Brewing again

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Brewing again

Postby cuginosgrizzo » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:54 am

I used to make my own beer until a few years ago. Now all this fermenting and distilling has reminded me how good is to drink your own :D

So I just placed an order for all the ingredients to make myself a Leffe Royale clone. Here is the list:

5kg Pilsner Malt
400gr Munich Light (12L)
200gr CaraMunich (60L)
200gr Aromatic (18L)
200gr Special B (120L)

317gr Dark Candi Syrup
260gr White Sugar

36gr Hallertau Mittelfruh 5.2% (boil 60min)

Yeast Safbrew Abbaye 2 pkgs

Brew volume 20L.

It's my first Abbaye style beer, whish me luck! :thumbup:
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Re: Brewing again

Postby bronctoad » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:32 pm

MMMMMM...... Hallertau Mittelfruh I could bath in that hop :lol: . I very much wish you good luck :thumbup: as cold as it is in my neck of N.E. the only thing I can ferment with my current rig is beers :( gotta love free cooling :econfused: I guess
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Re: Brewing again

Postby frunobulax » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:13 am

I would ditch the white sugar. It's just going to make the beer dry and thin. Maybe just add another LB of pilsner to make up for it.
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Re: Brewing again

Postby TxBrewing » Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:50 am

or add more munich,

munich malt is like cowbell...you can never have to much cowbell

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Re: Brewing again

Postby bilgriss » Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:46 am

Looks good. Sugar addition is on the edge of style, probably, but with the Special B addition and abbey yeast it's in range also.

Only thing I'd say this time of year is watch your temperature. Some of the Belgian-abbey yeasts tend to stall if fermented too cool.

Good luck!
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Re: Brewing again

Postby still_stirrin » Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:38 am

I like the recipe. But the special B (dark crystalized biscuit) malt looks just a little heavy. I would use it, only adjust it by 50%. It adds a "toffee" flavor and it is nice for complexity, but can overpower easily. It does give you a rich garnet color though.

The aromatic is a nice addition and will give you a bread-like toasty flavor. And I agree that the Munich malt is a key flavor for a Belgian abby, so you could increase that addition if needed to get to your desired OG.

Cane sugar is not appropriate in this recipe, however. It will contribute a cidery flavor and detract from the rich malt flavors. Remember, an abby ale is "liquid bread"... it's what the monks consume during the lenten fasting. It should be rich in carbs and yet warming with a higher alcohol content (7-10%ABV).

I have not used that Safele yeast strain myself. But I have used the Wyeast abby yeasts, particularly the 1762 strain which will produce a big estery note early in the beer. It mellows a little into a nice malt flavor with condition (I like to lager it for a month or 2 in a keg in the cooler).

The Wyeast 1214 Belgian yeast is also a good one as it accentuates the malt flavors a little more. But the 1762, in conjunction with the Belgian (rock) candi will produce that big "bubble gum" estery note early in the flavor.

On tap, the abby ale will pour with a thick, meringue-like head...white and fluffy, which will sustain in the glass. It is very well presented in a traditional goblet or thistle. The malt aroma is soooo inviting and the right stemware helps you appreciate it.

I like your grainbill, as it is very close to a recipe with which I've brewed many times. It has done well in competitions, so I know you'll enjoy it.
ss

p.s.- the Mittlefruh is very much appropriate in this beer too. It is more spicy that the traditional Hallertau, but not as much as a Tettnang (which I've used too). I think Saaz could be used too, although I do indeed prefer the Mittlefruh.

Now, you've got me wanting an abby ale. :lol:
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Re: Brewing again

Postby cuginosgrizzo » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:20 am

Thank guys for all your suggestions!

frunobulax, txbrewing You convinced me to ditch the white sugar, and up the Munich. I'll use a total of 850g of Munich, instead.

SS thanks for your suggestions on the yeast, I was originally looking for the wyeast yeasts, but the online HBS I ordered from does not carry them. I looked at some safbrew abbaye reviews and it seems to perform well. I'll let you know.

bilgriss I plan to ferment in my spare upstairs bedroom, where temp should be around 20C, and I have a brewing pad if temp should go lower. It is so cold lately!

Recipe calls for a 30 days fermentation in primary only, but I think I'll rack into secondary after three weeks (let's see how it goes) and then bottle at the one month mark.
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Re: Brewing again

Postby Appalachia-Shiner » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:42 pm

Cuginogrizzo, I have 2 empty bottles now!
Maybe I can bring them back to you full next year....Or y'all come pick them up next summer.
That sounds like some Stout Beer you are working on.
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Re: Brewing again

Postby cuginosgrizzo » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:30 am

Appalachia-Shiner wrote:Cuginogrizzo, I have 2 empty bottles now!
Maybe I can bring them back to you full next year....Or y'all come pick them up next summer.
That sounds like some Stout Beer you are working on.


we'll sort out something! As soon as I finish this beer (color will be ruby red, not as dakr as a stoud, and much tastier) I'll start a wheated bourbon - Honey bear bourbon is the recipe - for your oak. And I want you to taste that, also!
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Re: Brewing again

Postby ShineonCrazyDiamond » Thu Jan 19, 2017 1:57 pm

cuginosgrizzo wrote:
we'll sort out something! As soon as I finish this beer (color will be ruby red, not as dakr as a stoud, and much tastier) I'll start a wheated bourbon - Honey bear bourbon is the recipe - for your oak. And I want you to taste that, also!


