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First brew done. Electric Pale Ale Sessionable + a few ooops

 
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rivetcatcher



Joined: 21 Apr 2016
Posts: 67
Location: Thailand

Drinking: Punk IPA

Working on: Electric Pale Ale Sessionable


PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:07 am    Post subject: First brew done. Electric Pale Ale Sessionable + a few ooops Reply with quote


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So I have completed my first brew which was the Electric Pale Ale sessionable.

It went well apart from a few errors. Most of them were human errors and it gives me a good few lessons learned for the next time.

The system itself worked fine, holding temperature to the degree. I was worried about using the hop stopper because of the posts stating that it fails regularly. Mine didn't, it took every last drop from the boil kettle with ease. As Kal has mentioned several times, the trick is to slow the flow to a trickle just before it exposes the top of the filter. I have no doubt that this could cope with any volume of hops thrown at it.

Anyway, the first of my f*** ups came with my water treatment. I planned on treating 85l of RO water with 33.2g of gypsum, 12.6g of epsom salt and 10g of calcium chloride. I added the gypsum and calcium chloride, then realized that the local home brew shop hadn't sent the Epsom salts. I played around with a water calculator and upped my gypsum addition to 39g. I hope this doesn't affect my brew too much.

The measured mash pH was 5.15 so I did not add any lactic acid. When I checked my sparge water it was high (6.6) so I added 0.5ml of acid to drop it down. The pH started to move towards the target 6 so I went to add another 0.5ml.... only for the syringe to stick - then unstick and push 1.5ml acid into it.... damn. It dropped the sparge pH to 4.4. There was nothing I could do about it so I continued with the sparge.

I took a pH reading of the pre boil wort and it was 5.2. This sounds ok... I think.

Now this is where the real weird thing happened. I took a pre-boil gravity reading confirmed twice by a hydrometer and refractometer.... 1.048. I then took a reading of the wort in the fermenter... 1.040. Surely impossible. I did not dilute the wort. I started with 54.7litres pre boil and took 45l post boil into the fermenter... bang on my target volume.

The only thing I can think of (because id had a couple of beers at the time) was that I read 1.038 instead of 1.048. Otherwise I have no explanation.

The wort tastes great at this point and I think it will make a fine beer.

Do you have any comments on the above? Will the mistakes with water treatment / pH make a large difference to my beer? Is there an explanation for my dodgy gravity readings?

Rivet

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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 8416
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: American Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Janet's Brown, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison, Kölsch

Working on: Kölsch, Janet's Brown Ale


PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:31 pm    Post subject: Re: First brew done. Electric Pale Ale Sessionable + a few o Reply with quote

rivetcatcher wrote:
So I have completed my first brew which was the Electric Pale Ale sessionable.

Yummy!

Quote:
It went well apart from a few errors. Most of them were human errors and it gives me a good few lessons learned for the next time.

Glad to hear it went well! The first few times is always a bit stressful. After that it gets to be second nature.

Quote:
The system itself worked fine, holding temperature to the degree.

Excellent!

Quote:
I was worried about using the hop stopper because of the posts stating that it fails regularly. Mine didn't, it took every last drop from the boil kettle with ease. As Kal has mentioned several times, the trick is to slow the flow to a trickle just before it exposes the top of the filter. I have no doubt that this could cope with any volume of hops thrown at it.

Yup - Haven't had any issues with nearly 2 lbs of pellet hops in the boil.

Quote:
The measured mash pH was 5.15 so I did not add any lactic acid.

Nope. Sounds perfect.

Quote:
When I checked my sparge water it was high (6.6) so I added 0.5ml of acid to drop it down. The pH started to move towards the target 6 so I went to add another 0.5ml.... only for the syringe to stick - then unstick and push 1.5ml acid into it.... damn. It dropped the sparge pH to 4.4. There was nothing I could do about it so I continued with the sparge.

I can't imagine that will have affected much.

Quote:
Now this is where the real weird thing happened. I took a pre-boil gravity reading confirmed twice by a hydrometer and refractometer.... 1.048. I then took a reading of the wort in the fermenter... 1.040. Surely impossible. I did not dilute the wort. I started with 54.7litres pre boil and took 45l post boil into the fermenter... bang on my target volume.
The only thing I can think of (because id had a couple of beers at the time) was that I read 1.038 instead of 1.048. Otherwise I have no explanation.

Had you had a beer or two maybe? Wink

Quote:
Will the mistakes with water treatment / pH make a large difference to my beer?

Nope. I doubt it.

Cheers!

Kal

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rivetcatcher



Joined: 21 Apr 2016
Posts: 67
Location: Thailand

Drinking: Punk IPA

Working on: Electric Pale Ale Sessionable


PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great, looking forward to trying this one
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jcav



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 151
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PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on the first brew and the maiden voyage on your system! It will take a few batches to dial it in. You will love the beer you make with it!

Cheers!

