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General Category => Extract/Partial Mash Brewing => Topic started by: lex82 on January 06, 2011, 09:25:18 PM

Title: Partial mash question
Post by: lex82 on January 06, 2011, 09:25:18 PM
Beginner here, please don't flame. I got this partial mash recipe from brewmaster's warehouse, and it has a lot more grains to steep than my last kit did. Would I still steep 6 lbs of grains with 1 1/2 gallons of water? or would I add more water? The last kit I used had less than a pound of grains to steep. These were all the directions it said "Mash at 152F for 60 minutes. Boil for 60 minutes. Add 1 can of LME and candi suagr with 20 minutes left in the boil. Ferment at 65-75F". It's a belgian dark strong ale.
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: tschmidlin on January 06, 2011, 09:31:21 PM
Yes, you'd typically use somewhere around 1.5 qts per lb of grain, but it varies a lot and isn't going to make a huge difference in your beer.  if you could put it in 2-2.5 gallons of water that would be fine.

Oh, and ferment on the low end of that range and you'll probably like your beer better.  What yeast are you using?
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: lex82 on January 06, 2011, 09:33:59 PM
Yes, you'd typically use somewhere around 1.5 qts per lb of grain, but it varies a lot and isn't going to make a huge difference in your beer.  if you could put it in 2-2.5 gallons of water that would be fine.

Oh, and ferment on the low end of that range and you'll probably like your beer better.  What yeast are you using?
Thanks for the advice.

and I'm using Wyeast Labs Belgian Strong Ale - 1388
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: a10t2 on January 06, 2011, 11:19:47 PM
Poking around a bit; is it this recipe (http://www.brewmasterswarehouse.com/recipe/e04ff3c9/shoultzmeyer-brewery-strong-dark-belgian)?

With an OG of 1.081, this would be a beer that all but requires a starter. Start here: http://www.mrmalty.com/
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: lex82 on January 06, 2011, 11:58:53 PM
Poking around a bit; is it this recipe (http://www.brewmasterswarehouse.com/recipe/e04ff3c9/shoultzmeyer-brewery-strong-dark-belgian)?

With an OG of 1.081, this would be a beer that all but requires a starter. Start here: http://www.mrmalty.com/
it is that recipe. It doesn't say anything about a yeast starter on there. I guess its time to do more research.
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: tschmidlin on January 07, 2011, 05:12:36 AM
Yeah, with that high of an OG I would either do a starter or get another pack of yeast.
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: lex82 on January 07, 2011, 01:16:27 PM
Yeah, with that high of an OG I would either do a starter or get another pack of yeast.
I've never heard of the "another pack of yeast" thing. Adding twice as much yeast just like making a starter?
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: stevo155 on January 07, 2011, 01:24:57 PM
I've never heard of the "another pack of yeast" thing. Adding twice as much yeast just like making a starter?

That depends on the size of your starter.  Your beer should have about 276 billion cells of yeast pitched, and the Wyeast packages have something like 100 billion.  So pitching 2 will give you 200 billion cells which is a lot better than just pitching 100 billion where the yeast would get stressed out.

Also having a starter allows you to pitch healthy yeast at the peak of their activity, reducing lag time in your beer. 
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: lex82 on January 07, 2011, 02:28:51 PM
I've never heard of the "another pack of yeast" thing. Adding twice as much yeast just like making a starter?

That depends on the size of your starter.  Your beer should have about 276 billion cells of yeast pitched, and the Wyeast packages have something like 100 billion.  So pitching 2 will give you 200 billion cells which is a lot better than just pitching 100 billion where the yeast would get stressed out.

Also having a starter allows you to pitch healthy yeast at the peak of their activity, reducing lag time in your beer. 

