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Messages - redzim

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All Grain Brewing / Re: "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« on: October 21, 2010, 04:47:28 AM »
So if I were to do the "hybrid" method would it be better to run off slow like a fly sparge or
full bore like a batch sparge?

Good question. I was thinking I would go full-bore since it is more of a batch sparge situation. 

Thanks for the other suggestions & answers, Denny.  I think I'll just give it a try, and see.... after all with RDWHAHB, what can go wrong? I might not hit my gravities right on the money for this batch, but it'll still be beer, and I can always tweak it for the next batch.

All Grain Brewing / "double" sparge in a batch sparge
« on: October 20, 2010, 12:57:48 PM »
I've got questions.  I usually make 10 gal batches, with maybe 22-24lbs of grain. This fits nicely in my 80qt Coleman Extreme. I usually mash at 1.75 - 2.0qts/lbs, which lets me collect about 8gals first runnings, then I sparge with about 8gal and collect the 16gal I need to boil down to 11gal (I have a huge steam kettle with large surface area that loses a lot to evaporation.) 

Sometimes I do 15 gal batches with 30-35lbs grain, in this case I mash at about 1.5qts/lbs so it fits in the cooler, and then I can still get pretty good efficiency even though first and second runnings are not totally equal. I collect about 23gals and boil it down to 16gals of post-boil volume.

Now I want to do a 20 gal batch which will use about 45lbs of grain. It will not fit in my mash tun unless I start mashing thicker, like 1.3qts/lbs, and then I will have to add a lot of sparge water (maybe 16+ gals) to get my 26gals of pre-boil volume. 

So the questions are:

1)   Will my efficiency or process suffer somehow with mashing at 1.3qts/lbs, as opposed to the thinner 1.75-2.00qts/lbs that I’m used to, and that my recipes work for?

2)   If not, can I go ahead and mash with the highest ratio that still lets me fit the mash in the mash tun, and then split my batch sparging into 2 parts? Should these parts be equal volumes? Does it matter?

3)   Or should I just add as much sparge water as I can when starting the second runoff, and then just keep topping it off until I’ve added what I need?

Thanks in advance for any advice. I know I could avoid all this with a bigger mash tun but I don’t plan to do 20 gals batches that often.

All Grain Brewing / Re: Spreading Out the Process
« on: September 08, 2010, 05:13:29 AM »
I've done a two-day process for at least a year now (20+ 10-gal & 15-gal) batches. 

Day 1: mill grains, mash in 80qt Coleman Extreme, batch sparge, put liquid in brute barrel in walk-in cooler
Day 2: dump wort in kettle, brew, chill, pitch yeast

Total time each day of about 3 hrs. I usually do each step in the morning, so there is about 20hours between when the brute barrel goes into the cooler and when it is boiling the next day.  I have never noticed any problems; and a Maibock I brewed with this process just took a second place in the New York State Fair; and a Helles took a first place in the same comp.


So where do we get Best Malz pilsner from now???? Or can someone recommend me a good Pils malt that NB or Midwest or someone else sells.   One Pils malt I do NOT like is Crisp Euro Pils. It always comes out way too sweet somehow, even when it's fermented down to 1.010

All Grain Brewing / Re: rice hull percentage
« on: August 31, 2010, 11:52:02 AM »
Well, pragmatically speaking, if that solved your problems, that's the right thing to do.  But I have to admit that I've never had a problem with a stuck runoff, and most of the time a shorter braid works better.

Maybe the weave is closed to much and he needs to open it up a little more.

I have the 12" Bazooka screen, got it from NB about 2 years ago... it certainly looks like a tighter weave/mesh than the pix on Denny's site.  I might try to stretch it....   I've ordered a bit of rice hull and since I have a good feel for how my system drains on a 100% barley grain bill, I'll add half a pound or so to my next batch and see if it speeds it up at all, if that helps I'll use it on my next wheat beer.

All Grain Brewing / Re: rice hull percentage
« on: August 31, 2010, 07:46:33 AM »
Increase your water to grain ratio in your mash. You can go up to 2:1.
I usually keep mine between 1.5 to 1.75 to 1.

I already run between 1.75 to 1 and 2.0 to 1.

All Grain Brewing / rice hull percentage
« on: August 31, 2010, 04:54:48 AM »
Can't seem to find a quick answer to this: what percentage of the grain bill (by weight) are you guys using to add rice hulls? I batch sparge, and a couple recent batches with slow/stuck sparges (esp. one that was 25% wheat and 25% rye that was my Worst. Sparge. Ever. ) have got me thinking that rice hulls could help out.


