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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: redrocker652002 on May 01, 2022, 11:58:32 pm

Title: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 01, 2022, 11:58:32 pm
As life has gotten in the way, my next brew day has been pushed back to next week.  Probably Friday.  The yeast  I have, liquid, has been sitting in the fridge now for a few weeks.  The date on it still is about 2 months out, so I think I am still good.  My plan is to take the yeast out of the fridge and let it come to room temp on Thursday morning.  Then, break open the smack pack and let it do it's thing for a few hours.  Thursday midmorning I have DME at the ready and a small pot for the boil.  My plan is 100 grams of DME to one quart of bottled water.  Bring it to a boil and boil for about 20 mins.  Does that sound about right?  I think it is what I have been reading as a good recipe.  Then, leave it on the counter at home, which is normally in the high 60's low 70's during the day, and shake it up every so often as I pass by it or think about it.  The container is clear, so I can see how things progress and go from there.  If the yeast does not react then I have some dry Yeast as a backup plan.  Then, when I do my first BIAB recipe with my new stuff on Friday afternoon, add the yeast and let it do it's thing.   

I guess my question, after that long winded post is pretty simple.  Is 100 grams of DME and a quart of water the right measurments for a starter for a 5 gallon batch? 

Sorry to ramble, but each brew day seems to be new for me. 

Thanks to all who suffered thru my long post and read to the end. 

RR
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: beerphilmcd on May 02, 2022, 12:11:14 am
The answer you seek is in the details. What is the target starting gravity? If it’s 1.045 or below you’re good. If it’s 1.060 or above you need more yeast. It also depends on the yeast strain and objective. For kviek and Belgian strains generally speaking you can pitch a little less yeast.

Bottom line for anything under 1.060 you can get away with 100 grams/1 quart(liter) starter. However it will not be optimal.


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Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 02, 2022, 01:08:45 am
Thank you for the reply.  I input my ingredient list into Brewfather and it came up with an OG of 1.082.  I am doing a double ipa using Elysian Space Dust as my clone recipe.  I am using 1 package of Wyeast 1450 liquid yeast.  The clone recipe I used even specifies not using a starter, but what the heck, I want to give it a try. 
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: denny on May 02, 2022, 08:09:38 am
As life has gotten in the way, my next brew day has been pushed back to next week.  Probably Friday.  The yeast  I have, liquid, has been sitting in the fridge now for a few weeks.  The date on it still is about 2 months out, so I think I am still good.  My plan is to take the yeast out of the fridge and let it come to room temp on Thursday morning.  Then, break open the smack pack and let it do it's thing for a few hours.  Thursday midmorning I have DME at the ready and a small pot for the boil.  My plan is 100 grams of DME to one quart of bottled water.  Bring it to a boil and boil for about 20 mins.  Does that sound about right?  I think it is what I have been reading as a good recipe.  Then, leave it on the counter at home, which is normally in the high 60's low 70's during the day, and shake it up every so often as I pass by it or think about it.  The container is clear, so I can see how things progress and go from there.  If the yeast does not react then I have some dry Yeast as a backup plan.  Then, when I do my first BIAB recipe with my new stuff on Friday afternoon, add the yeast and let it do it's thing.   

I guess my question, after that long winded post is pretty simple.  Is 100 grams of DME and a quart of water the right measurments for a starter for a 5 gallon batch? 

Sorry to ramble, but each brew day seems to be new for me. 

Thanks to all who suffered thru my long post and read to the end. 

RR

There is no need to pet the yeast come to room temp.  For that matter, there is no need to smack the pack other tha .  To assure yourself of vitality.

There is no need to boil your starter for 20 min. I do 8 min and feel that's overkill. 

Take a look at this....https://www.experimentalbrew.com/blogs/denny/old-dognew-tricks.  I use a at. of water and 3 oz. of THE.

Don't let the cell count thing throw you.  I have found healthy active yeast is much more important than cell count.

Here's a real life example....last Thur. I took a pack of WY3787 out of the fridge.  Best by about a month out. I smacked it, not to verify it, but because I wanted to break the nutrient pouch and get that into the starter.  I pitched it cold into my starter wort, shook the crap out of it, and let it sit overnight.  About 24 hours later I pitched it into my 1.081 wort. Normally I don't aerate but due to the gravity I did this time. In 2 hours I had positive pressure.  In 6 hours, I had active vigorous fermentation.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: goose on May 02, 2022, 09:52:14 am



There is no need to boil your starter for 20 min. I do 8 min and feel that's overkill. 


[/quote]

+1.  I make a 10 degree Plato (1.040) starter wort, add a pinch of yeast nutrient for good measure, and boil if for only 7 minutes. I have also done a 5 minute boil on the starter wort with no adverse effects. The  boiling makes the wort homogeneous and sterilizes it.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: Shmello on May 02, 2022, 12:25:30 pm
I’m interested in Denny’s comment about aeration. I’ve been thinking about trying liquid yeast but have hesitated because I didn’t want to invest in a stir plate and an aeration kit (at least for awhile so as not to push my wife’s tolerance for new supplies arriving at the house).

Is a “shaken not stirred” starter and oxygenation by merely shaking the fermenter going to be adequate for liquid yeast in a normal strength (around 1.060) wort?
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: denny on May 02, 2022, 01:08:08 pm
I’m interested in Denny’s comment about aeration. I’ve been thinking about trying liquid yeast but have hesitated because I didn’t want to invest in a stir plate and an aeration kit (at least for awhile so as not to push my wife’s tolerance for new supplies arriving at the house).

Is a “shaken not stirred” starter and oxygenation by merely shaking the fermenter going to be adequate for liquid yeast in a normal strength (around 1.060) wort?

Absolutely fine.  That's what I do almost always do for beers in that OG range (although I don't shake the fermenter).  Since this was 1.081 I wanted to give it a little extra help.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: Kevin on May 02, 2022, 04:05:24 pm
These days anything in the neighborhood of 1.060 and under I don't make a starter. On the few occasions

I do make a starter is a SNS made the no earlier than the night before brew day when I'm milling grain and setting up delay timer on the mash tun. I do take the yeast package out of the fridge the morning of brew day but no earlier. There have been times I forgot until late in the day but I don't worry about it.

