Replacing some base malt with DME for a BIG Beer

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Replacing some base malt with DME for a BIG Beer

Post by aamcle » 1 year ago

Evening All.

If you have time to look this over I'd really appreciate some advice.

In January I'd like to brew "Effin Stout" it's a RIS with a OG of about 1.104, for 20 liters it takes 7kg of base malt and near to ten in total.

Reasonably gear will mash 5 - 6 kg I don't think I can maxi baib it as it just wouldn't fit.

7000g Pale Malt
850g Flaked Maize (GW Recipe uses Maltose Syrup)
790g Amber Malt
500g Crystal Malt (105L - Standard Crystal)
500g Chocolate Malt
250g Black Malt
It's a huge grain bill for 20 litres !!!

The Crystal, Chocolate and Black just need soaking but I think the Amber and Flaked need mashing.

Would I run into problems if I replace 5000g of the Pale with DME? There would still be 2000g of pale to provide the needed enzymes.

I've never added large amounts of DME to a batch what's the best way to go about it?
Alternativly could I do two mashes? One with 5kg of pale then a second mash with the other ingreadients combining both worts for the boil. It would save a small fortune if I can! I'm not liking the cost of all that DME.

Many Thanks aamcle

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Post by Lumpy5oh » 1 year ago

I believe you could do 2 mashes. I had read somewhere(can't find it now) a RIS being brewed with 2 separate mashes. The first batch is boiled and the second is added as the volume is boiled off. It takes longer to boil than a regular batch. You also would need to figure out your boil off rate to determine when to add the hops.
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Post by thughes » 1 year ago

aamcle, I've never done a beer that big but I have seem mention of others using DME to reduce the grain bill and raise the OG. My thoughts would be to use as much grain as you possibly can and DME for the remainder.

Hopefully someone with some experience in this area will jump in shortly,

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Post by LI Mike D » 1 year ago

thughes wrote:aamcle, I've never done a beer that big but I have seem mention of others using DME to reduce the grain bill and raise the OG. My thoughts would be to use as much grain as you possibly can and DME for the remainder.

Hopefully someone with some experience in this area will jump in shortly,

---Todd

I agree. BIAB is striking a balance among taste, convenience and fun. The gentleman that runs my home brew supply recommended using some DME on big beers since I brew 1 gal batches in a 3 gal tamale pot and some of the grain bills on the bigger beers would turn that convenience into a logistical challenge (if that is your cup of tea, then by all means go for it). An extract with specialty grains will produce a very very good beer giving the brewer the ability to tweak a recipe to his/her personal tastes. An all grain BIAB supplemented with DME, IMO, swings the balance way over to a classic all grain mash and in the spirit if why we do BIAB.

As Clint Eastwood says, "A man has to know his limits" .
Last edited by LI Mike D on 29 Oct 2016, 00:31, edited 1 time in total.


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Replacing some base malt with DME for a BIG Beer

Post by Contrarian » 1 year ago

I've added DME to big beers before but never such a big proportion. That doesn't mean it won't work though!

Another approach is to split the grain bill and mash in the same liquid twice. So mash in with half the grain bill and then pull the bag, squeeze it out and empty the bag. Then put the bag back in and add the second half of the grain after adjusting the temperature of required. I know a brewer who does this will all their big beers and he makes very good beer!

It does mean that you are essentially doing a 3 hour or so mash though so it does extend the brew day a bit but you can get a lot done while the mash is on!


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Post by aamcle » 1 year ago

I've been reading around and it seem that I can split the mash. It would make a long day but I would get my RIS.
Mash 1/2 full volume for min 90 mins, lift and squeeze.
Sparge until up to volume, mash the other 1/2 for a couple of hours using the wort from the first mash, lift an squeeze. Check the OG adjust as needed.

A long day but all achievable.

Aamcle


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Post by Kumamoto_Ken » 8 months ago

aamcle wrote:I've been reading around and it seem that I can split the mash. It would make a long day but I would get my RIS.
Mash 1/2  full volume for min 90 mins, lift and squeeze.
Sparge until up to volume, mash the other 1/2 for a couple of hours using the wort from the first mash, lift an squeeze. Check the OG adjust as needed.

A long day but all achievable.

Aamcle
Hi Aamcle, did you end up using this method? How did it go?
I am approaching a milestone brew and was thinking of a Barley Wine.
I BIAB, 40L Crown Urn and no-chill so there are real limits to the gravity I'll be able to achieve without simply adding DME to get to where I want to be.
Cheers,
Ken


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Re: Replacing some base malt with DME for a BIG Beer

Post by aamcle » 5 months ago

I did a reiterating mash, 2 x 6kg and got a final brewhouse efficiency of about 66% a little lower than I had hoped.

Summary.

I didn’t quite get there the OG is only 1.086 and I had wanted over 1.10.

