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Messages - malzig

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Modified batch sparge?
« on: January 31, 2011, 12:15:47 AM »
My "no-sparge" was like a sparge but without lautering off the first runnings first.  Mash at 2qt/lb, then add another 1qt/lb or so and stir then lauter.
I may be misunderstanding you, but that sounds like a No-Sparge, to me.  No-Sparge has nothing to do with mash thickness or whether you add a step into your mash before lautering.  It is a sparging technique, not a mashing technique.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Modified batch sparge?
« on: January 29, 2011, 11:59:28 PM »
I can't really say this method is any faster than a single sparge.... 

The down side is a mashtun that is only 1/2 to 2/3 full during the mash.
I can't say that No-Sparge is a huge time saver over a Single Batch Sparge, but at the very least you save the small amount of time it takes for adding the sparge water and stirring in the sparge (since they can occur during the mash of a No-Sparge), as well as the second vorlauf.  Not a 10 minutes I really worry about one way or the other, though.

Why would the mashtun be only 1/2 to 1/3 full with one method and not the other?  I can mash at the same thickness if I want whether I choose to go No-Sparge or Batch Sparge.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Modified batch sparge?
« on: January 27, 2011, 01:27:15 AM »
This Google Docs is really nice. But what bothers me that other users cannot make changes to the copy of the spreadsheet that they are seeing unless I make it writeable for everyone which won’t be feasible if they end up modifying the master copy.

Before I start looking for that, does anyone know if one can copy a shared document to their own Google Docs account and edit it there w/o having to download it to the computer first?


A viewer of the spreadsheet can go to File>Make a copy... and they will have an editable copy of the spreadsheet that can't be saved over your original, with your current settings.

They do need to have a google documents account and be signed in, though.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Modified batch sparge?
« on: January 26, 2011, 02:30:22 AM »
I am not sure how you arrived at the 60% number. I agree that it is somewhere in that range, but don't see where the hard number comes from.
If you use Kai's spreadsheet, you'll see that using 10# of grain to make about 6.5 gallons of wort, pre-boil, from equal runnings, should yield about 63% of the total available sugar.  I rounded that to 60%.  My experience has been that ~60%-63% is a realistic real world figure as well. I was also taught that 60% of the available sugar per running was a good way to calculate the expected gravity for partigyle mashes.

Kai's spreadsheet calculates that a similar no-sparge wort, could yield 77% efficiency.  I reliably get about 70-75%.

Essentially, the ~60% and ~75% comes from the percent of the volume of water you drain from a tun relative to that added to the tun (i.e., minus grain absorption), with a correction made for the volume added by the dissolved sugar.

Open Office is a free alternative to Excell.  I think that works with Kai's spreadsheet.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Modified batch sparge?
« on: January 25, 2011, 11:31:31 AM »
With all due respect......I am raising my left eyebrow here....... ???
Sorry it took me so long to get back to you.  Work sucks.
So, did you figure it out from Kai's page or should I try rephrasing my post?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Modified batch sparge?
« on: January 21, 2011, 01:28:57 AM »
It's because sparging is about dilution of the dissolved sugar held behind in the grain bed.

Imagine that 100% of the sugars dissolve in the no sparge, but you can only drain 75% of the water because of the water absorbed by the grain.  You'd get 75% efficiency.

Imagine instead that you take two runnings, from your first you get 60% of the sugar, because you drain less water and leave the same amount of water behind, but more proportionally.  Then you add and drain your sparge to get 60% again of the 40% you left behind.  The result is 60% + (60% x 40%) = 84% efficiency with a sparge.

That's reasonably close to the numbers I get with the two sparge techniques on an average gravity beer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: First AG batch......
« on: January 21, 2011, 01:06:52 AM »
man it was a dream.....
That is cool.

All Grain Brewing / Re: First AG batch......
« on: January 19, 2011, 11:16:31 AM »
I got to my crush by careful trial and error fine tuning of my mill.  It worked great until I got a new bag of malt that produced a lot of teig.  Then my runoffs slowed way down and I flirted with a stuck mash once or twice.  Malt conditioning made that same malt, w the same mill setting, runoff faster than I had before it started slowing down.

I'd bet that, since you are now on the edge of sticking, with malt conditioning you probably won't have to go through the trial and error of finding a mill setting that gives both good efficiency and good runoff.

All Grain Brewing / Re: First AG batch......
« on: January 19, 2011, 12:19:13 AM »
My cooler isn't a Colman Extreme, and the drain is about 3/4" off the bottom so I prop one end up on a 2X4 to help lessen the deadspace. (I should have listened to the people on this broad and spent the extra $20 and got the extreme).
You can fix that with a dip tube.  I use a round Rubbermaid cooler with a pretty high valve, but with a dip tube I leave less than a cup of liquid on the bottom of the tun.

