Snooty Cooter Brew Day

I wanted to brew a beer inspired by the bar. So I chose a Belgian ale, something like a Belgian red ale or a Belgian Dubbel.

Snooty Cooter

Recipe

Information

Method Style Boil Size Batch Size Efficiency
Brew in a Bag Belgian Red 3 gal 2.5 gal 60% Target

Stats

OG FG ABV (alternate) IBU (tinseth) SRM
17.8º P 3.0º P 8.5% ABV 32.44 14.41

Target Water profile: Chimay (boiled)

Ca+2 Mg+2 Na+ Cl SO4-2
30 7 7 21 21

I’ve found that trying to recreate this water exactly wasn’t very easy. So, here’s my salt additions and the actual numbers I’m gonna go with:

Water additions

Gypsum 0.70g
Sodium Chloride 0.25g
Calcium Chloride 0.60g
Lactic Acid 2.0g
Ca+2 Mg+2 Na+ Cl SO4-2
26.5 0 8 35.9 31.8

Estimated mash pH: 5.40

It’s close enough to what I want I guess…ok. 

Fermentables

5.0 lbs Château Pilsner
0.25 lb Weyermann CaraRed
0.25 lb Weyermann CaraMunich I
1.0 lb Belgian Candi Syrup D-45
100 g DME Pilsen (starter)

Hop Schedule

1 oz Hallertau Mittelfruh (4% AA) First Wort 32.44 IBU

Yeast

WLP500 – Monastery Ale (Chimay). I pitched 1 fresh tube into a 1 liter starter in the morning of brew day, and let it stir all day. 

Brew Day

So, two things.

First, I forgot to make my starter last night, which I guess is fine as long as I get it stirring in the morning and pitch it on the beer later in the night. This beer could easily be getting up to or over 18ºP. So I’m hoping one pack of white labs on a starter will be sufficient…. And as I am typing this in the morning, I see Brulosophy has a brand new article on this very subject matter: http://brulosophy.com/2018/09/03/yeast-pitch-rate-pt-8-yeast-starter-vs-direct-pitch-in-high-og-belgian-ale-exbeeriment-results/ … with that in mind, I think I’ll be fine. 

Second, my Inkbird controller hasn’t been working, it’s been freezing my water bucket when set in the mid 60s (F). So I’m supposed to have a package arrive “by the end of the day,” and I’m hoping it’s enough time to cool my chamber down without any freezing issues…. 

My ink bird has arrived! …time to brew.


 

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I brought my strike water with the aforementioned mineral additions up to about 150, where I usually do to dough in. I set my timer for 90 minutes, and came back to see I was mashing a little low around 146, not going to be too big of an issue, but I covered the lid with some weights to tighten up the seal, and quickly approached something much closer to my usual mash temp of 150F.

IMG_2127

After the mash, I pulled the bag out, put it over my second runnings kettle, and gave it a few squeezes.

I added 1oz of Hallertau Mittelfruh plus 1 pound of Candi Syrup D-45 to my first wort, and compared it to my second runnings.

I sparged 3 quarts of DI water through the grain bag, and with ample squeezing, I topped up to 3 gallons in the boil kettle.

IMG_2138

I took a gravity reading, and wasn’t so pleased with what I saw. I’m looking at a preboil gravity of 12.8ºP… much much lower than the anticipated 15ºP…Looks like my efficiencies are going to be awful. Why such low gravities?? My suspicion is that I didn’t mill the grains enough, looking at the spent grains I can spot more than few whole kernels in there.

IMG_2139

After the boil I cooled down the wort, strained it through a nylon bag. A gravity reading in my refractometer read 16.4 with slightly over 9 quarts. I pitched my 1 liter starter in and presumed about 10.5 quarts, and grabbed a final gravity reading of about 15.8. I moved the fermenter into the chamber, and will let it sit for 7-10 days at ~68ºF. 

IMG_2144

Overall stats on the day read 64% efficiency, 6% away from my target. In the past, I’ve gotten at least 85% attenuation on this yeast every time I’ve used it. With that in mind, I think I could be looking at a 7.5% beer instead of 8.5%.

 


 

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