Return to TheElectricBrewery.com
  [ Shop ]   [ Building ]   [ Using ]   [ Recipes ]   [ Testimonials ]   [ Gallery ]   [ FAQ ]   [ About Us ]   [ Contact Us ]   [ Newsletter ]

Log inLog in   RegisterRegister   User Control PanelUser Control Panel   Private MessagesPrivate Messages   MembershipClub Memberships   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   Photo AlbumsPhoto Albums   Forum FAQForum FAQ


First brew ever - 5 gallon Pumpkin Ale - Review of my math?
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic   Printer-friendly view    TheElectricBrewery.com Forum Index -> All Grain Brewing
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Topdollar



Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 65



PostLink    Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:10 am    Post subject: First brew ever - 5 gallon Pumpkin Ale - Review of my math? Reply with quote


        Register to remove this ad. It's free!
So I'm doing my first brew tomorrow. A "Perfect" Pumpkin Ale from Craft Beer and Brewing - it's all new to me so hoping someone could check my work!

Grain bill is:

7 lb Maris Otter
3 lb Light Munich (I'm using Caramunich II)
2 lb Aromatic
14 oz Caramunich

My tap water is terrible for brewing I discovered...and after testing it today, I found the Alkalinity (CaCO3) was 375 ppm (HCO3 - 450).

So I'm going with RO water from a store, which I also tested with the following results:

Chloride - 20 ppm
Sulfate - 0 ppm
Hardness as Alkalinity - 10 ppm (HCO3 - 12)
Total hardness - 0 ppm
Calcium and mg - 0 ppm
Sodium 17.73 ppm
pH is 7.55

I found a water profile for amber malty that was recommended:

Ca 59 Mg 6 S04 50 Na 14 Cl 14 HCO3 76

Based on Kal's spreadsheet, I came up with the following:

12.875 lbs of grain. 1.25 qt/lb mash thickness.
Strike water = (12.875 x 1.25)/4 = 4.023 g + 0.72 gal (deadspace/hoses/HERMS) = 4.74 gal.
Loss to grain absorption = 12.875 x 0.12 = 1.545 gal.
Sparge water = initial kettle volume@68F (pre-boil) + grain loss - strike = 8.85 (6 gal + 1.5 hr boil x 1.9 gal/hr boil off) + 1.545 4.74 = 5.66 gal.
Total water needed: 10.395 gallons

Per the recipe, I'm going to mash at 155 for 60 min and boil for 90. I should end up with 6 gallons. I hope.

I plan to fill the HLT to 15 gallons.

Now, using palmers calculator and the EZ water calculator, I came up with the following additions to get close to the profile I want using the RO water I have:

5 grams baking soda
5 grams gypsum
7 grams calcium chloride
3 grams Epsom

Everything I've read says to basically avoid chalk as it's effects are unpredictable.

Now, I'm thinking of just adding all this to the HLT water at the start when it hits temp.

Anyone have any thoughts on this before I give it a whirl?
Back to top
kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10725
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:55 pm    Post subject: Re: First brew ever - 5 gallon Pumpkin Ale - Review of my ma Reply with quote

Topdollar wrote:
Now, I'm thinking of just adding all this to the HLT water at the start when it hits temp.

No - add it to the mash and to the boil as per the amounts indicated by EZ Water.

Where's the pumpkin come from? Heads up that mashing with pumpkin tends to be problematic for some folks (stuck sparges) so I'm not sure I'd make a pumpkin beer as my first beer. Keep it simple.

Also, I hate pumpkin beer. That stuff needs to die. Wink

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
We ship worldwide and support our products and customers for life.
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
Back to top
View user's photo album (21 photos)
Topdollar



Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 65



PostLink    Posted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn it...wish I had gotten this sooner!

It all went into the HLT. So far all the pH's have been good...sparge water is 7.4 so I might have to acidify that.

I'll be boiling the pumpkin for 90 minutes in a fine BIAB...bag. So hopefully that won't create problems.

Yeah..I love to make things complicated for myself...next beer is 10 gallons of the Janet's Brown!

You're not the only one with the pumpkin hate! By boss just said something about me wearing brown shoes and sitting in a Starbucks. Doesn't help I'm sipping on a latte and eating a pumpkin scone at the moment! Smile
Back to top
Roadie



Joined: 13 Oct 2013
Posts: 131
Location: Charleston, SC


PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did some quick math once I saw the supply water had 17.73 ppm Na yet you added baking soda when your target was only 14 ppm. The numbers I came up with for your batch are (Ca/Mg/Na/Cl/SO4) 77/7/35/86/101 and I believe you wanted 59/6/14/14/50. You may wish to review your numbers again for future batches especially Chloride and Sulfates as those were pretty far off.

