First Stout Advice

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dave_h
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First Stout Advice

Post by dave_h » Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:47 pm

I am planning making my first stout. I would like to get it similar to Guinness but with just a little bit more flavor/complexity.

As stated on here before Guinness’s grain ration is 7:2:1 and would look like this for a 24L batch

3.5KG Pale malt
1KG Flaked Barley
0.5KG Roast Barley

Im thinking of doing the following for a 21L batch and wouldn’t mind some advice.

2.80 kg Maris Otter (Crisp) (7.9 EBC) 66.7 %
0.80 kg Barley, Flaked (3.3 EBC) 19.0 %
0.30 kg Roasted Barley (Simpsons) (1083.5 EBC) 7.1 %
0.20 kg Oats, Flaked (2.0 EBC) 4.8 %
0.10 kg Carafa III (1034.3 EBC).4 %

50.00 g Challenger 6 [6.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 31.8 IBUs
20.00 g Goldings, East Kent 5.1 [5.10 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 8 6.7 IBUs
Yeast WLP004 Irish Ale

Flaked barley would be Flaked Torrefied barley (Crisp), I cant seem to get normal flaked barley where I live but I'm under the impression it should not make a difference.

Oats are to add a bit more creaminess. I will be serving low carbonation through a beer engine (well caravan pump but similar in principle).

Carafa III is because I would like a bit of chocolate flavor, and have it on hand (but don’t have any normal chocolate malt, but I can probably order some if its crucial).

Some people seem to recommend to put the roasted grains in the mash 10mins before the end to avoid astringency, I am temped to do this as I have had a bit of astringency before and will be batch sparging so the grains will still have quite a bit of contact time anyhow.

Beersmith seems so give me an estimated mash pH of 5.7 (my tap water is 7.3), this just seems way too high, whist Bru'n water gives a more realistic 5.3. If I do not add the roasted grains into the mash Bru'N water esitmates my mash to be 5.7, should I adjust this to make it lower, but then when I add the roasted grains for the mash the pH will be too low (thinking of the spargeing).

Thanks in advance

Dave

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Eric
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Re: First Stout Advice

Post by Eric » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:44 pm

That recipe is perfectly good.

I've never found need to just steep dark grains. Provided the sulphate level isn't excessive with a decent level of chloride (at least double that of sulphate) that mash should be fine and I wouldn't expect astringency. Keep alkalinity below 100ppm in the mash and much lower for the sparge.

Mix the grains well before mashing in. Good luck.
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Re: First Stout Advice

Post by dave_h » Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:12 am

Thanks Eric,

I had forgotten about the chloride:sulpfate ratio, it has defiantly made a difference before in my ales.

I have to admit I find the water chemistry side of brewing very hard to get my head around :)

Looking at my brew'n water, I have

Mashing water Profile: Calcium 51, Magnesium 0, Sodium,73 Sulfate 47, Chloride 102, Bicarbonate 110.
I have increased the recommended calcium chloride addition a little to increase the ratio.

My estimated mash pH is now 5.35 ( I must have left on an acid addition from a previous brew), Alkalinity is 90.

Under the Sparge Acidificaiton sheet Bru'n water says my final water alkalinity Output is 11. I assume this is because it is recommending me to adjust the sparge with acid and calcium chloride.

I have added some bru'n water screenshots as that might be easier to read.
Bru'n Water Water additions summary.JPG
Bru'n Water Water  water report.JPG
Bru'n Water Water adjustment.JPG
Bru'n Water Water Sparge.JPG
So I think Im good to go?

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Re: First Stout Advice

Post by Eric » Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:33 pm

Sorry, I get no ease or feeling of joy looking at such screenshots, but if they fill you with joy and expectation, then you have my greatest hopes that you enjoy the outcome.

Why are you putting what appears to have been decent brewing water through an ion exchange water softener?
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Re: First Stout Advice

Post by orlando » Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:27 pm

I would want a lot more Calcium than that (150), Another tip, don't believe the "minerality" rubbish the Americans bang on about.
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Re: First Stout Advice

Post by FUBAR » Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:56 pm

I had to chuckle at their idea of a Dublin water profile :roll: .
I buy my grain & hops from here http://www.homebrewkent.co.uk/


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Re: First Stout Advice

Post by Eric » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:14 pm

orlando wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:27 pm
I would want a lot more Calcium than that (150), Another tip, don't believe the "minerality" rubbish the Americans bang on about.
Yes Orlando, and more chloride. What rationale applies an arbitrary limit of 100ppm chloride? One to make a bland and tasteless beer?

