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Messages - Tim McManus

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31
Here is someone who did a nice job with a portable keg setup.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/my-new-portable-keg-system-72105/

If you strap that bad bear onto a hand truck, the whole thing becomes elegantly portable.

32
Zymurgy / Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« on: July 13, 2011, 03:31:10 PM »
Good to know about the enzymes.  At least now I know where to focus next in formulating the recipe.  Any grain suggestions to augment the low enzymes?  I don't have the lot analysis.

If the base malt is anything other than a pale or pilsner malt, and you don't have the lot analysis for it, I'd use the lightest-colored base malt that would be stylistically appropriate to make up at least 20% of the fermentables. In this case that would be your pilsner malt of choice. In an ale, probably a domestic 2-row pale malt.

Thanks, good to know.  That knowledge will come in handy the next time we make this batch and future batches.

33
Zymurgy / Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« on: July 13, 2011, 11:06:54 AM »
Each decoction step varied, but the temperature steps in between them were 15 minutes.  Tough to explain, but this might help:

Mash Temp
100°F - decoction removed, heated to 127°F, held for 15 minutes, raised to 149°F, held for 15 minutes, raised to 167°F, held for 15 minutes, boiled for 15 minutes, returned to mash
127°F - decoction removed, heated to 149°F, held for 15 minutes, raised to 167°F, held for 15 minutes, boiled for 15 minutes, returned to mash
149°F - decoction removed, heated to 167°F, held for 15 minutes, boiled for 15 minutes, returned to mash
167°F - , held for 15 minutes, mash out

So each mash step held the temperature for longer than 15 minutes, but the decoction steps were held for 15 minutes each, if that helps with the explanation.  Our saccrification should have occurred optimally at 149°F and was held for at least 30 minutes.

I got the feeling 2206 was temperamental from Designing Great Beers.  Although it isn't called out by name and manufacturer, I interpreted it as the yeast we were using, 2206.  We took extra care to cool the starter and pitch at near fermentation temperature (wort was chilled to the same fermentation temp. as the starter).

Good to know about the enzymes.  At least now I know where to focus next in formulating the recipe.  Any grain suggestions to augment the low enzymes?  I don't have the lot analysis.

34
Zymurgy / Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« on: July 13, 2011, 09:59:02 AM »
On the other hand, if one pulls a thick decoction of 40% and raises that to high sacc rest of 156-160F, then that would account for it, eh?

Wouldn't it be the other way around? The thicker the decoction, the more wort is left in the mash, and the fewer enzymes are denatured by boiling. That's why it's generally recommended to pull the thickest decoction you can manage.

Tim: What was the grist? If it was enzymatically weak then 15 min rests might not have been enough for full conversion regardless of the method used. Either way, I'm with Denny - I've only done a few decoctions, but I've seen *increased* fermentability as a result. For a beer to stop at 1.068 I think some other factor would have to be in play. Did you do a forced ferment test?

10-gallon batch

2# Rice hulls
20# Munich Malt
12.5# Vienna Malt
6.25# Dark Munich Malt

Decoction Steps:

100°F
127°F
149°F
168°F

We used Wyeast Bavarian Lager #2206 to ferment with.  It's a temperamental strain, but we had a good starter and a strong ferment.

We did not do a force ferment test, and I'm not sure what that exactly is.

35
Zymurgy / Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« on: July 13, 2011, 08:39:50 AM »
But are there dextrins produced by the decoction?  And if so, how?

If I had to guess, it would be due to this:

"A stiff mash of <1.25 quarts of water per pound is better for protein breakdown, and results in a faster overall starch conversion, but the resultant sugars are less fermentable and will result in a sweeter, maltier beer."

From http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter14-6.html

Since I am pulling out the thickest part of the mash for each decoction, that volume will produce more less fermentable sugars if Palmer is correct.  I should pull out Noonan's book and cross reference, but this would be where I would start looking for additional dextrins.

Oh, and to note, we can pull out up to 40% of the mash for a decoction step, so that is a good amount of mash volume and could be what's contributing to the significant rise in dextrins.

36
Zymurgy / Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« on: July 12, 2011, 11:09:09 AM »
It was a little of both.  Definitely had some Maillard reaction stuff going on, easily identified in the flavor.  However, and I don't have the recipe details in front of me right now, it didn't ferment all the way out as we had expected.  The gravity was still high (1.100 fermented down to 1.068), and we used a high-gravity lager yeast.  My assumption was that there were residual dextrins in the wort that weren't fermented out.

I'll have to check the recipe details to be sure.

OK, but why would that be due to decoction?  Or did I misunderstand you?

Nope, you understood correctly.  The "Why" part is subject to debate.  We had 4 steps, 122°F, 148°F, 156°F and 168°F.  Went through each during each phase of decoction, 15 minutes a step per phase.

It shouldn't have extracted so many dextrins, but it did.  We tend to have beers ferment out from OG 1.060 to FG 1.020 and higher with a triple-D or decoct-infusing.  So somewhere we're getting something that is increasing the body of the wort, and my assumption is that it's dextrins coming from the decocting.

