with the occasional rant about tin openers...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Home-brewed Tiger Beer – All Grain:

And a bit about mash pH.

Most visits to this blog come from people searching for tiger beer clones. I’ve referenced it a couple of times, including one previous attempt at the beer, which worked really well. It was mooched from the Dave Line ‘Brew beers like those you buy’ book, with a change here or there (not necessarily because I know what I’m doing, or anything). The first attempt worked quite well, I’m pleased to say: a little light for my palate, but it was for Ms Homebrew really, and it suited her nicely.

So for the second January in a row, I’m bottling a batch, which started life as follows:

3kg Pale Malt (Maris Otter, not lager malt)
700g flaked rice
300g Acid malt

Mashed at about 67oc for a ludicrously long time, in 10.8 litres of water.
Take a chill pill here, as the sparged goods are prone to sticking. You could add rice hulls here though, to make it easier.

Hallertaur Helsbrucker (4.1%): Boil 40g, 15min 15g, 2min 15g

From that I got 22litres at 1038, which was fermented with Brewferm Lager yeast with a starter in our cold house while we were away over Christmas, and it’s very likely to have reached lagering temperatures.

Mash pH:

Most lagers benefit from a little acid malt to help with mash ph, and in spite of having soft water piped into the house I do have to use it in all my brews to help the ph level, and I’m quite happy to do this even alongside Burton water treatments in my pale ales. Alternatively, if you’re a prepared kind of person, stick an acid rest into your mash schedule. It’s at about 35oc (up to 40oc), and should last between 3 hours to overnight. The acid rest allows the lactobacillus bacteria that are all over your pale malt to flourish for a short period of time, which tends to acidify the liquor. The bacteria don’t make it into the finished beer, though.

Acid malt has already been through this step and then redried for you to use. Adding this to the grist decreases the mash pH (that is, acidifies) by 0.1 for every 1% of the grist. So if your tap water is fairly soft, like ours, at pH 6.5, to get it below 5.5 I’ve added it at 7.5% of the grist (not recommended over 10% apparently). It was VERY acidic! My litmus papers from thehomebrewcompany.ie only go down to 5.2, and I don’t think I’m using them right anyway. Acid malt is otherwise the same as your pale malt, so decrease the amount of pale malt used appropriately, which will keep your grist ratios in check.

I don’t think I’ll be entering this into the National Homebrew Club competition, even though it is probably going to be amazing; all I need for this beer is a thumb’s up from the missus.