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Messages - redzim

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136
Ingredients / Re: boil volume question
« on: January 14, 2013, 11:07:42 AM »
That's what I plan to do.  Distilled water should work for being "as pure as possible", right?

thanks
red

That is the best, but going with RO is close enough.

It's actually easier for me to get distilled than RO.... so we're good...

137
Ingredients / Re: boil volume question
« on: January 14, 2013, 08:42:52 AM »
Red,

You have a unique case because of the excessive boil-off rate.  It sounds like you are mashing and sparging now with appropriate water volumes for normal brewing conditions and then adding water with low mineralization to make up for that high boil-off loss.  That makes sense, if I've understood this procedure properly. 

Yes you've understood exactly.

In your case, I would only add minerals based on the 'normal' mashing and sparging water volumes.  Those ions will be depleted or condensed based on whatever processes occur in the mashing.  I would add as pure a water as possible without any added minerals to the kettle to make up for those boil-off losses in excess of the more typical ~1 gal/hr rate that many homebrewers experience. 

That should get you somewhere back to par for the course. 

Enjoy!

That's what I plan to do.  Distilled water should work for being "as pure as possible", right?

thanks
red

138
Ingredients / boil volume question
« on: January 13, 2013, 11:39:42 AM »
OK from this previous thread (http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=14292.0) I am realizing that my processes are a little abnormal compared to the average homebrewer. To recap, the main issue is my large kettle which has a huge (30-40%) boil off rate, which caused me (up until my most recent brew yesterday, Maibock) to oversparge... that is, collect 16-17gals to boil down to 11gal.  This caused astringency in many beers even though I got great efficiency.  Then the astringency from oversparging got further concentrated by the boil.

So based on suggestions from this forum, I sparged only until I collected 12gal (which would put me in the ballpark of other 10gal brewers, I guess), then I added 5 gallons water to the kettle before starting the boil (for various reasons it is basically impossible to reduce my boil off rate, in case you're wondering). (I also acidified my sparge water with lactic acid for the first time, getting in from ~7.5 down to ~5.7, which will help astringency also)

Now I use Kaiser and Martin's water spreadsheets heavily. What I did yesterday was add minerals to the "dilution" water (which I added to the kettle pre-boil) in the same proportions that I did to the mash and sparge water.  Thinking about it more, I think this may be wrong?  If I enter data into those spreadsheets as if I'm collecting 12gal pre-boil, that obviously makes my mash pH and everything work out, as well as setting the flavor profile.  So if I add more minerals preboil, I am now thinking, that screws everything up and sort of "concentrates" my minerals. Perhaps what I should be doing is adding distilled water as my dilution, so the minerals don't get played with... because the only reason I'm adding water to the boil is so I have enough wort to ferment after the boil.... so it just be be distilled that evaporates off... correct assumption? Or am I off here?  (previously, I entered data in the water spreadsheets as if I was collecting 16-17gal, and they nicely gave me lots of stuff to add to my sparge water, which again got concentrated in the boil...  if Martin or Kai could clarify how their sheets work it would help here... I guess they assume most people have a "normal" boil off rate)

So that got me thinking further: I bet I'm messing with my hop utilization by having such a big preboil volume....  so maybe instead of adding 4 or 5 gallons right at the start of the boil, I should add it a half gallon at a time during the boil, so I never have more than maybe 12-13 gal in the kettle...  this would then let me mimic the average homebrewer who boils from 12 gal down to 10.5, or so... 

any thoughts?
-red


139
Going Pro / Re: vendors / manufacturers
« on: January 11, 2013, 02:31:22 PM »
manual canning line

...Sounds interesting... care to share a link or manufacturer info?


140
Going Pro / Re: vendors / manufacturers
« on: January 10, 2013, 05:42:52 AM »
Thinking of a big step up, Red?


Dreaming (me and some other folks).....  thanks for the leads, that is enough to get me going for now....