I also have pretty much stopped worrying about the date on the package. My past 5 brews have been made with free yeast and the reason it was free is because I ask the guys at my LHBS what he has out of date and he will give those away at no charge.

In every instance beer was made and it was good. #NoStressBrewing
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 02, 2022, 10:08:30 pm
As life has gotten in the way, my next brew day has been pushed back to next week.  Probably Friday.  The yeast  I have, liquid, has been sitting in the fridge now for a few weeks.  The date on it still is about 2 months out, so I think I am still good.  My plan is to take the yeast out of the fridge and let it come to room temp on Thursday morning.  Then, break open the smack pack and let it do it's thing for a few hours.  Thursday midmorning I have DME at the ready and a small pot for the boil.  My plan is 100 grams of DME to one quart of bottled water.  Bring it to a boil and boil for about 20 mins.  Does that sound about right?  I think it is what I have been reading as a good recipe.  Then, leave it on the counter at home, which is normally in the high 60's low 70's during the day, and shake it up every so often as I pass by it or think about it.  The container is clear, so I can see how things progress and go from there.  If the yeast does not react then I have some dry Yeast as a backup plan.  Then, when I do my first BIAB recipe with my new stuff on Friday afternoon, add the yeast and let it do it's thing.   

I guess my question, after that long winded post is pretty simple.  Is 100 grams of DME and a quart of water the right measurments for a starter for a 5 gallon batch? 

Sorry to ramble, but each brew day seems to be new for me. 

Thanks to all who suffered thru my long post and read to the end. 

RR

There is no need to pet the yeast come to room temp.  For that matter, there is no need to smack the pack other tha .  To assure yourself of vitality.

There is no need to boil your starter for 20 min. I do 8 min and feel that's overkill. 

Take a look at this....https://www.experimentalbrew.com/blogs/denny/old-dognew-tricks.  I use a at. of water and 3 oz. of THE.

Don't let the cell count thing throw you.  I have found healthy active yeast is much more important than cell count.

Here's a real life example....last Thur. I took a pack of WY3787 out of the fridge.  Best by about a month out. I smacked it, not to verify it, but because I wanted to break the nutrient pouch and get that into the starter.  I pitched it cold into my starter wort, shook the crap out of it, and let it sit overnight.  About 24 hours later I pitched it into my 1.081 wort. Normally I don't aerate but due to the gravity I did this time. In 2 hours I had positive pressure.  In 6 hours, I had active vigorous fermentation.

Thanks Denny, this is good stuff.  So, if I am reading right, I can make my starter say Thursday morning lets say about 10am, let it sit on the counter until later Thursday night, let's say 10pm and put it in the fridge.  On Friday, lets say early afternoon, I can take it out and use it in my cooled wort?  I know I am being very anal about this, but that is how I am. 

Thanks to all for all the input, this is fun stuff and I am learning tons.  Writing a lot of stuff down too. 
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 02, 2022, 10:12:14 pm
These days anything in the neighborhood of 1.060 and under I don't make a starter. On the few occasions

I do make a starter is a SNS made the no earlier than the night before brew day when I'm milling grain and setting up delay timer on the mash tun. I do take the yeast package out of the fridge the morning of brew day but no earlier. There have been times I forgot until late in the day but I don't worry about it.

I also have pretty much stopped worrying about the date on the package. My past 5 brews have been made with free yeast and the reason it was free is because I ask the guys at my LHBS what he has out of date and he will give those away at no charge.

In every instance beer was made and it was good. #NoStressBrewing

I am a bit confused about your statement.  You make the wort the night before, but don't pitch the yeast into it until the morning of?  I was assuming that the idea was to have the yeast in the starter at least the night before?  Sorry for not understanding. 
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: Kevin on May 04, 2022, 06:11:14 am
These days anything in the neighborhood of 1.060 and under I don't make a starter. On the few occasions

I do make a starter is a SNS made the no earlier than the night before brew day when I'm milling grain and setting up delay timer on the mash tun. I do take the yeast package out of the fridge the morning of brew day but no earlier. There have been times I forgot until late in the day but I don't worry about it.

I also have pretty much stopped worrying about the date on the package. My past 5 brews have been made with free yeast and the reason it was free is because I ask the guys at my LHBS what he has out of date and he will give those away at no charge.

In every instance beer was made and it was good. #NoStressBrewing

I am a bit confused about your statement.  You make the wort the night before, but don't pitch the yeast into it until the morning of?  I was assuming that the idea was to have the yeast in the starter at least the night before?  Sorry for not understanding.

Sorry, I didn't proof read very well. When I make a beer with an original gravity of around 1.060 or less I don't make a starter at all. I just pitch the package of yeast directly into the fermenter and in those cases I take the package out the morning of brew day to warm up some before I pitch. I have forgotten to do this however and just pitched it right out of the refrigerator with no problems.

When I do make a starter I use the Shaken Not Stirred method. I sometimes make this SNS starter the night before brew day but I often wait until the morning of.

I stopped worrying about details that make no difference to me. I used to fuss over every detail of brewing... including starters where I planned exactly how many days ahead of brew day I needed to make it... measured out precisely the amount of water and dry malt extract... boiled and cooled exactly as instructions say... used a stir plate... worried about cell count - the whole fiddly process. Then I stopped and asked myself just what the hell am I doing? This is supposed to be fun. So now unless I am making a big, high gravity beer I don't concern myself too much with yeast starters.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: denny on May 04, 2022, 07:58:04 am
These days anything in the neighborhood of 1.060 and under I don't make a starter. On the few occasions

I do make a starter is a SNS made the no earlier than the night before brew day when I'm milling grain and setting up delay timer on the mash tun. I do take the yeast package out of the fridge the morning of brew day but no earlier. There have been times I forgot until late in the day but I don't worry about it.

