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Messages - neemox

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All Grain Brewing / Re: composting spent grain
« on: December 04, 2012, 07:02:25 AM »
In addition to all these other brilliant ideas, I'd like to point out that depending on the grain bill, you can make people treats as well as dog treats. I make a spent grain sour dough loaf that is really delicious as a breakfast bread. If you have a flower mill, you can let the grains dry and mill them with your wheat to make multi-grain flower (although not as rich after the mash. Still delicious.) And I make granola bars for my girlfriend and I using the spent grains, some honey, peanut butter, and some fresh oats. Lay them out on a baking sheet and cook them just long enough for everything to be cohesive.

I not everyone will agree, but I think the toasty maltiness really goes well in alot of baked goods, and I'm always experimenting with new ones. There are several recipes available online, but I'd say anything that has flower or grain in it, you can mix in some spent grain for flavor and texture.

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: Well...I drank my first homebrew
« on: December 03, 2012, 06:08:09 PM »
What was your OG? It sounds like maybe we didn't quite get enough sugar in there to start with (thin, watery, and an FG that is SUPER low for an ale yeast.)

But congrats on your first beer!!!!  Sounds like you've already learned a lesson that I struggled with starting out,... "Regardless of what happens, you will make beer"

Extract/Partial Mash Brewing / Re: First Batch
« on: December 03, 2012, 06:04:29 PM »

You'll pay more at HD than necessary, though I'd price there. Here's a better example:

Sorry to bump a dead post, but do you really need this much pump for this? I'll be setting this up soon as chilling my wort is one of the longest and most wasteful parts of brew day for me, but I was hoping to get away with a tiny aquarium pump (closer to 10 dollars) We do this with the rotovap in my lab, and a relatively low flow of water is all that is necessary. In fact, I thought I read somewhere that the slower your IC flow, the greater your cooling efficiency. Thoughts?

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Dryhopping in bags: Am I Oxidizing?
« on: December 03, 2012, 04:50:17 PM »
I dry hop in the keg with a bag, and as was previously mentioned, I use a LARGE (3"x1") Stainless machine bolt as a weight. I'm sure it would work just as well in your conicals. The first time I tried this I think I used a heavy marble pestle that happened to be in the kitchen when I needed the weight. The bolt works better.

I used to attach a piece of fishing line to the bag and run it out the top of the keg so I could pull the hops back out. I've stopped doing this as more often than not, the keg pops before I would have wanted to remove the hops.

Has anyone who dry hops in a bag noticed a difference between muslin and nylon?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Iostar to measure starch?
« on: November 30, 2012, 04:00:42 PM »
So my opinion had been that a starch test could work as the go/no go as Jeff and others pointed out. There isn't a way to measure efficiency before you start lautering, right? In my head, I'm imagining that pulling wort off the top of the grain bed is going to be different than the wort under the grain, but maybe I'm not thinking clearly in the morning. Would it be a good idea to dip enough wort out of the mash to take a gravity reading before I start lautering?  Using Kai's chart and this gravity (assuming I let it cool before reading it) would eliminate the need for an iodine test.

Do people do this?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Iostar to measure starch?
« on: November 30, 2012, 01:40:36 AM »
I think iodine tests are useful and brewers should know how to do them correctly to troubleshoot mash conversion issues:


As always, a perfect explanation from the Kaiser. Thanks!

To others, I am worried about doing this as a test for conversion efficiency, not just because I like adding extra steps to my brew day. I'll pick up some Iodine and do it the right way.

All Grain Brewing / Iostar to measure starch?
« on: November 28, 2012, 09:15:57 PM »
Does anyone know if iostar has enough free iodine in it to be used as a test for starch left over in a mash? And, if I find there is still starch in the mash after an hour, check the pH and temp and then let it just keep on going til the starch is gone?


All Grain Brewing / Re: Conversion Efficiency
« on: November 25, 2012, 12:43:41 AM »
Ahh, indeed I did. But that was at 90. I should have done the temperature correction in my OP. @60, that would be 1.054 according to my calculator.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Conversion Efficiency
« on: November 25, 2012, 12:11:07 AM »

I think you might still be a little generous in your interpretation of Kai's equations, unless I'm screwing up the math or misunderstand your volumes and gravities.  I've tried using them a couple ways and the highest conversion I have calculated for you was about 77%.