-red

141
Going Pro / vendors / manufacturers
« on: January 09, 2013, 09:23:18 AM »
Just kind of blowing smoke out my ear at this point but where would I start looking to get a quote on equipment for a 7bbl or 10bbl brew house, that would include MLT system, mill & auger, wort chilling system, and 2-5 (or more) tanks for fermenting, lagering, and serving,and anything else I have forgotten?

I am looking for both:

1) manufacturers of new equipment

2) forums where I could keep tabs on used stuff being sold

-red

142
All Grain Brewing / Re: astringency
« on: January 05, 2013, 07:13:23 AM »
Try a lid, it will cut down a lot on your evaporation.

The lid idea is today's (or tomorrow's) test!



Well boiling with a lid didn't cut down on evaporation much, even with about 85% covered I reduced it from 5gal/hr to 3.5gal/hr...   So what does anyone think about these questions I posed yesterday:

Quote

But if that doesn't work, how does my logic sound on this:
-collect ~6-7 gal first runnings as usual
-instead of collecting 9 gal sparge to make my 16 gal pre-boil for 60 min boils (or collecting 12 gals sparge for my 90 min boils) collect say 6 more gallons to get ~12 total pre-boil
-at the start of the boil, add whatever additional water I need to get up to 16 (or 19) gallons and boil as usual (although based on my tests, I could probably get away with only 14-15 gal preboil if I reduce the boil rate as I tried yesterday)

A few questions:   Would I calculate out the added minerals using Kai's spreadsheet based on the total preboil  volume? Which would sort of concentrate the minerals in the mash but they would be diluted in the boil.... 

Or would I add calculate minerals just based on how much sparge water I am actually using? And in that case, should I add proportional amounts of minerals to the water I'm diluting the boil with, in other words use the same "water  recipe" for everything? To me, that makes the most sense....

-red

143
All Grain Brewing / Re: astringency
« on: January 04, 2013, 05:54:03 AM »
Try a lid, it will cut down a lot on your evaporation.

The lid idea is today's (or tomorrow's) test!

But if that doesn't work, how does my logic sound on this:
-collect ~6-7 gal first runnings as usual
-instead of collecting 9 gal sparge to make my 16 gal pre-boil for 60 min boils (or collecting 12 gals sparge for my 90 min boils) collect say 6 more gallons to get ~12 total pre-boil
-at the start of the boil, add whatever additional water I need to get up to 16 (or 19) gallons and boil as usual (although based on my tests, I could probably get away with only 14-15 gal preboil if I reduce the boil rate as I tried yesterday)

A few questions:   Would I calculate out the added minerals using Kai's spreadsheet based on the total preboil  volume? Which would sort of concentrate the minerals in the mash but they would be diluted in the boil.... 

Or would I add calculate minerals just based on how much sparge water I am actually using? And in that case, should I add proportional amounts of minerals to the water I'm diluting the boil with, in other words use the same water for everything? To me, that makes the most sense....

-red

144
All Grain Brewing / Re: astringency
« on: January 03, 2013, 01:52:57 PM »

i don't think you need an aggressive boil off. again with my electric system it is not much of a boil off at all, i think 1/2 g per hour.

OK but how is the liquid moving? I did a boil off test this morning, with just water in my kettle, and trying to evaporate as little as possible, and over 90 minutes it went from 14 gal to 9.5 gal, at what I would call "barely" boiling, more like a rough simmer.... this is less than I am used to doing in a 90min boil (19 gals -> 11 gal) but I don't know if it was making enough movement in the liquid.  It certainly was evaporating, though, and maybe that's all that matters.  Just to remind you all, my kettle is 26" in diameter!