I also have pretty much stopped worrying about the date on the package. My past 5 brews have been made with free yeast and the reason it was free is because I ask the guys at my LHBS what he has out of date and he will give those away at no charge.

In every instance beer was made and it was good. #NoStressBrewing

I am a bit confused about your statement.  You make the wort the night before, but don't pitch the yeast into it until the morning of?  I was assuming that the idea was to have the yeast in the starter at least the night before?  Sorry for not understanding.

Sorry, I didn't proof read very well. When I make a beer with an original gravity of around 1.060 or less I don't make a starter at all. I just pitch the package of yeast directly into the fermenter and in those cases I take the package out the morning of brew day to warm up some before I pitch. I have forgotten to do this however and just pitched it right out of the refrigerator with no problems.

When I do make a starter I use the Shaken Not Stirred method. I sometimes make this SNS starter the night before brew day but I often wait until the morning of.

I stopped worrying about details that make no difference to me. I used to fuss over every detail of brewing... including starters where I planned exactly how many days ahead of brew day I needed to make it... measured out precisely the amount of water and dry malt extract... boiled and cooled exactly as instructions say... used a stir plate... worried about cell count - the whole fiddly process. Then I stopped and asked myself just what the hell am I doing? This is supposed to be fun. So now unless I am making a big, high gravity beer I don't concern myself too much with yeast starters.

YES!!!!  That last paragraph is my message to homebrewers these days.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 04, 2022, 09:10:19 am
These days anything in the neighborhood of 1.060 and under I don't make a starter. On the few occasions

I do make a starter is a SNS made the no earlier than the night before brew day when I'm milling grain and setting up delay timer on the mash tun. I do take the yeast package out of the fridge the morning of brew day but no earlier. There have been times I forgot until late in the day but I don't worry about it.

I also have pretty much stopped worrying about the date on the package. My past 5 brews have been made with free yeast and the reason it was free is because I ask the guys at my LHBS what he has out of date and he will give those away at no charge.

In every instance beer was made and it was good. #NoStressBrewing

I am a bit confused about your statement.  You make the wort the night before, but don't pitch the yeast into it until the morning of?  I was assuming that the idea was to have the yeast in the starter at least the night before?  Sorry for not understanding.

Sorry, I didn't proof read very well. When I make a beer with an original gravity of around 1.060 or less I don't make a starter at all. I just pitch the package of yeast directly into the fermenter and in those cases I take the package out the morning of brew day to warm up some before I pitch. I have forgotten to do this however and just pitched it right out of the refrigerator with no problems.

When I do make a starter I use the Shaken Not Stirred method. I sometimes make this SNS starter the night before brew day but I often wait until the morning of.

I stopped worrying about details that make no difference to me. I used to fuss over every detail of brewing... including starters where I planned exactly how many days ahead of brew day I needed to make it... measured out precisely the amount of water and dry malt extract... boiled and cooled exactly as instructions say... used a stir plate... worried about cell count - the whole fiddly process. Then I stopped and asked myself just what the hell am I doing? This is supposed to be fun. So now unless I am making a big, high gravity beer I don't concern myself too much with yeast starters.

YES!!!!  That last paragraph is my message to homebrewers these days.

Awesome, thank you all for all the input on this.  I have learned that I am just being too detailed.  I am going to just work with what I have, know and have learned from all of you and see where it takes me.  I will probably do the starter the night before, what the heck.  If I forget, then the morning of, because I don't think I will even be ready to pitch it until later on in the afternoon.  Either way, many thanks to all who have read thru my posts and have offered me info and tips.  It is all good stuff.  Be safe all.  RR
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 05, 2022, 10:21:14 pm
Starter made and sitting in a sanitized gallon jug.  Looks like so little, but we shall see.  I have some dry yeast on hand just in case, but I am hopeful.  I put my new kettle together and synched the temp gauge.  Washed and cleaned the chiller, and have my bucket ready for a cleaning and sanitizing.  All ready for my maiden voyage on my new stuff.  We will see how it goes. 
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: denny on May 06, 2022, 08:23:19 am
Starter made and sitting in a sanitized gallon jug.  Looks like so little, but we shall see.  I have some dry yeast on hand just in case, but I am hopeful.  I put my new kettle together and synched the temp gauge.  Washed and cleaned the chiller, and have my bucket ready for a cleaning and sanitizing.  All ready for my maiden voyage on my new stuff.  We will see how it goes.

Have a good time!
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 06, 2022, 04:33:19 pm
So disappointed.  My preboil gravity was supposed to be at 1.075 and it was a 1.045.  But, what the heck, I am already in it, so might as well finish.  The good thing is that my preboil amount of 6.25 gallons was spot on.  Sparged at 170 to get to the preboil volume.  Now, we wait.  Maybe I am just not built for this?  I am very disappointed.  But I am going to see it to the end and see what I end up with.  The good thing is, I kept my mash temp damn near at 150 the whole time, so I am pretty happy there.  Keep a prayer out there for a novice who is very disappointed and thinking maybe I am just not built for this.  Darn it.  RR
Title: Next brew day
Post by: tommymorris on May 06, 2022, 04:51:24 pm
So disappointed.  My preboil gravity was supposed to be at 1.075 and it was a 1.045.  But, what the heck, I am already in it, so might as well finish.  The good thing is that my preboil amount of 6.25 gallons was spot on.  Sparged at 170 to get to the preboil volume.  Now, we wait.  Maybe I am just not built for this?  I am very disappointed.  But I am going to see it to the end and see what I end up with.  The good thing is, I kept my mash temp damn near at 150 the whole time, so I am pretty happy there.  Keep a prayer out there for a novice who is very disappointed and thinking maybe I am just not built for this.  Darn it.  RR

