Thursday, March 14, 2013

Belgian Blonde Update

Blow off tube definitely needed with this yeast!

Nailed my temps!
So after some reading and research and of course, some brewing blunders, I ended up at 1.060, which will give a beer with approximately 6.4% ABV (Alcohol By Volume). That temp was taken after an hour long mash, I hit 152ish before. I was shooting for 153 or 154, but I'll take 151.9 after an hour. So I pulled the water off the stove at 166-167. I think next time I'll go ahead and pull it at 168-169 or even 170. I think this will give me more flexibility within the mash (easier to cool off then to heat up). So I followed the normal protocol, 1.25 qts/lb of water/grain, pulled almost 2 gallons of the first run, then hit 5 gallons on the sparge/mashout. I ended up with 71% efficiency, which would bring me to 1.043, the low end of the spectrum. However I was reading from the recipe on Homebrewtalk and a lot of people were getting 1.065, so I thought I screwed up and I added 3.3lbs of Liquid Malt Extract to bring it up to 1.060. Looking at numerous calculators I ended up with 71% at 1.043, so I think I have narrowed down my efficiency problem to hard water.  If you see the fermentor bucket, the key things to notice are the blow off tube with this yeast and the temperature strip on the side. If you could read it, it would say 64-66, which I'm happy with. The fermentor is sitting in my garage bubbling away like crazy. I brewed this on Sunday (10 MAR 2013).

Will be dropping off my IPA for the local homebrew competition, ( today, hopefully it'll win an award. I was going to drop off the ESB, however I don't have enough of the correct type of bottles. I also want to pick up my next batch of grains today, but I don't know what to make. Will try and get some pictures of the IPA later tonight. I also changed the name to Nicole's IPA (my wife's name) instead of Drew, Sorry Drew.

I'm really looking into getting a mill, probably a Corona mill. I have read that your efficiency will improve significantly if you mill your own grains. You can pick up a Corona Mill off Amazon for like 30 bucks or I can pick it up at the homebrew store for $51.99. I really don't want to pay $51, but 20-30 is doable, but then I have to pay shipping which brings it to $40. Homebrew decisions can be so hard, and I really enjoy making simple improvements in the process to yield better results.

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