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Messages - nyakavt

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All Grain Brewing / Re: Mash Efficiency
« on: January 11, 2010, 01:39:12 PM »
I find it easiest to use pre-boil volume / gravity.  The post boil works just as well, but it takes into account losses when transferring to the fermenter which you cannot directly enter on that screen.  I think the more valuable piece of information from a process improvement perspective is how much you extracted from the grains, i.e. pre-boil efficiency.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Malt Conditioning
« on: December 23, 2009, 05:51:54 PM »
Yeah, it sounds like you have a situation where you've determined malt conditioning is helpful.  In my case, I've never had a stuck runoff and I crush fine enough to get an average 85% efficiency, so there's no reason for me to do it.

And, of course, I haven't opened up the gap to see if I can still achieve 80-85% with a coarser crush.  Sounds like you do have a good mill though!

All Grain Brewing / Re: What are the practical effects of mashing too low?
« on: December 23, 2009, 05:46:16 PM »
When you mash at a lower temperature the conversion process takes longer and may not complete in the 60 min that most of us give the mash. The result is lower efficiency and possibly unconverted starches that can give the beer a starch haze. If your mash temps are substantially lower (140 and lower) starch doesn't gelatenize and the conversion process takes much longer since the enzymes have to chew away on the outside of the ungelatenized starch granules. At this point you would have substantially lower efficiency.

A couple of online sources I've read say that barley starch gelatanizes between 147 and 153 F (64-67 C), but it can vary up to 10°C depending on factors like crush, modification, water to grist ratio, etc.  Ungelatanized starch has the consequences that Kai states above.  Based on my anecdotal experience of taking mash gravity readings on the last half dozen batches, just about any beer mashed in at or below 152 has not completed conversion in 60 minutes.  This is always remedied by raising up above 155 for a very short amount of time, maybe 5 min.  I theorize that ungelatinized starch is the main culprit, not sluggish enzyme activity, but either problem has the same solution.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Malt Conditioning
« on: December 23, 2009, 05:27:34 PM »
I certainly do need to condition the malt or use rice hulls when crushing at a gap of 0.025".  I've tried it many times without, and the result was a very slow runoff and several visible quarts of wort being held back in the MT.  Alternative solutions would be to crush less fine, or use rice hulls, but conditioning seems a 'free' solution with the small sacrifice of 2-3 min of stirring.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: campden tablets
« on: December 08, 2009, 02:31:17 PM »
They dissolve faster in hot water, so you could toss them in with the strike water as it's heating up.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Storing Grain?
« on: December 07, 2009, 02:48:18 PM »
When you buy grain in 50/55 lb bags they already have moisture barrier.
Make sure that mice will not get to it and you should be O.K.
I have about 150 lb of base grain in my basement in original bags and it seams to be working fine.

Not every grain supplier includes a moisture barrier bag.  Every imported malt that I've ordered does indeed include one (Best, Thomas Fawcett, Franco-Belges).  But the two domestic malts I've purchased, Breiss and Rahr, do not have a moisture barrier bag.  Just the fiber weave of the sack (or paper, in Breiss' case). 

A large garbage bag is sufficent for a moisture barrier, just tie the top tightly.

All Grain Brewing / Re: RA over SRM simulation
« on: December 07, 2009, 02:40:28 PM »
Kai, I'm on the Raleigh municipal water supply (RA~20) and I did perform the all-pils malt mash pH test to diagnose a problem I was having.  Using the colorpHast strips, so the reading should be 0.3 units higher than listed.  Oddly, the distilled pH was higher than the tap water pH, probably due to reading error.

Tap water:
50.0 g crushed pilsen malt
200.0 g water
pH, 10 min: 5.5

Distilled water:
49.8 g crushed pilsen malt
200.1 g water
mash temperature: 76.7 F/24.8 C
pH, 10 min: 5.3

Kai, my only question is whether or not you will perform this experiment while sitting in an arm-chair?

Haha, nice!

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Store San?
« on: November 23, 2009, 03:52:33 PM »
Plastic racking tubing does get cloudy if you leave it in star san for a couple of days.  No big deal.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: The hoppiest beer in history?!
« on: November 13, 2009, 10:18:14 PM »
The fact that this is drinkable is proof that you really can't get any more than 100 IBUs in a beer.  Good job, you are a braver man than me.  I always like to see homebrewers doing stuff that is totally impractical for commercial brewers.

General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Random Beer Name Generator
« on: November 13, 2009, 10:10:22 PM »
"Yellow National Hispanic Heritage Month Wit"

Is that really appropriate?

All Grain Brewing / Re: Malt conditioning rocks!
« on: November 11, 2009, 01:55:57 PM »
I don't know what benifit there would be in malt conditioning rocks. they will still be hard and will not do your grain crusher any good. I think you could just leave the rocks out of the grain and it will grind a lot easier. :D

Added exclamation point for clarity

All Grain Brewing / Re: Malt conditioning rocks
« on: November 10, 2009, 07:29:21 PM »
Major, it took me about 10 minutes this last time to wet the grain, I only brew 5 gallon batches.  Spray, stir, and repeat. Then I let it sit about 5 minutes before milling.  I could see it being difficult with larger grists, and more work.  You'd almost have to weigh out the grain in several smaller more manageable batches to use the same technique.

Babalu, that's an interesting technique about letting it sit overnight, I only let it sit as long as it takes me to hand mill the grain, plus maybe 5 minutes.  Do the husks still feel sorta sticky the next day, or does the grain absorb all the surface moisture?

As for lacto, I haven't let it sit overnight yet.  If Babalu isn't tasting any sourness then it may not be an issue. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: Malt conditioning rocks
« on: November 10, 2009, 03:00:18 PM »
Heh, .025 mill gap, not mil gap.  I meant .025", sorry for the confusion.  The BC only goes down to .020 or so IME.  I chose this gap when I started AG to just keep it constant and dial in the process, not knowing the consequences to lautering.  So yes, using rice hulls would solve it, and backing off on the crush would solve it, but conditioning the malt also solves it.  And I'm ok if major doesn't try it, I'll just shake my fist from over here in his general direction  :P

All Grain Brewing / Re: Malt conditioning rocks
« on: November 10, 2009, 02:10:18 PM »
Major, I'm not sure why your experience is so much different than mine.  Do you have a wider mill gap, or a different knurl pattern?  I'm using the barley crusher and have had issues pretty much since day one with runoff with a 0.025 mill gap.  It would never get totally stuck, but get extremely slow with standing wort still visible in the tun.  I found the system to be very sensitive to how I vourlaufed, I couldn't pour the wort back on top slow enough.  Since I started conditioning, vourlauf and runoff has been a non-issue.

As for good for the grain mill, I agree that this last one was probably a bit too much based on the amount of force I needed to turn the mill over, and I'll likely back off on the water for future batches.  I haven't seen any rust yet (roughly 12 batches conditioned in 5 months), but the mill does not have stainless rollers so it is a possibility.  Could be that the flour keeps the rollers from staying wet, or the fact that it's only exposed for 10 minutes a week?  The grain isn't dripping with water, it just gets a bit soft.  I'll post an update if the situation changes.

As for rice hulls, the downside for me is the cost.  1/2 lb adds roughly a dollar a beer, so over the year that's another batch I could have brewed, which is important when you're on a budget.  I've only used them once, so I'm no expert, maybe you can get away with less.  They can absorb some wort if not pre soaked, I haven't evaluated if they absorb any additional wort when they hit the mash.

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