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Messages - nateo

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Kegging and Bottling / Temperature at bottling
« on: August 27, 2011, 12:07:08 PM »
Hey folks,
Sorry if this has been covered before. I searched and couldn't find an answer. Does it matter if I rack and bottle a beer at cold-crashing temperature, or should I warm up the beer first to rack and bottle.

I ask because it seemed like it was losing a fair amount of CO2 transferring and bottling while cold. Also, as the beer warmed up as I was bottling it, I'm guessing it would've off-gassed a little bit too.

Does this matter? Would I lose enough residual CO2 to worry about? Or am I thinking too hard about this?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: 10 easy steps to being a better brewer
« on: August 27, 2011, 11:51:36 AM »
All beer drinking scheduled time limits do not apply to fishing trips and NHCs.  It says so right in the rules.

I work in a tackle store next to a fishing area, and when I first started I was surprised how many people start drinking at 6am. I tend to see a lot more wake-and-bake than drinking, though.

I usually have a beer or two while brewing, regardless of the time I brew, but when you own/run a business, you're basically always on the clock. If I never drank when I have a few spare hours at random times, I'd never be able to drink.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Partigyle questions, should I cap?
« on: August 25, 2011, 05:13:49 PM »
Thanks Denny and bluesman! I have a pH meter and am pretty anal about checking my runoff pH.

I have another question that came up after I punched everything into Beersmith. I was basing my recipe on Tom O's partigyle calculator, and Kai's partigyle mash thickness table. If you don't have it in front of you, it assumes a 60/40 split of the grains' gravity and color contribution and 3.5L/kg to hit my target first running gravity and volume. The issue is, my mash tun is not nearly big enough to hold all the grain and water at the required thickness.

Should I try to figure out all the gravities from a first, second and third runnings, or should I just do it on-the-fly on brewday? On my sub-recipes for the individual beers I have pre-boil gravities and volumes. Would I be able to just measure my volume and gravity as I mix the 3 runnings to get to where I want to be?

The confusing thing to me is that my "master" recipe with all the grain as one recipe gives me a pre-boil volume of 52L, but each sub-recipe gives me a pre-boil volume of 31L, so I would actually need 11L more than Beersmith tells me. Is this something to do with the way Beersmith calculates boil-off?

I'm not super particular about hitting my numbers exactly, but to be off by 11L seems like a lot.

EDIT: I think I figured out the volume issue. I found a set volume for "lost to trub and chiller" of 3.79, so it was double counting that volume, and also it had a set boil-off volume. When I fixed both of those the numbers matched up.

All Grain Brewing / Partigyle questions, should I cap?
« on: August 25, 2011, 04:09:11 PM »
I've been reading about partigyle brewing, and I intend to do an imperial/regular pseudo-schwarzbier with that method. I've read that some people add different grains at sparging to darken or otherwise change the flavor of the second runnings.

I was planning on making 3 recipes on Beersmith, one with the total grain bill (to figure out mash temps and such), and one assuming 60% of the grist will go towards the big beer, and one assuming 40% goes towards the small beer. Will Beersmith accurately predict the color if I do it this way?

If the color and gravity on the small beer are where I want it to be, should I add grains? I gathered from my reading that the small beer will be lacking, which is why people add additional grains and the sparge. Can someone with some experience doing this verify that?

Going Pro / Re: Thinking of your recipe, buying hops.
« on: August 24, 2011, 06:46:53 AM »
Extract efficiency is much greater on large systems. On a 10bbl system you might get 2-3x the extract efficiency as you would on a homebrew scale. The only way to really know would be to brew a batch and send a sample to a lab to calculate IBU.

Supply line issues are going to be a normal issue with brewing, especially with hops, with so few being grown and so much demand, especially with the proprietary strains. If I were to make recipes, I would tailor them around well-established and non-proprietary strains, like the ones released by the USDA in Corvallis.

All Grain Brewing / Re: The More I Read...Confusion and Vorlauf
« on: August 23, 2011, 06:10:17 PM »
I had a run of 6 very astringent batches. I was able to trace them back to too fine of a crush on my grain, which led to too much draff getting into my boil kettle. After that, I've vorlaufed until my wort was reasonably clear and I've not had the same astringency issues. I've tried vorlaufing until the wort was crystal clear, but didn't notice a difference between "pretty clear" and "really clear" wort in the finished beer.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: WY3711 Top End
« on: August 23, 2011, 10:41:54 AM »
75 *F and it was fine, though I prefer it in the 60's.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Step Mashing in coolers what water ratio to use
« on: August 23, 2011, 10:39:36 AM »
What kind of malt are you using? Multi-stepped mashes should be based on your malt, not just on a recipe. For most malt, most of the time, protein rests won't be necessary. Excessive protein degradation can actually hurt body and head retention. Without know exactly what your recipe is, I can't comment more than just saying "it depends," but I probably would dough-in at the sacc. rest and add boiling water to mash out.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Cleaning Glass vessles?
« on: August 22, 2011, 04:58:20 PM »
Not hijack the thread, but I have an old "medicine" jug I was going to repurpose for starters and such. I have no idea what was stored in it, but it appears clean. I was planning on using pbw, but is there anything else I should do before using it?

Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 22, 2011, 08:47:21 AM »
I read the rules, but not well enough apparently. I thought the concern was discussing secret wholesale pricing in a public forum, not discussing street prices, which are advertised on many sites and readily available to anyone who would care to look.

Without posting any numbers, the issue I was getting at is price elasticity. Something like Coke and Pepsi are relatively elastic. If Coke started charging double, everyone would buy Pepsi. Marketing can help change the elasticity situation. Good marketing can convince people to pay more for what is essentially the same product. Coke's elasticity in 2003 was -3.8, Mtn Dew's was -4.4.

If a good is relatively inelastic, you can raise the price by more than the demand drops. So increasing the price may reduce per-unit sales, but increase total sale income. A perfectly inelastic item would have a score of 0. If it's perfectly elastic, you could increase the price by any amount and not have any drop in demand.

The info I've found on alcohol elasticity gives beer a range of -0.7-0.9, wine at -1.0, and spirits at -1.5. So average beer is actually more elastic than average wine, by the numbers I found. I couldn't find any info on elasticity of super high-end wine, but I would guess at that end the marketing could further reduce elasticity.

Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 22, 2011, 07:38:46 AM »
On a 5 or 10 gallon system the beer was always worth way more to me to drink or share with friends than to sell. You put In hours and hours of hard work just to turn around and sell and barely break even and if you count the time and labor you'd actually lose money.

The more I think about this, the more sense it makes. Beer is a high volume, low value item. What's the most someone will pay for a bottle or glass? I don't think I've spent more than $x on a 12oz or $xx for a 22oz, ever, and very rarely at that. So even if you make the best beer in the world, there is a pretty low cap to the maximum price of your product, and a relatively small difference between the low end cost of "craft" beer (maybe $x/six pack) and the normal high end (maybe $xx/six pack), not counting the one-off or unusual or aged beers, which sell for more but cost a lot more to produce.

Hand crafted products seem to make more sense on low volume, high value items. A handmade bicycle frame usually costs between $2-4k, and may have 100 hours of work put into it. Material cost is about 1/4 of that price, so on a $2k frame you're making $1500 profit, or $15/hr. Even at that margin, no frame builders are getting rich. They may have $20k invested in machining and welding equipment, but that's a fraction of a brewing system.

I'd run the same numbers for a nanobrewer, but don't want to get in trouble with the mods. I might be wrong, but I'd be amazed if nanobrewers, or even most microbrewers, approached $15/hr, or even half that.

Mod edit:  We CANNOT mention beer prices in the ProThreads.

Equipment and Software / Re: Stainless steel braid for Mash tun
« on: August 21, 2011, 03:40:39 PM »
I use a 12" water heater hose that was the fattest one I could find. I think it was 1-1/2" diameter. Works really well. I had read somewhere that shorter, straight lengths of braid are better than long windy ones. Not sure if that's true. It sounds like they'll both work.

for free web-based:
for paid for, I'd say Beersmith is the single best homebrew purchase I've made.
Or, you could pick up Daniels' Designing Great Beers and he'll teach you how to write recipes with just pen and paper.

Ingredients / Re: belgium congac ipa
« on: August 21, 2011, 02:48:03 PM »
I strongly encourage oaking strong Belgian beers. I had a dark strong that scored poorly for being out of style, but in the comments the judges agreed it was their favorite beer from that category. I used French oak, fwiw.

Some of their flavor comments: Oaky Chilean wine character, currants, spicy/peppery, vanilla oak, hot, malt sweetness, finish has low bitterness.

Going Pro / Re: Brewery Financing for someone with no wealth/collateral
« on: August 21, 2011, 01:56:24 PM »
Somehow people do not want to listen.
Let them learn hard way.

It is like talking about water for BoPils.

It's a basic economic issue we learned in Micro 101. It's all about opportunity cost. Unless you're really hurting for money and working in a field or a sweatshop somewhere, there is a point where your free time is more valuable to you than any money you'd make by working more. Some people would rather work 100 hours a week as a nanobrewer than work 40 hours a week and make more money, and have more free time for homebrewing.

Also, what's the deal with bopils water?

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