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Messages - dzlater

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Kegging and Bottling / Re: Keg Fridge
« on: January 25, 2011, 05:00:30 AM »
I got my keg setup on line for around $200, 2 kegs, dual regulators, 2 picnic taps.
The regulators aren't the best but it works. I've managed to acquire three more kegs
2 for free and one for ten bucks at a flea market. Got a fridge @ the re-store for $60.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Efficiency Calcs
« on: January 18, 2011, 05:06:07 AM »
Hi kerneldustjacket,
Thanks very much for you reply.  I was thinking of brew house efficiency.  Such as 70% of brew house efficiency.  I recently purchased Beersmith software and part of determining the grain bill for a recipe is adding in expected brew house efficiency %.  I think I've read someplace that there is a calculation to determine this figure from previous brews.  Also, (probably more pride than anything else) this calculation let's a brewer know how efficient they were at extracting fermentable sugars from their grain bill.  I'm just looking for the lazy brewers way of reaching this calculation.  Seems there are calculators to calculate almost anything these days!

I don't have Beersmith so I don't know exactly how they define certain terms.
But from what I understand there are several types of efficiency measured in brewing.

conversion efficiency: where you measure the gravity of the wort after conversion, but before sparging

mash efficiency: using the volume and gravity after the mash and sparge

brew house efficiency: which takes into account all the volume losses till the beer is actually packaged.

Mash efficiency is the one that I think most homebrewers are concerned about because it directly affects recipe formulation.
I suppose brewhouse efficieny is also important but I think most homebrewers just brew a slightly larger batch so they can be sure to get the finished amount of beer into the keg/bottles. I never actually tried to get a number for this.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Roasting your own grain
« on: January 16, 2011, 05:04:46 AM »
When I get my sack of grain from the local group buy
here is what I've laid out for my first try:

"victory 25L "  300F 25 min

"munich 10L" 250F 20min

"chocolate 175L" 400F 1 hour

"crystal 40L" following this procedure from

For Crystal/Caramel Malt soak 1-2 lbs of pale 2 row in just enough water to cover plus about an inch (make sure you use distilled, filtered tap, or spring water). Let soak for a few hours, but no less than 2 hours and no more than 24, I soak for 3 hours. Then Put grains into a pan and keep grains about 2″ deep then place into a preheated 180 degree oven (make sure you have a probe thermometer in the oven and not to let the temps inside the stewing grain to go above 160. If they do reduce your ovens temperature) for 1 1/2 hours. Then spread out grain into 2 separate pans and make sure the grains are no more than 1″ deep. Then increase temperature in over to 250 and let bake for 2 hours or until dry. Then if desired remove from oven for light crystal, or use the roasting guide above to create your own darker versions of crystal malt. Personally I like the 350 degrees for 45 minutes for a sweet roasty crystal malt. Experiment with 1lb batches and see what you like. I find that 1.5lbs is perfect, 2lbs seems to take way to long to dry.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Roasting your own grain
« on: January 15, 2011, 05:13:25 AM »
Thanks for posting. I will be roasting some grains soon so I am trying to get all the info I can.
You're right about the times and temps being all over the place.
I have one piece of info that says, "Vienna 100c for two hours" and another that says "vienna 105c for three hours"
Also I threw a probe thermometer in the oven yesterday and set it @375f  after it was preheated it ranged from 368 to 390. So I guess this going to take some experimentation.

All Grain Brewing / Re: First AG batch......
« on: January 14, 2011, 05:01:45 AM »
Well, lets see...... two row pale malt, ten pounds say 28 points = 280 There was also 1/2 pound of Crystal and a half pound of  Carapils so call that another 25 points for a total of 305...... I ended up with 5.25 gallons at 1056 so call it 294 points...... that puts me at 294/305* 72.5/75=96%...right?
I am not sure why  you are multiplying by 75 and then dividing by 75, it just cancels itself out.
The chart I use puts 2row @ 36 ppg and the carapils and crystal @ 35
so that's 360 + 35 for 395

In regards to the original question of how big a starter to make from a harvested slurry.
I had the same question on another forum and this is the answer I was given.
I can't take credit for this.

Let's say I'm making a 1.060 ale, pitching 5.5 gallons. I have a jar of reharvested slurry that is exactly four weeks old from today, and the yeast is very compacted into a 50mL puck. I go to Mr Malty, set the parameters of my beer, set the age of the yeast, go to the "Reharvesting" tab, set the Yeast Concentration to 4.0, set the Non Yeast Percentage to 15.

