Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Brewday Troubles

A few issues came up this saturday while I was making the Man Child. The wort is oddly oily in appearance and has a slightly green hue. Seriously, you'd have to see it to believe it. Here are the problems that came along.

1. Only had about 1.5 g of gypsum: Crap. This is a problem when you start with reverse osmosis water.  Homebrew store is 30 minutes away and I'm already mashed in. Oh well. I went to the grocery store and picked up some epsom salt to make up for the missing sulfates. The missing calcium came from CaCL.

Update - Not sure if I bought the wrong epsom salt and this is what is causing the strage look of the wort. Also tasted a sample from the fermenter and it had a harsh lingering bitterness/metalic taste. I only put a tsp of epsom salt in the boil. Maybe this was too much.

2. No Hot Break: Need help with this one. There is even 1 lb of torrified wheat in the recipe so there should be plenty of protein in the boil to get things to bind up. Starting with RO water I add enough calcium to the mash to theoretically get to around 5.2 -5.5. Maybe my pH is way off. I refuse to drop $100 on a pH meter. Maybe I'll buy some colorphast strips. In addition to the mash salts I always add a bit more to the kettle. There may have been some small particle hot break since I got some foam when I was coming to a boil, but no egg drop soup. Do I need hops to help coagulate protiens? Only used 6 grams of CTZ at 60 mins. All my hops went in at 10.

3. No whirlfloc: Man was I unprepared for this brew day. This is some murky stuff. There is almost no cold break either what the hell? I could only get down to about 80 F with my immersion chiller. Florida ground water is pretty hot. But usually once I get the wort in the carboy and chilled down to pitching temps you can see the cold break dropping out. This is one strange beer I brewed. Even now after 3 days in the fermenter no break material on the  bottom of the carboy and the same greenish cloudy look.

4. Krausen Dropped after 48 hours: I've used the whitbread strains before and the Krausen usually gets much higher and sticks around a bit longer.  At 48 hrs the gravity is down to about 1.019. Hopefully the yeast will finish off those last 6-7 points. I'll be really frustrated if my chest freezer and Johnson controller is over cooling and making my yeast drop out. At 1 degree differential it always gets about 3 degrees lower than the setpoint.

Brewing is humbling. Not going to let this get to me though. Even if this beer is a dumper. I may just brew the same thing again and try to get it right.

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