1 Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 7:04 PM

Hi all,
I invested in a tin of Mangrove Jacks ‘Classic Blonde Dry’ and a few other ingredients this past weekend.
Here's my plan:
The Tin + 500g LDM + 1kg Raw Sugar + Tin yeast + SA05 + 250g Carapils grains.
I have never used grains before but I was told by a man in the brew shop (a fellow punter, not staff) to make a tea - 45 minutes at 75C. He also suggested that he uses the sugar instead of dextrose for more body, mouth feel and head retention…things I want to improve.

Seems simple but what to do with the tea and LDM? Do I let the tea cool to room temp before I add it? Do I boil the LDM separately or can I add it to the tea? Do I need to boil the LDM? Do I need to dissolve the sugar?

All advice is appreciated.

BTW, I have whinged previously about a slight metallic twang in most of my brews thus far. I am going to be extra extra sharp when cleaning with new bottle of local brew shop cleaner and then be ruthless with the santiser (phosphoric acid based).

Cheers
Ralph

2 Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 8:52 PM

Sugar won't provide more body and head retention, it just ferments away the same as dextrose does, and actually diminishes body and head retention.

Head forming and retention is a product of different proteins that come from malt, and to a lesser degree hop compounds. If you want to increase this then you should be using as much malt as possible, not a shitload of sugar.

Similarly, body and mouthfeel are contributed by malt as well, mainly dextrins that aren't fermented by the yeast. Obviously raw sugar or dextrose doesn't contain any of these which is why using it in large amounts diminishes the body and mouthfeel.

The biggest problem with that much sugar is that the flavour often ends up rubbish as well. Cidery, twangy. Awful.

I brewed a batch recently with 500g raw sugar, which I wouldn't normally but it was a deliberate attempt at megaswill just to see if I could do it. The FG was 1.006, much lower than I usually get with all malt beers. The body is quite thin with little mouthfeel, which was intended, but that's what it does. No cidery flavours though, but it was fermented low with a big lager yeast starter. 1kg is way too much for a decent beer IMO.

The point of all this rambling is basically this: if you want a beer with good body, mouthfeel and head retention, then increase the LDM to 1kg or 1.5kg, and ditch the sugar entirely. I don't know where old mate got his idea that sugar increases body, mouthfeel and head retention from but he's talking crap.

Cheers

Kelsey

3 Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2016 5:09 PM

Mr Blotto,
This why I post these things….opinion.
I'll ditch the sugar and use another kg of LDM.
But, how do I handle the grain? I've not done it before.

Cheers
Ralph

4 Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2016 7:42 PM

Got it...a thorough search of the interwebs and I've decided to boil the 500g of LDM in 2L water until dissolved; steep the carapils grain for 45 min @ 65-70 in 2L water then add to the now off the boil LDM.

Toss in the FV with the extract, Coopers Brew Enhancer No 1 ( instead of sugar) and top up with cold (tepid) water to 23L.

Job done!

Thanks to all those who've posted before.

Ralph

5 Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2016 7:58 PM

No need to boil the LDM. You add malt to the water for a hop boil but there is no need to boil the LDM otherwise.

The grain steep sounds fine. Just ensure the grains are cracked and also to strain it before adding to the FV. I like to give the liquid from the grain a boil for 5-10 minutes just to make sure you have killed any nasties in there.

Given you are making a Blonde Dry beer, 1.5kg of LDM may be a bit much. A mix of LDM and dextrose would be good. I would go as far as:

1kg LDM
500g Dextrose
250g Carapils

Good luck with it.

6 Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2016 8:49 PM

Yeah, treat the grains as per Hairy's post. I would boil the liquid for a short period after removing the grains too for that same reason.

It's a bit of a contradiction in some ways, brewing a dry beer but wanting body and head retention. Dry beers usually lack both of those things. I think Hairy's recipe would give something about in the middle, reasonably dry but still with some body etc.

7 Posted: Friday, October 21, 2016 7:06 AM

Ok, Thanks all,
I appreciate the comments.
We'll see how I go as I didn't strain the grain nor boil the liquid.
I did use a ham bag to steep it in so maybe not too many chunks got through!
I agree regards drier crisp beers. This is my personal pref for style so I bought a tin but then changed my mind half way through.
That said, my local supermarket only had coopers BE1 last night so that's what went in.
In total:
The Tin + 500g LDM + 1kg Coopers BE1 + Tin yeast + SA05 + 250g Carapils grains (steeped)
We'll see how it goes.

It's bubbling nicely!

Day 5 and SG is 1011. The aroma is very tantalising lol.
Day 6 and SG is again 1011? mmm
Day 7 and SG is again 1011!

Ralph

8 Posted: Thursday, October 27, 2016 6:30 PM

Day 5 and SG is 1011. The aroma is very tantalising lol.
Day 6 and SG is again 1011? mmm
Day 7 and SG is again 1011!

Time to bottle but isn't 1011 a tad to high still?

Ralph

9 Posted: Thursday, October 27, 2016 7:22 PM

Hi Ralph1Malph.

Given the amount of Maltodextrin contained in the BE1, along with the body building qualities of using 250gms of CaraPils, I'd consider you very lucky to obtain an FG that low TBQH!

I still got it.

Lusty.

10 Posted: Thursday, October 27, 2016 8:16 PM

I have to agree with Lusty on that one, it's done for mine too. You did say you wanted more body in it, looks like you might end up with that now

11 Posted: Friday, October 28, 2016 5:59 PM

Well!
All bottled and carbed with 6g raw sugar per bottle.
Sitting nicely in a plastic tub, just in case it all goes pear shaped.

