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Messages - gmac

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All Grain Brewing / Re: % Extraction and help getting OG right
« on: March 11, 2011, 05:55:28 PM »

First of all, regarding the cups/liters question, it's not the people on the forum that I'm worried about, it's me.  I know you guys will get it, my worry is me working backwards from directions.  So, if something says sparge with X.xx quarts, then I have to work back to figure out how many cups that would be in my 2 cup measuring cup which is all I have.  Just worried that I'm gonna do the math wrong.  My wife once made soup that called for so many quarts of water and she used pints...mmmm - salty!  But, it is the American Homebrew Association so I will have to learn to live with it. 

Another area that I know will likely help with efficiency would be mash pH.  I used my pH meter and got 6.2 in the hot mash at about 5-10 minutes into the mash.  I then read Kai's excellent work on mash pH.  So my first learning for next time is to adjust my pH with some phosphoric acid or something (maybe I'll just cut open a couple batteries and throw them in).  But, that's the point of trying to do the same recipe repeatedly with small changes so that I can learn to get all the aspects right.

Just for your interest, here's a couple shots of how the mash tun was made.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Improving Efficiency
« on: March 11, 2011, 05:16:15 PM »
Well, I can send you some of my 1.072.  You got too little, I got way too much. 

All Grain Brewing / % Extraction and help getting OG right
« on: March 11, 2011, 04:54:22 PM »
I did my first all grain and here's what I ended up with.

After grinding 11.5 lbs of Maris Otter and 11 oz crystal, I mashed it and ended up with far less wort than I expected.
I was shooting for 5 gallons of about 1.048 or 1.050.  I ended up with about 4 gallons, maybe a touch less of 1.072.  Obviously I need to sparge with more water.  I used 1.25 quarts per lb (I think - I used 60 cups of water with a 2 cup measuring cup) and added 6 more cups to get my water temp right.  Then I sparged with 20 cups (I wish the world was metric...) which I now realize was too little.  Should have used at least 30 again. 

Assuming I got  about 4 gallons post boil, what would my % extraction be and how do I calculate that for future reference?

Then, can I just top the brew up with boiled water to make 5 gal?  This is far stronger than I wanted.  I am sure that this would be alright but I'm deferring to the forum for your thoughts. 


All Grain Brewing / Re: How long does a batch take/Grinding grain.
« on: March 11, 2011, 03:00:49 PM »
Well, here's one.  Don't have a wort cooler.

Silly huh?
I had a smaller pot before and I cut down a garbage can and set the pot in the can and ran cold water through the can while stirring the wort intermittently.  Worked very well.  But the new 15 gal pot won't fit. 

Luckily, we got 6 inches of snow last night and it's about 28 degrees outside so I guess I'll just stack snow up around it and let it sit. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: How long does a batch take/Grinding grain.
« on: March 11, 2011, 01:21:30 PM »
Whew...Thanks everyone.  Especially Euge for talking me off the ledge  :)

It is sparging right now.  I'll have to post a shot of the fitting that my friend made me (basically he machined a fitting that fits a tap on the outside of the coleman extreme and adapts to fit the hose on the inside.  All one piece bronze with a built in o-ring to ensure no leaks).  It's working amazingly well.  Very quick and easy and thanks to Denny too for all the advice.

Tastes sweet so that's something I guess.  Now just have to boil for an hour.  Wonder what I can screw up during that stage?

Equipment and Software / Re: Malt Mill
« on: March 11, 2011, 12:17:55 PM »
I ground my first batch with the 3 roller crankandstein and it worked very well.  I think it could be a bit too fine (very floury) but there's room for adjustments.  I copied a hopper design off the web (just google it) and it worked ok too although it doesn't hold the whole grain bill.  Probably took me no more than 5 min to grind 12 lbs with a cordless drill.  No idea what speed but it was set on low, about 1/4 throttle.  Tried to mimic what I figured I'd get grinding it by hand. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: How long does a batch take/Grinding grain.
« on: March 11, 2011, 11:50:33 AM »
Thanks.  Any comments on my temperature issue?  That's a new thing to be worried about.  And I checked the mash pH.  Something else to be worried about.  Who came up with that "Relax, don't worry....." phrase?  I'm having trouble following that advice.