Edit: I read your post wrong. I thought you measured 1070 when expecting 1045. I see it’s the other way around. You probably need to get a handle on your efficiency and then scale recipes accordingly. Hang in there. You’ll be coasting along very soon. Plus, 1052 post boil will make a nice beer. I’m sure it will be good.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 07, 2022, 12:13:28 am
It was a IPA Clone.  I measured 1.052 into the fermenter.  I put everything into Brewfather and the liquid amounts were right on.  6.5 pre-boil and a little more than 5 gallons in the fermenter.  Who knows, but maybe you are right.  I will try it and see if I like it and go from there.  Gonna let it do it's thing for a few days, then I have an dry hop addition that I need to put in.  Probably do that after most of the bubbling stops.  Also, another positive takeaway is the starter I did seemed to work out well.  I was  bit nervous because the yeast package was very inflated, if that makes sense.  I had to open it and pop the nutrient pack with a pair of sanitized scissors, so I was not sure the yeast was good.  It smelled good though  LOL   Anyway, It is bubbling away, so we shall see.  This was my first try with all new stuff.  I was pretty happy though to keep my mash temp right at about 150.  This is the recipe i used, minus the Melaniod stuff.  LOL.

https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/408434/elysian-space-dust-variant
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: denny on May 07, 2022, 08:35:59 am
Keep in mind that any recipe needs to be adjusted to fit the efficient of your system. You can seldom use a recipe as is.  You have a new system, so it will take a few brews to establish your efficiency.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: Richard on May 07, 2022, 08:43:02 am
Pre-boil gravity of 1.045 instead of 1.075 is a huge difference. Check your grain crush and check your mash pH. Something is very wrong. You can do some test mashes with just a cheap base malt to measure and improve your efficiency. You don't even need to do a boil and make beer. Just do the mash and measure it.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 07, 2022, 11:24:11 am
Thanks guys.  I am not sure what happened, but there were a few things I need to figure out.  I'll get it though, just need to understand what it all means. 

Something I just thought about that might have something to do with it.  I used Xtra Pale Malt instead of Pale malt and eliminated the Melanoid malt altogether.  I wonder if that may have had something to do with my numbers not matching what the recipe said in a small way?  I am sure the efficiency you are all talking about is a big part, so that I understand I need to work out.  I might try again and use the Melanoid malt and use pale instead of xtra pale. 

Even if I use cheap base malt and do a mash, how would I know what numbers I a supposed to get?  I have no idea how to even check PH, so that is something even more out there for me.  I will work it out, but the grain did seem a bit course, so maybe asking Morebeer or whomever to grind it a bit finer might help.  Who knows, I am still trying to figure it out myself.  The fermentation is going well though, so I a holding hope that even though the numbers are off, the beer itself will be good.  Who knows.  Maybe I should stick with premade kits for now. 
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: denny on May 07, 2022, 12:03:20 pm
Thanks guys.  I am not sure what happened, but there were a few things I need to figure out.  I'll get it though, just need to understand what it all means. 

Something I just thought about that might have something to do with it.  I used Xtra Pale Malt instead of Pale malt and eliminated the Melanoid malt altogether.  I wonder if that may have had something to do with my numbers not matching what the recipe said in a small way?  I am sure the efficiency you are all talking about is a big part, so that I understand I need to work out.  I might try again and use the Melanoid malt and use pale instead of xtra pale. 

Even if I use cheap base malt and do a mash, how would I know what numbers I a supposed to get?  I have no idea how to even check PH, so that is something even more out there for me.  I will work it out, but the grain did seem a bit course, so maybe asking Morebeer or whomever to grind it a bit finer might help.  Who knows, I am still trying to figure it out myself.  The fermentation is going well though, so I a holding hope that even though the numbers are off, the beer itself will be good.  Who knows.  Maybe I should stick with premade kits for now.

I really doubt the malt change made any difference to OG.

pH would have to be way, way off to cause that much difference.

OK, here's the deal with efficiency...each grain has a maximum amount of sugar you can get from it.  Efficiency is a way to look at how much of that sugar you get out, or how efficient your system is. Most grain has a maximum of about 36 ppg.  That means gravity points per pound of grain per gal. of water. In a 100% efficient system, one lb. of grain in one gal. of water would give you a gravity of 1.036.  Make sense so far? If you get 75% efficiency, you'd get more like 1.025 out of that same lb. of grain and gal. of water.  So the thing to do it add up how many lb. of grain you used, multiply by 36, and divide by the number of gal. of wort you end up with.  That's called brewhouse efficiency.  There are other efficiency measures, but that's the important one to understand first.

Here's an example....let's say you use 10 lb. of grain.  At 100% efficiency, you'd have 10x36 or 360 gravity points.  If you ended up with 5 gal., that would mean an OG of 1.072.  But that's 100% and that never happens.  If your actual OG was 1.050, you'd divide 72 by 50 (50/72) which would give you an efficiency of around 69%.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: Shmello on May 07, 2022, 12:24:33 pm
I’m a novice brewer too.

If you look at my thread about BIAB water volume, you can see that Kevin tried to disabuse me of the notion that a recipe “should have” the printed amounts. As I understand, by learning how your system performs you can then plug those numbers into a recipe and then you will get what the recipe “will have.”

When I plug your numbers into BeerSmith, I get an efficiency of 43%. If that turns out to be consistent, you use that number to calculate what a recipe will produce going forward.

FWIW, my efficiency improved a lot from my first BIAB try to my second. I’m guessing that the improvement probably came from milling the grain to a much finer consistency. I think when you buy the grain pre-milled it is about 0.038” and I milled mine at 0.020” for my BIAB.

Edit: I entered the full recipe into BeerSmith but you left out the melanoidin so the calculation isn’t precise.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: Richard on May 07, 2022, 01:18:27 pm
I agree that everybody's system is different and you need to understand yours, but there are some targets. You could just settle for 40% efficiency, but that would be wasting a lot of malt. You should try to get efficiency in the range of 70% - 90%. My first mashes had efficiency similar to yours, but now I get 80% - 90%. Mostly due to the crush, but I have the same water as you and I know it needs to be acidified except for dark beers with a lot of roasted malt. You could try adding 4-8 oz of acidulated malt. There are cheap pH meters for use with aquariums. Go to a pet store or Amazon. You will also need to add some campden (MoreBeer sells it) to get rid of the chloramine. That doesn't affect efficiency but it does affect the taste.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: ynotbrusum on May 07, 2022, 02:13:01 pm
Another wild thought - could your mash have stratified a bit going into the boil kettle?  Just guessing.  I stir my mash several times to coax good conversion and to assure a good mixing for measuring gravity.  Keep at it.  Persistence prevails for all of us eventually.  Cheers to learning your system and dialing in the process.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 08, 2022, 05:05:36 am
Thanks guys.  I am not sure what happened, but there were a few things I need to figure out.  I'll get it though, just need to understand what it all means. 

