Just Ale

(Lot = http://j.mp/9mqoXv --> 14-Nov-2010: archive sample bottled and remainder kegged)
I started brewing all grain recently and haven't had much luck with logistics. Most stuff now, I think, is worked out. Today I'm doing a simple practice ale to check out techniques and equipment. After reading a bit, I decided to try a higher dilution single infusion mash. I wanted to do as much as possible with an in place kettle because carrying around hot liquids is heavy and unpleasant. Higher dilution mash, ca. 2L / pound grain, means I'm not going to sparge, simpler. Results? We'll see.

Dave's Beer (Ale)
Breiss 2 row, 10 lbs
Crystal Malt, 60°, 1 lb
Black patent, ca. 1/4 lb
hops, Fuggles, 1.6 oz

1. Took a 50L pot (one can never have too much headspace) to 162°F and placed the cracked grain and mesh grain bag in (using a half-assed cooling rack/false bottom), stirred and let sit at ca. 150-145°F for an hour.
2. Warmed to 170°F and let sit 15 min.
3. Pulled grain bag (kind of messy pull, got snagged), squished it and rinsed it a bit, total 22L 10°Brix, ca. 225 points. This grain bag will be replaced with a fine stainless mesh more rigid bag when I finish it.
4. Brought to boil, added hops intermittently throughout an hour, careful huh?
5. Cooled to <70°F using an immersion chiller (thanks cold weather) in ca. 15 min.
6. Aerated the pulp out of it.
7. Dumped into a bucket to ferment while filtering out hot/cold breaks. OG = 12°Brix (1.048).
8. Charged yeast slurry to wort at 68°F.
9. waiting patiently...
10. gravity after 3days = 1.016, bummer, a little high, another 2-3 points and I'd be happy. Taste is pretty good (as much as I can tell at this stage).

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Rachel (Hounds in the Kitchen) said...

We have a cooler with false bottom set up for all grain brewing and a nice copper immersion spiral if you ever want to borrow.

Dave said...

Thanks for the generous offer Rachel.

I went through the cooler masher; this is an effort to go with a one stop pot: mash, mash-out, boil, cool, filter, second container to ferment unfortunately.

I have a stainless mesh screen preceding the bottom valve and will eventually avoid the false bottom with a screen basket insert. I've had snags in the past with false bottoms trapping stuff and burning.

There are a lot of actions in a single place, kind of like the way a reactor would operate. It's more fun than it is for the beer.

Thanks again! I do wish I borrowed the immersion chiller, that was pricey. But it is cool, 50'

John said...

Interesting technique (and also cool that you are also a brewer- another reason to follow your RSS feed).

I'm impressed that you got a pretty efficient conversion using a technique like this, and for such a short mash time.

I recently switched from fly sparging in my cooler to batch sparging. Huge time saver. Had to tweak my grain qty but have been using a great web based tool for these calculations at hopville.com.

Keep the good stuff coming.

Dave said...

Hey John, Thanks for visiting. I too was surprised by the conversion.

I'm generally an all extract hack, but, given the price of whole grain lately, $49/sack, I thought I'd give all grain a try. The equipment and process components are fun.

Re: higher dilution. As a former process chemist, the higher dilution/thinner wort sounded too good not to try. I don't know the implications on the brew. There's also a bunch of youtube vids on high dilution/brew-in-bag types that use roughly 2 L / pound grain.

I haven't read enough authority sources on all grain - so feel free to launch criticism - don't assume I know anything about this.

As I type this my basement's about 60, and the fermentation's perking away.