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Messages - malzig

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General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Refractometer Sale
« on: July 11, 2013, 01:04:58 AM »
...15 Brix~1.058 on the refractometer's scale (with nothing on the plate) - should be closer to 1.061 (0.28% higher)...
I'd consider that to be off by 5.3%, etc., but I suppose that's semantics. :)

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Refractometer Sale
« on: July 07, 2013, 01:26:55 PM »
Thanks Denny. That will go in my notebook. And using your formula I was off by half a brix
People don't usually call me Denny ;)

Your formula actually works darn well as a quick estimate.  It could work really well if you wanted a number you could calculate on the fly.  Basically your 80% factor makes a pretty decent estimate of the dilution effect for that grain bill, though I'm just not sure where it comes from.  It will probably become less predictive if you diverge from 2 qt/# mash thickness, but it will often get you within a brix or so.  The other formula is pretty quick to calculate, too, but it's tougher to do in your head.

I just gave you the other formula so you could see the logic used to make the calculation and get a more accurate estimate, if you want one.

All Grain Brewing / Re: tobacco smell
« on: July 07, 2013, 12:37:31 PM »
Well, the thread has tobacco in the name but reading OPs post he says "smelled like it smoked a cigar the night before" which doesn't say "herbal" like tobacco leaf. Says smoky, like old ashtray.
Just trying to clarify the range of flavors and aromas that might be described as tobacco, and where they might come from.   Also, that tobacco, in itself, isn't a negative descriptor for beer that implies a rotten smell.  Ashtray... that's a negative descriptor that, like you, I would associate with the smokey phenolics that might come from a wild yeast and a hot ferment.  A little tobacco flavor might accentuate the association with an ashtray.

All Grain Brewing / Re: tobacco smell
« on: July 06, 2013, 06:28:02 PM »
A buddy of mine made a great Saison that had a fresh, tobacco aroma.  I believe it was the combination of the yeast and the particular lot of Styrian Goldings that he had.  Probably the best Saison I have ever tasted.
Yeah, I was thinking along these lines. I get "tobacco" aromas and flavors from Brett and certain hops, as well as some malt-forward beers (I think it's coming from a certain malt, but not sure). When I say tobacco, I am referring to that wonderful aroma of walking into a humidor. Not the cedar, but that nice cured tobacco aroma. Kind of in between fresh cut grass and leather on the aroma wheel. In the right balance, this is certainly enjoyable and desirable to me.

Of course, if you go a bit further you get something like wet leaves or swamp detritus. Those aren't so enjoyable.
Exactly what I was thinking.  It reminded me of opening a fresh pouch of pipe tobacco.  I think leather would be close.  Not at all like an old ashtry, though.

All Grain Brewing / Re: tobacco smell
« on: July 06, 2013, 02:58:02 PM »
A buddy of mine made a great Saison that had a fresh, tobacco aroma.  I believe it was the combination of the yeast and the particular lot of Styrian Goldings that he had.  Probably the best Saison I have ever tasted.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Refractometer Sale
« on: July 06, 2013, 02:47:53 PM »
I've only used a few refractometers, but they have all been accurate to a calibrated Hydrometer.  Most hydrometers that I have owned were inaccurate before calibration.

Be aware that there has long been a problem with many, if not all, dual-scale refractometers that have both an SG and Brix scale.  There has been an ongoing problem where they all seemed to have an incorrect SG scale.  Hopefully that has been fixed, but it may be why they are on sale.
For example (I think)
10# of 2 row should be about 370 points
Divided by 5 gallons mash water should be 1.074 max.
80% would be about 1.060 or 15°
So if I hit 15° and stay there 15 min I figure it's converted.

Am I wrong or crazy? Not experienced enough to really know, it's just how I've been doing it.
The math is wrong, since you don't account for the volume added by the dissolved sugar from the converted grain, but the answer is close enough. 

