Oktoberfest '08 By the numbers

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Oktoberfest '08 By the numbers

OK - So I'm a little late with this one, but I have been distracted by a little side story that caught my attention. All I have to say that even our politicians screw ups are better than those in Georgia.

So this weekend Nick and I brewed up the Oktoberfest from last year. In true Marzen fashion, we brewed this hoss in March and I am going to let it sit till the last week in September where we'll break it out with brots.

We started brewing this guy at around 7:30am (Daylight savings time messed us all up) and it was just Nick and I this time. We were able to brew out of a single mash tun for the first time in a while and it went pretty well. We struck 8 gallons of water at 132 which had our grain at about 123f for the first 35min. To mix the grains up in the hot water, I used my new tool that I got from Home Depot. This is a paint mixer that hooks to my wireless drill and acts as an auger. I made a short video:

After the first 35min rest at 123f, we pulled off about 3.5 gallons of grain/wort mix for our single decoction. This came to a boil within about 20 min of being pulled off and boiled for 3min before being returned to the mash tun. This brought our temp to 155f and held for 45min. As always we mixed and mixed to avoid hot-spots. The drill auger worked out pretty well for all this mixing. I was pleased, well worth the $8.

Once the mash out came, because we were pretty close to full, we pulled off about a gallon and a half of mostly liquid and brought it to a boil. We then added that back to the mash tun for the mash out which was 171f. We sparged with 7 gallons which gave us pretty good volume. Our pre boil gravity was (?).

After everything was all said and done (yes we had a few boil overs) we wound up with a solid 11gallons with an OG of 1.064 - well above the targeted 1.054. I am not sure what is to account for the 69% efficiency in the mashing (up from the usual 60%), but I was not displeased with the result.

We pitched with a 2qt starter that was rested at 44f before being added to the brew buckets. We did not bring the wort down to 44f before adding the yeast, though I have been reading a lot of people saying that we should. Several days in now, it's gone from 1.064 to 1.044, so it is slowly working its magic in that cooler temp. It's been bubbling really slowly.

I think that's it for now. Cheers!


OSBC said...

Nice recipe and props on getting it going early! I need to get some going as well!


Aleda said...

Well written article.