Author Topic: Chris Colby on malt conditioning  (Read 3378 times)

Online Kaiser

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Re: Chris Colby on malt conditioning
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2010, 11:30:46 AM »
Scott Jennings,the Pilot Brewery at SN, said that homebrewers could condition the malt with a spray.  He said an airbrush spray would be ideal, and one would spread the malt out, spray and turn.  The object was to get the husks moist so that the husks would become more elastic, and less brittle.  If only a few grains would stick when you ran your hand through the malt, that was about right.  If your hand was covered with grain, then it was too wet.

Yes, that's the technique I have proposed and that I'm using. Not that any of us took it from the other. It's just an obvious thought when you think about how to best intoduce mosture into the grain evenly.

Kai

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Chris Colby on malt conditioning
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2010, 11:43:19 AM »
Kai, if you search the HBD archives for "malt conditioning", or "tempering", there is a period in Oct 2003 where this was covered in some detail.  Jeff Renner was even involved, so that may be why I remembered it.  They cover the amounts to use in metric and imperial units along with results.  Dr. Pivo's was in some detail, and he commented on how there was no dust, and how the crush looked.

Go to hbd.org and the search is on the left side, or just do a Google search in the hbd.org domain.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 02:55:52 PM by hopfenundmalz »
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Re: Chris Colby on malt conditioning
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2010, 02:03:11 PM »
I think this is Jeff Renner's HBD post that started the 2003 discussion: http://hbd.org/hbd/archive/4379.html#4379-7
There was also a HBD mention in 2000.

After reading through most of it, wow. The same thing I have been seing and saying since I tried it. "rolled oats" look, gummed rollers when too wet, let it sit to dry it out, kernels may not feed as easily into the mill ....

I feel like having resurected a ghost here since I have not once heard about its application in home bewing ever since I started reading home brewing forums in 2005. I guess it never made enough difference to gain popularity. We'll see how long this phase will last.

The same might be true for the fast ferment test, another favorite of mine. I have seen references to it on HBT and in a NHC presentation. I still don't fully understand how such a useful test is not seen as essential for at least lager brewing. By maybe I'm thinking too much of an egineer here.

Kai

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Re: Chris Colby on malt conditioning
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2010, 02:33:20 PM »
Kai, my thinking on the FFT is that it's very useful the first time you brew a recipe, but not so much the second, third, etc. Maybe all you're seeing is that at the level where people write things about brewing (or can get them published/read, anyway) a lot of them are brewing recipes they're refined over dozens of brew sessions, and it simply doesn't have as much benefit for them.
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Offline babalu87

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Re: Chris Colby on malt conditioning
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2010, 04:19:42 PM »
Here is what I know about malt conditioning.

Prior to trying it I would have painfully slow run-offs with wheat beer grain bills.
Rice hulls were a must.

I now condition my grains (the way Kai suggests) and havent bought/used rice hulls in nearly a year.

As for the FFT, I cant understand NOT using it especially with lager brewing. It requires NO effort.
I guess what I really need from someone is the reasons they dont use it.
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Re: Chris Colby on malt conditioning
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2010, 09:09:57 AM »
As for the FFT, I cant understand NOT using it especially with lager brewing. It requires NO effort.
I guess what I really need from someone is the reasons they dont use it.

In my case, laziness, plain and simple.  In addition, most of the time I just don't need that info. But I do it occasionally just out of curiosity.
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Offline babalu87

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Re: Chris Colby on malt conditioning
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2010, 10:04:10 AM »
As for the FFT, I cant understand NOT using it especially with lager brewing. It requires NO effort.
I guess what I really need from someone is the reasons they dont use it.

In my case, laziness, plain and simple.  In addition, most of the time I just don't need that info. But I do it occasionally just out of curiosity.

Here is what I do (might help with the laziness issue :D )

I'm taking a gravity reading when its going into the fermenter (I run that into a plastic measuring cup)
I'll pour that into the hydrometer tube and note that reading.
After pitching the yeast (eswpecially with lagers) I'll have a container that has more than enough yeast left stuck to the sides after pouring the slurry into the fermenter.
The hydro sample goes in that container (though I must confess I get extra energy I need to burn off and I'll pour into another container)
Jeff

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Re: Chris Colby on malt conditioning
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2010, 11:29:05 AM »
That does sound pretty easy....now I just have to come up with a reason to do it!  Curiosity might be enough, troubles with fermentation certainly would be.
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Offline babalu87

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Re: Chris Colby on malt conditioning
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2010, 12:13:47 PM »
That does sound pretty easy....now I just have to come up with a reason to do it!  Curiosity might be enough, troubles with fermentation certainly would be.

Its great to know when a lager is done/ready to be racked.
I've played around with lager fermentation recently and have been gettting good results, shorter lag times and faster fermentations.
Jeff

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Re: Chris Colby on malt conditioning
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2010, 12:43:12 PM »
I think that home brewers should be taught how to perform and interpret a fast ferment test as well as performing and interpreting a proper iodine test on chalk. Once they found in their brewing that it does not provide them useful information they may stop using it. But those tests are very useful when you start out brewing and are trying to troubleshoot your process. Some brewers may decide to keep using the FFT in particular as it allows them to use more elaborate techniques when it comes to priming for example.

Kai

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Re: Chris Colby on malt conditioning
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2010, 12:51:22 PM »
I'm in complete agreement, Kai.  And it's entirely possible that my beers might be improved by using both of those methods.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Chris Colby on malt conditioning
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2010, 12:56:10 PM »
Kai,

Maybe this isn't the proper place to ask, but could you post a procedure for the FFT and iodine tests. Maybe you could start a new subject.  :-\
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Re: Chris Colby on malt conditioning
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2010, 01:16:05 PM »
I just double crush and adjust the gap.
The poor man's approach to a multi roller mill.
I only use it with very high gravity beers when I'm pushing the limits of the tun.
5% extra efficiency really helps in that case.
I'd say something witty down here, but I'm at a bit of a disadvantage in that department.

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Re: Chris Colby on malt conditioning
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2010, 01:25:40 PM »
Kai,

Maybe this isn't the proper place to ask, but could you post a procedure for the FFT and iodine tests. Maybe you could start a new subject.  :-\

Kai's got them on his wiki site.  Fast Ferment Test...

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Fast_Ferment_Test

and the starch/iodine test...

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Starch_Test
Joe

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Re: Chris Colby on malt conditioning
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2010, 01:31:52 PM »
and the starch/iodine test...

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Starch_Test

Thanks for posting that. I have to update the iodine test article to make the test on chalk the primary and preferred method. Testing in a white dish, as we all have been taught, can too easily cause false or ambiguous readings which has given the iodine test the reputation of not being reliable.

I have shot the pics already and played around with iodine test solutions. I found that mixing Iodophor with rubbing alcohol, instead of water, gives a test solution that works better for the iodine test.

Kai
« Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 01:33:35 PM by Kaiser »