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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Scott's BIG IPL - Alchemy Guild

The grains
After Christmas I took a few days off to hang out around the house and catch up on some projects.  One of the things I really wanted to do was spend a couple of days brewing, including a double brew day where I brewed up two recipes of Scott's BIG IPL.

The first of the IPLs I codenamed Alchemy Guild.  Alchemy Guild revisited the All Grain malt bill that I had come up with for Scott's BIG IPL w/Citra and returned to the hop bill of the original 2 versions.  I did this because I was somewhat let down by the way the Simcoe and Citra seemed to interact in the last batch.  I also dropped my efficiency down to 60% in hopes of nailing my targeted 1.078 gravity.

The IPL Double Brewday Schedule
I had to get a pretty early start on it as I was doing two batches back to back and I wanted to be done around lunch time.  To keep myself on track I created a gantt chart in excel outlining all the major steps and time I estimated each step would take.  The was to determine when specific pieces of equipment would be free primary the main burner.   From there it was a simple manor of working backwards for the other IPL, which I'll go into more detail on Thursday.

For the most part the schedule went really well, there were I few items that I had failed to take into account but I was able to make up the time at later steps (mostly by combining my batch sparges).

Almost par for the course with me and All Grain I came up a little under my gravity (1.073) which is getting pretty frustrating.  I need to spend some time really studying how people are mashing as well as take a look at some other factors I think are at play.  I'm going to stick with batch sparging as I've read it helps cut down time and most only experience a few additional points of efficiency yet an hour or two more time commitment.



Scott's BIG IPL - Alchemy Guild
Double IPL
Type: All Grain Date: 12/27/2011
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Brewer: Scott Bennett
Asst Brewer: DG
Boil Size: 7.65 gal
Boil Time: 75 min
Equipment: Brew Pot (15 Gal) and Igloo/Gott Cooler (10 Gal)
End of Boil Volume 6.24 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.0% - Ended up being 58.6%
Fermentation: Scott's IPL Lager

Beer Profile 

Est Original Gravity: 1.078 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.073 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.016 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 8.2 %
Bitterness: 106.2 IBUs
Est Color: 7.3 SRM 


9.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 4 52.3 %
5.40 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 5 31.4 %
0.60 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 6 3.5 %
0.60 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 15L (15.0 SRM) Grain 7 3.5 %
0.60 lb Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 8 3.5 %
1.00 lb Rice DME (7.0 SRM) Dry Extract 11 5.8 %

0.75 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - First Wort 75.0 min
0.75 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - First Wort 75.0 min
0.75 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 17.0 min
0.75 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 17.0 min
0.80 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Boil 7.0 min Hop 16 8.5 IBUs
0.80 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 17 4.5 IBUs

Dry Hops
1.00 oz Cascade (1st Dry Hop) [5.50 %] - Dry Hop 14.0 Days
1.00 oz Columbus (1st Dry Hop) [14.00 %] - Dry Hop 14.0 Days
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold (2nd Dry Hop) [8.50 %] - Dry Hop 21.0 Days
1.00 oz Simcoe (2nd Dry Hop) [13.00 %] - Dry Hop 21.0 Days

Large Starter of American Lager Yeast (White Labs #WLP840)

10.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins)
5.00 g Calcium Chloride (Mash 60.0 mins)
1.00 tbsp PH 5.2 Stabilizer (Mash 60.0 mins)
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) 1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins)

Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 17.20 lb
Sparge Water: 5.13 gal
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F

Mash Steps
Mash In Add 5.26 gal of water at 164.3 F 153.0 F 60 min
Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 2 steps (0.90gal, 4.23gal) of 168.0 F water

Fermentation Schedule
Primary for 10-12 days at 55.0 F until fermentation slows
Diacetyl Rest for 2 days at 65.0 F
Secondary for 14 days at 50.0 F ending at 45.0 F
Tertiary for 21 days at 45.0 F ending at 40.0 F

Cold Morning Start
The Schedule
Heating Strike Water
Measuring the grain temp to adjust in BeerSmith
Bag Ripped
Slight loss
My Assistant Brewer
The measured additions
First wort hops
It's breaking through...
On the left, 5.5 Gallons might be a low estimate


  1. I have very similar mash equipment as you (10 gallon gott with false bottom ...right?) and I batch sparge too. I set my brewhouse efficiency at 75%.

    Do you know if your low brewhouse efficiency is actually an issue with your mash? Could it be more of an issue with how much liquid you leave behind in your pot? It looks like you are adding your hops naked (no hop bag) and I know you tend to add lots of them. Maybe you are getting more "gunk" in the boil kettle than you are expecting?

    Just a thought. Don't know if that helps or not.

    If you have it narrowed down to the mash, do you stir every 15 minutes or so during the mash? I find that helps quite a bit. Also, stirring the sparge and letting it sit for 10 minutes seems to help.

  2. I usually hit between 70-75% brewhouse efficiency as well. I'm noticing on my bigger beers, it drops off significantly. I just brewed up an imperial oatmeal stout and hit 59% efficiency causing me to drop from a target OG of 1.084 to 1.070, barely making it an imperial. I hit a similar efficiency when I brewed a barley wine: Targeted OG of 1.112; actual was 1.093.


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