Posts tagged ‘all-grain’

007 – Clementine’s Molasses Porter

Well, the day is here and it is time to find out if I can make a decent all-grain beer! I have my grains all converted and it is time to sparge as we speak! First a bit of catch-up:

The Recipe:

11 ½ lbs. pale malt
1 lb crystal malt (60L)
3/4 lb. chocolate malt
1/3 lb. black patent malt
1 cup blackstrap molasses
½ tsp Irish Moss
2 oz. hallertauer (whole) @ 60 min
½ oz. Cascade (whole) @ 10 min
American Ale Yeast (Dry)

Target gravity: 1.060
Target IBU’s: 36.2


Step Mash

50 min at 147° followed by 1 hr 50 min at 153°. My 147° was a little closer to 149°. 153° was right on. I got this schedule from the book The Brewer’s Companion by Randy Mosher. This book is a must have when you get to all-grain!

007 pic 1


5 gallons of sparge water at 180° for a total of 45 min of time. It actually was only about 25 minutes…I’ll have to work on that and see how big a deal timing is on that. The sparge arm worked like a champ though! I may have drilled too many/ too big holes.

007 pic 2


90 min boil with the following additions:
2 oz hallertauer at 90 min
1/2 tsp irish moss at 15 minutes
0.5 oz cascade at 10 min
The new burner seems to work alright and it looks like it is boiling away happily although I cannot see the liquid because of all the steam because it is only 30° outside…

007 pic 3

Whoops! I only ended up with 3.5 gallons of wort after the boil. I’ll have to devise a better way of working that out…I added tap water to bring it up to 5.5 gallons.

Icooled with the wort chiller to 75° in 17 minutes. I pitched the yeast and then cleaned up.

Well, that was quite the experience. It gives me a new appreciation for extract brewing – it’s much quicker, that’s for sure. But it was a good experience and the beer will be wonderful. It’s a good feeling to know I took grains and made beer all by myself.


Today I racked Clementine’s Porter. I sneaked a taste and was very pleased. It is very chocolatey with just a hint of molasses. Very good indeed. The SG was 1.011. I will bottle next weekend.


I’m bottling Clementine’s Porter today. I’ve decided to do 3 gallons with the normal proportion of dextrose sugar, but for the other 2 gallons I am priming with molasses (at the rate of 1 cup per 5 gallons). I’m only doing two gallons of the molasses-primed stuff because I think it may overpower the beer. But it may be perfect – who knows…


March 3, 2008 at 11:25 am 4 comments


Well, my all-grain setup is finally complete. My sister had a propane tank just chilling in the corner of her garage, and it turns out that she didn’t even want it! Wow, that is just one more thing I got free.

I need to add it up:

The mash tun and draining apparatus was $30. The Keg was $15 plus another $15 for cutting supplies and $35 for the stainless steel spigot. The burner was $40 which included a 30 gallon pot that I will use to boil water. I’ll even include the $8 I spent on a 3 gallon pot at the thrift store. I’ve got an all grain setup for under $150. I don’t know about you, but I think that is pretty good. I still want to build a sparge water distributer, but that shouldn’t be more than $15.

Thrift is part of the fun in this for me. I could just go buy the commercial stuff, but finding deals is half the fun!

February 24, 2008 at 9:48 am Leave a comment

Clementine’s Molasses Porter – Round II

So this next batch will be my first batch of all-grain beer. I though it fitting to pull out a batch I already did and try to improve it.

Clementine’s Brew Kettle

The original Recipe:

3 ½ lb light malt extract
3 ½ lb amber malt extract
1 lb crystal malt (60L)
½ lb. chocolate malt
¼ lb. Black Patent Malt
½ cup blackstrap molasses
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 tsp gypsum
½ tsp Irish Moss
1 oz. liberty (pellets) @ 60 min
½ oz. Cascade (pellets) @ 0 min
American Ale Yeast (Dry)

The biggest question is how I will replace the amber extract. I think I want a little more of a chocolatey note in the beer, so I’ll make up lost color with more chocolate malt (1 lb).

So on to creating my recipe:
I want to match the OG of the original, 1060. To do this, I’ll find the number of total gravity units I need to create the desired OG. First, I need to convert the extract potential of my fermentables into Gravity Units (GU’s). All a GU is is subtracting 1 from the number and then multiplying by 1000. Thus, 1.030 becomes 30 GU’s.

next I multiply by gallons of the wort of the final batch:
5.5 gal of final volume after boil * 60 GU desired OG = 330 TGU (total gravity units)
What this means is that I need to get 330 TGU’s from all of the combined fermentable ingredients.

