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Messages - aschecte

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1
Equipment and Software / Re: Plastic carboy
« on: June 14, 2013, 02:03:24 PM »
Hmm they dont mention if the Spiedels are made out of PET plastic.  Thats a concern

They are made out of HDPE.  Don't ask me what that means though.

It means that it'll let gas through.  If you need a good degree of gas/oxygen impermeability then PET is the way to go.


As far as the airlock sucking when you lift a plastic carboy, I deal with that by just replacing the drilled stopper with a solid one before picking it up.
I like your idea of the solid bung stopper to pick it up but, for ease I promise a 6 gallon better bottle fits great in a milk crate and serves the same purpose of preventing suck back...... there should be a poll how many better bottle user use the milk crate method I bet the percentage would be pretty high.

2
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Basic Yeast Questions
« on: June 12, 2013, 09:47:34 AM »
I could be way off but I think I'm on target a low pitch rate causes more esters as they are a by product of the growth phase and a low pitch rate can also cause off flavors.

Take another look at the info from Clayton Cone and Neva Parker in this thread.  There's persuasive evidence that higher pitch rates create more esters.
   Just a FYI I read the links and it actually supports what I wrote about low pitch rates creating higher ester production though I was wrong abut the fusel alcohol which I thought was created with higher pitching rates.  I copied the article and will paste below

Effect of Pitch Rate on Beer Flavor

Pitch rates, in addition to strain, temperature, and gravity, make a dramatic difference in the final flavor and aroma profile of any beer.  The pitch rate will have a direct effect on the amount of cell growth during a fermentation.  Cell growth decreases as pitch rates increase. Ester production is directly related to yeast growth as are most other flavor and aroma compounds.
A low pitch rate can lead to: •Excess levels of diacetyl
•Increase in higher/fusel alcohol formation
•Increase in ester formation
•Increase in volatile sulfur compounds
•High terminal gravities
•Stuck fermentations
•Increased risk of infection
High pitch rates can lead to: •Very low ester production
•Very fast fermentations
•Thin or lacking body/mouthfeel
•Autolysis (Yeasty flavors due to lysing of cells)

This is from the Wyeast site that I linked earlier in the thread.  However, Neva Parker's presentation from last year's AHA conference (which you can find on this site) and the links above for Clayton Clone's articles show evidence of low pitch rate = lower esters and vice versa.  Who's right, I don't know.  However, as Jim states, proper pitch rates is my goal and I don't think that if you slightly under or over pitch it's going to make that big of a difference on a homebrew level...at least that's what I've been told.

Agreed Who is right ? IDK either from my experience I have zero input because I always properly pitch so it has never been a issue for me. That said bottom line who cares about the effect of over or under pitching ? Just do it right and get a good beer in the end.

3
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Basic Yeast Questions
« on: June 11, 2013, 07:48:21 PM »
I could be way off but I think I'm on target a low pitch rate causes more esters as they are a by product of the growth phase and a low pitch rate can also cause off flavors.

Take another look at the info from Clayton Cone and Neva Parker in this thread.  There's persuasive evidence that higher pitch rates create more esters.
   Just a FYI I read the links and it actually supports what I wrote about low pitch rates creating higher ester production though I was wrong abut the fusel alcohol which I thought was created with higher pitching rates.  I copied the article and will paste below

Effect of Pitch Rate on Beer Flavor

Pitch rates, in addition to strain, temperature, and gravity, make a dramatic difference in the final flavor and aroma profile of any beer.  The pitch rate will have a direct effect on the amount of cell growth during a fermentation.  Cell growth decreases as pitch rates increase. Ester production is directly related to yeast growth as are most other flavor and aroma compounds.
A low pitch rate can lead to: •Excess levels of diacetyl
•Increase in higher/fusel alcohol formation
•Increase in ester formation
•Increase in volatile sulfur compounds
•High terminal gravities
•Stuck fermentations
•Increased risk of infection
High pitch rates can lead to: •Very low ester production
•Very fast fermentations
•Thin or lacking body/mouthfeel
•Autolysis (Yeasty flavors due to lysing of cells)

4
Equipment and Software / Re: Plastic carboy
« on: June 11, 2013, 01:48:15 PM »
One more thing to add from my earlier post the one thing I must say is I use my Better bottles for dry hopping and fruit additions and I have NEVER had a residual smell or discoloration and if anything dry hopping and fruit would cause this....

