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Messages - nateo

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Skimming foam from the boil
« on: March 08, 2011, 01:28:56 PM »
I like to skim off the top, because I've noticed that some of the draff from the grains will be carried up by the protein, so you can get both at once.

I usually vorlauf a qt., never more than 2.  It takes me maybe 2-3 min.  If you have to vorlauf longer, I'd look at your system to see what could be improved.

Thanks again for all your help guys. And Denny, yes, I definitely have a lot to improve!

Equipment and Software / Re: 2 roller vs 3 roller
« on: March 04, 2011, 08:46:07 AM »
The first gap in a 3-roller is set at about 70mil, then the second one is adjustable. You could get the same effect from running your grain once through at 70mil, then again at a tighter setting. A 3-roller is faster and easier than doing two passes and adjusting between them. I just use a 2-roller mill and do two passes, and it's not a big deal.

By the way..... by vorlaufing for 2 hours, you have basically mashed for an extra 2 hours.  Therefore, I predict your attenuation will be crazy high.  It depends also on the strain of yeast that you have used, and other factors, but this could very well be a really bone dry beer with very very little sweetness.  Might even seem watery.  Just so you're not surprised by it later.  There are reasons why most folks don't mash for that long, and this is a big one.

I made a saison, and I hoped for 90%+ attenuation, so I'm not too worried about over-mashing.

I picked up a copy of New Brewing Lager, and found a ton of info, including this: "A lot of draff carried into the kettle is a recipe for astringent beer, but a small amount may improve trub coagulation. The majority of brewers recycle until the runoff is no longer heavily clouded; this is generally accomplished in less than ten minutes. Excessive recycling may lead to greater lipid levels in the wort and ought to be avoided."

Unless you actually have chunks in your runoff, clarity of runoff really isn't related to the clarity or flavor of the finished beer.

How big is a chunk? How much particulate matter / flour is acceptable?

Wow! I don't think you need to vorlauf for that long! ussualy I think you only need to do about a quart or two. You aren't looking for crystal clear wort out of the mashtun just no chunks.

It's not something I plan on doing for all my brews, unless the results are just fantastic. I wanted to try brewing with as little particulate matter as possible to see if the astringency was caused by grain material in the boil, or some other factor. It should be done fermenting in a week or so, and I'll report back with my findings.

One thing I noticed while chilling, the wort had incredible foam stability. I use an immersion chiller, and to finish the last 20* or so to get to pitching temps, I raise and lower the cooler rapidly. It foamed up a lot more than usual, and the foam persisted for a much longer time. Any ideas what would have caused that?

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Overchilled wort + Yeast
« on: March 03, 2011, 09:13:11 AM »
IIRC, Noonan recommends chilling the wort to slush if possible, to get the most of your cold break, and then letting it warm up before pitching. So I don't think you can really overchill it, unless it turns into an ice cube.

Heat it up and rouse the yeast. If you have a heating pad or something, try warming it up to around 80* and see if that helps get things going again.

Just dropping dry yeast in at this point would be a waste. Make a 6L starter and dump in a lot of active yeast, and that might make a difference.

Ingredients / Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
« on: February 27, 2011, 08:41:00 PM »
Martin: I had a grist of only pale malt @ 2 SRM, FWIW. I also use the EMD ChloropHast strips, and I'm extrapolating based on Kai's experiments with their systemic errors, so I'm not sure my data is as reliable as I'd want it to be if I were making formulae.

 I would love it if in future releases you could have a metric volume option for the mash and batch total. I like using your spreadsheet, but I hate using gallons.

Ingredients / Re: Temperature and pH
« on: February 27, 2011, 08:32:54 PM »
IIRC, pH at "mash temp" is about -0.3 lower than at "room temp." Mash temp is generally 149-160, I'd say. But I've checked pH at the protein rest step, which is 120-132*-ish and gotten closer values to "room temp" something more like -0.15. There is a relation between temp and pH, but I don't think it's linear.

Just checked myself, and to quote Kai (quoting Briggs):  "Briggs quotes a difference of 0.35 in pH between a mash pH measured at mash temps and the same liquid measured at room temp. The pH measured at mash temp is lower "

Really fantastic work Kai! Maybe people will stop using those Palmer SRM spreadsheets now. . .

Brewing another beer right now. I have vorlaufed (vorgelauft?) for about 2 hours to get the wort clear, but boy is it crystal clear. I think because the grain bed wasn't thick enough to filter well enough? Today has convinced me to construct a proper MLT.

Also, the difference between what my wort currently looks like, and used to look like, is striking. I had no idea I was getting so much grain into my boiler. Like, really, a ton of grain.

Ingredients / Re: Advanced Software for Brewing Water Analysis
« on: February 26, 2011, 12:35:40 PM »
Wow! I'm really pleased with the mash pH estimator. Hit 5.3 right off the bat. Thanks for much for making this available for us!

As noted above, any formula has room for improvement, but this thing is as close to perfect as I need.

He answered my question!

That's such a cool feature. I'm really enjoying my new AHA membership.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Best high gravity/high alcohol tolerant yeast?
« on: February 25, 2011, 12:04:59 PM »
I agree with Tygo about 3787. If you're not getting good attenuation with that strain, you're doing something wrong. I usually get 90% attenuation with my quadruples with that strain.

I've also had good luck with S-04 for barleywine. OG 1.120, FG 1.020, 83% attenuation, which is respectable.

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