I did extract enough sugar but as I didn’t sparge the grain into the Stout my OG was lower than I had hoped.
However sparging the grain to make the parti gyle gave me 15.5 litres of wort at an OG of 1.032 that’s about 1.022 diluted to 23 litres. So had the grain been sparged into the stout it would have had a gravity over 1.1

Details. Not too many each brewery is different.

The grain bill was 12 kg which is too much for my 40 litre Buffalo boiler BIAB rig so I performed two mashes of 6kg each the second was done in the wort from the first.

39 litres of water was needed to produce 23 litres of wort from the total amount of grain. The water was treated accordance with the Brewer's Friend calculator using a profile for Stout.

Mash 1 --- 6Kg 27 litres of water 65 °C 90 mins.

15 minutes into the mash I added an extra 2g of CaCl2 (advice from Eric) and checked the pH it was 5.3. After a total of 90 minutes the pH was 4.8 and the SG was 1.055 so I brought the pH up with a little sodium bicarbonate and mashed for an extra twenty minutes however SG did not change. (110 minutes total).

Mash 2---6Kg 33 litres of water 65 °C 90 mins.

At this point I made an error after adding the remaining water I didn’t heat it to strike temperature so Mash 2 was slow to get to 65 °C.
After 15 mins at temperature the pH was 5.4 and 2g of CaCl2 was added, at 30 mins the pH had fallen to 5.2 and was again raised with a small addition of sodium bicarbonate.

Pre-boil the pH was 5.2, the volume 26 litres and the SG 1.072.

Only one hop addition was made at the start of the boil to give an IBU of 65.

The OG was 1.086, it’s fermenting at 17°C with 2 packets of M42.

Parti Gyle.

I dunk sparged the grain, not an efficient process even so I obtained 15.5 litres of wort at a SG of 1.032 to which I added one can of Cooper Draught Ale and 5g of MgSo4 before making the volume up so that after a 30 minute boil I got 23 litres into a no-chill cube.


Conclusion.
That was one long day but I have a big stout fermenting and another beer ready to go as soon as the fridge is free. I’m not sure what type the gyle is, Bitter, Brown, Mild etc, I’ll have to wait and see.

The reiterating mashing is a lot of work and careful attention must be given to pH but it does have the potential to produce High OG batches even using BIAB.
If I ever do another reiterating mash it will not be by BIAB as sparging a double BIAB grain bill is inefficient and inconvenient.

With my equipment the sweet spot seems to end with a maximum grain bill of about 5kg and an ABV in the region of 5%.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1mWgk4 ... eGmc_1gJnA

ATB. aamcle


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Re: Replacing some base malt with DME for a BIG Beer

Post by Jamato » 5 months ago

I have experience in doing big beers
about 10 years ago we, me and my brewing partner, went through a stage where we made Scotch ales. some of those get really strong.
anyway we had a set up we mashed for 10 gallons at a time, or just under 38 liters.

We did the double mash where you draw off the first half of each mash and add them for a big beer and mix the second draws for a regular beer to good effect, the problem is handling all the wort back and forth till you get the day finished. I do not know how you will do that with a BIAB system, you need a 3 vessel system to do that. This turned out the best finished beers of all of our trues. it was just a very long day and used a lot of vessels to store wort you have to clean at the end of the day.

We tried the double mash system where you mash once and used that liquor to mash again, not to the same effect of the first system, but it does work, I found out with this we got a few off flavors not everyone could identify. I did not like that system either. Again it meant a long brew day, but it did not mean tons of extra cleaning

after about or 5th attempt we did the mash as much as you can and add DME to the boil. That system worked the best.
Because DME has already been boiled we decided to add it in the last 10 minutes of the boil, we therefore had a thinner wort to work on the hops and we also did not have a large caramelizing of the DME sugars.

In Scotch ale you ant some caramelizing, just be careful because the higher the gravity or liquor in the boil the more sugar touching the bottom of the kettle at any one time, those sugars are getting cooked really good until they rotate to upper levels of the kettle. All big beers have this problem. Adding the DME late in the boil lessens the sugars time near extreme heat.

Those were my experiments, I thought I would include them as points to consider. If I was to make a Imperial Stout, Scotch Ale, or Barley wine today I would definitely do a BIAB as much as I could and add DME to the end of the boil. The reasoning is I am limited to my equipment and I do not shrink from DME, It is a good product and has it's uses even in a All Grain brewers repertoire. I view it as adding 2 mashes together. My thoughts, we all have our own.
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Re: Replacing some base malt with DME for a BIG Beer

Post by mally » 5 months ago

aamcle wrote:
<span title="20 Jun 2017, 04:04">5 months ago</span>
The reiterating mashing is a lot of work and careful attention must be given to pH but it does have the potential to produce High OG batches even using BIAB.
If I ever do another reiterating mash it will not be by BIAB as sparging a double BIAB grain bill is inefficient and inconvenient.
I think the main problem Aamcle is you are/were too greedy. You want too much volume (and gravity) for the equipment you have.