Funny story I'll make it quick my 3 year old son thought it a good idea when I was not looking to drop a few pieces of a onion in my better bottle ...... I freaked out !!! I thought it was ruined as after I took the onions out it reeked of onion !!! I quickly threw pbw and water in there overnight drained it rinsed followed up with starsan really quick for a few minutes though I don't know if I even had to. guess what not a single odor from reeking to nothing so I'm surprised some posters have had this problem.

That's one benefit I will give to BB

5
All Grain Brewing / Re: barley crusher gap settings ?
« on: June 11, 2013, 01:08:08 PM »
crush in a professional setting is a much lower concern at the larger volumes

I'm not sure I follow... Crush is a *major* concern in a professional setting. A deeper grain bed is more prone to channeling or sticking (due to too coarse or too fine a crush, respectively), and it's much more likely that the lautering equipment is optimized for a particular crush, even to the point of needing to pump the mash around. And then there are the profitability implications of efficiency, of course.
You somewhat misunderstand what I meant like I said it is a concern but I feel a bigger concern for home brewers....... I worked for a micro brewery in the northeast that is nationally distributed..... we utilized raking systems to keep uniform temperature and consistency of mash during the actual mash to make sure all grain is wetted and also recirculated to even the biger picture out. in a home brew setup not everyone utilizes pumps and recirculated mashes and I've never met a home brewer who has a 100% duty rake system in the tun our equivalent would be stirring the mash for 5 minutes. Again don't misunderstand what I am saying it is a concern to commercial brewers by all means but I feel home brewers benefit a bit more of a consistent crush.

6
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Basic Yeast Questions
« on: June 11, 2013, 10:53:45 AM »
disregard I see what your referring to..... the link... going to read it right now.

7
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Basic Yeast Questions
« on: June 11, 2013, 10:51:16 AM »
I could be way off but I think I'm on target a low pitch rate causes more esters as they are a by product of the growth phase and a low pitch rate can also cause off flavors.

Take another look at the info from Clayton Cone and Neva Parker in this thread.  There's persuasive evidence that higher pitch rates create more esters.
Denny as you know I'm kinda new here and not to sound like an idiot but I don't see anyone with those names in this thread....... are you using their real names? it sounds like they are... I can't see that is there a option for this somewhere if this is the case ?

8
All Grain Brewing / Re: barley crusher gap settings ?
« on: June 11, 2013, 10:39:03 AM »
Brew house eff is the total volume of grain , wort, hops, etc that makes it from step 1 to your fermenter.

That's a perfectly valid definition, but in the Briess presentation linked within the linked article, they define brewhouse efficiency as the percentage of CGAI extract that's present in the wort - what you're calling mash efficiency.
  Ok I did not follow any links so bad on me ...... is this article geared towards home brewers or towards professional breweries as crush in a professional setting is a much lower concern at the larger volumes ( though still a concern don't misinterpret that ). I still from experience and schooling don't fully agree though I believe strongly that we are splitting hairs as their are so many variable besides the crush.

9
All Grain Brewing / Re: barley crusher gap settings ?
« on: June 11, 2013, 10:35:49 AM »
Ok then I'm mid range getting 85% that's good to know and somewhat supports both sides of the fence as with most things in life moderation usually gets you the best results.

10
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Basic Yeast Questions
« on: June 10, 2013, 09:37:36 PM »
I think I've been under pitching. As you know I bought a couple stir plates recently and I'm learning about that. I bought the Mr Malty app and figured out how to work that. I've watched a few wyeast and white labs videos. ..

1. Lets say I run a 2000ml starter for 24 hrs, then put the flask in the fridge to settle the yeast. How long can it sit in the fridge before decant and pitch? Would 3 or 4 days have much effect?