145
All Grain Brewing / Re: astringency
« on: January 02, 2013, 07:18:33 PM »
So if you want more volume before the onset of boiling I would simply add water to the kettle instead of running extra sparge water through the grain bed.

this is from the above article which is a better description of what i was trying to suggest

Great tips coming in, talk about crowd-sourcing! thanks all... I think I'll take the following ideas and try to put them into practice:

1) Try to only boil off 2 or 2.5 gal/hr rather than 5 with a combination of reduced heat and an added lid... which begs the question, how much of a boil do I need? With my steam-jacketed kettle, I can change, within literally 30-60 seconds, from just a mild simmer around the edge (the jacket) to a full (and I mean FULL) rolling boil.  I usually aim for enough heat to keep the middle of the kettle bubbling (which means the circumference is definitely bubbling good too), but I can definitely turn it down to more of a simmer.... but how much "boil action" do I need for hop resin extraction?

2) So in order to only boil away 2 gallons, I'll collect less wort, which will hopefully balance out my run-off volumes better...

3) If I can't get the boil low enough, I'll still maybe just collect 12 or 13 gallons, and then add water to the kettle preboil as suggested by the BYO article and Don Weithman.  Which begs the question: I assume that water would need to be the same water as I mashed and sparged with, i.e. if it's my tap water, use that, or if it's a recipe built on distilled water plus minerals, use that....?

4) Acidify my sparge water down to 5.5, which sounds like a good thing to be doing in any case...

Did I miss anything?
-red

146
All Grain Brewing / Re: astringency
« on: January 02, 2013, 02:34:50 PM »
In Red's case, I think it is the amount of sparging he does. What can be done is to either sparge less or don't fully drain the grain bed between sparges. I.e. keep more of the wort in the grains before more water is added. That way more of the buffer capacity is retained. This will hurt your lauter efficiency and with it your brewhouse efficiency. But that is intended since you will be sparging less aggressively.

Kai

Will doing 2 or 3 sparges (i.e. 3 or 4 run-offs, total, rather than just 2) be a help?

147
All Grain Brewing / Re: astringency
« on: January 02, 2013, 02:33:26 PM »
Will partially covering my kettle to reduce boil-off rate adversely impact the whole DMS/SMM thing? (not sure I have those acronyms correct!)

148
All Grain Brewing / Re: astringency
« on: January 02, 2013, 01:22:57 PM »
:o  That boiloff rate is insane! 

I like your theory....  what typical boil-off rates are you guys getting? Or to put it another way, how much liquid are you guys starting with, to end up with 10.5 or 11 gals into the fermenter?  Obviously not 16gals...


149
All Grain Brewing / Re: astringency
« on: January 02, 2013, 01:10:36 PM »

So in Red's case, I think that the calcium content of his brewing water may have been too low to remove much of the tannin that is naturally present in wort. I look forward to hearing what Red has to say with regard to his typical mashing and sparging water calcium content. 

By the way, Polyclar will precipitate tannins too.   

Here are some calcium numbers from my brews: (Let me know if you need more numbers)

My regular water has 56ppm Ca, alkalinity of 142ppm. I use this for my Altbier.

My Oktoberfest water was diluted 50/50 with distilled, & I added CaCl and gypsum back in to get 54ppm Ca and 75 ppm alkalinity.

For German Pilsners I start with 100% distilled and add in CaCl, epsom, and gypsum to get to 58ppm Ca and 0 ppm alkalinity.

For the most part, most of my beers are around 50-60ppm Ca in the water. I use same water for mash & sparge. I'm going to take a look at acidifying the sparge water. I have some questions about using BrunWater to do that; I will PM some questions to you.

-red




150
All Grain Brewing / Re: astringency
« on: January 02, 2013, 12:54:50 PM »
Why are you collecting so much if you're only ending up with 11 gallons in the fermenters? Do you have a ridiculous boil off rate?

Yes I do!  As stated earlier, I have a large diameter (26") steam jacketed kettle... spherical bottom, so with 11 gals of  liquid in there it's still only about 11" deep....  I try to boil off as gently as possible but.... in a 60 minute boil I still loose about 5 gallons to evaporation.

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