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 Dark Beer (EDB-10/3/2015) 10/3/2015

Summary - Bitterness was decreased from 30 to 25 IBU, and hop type changed from Kent Golding (4-5% of aa) to East Kent Golding (4.66% of aa).


Recipe and aims for this experiment

  • Basic conditions desired: alcohol per volume 6% (alc), original gravity of 1.05, bitterness of 25 IBU
  • Brew size (culture volume Vc) - Vc = 13 l
  • Malts composition:
    • 26.9% (w/v; 3500 g) of Pilsner malt
    • 5.4% (w/v; 700 g) of Munich malt
    • 1.6% (w/v; 210 g) of caramunich 3
    • 1.6% (w/v; 210 g) carafa2 (steep separate?)
    • 0.54% (w/v; 70 g) cara aroma
  • Hops composition:
    • 0.32% (w/v; 42 g) of East Kent Bolding 4.66% of aa
  • Yeast type
    • Salfbrew T-58
  • Fermentation temperature 20°C

Notes of the brewing session

  • brewing session started around 10 am, after the kitchen was cleaned with warming up the water for mashing
  • at 11:00 around 8-9 l of 95°C water was added to the mashing tune and crashed malt (with exception of carafa 2 which was steeped separately) was slowly added with constant stirring, temperature not measured at the end
  • the mash was transferred at 11:15 to the blankets in the bed, and let to mash for minutes
  • approximately 18 l of water were heated up to boil (18 cm from the rim of the vessel) in the meanwhile


Experiment Dark Beer (EDB-8/2/2015) 8/2/2015

Summary - Most of the brewing session was carried out based on the original recipe. The concentrations of the ingredients planned for 14 l batch were kept but smaller 13 l batch was made therefore increasing the concentration of the ingredients slightly (by 0.93%). Mashing time at 70°C was prolonged from 60 to 80 minutes, carafa 2 was steeped separately, fermentation temperature for the beer was kept at 20°C.


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 = 13 l
  • Malts composition:
    • 26.9% (w/v; 3500 g) of Pilsner malt
    • 5.4% (w/v; 700 g) of Munich malt
    • 1.6% (w/v; 210 g) of caramunich 3
    • 1.6% (w/v; 210 g) carafa2 (steep separate?)
    • 0.54% (w/v; 70 g) cara aroma
  • Hops composition:
    • 0.32% (w/v; 42 g) of Kent golding 4-5% of aa
  • Yeast type
    • Salfbrew T-58
  • Fermentation temperature 20°C

Notes of the brewing session

  • the brewing session was bit delayed because of the late start due to the cleaning, priming and bottling of the last batch of dark beer (DB-18/2/2015, bottled as DB-8/2/2015).
  • 13 l of water measured in the brew kettle, distance from the top edge of the vessel equals 23 cm - helps a lot to achieve the proper amount of the wort (13 l) at the end of the rolling boil
  • 12:20 mashing started, temperature of mash 70-71°C, left to mash for 80 minutes (so 20 min extra compared to the original recipe). Another change was steeping of carafa 2 was separately in approximately 800 ml of 100°C water for 10-12 minutes (in insulated thermal flask), strained through the straining bag and squeezed a bit which was maybe mistake because the flavour of the extract was quite bitter, very dark colour and coffee like taste and smell
  • 13:40 the mash (of 68-69°C at the moment) was transferred to another 14 l stainless steel vessel with false bottom, siphoning hose and straining bag prepared already inside
  • sparging was done with approximately 18 l of 73-77°C water, the wort collected had temperature around 60°C
  • wort was being transferred immediately to the brewing kettle which was heated on a full flame, two kettles used later on to bring the liquid to the rolling boil
  • around 16-18 l of wort collected, liquid 15 cm from the upper edge of the kettle
  • original gravity before rolling boil at 60°C was 1.02
  • the wort was left to boil off by rolling for around an hour (too large volume)
  • 15:15 24 g of Kent Golding (4-5 aa) added, rolling boil planned for 90 minutes, wort distance from top edge was 18 cm at the time
  • 16:40 rest of the hops, 14 g of Kent Golding added for 5 minutes, wort 24 cm from the edge
  • 16:45 the wort was strained through straining bag into the 14 l stainless steel fermentation vessel and the rest of the liquid and hops squeezed a bit but lightly
  • brew cooled down quickly to 27°C and left to aerate for approximately 40 minutes with aerating stone, with the lid on and the foam collected in a bowl
  • dehydrated yeasts (Salfbrew T-58) were hydrated in 150 ml of approximately 15°C water for around 30 minutes, covered by tissue
  • original gravity of 13 l of the wort at 24°C was 1.056, later on measured again and it was 1.06 at 12°C
  • the yeast was added to the brew, water lock and mechanical thermometer inserted (all sanitized by phosphoric acid as all the equipment) and brew was transferred into the liquid based incubator and let to ferment at 20°C


Post Brewing Notes

  • 9/2/2015 - the EDB-8/2/2015 is fermenting vigorously however no brew escaping from the vessel

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
    • Salfbrew T-58
  • Fermentation temperature 20°C

Experiment Dark Beer (DB 18/1/2015) 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.