2. When washing and repitching from a previous brew, how do you estimate and measure how much of that to pitch. A low tech method would be awesome. How long can the washed yeast last in the fridge? Can you use the same viability rates as the smack packs, like about 30% loss per month?

3. Generally speaking, how do ester and fusel production relate to fermentor temp and pitch rate?

I'm asking these questions to verify my understanding. Here's what I think.

1. I think a starter would be just fine in the fridge for a few days, but after a week or so you begin losing viability.

2. I think if you wash a yeast cake right away and keep it in the fridge, it's good for a few days before viability loss starts. I personally wouldn't use it as-is past a month. I think for an <1.060 ale I would use a half cup slurry. Double for a lager or high gravity ale.

3. I think that low pitch rate encourages growth and therefore less esters and more off flavors. High pitch rate increases ester, decreases off flavor except if your over pitch leads to Autolysis. I think fermenting at the low end of the yeasts temp range reduces esters but risks off flavors from poor fermentation. Fermenting at the high end increases esters but risks high fusel production.

Am I on track?  Set me straight please
On part 1 I think your probably pretty solid though I make my starters the day before I brew which is usually on Sunday so mid day Friday I begin my starter and by Saturday night it's in the keezer dropping that yeast from suspension on Sunday decant and pitch. I think your fine from everything I have read for a few days and your probably on target for that 1 week loss of viability.

#2 I don't save cakes though others do and could give better advice though I do rack fresh wort onto a cake so it a bit of a PITA as my brew partner is kegging a beer during the last hour of brewing ( sanitizing the keg racking cane hoses etc and the actual transfer) we usually leave just enough beer to keep the cake barely covered and then cover the carboy back up with a sanitized bung and airlock. once the fresh wort is chilled to temp onto the cake the fresh wort goes. I have read of people collecting the cake and using for up to a week.
 
#3 and I could be way off but I think I'm on target a low pitch rate causes more esters as they are a by product of the growth phase and a low pitch rate can also cause off flavors. A high pitch rate will cause off flavors fusel alcohol and is IMHO worse than under pitching. I would recommend doing neither pitch the proper amount or if reusing a cake try to match the OG of the previous beer to the new OG as close as possible as then you are only bypassing the reproductive and growth phase and just going straight into straight up chomping on sugar phase.

hope that helps but if anyone with more experience disagrees please also set me straight.

11
All Grain Brewing / Re: barley crusher gap settings ?
« on: June 10, 2013, 09:25:29 PM »
Let me ask this question...... I set my mill to .034" would the majority of you consider this a fine or a coarse crush ? Honestly I don't know..... all I do know is when my mill went to heck my eff dropped 10 points when I re gapped to what I tightened it down to from factory settings I have a barley crusher their supposed factory setting is .039" I get 85% constant. So honestly I don't know is .034" fine or coarse ? this is a serious question.

12
All Grain Brewing / Re: barley crusher gap settings ?
« on: June 10, 2013, 09:21:03 PM »
I knew I had this bookmarked but it took a while to find it... A comparison of the sieve fractions for some homebrew mills. http://brewlikeapro.net/maltmilling.html
   Great article but completely misses the point this article is referring to brew house eff not mash eff the two are completely different topics. I am talking about the amount of exposed surface area of the grain to water ratio not the efficiency overall which would be the brew house eff. which in that regard I agree 100% course grind or fine makes no difference what so ever. But in a mash itself which this article makes not a single mention of crush does make a difference. Not to sound demeaning but to explain the difference which I would be surprised if every single person on this thread doesn't already know Brew house eff is the total volume of grain , wort, hops, etc that makes it from step 1 to your fermenter. Mash eff is only the amount of converted starches to sugars based on volume of wort collected. The article provided does not remotely touch that topic at all at least not that I read and I read this 3 times just to make sure. So again I'll state this was only for my own personal curiosity as to what people set their mills to and there is a lot of factors that also play into conversion ie. PH, temperature, grain bill, diastatic power (lintner), adjuncts, the list goes on so a coarser crush may not be a bad thing so don't think I am arguing against a coarse crush but at the same time I feel in a non-ideal situation a  finer crush may level out that playing field a little more in the favor of a higher yield from the mash itself. Let's not get confused by the two types of eff brew house vs mash eff.

