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Messages - Big Monk

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1
All Grain Brewing / Re: Martin's boil tips?
« on: October 08, 2018, 10:06:52 PM »
1.) Don’t boil longer than 60 minutes;
2.) All you need is a simmer;
3.) It’s okay to partially cover the boil.

We’ve been beating that drum for years now!

Nah. There is a lot more than that and some of what Derek points out is incorrect.

1. For most brewers in the country, they are at a low enough elevation that it is unnecessary to perform any more than a total of 60 minutes of 'boil'. Brewers working at higher elevations (say 2000 ft plus), might need to extend their 'boil' time when working with high Pils content wort (Pils malt is any malt with color less than 2.2L).

2. I placed 'boil' in quotes since the intensity of the boil can and should be varied to address the chemical and physical processes needed at various times in the wort boiling process. When your beer has high Pils content wort (it has DMS-precursor (SMM) in it), then a low intensity, covered simmer is perfectly capable of performing the conversion of SMM into DMS. Once an acceptable percentage of SMM has been converted, then a more intense, open boil is necessary to volatilize that DMS from the wort into the atmosphere. For most brewers below 2000 feet, about a half hour of covered simmer and about a half hour of open boil are sufficient to bring DMS to acceptable or imperceptible levels in a high Pils content wort. For high elevation brewers, its the simmer stage that needs to be extended since SMM conversion to DMS is directly related to your wort temp. Remember that wort boils at lower temp at high elevation.

If your wort has low or no Pils content, then its possible to further shorten the boil time since there is no need to convert SMM to DMS. Pale malts (color is greater than 2.5L) generally have little or no SMM, but they can have DMS. Therefore, it is still necessary to conduct about a half hour open boil to volatilize DMS out of the wort. This open boil period of about a half hour is sufficient to rid any wort of high DMS concentration...as long as your wort has very good contact with the atmosphere. To have good contact, your wort either needs to be fan sprayed across the kettle or have a good rolling action. Offsetting your kettle a few inches to the side of the center of your burner can encourage a good rolling of the wort within the kettle. For those of you with valves and other heat-sensitive accessories on your kettle, this offset could help keep them out of the heat.

While you might get by with a short boil when you're not dealing with Pils malt, it may not be as cost effective since boil time also helps determine your hop bittering utilitization. If you're OK with adding more hops, then a shorter boil could be OK for some beers. By the way, you get exactly the same bittering utilization when your wort is simmering at 212F under cover or boiling volcanically, uncovered at 212F.

One thing that I'm not saying, is that its still OK to boil beers longer when they depend on long boils for their character. Barleywines and Old Ales can (should??) still be boiled for longer periods, if that's what the brewer is after. Just be aware that long boils degrade Coagulable Nitrogen too much and that kills head retention.

3. While its OK to cover your kettle at times, it is still important that your wort has good exchange with the atmosphere for at least a half hour in order to expel DMS. You don't need a volcanic boil, but your wort does have to circulate well so that every molecule of wort has its chance at the wort surface in order to get rid of DMS.

There is still a bunch more to this topic, but this was a Reader's Digest version.

Enjoy!     

Thank you for the exceptions to the rules. In general, however, all three of my points are correct for the vast majority of brewers.

Never hurts to understand the outliers though, so thank you. You are absolutely correct but your expansion seemed a little outside of what I imagine most brewers here would want. Otherwise I would have elaborated myself.

Let’s not get started on TBI!

2
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Oxidization
« on: October 08, 2018, 02:25:55 PM »
I'm just not at that part of my "brewing career" that I want to worry about HSA. I'm not saying I splash the hell out of my wort. I take measures to ensure my recirc tube is below the mash level and small stuff like that. But, beyond that - I just can't see complicating my brew day. The beer that I brew, keg, and enjoy is just too delicious to justify complicating it at this time. Could it be better if I watch my HSA? I don't know, maybe. But I've spent time on changes like building water from distilled and controlling fermentation temperatures to within 1 degree. These 2 changes alone have greatly improved the quality of my beer but I also recognized that I needed to make those changes due to inconsistency from batch to batch. As of right now I'm not picking up on anything that makes me want to start worrying about HSA.