Pumpkin beer has its place as a season beer. Depending on how you spice I've found it gets better with some decent age on it.
Back to top
Tungsten



Joined: 06 Dec 2014
Posts: 316
Location: Buffalo, NY


PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:05 pm    Post subject: Re: First brew ever - 5 gallon Pumpkin Ale - Review of my ma Reply with quote

Topdollar wrote:
Grain bill is:

7 lb Maris Otter
3 lb Light Munich (I'm using Caramunich II)
2 lb Aromatic
14 oz Caramunich


Let us know how this turns out. Generally you can't substitute caramunich for munich malt, being that caramunich is a crystal malt and munich malt is more of a base malt. I'm concerned you're going to have a very sweet, under attenuated product.

Then again, things have gotten lost in translation before, so you never know.
Back to top
Topdollar



Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 65



PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So...did this...with well, mixed results!

With regard to power input into the panel and boil - at full power, my panel displays 232 volts and 21.5 amps.

I was only able to hit 210 reliably for the boil with the lid off...it looked like an okay boil but nothing crazy. I didn't feel the need to throttle it down to 85 per instructions on the site.

Should I be getting 212 as measured by the probe though? The brewmometer also was a couple notches below the boil indicator. We're on a diesel generator plant for my little burg, so I can't help but wonder if maybe the power just isn't where it should be...

I also found that I lost 3 degrees (I had to have the HLT 3 degrees higher) to hit my mash temp of 155. My ambient temp was 65 degrees so maybe that was it. Could also be the hoses...they seemed thinner than the stuff I got from OBK last time I ordered from them...

It did seem to certainly boil though! I did find that my boil calculations were a bit off! I started with 9.25 gallons at 144 or so.
I was in such a fluster that I didn't read my end boil, but it was under 6. Into the fermenter it was 5.25 gallons and I'm using the
exact equipment setup you specify in your build. I topped up the water to 5.75 so we'll see how it works out. Wondering if this was my math (I used your boil off rate) or if more boiloff it to be expected when working with a smaller batch size...maybe it was the additions? I did have the 5 lbs of pumpkin in a mesh bad and added 230 grams of sugar to the start of the boil, so maybe that threw things off. I don't know!

Finally, EZ water calculator. I cannot for the life of me find any guide or anything. Can anyone tell me which salts go into the mash and which into the boil as Kal said in his your post? First row mash, second boil maybe? And do you leave the adjust sparge water checked or no? When I had it unchecked, the amounts I calculated for the 15 gallons I started with per the Palmer water calculator all seemed good with the resulting water profile in EZ. However, when checked, the water profile amounts
were all quite a bit higher.

My grain bill listed was wrong...I used 14 oz of Caramunich II and 3 lbs of organic Munich (not 3 lbs of cara)!

End of the day, it's fermenting now..running it a bit warm (72-74) per the instructions to get some esters out of the WLP002.

We'll see how it is in a few weeks!
Back to top
kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10725
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Topdollar wrote:
I was only able to hit 210 reliably for the boil with the lid off...it looked like an okay boil but nothing crazy. I didn't feel the need to throttle it down to 85 per instructions on the site. Should I be getting 212 as measured by the probe though?

Different altitudes will boil at different temps. 210F may be normal for where you are located. (You can google to see what the boiling point of water is in your city).

Your BOIL PID / temp probe may not be calibrated either. See the Pb setting here: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/control-panel-setup

Quote:
The brewmometer also was a couple notches below the boil indicator. We're on a diesel generator plant for my little burg, so I can't help but wonder if maybe the power just isn't where it should be...

Power doesn't affect the boiling point of water.
If using a poor performing generator, the voltage may sag as current goes up (normal) so your power output may be lower. 232 x 21.5 = 4988 watts in your case (instead of 5500W that you'd get if you had a full 240V). All this means is that heating will take a bit longer and you may need to run your boil PID % a bit higher.

Quote:
I also found that I lost 3 degrees (I had to have the HLT 3 degrees higher) to hit my mash temp of 155. My ambient temp was 65 degrees so maybe that was it. Could also be the hoses...they seemed thinner than the stuff I got from OBK last time I ordered from them...

65F isn't very cold. I'm often colder in the brewery and am within 1 degree between MLT and HLT (the readings on the PIDs give the same number most of the time once everything's stabilized). Could be thinner hose. OBK has never sold the thicker hose I recommend in the instructions. Could be slower recirculation too, and many other factors.

