I weighed out my salts, threw them in the pot, and added 10 quarts of De-ionized water. I always build up from DI water, it’s very easy and cheap, 45 cents a gallon at my local Whole Foods. ($5 for 10 gallons of water).
I’m going to mash these grains at 150ºF. The grains were at 82ºF in the cabinet, so that equals a strike Water of 157ºF.
Once it was heated to the right temperature, I killed the heat, slid the kettle off the burner, and dumped in all the grains. Stirred for a couple minutes, put the lid on it, and started my mash timer for 90 minutes.
For sparging with BIAB, bag squeezing has yielded good efficiencies and results for me. When the mash is finished, I remove the grain bag and place it on top of a mesh strainer that rests on my smaller second runnings kettle. From here I squeeze the bag down significantly until I get all the liquid out. Then I take my 3 quart copper tea kettle with warm DI water and SLOWLY pour warm water over the grains, rinsing and rehydrating all the grains. I let the bag sit for about a minute, and then squeeze it all down again. This process is repeated many times, as I’m only adding about half a quart back to the grain bag each time I sparge it, which is about 8 times rehydrated and squeezed with my set up. In total I make sure to sparge 4 quarts of DI water. I don’t worry about adding any minerals to my sparge water. People have told me otherwise, I’ve noticed no ill effects.
I added my sparge runnings back to the boil kettle, getting slightly more than 3 gallons, added 4oz of Pilsen DME, and 8oz of Lactose. Pre-boil gravity ~12.6ºP.
Boil time: 60 min
@15 I dumped in 1oz of Experimental Stone Fruit hops. This smells like fucking fruit loops. Awesome. Definitely getting some good fruit aromas off this, which I want. Cool.
@5 I dumped in 1oz of Mosaic hops.
I killed the heat and moved the kettle to a hot pad on the counter, started stirring hard, and dumped in my whirlpool additions (1oz EXP Stone Fruit, 1oz Mosaic, .3oz of Butterfly Pea Blossoms).
For whirlpooling, being on a tiny setup, I stir by hand for 15 minutes. I also do my whirlpool additions at a higher temperature (north of 200ºF) rather than the recommended 170ºF. I prefer some isomerization to occur at the hotter temps.
Ending kettle gravity: 17.5ºP
.3oz of picked blue heads was yielding a rather green looking wort… So I tossed in an extra .3oz of unpicked blossoms at about 7 min left in the whirlpool.
As it’s cooling down in the ice bath, the top layer of wort is really dark blue. But any stirring and swirling brings up some yellow lupulin and wort making it a forest green color with a lot of shades of blue in it. Interesting. Will play this by eye in the coming week.
A quick filtration process going into the fermenter was done. I filter my beers ONLY when going into the fermenter. I stick a funnel on the carboy, and pour the beer slowly through a nylon mash bag into the funnel. The wort pools up quickly so I squeeze it all down, and pour some more, repeat, etc. I find this aerates the wort well, and lends to a much cleaner wort and a cleaner bottling day.
Brew day complete, 2.5 gallons of wort at 16.6ºP
… if anyone can explain why my ending kettle gravities are always higher than my brew day complete gravities, that’d be great. I assume it’s because of temperature, but a few drops cooled on a refractometer should correct that?
I am going to let this beer ferment at 68ºF 6 days, as I do all my IPAs, crash at around 55ºF on the 7th day, the and then bottle on the 8th day.
Thursday Day 1 – 4:00PM: 10 min after putting it in the chamber, really dark gray blue with trub separation occurring.
Friday Day 2 – 9:41AM: Grayish green color, notable fermentation happening.
Saturday Day 3 – 9:00AM: Still grayish green color. Airlock activity has slowed down. Really does look awful. Maybe need to add more flowers to get some blue color?
Saturday Day 3 – On Saturday night was my first experience scraping vanilla. I found them quite hard to slice open and peel back. I got 2 pods open and scraped out all the gritty vanilla stuff, and threw everything into the fermenter.
Sunday Day 4 – Still looks gross, but upon putting a light really close to the fermenter, there’s a noticeable deep magenta hue. Which might mean there’s plenty of color in this beer, just need to let some of the junk crash out.
I wanted this to finish blue, as the title states, but the beer finished a rather purple color when looking at in the fermenter, and while racking into my kettle and into bottle, it looked really dingy purple… Yikes.
I put the beer into 8 liter bottles, what I was aiming for, and had just enough for a hydrometer reading. Starting from 16.6ºP, the beer finished at 1.023 SG.
I took note of the sample, and poured it into a taster glass, where I noticed a few different colors in different lighting sources.
Naked camera eye: Dark indigo purple color.
Camera with flash on: gray. ehhhh.
HOWEVER, shining a light through the glass, it showed something completely different.
Cool. The sample tasted pretty good. A drinking review to come in 14 days.