Ingredients / help me identify this hop pest
« on: July 19, 2010, 08:47:15 AM »
I have a little bug thing on my hops (Magnum and Santiam) that has been making the leaves go yellow, then brown around the edges. They leave cobwebby stuff on the underside of the leaves, too. Any idea what it is?  You can see from the pix that some are bright green but some are also white, they are about 1/4" long max and look a little like a grasshopper although they don't really seem to jump much. (Sorry the close-up pic is blurry, cell phone has rotten macro capabilities)  They've done a lot of damage to leaves but so far the main bines seem to still be surviving.


Now how does excessive trub affect yeast re-use?  I usually use a big hop bag for my hop pellets, and I re-use yeast cake within a couple weeks, without washing or rinsing the yeast and without making a starter.  I've pretty much got my process down and it works for me.   

However I just made a big highly hopped BoPils and did not use a hop bag because I have been thinking that it is reducing my hop utilization, especially for late additions when the hop bag is already quite full of the bittering and flavor hops. A BoPils I did last fall suffered in this regard so this time I threw hop pellets right into the kettle.  All worked out OK except when pulling my trub/yeast cake from the primary, I definitely notice a lot more hop matter, in fact it looks positively green. 

Is my yeast going to be OK?  I guess I can play around with the Mr Malty calculator's settings for non-yeast percentage; up til now I've just left it at the defaults and gotten good results.


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: where is my best yeast in this slurry?
« on: April 20, 2010, 09:43:26 AM »

... it looks like this got restarted in the transfer and has a krausen on top. ...... So I try to harvest from the whole cake uniformly, and make an overall viability assumption of 75%/month.

That's a good theory; that it is basically fermenting again.... I hadn't thought of that. It makes sense because after 2 or 3 weeks in the fridge that foamy krausen layer is mostly dissipated.... then I also try to get uniform yeast usage by pouring off most of the liquid, mixing it all around, and then measuring out what I need to pitch.


Yeast and Fermentation / Re: where is my best yeast in this slurry?
« on: April 05, 2010, 12:32:11 PM »
you can embed your pic directly in your post

thanks. I couldn't figure it out so I posted a link instead. now I know.

Yeast and Fermentation / where is my best yeast in this slurry?
« on: April 03, 2010, 08:37:29 AM »

Here is the slurry from a 10gal batch of Irish Blonde Ale that has been at 34F for 5 days. As you can see there is about 1300mL of hard pack, then a lot of beer, and then some fluffy-looking junk.  (I leave a fair bit of beer in my ferm and slosh it around to loosen the cake, so I can pour it into my flask)

In the past, I've decanted the fluffy stuff and most of the beer, and then measured out whatever slurry I need to pitch according to Mr Malty.

But now I've been reading stuff about how the best yeast will stay on top... is that true or did I misread that.  Please advise whether I am pouring my best yeast down the drain!

Beer Recipes / Re: Summer Shandy Clone
« on: April 01, 2010, 08:12:15 AM »
In Germany (at least in Thüringen where I've spent 2 of the last 3 summers)  a "Radler" is a 50/50 mix of Pils and "Limonade" (which can be either a citrus-flavored sparkling water or just Sprite.)   A lot of the big beer brands have been selling their own premixed Radlers in a bottle, they clock in around 3% ABV.  Or the beer vendors at summer festivals will just mix you a Radler from draft Pils and a bottle of Sprite.  In German a "Fahrrad" or simply a "Rad" is a bicycle; the name Radler comes from the fact that you can have a couple and not fall off your bike.  Farmers in the area where I lived had them at noon on a workday.  I scoffed at them until I spent a couple hours stacking hay bales with a guy in the hot sun; a Radler refreshed me and we went on working.

Sorry this doesn't help much with a specific recipe....

Beer Recipes / Re: Lawnmower Beer
« on: March 15, 2010, 01:15:26 PM »
just spend the extra coin and get the flaked maize. I have seen some places sell it in 5 pound bulk for ~1.50 per pound or cheaper.

Yeah I guess that's what I'll do.  But what is the mash procedure for flaked maize?  I've never used it before. Can I just mix it in with my milled malt and mash away?  I do exclusively infusion mashes and batch sparges in a Denny-type setup.


Beer Recipes / Re: Lawnmower Beer
« on: March 15, 2010, 10:08:32 AM »
US-05 (or Chico in general) is a pretty clean strain. Just be sure to cool it down in to the low 60s before you pitch and try to keep the fermentation temps below 68-70 and it will be good, though if you can ferment in the low 60s it will be more "lager-like". One thing I neglected to mention in the recipe is that you will need to boil the grits for 20 minutes or use instant grits or flaked maize.


If you use flaked maize, you just add it to the mash, right?  And by instant grits, do you mean just an instant corn meal from the supermarket?

This is a great thread; I was about to post basically the same question as the OP. I want a summer ale that is really pale like a Pils but that I don't have to sit around waiting for it to lager (my lagering capabilities are maxed out right now with Helles and Maibock).   What if I would replace the Liberty with Saaz, which I have a lot of right now, and maybe even add another 1oz at flameout for more aroma... would this work?


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