Now to wait.

I'm excited about this brew. Hope it lives up to the hype!

Ralph

12 Posted: Friday, November 04, 2016 6:30 PM

Well! Another first.

I was checking on the bottles today and noticed that most of them had started to develop a ‘scum’ ring inside the bottle around the top of the beer.

I am guessing that I have screwed the pooch with this brew and bottled to early? Is the ‘scummy residue’ krausen? I cannot cold crash and the brew was cloudier than previously when bottled and I inverted to mix the priming sugar - could it just be yeast residue and other shit?

The bottles are rather firm as well, but I am not to worried as I think they always are.

Thoughts?

Ralph

13 Posted: Saturday, November 05, 2016 10:11 AM

NOthing to worry about mate, sometimes it happens in the bottles. Not sure why, but I've had it in the past as well and the beer has been perfectly OK.

14 Posted: Saturday, November 05, 2016 11:48 AM

Otto Von Blotto:

NOthing to worry about mate, sometimes it happens in the bottles. Not sure why, but I've had it in the past as well and the beer has been perfectly OK.


Cheers,
I hope they'll be ok.
They are my Christmas drinkies and I am sooo looking forward to tasting!

Ralph

15 Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 8:42 AM

Aaargghh!
Opened one of the bottles yesterday after chilling down nicely for 3 days and I am extremely disappointed.
Again, the beer has a metallic taste! Actually nearly undrinkable.
The beer looked ok, dark amber in colour but still had little to no head and almost zero head retention.
As well as the metallic taste, the beer had no tastiness at all, but it could be masked by the metal taste.
Interestingly, there may be some unwanted alcohol as well (fusal is it called?) because the two bottles I drank gave me a headache rather quickly.
So what now?
Back to the drawing board with another brew. I'll slowly eliminate the problem by joves.
What I know:
I've had similar problems regularly with other brews…but they were brewed in Melbourne using Melbourne tap water. I'm now in Brisbane using Brisbane tap water so I reckon I can rule that out - or can I?
I am a fanatic with the sanitiser (phos) but not as fastidious with cleaning.
What I'll change:
I'll be anal with cleaning.
This brew, as per previous posts was brewed with SA05 as well as the tin yeast but maybe the temp was a tad high for the SA05. It was generally sitting around 18-20 degrees. I'll opt for a different higher temp yeast next time I reckon.
I'll try to lower the temp. Maybe put FV in a tub of water.
I'll go back to basics…a coopers tin and recipe with no additions.

What a disappointment…and at Christmas too!

Cheers
Ralph

16 Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 8:57 AM

Bugga. I feel your pain.

I'm wondering about your water too and whether there's an issue there? I believe hard water can give quite a harsh sharp edge to the bitterness of a beer and I therefore wondered if that was what you were picking up when you say “metallic twang”?

Interestingly, there may be some unwanted alcohol as well (fusal is it called?) because the two bottles I drank gave me a headache rather quickly.

Fusels are usually a by product of a hot fermentation - well above where your fermentation was at. It's an unmistakable off-taste - solvent-like and the headaches can be real nasty!

This brew, as per previous posts was brewed with SA05 as well as the tin yeast but maybe the temp was a tad high for the SA05. It was generally sitting around 18-20 degrees. I'll opt for a different higher temp yeast next time I reckon.

This is not an issue for either yeast and by most its actually considered to be the optimal temperature range. But, when you say “generally” I'm wondering what was the pitch temperature initially, and if elevated, how long was it before it got down to the 18-20ºC range?

17 Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 9:13 AM

BlackSands:

But, when you say “generally” I'm wondering what was the pitch temperature initially, and if elevated, how long was it before it got down to the 18-20ºC range?


Maybe you're onto something! I wrote a note in my brew book that the pitched temp was too high - 32 degrees! I recall it took an hour or so to stabilise. Perhaps that was it! I'll be much more careful next time.

Ralph

18 Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 9:43 AM

It would have taken well over an hour to come down to 18-20C from 32 initially. There's no way you can get 20 odd litres of wort down that fast unless you've got an extremely cold freezer. I would imagine it would be more like 12 hours. This could be part of your problem. The yeast are creating flavours during the lag phase and if it's too hot…

Brisbane water isn't overly hard, but what it does contain is more chloride than sulphate (about 60-70ppm and 25-30ppm respectively). This makes it ideal for malty beers but it won't cause the bitterness to present harshly. The sulphate needs to be higher than chloride to bring out the hops. Also, when it rains a fair bit in the dam catchment areas, the water temporarily goes harder due to the limestone in those areas. In my last pale ale I increased the sulphate to about 220ppm and it appears to have done the trick nicely.

Brisbane water is also treated with chloramines, according to QUU. Back in the day it was free chlorine so I don't know when they changed. In any case, these can react with certain compounds in the beer and produce some funny flavours. A pinch of potassium metabisulphite, or a campden tablet, in the water will break them down. I'm actually off to Cannon Hill today to get some campden tablets.

19 Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 9:51 AM

Yep, I reckon you're right Mr Blotto!
Come to think of it, it would have been too warm for too long.

Oh well, off to the brew shop and try again!.

Ralph

20 Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 6:11 PM

Did you squeeze your grain bag? This can cause odd tastes in the beer. It happened to me with the Steam Beer recipe. The taste persisted until the last bottle.

You can squeeze your hop bag but not specialty grains.