Mr Malty says that I need 229billion healthy yeast cells, which would be 134mL of my yeast in its current state. I have 50mL, or 37% of what I need (50/134). If you multiply 37% by 229billion cells, you find that I have about 84billion healthy cells.

Here's where things get fuzzy. As I understand it, the Mr. Malty calculator works such that a vial of yeast with 100% viability has 100billion cells. So if I have 84 billion cells, this is the equivalent of having one vial of yeast at 84% viability, right? So then I flip to the Liquid Yeast tab, manually set my viability to 84%, set the Growth Factor so that it says I need 1 vial. Doing this, it says I need to make a 1.23L starter with a stir plate.

Can one determine how many cells are left after fermentation?  I washed my yeast for the first time yesterday(went well) and thought if I can divide it into approx 100 billion cells per container, I could treat each essentially as a tube/smack pack for subsequent starters. I guess yeast ranching qualifies as one of my 2011 brewing goals.  :)

I am not sure this would work , but it might get you close
maybe someone else can confirm
go to the pitching rate calculator
click on the"repitching from slurry" tab
check the"calculate viabilty from date" box
set the date to whenever you harvested the yeast
set the "yeast concentration" slider bar to thin slurry
hit the calculate button
this will show you yeast needed and ml of slurry
take that ratio and step it up till you get the  100 billion to whatever ml
so if it says
336 billion and 397 ml
you would need about 118 ml of thin slurry for 100 billion cells

Equipment and Software / Re: stir plate alternative?
« on: December 29, 2010, 02:53:53 PM »
Found this today,
I had one just about finished today, (without the heater) and the turntable belt snapped.  >:(
I was using a wooden box and thought I would use springs instead of the strings

Yeast and Fermentation / Topping off a yeast starter?
« on: December 28, 2010, 06:55:49 AM »
Three days ago I went to make a 1L starter and I ended up with about 800 ml because I boiled a bit too long.
I pitched the yeast and let it go. I am wondering if it would make sense to add a bit more starter wort (a cup is about all that will fit) to bring up the volume and get a bit more cell growth? I am assuming that by the this point the yeast is done reproducing and is just fermenting the wort, so I don't know if topping it off will give me more yeast or just more fermenting wort?

Beer Recipes / Re: Flanders Red recipe ingredient question.
« on: December 22, 2010, 05:01:36 PM »
This seem a little better?

6.75 lbs pilsner/pale  50%
2.25 lbs flaked corn    18%
1.25 lbs Munich       10%
1.25 lbs crystal 120         11%
1.25 lbs  special roast     11%

Beer Recipes / Re: Flanders Red recipe ingredient question.
« on: December 22, 2010, 08:17:50 AM »
Thanks the recipe I have so far is

Pilsner or pale 6.75 lbs   62%
flaked corn 2 lbs  19%
vienna  1.375 lb   12%
caramunich 0.5 lb 4%
roast barley  2 oz  1% (Added at end of mash for color)
hops either kent goldings or hallertau @ 60 minutes for 10 ibu's

Beer Recipes / Flanders Red recipe ingredient question.
« on: December 22, 2010, 07:05:25 AM »
I am thinking about brewing up a Flanders Red and was looking around at recipes.
According to this
"Flanders acid ale brewers toss corn grits — up to 20% — into the mash, first boiled to achieve gelatinization. For homebrewers, flaked maize is a convenient alternative. Corn contributes a smoothness to the wort plus a bit of starch for the eventual microorganisms."

The BJCP site says
"Ingredients: A base of Vienna and/or Munich malts, light to medium cara-malts, and a small amount of Special B are used with up to 20% maize. Low alpha acid continental hops are commonly used (avoid high alpha or distinctive American hops). Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus and Brettanomyces (and acetobacter) contribute to the fermentation and eventual flavor."
It would seem to me if a style calls for up to 20% corn it would be a fairly critical ingredient.
Yet none of the recipes I have seen on line include any corn.
Any one have any thoughts on this?

Equipment and Software / Re: fermentation chamber
« on: December 16, 2010, 08:44:20 AM »
I fill mine up with water to the level of the beer.
With the AC in the summer set at 70 and the heat in the winter set at 68 it holds
temps pretty stable. I cool the wort to around 68 and pitch the yeast. Set it the tub with water
in the low 60's. I just put a thermometer in the water bath and try and keep it around 64 for the first
couple days and then just let it free rise it never goes above 70.
I really don't have to futz with it to much.

Equipment and Software / Re: fermentation chamber
« on: December 16, 2010, 07:02:29 AM »
low tech

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