The reason we haven't used Vienna or Munich in previous batches is that, as base malts, they must be mashed to convert their starches to fermentable sugars. We've never mashed before, but for this beer we made the effort. We mashed in a bag in the kettle for 60 minutes, using two gallons of water with five pounds of malt and aiming for a mash temperature of 150˚F. It proved more difficult than I anticipated to use the stove to adjust the temperature, so after a few minutes I just turned the stove to low heat and put a towel on the lid. This seemed to work fairly well; the mash ended at 147˚F. We sparged by pouring water (150-160˚F) through the grain bag as it sat in a colander over the kettle.
We ended up with a bit more volume in the kettle than we planned, so we performed a 90 minute boil to boil off some of the water. This increased the calculated IBUs of the beer somewhat, though we would likely have maxed out solubility of iso-alpha acids in our wort anyway. After we cooled the beer and pitched the yeast, John and Andy helped to provide more aeration (i.e., shaking of the beer bucket) than I usually have patience to perform, which should help to ensure the beer ferments to completion.
Batch Size: 5 gal
Boil Volume: 6.5 gal
Mash Size: 2 gal
Mash Thickness: 1.6 quarts/pound
Strike Temperature: 163˚F
End of Mash: 147˚F
Measured OG: 1.079
Measured FG: 1.017 (?)
Estimated ABV: 8.0
Calculated IBUs (Tinseth): 137
Pitching Temperature: 68F
Yeast: Wyeast 1056 American Ale Yeast
Starter: 3 liters
|Malts Mashed||Amount||%||Max Pts.|
|Other Fermentables||Amount||%||Max Pts.|
7/12/12: Bottled to 2.7 volumes of CO2.
Notes: Hop bag weight insufficient to fully submerge all four ounces of whole cone hops. Dry hop aroma is less intense than expected. Possibly the most bitter beer we've ever made.