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Messages - denny

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I'll unpin this one

The Pub / Re: Question to the kids about how to use the facebooks
« on: August 04, 2013, 06:29:18 PM »
my bad, denny. heres the correct one.

and you get a free beer next time you come by ;)

Yep, found it...too late!

I'll be right over for my free beer....;)

The Pub / Re: Question to the kids about how to use the facebooks
« on: August 04, 2013, 06:04:45 PM »
Yep, liked the old one.  Also sent out abut a dozen invites to others.  DOH!

The Pub / Re: Question to the kids about how to use the facebooks
« on: August 04, 2013, 05:53:54 PM »
Found it, "liked" it.

Same here.  De we get free beer now?

Equipment and Software / Re: Blichmann burner first impression
« on: August 04, 2013, 05:15:10 PM »
So, is the burner used in the Blichmann basically the same thing as a Bayou Classic KAB4?  Looks like it from the pics.

It sure does look like it.

Actually, a guy in my club confirmed that they're the same. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Efficiency Problem
« on: August 04, 2013, 04:04:13 PM »
I'd recommend a stir right before running off the first runnings, too.  When I have forgotten to do this I got reduced efficiency.

It's fascinating to hear about different techniques that people use.  For me, stirring before run off makes no difference.

Sparge temperature shouldn't make much difference unless you haven't fully converted your grain before the sparge.  A possible exception might be for very high gravity beers, but I can't speak to that.  For the beers I make, I often sparge with 150-160F water and still get efficiencies of >85%.

Nocosan, if your volumes are near accurate, they make it look like you have about 2/3 gallon of dead space in your tun.  If that is true, that will hurt your efficiency. 

Also, a starch test won't tell you if you have converted your grain completely, only that the starch in solution is converted.  Late in the mash, solubility of the starch becomes limiting, so that test is misleading.  You should check the gravity of your wort, after stirring and vorlauf, to see in your grain is converted.  Kai Troester has a handy chart that will tell you what the gravity should be based on your mash thickness, [url]here[/url].

One way to improve conversion with a less than ideal crush is to add a short alpha amylase rest up around 160F, which will improve starch gelatinization.


All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Efficiency Problem
« on: August 04, 2013, 03:01:24 AM »
I will try it once, just for you

Lemme know if it makes any difference.  I may owe ya an apology and a beer!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Efficiency Problem
« on: August 04, 2013, 02:52:22 AM »
I stir about three times in 90 min.

Try not stirring.  I'm willing to bet that it won't make any difference.  I found that the only thing that happens when I stir during the mash is that I lose heat.

Probably right, but it gives me something to do lol

Take a walk, drink a beer, post on the forum instead!

The Pub / Yeah, it's old....
« on: August 03, 2013, 10:03:12 PM »
but there may be people out there who haven't seen this yet...

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: first principles question on starters
« on: August 03, 2013, 09:12:14 PM »
I would like to understand the difference (and underlying reasons for any difference) between pitching a single vial of yeast into 5.5 gallons of wort vs. taking a half-gallon of that wort and making up a starter, then pitching the yeast into the remaining wort.  I do not presently understand.  I'm a physicist and would like to be further educated in matters of brewery.

From what I have read, one might view the process as fencing off 10% of the brew volume, pitching the yeast vial into it, and then at some nebulous time later (at or after high kraeusen) removing the fence.  Somehow the confinement of the yeast (the only difference I can see) results in something different from simply pitching the yeast vial into the original wort volume.