All Grain Brewing / Re: How long does a batch take/Grinding grain.
« on: March 11, 2011, 11:25:18 AM »
Thanks everyone.  Grain is ground and is mashing right now.  Probably screwed it up already.  I have two thermometers.  One is very slow to come to temperature but I think it's the more accurate of the two.  I heated my water and added it but I think it was too hot.  Probably close to 180 when I added it.  I had to add 6 cups of cold water to bring it down closer to the 154 temp I was shooting for.  What are the ramifications of having it too hot for a few minutes?  Would I have killed all my enzymes in that short a time?  It was probably about 170 before I added the water.

All Grain Brewing / How long does a batch take/Grinding grain.
« on: March 11, 2011, 07:49:46 AM »
I've got everything together for my first all grain batch.  Gonna do a batch sparge on a 5 gal batch.  Just wondering how much time this takes or should take.  I expect to be 50% longer since it's my first attempt but I'm a bit nervous about getting started.

Also, I remember reading somewhere that you shouldn't grind grain where you brew.  Is this true?  I can't see how it would matter because we try so hard to keep bacteria etc out of the carboy anyway.  I don't have a lot of extra room.

I'll take some pictures as I go if you're interested.
Wish me luck.

All Things Food / Re: What's For Dinner?
« on: March 07, 2011, 05:42:15 PM »

Man, that right there is a reason why I miss the US and A sometimes. How fun would that be, a hot wings night with neighbors! My neighbors are way too %*&# picky about what they eat.

That's too bad.  But, maybe you could have escargot night???
Wings were awesome, did the Thai, traditional buffalo and dry seasoned with fresh cracked pepper, sea salt and a bit of garlic powder shaken on when they were still hot.   6 of us ate about 15 lbs of wings, neighbours made corn bread and coleslaw. 

Only down side was one of the neighbours has celiac so no gluten which means no panco breading.  I guess we can survive without.

We do the same thing in the summer with fish and in the fall with a deep fried chicken/turkey.  I love my turkey fryer!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Schematic
« on: March 07, 2011, 05:35:16 PM »
Cooler is coming along.  I over did it as always with brass fittings and a tap and everything, had to get my friend to machine a couple parts for me but he gets paid in beer so its good.  I'll try to put on a picture.
Bought my kettle today.  Couldn't afford stainless.  Went with Aluminum so I will have to season it as described above.  Does it need to be full or just some water in it?  I sort of over did on the pot too.  I got a 60 quart pot which I think is 15 gallons (not sure if that is US or Imperial gallons).  Either way I have enough for a 10 gal batch when I get up to it.
Someday I hope to stop buying parts and actually make some beer...

Equipment and Software / Re: 2 roller vs 3 roller
« on: March 06, 2011, 07:58:15 PM »
I was going to run it with a drill.  Are you suggesting that I'd be better off motorizing it? 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Haze issues with a bag of Maris Otter malt
« on: March 05, 2011, 03:19:11 PM »
I've had problem with Munton's Maris Otter before, including haze.  
I just concluded that they make crappy malt and spent more time getting better ones. 

Darn it.  I just got 55 lbs of Munton's MO.  Wish I'd read this first.

All Things Food / Re: What's For Dinner?
« on: March 05, 2011, 03:16:37 PM »

A ukulele might. The last time I tried to slice cabbage with a mandolin it kept knocking it out of tune.


For me, tonight is wing night with the neighbours.  I make a Thai inspired wing with coconut milk, soy, brown sugar, honey, chiles, garlic, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, bit of sesame oil, lots of fresh cilantro and basil.  Wings come out of the turkey fryer and into the sauce.  Mix em up.  Awesome.

Equipment and Software / Re: 2 roller vs 3 roller
« on: March 04, 2011, 06:59:11 AM »
Ooops... this was meant to go into equipment, not ingredients.  If someone wants to move it, go ahead. 

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