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Messages - malzig

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Yeast and Fermentation / Re: First Stuck Fermentation
« on: June 02, 2013, 12:43:12 PM »
Your best chance of resuming fermentation is probably to make a fresh starter with a vial or pack of yeast and pitch the starter while it is highly active.  It is probably going to be tough, though.

It looks like you accidentally gave us a textbook example of the potential effect of underpitching yeast.  Unfortunately, that becomes more significant when making such a high gravity beer.  Not to say that's what happened, since I have no way of knowing the fermentability of the wort, but it is a distinct possibility.

Ideal pitch for an ale:
0.85e9 cells/LxP x 19 L x 23 P  = 371e9 cells

I've found that a vial of yeast pitched into a half-liter will grow about 1.25-fold, so you probably pitched ~225e9-250e9 cells, or about 1/2 - 2/3 of the recommended cell density.

For a high gravity beer like this, brewers often use a higher pitch rate, maybe half-again higher, which could put you down near 1/3 the recommended amount of yeast.

Edit: I didn't notice the third vial of yeast, but seeing the mash temperature you may have found the real culprit.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Water to Grist Ratio
« on: May 27, 2013, 12:22:09 PM »
I want to say that I've heard thinner mashes (more to the 2qt water-to-grist ratio) run the risk of lighter body in the finished product, and picking up more tannins from dark-roast grains. 
Luckily, mash temperature has a substantially greater effect on fermentability than mash thickness, so you can easily override any possible effect of a thinner mash lightening the body with a slightly higher mash temperature.

Similarly, tannin extraction is primarily influenced by water chemistry and pH.  Thin mashes can be an issue because inappropriate water has a greater effect on pH the more water you use.  Dark mashes should have less of a problem with this since the dark grain will tend to lower the pH and high pH is typically the cause of tannin extraction.
The question about steeping grains is a really good one - if there's no base malt there, why aren't we noticing the "thin mash tannin extraction" problem with that?
I've never noticed this relationship with a thin mash, either.  For me tannin extraction tends to be more an effect of the sparge.  I find that I get less tannin from a beer mashed very thin and not sparged than I do from a beer mashed thicker and sparged, with or without dark malts.

I think I made 3 extract beers, 2 partial mashes, then went all grain.  About 100 batches ago, roughly.

I've tried making extract beers a few times since then.  I can make a decent extract Weizen, but otherwise I never really learned how to make extract versions of the styles I prefer that I was happy with.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Next Step-Water
« on: April 24, 2013, 10:49:09 AM »
The flavor ion concentrations are based on the mash and sparge volume, not the post boil-volume, since the assumption is that the concentrations are those in your source water.  If you are adding salts to the kettle, you can calculate them based on the pre-boil volume.

All Grain Brewing / Re: how to decrease my efficiency ?
« on: April 24, 2013, 10:44:01 AM »
O.........So if i sparge to low per say the finial PH of my beer can be off?
Yes, but you are more concerned with the pH of the mash and sparge.

82% efficiency isn't particularly high, but 1.008 is low for final runnings.  Definitely try sparging with less water, but also review the design of your tun to make sure that you are sparging as evenly as possible.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Whirlpooling
« on: April 23, 2013, 10:26:26 AM »
The kettle height to diameter is important.  I use a turkey fryer kettle and I cannot get any kind of a cone to form.

Definitely!  A large diameter and modest height is the way to keep the cone confined to the center and allow you to draw the wort from the periphery...  I use a 15 gal stock pot to brew 5 gal batches.
Don't you lose a large percentage to evaporation during the boil?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Dead Space
« on: April 19, 2013, 02:14:25 PM »
I measure dead space by pouring water into the otherwise empty tun, allowing it to drain naturally, then pouring the volume that remains into a measuring cup.  Of course, that won't work if you have a fixed or heavy vessel.

All Grain Brewing / Re: advice for adjusting to different system
« on: April 16, 2013, 11:44:35 PM »
If you're batch sparging, runoff rate is especially important.
Nope.  I think you mean, "If you're fly sparging...".

