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Topics - nyakavt

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Kegging and Bottling / Beer still cloudy after 2 servings of gelatin
« on: March 08, 2010, 06:30:36 AM »
Since I started kegging I have been pouring about 1/2 pack of bloomed then heated gelatin on top of the chilled keg.  It has worked great, clear beer in 1-2 days.  But my latest, a Dortmunder Export, is being very stubborn.  I used the dregs of one gelatin package, about 2.5g, and saw no change to clarity.  A couple days later I added another 3.5g and still no change.  This is the first time I've weighed the additions, so I could have been using more than 1/2 pack previously. 

The only major difference to this particular batch was the brewing salts used, lots of calcium chloride and gypsum and some chalk to give high hardness (~200 ppm calcium) and moderately low residual alkalinity.  The mash pH was 5.3 per colorpHast strips, I have not measured beer pH. 

So is there anything I can do to clarify this beer, or is it just chalk that is making my beer cloudy?


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All Grain Brewing / For those that measure mash gravity
« on: March 02, 2010, 07:19:59 AM »
Do you find that a mashout is necessary to ensure 100% conversion?  I have been measuring mash gravity for the past 20 batches, but it has only been accurate for the last 7 or so since I started cooling samples in a sealed container.  I have thus far found that every beer but one required raising the mash temperature at the end (sort of a mashout, but it varies from 158-170F depending on how much water is in the tun) to ensure complete conversion.  After a 60 minute sacc rest I am several Plato low, I think 2-5 but I'd have to check my notes to be sure.

These results are confusing since I have heard a lot of people saying that a low adjunct mash is converted 'as soon as it hits the water'.  There may be some starches that are not gelatinized at the mash temperatures I am using, but I'd like some independent confirmation of this from other brewer's observations.

Some details:
Grist has been mostly Best Pils or Best Munich, with a 2-row and wheat base beer thrown in
Mill gap: .025" set by feeler gauges on the Barley Crusher
Grist is conditioned prior to milling with 1-2% water by mass
Mash temp has been 151-154 over the 7 beer span, losing 1-3° in the hour
Strike water volume is accurate to the nearest quart
Grist is measured on a scale accurate to the nearest 0.1 oz
Temperature is measured with the pro-accurate digital thermometer from NB, 32.0F in icy water and 213-214F at boiling (for wort).
Sample is gathered either into a 20 mL screw top test tube and immediately sealed, or in a 10 mL medical syringe. 
The test tube is cooled by submerging in a water bath, and the syringe is cooled by running cold water over the outside.  I tried submerging the syringe before but some water mixed with the sample and contaminated the reading.  Both methods agree exactly when taken on the same mash.
Sample size is typically 1-5 mL read on an ATC refractometer after cooling until it does not feel warm to the touch.
Grist potential OG is calculated from typical malt analysis sheets for base malts and values found in Home Brewing Wiki's Malts chart for each malt used.  Formula used: expected FW extract = 100 * grain laboratory extract / (R + grain laboratory extract) where R = water to grist ratio.

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General Homebrew Discussion / Brix to plato conversion
« on: February 09, 2010, 12:21:39 PM »
Everything I've read online say that Brix and Plato are 'close enough' for brewing.  Well this isn't very satisfying to me, I would like to make that decision myself.  Promash never displays the same value for plato and brix when I enter my refractometer reading.  So, how does one convert between the two?

I found this table which says Plato = 1.04 * Brix.  I'd like to get another source or get verification of the accuracy of this conversion.

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Questions about the forum? / Show topic titles only in search results?
« on: February 04, 2010, 10:49:11 AM »
Couldn't see this in the settings, is there a way to show just topic titles and not the whole reply in search results?  Same goes when looking up last posts by a member.

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All Grain Brewing / Malt conditioning rocks!
« on: November 10, 2009, 05:45:26 AM »
I brewed a weissbier yesterday with 60% white wheat and had one of the easiest and quickest runoffs ever (batch sparging) with no rice hulls.  The secret was malt conditioning, a technique that Kai brought to my attention on his site.  Prevously I'd always have some wort left behind, or my absorbtion was relatively high (0.6 qts/lb).

I weighed out the entire grist and put it in a pot.  I sprayed water over the top layer, then stirred.  This was repeated until I had put around 80 mL of water on the grain (about 2% by mass).  When I run my hands through the uncrushed grain, a few kernels would stick.  After milling, the grist looked much fluffier than usual, and in the MT it ran off so much faster, even with a 0.025" mill gap.  I say give it a try on your next batch and see if it helps, you can crush finer without the runoff penalties.

One word of caution: if you mill by hand, you may want to use half the water, or try it with an all barley beer first.  Adding that much water made the mill fairly difficult to turn, I really got a workout on this one.  I think part of that was due to the wheat, but also wet grain is quite a bit stickier than dry.

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