I also only brew 2.5g batches. It's possible this whole HSA thing is more concerning at larger scales. I don't know. Not an expert on this.

Honestly, that's right where you should be. If you like the beer you make, why change it? If you are looking for improvement, then you can investigate other techniques.

3
All Grain Brewing / Re: Martin's boil tips?
« on: October 08, 2018, 03:26:50 AM »
1.) Don’t boil longer than 60 minutes;
2.) All you need is a simmer;
3.) It’s okay to partially cover the boil.

We’ve been beating that drum for years now!

4
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Oxidization
« on: October 07, 2018, 03:26:06 PM »
I've incorporated many refinements to my methods and equipment to reduce oxygen uptake on both the hot and cold sides. For some styles (light malty), I find that it definitely makes a difference. But not so much for others.

I will say that I have a very limited scope of beers brewed. I do Trappist “style” ales, Pale Ale, 9% Imperial Stout and Brown Ale. I’ve noticed the difference in all of them, especially my Trappist beers. Overall I agree with you though. For many this may be another tool in the toolbox to nail paler beers.

The ease with which I incorporated those measures was probably increased since I already ran a RIMS. For brewers employing more mash mixing, it may not be nearly as easy and they are less likely to note a difference even in those beer styles that benefit.

I disagree here. For single infusion without recirc, gentle stirring and Metabisulfite are your friend. We have a number of very successful single infusion brewers with very simple cooler rigs and a spoon for stirring.

At a minimum, I strongly encourage brewers to focus on eliminating post-fermentation oxygen contact during transfer and packaging. That definitely improves the longevity of your beers.

Absolutely no one in this day and age should disagree with you here.

5
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Oxidization
« on: October 06, 2018, 12:51:27 PM »
This has been a very interesting subject indeed.  However, my opinion is that way too much emphasis has been placed on it.  Unless one is brewing in a vacuum (literally) the inclusion of oxygen into the process is inevitable.  I further believe it’s most important to minimize the inclusion of oxygen post fermentation than it is pre fermentation.  I think, after reading all the expert opinions in this thread, that oxygen inclusion, preboil, seems to be a major effort in futility.

It’s actually extremely easy to exclude oxygen throughout the process but the discussion of how and why is outside the bounds of this thread.

I think everyone can agree, as always, on the importance of cold side oxygen exclusion.

6
All Grain Brewing / Re: First runnings mash
« on: October 05, 2018, 06:22:23 PM »
Ok. But how do I get absorption gal, melt dead space and kettle dead space.
I’m sure My mash fun can hold the required water.

You measure it. Or guess, but those should be values you have tracked for your equipment.

No. I just brew and I’ve done it enough that I know how to get the right volume after sparring. But. I did find a .125 gal per pound absorption recommendation. So I guess I’m going with 9.5gs and I’ll just find out the hard/easy way of trial and error.

For No-Sparge you'll need to know those values to hit the numbers you want. If you want to finish at 6.5 gal, you should measure your deadspace just to be sure. Fill your mash tun and kettle and see how much liquid is left when you drain the water out. Add those values to your 9.5 gal.

This would be the ideal batch to measure for those things.

7
All Grain Brewing / Re: First runnings mash
« on: October 05, 2018, 06:11:28 PM »
Ok. But how do I get absorption gal, melt dead space and kettle dead space.
I’m sure My mash fun can hold the required water.

You measure it. Or guess, but those should be values you have tracked for your equipment.

8
All Grain Brewing / Re: First runnings mash
« on: October 05, 2018, 06:00:27 PM »
I am doing a partygyle today and had a water question. I do not want to sparge at all. Just pull the first runnings and boil. I need about 6.5 gallons of wort because I expect a loss of about 1.5g during boil. How much strike  water do I need? And is there a calculator online? (Couldn’t find one) I have 13.5 gallons grain and am using table sugar to bring up my gravity. Normally I would mash in with 4.5 gallons for this amount of grain.
Thanks for the help.