Great info, Thanks. Is there some place I can go to see the amount of yeast cells needed from OG info? It would be great to have for future reference.
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: lex82 on January 07, 2011, 03:59:20 PM
Using mrmalty.com it says I need 280 billion yeast cells. If I just went ahead and added three 100 billion packs it would be the same as having a starter with one pack? I'm sorry, I'm just trying to figure this out.
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: Hokerer on January 07, 2011, 04:05:03 PM
Using mrmalty.com it says I need 280 billion yeast cells. If I just went ahead and added three 100 billion packs it would be the same as having a starter with one pack? I'm sorry, I'm just trying to figure this out.

That is certainly an option that does accomplish what you want.  Not particularly cost effective, though.
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: tschmidlin on January 07, 2011, 05:11:00 PM
Stop apologizing for the questions :)

Yes, you can add 3 packs or make an appropriately sized starter.  mrmalty.com will tell you how big it should be.  It is definitely not cost effective, but it is a lot easier if you lack equipment, time, or (like me) only figure out when you'll be able to brew the night before or sometimes the day of.  But I sometimes get yeast free from breweries in my area, so that helps keep it cheap.  If you have that as an option it's a great way to go.
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: rbclay on January 12, 2011, 06:07:46 AM
When brewing a beer with that high an OG you definitely want to be sure you are pitching enough healthy yeast. Pitching 3 packs of yeast would definitely do it.
Something you may want to consider in the future- and searching this forum I'm sure you could find separate threads on this topic- is reusing yeast from one batch to the next. Brew a lower gravity beer, then use the yeast from that batch for your next, higher gravity beer. In effect you are making a "starter". And you are making more beer!
Most yeast strains make very good beers of varying gravities. Generally you want to step up from lower to higher gravity beers.
Whatever you do, take good notes. And if you have the resources, brew a lot!
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: ipaguy on January 15, 2011, 05:27:48 PM
It seems that a lot of folks are hesitant to make starters when first getting started, but they really shouldn't be.  You can put together a top-of-the-line setup for 2 liter starters for under $20.  That pays for itself pretty quickly vs. $5 - $6 each for extra smack packs or vials.  If you're not using the Mr. Malty calculator, a general rule of thumb is that you should be using 2 smack-packs or vials for ales with OGs over 1.060, and double everything for lagers.
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: tschmidlin on January 16, 2011, 06:46:14 AM
It seems that a lot of folks are hesitant to make starters when first getting started, but they really shouldn't be.  You can put together a top-of-the-line setup for 2 liter starters for under $20.  That pays for itself pretty quickly vs. $5 - $6 each for extra smack packs or vials.  If you're not using the Mr. Malty calculator, a general rule of thumb is that you should be using 2 smack-packs or vials for ales with OGs over 1.060, and double everything for lagers.
What goes into your top of the line setup for starters for under $20?  I don't see how you get there for that little. 
Granted you don't need to spend $100, but $20 seems low.
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: ipaguy on January 16, 2011, 02:41:19 PM
It seems that a lot of folks are hesitant to make starters when first getting started, but they really shouldn't be.  You can put together a top-of-the-line setup for 2 liter starters for under $20.  That pays for itself pretty quickly vs. $5 - $6 each for extra smack packs or vials.  If you're not using the Mr. Malty calculator, a general rule of thumb is that you should be using 2 smack-packs or vials for ales with OGs over 1.060, and double everything for lagers.
What goes into your top of the line setup for starters for under $20?  I don't see how you get there for that little. 
Granted you don't need to spend $100, but $20 seems low.
Maybe 'top-of-the-line' was a little too strong a phrase.  I certainly didn't include a stir plate!  However, you can get a good new 2 liter Erlenmeyer flask for $18.  Aluminum foil works, but I use the foam plugs (around $1 -$2).  I didn't include cost of DME or yeast nutrient as 'equipment', as I consider them as supplies.  Main point is that making starters is neither difficult nor expensive.
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: kgs on January 20, 2011, 02:14:06 PM
It seems that a lot of folks are hesitant to make starters when first getting started, but they really shouldn't be.  You can put together a top-of-the-line setup for 2 liter starters for under $20.  That pays for itself pretty quickly vs. $5 - $6 each for extra smack packs or vials.  If you're not using the Mr. Malty calculator, a general rule of thumb is that you should be using 2 smack-packs or vials for ales with OGs over 1.060, and double everything for lagers.
What goes into your top of the line setup for starters for under $20?  I don't see how you get there for that little. 
Granted you don't need to spend $100, but $20 seems low.
Maybe 'top-of-the-line' was a little too strong a phrase.  I certainly didn't include a stir plate!  However, you can get a good new 2 liter Erlenmeyer flask for $18.  Aluminum foil works, but I use the foam plugs (around $1 -$2).  I didn't include cost of DME or yeast nutrient as 'equipment', as I consider them as supplies.  Main point is that making starters is neither difficult nor expensive.

