Recipe:Dark beer FAA

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This section is dedicated to the development of the dark beer recipe by Algoldor

Reality LOG data

Experiment 8/2/2015

Summary - whole brewing session was carried out as planned, the concentrations of the ingredients planned for 14 l batch were kept but only 13 l batch was made, therefore slight alteration of recipe. Mashing time at 70°C was prolonged from 60 to 80 minutes, fermentation temperature for the beer was kept at 20°C.

The brewing session was bit delayed because of late start due to the cleaning and priming and bottling the last batch of dark beer (DB-18/2/2015, bottled as DB-8/2/2015).

Experiment 1/2/2015

The brewing session did not happened run out of gas when the water for mashing was just right, so stopped the procedure before mashing because I would not be able to proceed with the rolling boil which would be a problem especially because of the need to evaporate quite decent quantity of liquid which was a major issue in 18/1/2015 experiment - I was left with extra 6 l of brew which distorted the original gravity and balance of the whole recipe.

Summary - experiment did not take place because I run out of gas in at the opening stages of the procedure.

Recipe and aims for this experiment

  • Basic conditions desired: alcohol per volume 6% (alc), original gravity of 1.05, bitterness of 30 IBU
  • Brew size (culture volume Vc) - Vc = 14 l
  • Malts composition:
    • 25% (w/v; 3500 g) of Pilsner malt
    • 5% (w/v; 700 g) of Munich malt
    • 1.5% (w/v; 210 g) of caramunich 3
    • 1.5% (w/v; 210 g) carafa2 (steep separate?)
    • 0.5% (w/v; 70 g) cara aroma
  • Hops composition:
    • 0.3% (w/v; 42 g) of Kent golding 4-5% of aa
  • Yeast type
    • Safbrew T-58
  • Fermentation temperature 20°C

Experiment 18/1/2015

As a preludium I can say that whatever could go wrong, well ...

Main issues during this experiment:

  • double amount of hops was added compared to the original recipe (42 g), 84 g in total, 56 g for the bittering part resulting in a very bitter wort. Somehow I have done fundamental mistake during calculations, still not sure how it could happened.
    • calculate hops properly and use given amount
  • the original gravity of the brew was 1.03 compared to the aimed 1.05 due to the both excessive usage of liquid during the sparging and consequently insufficient evaporation during the rolling boil of hops in the brew kettle
    • use maybe less liquid for sparging and definitely more intensive or longer rolling boil to evaporate more liquid
  • during the rolling boil the water condensation build up on the surface of the exhaust hood and dropped back to the brew kettle with some dissolved compounds build up during the usage of the exhaust hood
    • either boil the wort in a different location or protect the top of the brew kettle against the drops, complete cleaning of the exhaust hood is not really possible
  • final brew when aerated started to foam excessively escaping from the vessel into the incubator
    • aerate the wort on the table or bench being able to clean up the foam easily

Less important things to improve:

  • "boil" just such amount of water which is needed for mashing not too waste too much time with larger volumes which can be boiled later on
  • boil the wort originating from lautering directly so it reaches quickly the rolling boil, this time it took nearly extra hour after sparging was complete before the wort started to boil
  • make or buy wort chiller in advance, this time it took around 25 min to cool the wort to 26°C
  • get digital thermometer for more easy measuring of the temperature

What has been done

The original recipe and manual was fallowed if not stated otherwise (as noted partly in "the main issues section"):

  • nylon style brewing bag was used for the mash to avoid debris in the wort
  • mashing was done at 70-71°C
  • wort after hops addition and rolling boil was transferred by the measuring 1 l plastic beaker to fermentation vessel and filtered during this step from hops residues through straining bag
  • wort was cooled in the fermentation vessel by placing it into a bigger pot full of cold water with constant flow of cold water mixing the wort more or less constantly, dropping the temperature to 26°C within 25 minutes

Some of the new or refreshed vocabulary to remember: grain bill, infusion mashing, grist, lautering and brew kettle

Few questions: what should be the temperature of water added to the wort when starting to sparge and the sparging temperature

Summary: Next time I need to avoid the mistakes which I did during this experiment being extra careful about the amount of hops added, amount of water for sparging and sufficient rolling boil to evaporate it reaching proper volume and original gravity of 1.05 and about condensation of liquid on the exhaust hood during the rolling boil. The batch was labeled as DB-18/1/2015 (dark beer), final name after priming and bottling DB-8/2/2015.

Post Brewing Notes

31/1/2015 - DB-18/1/2015 tasted 4/10 (10/10 best), too bitter, not very alcoholic, 200 g of dark brown sugar (excellent quality from Philippines) added, 250 g of dark date molasses added and whole batch left to ferment at 20°C.

8/2/2015 - DB-18/1/2015 tasted 5/10, taste has improved, the bitterness subsided a bit but still too bitter.

Priming and Bottling - 12 l of brew harvested (extra 2 l already bottled on 31/1/2015) into six 2 l plastic bottles. To each bottle 0.5% (w/v; 10 g) of organic light brown sugar added dissolved in 20 ml of total water, after that beer was siphoned by tube, last bottle with murky because of the sediment was labeled with extra star "*" sign. All bottles were labeled as DB-8/2/2015 and let secondary ferment at 20°C.