To get 6.5 gallons wort on a no sparge:

13.5 lbs * Absorption Rate (gal/lb) = Absorption (gal)

6.5 gal + 1.5 gal + Absorption (gal) + MLT Deadspace (gal) + Kettle Deadspace (gal) = ~ Strike Volume (gal)

Then you need to check if you can mash that much!



9
All Grain Brewing / Re: Automated Brewing
« on: October 05, 2018, 01:29:41 PM »
I've really enjoyed the Speidel Braumeister. It has a rich feature set and some great add-ons.

10
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Layoffs.
« on: October 05, 2018, 01:26:10 PM »
At the end of the day, for the average onlooker, you have a convergence of something we are passionate about and big business. Not necessarily just Big Beer either. Craft is big business. Like it or not, even the best of them have to make financial decisions, and big ones at that. Some, it would seem, navigate that better than others, and i'll concede that for those with bigger corporate backing, the pressure is probably much more significant.

You always have to step back and be objective when these things come up. We'd like to idealize the industry as serving a higher purpose WRT the actual craft of making beer and serving it's customers responsibly, as well as serving it's employees to the best of it's ability. It is a business though, and once a lot of money starts changing hands, you are at the mercy of the economic and market conditions.

11
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Layoffs.
« on: October 05, 2018, 03:08:27 AM »
When your business model details rapid expansion and you court a large company to aid in said business model, it can’t then be thrown back at the “corporate overlord” when the business model doesn’t then pan out as expected.


You're basically arguing that Heineken is an innocent bystander here. Come on. Were they "duped" into believing Magee's model? Did they have no idea what they were getting into? No doubt Heineken vetted the model thoroughly and completely, down to the last tenth of a penny over next 200 years. I also suspect Heineken was involved in crafting Magee's business model long before the sale was formally announced, and long before Stipp was installed. No Overlord would buy a company and then not have a huge say in its leadership or direction.

It absolutely can be thrown back at Magee, Stipp, and Overlord. How is it that they are NOT the ones responsible for the model's failure or success? They're the ones that made it and/or bought into it! Of course, Stipp's job isn't on the chopping block...

I’m not arguing for people losing their jobs. That is the unfortunate side of economics. However, it stands to reason that in a situation like this, major expansion extends to the workforce and it’s often “last in, first out”. That’s a tough pill to swallow and regrettably it happens in many industries.



12
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Layoffs.
« on: October 05, 2018, 01:33:47 AM »
When your business model details rapid expansion and you court a large company to aid in said business model, it can’t then be thrown back at the “corporate overlord” when the business model doesn’t then pan out as expected.

As sad as it is to have to layoff people (even my business is not immune to it), sometimes it’s a necessary move to reestablish stability for the rest of the workforce and company.

13
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Layoffs.
« on: October 05, 2018, 12:29:05 AM »
You can’t lay the blame on Heineken for this one.

Lagunitas was all about aggressive expansion before Heineken ever entered the picture. You’d be hard pressed to say that this wouldn’t have happened in Heineken’s absence.

The truth of the matter is that if a business grows rapidly and expansion outstrips demand, the difference has to be made up somewhere. Would they be so quick to lay people of if they weren’t owned by a large company? Would pre-Heineken Lagunitas have taken a hit rather than layoff? Who knows. Surely not guys and gals on a homebrew forum.


14
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Oxidization
« on: October 04, 2018, 07:04:37 PM »
Although I agree that appropriate steps should be taken to minimize oxygen uptake during the mash, runoff, and boil steps of the brewing process, I remember a paper that was presented at the 2014 Homebrew Con in Grand Rapids about HSA.  It said in a nut shell that it was not as big a problem as originally thought.  They tested an ESB that was brewed using good brewing practices (the control beer) and also where they oxygenated the hell out of the wort during mash and boil stages.  They evaluated the beers when fresh, after 10 weeks in the bottle, and after 20 weeks in the bottle to determine if the excessive O2 had any adverse effects when compared to the control beer.  Mind you, I would never try to repeat this experiment but the results were interesting.  We also got to sample some of the control beer and the 'excessively oxygenated" beers so that we could see for ourselves.