Quote:
It did seem to certainly boil though! I did find that my boil calculations were a bit off! I started with 9.25 gallons at 144 or so. I was in such a fluster that I didn't read my end boil, but it was under 6. Into the fermenter it was 5.25 gallons and I'm using the exact equipment setup you specify in your build. I topped up the water to 5.75 so we'll see how it works out. Wondering if this was my math (I used your boil off rate) or if more boiloff it to be expected when working with a smaller batch size...

Boil off rate is related to the amount of power you put in and your surface volume, as well as a few other things like how dry the air is, if there's wind, and so forth.

Quote:
I did have the 5 lbs of pumpkin in a mesh bad and added 230 grams of sugar to the start of the boil, so maybe that threw things off. I don't know!

That shouldn't affect boil off rate.

Quote:
Finally, EZ water calculator. I cannot for the life of me find any guide or anything. Can anyone tell me which salts go into the mash and which into the boil as Kal said in his your post?


The line items listed as "mash additions" in Step 4a/4b go in the mash.
The line items listed "sparge water additions" in Step 4a/4b go in the boil.

See the little arrows with descriptions that say: "add at dough-in or prior" for the mash additions and "add to boil, or to sparge water prior to sparging, or combine with mash salts when treating all water combined prior to brewing" for the sparge additions.

Quote:
And do you leave the adjust sparge water checked or no?

Leave it checked. Otherwise it doesn't tell you how much to put in the boil and the numbers will be lower. There may be times you choose to do this however if all you're wanting to do is adjust your mash. It depends.

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
We ship worldwide and support our products and customers for life.
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
Back to top
View user's photo album (21 photos)
Topdollar



Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 65



PostLink    Posted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just re-did my numbers in EZ with a new found knowledge of how it works and wow...yeah...would definitely have overshot. To get what I was looking for, I should have used just 4.4 grams gypsum, 1.2 of calcium chloride, 2.6 of Epsom, and 1.74 of chalk (which I didn't use at all based on my research).

Definitely think the baking soda addition I did was overboard. Well...live and learn. Hopefully the cinnamon and pumpkin goodness masks the screwed up nature of my brew!

On a side...anyone know how to get the ca+ up in the water profile without using chalk? I tried adjusting the other salts but it just throws things out of wack. As well...my recipe recommended a hco3 of 76. Where should I be looking for in EZ for this?

And thanks Kal and all for the responses!
Back to top
kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10725
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

99% of the time you should be able to get what you want with just gypsum, calc chloride and epsom salt. I've used chalk once, never anything else. My water's close to RO.

Calcium is increased by using anything with Calcium (Ca) in it: Gypsum or Calc chloride.

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
We ship worldwide and support our products and customers for life.
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
Back to top
View user's photo album (21 photos)
Roadie



Joined: 13 Oct 2013
Posts: 131
Location: Charleston, SC


PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Topdollar wrote:
On a side...anyone know how to get the ca+ up in the water profile without using chalk? I tried adjusting the other salts but it just throws things out of wack.


For a calcium only addition try using slaked lime. You'll find it in the grocery store in the canning section and it's called pickling lime.
Back to top
Topdollar



Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 65



PostLink    Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome - thanks Roadie; I'll have a look for it!

I've got a little bit of time until I get a fermenter freed up to do a 10 gallon batch! I'll try and be a bit more on the ball next time!
Back to top
Topdollar



Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 65



PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So an update - racked off some trub (probably a day or so too early...I took off about a cup out of the conical and it was clumpy but also quite foamy).

Took a sample from the racking arm and it was quite clear. Very nice amber/pumpkin color. Gravity at this point is already 1.022 and it "should" get down to a projected 1.018. That WLP002 is fast working stuff. Something had to have been off as when I tested my pre-boil wort; I got 1.038 at 124F (1.050 converted) and when I measured post boil (from 9.25 gallons I got 5.25 into the fermenter) I only got 1.054 (I did have a lot of crap in that sample - probably half the tube was solids once it settled...so maybe that threw things off?) Topped up with water to 5.75 into the fermenter.

Tasted the sample...and it's good. Been fermenting it at 72-74 and it has a bit of an estery smell (but nothing overpowering), and while still a bit sweet, the finish is very interesting. Almost what you would expect from a lager? Maybe it's the spices...I added 5 tsp of cinnamon, and a tsp of fresh ginger and nutmeg.

I'll be giving it until the weekend then do another dump and check the gravity. Let it sit for another week...or two. A add a touch of vanilla.

I don't know - this might actually turn out good! (if you like pumpkin ale!)
Back to top
kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10725
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why dump? I'd let it sit for a least a week if not two before I did anything. The trub won't do any harm and you risk dumping good yeast.

