Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Batch 106, Oktoberfest

It's that time of year, time for Oktoberfest brewing!

Last year I did a full on, triple decoction mash. This year, I went with a double decoction instead.

10 gallon batch

10 lbs 2-row (I know, I should have made the trip and got some Pilsner malt)
10 lbs Munich 10L
1 lb wheat

3 oz Hallertau, 60 min

1 tsp Irish Moss, 15 min

Wyeast 2206 Bavarian Lager yeast

OG: 1.060 actual

Mash process:

Heated 6 gallons of water to 120F, dough in with 1 qt/lb. Using Palmer's equations, I should have hit around 104F, but I was a little high (110F? I should have paid more attention), so I added 3 qts cold water to get to 104F, for a total of 24 qts for dough in.

An actual dough in at 104F on the dot.

I let that sit for about 20 minutes, then again using Palmer's equations, I added 9 qts of 180F water, which should have brought the temp up to 122F for a protein rest, but it didn't. I ended up adding 6 more qts of 180F water and then overshot a little and ended up at 126F. Close enough, my fancy thermometer says I'm in the protein rest range.

A little high on the protein rest, I was aiming for 122F, but added a little too much hot water and got 126F. That is still in range.

I let that sit for about 15 minutes, then pulled the first decoction. I had 12 gallons total in the mash tun, so I pulled out 4 gallons of fairly thick mash to another pot. I covered the mash tun so it would stay at 126F, then heated the second pot of mash to 155F and held for 20 minutes, then raised to boiling and held for 5 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid scorching. I appear to have been successful -- no scorching, and when I added the decoction back into the main mash, I hit 150F. Last year I missed the temps and had to adjust with my heat exchanger. I was actually aiming for 148F, but I am not complaining.

I'm using the canning pot. It's a little small, but I can lift it and pour it back in the main mash tun.

I let that sit for 30 minutes, then pulled the second decoction. I did an iodine test, conversion is complete at this point. I pulled 4 gallons of regular mash, that is, I stirred, got the mash fairly consistent, then took out 4 gallons. I should have taken 6 gallons, but my pot isn't that big, so after bringing it to a boil and holding for 5 minutes and adding it back, I didn't get up to mashout temp. I added more hot water from the HLT to get to mash out, then recirced and sparged. I collected 13.5 gallons in the boil pot. The rest of the brew day went well. I'm going to ferment this in the freezer in the basement using my new Johnson controller. The fermenters are still a little warm (62F vs target 50F), so I'll pitch the yeast in the morning.

That's Buddy, checking things out. I had to put up the fireplace screen because he wouldn't stay away and singed his hair.

Sacchrification rest, right at 148F. Nice!

Boiling the last decoction for mash out.

OG: 1.060 actual

Update, Mar 23: pitched the yeast. The Johnson seems to be working well, the thermometer I put in the freezer says 50F.

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