37
Zymurgy / Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« on: July 12, 2011, 10:58:34 AM »
I'm thinking he meant melanoidins or the perception of malt sweetness.

That's what I was wondering about.  I'd think there would actually be fewer dextrins, but I'm not certain.  I'm guessing that whatever added "sweetness" there might be would be due to Maillard reactions, not dextrins.

It was a little of both.  Definitely had some Maillard reaction stuff going on, easily identified in the flavor.  However, and I don't have the recipe details in front of me right now, it didn't ferment all the way out as we had expected.  The gravity was still high (1.100 fermented down to 1.068), and we used a high-gravity lager yeast (yes, made a starter; yes, starter was chilled and pitched into the wort at around 50°F; yes, aerated with oxygen).  My assumption was that there were residual dextrins in the wort that weren't fermented out.

I'll have to check the recipe details to be sure.

38
Zymurgy / Re: Pilsner Urquell triple decoction
« on: July 11, 2011, 10:24:25 AM »
I've done a few Triple-Ds and regularly use a decoction-like step of removing grain to raise the overall temperature of the mash.  Here's what I've learned:

Have a calculator or brewing software handy in the brewery during brew day.  Your mash temperature may be off by a few degrees and you'll need to adjust the volumes accordingly.  Pour the boiling mash into the cooler mash a little volume at a time and stir.  It is entirely possibly that you will overheat the mash because volume calculations are not precise.  So a little at a time with a stir will go a long way.  Your mash temp will rise quickly with the initial infusion but squeaking out the last few degrees takes the longest.  Be patient when you add the boiling mash back in and watch your overall mash temp.

Triple-D brings out a lot of dextrins (in my experiences), so you'll have a pretty full-bodied beer.  With something like a Pilsner, be sensitive to your sweet / hop bitterness.  You'll obviously know how it tastes when it's done, but if it's too sweet then it might be due to the extra dextrins from the Triple-D.

Hope that helps.

39
Events / Re: GABF travel and hotel suggestions
« on: July 08, 2011, 09:05:31 AM »
Here's a good place to start.

http://www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com/travel/hotels/

I called the Hilton a few weeks ago and they had a decent price for a two-bed room.  Most of the other hotels didn't have two-bed rooms available.

40
Events / Re: GABF Travel
« on: July 07, 2011, 01:13:16 PM »
Naw, we're going to keep Friday night for the Farm to Table part, unless of course it is a waste.

Anyone want some Saturday night tickets?  :)

41
Events / Re: GABF Travel
« on: July 07, 2011, 12:31:47 PM »
I hope it doesn't turn out to be a zoo like most of the other beer festivals in the US nowadays.  I have fond memories of 1997 and 1998.

Tim, you're in for a big shock... Think 1998 X 100. Heck, possibly X 1000. My best advice as a local who goes every year: attend the Saturday afternoon session as your first choice and the Thursday night session as your second. Friday and Saturday nights are simply crazy. If that's your thing, more power to you. Otherwise, in my experience, you have more chance to actually talk beer and brewing techniques with a given booth-manning-person when there's not so many people around. Why? There's a greater chance that booth-manning-person may actually be an brewer/employee of the vendor instead of a random volunteer who may or may not know much about the beer they're pouring.

Just a few thoughts.

I figured it turned into a zoo.  I have tickets for all four sessions and got Farm to Table for Friday night to avoid the crowds.  If Saturday is an obscene mob, we're going to leave and drink locally.

Over the past few years most beer festivals have descended from being a celebration of the craft to mobs of low-IQ gorillas elbowing folks out for another glass.  I've stopped attending most of them as a result.  I prefer to judge competitions now because the beer is usually better (and more diverse) and I can swap stories and beer/brewing advise with the other folks there.

I hope the AHA/BA considers creating a "Members Only" area during every session and keeping the Members Only session too.  I'm going again this year with a friend who has never gone.  If it's an ocean of gorillas, I won't be back.

42
Ingredients / Re: 2011 Hop Crop - and the Homebrewer?
« on: July 07, 2011, 12:24:42 PM »
I never really cared for Amarillo.  To me it tastes too close to St. Joseph Baby Aspirin.

44
Cheba: before you dump the beer.... do you have any way of pumping it through a carbon filter?

That would strip the chlorine out, but you may also affect the final quality of the beer by exposing it to aeration, contamination, etc.

I had the same issue and thought the same thing, but the hassle to save a 5- or 10-gallon batch with the increased risk of further screwing it up deterred me from attempting it.

45
I'd still use a charcoal filter, by the way, since it can help with other things.  If something tastes bad in water, it will taste bad in beer.

Oh. no doubt.  It's still going to be there, but at least I know that it will be ineffective to use on chloramines.  Additionally, I need to do some research to determine the optimal flow rate for the filter.  No point in running 80 psi through it if its effectiveness is hampered.  I just need to find the right step down fittings to get to the right pressure or flow.

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