Something I just thought about that might have something to do with it.  I used Xtra Pale Malt instead of Pale malt and eliminated the Melanoid malt altogether.  I wonder if that may have had something to do with my numbers not matching what the recipe said in a small way?  I am sure the efficiency you are all talking about is a big part, so that I understand I need to work out.  I might try again and use the Melanoid malt and use pale instead of xtra pale. 

Even if I use cheap base malt and do a mash, how would I know what numbers I a supposed to get?  I have no idea how to even check PH, so that is something even more out there for me.  I will work it out, but the grain did seem a bit course, so maybe asking Morebeer or whomever to grind it a bit finer might help.  Who knows, I am still trying to figure it out myself.  The fermentation is going well though, so I a holding hope that even though the numbers are off, the beer itself will be good.  Who knows.  Maybe I should stick with premade kits for now.

I really doubt the malt change made any difference to OG.

pH would have to be way, way off to cause that much difference.

OK, here's the deal with efficiency...each grain has a maximum amount of sugar you can get from it.  Efficiency is a way to look at how much of that sugar you get out, or how efficient your system is. Most grain has a maximum of about 36 ppg.  That means gravity points per pound of grain per gal. of water. In a 100% efficient system, one lb. of grain in one gal. of water would give you a gravity of 1.036.  Make sense so far? If you get 75% efficiency, you'd get more like 1.025 out of that same lb. of grain and gal. of water.  So the thing to do it add up how many lb. of grain you used, multiply by 36, and divide by the number of gal. of wort you end up with.  That's called brewhouse efficiency.  There are other efficiency measures, but that's the important one to understand first.

Here's an example....let's say you use 10 lb. of grain.  At 100% efficiency, you'd have 10x36 or 360 gravity points.  If you ended up with 5 gal., that would mean an OG of 1.072.  But that's 100% and that never happens.  If your actual OG was 1.050, you'd divide 72 by 50 (50/72) which would give you an efficiency of around 69%.

Ok, it is 3AM and I am at work, so I have time.  LOL.  So, taking my OG of 1.052 and using the 100% number of 1.072, 52/72) gets me about 72% if I am reading what you are saying right.  I am very much ok with that.  I then take the 15.5 pounds of grain and multiply it by 25, which is the adjusted number to my efficiency and divide it by the 5 gallons that went into the fermenter (15.5x25=387.5/5=77.5).  Again, not a bad number I don't think.  I know you are probably tired of explaining the same stuff, but I really want to understand it.  Am I on the right track?  If so, that would mean maybe the grain milling was a bit course and maybe I needed to mash a bit longer?  I am going to try this again and adjust a few things and see what happens, but i think I am starting to understand this a bit more.  Thank you do all.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: Richard on May 08, 2022, 08:59:27 am
That's not quite right. You need to use the post-mash (or pre-boil) volume and gravity to figure the mash efficiency, not the amount post-boil. The efficiency into the fermenter is the so-called brewhouse efficiency, but you should be looking at your mash efficiency. 15.5 lbs of grain at 37 points per pound per gallon would have 15.5*37 = 573.5 points per gallon. Divide by 6.5 for the volume and get 88.2 points for 100% efficiency. If you had 45 points pre-boil (SG=1.045) then your mash efficiency was 45/88.2 = 51%.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: denny on May 08, 2022, 09:02:26 am
That's not quite right. You need to use the post-mash (or pre-boil) volume and gravity to figure the mash efficiency, not the amount post-boil. The efficiency into the fermenter is the so-called brewhouse efficiency, but you should be looking at your mash efficiency. 15.5 lbs of grain at 37 points per pound per gallon would have 15.5*37 = 573.5 points per gallon. Divide by 6.5 for the volume and get 88.2 points for 100% efficiency. If you had 45 points pre-boil (SG=1.045) then your mash efficiency was 45/88.2 = 51%.

Except that I directed him to calculate brewhiuse efficiency. I feel like that's the first step to get a handle on overall system efficiency.
Title: Next brew day
Post by: BrewBama on May 08, 2022, 02:19:54 pm
I use this as my benchmark for mash efficiency.

From How to Brew Chap 18: Calculate how efficient your extraction was. Measure the gravity in the boiling pot and multiply the points by the number of gallons you collected. Then divide by the number of pounds of grain you used.

For example my recent brew Fri:

1.032 pre boil
6 gal pre boil
6.375 lbs grain

32 x 6 = 192. 192 / 6.375 = 30.1

Palmer continues: The result should be somewhere around 30 ppg. 27 is okay, 29 is good, and over 30 is great. If it is 25 or below, you are lautering too fast or you are not getting good conversion in the mash, which could be caused by having too coarse a grist, the wrong temperature, not enough time, it got cold, or a pH factor, et cetera.

For me, in my brewery, for my mill setting, I like a 90 min mash. That 90 min includes mash in (usually below mash temp), mash, and mash out (usually above mash temp).  When I follow my personal processes I routinely hit 30+.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: Shmello on May 08, 2022, 04:56:17 pm
Thanks guys.  I am not sure what happened, but there were a few things I need to figure out.  I'll get it though, just need to understand what it all means. 

Something I just thought about that might have something to do with it.  I used Xtra Pale Malt instead of Pale malt and eliminated the Melanoid malt altogether.  I wonder if that may have had something to do with my numbers not matching what the recipe said in a small way?  I am sure the efficiency you are all talking about is a big part, so that I understand I need to work out.  I might try again and use the Melanoid malt and use pale instead of xtra pale. 