I've looked at the screenshots, but first to Dave's water. It looks to me that it probably arrives with something like 40ppm calcium, a few ppm magnesium and 20ppm sodium before going through an ion exchange softener where virtually all calcium and magnesium is changed into sodium. A great inprovement for brewing would be found if the softener could be bypassed.

I think a pH of 5.35 is a bit low for the chosen profile and that grainbill, I would expect pH of 5.5 at best and that would likely be the case if all salts were added to the mash and not shared between mash and sparge liquors.

With the water as it currently is and brewing as laid out in the spreadsheet, I would add 1.5g gypsum and 5.5g of calaium chloride to the mash liquor with 2.75g of gypsum and 1.5g of chacium chloride to the sparge liquor. If the water is softened and my guestimates are reasonable, those salt additions could be reduced to 1.2g, 4.4g, 2.2g, and 8.3g. Even then, I think the mash pH would be in the region of 5.4 with the option of using some acid the reduce alkalinity of mash liquour if a lower pH was desired. I think the above additions would provide an initial calcium level of 160ppm.
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Re: First Stout Advice

Post by orlando » Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:48 pm

Eric wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:14 pm
orlando wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:27 pm
I would want a lot more Calcium than that (150), Another tip, don't believe the "minerality" rubbish the Americans bang on about.
Yes Orlando, and more chloride. What rationale applies an arbitrary limit of 100ppm chloride?

A German influenced brewing tradition, possibly? More likely a lack of diligent investigation of what actually makes British Beer, British Beer. :?
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

Fermenting: No Stout About It (Porter)
Conditioning: 4 Hops To Heaven
Drinking: From Russia With Love (RIS), Peaches, Twist & Stout, I Am A Patriot Too, Reasons To Be Beerful (Part Three)

Up Next: With A Bitter Luck, Song For Keith
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Re: First Stout Advice

Post by dave_h » Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:13 pm

Thank you all for the replies, especially Eric.
Eric wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:33 pm
Why are you putting what appears to have been decent brewing water through an ion exchange water softener?

I am not using a water softener, I have well water and it is very soft. I had my water tested.

I think I have some more reading up to do on water adjustment and water profiles :)

Eric wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:14 pm
With the water as it currently is and brewing as laid out in the spreadsheet, I would add 1.5g gypsum and 5.5g of calaium chloride to the mash liquor with 2.75g of gypsum and 1.5g of calcium chloride to the sparge liquor.
Thank you for your suggestions, can I double check if the calcium in the sparge should be 1.5g or 10.5g? I have put the numbers into both bru'n water and EZ water calculator and I only get a high calcium value with 10.5g.
Eric wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:14 pm
I think a pH of 5.35 is a bit low for the chosen profile and that grainbill, I would expect pH of 5.5 at best and that would likely be the case if all salts were added to the mash and not shared between mash and sparge liquors.
Agree, from what I've read I should be aiming for a pH of about 5.5. Using EZ water spreadsheet it estimates a pH of 5.6 whilst Bru'n water is now suggesting 5.0. I can understand there will naturally be some differences between the two spreadsheets but that seems a bit extreme (cant see where ive put an error in, if there is one). One thing I find weird is that neither spreadsheet take into account what the pH of the water is.

I have a pH probe so I can adjust the mash if needed (just hope it still works as its a cheap one and is a couple of years old now.... (have calibration solutions).

Using Eric's suggestions (with 10.5g calcium chloride in the sparge) I get the following water profile

Calcium 152 to 190 (varies between spreadsheets) Magnesium 0, Sodium 73, Chloride 253-287, sulphate 70

Are my chloride levels too high now? Should I try to reduce it a bit or increase the sulphate to get the chloride/sulphate ratio better

Many thanks for the help

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Re: First Stout Advice

Post by orlando » Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:47 pm

If you can reduce the chloride to circa 210 then the ratio of 1:3 should be perfect. It's the ratio that is more important but obviously there is probably an absurd level where excess salts become noticeable. Calcium is now much better. :wink:
I am "The Little Red Brooster"

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Drinking: From Russia With Love (RIS), Peaches, Twist & Stout, I Am A Patriot Too, Reasons To Be Beerful (Part Three)

Up Next: With A Bitter Luck, Song For Keith
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Re: First Stout Advice

Post by Eric » Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:37 pm

dave_h wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:13 pm
Thank you all for the replies, especially Eric.
Eric wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 5:33 pm
Why are you putting what appears to have been decent brewing water through an ion exchange water softener?

I am not using a water softener, I have well water and it is very soft. I had my water tested.