Now that I know how many TGU’s I need, I’ll work backwards a bit to find how many GU’s the specialty grains will cover:
[eq: lbs of malt = GU’s contributed by this malt / (extract potential of malt GU’s * mash efficiency %)]

  • 1 lb crystal: 1 = x / (34 * 0.68) = 23.1
  • 1 lb chocolate: 1 = x / (30 * 0.68) = 20.4
  • .25 lb black: 0.25 = x / (27 * 0.68) = 4.6

These add up to a total of 48 GU’s of the total 330. That means I want to add 282 more GU’s worth of base malt.

  • Pale Malt: x=282 / (36 * 0.68) = 11.5 lbs of pale malt

So here is my revised recipe:

11 ½ lbs. pale malt
1 lb crystal malt (60L)
1 lb. chocolate malt
¼ lb. black patent malt
1 ½ cups blackstrap molasses
1 tsp gypsum
½ tsp Irish Moss
1 oz. liberty (pellets) @ 60 min
½ oz. Cascade (pellets) @ 0 min
American Ale Yeast (Dry)

You may have noticed I got rid of the brown sugar. This is because sucrose (table sugar) does not add any desirable qualities to a beer, and the flavor that I want from brown sugar is actually just the molasses. I could boil the brown sugar and add it for some caramel/molasses flavoring, but I’ll just take it out and add more molasses. I am also going to try using molasses as priming sugar for half the batch (assuming preliminary tastings go well), just to see how that turns out. I want this to be MOLASSES porter. but not overly so.

The BU’s of the last batch were around 20, and I liked where it was or perhaps a little higher (~25 IBU). I am going to switch the bittering hops to an English variety however. I’ll go with golding, challenger, fuggle, or maybe go with northern brewer. We’ll see what I can find down at Hops and Berries.

I’ll boil for 90 minutes, to get some more caramelization going.

I’m not going to brew this for a week or two. I’ll try to have some camera action so I can well document my first all-grain attempt though.

February 5, 2008 at 12:35 pm 5 comments

Why Not?

Igloo Drink CoolerI got a little ambitious at Hops and Berries the other day when I went to get keg conversion materials. I got about 4 lbs. of grain for my IPA because I was so excited to have a brew kettle. However, the brew kettle won’t work until I find some money for a burner. I now have an emergency, I need to make myself a mash tun. As it happens, I was at my local Habitat for Humanity Thrift Shop yesterday and found a lovely little cooler that looked quite lonely sitting there, so I went ahead and bought it. I mean, for a measly $5, you would too, right? It was in descent shape, so I cleaned it out and soaked it with PBW overnight.

Now I just needed some sort of false bottom. I went down to Lowes and picked up all the fittings including the drain cock, a length of 1/2″ pipe, and some elbows and threaded ends. I decided to go with CPVC instead of copper because it was much cheaper and did not require me to solder. It is good up to 180°, and so I saw no downside, as that is hotter than I would ever be mashing.

I got home and immediately realized that I had gotten all the wrong size. MEASURE TWICE, buy once. So, it was back in the car and down to Lowes again, returned everything I had bought and got it all in 3/4″ CPVC that fit perfectly in the spigot hole already in the cooler. I had also picked up a metal pie plate at the thrift store for the purpose of making it into a false bottom, but after a lot of tinkering, I couldn’t get it to work (insert 3 wasted man-hours here). The pie plate was too high and interfered with the hose input, so I could not connect a hose under the plate. After bashing at it wih a hammer in n attempt to make it all fit, I realized that resistance was futile and it was back to Lowes (for the third time today).

Drainage ManifoldSo it was on to plan B. This time, I bought (4) 3/4″ elbow pieces and a ‘T’ piece to make a drainage manifold. I had lots of left over pipe at home to put it all together. It was fairly simple to do once I got all the pieces. I just glued all the elbows to make a square with the ‘T’ on one side. The ‘T’ in turn connects to the spigot via a clear food-grade plastic tube. I chose the flexible tube because it allowed the manifold to sit on the bottom of the cooler nicely and allowed an easy disconnect point. I then drilled a million little holes on the bottom side of the manifold to make it drain the sweet elixir of grains to my brewpot.

All that was left was to put it all together. Now I just need to sit down with Papazian (The Complete Joy of Homebrewing) and figure out how to use it, and then try it out and see if it all works! Oh, by the way, I still have to make one more trip to Lowes to get some gaskets…

For only ~$35, I’ve got a sweet mash tun!

Mash Tun

January 26, 2008 at 8:11 am 2 comments

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