My most recent batch (#8 after a 30 yr hiatus in brewing) was also my first >5 gallon batch.  I made up 11.5 gallons of 1.044 wort for a saison-like brew.  I diverted 1.5 qts into a half-gallon glass jar, pitched the very fresh vial of WLP585 saison iii blend into it, and watched it while I gathered the rest of the wort into a 15 gallon fermentation vessel.  Very few hours later the foam on the starter had risen to about 3", very nearly overflowing the starter vessel, so I pitched the whole thing into the 11 gallons of wort.  Within a few hours, vigorous fermentation had begun (which means to me that the wort had become saturated with CO2 so that the excess was bubbling out of it).  By the morning of the second day (75F ambient temps, no chilling of the wort prior to pitch -- it was just room temp) all signs of fermentation had ceased.  The sp. gr. measured 1.006, an apparent 86% attenuation in 40-ish hours.  In the few days since then, no further attenuation has been apparent, and the beer is holding 1.006.  This mash did not exceed 150F, so I expected to have a high fermentable fraction of sugars, but that appears to be a phenomenal fermentation rate for a single vial of yeast in 11.5 gallons of wort.

The use of a starter-like process with so short a starter growth period seems to me to be indistinguishable from simply pitching single vial of yeast into the original wort.  Now, that's likely enough part of my lack of understanding.  I could perhaps understand if someone let a starter develop to full attenuation, let it floc' out, and decanted the liquid prior to pitching the starter into the wort.  But why discard the (in principle overpitched) starter beer?  The only function I can guess at would be to carry off the yeast reproduction products.  I could perhaps understand if there were some semi-magical difference in yeast characteristics from growing up in a limited environment and running out of food prior to floc'ing out.  Maybe.  But to my very linear mind, I don't understand the workings of making up starters to attain a certain pitch rate.  Do understand, I say "I don't understand," and am not saying there is no difference.  It's a good day when I learn something, and I'm hoping this august group can "make my day."

Michael T.

Michael, start by looking at .  That should give you some insight into what and why.

I also think you have a misconception about the timeline.  I generally make starters 5-7 days ahead of the day I'm going to brew.  That allows for sufficient time for yeast cell growth.  Another advantage is that after the starter ferments out, you can pour off the starter wort so it doesn't go into your nice fresh wort.  My experience has proven to me that I make better beer by doing that.  Another misconception is that you use part of the wort from your batch for the starter.  As you have found, doing that doesn't provide enough time for cell growth.

Although you didn't ask, I'll also mention that 75F ambient is far too warm to make good beer, and if you don't chill the wort first (unless I misunderstood), those negative effects will be exacerbated.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Efficiency Problem
« on: August 03, 2013, 06:37:23 PM »
Time is important especially when you have a bad crush, you need more time for conversion to occur so you can rinse the sugars. If the op has not reached full conversion time can improve efficiency.

A longer time is also helpful for lower temp mashes.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: I'm brewing on national TV tonight
« on: August 03, 2013, 05:33:01 PM »
The last TV interview I did, I mentioned that the founding fathers brewed.  When the story was on TV, all they talked about was how I looked like George Washington!   :o

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Efficiency Problem
« on: August 03, 2013, 05:30:50 PM »
You really don't need a calculator.  Just mash with whatever ratio you like.  After you run that off, measure how much you got and subtract that from the amount you want to boil.  The answer you get is how much sparge water to use.

I love how you make things simple, Denny! When thinking about it, this is probably the most accurate way of precisely measuring your needed water. I have always used a calculator... Most times it works, but occasionally you end up with a wtf happened with the water brew. I usually start heating my sparge water with about 20-25 minutes left in the mash. I may have to start sacrificing this time. I learn something everyday.

Franks, it's those WTF!  moments that made me go to the empirical method.  I still calculate how much sparge water I _think_ I'm gonna need, but I take measurements and make adjustments before I actually add it.  You can still go ahead and start heating your estimated amount.  Just make sure that you calculations leave you slightly on the high side so you can leave some out if needed.

Equipment and Software / Re: Pump disconnects
« on: August 03, 2013, 04:24:57 PM »
p.s. what's next, a new SS braid  : )

Hey. man, I'm not gonna go crazy with this!  ;)

Homebrew Competitions / Re: NHC Certificates
« on: August 03, 2013, 04:23:48 PM »
There was a hangup getting materials back to CO from Philly.  I think Janis was mailing them out last week.

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