I think I have some more reading up to do on water adjustment and water profiles :)
Well, it looked that way by assuming you live somewhere in UK. Where are you? Salt Lake City? But to be serious for a moment, that water would be quite alien to UK brewers where even rainfall has more calcium and magnesium than your well water. You didn't send your water to Muphy's?

Water chemistry is going to be more complicated by starting with that water profile than a more typical UK water.
dave_h wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:13 pm
Eric wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:14 pm
With the water as it currently is and brewing as laid out in the spreadsheet, I would add 1.5g gypsum and 5.5g of calaium chloride to the mash liquor with 2.75g of gypsum and 1.5g of calcium chloride to the sparge liquor.
Thank you for your suggestions, can I double check if the calcium in the sparge should be 1.5g or 10.5g? I have put the numbers into both bru'n water and EZ water calculator and I only get a high calcium value with 10.5g.
Sorry, I obviously didn't double check what I'd typed and yes, it should have been 10.5g of calcium chloride.
dave_h wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:13 pm
Eric wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:14 pm
I think a pH of 5.35 is a bit low for the chosen profile and that grainbill, I would expect pH of 5.5 at best and that would likely be the case if all salts were added to the mash and not shared between mash and sparge liquors.
Agree, from what I've read I should be aiming for a pH of about 5.5. Using EZ water spreadsheet it estimates a pH of 5.6 whilst Bru'n water is now suggesting 5.0. I can understand there will naturally be some differences between the two spreadsheets but that seems a bit extreme (cant see where ive put an error in, if there is one). One thing I find weird is that neither spreadsheet take into account what the pH of the water is.

I have a pH probe so I can adjust the mash if needed (just hope it still works as its a cheap one and is a couple of years old now.... (have calibration solutions).

Using Eric's suggestions (with 10.5g calcium chloride in the sparge) I get the following water profile

Calcium 152 to 190 (varies between spreadsheets) Magnesium 0, Sodium 73, Chloride 253-287, sulphate 70

Are my chloride levels too high now? Should I try to reduce it a bit or increase the sulphate to get the chloride/sulphate ratio better

Many thanks for the help
The initial pH of your water is rarely of value to a brewer, the quantity of alkalinity present is and it is a common mistake to assume the two are in some way always directly related.

M aim is to have an upper limit for mash pH of 5.6, not that every drop of runnings has a pH always lower than pH 5.6. Similarly my lower limit is pH 5.1. pH was measured 5 times during my latest brew, within the last week, and all were different. I' unable to determine the mash pH of my beers without reference to my brewing log nor can I determine by taste the mash pH of any correctly brewed beer. Can you? Do you know anyone who might drink a decent beer and say, wow, that's from a pH 5.4 mash?

My rough and ready calculations were based around 160ppm calcium, 75 sulphate and 225 chloride. Such chloride levels are believed to be far too high by many, particularly those who would appear to have not experienced, or dislike, British style beers served as intended.
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Re: First Stout Advice

Post by dave_h » Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:27 am

Eric wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:37 pm
Well, it looked that way by assuming you live somewhere in UK. Where are you? Salt Lake City? But to be serious for a moment, that water would be quite alien to UK brewers where even rainfall has more calcium and magnesium than your well water. You didn't send your water to Muphy's?


My rough and ready calculations were based around 160ppm calcium, 75 sulphate and 225 chloride. Such chloride levels are believed to be far too high by many, particularly those who would appear to have not experienced, or dislike, British style beers served as intended.
Correct I am not in the UK, Im in Sweden (have updated my profile).

I will play around with the additions a little to get close to your suggestions above.

Many thanks for all the help, its appreciated.

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Re: First Stout Advice

Post by Eric » Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:01 am

dave_h wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:27 am
I am not in the UK, Im in Sweden (have updated my profile).

I will play around with the additions a little to get close to your suggestions above.

Many thanks for all the help, its appreciated.
Thank you, that's interesting to know. What can you tell me about your local geology. Your water profile is reasonably balanced which confirms it is possible and therefore probably correct, but it's certainly outside my experience.

The level of sodium is higher than for a typical UK brewer, but such a level is not unknown and while it will likely give your beers a distinctive flavour, that flavour won't necessarily be detrimental to most styles and likely advantageous to a stout. Calcium has virtually no flavour, particularly when compared to the effect of sodium, so you should not be concerned by adding more calcium and for a stout that addition is generally more appreciated as chloride than as sulphate.

Good luck and I'm sure many will appreciate your opinion of your findings.
Without patience, life becomes difficult and the sooner it's finished, the better.

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