:thumbup:
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Re: Brewing again

Postby cuginosgrizzo » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:33 am

Oh my.

Yesterday I got to mash the beer. I wasn't used anymore to mill all that grain, and I probably was too lazy during the mash, and I should have mashed in my BOP and not in my boiler (I chose the latter because it is easier to cover up during mashing). All that said I had a very bad conversion. Ended up with og 1.060 instead of 1.075. Now it's fermenting well in the upstairs room.

Oh well, I'll have a lighter beer...
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Re: Brewing again

Postby cuginosgrizzo » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:43 am

I am thinking about adding some light DME (600gr) to the fermenting wort to repair my mistake and up the OG by 10 points...I would boil it in a little water, cool it and add it to the fermentor when temp is close. What do you think of this?
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Re: Brewing again

Postby ShineonCrazyDiamond » Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:13 am

cuginosgrizzo wrote:I am thinking about adding some light DME (600gr) to the fermenting wort to repair my mistake and up the OG by 10 points...I would boil it in a little water, cool it and add it to the fermentor when temp is close. What do you think of this?

Shouldn't be a problem. Kinda like step feeding.
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Re: Brewing again

Postby Pikey » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:53 am

Won't DME increase your flavour as well as the sugar content ?

Or are you thinking you didn't extract the flavour fully as well as not getting a full starch conversion ?
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Re: Brewing again

Postby cuginosgrizzo » Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:39 am

Pikey wrote:Won't DME increase your flavour as well as the sugar content ?

Or are you thinking you didn't extract the flavour fully as well as not getting a full starch conversion ?


I don't know taste wise how it will turn out, with or without the DME. For sure the beer now should be heavily bodied because of the unconverted starches, already, and the risk is that the DME will make it worse. I might add dextrose, I might add light DME, or I might just leave it as it is. That's the suggestion I am after.
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Re: Brewing again

Postby still_stirrin » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:03 am

cuginosgrizzo wrote:...I might add dextrose, I might add light DME, or I might just leave it as it is. That's the suggestion I am after.

OK. Don't add dextrose. That won't help the flavor and it will thin the beer. I don't even like to use it for bottle conditioning.

If you really want to raise the potential, then use some DME and make a feeder with a heavy gravity, say 1.080 or 1.090. And feed the ferment when it is very active, like now. The feeder will boost the ester production and also add malt flavor (and some body) to the finished beer. It should still drive to attenuation.

Oh, and don't agitate the active ferment when adding the feeder. Gently pour it in, or you could even rack it in. You absolutely don't want to add oxygen at this step...it'll produce oxides in the beer...dry, paper-like character...not good.

Remember, with an abby ale you want big body and lots of malt flavor. The non-fermentables will provide lots of carbs too which is perfectly in-style for this beer. I think you'll have a wonderful beer here.
ss
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Re: Brewing again

Postby Pikey » Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:39 am

cuginosgrizzo wrote:
Pikey wrote:Won't DME increase your flavour as well as the sugar content ?

Or are you thinking you didn't extract the flavour fully as well as not getting a full starch conversion ?


I don't know taste wise how it will turn out, with or without the DME. For sure the beer now should be heavily bodied because of the unconverted starches, already, and the risk is that the DME will make it worse. I might add dextrose, I might add light DME, or I might just leave it as it is. That's the suggestion I am after.


I Think if the starch was accessible, your malt should have converted it. A view needs to be taken on whether the taste will be good enough (try it ? ) - If you think it needs more add DME as you thought. If the taste seems good enough just boost the alcohol with sugar of whatever type I'd suggest.

I'm no expert on beer, coming from a wine background, but for me the flavour and texture comes from the base ingredients and the alcohol from sugar, whether from the ingredients or from addition.

Whichever way you go, you're making notes on here and you'lll be able to adapt for the next brew if you're not happy.

Do let us know what you decide and how it turns out :)
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Re: Brewing again

Postby cuginosgrizzo » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:15 pm

Hi, tonight I added 600gr light DME.

I extracted from the spigot in my fermenter 1,5L wort, added 1,5L water, stirred in 600gr DME, boiled it, cooled it to 23C then slowly poured it back again in the fermentor.

I'll update on the results in four weeks or five!
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Re: Brewing again

Postby TxBrewing » Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:32 pm

No matter what you are making beer!!!!

TXB
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Re: Brewing again

Postby cuginosgrizzo » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:33 am

ok, a quick update.