I am not saying the BIAB process for high gravity beers is easier/better/more efficient than other systems, but I have done beers like this before (1.096) with one mash and not had a problem other than the expected reduced extraction efficiency.

Although I appreciate you are talking about re-iterated mashes. However, I have never had to do that either.
Last edited by mally on 20 Jun 2017, 14:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Replacing some base malt with DME for a BIG Beer

Post by aamcle » 5 months ago

It was an interesting experiment one I will probably not repeat if or when I brew another big beer I will use my current equipment which allows for better mashing. I'd still do a reiterating mash but with better mashing I'd get a better gravity.

aamcle


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Re: Replacing some base malt with DME for a BIG Beer

Post by PistolPatch » 5 months ago

The issue of high gravity beers is not one of single vessel all-grain brewing (SVAG - pure BIAB) versus multi vessel all-grain brewing (MVAG - traditional all-grain); it's a completely different issue, the issue being that you are trying to wash a large amount of grain in a small amount of water.

If you haven't read up on "dirty jeans" on this site, try and find a few posts on that. Pretty sure I've written some very detailed ones on that within the last six months. Once you've read and understood the "dirty jeans" analogy, then you'll know the following...

The effectiveness with which you can wash grain (get the sugars from them into your water) mainly depends on the amount of grain versus the amount you wash with. Other things that effect this are agitation, temperature and pH. All of these things, regardless of the all-grain system you use, can be optomised. In other words, the brewer, regardless of system, can control agitation, temperature and pH. (The SVAG brewer does havbe one advantage though, no vessel "dead-space" losses).

Reiterating Mash (and Sparging)

I like that term aamcle ;) however there is only one practical instance for it and that is when your kettle is too small for what you are demanding (that's what mally mentioned above.) For example...

If my high gravity recipe demanded 10kgs of grain with a Total Water Needed (TWN - Section K of BIABacus) of 35L but my kettle was only 40L, then I have a problem because the grain and all the water won't fit in my kettle in one hit. If my kettle was big enough though, and I could add the everything, there is no other method that will get a better result than doing that.

So, when people have a small kettle, they are forced to compromise: you can re-iterate the mash, sparge the mash or a combination. Those things though, will give you a better end result than if your ketttle was big enough to take everything in one hit.

So, what are the real answers for a high gravity beer?

There are only two solutions to brewing a high gravity beer:

1. Add some type of sugar: You'll notice that most high gravity beers do have some sort of sugar in the recipe. The reason for this is because the only other alternative is...

2. Increase Evaporation During the Boil (usually by extending boil time): Occasionally you'll find a high gravity beer without added sugar, but, with a very long boil time, 3 hours or so. Why? Because, extending the boil time is the simplest way of increasing evaporation and, the more evaporation you have, the more concentrated your wort becomes. (The only other way I can think of for a home brewer to increase evaporation would be to have a fan blowing on top of the wort as it boils.)

The Law of Diminishing Returns

This is another point, whilst relevant to any gravity brew, it is particularly relevant to high-gravity all-grain brewing. Two examples of this law are...

- The longer you mash for, the better extraction you'll get however, the sugar extracted per minute diminishes and will eventually equal zero.
- You can get super high gravity as long as you evaporate enough. For example, you could boil your wort down to a syrup.

Finally, just imagine...

Let's say you had a kettle and a recirculating system and that this recirculating system could evenly suck from the bottom of your mash tun (or kettle in the case of SVAG) and sprinkle it evenly over the top of your mash.

Let's say you were re-circulating 40L of water though 10kg of crushed grain, over and over, for 24 hours.

Now imagine you had the same set-up but you only added 5kg of grain, ran your system for 12 hours then swapped the 5kg of grain with a fresh 5kg and ran the system for another 12 hours.

Which method would result in the "sweet liquor" with the highest gravity?

;)
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Re: Replacing some base malt with DME for a BIG Beer

Post by aamcle » 5 months ago

There is a fair bit on the net about reiterating mashes and I read a good deal of it before I considered doing it, it works but water treatment is a bitch, you are more or less guessing after the first mash. Fortunately I was able to get advice from a much more experienced and able brewer.
Even so I resorted to a pH meter and constant checking it didn't go badly and although much too young to be at it's best the beer seems to be progressing well which is what's important.

I was half asleep when wrote my previous post and it's mainly gibberish even by my poor standards, my current brewery is a Kettle RIMS with a BrewEasy/Grainfather hybrid MT which enables much better sparging and so better recovery of sugars.

I've done only 2 batches with it so far one FVM (so easy!) and one with sparging, I'm still learning the system and expect to make further changes so I can further increase the volume of sparge water.

So far all I can share is that it has bumped up my recovery, temperature control is excellent and it's very easy to clean. Definite numbers are several batches in the future..

ATB. aamcle

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