plate to rise above the top of the kettle, and that will increase the malt pipe volume.

Cheers
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RE: Making bigger beers with the BM.

Unread postby dinnerstick » Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:48 pm

Dicko wrote:You can turn the top plate over and space it with a nut or sleeve so it sits higher on the kettle without going over the top and you will need to hook a piece of wire or make some method of lifting the plate off at the end of the mash.


interesting! i'll have to give that a go. how much more malt can you ram in there i wonder. i have done quite a few beers in the 1.070 range with normal single mash and total efficiency of ~75%, and have also got stuck mashes on beers in the 1.060 range, bad circulation and no good ramping of temp in the middle of the tube. i have never figured out why some have been stuck while some bigger ones have not, still trying to narrow down if it was the base malt, or the crush, or what. as a general rule for bigger beers i only mash what is necessary, and add crystal, roast etc. either just before mashout or sometimes even steeped separately BIAB and added to the boil, to save space. for much bigger beers (>1.072?) i am not afraid of topping up with malt extract. some people are terrified of it for various reasons but i am brave, i chuck it in there and get on with my life!!
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RE: Making bigger beers with the BM.

Unread postby Dicko » Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:34 pm

I have mashes slow up when using rice adjuncts but a couple of stirs during the lower mash temps and a longer mash time at 72 degc will have it flowing again.
Next time I use rice I might convert it with a bit of malted barley in a separate pot.
Also a small ..very small addition of rice hulls may be worth a try, just enough to break down the compaction of the husks.

Hey Dan, I have got plenty of hulls if you want to try some.
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RE: Making bigger beers with the BM.

Unread postby Dan » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:55 pm

Dicko wrote: . . Hey Dan, I have got plenty of hulls if you want to try some.


Can't say I've found the need for them yet, but will keep it in mind if I have troubles - Cheers.

Hope your recovery is swift. We'll catch up as soon as you're clear to down a few pints
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RE: Making bigger beers with the BM.

Unread postby cpa4ny » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:12 am

dinnerstick wrote:
i have never figured out why some have been stuck while some bigger ones have not



Probably - the use of adjuncts. In my experience, I usually don't have problems with an all-barley malt mash.

For wheat beers, etc - rice hulls are your friend.


Dicko wrote:
I am in hospital hernia op



Speedy recovery!
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RE: Making bigger beers with the BM.

Unread postby Dicko » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:01 pm

cpa4ny wrote:
dinnerstick wrote:
i have never figured out why some have been stuck while some bigger ones have not



Probably - the use of adjuncts. In my experience, I usually don't have problems with an all-barley malt mash.

For wheat beers, etc - rice hulls are your friend.


Dicko wrote:
I am in hospital hernia op



Speedy recovery!


Thanks for the good wishes.....:)

Cheers
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RE: Making bigger beers with the BM.

Unread postby dinnerstick » Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:42 am

cpa4ny wrote:
dinnerstick wrote:
i have never figured out why some have been stuck while some bigger ones have not



Probably - the use of adjuncts. In my experience, I usually don't have problems with an all-barley malt mash.

For wheat beers, etc - rice hulls are your friend.



you would think, but it hasn't been the case with me, those have all been all-barley (or nearly all, sometimes 100g of malted wheat). i've never had a problem with high adjunct beers, like ~50% flaked wheat, but then these are always smaller beers
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RE: Making bigger beers with the BM.

Unread postby cpa4ny » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:06 am

I personally don't have the guts to do a 50% adjunct beer without a good 300 gr (2/3 lb) of rice hulls mixed into the grist.

Interesting to hear that you had good luck with that much of flaked wheat and no hulls.

Are you using a 50L BM + short pipe?
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RE: Making bigger beers with the BM.

Unread postby Juhani » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:48 am

We made an American Barleywine with our BM 50 using the double mashing method. OG was 1.114 (1.060 after first mash) and we got about 33 liters to fermentor. We had about 26 kgs of malt, roughly divided in half. We mashed with 45 liters, and sparged with 10 liters after both mashings. We also added some boiled water to the boil as we overshooted the original gravity a bit. Mash efficiency was about 58%.

Sparging was extremely slow and we also had to stop mashing once in a while to stop it from stucking completely. The brewing itself took about 9 hours, mostly due to the slow sparging (or two of them). Final runnings from the latter mash were at about 1.070 SG, so we could have sparged more to get more efficiency.

So you can make fairly big beers using BM, but maybe next time I'd use some DME if aiming to get over 1.100. Also, after that brew I made a separate lauter tun from two plastic fermentation buckets. Next time I would just lift the malt pipe up and let it drain for a while, then pour the malt into the separate lauter tun to sparge it while continuing with the other half of the mash.
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RE: Making bigger beers with the BM.

Unread postby dinnerstick » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:40 am

cpa4ny wrote:I personally don't have the guts to do a 50% adjunct beer without a good 300 gr (2/3 lb) of rice hulls mixed into the grist.

Interesting to hear that you had good luck with that much of flaked wheat and no hulls.

Are you using a 50L BM + short pipe?


no, 20L BM. i make a ~1.050 witbier and it mashes / lauters just fine.
45 deg - dough in and 15' beta glucan,
52 - 10' protein,
68 sacc, 78 mashout, no problems
have also done without the beta glucan rest
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