13
Equipment and Software / Re: Plastic carboy
« on: June 10, 2013, 06:38:57 PM »
the biggest downside to what your looking to buy is two thing #1 they are not scratch resistant do not I repeat do not use a carboy brush in this only soak with pbw or oxiclean trust me it will scratch if not the bristles the metal center if you rub to hard will mar the plastic and you can harbor bacteria. #2 the dry time you are not supposed to turn these upside down to dry as all that happens is condensation builds up and it takes forever. They recommend laying it on it's side to dry it taks me in a semi dry area 3-4 days before it's completely dry. Actually there is another downside they are flexible and if you try to pick one up the sides cave in and suck the airlock liquid into the beer/wort/must whatever so you are delegated to use a milk crate to move it around and yes this will scratch the outside of the carboy but that is less of a concern only cosmetics for this point. I use them for my dry hopping or fruit additions but besides that I prefer glass 99% of the time even though it's heavier and could break those cons do not out way the con's of a better bottle type style fermenter. but to each their own I know people who swear by them.

14
All Grain Brewing / Re: barley crusher gap settings ?
« on: June 09, 2013, 10:27:53 AM »
I'm hitting 80% efficiency at the factory setting with a 10 lb. grain bill.  Efficiency drops to the low 70s when the grain bill gets up to around 15 lbs. or so.

I don't really see the point in tightening the gap any further.

Agreed with all answers even the one I disagreed with ( if that makes any sense ) : ) if your system is getting the efficiency you are looking for and it's working don't change it. I only started this thread out of curiosity as well as to see what others are getting for eff at certain gap settings. As they say if it isn't broken don't fix it. In my particular and this is only my observation when I had a tight crush I was hitting 85-86% mash eff but I got lazy and didn't keep up with checking my gap. it spread and my indicator was a lower than average eff so I checked and readjusted..... after adjusting I was back at 85% eff so I know in my case the crush effects the mash efficiency and I also btw do a 1 hour sparge sometimes a bit quicker at 45 minutes and have gone as long as 2 hours but that was because I had problems with pumpkin. Beware the pumpkin. anyways I appreciate everyone's input. cheers !!!

15
All Grain Brewing / Re: barley crusher gap settings ?
« on: June 07, 2013, 09:25:45 PM »
I have no idea what my mill is set to and I don't care.  As long as I get the crush I want it doesn't matter.
I read you said recently that it was something like .028.

My gap is set to .032. I normally get around 75%, not great, but it's pretty consistent, so that's all that matters. I typically use some rice hulls in my mash as well, just a couple hands full. Using a bazooka screen, it tends to gum up sometimes.

If I said that, I must have been drunk.  I've never measured the gap.

this si a funny thread.  I have my MM-3 at .028.  At least last time a measured and adjusted it.  Endosperm good and crushed, and most husks still intact.  Who could ask for anything better

Interesting. It is all about lautering and not having stuck sparge.
I have my MM-3 at .40. I get about 85 to 88% efficiency.

Unfortunately I agree but also strongly disagree with your assessment..... yes absolutely sparge time and accurate sparge temps and length are very important. I can't imagine anyone saying crush is not a important factor in your mash efficiency. Just by the fact that more surface area is exposed by a finer crush alone will increase the % of mash eff alone regardless of sparge period though a proper sparge be it fly or batch is very important don't misunderstand what I am saying. I mean there is a reason that people struggle with that balance between stuck sparge and fine crush it's because they know the yield is higher from the finer crush but it can be problematic as well, if I had to guess if you are getting a 85-88% eff it has a lot to do with your PH as well as very stable temps as well as what Iassume is a verrryyy long sparge. Just my .02 but also many years of brewing as well as going to school specifically to brew backs up my statement as well.

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