Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sweet Stout Journal - Post Mash @7brewing

Next we'll move to the post mash step.  But first, a little nugget of information.

Earlier this week I listened to the podcast #39 with Gordon Strong.  Gordon discussed the water conditioning and addition of darker malts to the mash.  He pointed out the idea that darker malts do not require a mashing step as it does not require any enzymatic conversion and provides a charring or burnt flavor to the beer.  

Why do I mention this?  Well, as much as I would have liked to try this during this brew, I came to the realization that I need to understand first how to bring my water temps up for a mash out step.  I am using a cooler configuration like the one detailed by Denny here, BREWING WITH DENNY.  I suspect that I could use the sparge water to bring my total volumes up while increase the mash temps.  However, I didn't want to necessarily alter my brewing process this time without doing the necessary research.  I am detailing the idea here for future reference, more so than anything and potentially generate some conversation.

First before transferring the first runnings to the brew kettle, I have to heat 4 gallons of sparge water to complete the rinsing process of the mash.  

4 gallons of sparge water heating.
It's time to start transferring to the boil kettle after 60 minutes of mashing.  The color should be fairly dark.  

The drain and filter I have is beginning to slow down during run off.  It seems to be pinched or clogged with and requires a little finagling to move the wort from the mash tun.

I ended up pulling the filter out and jamming the end of a wooden spoon down the filter to re-expand it. This simple fix actual increased the flow considerably from a slow trickle to only being held up by the diameter of the valve and drain tube.

Now the wort is on to boil.  I have added 1 ounce of Willamette and 0.70 pounds of lactose.  Another topic on the podcasts from discussed timing of hop addition.  The discussion lead to adding the hops pre-boil to give the beer a much smoother less harsh bittering taste.  I decided to give this a try and see what the results of that modification would be to my beer.

I'll complete the boil process, chill it, transfer to the fermentation and finally pitch the yeast.  My next post will detail the recipe, today's results and wrap up of the whole brew.  Thanks for reading along.

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