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I gotta start keeping better notes

So, I am still brewing on my stove top doing partial boils. I have a nice 7 gallon pot which I could do full boils in, but my stove is too week. This has been a point of frustration for me. I also have a 5 gallon cooler for a MT. The last two batches I have done ended up getting stuck mashes. Another point of frustration. When brewing my last couple batches being frustrated has stopped me from doing gravity readings. I guess I feel like, “I know I didn’t hit my gravity, so what’s the point.”

Fast forward. Although it’s not my favorite my dad really enjoyed the last APA I brewed, and I’ve kinda grown fond of it myself. Although, because I didn’t take any notes I’d never be able to brew it again. Tonight I transferred a big IPA that I brewed to secondary. Again… no notes. I took a reading tonight (1.020). I wish I had an OG reading so I could calculate my ABV. On top of this it is tasting pretty good, and… again… I won’t be able to replicate it.

Guess I need to take a moment to myself and repeat, "relax. Don’t worry. Have a home brew. :cheers: "

Anyone else learn this lesson the hard way?

Plug your ingredients into beercalculus.com and save the recipes with a profile. It’s not ideal but it sure doesn’t suck and it’s free. I print them off from time to time in case the webpage ever vanishes.

I do actually keep my recipes on hopville and on paper. However when I don’t keep notes during the brewday there is no way to actually know what my OG/BU:GU etc ended up being. If I wanted to adjust the recipe for what the beer ended up being, I’d have no way of doing it.

Yes, you have to take notes.

As far as the boil, you may need to simply make smaller batches if you want to boil on your stove. I can boil 4.5 gallons easily on my stove, so I make a lot of 3-3.5 gallon batches. My buddy has a heat stick which he combines with his stove to easily boil 5 gallon batches on his stove.

Malt conditioning is an easy way to prevent stuck mashes, but I assume you are having your grain milled by someone else at this point, so I would recommend adding some rice hulls. Starting your runoff more slowly may help keep the grain bed from compressing and reduce the chance of a stuck mash.

Go get a cheap turkey fryer that will hold your pot and do your boils outside. I started inside on a gas stove with a pot large enough to cover 2 burners at once and it was such a pain in the butt that I upgraded to the turkey fryer real quick. I eventually ended up getting 3 converted kegs as well as a nice 2 burner stand from Academy that works out well. The flexibility of having more than one burner allows me to be able to heat up cleaning water while my boil is finishing and it also allows me to boil more than one batch at a time if I am doing a heavy beer and and lighter gravity beer from the same mash.

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