All Grain Brewing / Re: Brewing Today
« on: April 16, 2013, 11:26:41 PM »
I'm going to enjoy my unexpected paid vacation for a week or two before jumping back into the job market, and brew lots of beer.  Probably more productive than sitting behind a desk anyways!
Sorry to hear of it.  Best of luck.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Preboil Gravity off
« on: April 16, 2013, 09:41:39 AM »
Now I take my "preboil" reading at the hot break, which is preboil as far as the hops are concerned but means it has been mixing for a while and gives me much nicer results.
Yes, it is a lot easier to get a fully mixed sample at boiling.  It's also easier to get an accurate kettle volume at this point, since you know the volume expansion is 4% at 212F.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Preboil Gravity off
« on: April 16, 2013, 12:55:35 AM »
To be perfectly honest, if my preboil gravity and volume are on target, I don't even bother checking again postboil.
Same here.  I used to check, but my post-boil gravity was always what the pre-boil gravity and volume predicted it to be.  I think the pre-boil gravity is the second most important, since that is your best chance to correct the hopping rate if the gravity is off.  First is the mash gravity, since that tells you that your mash has fully converted and that your gravity expectation will be met.

Once you know your system, the kettle volume should be a given.  You know how much water you put in, you know your dead space, and you know how much grain you used, therefore your absorption.  It shouldn't be much of a mystery.  I measure the kettle volume just to confirm that it is the volume I expected.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Lagering in corny kegs
« on: April 12, 2013, 12:18:57 AM »
So theres no need to allow gassing off during lagering?  I'm still a little foggy on just what exactly is happening during lagering.  If the yeast are still somewhat active, whether it is better for the beer to be able to "breathe", etc.  If its just a matter of letting the beer drop clear in cold storage, then I think kegs or bottles could be lagered and you could carbonate first.

I'm lagering some bottled/conditioned beer right now.  Four weeks in the fridge at 35F before I take it to a Cinco de Mayo party.
It depends on how well the beer has been fermented.

If you control temperatures well early, then give the beer a bit of well-timed warm conditioning to clean up the last of the diacetyl and acetaldehyde and blow off any sulfur, then a well-behaved yeast should be clean by the end of about 3 weeks of fermentation.  Then you really only need to drop the yeast.  When I use WLP830, I usually only lager for the 2 or 3 weeks that it takes to drop the beer to crystal clarity.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mashing and Fly Sparring
« on: April 03, 2013, 11:17:10 AM »
My next recipe calls for a 2 step batch sparge.  The first is using 1.5 gal. and the second calls for 4 gal. all at 160.0 F.  Is there a need for this 2 step batch sparge.  Can't I just put in 5.5 gal. and do one?
Yes, that would be preferred, if it will all fit in your tun.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Oops...Session IPA
« on: March 31, 2013, 08:41:56 PM »
I think I may start a campaign to come up with  new name for the overhopped APAs that people are referring to as session IPAs.  AFAIAC, calling them either APA or IPA makes it harder to define what an APA or IPA is.
  I don't think the problem is in calling these beers IPAs; the idea is to make them taste like IPAs, so they are IPAs.  Also, there is a wealth of tradition of IPAs in this alcohol range.  I see the source of the problem in calling beers hopped like IPAs, APAs, or hoppy beers with the alcohol level of a Double IPA, IPAs.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Extreme Efficiency Boost!
« on: March 31, 2013, 08:18:54 PM »
Kai's Batch Sparge Simulator predicts just under 87% efficiency for that grist weight and those volumes.  It looks like you got just over 87%, so you might just be getting what you are expected to get.  For moderate gravity beers like this, 70% is a low expectation and would require only 80% conversion.

As far as hydrometer calibration, all but 1 that I've ever owned has been off.  The one I have now was pretty close when it was brand new, but it is off by 4 points, now.

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