Even if I use cheap base malt and do a mash, how would I know what numbers I a supposed to get?  I have no idea how to even check PH, so that is something even more out there for me.  I will work it out, but the grain did seem a bit course, so maybe asking Morebeer or whomever to grind it a bit finer might help.  Who knows, I am still trying to figure it out myself.  The fermentation is going well though, so I a holding hope that even though the numbers are off, the beer itself will be good.  Who knows.  Maybe I should stick with premade kits for now.

I really doubt the malt change made any difference to OG.

pH would have to be way, way off to cause that much difference.

OK, here's the deal with efficiency...each grain has a maximum amount of sugar you can get from it.  Efficiency is a way to look at how much of that sugar you get out, or how efficient your system is. Most grain has a maximum of about 36 ppg.  That means gravity points per pound of grain per gal. of water. In a 100% efficient system, one lb. of grain in one gal. of water would give you a gravity of 1.036.  Make sense so far? If you get 75% efficiency, you'd get more like 1.025 out of that same lb. of grain and gal. of water.  So the thing to do it add up how many lb. of grain you used, multiply by 36, and divide by the number of gal. of wort you end up with.  That's called brewhouse efficiency.  There are other efficiency measures, but that's the important one to understand first.

Here's an example....let's say you use 10 lb. of grain.  At 100% efficiency, you'd have 10x36 or 360 gravity points.  If you ended up with 5 gal., that would mean an OG of 1.072.  But that's 100% and that never happens.  If your actual OG was 1.050, you'd divide 72 by 50 (50/72) which would give you an efficiency of around 69%.

Ok, it is 3AM and I am at work, so I have time.  LOL.  So, taking my OG of 1.052 and using the 100% number of 1.072, 52/72) gets me about 72% if I am reading what you are saying right.  I am very much ok with that.  I then take the 15.5 pounds of grain and multiply it by 25, which is the adjusted number to my efficiency and divide it by the 5 gallons that went into the fermenter (15.5x25=387.5/5=77.5).  Again, not a bad number I don't think.  I know you are probably tired of explaining the same stuff, but I really want to understand it.  Am I on the right track?  If so, that would mean maybe the grain milling was a bit course and maybe I needed to mash a bit longer?  I am going to try this again and adjust a few things and see what happens, but i think I am starting to understand this a bit more.  Thank you do all.

Ok, I’m the other novice here so take what I say with a grain of salt but I think you have a few false assumptions going on here.

First, Denny’s example showing 100% efficiency yielding 1.072 was based on using 10 pounds of barley. You used 15.5 pounds, so you weren’t close to 72%. Using Denny’s formula for your session would result in (15.5 X 36/5 = 111.6) and your efficiency would be 52/111.6 = 46.6%.

Next, the figure of 25 you used as your efficiency was wrong (because you probably used the incorrect 72% figure). In your example you show that a brewer that gets 25 gravity points per pound, using 15.5 pounds of grain and collecting 5 gallons of wort, would get an OG of 1.0775, but you only got 1.052. So you’re not getting that much extraction.

I hope I’m not making things more confusing, but everyone is showing you slightly different ways of calculating the figures. I thought it might be useful to use your real world examples and address your calculations.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 08, 2022, 08:36:00 pm
Thanks guys, I kinda knew my numbers would be off, that is just my luck.  LOL.  So, with that being said, I am looking at somewhere around 50% efficiency.  So, maybe getting the grains ground a bit finer next time would be a good start?  Or mash a bit longer?  Any suggestions would be happily accepted, but it looks like I am somewhere in the 50% area. 
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: narvin on May 08, 2022, 09:31:58 pm
That's not quite right. You need to use the post-mash (or pre-boil) volume and gravity to figure the mash efficiency, not the amount post-boil. The efficiency into the fermenter is the so-called brewhouse efficiency, but you should be looking at your mash efficiency. 15.5 lbs of grain at 37 points per pound per gallon would have 15.5*37 = 573.5 points per gallon. Divide by 6.5 for the volume and get 88.2 points for 100% efficiency. If you had 45 points pre-boil (SG=1.045) then your mash efficiency was 45/88.2 = 51%.

Except that I directed him to calculate brewhiuse efficiency. I feel like that's the first step to get a handle on overall system efficiency.

And besides, for mash efficiency, you should be using the amount of liquor used, not the amount of wort collected.  So if you had an extra 2 gallons lost to absorption and mash tun dead space, estimate 8.5 gallons of liquor in the mash.  This brings mash efficiency up to 67% which is totally reasonable for no sparge brewing.

I agree with the posts about a finer grain crush, though.  That's been the single biggest efficiency boost for me in batch or no sparge brewing.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 08, 2022, 09:49:52 pm
That's not quite right. You need to use the post-mash (or pre-boil) volume and gravity to figure the mash efficiency, not the amount post-boil. The efficiency into the fermenter is the so-called brewhouse efficiency, but you should be looking at your mash efficiency. 15.5 lbs of grain at 37 points per pound per gallon would have 15.5*37 = 573.5 points per gallon. Divide by 6.5 for the volume and get 88.2 points for 100% efficiency. If you had 45 points pre-boil (SG=1.045) then your mash efficiency was 45/88.2 = 51%.

Except that I directed him to calculate brewhiuse efficiency. I feel like that's the first step to get a handle on overall system efficiency.

And besides, for mash efficiency, you should be using the amount of liquor used, not the amount of wort collected.  So if you had an extra 2 gallons lost to absorption and mash tun dead space, estimate 8.5 gallons of liquor in the mash.  This brings mash efficiency up to 67% which is totally reasonable for no sparge brewing.

I agree with the posts about a finer grain crush, though.  That's been the single biggest efficiency boost for me in batch or no sparge brewing.

