Author Topic: What was your last change in your procedure that you feel was beneficial?  (Read 9458 times)

Offline liquidbrewing

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Thanks for all the responses! 8)

I realized I just started filtering my water with a carbon filter too, forget to add that to the original post.  Haven't had any finished beer from brewing with it, I've got a RyeIPA and  Blackberry Wheat in the fermenter right now.

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Offline nateo

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2) Oxygenating lagers - I wanted to get above 8ppm, which was claimed to be the upper limit using air.

I thought solubility of O2 was temp dependent. I've read if you chill the wort to lager fermenting temp you can get 10ppm O2. I'm not sure what the max O2 solubility is right before it freezes, though. Wort gravity should affect solubility as well, but I think temp is a bigger factor.
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Offline lazydog79

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I would say my best overall change since I started brewing was going with a chest freezer and controller.  Lately, it has been to start using Bru'n Water (THANKS MARTIN!  ;D) and being more mindful of chemistry.  It has caused a lot of fluctuation in my efficiency, but I have some procedural steps I need to nail down to get some consistency back.

Offline gymrat

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I bought a nice strainer for pouring wort into my fermenter from the kettle. Now I don't have to use hop sacks anymore. Also bought an RV hose so I don't have to run in and out of the house with a pitcher to fill my water kettle.

Is the mesh fine enough to filter pellet hops, and if so would you know what size mesh or what kind it is?  Gracias.

Yes it is. And I don't know what size the mesh is. This is my strainer
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/stainless-steel-strainer-10-1-4-diameter.html
The description says single mesh but it looks double mesh to me.



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Offline punatic

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I use one of those for straining fruit out of my melomels and fruit beers.  I like it because I can sanitize it in boiling water.
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Offline euge

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I like to use an all-steel china-cap which is also easily sanitized .



I would bend that loop of wire downward so the mesh-strainer can't slip back (it can easily happen) and dump hops, etc in your strained wort.
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Offline richardt

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Both strainers look nice.  It is all about having enough surface area.  If the mesh is too loose, it doesn't clog (good), but it doesn't strain much either (bad).  If the mesh is too fine, it quickly clogs, or "blinds" (bad), but it strains very well (good). I use the extra-fine mesh (bouillion) SS china cap strainer as a pre-strainer prior to using the funnel with the fine nylon mesh screen.  A simpler and more cost effective way may be to use a sanitized 5 gallon paint strainer bag inside the fermentor and then carefully lift it out after transferring the wort.

The most beneficial change in my procedure has been learning about and modifying my water profiles.  Lots of internet searching and reading (and re-reading) to better understand water chemistry.  I really like Martin's water profile tool and have found it to do a great job with estimating salt additions (I use RO H2O as my base water) and pH.

Offline mpietropaoli

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I have to say though that the most recent upgrade that has had the biggest effect on my brewing is converting my chest freezer in to a lager fermentation vessel.  I can now ferment 4 lagers at a time which is awesome.....

Dave

How do you ensure that each lager is at the right fermentation temp?  I have a chest freezer and johnson controller, but if I insulate the probe and tape to the outside of one fermenter, the compressor kicks on if the yeast starts getting too aggressive until the FERMENTER temp gets down...thus while I have room for two, my Johnson (heh) is only able to monitor the temp of one. 
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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But I just thought of something I might try next time:

Use a hose to blow the O2 under the wort surface. This should create foam. Once the foam reaches the carboy neck the the air has been purged out and I'll close the carboy and start shaking. The O2 dissolved in the wort should depend on the head space to wort volume ratio and the wort temp. I'm using 5 gal carboys, so this may not be as practical for 6 gal carboys due to the larger head space and possible over-oxygenation.

I did some math on this and with a head space of 1.5 l and 17.5 beer volume, which is a pretty small head space, you'll end up with about 25 ppm DO. This is for filling the head space with O2 and shaking until so much O2 dissolved that the head space pressure is too low to push more O2 into the wort.

25 ppm oxygen may be good for a high gravity beer, but is way too much for normal beers. So the technique of purging the head space with O2 by creating foam with the O2 is not all that practical.

Kai

But isn't it unlikely that you'd get all that O2 into the wort anyway?
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Offline davidgzach

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I have to say though that the most recent upgrade that has had the biggest effect on my brewing is converting my chest freezer in to a lager fermentation vessel.  I can now ferment 4 lagers at a time which is awesome.....

Dave

How do you ensure that each lager is at the right fermentation temp?  I have a chest freezer and johnson controller, but if I insulate the probe and tape to the outside of one fermenter, the compressor kicks on if the yeast starts getting too aggressive until the FERMENTER temp gets down...thus while I have room for two, my Johnson (heh) is only able to monitor the temp of one.

I'll bring the newly brewed lager just below the fermentation temperature in the chest freezer using an IC and then ice bath.  I typically ferment all my lagers at 50-52F so I'll bring the new one to 45F, pitch 45F yeast and let it rise to 50F in the chest freezer.  I have a separate fridge for lagering so it works quite well.

As for the probe, I have it in air, not taped to the fermenter.  You need to account for 1-2 degrees but it is manageable.

Dave
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Offline Greg A.

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But the problem is that it foams a lot and that foam makes adding yeast suspended in 1-2 l wort difficult.

Kai

Any suggestions for pitching dry yeast when there is an excess of foam after shooting some O2 in and shaking it?  I had about 2 inches of foam when I was done.

I typically use liquid yeast, and I figure that would sink through the foam and into the wort because of weight, but I had some dry sitting around and figured I would use it.  It just ended up sitting on top of the foam and once the foam subsided, the yeast turned into what looked like a gooey yeast cake on the surface.  This was in the carboy so I really didn't have much that I could do to break it up properly.
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Online morticaixavier

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But the problem is that it foams a lot and that foam makes adding yeast suspended in 1-2 l wort difficult.

Kai

Any suggestions for pitching dry yeast when there is an excess of foam after shooting some O2 in and shaking it?  I had about 2 inches of foam when I was done.

I typically use liquid yeast, and I figure that would sink through the foam and into the wort because of weight, but I had some dry sitting around and figured I would use it.  It just ended up sitting on top of the foam and once the foam subsided, the yeast turned into what looked like a gooey yeast cake on the surface.  This was in the carboy so I really didn't have much that I could do to break it up properly.

try rehydrating the dry yeast in warm water next time. then it's just like liquid only more so. but it will probably be fine, if it is in contact with liquid it will rehydrate it self eventually.
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Offline andyi

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Adding lactic acid to the mash.

Offline The Professor

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There were a few aha! moments for me along the way over the last 41 years.

BUT....Most recently (since joining this forum) it is definitely the batch sparge...especially after I actually  started doing it correctly. :o

I'm now consistently getting 84-86% efficiency from my grain.  I was saving a boatload of money on beer already by brewing all grain (ie, 20-30% of the price of commercial beer);  the batch sparge has increased even that margin quite noticeably.

You can teach an old dog new tricks.
(from one old dog to another, thanks Denny!)

But I still stubbornly cling to my secondaries.  ;D
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 06:36:05 PM by The Professor »
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Offline punatic

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Uh huh... A bitter clinger!
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