I have made starters in a 1-gallon growler. If you're not using a stir plate, wouldn't almost any glass container work ok? Agreed, also, that starters are much easier than new homebrewers realize. Dry yeast is a good way to start out, though, because it's harder to introduce contamination with dry yeast. When you're troubleshooting your first few batches, it helps to have a minimum of trouble spots to isolate for issues such as "where did that infection creep in" and "my beer taste funny."  (Not to suggest that you won't turn out perfect beer from the git-go... ;-) )
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: a10t2 on January 20, 2011, 03:51:41 PM
I have made starters in a 1-gallon growler. If you're not using a stir plate, wouldn't almost any glass container work ok?

It doesn't even have to be glass, just food-safe and sanitary. Gallon milk jugs (cleaned, of course) work well.
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: bonjour on January 20, 2011, 05:55:04 PM
it has a lot more grains to steep than my last kit did. Would I still steep 6 lbs of grains with 1 1/2 gallons of water? or would I add more water? The last kit I used had less than a pound of grains to steep. These were all the directions it said "Mash at 152F for 60 minutes.
You said "Steep".  There are many ways to steep, only one works in a partial mash.

"Steep" or better termed "mash" by steeping (there is that word again) by keeping the grains at about 152F (between 150-155F) for an hour".  Don't worry about being exact, but the more you are the more repeatable your process will be.
The difference between being a mash and steeping this way is the presence of base malt that will provide enzymes for conversion.
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: Hokerer on January 20, 2011, 06:21:56 PM
"Steep" or better termed "mash" by steeping (there is that word again) by keeping the grains at about 152F (between 150-155F) for an hour".  Don't worry about being exact, but the more you are the more repeatable your process will be.
The difference between being a mash and steeping this way is the presence of base malt that will provide enzymes for conversion.

another difference being that you should care about the water/grain ratio, right?  Need the grains to be able to get the mash to the proper pH for the enzymes to do their thing.
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: denny on January 20, 2011, 06:44:07 PM
"Steep" or better termed "mash" by steeping (there is that word again) by keeping the grains at about 152F (between 150-155F) for an hour".  Don't worry about being exact, but the more you are the more repeatable your process will be.
The difference between being a mash and steeping this way is the presence of base malt that will provide enzymes for conversion.

another difference being that you should care about the water/grain ratio, right?  Need the grains to be able to get the mash to the proper pH for the enzymes to do their thing.

You should use the proper ratio even for steeping to avoid pH related tannin problems.
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: bonjour on January 20, 2011, 06:46:09 PM
1-2 qts per pound of grain
6lbs of grain
6-12 qts (4.5 will work)
OP Mentioned 1.5 gal or 6 qts
Title: Re: Partial mash question
Post by: bonjour on January 20, 2011, 06:49:56 PM
as with all things brewing, you can keep it simple, or you make like a mad nuclear scientist (measure the pH to make sure it stays in range),  both will make beer, frequently good beer.

(Does designing control systems for nuclear power plants count?)