OK, so going with what you said, I started with 6.5 gallons in the mash, sparged with 1.33 gallons of sparge water at 170ish.  I had a false bottom on the kettle that was probably about an inch or so above the bottom of the kettle.  This is all really cool stuff and I am getting some great info.  I am going to work with all of this and see where I go from here.  Thank you all for the input, I know these are all very stupid questions, but I am trying to learn.  RR
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 08, 2022, 10:11:38 pm
OK, so I am fooling around with brewfather and figured out how to change the mash efficiency.  If I drop the mash efficiency to say 68%, it changes my grain amounts significantly to reach the OG of the recipe. but if I change the mash efficiency but left the grain amounts the way they were, my OG went down to closer to where I was.  I know this is old hat to most, but dang this is pretty fun, and I am learning a ton here.  Once I can nail down my mash number, If I input the grain bill and what I want to be my OG, this program will tell me how much of each I need to reach the numbers I want.  This is so cool.  Thanks again. 

If I am becoming a pain in the ass, moderators please feel free to boot me.  I know I am asking stupid questions.  RR
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: denny on May 09, 2022, 08:03:21 am
Thanks guys, I kinda knew my numbers would be off, that is just my luck.  LOL.  So, with that being said, I am looking at somewhere around 50% efficiency.  So, maybe getting the grains ground a bit finer next time would be a good start?  Or mash a bit longer?  Any suggestions would be happily accepted, but it looks like I am somewhere in the 50% area.

There are a lot of places to look to improve your efficiency. Crush is just one of them.  Equipment, recipe, ingredients and process are also considerations.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: denny on May 09, 2022, 08:05:01 am
That's not quite right. You need to use the post-mash (or pre-boil) volume and gravity to figure the mash efficiency, not the amount post-boil. The efficiency into the fermenter is the so-called brewhouse efficiency, but you should be looking at your mash efficiency. 15.5 lbs of grain at 37 points per pound per gallon would have 15.5*37 = 573.5 points per gallon. Divide by 6.5 for the volume and get 88.2 points for 100% efficiency. If you had 45 points pre-boil (SG=1.045) then your mash efficiency was 45/88.2 = 51%.

Except that I directed him to calculate brewhiuse efficiency. I feel like that's the first step to get a handle on overall system efficiency.

And besides, for mash efficiency, you should be using the amount of liquor used, not the amount of wort collected.  So if you had an extra 2 gallons lost to absorption and mash tun dead space, estimate 8.5 gallons of liquor in the mash.  This brings mash efficiency up to 67% which is totally reasonable for no sparge brewing.

I agree with the posts about a finer grain crush, though.  That's been the single biggest efficiency boost for me in batch or no sparge brewing.

OK, so going with what you said, I started with 6.5 gallons in the mash, sparged with 1.33 gallons of sparge water at 170ish.  I had a false bottom on the kettle that was probably about an inch or so above the bottom of the kettle.  This is all really cool stuff and I am getting some great info.  I am going to work with all of this and see where I go from here.  Thank you all for the input, I know these are all very stupid questions, but I am trying to learn.  RR

False bottom is kinda a red flag. It's easy to get channeling which will reduce your efficiency. Another thing to c0nsider along with other factors.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: ScallyWag on May 09, 2022, 11:36:06 am
One of the earliest couple of times I did BIAB, I did not stir very well after mashing in, and was surprised/dismayed to find I had way undershot my target OG.  It wasn't until the next day emptying out the Igloo cooler (my mash tun) that I discovered I had big clumps of dry grain inside sizeable doughballs.  Now I stir a couple of times after mash-in, just to be sure.  I discovered that I can open the lid a few times without really losing much heat.

That and getting a mill to achieve a finer grind went a long ways toward sugar extraction, I get pretty close to 85%-90%.  (I also routinely 3-step-mash from 149 to 153 to 158  for most beers.  Not sure how much of a difference that makes realistically, but it might.)

Anyhow, don't be too dismayed.  You'll get it. 

Incidentally, that low OG (and resulting low alcohol) beer actually turned out great.  Here I was all bummed out and debating whether or not to keep brewing, and people LOVED that beer.  Sure, I wasted way too much malt to make it, but it was a pleasant mistake to learn from.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 09, 2022, 08:49:24 pm
Thanks guys, I kinda knew my numbers would be off, that is just my luck.  LOL.  So, with that being said, I am looking at somewhere around 50% efficiency.  So, maybe getting the grains ground a bit finer next time would be a good start?  Or mash a bit longer?  Any suggestions would be happily accepted, but it looks like I am somewhere in the 50% area.

There are a lot of places to look to improve your efficiency. Crush is just one of them.  Equipment, recipe, ingredients and process are also considerations.

I agree with you, and those will all be looked at.  Crush is just my first place to look as it is the easiest to fix.  At least in my mind it is.  LOL.
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 09, 2022, 08:50:43 pm
That's not quite right. You need to use the post-mash (or pre-boil) volume and gravity to figure the mash efficiency, not the amount post-boil. The efficiency into the fermenter is the so-called brewhouse efficiency, but you should be looking at your mash efficiency. 15.5 lbs of grain at 37 points per pound per gallon would have 15.5*37 = 573.5 points per gallon. Divide by 6.5 for the volume and get 88.2 points for 100% efficiency. If you had 45 points pre-boil (SG=1.045) then your mash efficiency was 45/88.2 = 51%.

Except that I directed him to calculate brewhiuse efficiency. I feel like that's the first step to get a handle on overall system efficiency.

And besides, for mash efficiency, you should be using the amount of liquor used, not the amount of wort collected.  So if you had an extra 2 gallons lost to absorption and mash tun dead space, estimate 8.5 gallons of liquor in the mash.  This brings mash efficiency up to 67% which is totally reasonable for no sparge brewing.

I agree with the posts about a finer grain crush, though.  That's been the single biggest efficiency boost for me in batch or no sparge brewing.

OK, so going with what you said, I started with 6.5 gallons in the mash, sparged with 1.33 gallons of sparge water at 170ish.  I had a false bottom on the kettle that was probably about an inch or so above the bottom of the kettle.  This is all really cool stuff and I am getting some great info.  I am going to work with all of this and see where I go from here.  Thank you all for the input, I know these are all very stupid questions, but I am trying to learn.  RR

False bottom is kinda a red flag. It's easy to get channeling which will reduce your efficiency. Another thing to c0nsider along with other factors.