The link to the paper is:  https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/attachments/presentations/pdf/2014/Effects%20of%20Hot%20Side%20Aeration%20of%20Wort,%20Mash%20and%20Sparge%20Water.pdf

There is also a live recording of the seminar on the AHA web site.

I am sure that noticeable effects could appear after longer aging but this was an interesting experiment.  Of course, YMMV.  Denny, maybe you could weigh in on this a bit more since you have had a lot more experience with oxidized beers.

The problem with experiments that attempt to analyze the affect of HSA is that their control beer is really not a control beer. If you mash in with oxygen saturated water, and are careful on the cold side, the resulting beers won't differ significantly, i.e. the beer is already oxygenated heavily at mash in.

Remove the Low Oxygen/Standard argument for a second and just contemplate what a real control beer for an HSA experiment would be and realize that it would two separate but identical batches, with one devoid of oxygen throughout the process and one created just as in the presentation posted above. Then compare the results.

That would be a good follow-up experiment.  Obviously, there have been changes in procedures since 2014 and there is more information out there but for general homebrewing (if you are not a fierce competition brewer), I think that we might be over-analyzing things.  I don't dispute your post, I am just thinking, RDWHAHB.  If your beer tastes good to you and your friends, all is good with the world.  If you start having oxidation problems, then it's time to take a look at your process.

I'm inclined to agree with you WRT the simple fact that if you enjoy the beer you make then over analyzing it is a solution in search of a problem.

If, however, we want to discuss how to structure a valid comparison between two beers that analyzes a single variable such as HSA at a certain point in the process, then you have to get in the weeds a little bit and make the distinction I did.

In general, the most devastating type of oxidation is on the cold side, but there is an incredible amount of nuance and degrees of damage on the hot side as well. It's just a matter of what you are trying to determine from an experimental point of view.

You are absolutely right though when you say that ultimately it's the individual brewer who has to decide when and where improvements are warranted.

15
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Oxidization
« on: October 04, 2018, 02:50:59 PM »
Although I agree that appropriate steps should be taken to minimize oxygen uptake during the mash, runoff, and boil steps of the brewing process, I remember a paper that was presented at the 2014 Homebrew Con in Grand Rapids about HSA.  It said in a nut shell that it was not as big a problem as originally thought.  They tested an ESB that was brewed using good brewing practices (the control beer) and also where they oxygenated the hell out of the wort during mash and boil stages.  They evaluated the beers when fresh, after 10 weeks in the bottle, and after 20 weeks in the bottle to determine if the excessive O2 had any adverse effects when compared to the control beer.  Mind you, I would never try to repeat this experiment but the results were interesting.  We also got to sample some of the control beer and the 'excessively oxygenated" beers so that we could see for ourselves.

The link to the paper is:  https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/attachments/presentations/pdf/2014/Effects%20of%20Hot%20Side%20Aeration%20of%20Wort,%20Mash%20and%20Sparge%20Water.pdf

There is also a live recording of the seminar on the AHA web site.

I am sure that noticeable effects could appear after longer aging but this was an interesting experiment.  Of course, YMMV.  Denny, maybe you could weigh in on this a bit more since you have had a lot more experience with oxidized beers.

The problem with experiments that attempt to analyze the affect of HSA is that their control beer is really not a control beer. If you mash in with oxygen saturated water, and are careful on the cold side, the resulting beers won't differ significantly, i.e. the beer is already oxygenated heavily at mash in.

Remove the Low Oxygen/Standard argument for a second and just contemplate what a real control beer for an HSA experiment would be and realize that it would two separate but identical batches, with one devoid of oxygen throughout the process and one created just as in the presentation posted above. Then compare the results.

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