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
We ship worldwide and support our products and customers for life.
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
Back to top
View user's photo album (21 photos)
Topdollar



Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 65



PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah..I didn't want to end up with a plug at the bottom of the conical that would make dumping at a later date very difficult. The recipe says to rack to secondary after a week or so, but I did not plan to do that anyway given the style of fermenter I'm using.

Regret it now though as I probably did get rid of good yeast as that yeast seems to drop quick. I give the fermenter a good shake every day to keep things moving so hopefully there is plenty in suspension to finish things off. It was still chunky before I stopped the dump, so there should be still plenty of yeast in there. Off gaswing had slowed quite a bit before I did the dump.

I tend to overthink the process...sure it would have been fine if I left it as is! I've got a racking arm in the tank I could have just used...and just because I could do a dump doesn't mean you.....should?


Last edited by Topdollar on Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10725
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Topdollar wrote:
The recipe says to rack to secondary after a week or so...

FWIW, you should never rack off active yeast. I would not follow the advice of the recipe. Let the yeast finish its job and clean up after itself. Assuming proper pitch and a starting gravity of around 1.050, an ale at average fermentation temps should usually be done in about a week. Once it hits final gravity, not harm in leaving it for another few days or even a week to clean up after itself.

Recipes should never give fermentation durations unless they also give exact yeast pitch amounts, fermentation temps, oxygenation levels, and so forth. Even if they did that, different generations of yeast can sometimes behave slightly differently. It's a living creature and can sometimes have a mind of its own. Wink Never go by time for yeast other than to know roughly when to check. Go by what's going on (ie: the gravity). If it hasn't moved in about 3 days and it's where you expect it to be, it's likely done. I'd then give it a few extra days, check again, and then rack if it hasn't moved.

There used to be a time (many years ago, like in the 80-90's) when yeasts would throw off all sorts of nasties that could cause off-flavours so the standard operating procedure was to rack into a secondary fermenter at high krausen. That's no longer the case.

For a beer like this I'd leave it a good week before even taking a measurement. Then I'd probably leave it another week just to be sure. WLP002 drops crystal clear. You may be able to rack right into a keg (or bottles) after 2 weeks. Not sure if spices would add any haze however.

If it's a beer I've made many times, I will usually not measure at all until it's time to rack/keg. Then I measure just to confirm. When it's a new yeast and I don't know its behaviour (or a new recipe) I'll tend to check ales after a week just to get a measurement so that when I re-check after 2 weeks I know whether it's done. (If it hasn't dropped between 7 and 14 days it's done).

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
We ship worldwide and support our products and customers for life.
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
Back to top
View user's photo album (21 photos)
Topdollar



Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 65



PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One question. I'm running this warm...72-74...intentionally to get a different flavor profile. In your experience with wlp002, should I drop this down to say..65-68 after the bulk of fermentation is done? Any issue keeping it warm?
Back to top
kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10725
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With WLP002 I recommend fermenting at 66-68F until complete. Warmer would be more estery. Up to you.

Generally speaking you should never reduce fermentation temperature during active fermentation. You risk the chance of having the yeast fall out early. Fermentation always goes from colder to warmer for all yeasts until the yeast is done. (Some may say that lagering on the yeast near freezing is still the yeast "working" but I think that's semantics).

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
We ship worldwide and support our products and customers for life.
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0


Last edited by kal on Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's photo album (21 photos)
Topdollar



Joined: 20 Aug 2015
Posts: 65



PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks!

I should add that I calculated the boil point for my altitude and what do you know, it's actually 210.75 F!

I should also add that the G2 linear valves that came with my new pots are a complete PITA to use. I've ordered standard ball valves to replace all of them per your instructions.
Back to top
kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10725
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Kolsch, Belgian IPA, Red IPA, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen, Belgian Quad, Wit, English Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle


PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Topdollar wrote:
I should also add that the G2 linear valves that came with my new pots are a complete PITA to use. I've ordered standard ball valves to replace all of them per your instructions.

Yup - easy fix.

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
We ship worldwide and support our products and customers for life.
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
Back to top
View user's photo album (21 photos)
Tungsten



Joined: 06 Dec 2014
Posts: 316
Location: Buffalo, NY


PostLink    Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Topdollar wrote:
Thanks!

I should add that I calculated the boil point for my altitude and what do you know, it's actually 210.75 F!

I should also add that the G2 linear valves that came with my new pots are a complete PITA to use. I've ordered standard ball valves to replace all of them per your instructions.


What didn't you like about them? I like some things about them in theory; but to be fair I've never used them (yet). I know Kal's opinions (which I mostly agree with) but was just hoping for another point of view.
Back to top
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic   Printer-friendly view    TheElectricBrewery.com Forum Index -> All Grain Brewing All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


Support our site by purchasing through this link. We thank you!

Forum powered by phpBB © phpBB Group