Max gravity for 10# of base malt in 5 gallons of mash water is probably just under 1.065.  You can figure out your target gravity with a pretty simple formula (I'd change the 37 to a 36 if there is much specialty malt in there):
Max points per gallon from mash = (# of grain*37)/(mash volume in gallons+(0.075 gallons*# of grain))

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: New Blichmann products at NHC
« on: July 06, 2013, 02:33:27 PM »
They had a strange kettle on top of a kettle, sort of rims mash and boil combination rig.  Put half the brewing liquor in the top pot, half in the bottom, heat the bottom, continuously pump from the bottom to the top while draining from the top to the bottom.  When strike temp is set, add malt to the top and mash while recirculating for an hour.  You end up with wort ready to boil in the bottom kettle.
I can't see how this would be terribly efficient, but he said seventy-something percent.
It's essentially a no-sparge mash, so the same 75%+ efficiency should be achievable for a 12-15 Plato beer.

I use BeerTools Pro, and it calculates the infusion temperature with the heat capacity of the cooler taken into account.  It allows me to hit the grain temperature quite accurately.

On the other hand, the grain temperature doesn't need to be 168-170F for a batch sparge.  So, like a lot of the others, I just add water that is somewhere in the 160-170F range and let the grain temperature fall where it may.

All Grain Brewing / Re: need help converting a recipe to no- sparge
« on: June 20, 2013, 12:01:37 AM »
I'm doing an Oktoberfest this weekend. I have a pretty good (decoction) recipe i want to use, and i want to use all first runnings. Is therea simple way to convert the mash to a no-sparge method? I use Pro Mash and was thinking i would need to change the efficiency setting.
For a no-sparge mash I get about 85-88% of the efficiency I would expect from an equivalent batch sparge, in that gravity range.

Don't forget to stir well before taking your runnings.  A no-sparge mash can be so simple that it is easy to forget to stir after the mash.

All Grain Brewing / Re: brewing all-grain with less water
« on: June 12, 2013, 11:19:31 AM »
I spent a small pile of money buying a big kettle and a burner to make 5-gallon batches all-grain, when I first started.  If I was starting again, I would have stuck with my 5-gallon extract pot and stovetop and simply made 3-gallon batches until I decided that I absolutely needed 5 gallons.  That probably would have been never.  I would have had more variety of beer, fresher beer, and the additional brewing would have improved my skills faster.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lagering Time
« on: June 05, 2013, 10:47:53 AM »
Once you are done fermenting (and you ferment properly) you can lager just couple of days (this would also apply for ales).
I haven't managed to get it down to just a couple days yet, it usually takes me at least a week to drop the beer clear, but otherwise I agree with this and it fits my experience.  I make sure my Lagers are done at the end of fermentation.  At that point they are clean, delicious and nearly ready to drink right from the fermenter. 

My observation has been that Lagering them a long time just tends to dull all the lovely fresh flavor that makes them taste like fresh beer in Germany, making them taste more like a bottle that's had to cross the Atlantic.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lagering Time
« on: June 03, 2013, 11:36:46 AM »
I warm condition my 12 °P lagers for about 2 weeks at 62°F (I naturally carbonate in the keg) and cold condition for 2-3 weeks, so I guess that is close to 2-3 days/°P.  These days my lagers are clean going into the lagering phase, so it's mostly just to drop the yeast clear.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: Over Attenuation?
« on: June 03, 2013, 11:28:54 AM »
My preference for many beers is an FG down in the 1.008-1.010 range, so that is very common for me.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: First Stuck Fermentation
« on: June 03, 2013, 11:23:54 AM »
158°F is a high mash temperature, even for a 1.060 beer, unless you want it to finish thick.  I sometimes use mash temperatures that high for beers down in the 1.035-1.040 range.  I'll occasionally use 155-156°F for a 1.048 beer.  They are noticeably full bodied and lower the attenuation by about 10% from a beer mashed down near 149°F.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: First Stuck Fermentation
« on: June 02, 2013, 06:17:12 PM »
I'd say 158F mash temp is a tad bit on the high side for an American BW. Any Barleywine for that matter...
Yeah, I probably wouldn't waste more yeast on trying to get the gravity lower, since it might just be done.  You can try giving it a little more time and see if it is dropping at all, but more yeast isn't going to do much.

Edit: Sonething more like 149F might have been a beter choice.

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