Author Topic: Stop That Lager!  (Read 2050 times)

Online HoosierBrew

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Re: Stop That Lager!
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2014, 11:16:32 AM »
Never had 2 readings on a refracto that were the same. Yeah, sometimes kinda close, but the hydrometer just gives me a solid reading.

+1.  I pretty much use a refractometer now just for a preboil reading, but I check the preboil sample 3 or 4 times to be sure I'm getting a pretty consistent reading.

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Re: Stop That Lager!
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2014, 11:20:38 AM »
refractometer for preboil/OG and checking progress of mead fermentations.  hydrometer for FG, for everything.

I understand where the OP is coming from though.  Fairly small beer, fairly small batch, plenty of healthy yeast pitched, and though new to lagers he's not new to brewing.  BCS uses pils with small amounts of munich/melanoidin in this recipe; it seems like once you know what you're doing that creating a highly fermentable wort in this situation is fairly simple.  Yet the style demands a bit more malt remain.

I have brewed the same recipe multiple times and when mashing it at 150F as the book states it did not take long to get a wort that finished lower than 1.011 FG.  Adjusted and was happier last time.

Offline el_capitan

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Re: Stop That Lager!
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2014, 07:37:35 PM »
I will check my hydrometer and see what's up.  I mashed at 150 and the temp dropped 3 degrees over the course of an hour. 

Any other good resources for lager brewing?

Offline Jeff M

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Re: Stop That Lager!
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2014, 07:40:15 PM »
So if you mashed from 150 down to 147 for an hour you definitely mashed dry.  No surprise then that you are below your estimate FG.

I heard this is a good book to read for lagering.

http://www.amazon.com/New-Brewing-Lager-Beer-Comprehensive/dp/0937381829/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390358352&sr=8-1&keywords=lager+beer

I bought it but since im not set up to lager i havent bothered yet with all the other material(a bookshelf worth) id like to plow through.

Cheers,
Jeff
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Stop That Lager!
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2014, 08:07:54 PM »
My hydrometer is off 2 points.  I used to have a limited scale lab grade hydrometer, but I'm heavy handed and broke it, so I use my refractometer for Preboil, post boil and chilled OG, then use my hydrometer for FG, adjusting for the reading, which is two points lower than actual.  That works for me.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Stop That Lager!
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2014, 09:16:23 PM »
Very, very interesting!  I have been assuming that the refractometer was the more accurate of the two, including the conversion in BeerSmith to get FG/ABV.   I may have to buy a hydrometer.  Using a hydrometer means increasing one's batch size by how much?  I assume a minimum of two tubes of wort/beer.  What does that equal?  right now I make 5.5 gallon batches.  Might just take it to six as I'd rather have too much than too little.

It takes me 8 oz. for each hydro reading.  Although, after the beer is fermented I take 14-16 oz. samples.  After I get the reading I put the samples in a 20 oz. PET bottle with a carbonator cap.  Hit it with 30 PSI, put it in the freezer for 45 min., and I've got a cold carbed sample.  I also make 5.5 gal. batches.

+1
This is my favorite thing about hydrometer samples!
Accurate readings post fermentation is a close second. I've been taking both refractometer and hydrometer readings for my last few batches at various stages of fermentation and entering the readings into a spreadsheet. After a few more batches I'll start charting the results to see what sort (if) a pattern emerges. I hope to be able to come up with a close correction factor for my refractometer readings post fermentation and maybe a better understanding of why it varies if the results are not consistent.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Stop That Lager!
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2014, 05:55:14 AM »
I can also recommend the late Gregg Noonan's book, Brewing Lager Beer.  I have the old version, before it was "New."  It was the first book I bought that helped me with technical all grain brewing issues and I used it as reference for many years.  It is still an excellent resource.
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Re: Stop That Lager!
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2014, 09:35:50 AM »
So if you mashed from 150 down to 147 for an hour you definitely mashed dry.  No surprise then that you are below your estimate FG.

I heard this is a good book to read for lagering.

http://www.amazon.com/New-Brewing-Lager-Beer-Comprehensive/dp/0937381829/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390358352&sr=8-1&keywords=lager+beer

I bought it but since im not set up to lager i havent bothered yet with all the other material(a bookshelf worth) id like to plow through.

Cheers,
Jeff

I'd give that book a solid "Meh" in regards to homebrewing.  It's really aimed at commercial brewing.  Interesting info and science, but way over the top for most of us.  Noonan feels like every mash needs to be decocted.  In addition, it's getting a bit long in the tooth in regard to ingredients.
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Re: Stop That Lager!
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2014, 01:44:39 PM »
I have been assuming that the refractometer was the more accurate of the two, including the conversion in BeerSmith to get FG/ABV.

At the very least, you should use a better tool. ;)

http://seanterrill.com/refractometer

In my own brewing, I've found that I can get precision about on par with a cheap hydrometer (standard deviation of about one "point"). A lot of people haven't had such good results. To be honest, I suspect it comes down to most people not being as anal about their calibration and measurement technique.
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Re: Stop That Lager!
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2014, 01:49:16 PM »
A lot of people haven't had such good results. To be honest, I suspect it comes down to most people not being as anal about their calibration and measurement technique.

I'm one of those "lot of people".  Got any tips on calibration and use?
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Stop That Lager!
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2014, 02:02:55 PM »
A lot of people haven't had such good results. To be honest, I suspect it comes down to most people not being as anal about their calibration and measurement technique.

I'm one of those "lot of people".  Got any tips on calibration and use?

Zero with RO or distiller.

Make a 10% solution with table sugar and RO water, it should read 10 Brix. You can also make enough solutions of different concentrations to plot a curve. Use the solution to check your hydrometer while you are at it. It helps if you have a gram scale for the sugar and a good way to measure the water volume.

Sean may have better techniques.

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Re: Stop That Lager!
« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2014, 02:19:27 PM »
Zero with RO or distiller.

Make a 10% solution with table sugar and RO water, it should read 10 Brix. You can also make enough solutions of different concentrations to plot a curve. Use the solution to check your hydrometer while you are at it. It helps if you have a gram scale for the sugar and a good way to measure the water volume.

Sean may have better techniques.

Thanks, Jeff.  I already do the first one.  I'll try the second.  I assume that's 10% of the water weight as sugar?  For example, 100 gr. water and 10 gr. sugar.  Or is it 90 gr. water and 10 gr. sugar?
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Re: Stop That Lager!
« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2014, 03:05:53 PM »
Zero with RO or distiller.

Make a 10% solution with table sugar and RO water, it should read 10 Brix. You can also make enough solutions of different concentrations to plot a curve. Use the solution to check your hydrometer while you are at it. It helps if you have a gram scale for the sugar and a good way to measure the water volume.

Sean may have better techniques.

Thanks, Jeff.  I already do the first one.  I'll try the second.  I assume that's 10% of the water weight as sugar?  For example, 100 gr. water and 10 gr. sugar.  Or is it 90 gr. water and 10 gr. sugar?

It is a 10% solution, so 90 gr water and 10 gr sugar.
Jeff Rankert
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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Stop That Lager!
« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2014, 08:29:08 PM »
Kal Over at TEB put this together.  Might help answer some of your questions?  Might raise a few more even!

http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=26975

Cheers,
Jeff
Granite Coast Brewing Company.
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Re: Stop That Lager!
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2014, 11:13:55 PM »
Did you happen to use Rahr Pilsner malt as your base grain?  It's thought to be pre-acidified by the maltster, causing its acidity contribution to the mash to be greater than other base malts.  That could result in better attenuation than expected.