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Messages - DW

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61
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Cold steeping specialty grains
« on: December 06, 2013, 08:38:32 PM »
I find that I get less color from cold steeping even when I add the malt to the sparge water.  I haven't done enough to cold steeping to figure out how much extra grain I should use to compensate.  I may have cold steeped with whole malts rather than ground malt so my experience may simply reflect the grind.

What do other people think?

The info I linked says to use at least 2x as much grain.  And you definitely need to crush the grain.

Interesting.  Is it worth buying the extra grain?

62
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Poor efficiency/very soft water
« on: December 06, 2013, 08:35:33 PM »
This was a full boil.  If you have access to Brewing Classic Styles, it's the Robust Porter recipe.  I think I mentioned the recipe in earlier posts.  I was not precise in measuring the volumes, and my 30% efficiency could be off by +-5%.  Something that I learned from this thread was that I'm not really mashing but steeping.  I called it mashing, because I thought I was actually getting fermentable sugars from the steep, but you guys have taught that I'm really just getting flavor/color. 

63
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Cold steeping specialty grains
« on: December 05, 2013, 07:14:33 PM »
I have been doing this for many years. Add it all to the sparge on brew say. Or add the liquid to the boil.

There is a discussion in Brewing Better Beer about this technique.

No need to heat the steeped grains that soaked overnight before putting in boil?

64
Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Cold steeping specialty grains
« on: December 05, 2013, 06:02:31 PM »
In Brewing Classic Styles Palmer says you can steep specialty grains overnight in cold water, especially if you have a lot of dark grains.  Has anyone done this?  If you steep them overnight can you skip heating up to 155 degrees and holding for 30 minutes on brew day?

65
General Homebrew Discussion / Thermometers?
« on: December 02, 2013, 01:48:29 PM »
What's the best kind of thermometer to use for measuring mash temps?  I do extract brew mostly, with the occasional all grain in an Igloo cooler.  For my boils/cool downs in the kettle I have the blichman thermometer attached to the kettle, and that works well.  A while back I bought a cheap little electric one that ceased to allow me to calibrate it.  What's the best bang for the buck? 

66
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Poor efficiency/very soft water
« on: December 02, 2013, 01:43:29 PM »
DW, for the grains you have, the Munich is the only one that needs to be mashed, and it has low Diastatic Power. If you had those all together, the DP would be around 20 or 25, which is under the 35 often stated for conversion.

With the LME, and only a little grain that needs to be mashed, how far off were you?

So the Munich was not grain, it was LME, along with the Light LME.  The only grains I mashed were the Crystal 40, Chocolate, and Black Patent.  My PreBoil gravity was right on, but when I estimated the efficiency of extraction for just the mashed grains, my efficiency came to around 30%.  Even though my volume was 7 gallons pre boil, I went back and mashed those grained again and increased the volume to about 7.5gallons.  One problem I found was that my thermometer was about 20 degrees to low, so I was mashing in the 130 range.  I had held it there about 30minutes before I figured that out, so I raised the temp to the appropriate range and left it about 15 minutes.  I poured the extracted wort into the kettle along with the LME and only later went back and remashed and added up to 7.5gallons.-----------Having said all that, and I am appreciative of everyones' help, I transferred to the secondary today (I had good OG and FG), but found the color to be really more of a brown color than black.  Did I not extract enough of the CHocolate and Black Patent malt?  I know those malts need more alkaline water, and my water is much more suited for light beers. 

[img]Water1.pdf/img]

67
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Poor efficiency/very soft water
« on: November 29, 2013, 10:06:54 PM »
Sorry for the late reply.  I was making the robust porter recipe in "Brewing Classic Styles", which I believe is 8.6lbs LME + 1 lb Munich + 0.5lb Black Patent + 1.0lb Crystal 40 + 0.75lb Chocolate malt.  I have been hitting my gravities pretty well.  I calculated my efficiency from "How to Brew", where I took the Congress Mash expected points and compared that to what I actually got. 

