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Messages - nateo

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All Grain Brewing / Re: on a whim
« on: April 08, 2012, 07:08:29 AM »
Thick mashes used to be necessary to protect enzymes in malts with low diastatic power. Modern malt has so much more DP than you'd ever need, that you could denature half the enzymes and still have plenty left to convert the mash.

IIRC thinner mashes have higher extract efficiency, all other things equal.

Going Pro / Brewing on a schedule
« on: April 08, 2012, 06:46:40 AM »
On the advice of some of the guys here, I've been trying to brew on a weekly schedule, in anticipation of brewing commercial a few years down the road.

What do you do if your beer isn't done when you need the empty tank? Is this just yeast selection, where you only pick strains with quick and acceptable performance?

I haven't been monitoring fermentation progress every day. The beers are usually ready to rack within a week. Two batches ago I used Danstar Windsor for the first time, since I ran out of S-04, and after a week I was only at 33% apparent attenuation. I was boiling a wit at the time, and I needed the bucket, so I racked anyway.

If this were a commercial beer I was trying to make on a schedule with limited fermenting space, this could've been a real disaster. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Wheat in Belgian
« on: April 08, 2012, 06:37:42 AM »

True, it's not necessary, but I don't see why any style shouldn't have wheat in it, if you like wheat in your beers. What I find most interesting about Belgian beers is that the brewers brew to taste, not to style. Rigidly defined styles for these beers is antithetical to their heritage.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Metal rod for measuring volume
« on: April 08, 2012, 06:32:19 AM »
A plastic rod would probably be better. Maybe hit up your Goodwill and find a cheap cooking utensil to use?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Wheat in Belgian
« on: April 07, 2012, 05:13:58 PM »
You can use all malted wheat, but at higher percentages. IIRC from "Brewing with Wheat" that's what some breweries do. IMO a short (30min)/no boil (just hot enough to sterilize) on all or part of the beer will give it a really 'fresh' wheat flavor and hazy appearance.

That'd be good for a Gose, but not much else.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Aerate Starter?
« on: April 07, 2012, 07:40:46 AM »
Maybe Sean will chime in later. On his site (don't have a link with me) he did some comparisons of nothing vs stir plate vs O2 for starter growth. IIRC the O2 starter grew a lot more than the stir-plate starter.

FWIW I read something by a guy who graduated Weihenstephan recently, where he argued you should only aerate your starter, and pitch enough yeast so that you wouldn't have to aerate your wort at all. I thought it was interesting, but maybe only applicable to German styles with no phenolic/estery character?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Problems with Single Decoction mash
« on: April 06, 2012, 05:54:35 PM »
I don't want to go quite that far.  Let's say "Don't be surprised if you don't get the effects you expect from a decoction".

This discussion has got me really interested in decoction mashing. I went back and listened to Kai's interview on Basic Brewing. Kai said that decoction mashing can draw out tannins. In something like a Marzen the tannins might give the beer some nice structure. In a light lager like a pilsner, you wouldn't want excess tannin extraction.

It seems to me that instead of triple decoction, pilsner-type beers would actually be better suited to no-sparge single infusion. Is that crazy? Does anyone brew their light beers like that?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Dry Lagers
« on: April 06, 2012, 02:04:42 PM »
I had a run of astringent beers I traced back to a couple things. When crushing my malt, I was getting a lot of shredded husk bits, then when lautering I was getting a lot of those husk in the boil. A longer vorlauf and more careful malt conditioning took care of it.

Ingredients / Re: Undermodified pils malt?
« on: April 06, 2012, 10:01:02 AM »
wow, a field and a tractor is one tractor and about 3/4 of a field more than I have! For what it's worth I think the main thing is not to much nitrogen and planting in the fall. It's actually a really good winter cover crop, and if you return your waste to the fields a pretty good green manure.

I don't think the field has been farmed since the 60s, maybe earlier. Right now it's just full of grass. I'm not sure if I have a plow to hitch to the tractor.

You can't plant malt, can you? 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Grain Mill
« on: April 06, 2012, 09:40:48 AM »
I use a monster mill 2-roller. Every proper mill on the market is more than good enough for homebrewers.

I recommend an adjustable one. I like to run my malt through once at 1.5mm then again at 0.5mm. It's sort of like using a 3-roller this way. The first pass breaks the husk loose. I can get a really fine crush while leaving the husks mostly intact.

If you ever plan on milling wheat, you'll definitely need an adjustable mill.

Ingredients / Re: Undermodified pils malt?
« on: April 06, 2012, 09:04:15 AM »
Morti- Colorado Malting Company sells unmalted 2-row barley too, not sure what they kind they grow. I'm not really sure if I'm up for growing my own. I mean, I have a field and a tractor, but I wouldn't know where to start.

Ingredients / Re: Undermodified pils malt?
« on: April 06, 2012, 07:57:46 AM »
looks like maybe it's time to get that old two bucket malting bucket setup out and roll your own. If'n ya can't buy y'just might havta make yer own

A year or two ago I came across the website for some guy who made his own countertop "floor" malting system. It looked really sweet. Any idea where I can buy raw Bohemian barley?

I can get raw 6-row at the Mennonite store down the road, but I don't know how good that'll be for what I'm trying to do.

Ingredients / Re: Undermodified pils malt?
« on: April 06, 2012, 06:59:25 AM »
4swan - The Briess "undermodified" malt still has a Kolbach index of 37, which is "overmodified" by traditional lager malt standards. It's less modified than most malt, but still more modified than I was hoping to find.

Thomas - Low DP is not the reason I'm trying to find poorly modified malt. There are low-DP, highly modified malts, like some British pale malts. I'm looking for malt with a low soluble nitrogen ratio, suitable for traditional decoction mashing. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Problems with Single Decoction mash
« on: April 05, 2012, 07:25:37 PM »
Well, I'm starting to come around to Denny's way of thinking. I've been trying to find commercial malts suitable for decoction mashing, and can't find any. The wheat malt I have has 15% protein and a 34% SNR ratio, but it's from a small maltster and not available outside of Colorado. So realistically hardly anyone has access to appropriate malt.

I'd have to conclude that Denny is right, don't bother using decoctions.

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