Sixth All-Grain Brew: Ordinary Bitter


Rainy Saturday in New Orleans = cooler than normal so we took advantage and had a combo botting and brew day.

Went with No Short Measure Ordinary Bitter recipe from Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer with one big change: Fuggles instead of Kent Goldings hops as our beer supply store was out.

One problem we have encountered with all-grain brewing is getting the mash to the recommended temperature.  With an American Pale Ale Father Jack forgot to preheat the mash tun and did not get the strike water hot enough for 13.5 lbs of grain.  For our Belgian Pale Ale we overcompensated by preheating the mash tun and had the strike water at 165 degrees which left the initial mash temperature around 160.

Mash temperature is 152 degrees F with 8.75 lbs of grain.  We preheated the mash tun with boiling water and went with a strike temperature of 158 degrees.  Lost three degrees immediately after adding strike water and lost seven to eight degrees by the end of the mash: ended at 150-151 degrees.  Hopefully that yielded a good wort.

Another problem we encounter is getting the hot wort cool enough to transfer to fermenter in a short amount of time.  We also tried using a plastic tub for the ice bath instead of the kitchen sink as the tub provides greater depth.  The results were better, but it still feels like forever and a day to get the wort down to under 80 degrees.  One of these days we will invest in an immersion chiller or a plate chiller, but probably not any time soon…


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