68
General Homebrew Discussion / Poor efficiency/very soft water
« on: November 25, 2013, 06:41:03 PM »
Hey, I'm doing mostly extract batches with small 1-2pound partial mashes.  I seem to get pretty poor efficiency from the initial steeping grains.  I just got a water report, which showed calcium=3, Mg=1, total hardness=12.  I'm not sure if the pH strips are accurate or not, but they seemed to show fairly acidic (like in the 4.0 range).  Is my soft water causing me to get poor efficiency?  Does this really matter since the bulk of the gravity comes from the malt extract?  I've also had some issues getting a reliable thermometer, so this might be part of the issue as well.  Do I need to adjust my water?

69
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: yeast starter temperature and gravity
« on: February 06, 2013, 04:45:57 PM »
I read Jamil's article from 2007 in Zymurgy.  The only thing that I was left a little confused on was the goal temperatures.  He said 65-75 is the ideal range, and 70 is ideal.  Little lower for lagers and a little higher for ales.  But then he says right after that that when you pitch the yeast starter to the main wort that if there is a large temperature shift the yeast can be stunned.  So do I need to cool the starter down before I pitch (particularly for lagers)? 

70
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: yeast starter temperature and gravity
« on: February 06, 2013, 04:13:58 PM »
Below is from Jamil Zainasheff’s article Making a Starter (Zymurgy March/April 2007).

Q: IF I’M MAKING A HIGH GRAVITY BEER, SHOULDN’T I MAKE A HIGH GRAVITY STARTER SO THE YEAST BECOME ACCLIMATED?

No. In general, starter wort should be between 1.020 and 1.040 (5–10 °P). Lower gravity starters are easier on the yeast, but result in less growth. High gravity starters result in more growth, but are more stressful for the yeast. Logsdon says, “Generally, you’d use the lower end of that range [1.020 SG, 5 °P] for coming off a plate or slant or very old yeast. Yeast don’t get used to a high gravity environment, and the high osmotic pressure can really stress the yeast.”


I would recommend that you download the article; lots of good information in there.


Cheers!

Brilliant!  Thanks!

71
Yeast and Fermentation / yeast starter temperature and gravity
« on: February 06, 2013, 11:28:36 AM »
In "How to Brew" Palmer states that you should make your starter to match the conditions of your intended batch fermentation (gravity and temperature), but in "Brewing Classic Styles" the authors state that the OG of the starter should be 1.03-1.04, and temperature for lagers should be a little less than 70 degrees.  How to make sense of this?

72
Kegging and Bottling / Re: cornelius vs firestone
« on: February 03, 2013, 01:07:38 PM »
I got my kegs from kegconnection.com.  As I was looking at replacement post parts I noticed that they sale two types of "ball locks", which are firestone and cornelius.  But you guys are mostly saying that only cornelius makes ball locks.  Check out this website:          http://stores.kegconnection.com/Categories.bok?category=*Parts%3AKeg+Parts%3APosts%2FPoppets%3APosts%2C+Ball+Lock           

One of my posts, which I'm assuming is Firestone has 12 points.  My other keg looks to be cornelius.  But the pressure relief valves are the same, as are the lids.  Maybe I have keg that was converted and still using firestone posts.  I really don't understand this stuff very well. 

73
Kegging and Bottling / cornelius vs firestone
« on: February 01, 2013, 04:58:21 PM »
What's the difference between a firestone and cornelius keg?  They look the same, but the posts are different. 

74
General Homebrew Discussion / Signs of Infection
« on: January 31, 2013, 05:16:15 PM »
What are some signs of infection? Everyone advices that we anally watch over our wort so that infection won't set in.   But what would be a sign that your beer was infected?  I just put a light lager in the secondary to begin the lagering phase.  I noticed some little target like looking films on top of the fermented beer.  It literally looked like a perfect round target.  I felt it with my hand and it was very cohesive.  Not sure if this means my beer is infected.  It took forever (about one week) for the fermentation to begin.  I had to check the gravity several times to see if anything was happening.  Any thoughts?

75
Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Stir-Plate 3000 yeast stirrer review
« on: January 21, 2013, 03:34:20 PM »
Does it matter what material the flask is made out of?  I noticed some are pyrex, some are borosilicilate.  Is there a preferable material that prevents breaking, is able to be directly heated on the stove (electric as well), and has a flat bottom for the magnetic stir rod?

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