That's good to know.  I will remove it next time and see if it makes a difference.  Thank you
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 09, 2022, 08:53:55 pm
One of the earliest couple of times I did BIAB, I did not stir very well after mashing in, and was surprised/dismayed to find I had way undershot my target OG.  It wasn't until the next day emptying out the Igloo cooler (my mash tun) that I discovered I had big clumps of dry grain inside sizeable doughballs.  Now I stir a couple of times after mash-in, just to be sure.  I discovered that I can open the lid a few times without really losing much heat.

That and getting a mill to achieve a finer grind went a long ways toward sugar extraction, I get pretty close to 85%-90%.  (I also routinely 3-step-mash from 149 to 153 to 158  for most beers.  Not sure how much of a difference that makes realistically, but it might.)

Anyhow, don't be too dismayed.  You'll get it. 

Incidentally, that low OG (and resulting low alcohol) beer actually turned out great.  Here I was all bummed out and debating whether or not to keep brewing, and people LOVED that beer.  Sure, I wasted way too much malt to make it, but it was a pleasant mistake to learn from.

Thank you for the input.  I think my stirring went ok, seemed to be mixed pretty well, but who knows.  I will keep an eye on that.  The mill might be  on the wish list soon.  I need to do a bit more research on it and see what happens.  I am going to try and add to my next grain order a note to ask that they mill the grain a bit finer for me and see if that works for now. 

My hope is that your experience and mine will be the same and the beer will be good none the less.  It might not have hit the target, but if it tastes good and is drinkable then who cares, right?  LOL 

Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 09, 2022, 09:04:09 pm
So, as an update I just wanted to add a few things.  I did my brew Friday, finished Friday afternoon.  By later Friday night the fermentation started, and man was it going.  The lid on my bucket fermenter bulged and the bubbler was damn near a steady stream of air coming out.  So much so, I saw a small amount of hop particles in the airlock.  First time I had seen that.  Saturday was the same, bubbling like crazy.  Sunday I noticed a bit of a slowdown but still a pretty active bubbling.  I checked it today and it slowed even more to maybe a bubble or two every two to three seconds.  I am going to check the gravity in the next day or two.  My plan is to dry hop maybe Wednesday or Thursday.  Let the hops sit for a few days and keg either late Saturday night or Sunday sometime.  That gives the hop pellets three to four days in the fermenter.  As I have read, more than that is somewhat overkill.  I have an ounce of Citra and an ounce of Amarillo to add, so we shall see.  This one has been a good learning experience and I have tried to take good notes along the way.  For the next one, I am going to rig up or buy a hop spider for the kettle.  Even with just pellets there was a lot of trub in the kettle that got caught up in the screen that I had to deal with.  That and the other things as already discussed have really been eye opening.  It is going to be a fun ride, and I thank you all for the help you have provided me along the way.  Keep it coming, I am trying to remember all of it.  LOL. 
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 10, 2022, 09:53:17 pm
Bubbling hs slowed to about 1 every 5 to 6 seconds.  So, i think my hop schedule will be ok.  I might put the dry hops in a bag, sanitized of course, and maybe weigh it down with some marbles and stick it in the bucket that way.  By Sunday, I am pretty sure they will have done their thing.  In the keg Sunday, in the kegerator with CO2 to carbonate.  I am thinking 20 to 30 PSI for a few days and then back it down to 12 o 15 which is my normal serving pressure.  Kegerator at about 38 to 41 is where I remember it being.  Maybe in a week or so it will be ready to taste.  Sound like a good plan?  Any input is welcomed.  RR
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 11, 2022, 08:29:10 pm
Gravity is down to 1.010 with very little activity, so I went ahead and put the hops in.  This time, I sanitized a mesh bag and marbles and put the hops and the marbles in the bag.  I clipped the bag to the side of the bucket so I can remove it when kegging.  So far, my numbers are:  1.052 into the fermenter and 1.010 as it sits now.  That gives me about an ABV of about 5.5%.  I tasted the liquid I put in the hydrometer and it didn't taste too bad.  Hoping the dry hops, carb and cool will make it drinkable.  Thanks to all who read and input.  RR
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 19, 2022, 05:30:43 pm
OK, so I could not wait.  I had to take a sample, and I gotta say, this is not a bad beer at all.  Has a crisp taste to it, not sure how else to describe it.  Very aromatic and I like the overall taste and smell.  I think this might be a keeper as it is.  I am going to let it sit another week or so and see what might change, but all in all I am pretty happy with it.  Is it a Space Dust clone, nope.  Is it a good tasting beer, YEP!!!!!   At least in my mind it is.  Gonna have my brother and my brother in law give it a sample and see what they think.  This one might be in the rotation. 

Thanks to all who had any input and thanks to all who have given me the encouragement to keep it going.  I am not good by any means at this yet, but damn if I aint learning a bunch.

Be safe yall, and thanks again  RR
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: ScallyWag on May 20, 2022, 06:50:30 am
RR, if it's a great beer now, and doesn't taste "green" or flawed, don't sit on it for a week!  Drink it now!  And quick, brew another!
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on May 20, 2022, 08:23:57 am
RR, if it's a great beer now, and doesn't taste "green" or flawed, don't sit on it for a week!  Drink it now!  And quick, brew another!

LOL   Good advice. 

I am actually going to rotate bottles and keg so I have some ready at all times.  Next is going to be a hazy or an Idaho 7 SMASH that I saw.  My brother is ready for another brew day, so that should be fun. 

Thanks for all the encouragement and input.  I appreciate all.  RR
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: redrocker652002 on June 04, 2022, 04:51:50 pm
i know it as been a bit on this one, but i thought I would update.  This is a great beer for me.  i continue to pour it out of the tap and it gets better.  I can smell the boil aroma now that I could not smell before.  This is going to be a go to for me.  Is it perfect?  Nope.  Is it good?  It is to me.  LOL.  Rock on all. 
Title: Re: Next brew day
Post by: BrewBama on June 04, 2022, 05:24:58 pm
Now your having fun. Cheers!