John

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rivetcatcher



Joined: 21 Apr 2016
Posts: 67
Location: Thailand

Drinking: Punk IPA

Working on: Electric Pale Ale Sessionable


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can’t wait to try it, watching the airlock bubble away now. Really enjoyed the brew day and it will only get better.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 8416
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: American Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Janet's Brown, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison, Kölsch

Working on: Kölsch, Janet's Brown Ale


PostLink    Posted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely! You now have a setup that will last you a lifetime and will (equally importantly) be serviceable for life if required. Cheers!

Kal

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rivetcatcher



Joined: 21 Apr 2016
Posts: 67
Location: Thailand

Drinking: Punk IPA

Working on: Electric Pale Ale Sessionable


PostLink    Posted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a few more questions about this.

What temperature do you recommend serving this?

After I have kegged I will probably quick force carbonate so I can try it within a few days of kegging. After that I will be leaving home to go to work for 4 weeks. How should I store the keg? Should I leave it connected to the gas? Should I pressurize the keg to serving pressure and disconnect or should I increase the pressure and disconnect?

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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 8416
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: American Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Janet's Brown, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison, Kölsch

Working on: Kölsch, Janet's Brown Ale


PostLink    Posted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rivetcatcher wrote:
What temperature do you recommend serving this?

There are serving temperature recommendation charts like this one: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/how-to-brew/proper-beer-serving-temperatures/
But at the end of the day, do what works for you both in the sense that not everyone likes the same thing and few people actually have the luxury to serve their beers at different temperatures. I certainly don't. All my kegs are in one keezer and pour at about 40F. If I care and want it warmer like with a strong RIS, I'll pour into a non-chilled glass and/or wait a bit and/or cup the glass with my hands to warm it up a bit.

Beer also tends to warm up pretty fast so I've always found the idea of very specific serving temperatures a curious one. It's not like we pour a beer and then drink it in 30 seconds (well, not always). Wink

Quote:
After I have kegged I will probably quick force carbonate so I can try it within a few days of kegging. After that I will be leaving home to go to work for 4 weeks. How should I store the keg? Should I leave it connected to the gas? Should I pressurize the keg to serving pressure and disconnect or should I increase the pressure and disconnect?

Really up to you. I leave my kegs connected at all times at serving pressure.

Kal

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rivetcatcher



Joined: 21 Apr 2016
Posts: 67
Location: Thailand

Drinking: Punk IPA

Working on: Electric Pale Ale Sessionable


PostLink    Posted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How long does it normally take you to carb the beer in a keg?
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 8416
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: American Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Janet's Brown, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison, Kölsch

Working on: Kölsch, Janet's Brown Ale


PostLink    Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If left to serving temp and pressure, about 2 weeks.
Some will increase the pressure to 30-40 PSI and carb faster. Check it every ~8 hours.

Kal

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rivetcatcher



Joined: 21 Apr 2016
Posts: 67
Location: Thailand

Drinking: Punk IPA

Working on: Electric Pale Ale Sessionable


PostLink    Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So is it as simple as working out the pressure from the chart and setting the regulator? Leave it for 2 weeks and that’s it? I’ll probably be leaving it for 4 weeks as I will be off to work before it’s ready.

Is the pressure on the chart also the serving pressure? No need to release pressure before serving?

Also.... one last question (I hope)... how often do you clean the beer tap and line in between uses?

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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 8416
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: American Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Janet's Brown, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison, Kölsch

Working on: Kölsch, Janet's Brown Ale


PostLink    Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That’s it. Carbonation charts assume you do not change anything. You set up your system to be balanced, nothing is touched. Just hook up the keg and walk away. After about 2 weeks the beer will be carb’ed and will stay at that exact carb level until the last beer is poured since you’re touching nothing.

How of you clean is up to you and depends partially on the volume you pour. Bars should be doing it every couple of weeks or so. At home many will go for months.

Kal

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rivetcatcher



Joined: 21 Apr 2016
Posts: 67
Location: Thailand

Drinking: Punk IPA

Working on: Electric Pale Ale Sessionable


PostLink    Posted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers for the help Kal, I’ve kegged before but always ended up with terrible beer when I did it. It tasted sour. Never had it when bottling. I’m thinking that I had over carbed. It always poured foamy as well so I gave up after 2 ruined batches. Even started thinking that it was infected by dodgy co2 but the more I look at it, the more i think it was over carbed.
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rivetcatcher



Joined: 21 Apr 2016
Posts: 67
Location: Thailand

Drinking: Punk IPA

Working on: Electric Pale Ale Sessionable


PostLink    Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just bottled this today... OG 1040 FG 1010... used different malts to Kal as I’ve are a little limited here as to what we can get. Anyway, it tastes and smells fantastic. This is going to be a good one.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 8416
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: American Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Janet's Brown, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter, Saison, Kölsch

Working on: Kölsch, Janet's Brown Ale


PostLink    Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent! Enjoy!

Kal

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