All Grain Brewing / Re: First AG batch......
« on: January 18, 2011, 02:25:48 AM »
Before trying another variable like "conditioning" your malt first try adjusting gap settings. I think the "crush until scared" philosophy is a bit overdone from time to time. You should get good extraction and efficiency numbers without resorting to a superfine grind.
It's not like spraying a little water on some of your malt is a huge chore or much of a variable.  My efficiency was >85% before conditioning and >85% after conditioning.  The one benefit that I did see around the same time as I started conditioning was crystal clear beer.  I can't credit it to malt conditioning, since I was reliably fixing my mash water by then, but malt conditioning has the potential to decrease phenol extraction and therefore beer haze.

It's relatively effortless, takes little time, and won't change much of anything about your brewday.  What it does do is significantly improve your husks and your lauter if you're coming close to a stuck sparge.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Pilsner brewing
« on: January 17, 2011, 12:35:34 AM »
Pisner beers aren't really typical of Prague, and Staropromen gets a lot of ribbing for their yellow beers over there.  Most pubs carry Urquell or Budvar Pilsner, with Staropromen relegated mostly to supermarkets.  Not that I'd blame their yeast for that, and it probably could make a fine Pilsner.

Prague, however, is more of a Dunkle town, historically, since it has hard water more like Munich and the OPs than Pilzn.  This is probably the yeast used by U Fleku to make their famous Dunkel.  I'd use 2782 yeast to make a Dunkel or Schwarzbier,
I am sorry to tell you that you are wrong.
Pilsner style beers are brewed all over the Czech republic and are as native as Hamburgers for good old US of A.
Praha/Prague included.

If you could not find Staropramen on your visit there, may be you should have walked off tourist track and find out where and what native are drinking.
U Fleku is a tourist trap and for 60 crowns a pop you will not find too many natives there.
Wrong about what?
Historically, Dunkel was the dominant style in Prague, just as it was in Munich.  There's a lot more to Dunkels than U Fleku, so I hope that's not the only one you tried.  I never said that Pilsners aren't now brewed in Prague, but like many great brewing cities in the world, Prague makes passable Pilsners because there always seems to be a demand for yellow beer.  

Staropromen is fine and all, but I've tried quite a few Pilsners over my last last 35 years of traveling around and near Germany, well off the "tourist track" and I wouldn't place Staropromen near the top.  Czech natives that I talked to considered it the Miller of Czech and a bit of a joke.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Pilsner brewing
« on: January 15, 2011, 07:06:46 PM »
My hotel in Prague had a Budvar pub on the first floor.  I drank a lot of Budvar Dark and Kozel Dark, and an occasional Urquell, but I never saw any Staropromen on tap, so I only had a warmish bottle I bought at the local convenience store.
Good to know because I like both types of beers!  Maybe I'll start with a Pilsner, then use the cake for the Dunkel or Schwartzbier.
Now that sounds like a plan!

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Temps and Water Profile - Bock
« on: January 15, 2011, 06:58:40 PM »
This is another disconnect between theory and practice. I was using my water calculator to determine the acid it takes to reduce the residual alkalinity to 0 and that calculator gives lactic acid twice the power than it should have.

When adjusting mash pH with acids I repeatedly fund that it takes about 30 mEq for a drop of 1 pH unit for every kg of grist.

When I calculate this for  raising mash pH though alkalinity or baking soda I get an effectiveness of ~60 mEq/(kg*pH) or even less (higher numbers mean less effective). This doesn’t seem to make sense to me either but I keep seeing this.
It does seem to me that, in a complex buffered system like a mash, that the empirical measures trump the theoretical.
Are you taking into account the buffering capacity of the malt?  Wouldn't that explain why it takes more acid or base than expected to change the pH?  (I have to admit that I haven't taken the time to understand the math in this kind of chemistry.)

All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash water volume?
« on: January 15, 2011, 06:52:57 PM »
Yikes that sounds like such little water! 5 gals of water in a 14 pound grain bill seems like it would be a thick mash!
I'd recommend 1.5 to 2+ qts/#, in general, but mostly I'd recommend adding enough water that, after grain absorption and deadspace, you get half your pre-boil volume from your first and second runnings each.

As an example, for 11# of grain and 1 pint deadspace, shooting for 7.5 gallons of wort pre-boil:
7.5 gallons total ÷ 2 runnings) = 3.75 gallons per running

That means sparging with 3.75 gallons and mashin with 3.75 gallons plus the lost volume of:
(11# x 0.12 gal/# absorption) + 0.125 gallon deadspace = 1.445 gallons lost volume.

That means mashing in with 5.2 gallons, or 20.8 qt/11#, or 1.9 qt/#.
With 100% conversion, that should give you 80%+ efficiency and a nice thin mash to stir and run-off, but then If you were me, you'd be batch sparging. :)

All Grain Brewing / Re: Pilsner brewing
« on: January 15, 2011, 06:45:25 PM »
From Wyeasts web site.  Looks like we are both right.
I was giving you a bit of a hard time.  I'm sure this yeast could make a great Bohemian Pilsner, I just haven't had one that I knew was made with this yeast.  I know it makes a fantastic Dunkel/Schwarzbier, though!

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