Hmm ok. Maybe you can walk me through this table then... I was figuring 14.5 lbs of grain, 7 gal (28 qts) of water gives ~1.94 qt/#, so I should have had a FW of ~1.065. I got 54 points, so (54/65) *100%= 83%. Where did I screw this up?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Conversion Efficiency
« on: November 24, 2012, 08:59:40 PM »
Wow, Great Response, thank you!! This is the kind of post I was hoping for when I first asked the question. I'll get some pH strips with better accuracy and measure again, hopefully that could be my issue, but I kind of doubt it. Most of my brewing buddies never even bother to measure their pH, use the same water, and relatively similar grain bills. They never seem to have an issue. (Then again, I also don't think they typically measure efficiency...)

I'd try an alpha amylase rest, too.  Mash at your usual temperature, say 152F, for a half hour or so, then infuse enough near hot water to bring the temperature up around 158-162F and thin your mash out to ~1.7 qt/#.  Some brewers can gain 10%+ conversion efficiency with this change.

So with two rests like this, should I aim for 1.7qt/# at my strike, or for the final mash ratio (after the addition to bring the temp yup for the second rest)?
You need to include the entire grain bill for Kai's table to work.  Specialty malts contribute nearly as much to gravity as base malts, and Kai's chart is assuming a recipe with a somewhat average mix of grains.
I was assuming the entire grain bill, but I was making a math error. This calculation needs to be in points instead of SG. (SG-1).  So in reality, I had about an 84% conversion efficiency, which as you pointed out definitely suggests my conversion, and not my lauter.

Again, thank you so much. Is there a way to measure the crush that I am getting from my LHBS? The grain looks very well crushed,with lots of dust and no intact hulls, but perhaps I need to get more analytical here. I asked them what their mill was set to, but they didn't know. Is that something I could measure for/with them?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Conversion Efficiency
« on: November 21, 2012, 06:43:42 PM »
My understanding is that fly-sparging can be enormously tricky to dial in. I batch-sparge and get excellent results.

Not to mention it is super fast. Quick sparge for sure. I got ~83% efficiency this last weekend on a Munich Dunkel. Works for me :)

These were my understandings as well, which is why I used to batch sparge, but I've never seen anything that looked like 83%. When you say quick, how quick. When I batch sparged, I drained my tun, added sparge water, stirred it up, then let it sit for about 30 minutes before draining again. Was I wasting my time with the "sparge rest"? I'll brew another bacth this weekend and go back to batch sparging.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Conversion Efficiency
« on: November 21, 2012, 06:36:49 PM »
I was trying to collect 5.5 gal, but I think I don't think beercalculus is very good at factoring that in.

This is actually the first time I have tried fly sparging, I usually batch sparge with the same results. I was trying the continuous sparge to see if investing in a proper fly sparging set-up might help.

According to Kai's formulas, I had a conversion efficiency of 99%, but I'm not sure I understand how that could be possible. Does his table assume qts of water per pound of base malt? or the entire grain bill?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Conversion Efficiency
« on: November 21, 2012, 06:20:38 PM »
I drain until the mash level is just above the grain, then start siphoning in sparge water at a rate as close to equal as I can get it. I definitely started my sparge at a rate quicker than I wanted (built up about 1-2 gallons on top of my grain bed) but I don't think that should have add a dramatic impact?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Conversion Efficiency
« on: November 21, 2012, 06:18:12 PM »
For one thing, I think the OG estimate was off.  I get 1.066 in Promash using your grist.

Hmm, I was wondering if 12 lbs wasn't light for this target. What efficiency considerations does promash make? Using data from Palmer's book and a 75% efficiency I calculate 12lbs*27ppg/5.5g=1.059. All of a sudden, I am starting to think that beercalculus includes specialty grains in their calculations for OG....  Anyone else experienced this? Maybe this is my only issue, not doing the math the long way.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Conversion Efficiency
« on: November 21, 2012, 06:12:30 PM »
1. Did you stir your runnings? If not that can give you a low reading.

I did stir the runnings, I wanted to make sure and get an accurate value.
2. Why did you keep collecting when you should of ended with around 7 to7.5 gallons that extra water will lower your starting gravity and does nothing for you.
The runnings were still sweet, and nervous that I was looking at another 50% efficiency, I wanted to get all the sugars I could. Once I was over the 6.5 mark, I knew it would be a long boil to concentrate it. I figured, may as well boil a little longer. (Although I probably paid for the sugar with propane)

You may be channeling. What type of manifold/mashtun setup do you have?
I have a 10 gallon igloo beverage cooler with a false bottom screen. Would channeling affect my first runnings? My understanding was that channeling would produce issues with the sparging/lautering.

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