Another brew is underway, based on the Bank’s Hanson’s Mild recipe from Graham Wheeler’s Brew Your Own British Real Ale. As with the Slow Flowers batch, I’ve used my Codlo to assist. This time I broke the mashing into three parts: 3.5l each time, which left a bit more room at the top of the slow cooker when the grains were added but a total volume into copper of 10.5l.
Something odd happened with the gravity of the beer though. I had a slightly higher proportion of pale malt to water compared to the recipe, based on rounding it to sensible figures after scaling, but it wasn’t far enough out to explain why the target gravity was 1.035 and I hit 1.058. I expect to get a bit more efficiency with both mashing in the full volume of water and with holding the mash accurately to temperature but this is a significant jump.
I think that it might be because, after each batch, I put the wort in my sanitised 13l stock pot but didn’t perform the step of “mashing out” (raising the temperature to stop any further conversion of starches to sugars). 3.5l had an extra three hours before I started the 90 minute boil and, although the temperature would have started to fall below conversion level, it would have been boosted back when the next 3.5l was added. Next time I’ll probably do a three-batch mash again for the volume increase but mash out each one as it goes into the pot.
Last night I added a litre of boiled and cooled water, bringing the gravity down to about 1.045 and got the yeast added. It is now tucked away with the brew belt. I’d wanted to try a slightly lower fermenting temperature but the Codlo only goes down to 20°C (really being designed for cooking at about three times that temperature) so I’ll just have to make sure I start the gravity readings fairly early.
It will be interesting to see where it bottoms out and what (in a month or so’s time) the final result is like. However, given that it rose as high as the moon in the first stage of brewing, I’ve decided to christen this one Mild Gravity to note the point.