Primary fermentation is already done. In a week I reached FG 1005, which is way lower than 1015 that I expected. Anyhow, yesterday I racked into secondary. I must say the primary fermenter had the most beautiful yeast bed I have ever seen: one inch thick, very compact. I cried when I had to wash it away. Next time I'll plan something in advance not to waste all that good stuff.

I plan to bottle next weekend, priming with 160gr dextrose for carbonation. The beer was already very clear.
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Re: Brewing again

Postby Lawfish » Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:17 am

I had that same problem recently. I was making a blonde ale and I got very poor conversion (have since solved that problem), so I added 3 lbs. of light DME (after boiling, obviously). It got my OG up where it needed to be and the beer ended up winning a bronze medal at a brew-off in January. I agree that if the starch had been released from the grist, it would have converted, so you need not worry about having too much mouth feel. You just didn't release all the starch.
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Re: Brewing again

Postby cuginosgrizzo » Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:46 am

Here's the update I owed you. I opened a bottle on Saturday, after a couple of weeks conditioning. I chose the last bottle, the onet hat got the beer from the bottom of the fermenter. It's still too early. It has carbonated fine but it is still missing something and it doesn't have a good persistent head. Except for that, the beer itself is very enjoyable, good full flavour and nice aroma. I'll wait another week before opening another one.
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Re: Brewing again

Postby cuginosgrizzo » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:21 am

An update after one month. The beer now has developed and it is good and tasty, it is sweet and you can taste the malt and some esters. The head is full now and it is nice and creamy.

I started a new batch; this time it is a simple weissbier. 21L batch, 2,4Kg Pilsener malt, 2,4Kg Wheat malt, 25g Mittelfruh (60min), Wyeast 3333. Currently fermenting.
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Re: Brewing again

Postby TxBrewing » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:20 pm

Good to hear it came along

I got to brew again in the next week or so
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Re: Brewing again

Postby homebrewer007 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:45 am

I am just a little late to the party here I think on this post, but just a note on the head retention. If you are going for the traditional fluffy white head which is appropriate to the style guidelines I would recommend adding Carapils to your grain bill. I usually add 1pound depending on my grain bill. This is a dextrin malt which provides non fermentables and adds a nice creamy head to most beers. It does nothing to alter the gravity of the beer and does very little for the SRM. Consult Pro Mash or Beer Smith to adjust the recipe and get the numbers correct.

As far as starters, White Labs and Wyeast both state that one vial or smack pack is designed for direct pitch up to five gallons. With that being said, a starter is always helpful to reduce lag time, ensure you have a clean healthy ferment, and also allows you to harvest healthy yeast for future slants. A three gallon batch should not require a starter, but it is always beneficial to do one. It is always better to over pitch than to under pitch, and the adverse effects of over pitching really only show up if you way overdo it. It is hard to do on a homebrew scale. I would say consult MRmalty.com when calculating pitching rates.
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Re: Brewing again

Postby ShineonCrazyDiamond » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:29 am

+1 homeBrewer.

Except one point in under pitching. If you do a true german wheat beer using a hefeweizen strain.

I do a Honey Orange Wheat in the summer, and purposely under pitch for the esters it creates. The banana like flavors really compliment the orange and honey.
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Re: Brewing again

Postby homebrewer007 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:39 am

Just a suggestion for getting those esters you are looking for and still maintaining a healthy ferment. Try the German Heffee strain that is put out by Wyeast. It creates the esters you are looking for naturally and is happy to ferment at about 75* F. I normally ferment my ales at exactly 62* F so my fermenter is set at 58* F. At the higher temps that yeast throws all kinds of banana and clove. The healthier the yeast the more active it will be and the more fruity esters it will create without under attenuating and leaving behind dyacital.
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Re: Brewing again

Postby ShineonCrazyDiamond » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:01 pm

There nothing unhealthy about my ferments. Extra 12-24 hours lag time for that one particular beer don't bother me none.

I do use the wyeast strain, and ferment at 65. I did go to 70 once with it as an experiment, and did not gain much more flavor, so I keep it at 65.

Edit, to clarify, by under pitch I simply mean using one smack pack as is, instead of creating a starter.
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Re: Brewing again

Postby homebrewer007 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:55 pm

Oh, yeah one smack pack for a five gallon batch is hardly considered under pitching depending on the starting gravity. If you go to Wyeast's site they have all the optimal fermentation temps posted for each strain they carry and what each strain will produce under optimal conditions.

I always recommend going to www.mrmalty.com to calculate a good pitch rate. It's just another good tool for your tool box to give you an advantage in the hobby. Beer Smith and Pro Mash also have good pitching calculators, but I find mrmalty is extremely accurate.

I personally get annoyed if my lag time is more than four hours for any beer with maybe the exception of a lager. I also brew for competition and on a professional basis as well, so consistency is extremely important. Even when I was doing five gallon homebrew batches though I still wanted consistency in everything I brewed. Most of the flaws I detect in beers entered in comps are usually fermentation issues. Either not enough 02, wrong temp, or a stressed out yeast will throw a beer from an award winning 41/50 to a miserable 28/50.
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