Author Topic: Simple Homebrewing presentation  (Read 1254 times)

Offline BrewBama

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Simple Homebrewing presentation
« on: August 23, 2019, 02:40:00 PM »
So, I am still not getting newsletters but I went on AHA and found the 2019 conference presentations are available now.  For me, this is probably the best perk to being an AHA member. Though I cannot travel all over the country by airplane like I used to, I can listen and follow the presentations as well as refer back to them as a subject interests me or a question pops up.

One presentation I was particularly interested in was Denny and Drew’s Simple Homebrewing. I have adopted the KISS or constrained principle, controlled setup, and regulated processes in my brewery with the likes of Brewing on the Ones, Beer Simple, etc.  This fits nicely with my personality and background.

However, after listening last night it seemed like Denny and Drew were hurried due to a book signing commitment which left me with a couple questions that hopefully one or the other (or both) can answer. Others are welcome to offer their experiences as well.

1.  20 min mash/boil. When you said you achieved 75% ‘efficiency’ from a 20 min BIAB mash and 20 min boil in your trials, can you clarify how you calculated efficiency?  I often hear the term ‘efficiency’ around homebrewing and have found very different meanings and calculations from one brewer to the next. Without a definition it’s more difficult to understand what a brewer means.

2.a. 34/70 yeast used in the mid 60(s). I’ve read mixed reviews on this. One homebrewer in particular reported using it five times (two were harvested and re-used as second gen) with great results on some and fruity tart character on others. The results were scattered from first to second gen. There didn’t seemed to be a smoking gun on why one batch was awesome and the next a turd. It was interesting to hear your successful use as a clean ale yeast. (I have yet to use 34/70 in a warm ferment but it is coming soon.) Have you had any mixed results from using 34/70 in the mid 60(s)?  If so, have you found contributing factors such as certain grain or hops?

2.b.  Have you tried any other lager yeasts in the mid 60(s) and if so, what were they and what was the outcome?

3.  SnS starter.  Prior to the presentation I understood: prepare the wort, inoculate, then shake but in the presentation you shake into foam then inoculate. Why did you begin inoculating after the shake?

Those are the questions. This is just a comment:

Templates.  I adopted templates for my recipes and it was pretty cool to hear Drew uses them as well. I admit that I find satisfaction in the constraint of six color based templates to start from. I occasionally modify from those base recipes and alter yeast and hops for the various styles. It was interesting to see Drew’s Pale Ale recipe which fits nicely in my base malt (or combination of base) + med crystal ‘Basic Pale’ template.  ...but Denny was fairly vocal that he disagrees with this approach and is wide open to anything in any amount to meet his goal.  I loved the comment that crystal has to be limited to 5% is BS. LOL (I agree)


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« Last Edit: August 23, 2019, 03:24:09 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline denny

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Re: Simple Homebrewing presentation
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2019, 03:47:35 PM »
So, I am still not getting newsletters but I went on AHA and found the 2019 conference presentations are available now.  For me, this is probably the best perk to being an AHA member. Though I cannot travel all over the country by airplane like I used to, I can listen and follow the presentations as well as refer back to them as a subject interests me or a question pops up.

One presentation I was particularly interested in was Denny and Drew’s Simple Homebrewing. I have adopted the KISS or constrained principle, controlled setup, and regulated processes in my brewery with the likes of Brewing on the Ones, Beer Simple, etc.  This fits nicely with my personality and background.

However, after listening last night it seemed like Denny and Drew were hurried due to a book signing commitment which left me with a couple questions that hopefully one or the other (or both) can answer. Others are welcome to offer their experiences as well.

1.  20 min mash/boil. When you said you achieved 75% ‘efficiency’ from a 20 min BIAB mash and 20 min boil in your trials, can you clarify how you calculated efficiency?  I often hear the term ‘efficiency’ around homebrewing and have found very different meanings and calculations from one brewer to the next. Without a definition it’s more difficult to understand what a brewer means.

2.a. 34/70 yeast used in the mid 60(s). I’ve read mixed reviews on this. One homebrewer in particular reported using it five times (two were harvested and re-used as second gen) with great results on some and fruity tart character on others. The results were scattered from first to second gen. There didn’t seemed to be a smoking gun on why one batch was awesome and the next a turd. It was interesting to hear your successful use as a clean ale yeast. (I have yet to use 34/70 in a warm ferment but it is coming soon.) Have you had any mixed results from using 34/70 in the mid 60(s)?  If so, have you found contributing factors such as certain grain or hops?

2.b.  Have you tried any other lager yeasts in the mid 60(s) and if so, what were they and what was the outcome?

3.  SnS starter.  Prior to the presentation I understood: prepare the wort, inoculate, then shake but in the presentation you shake into foam then inoculate. Why did you begin inoculating after the shake?

Those are the questions. This is just a comment:

Templates.  I adopted templates for my recipes and it was pretty cool to hear Drew uses them as well. I admit that I find satisfaction in the constraint of six color based templates to start from. I occasionally modify from those base recipes and alter yeast and hops for the various styles. It was interesting to see Drew’s Pale Ale recipe which fits nicely in my base malt (or combination of base) + med crystal ‘Basic Pale’ template.  ...but Denny was fairly vocal that he disagrees with this approach and is wide open to anything in any amount to meet his goal.  I loved the comment that crystal has to be limited to 5% is BS. LOL (I agree)


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Glad you enjoyed it!

1.  Efficiency was brewhouse efficieny....into the fermenter

2.  Done it enough times I can't recall how many.  Never had any problems.
2b.  WY2124, S-189....dont recall if there were others without checking my notes

3.  Because that's the way Mark described doing it.  I can't imagine that the order matters,  though.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline BrewBama

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Simple Homebrewing presentation
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2021, 12:43:04 PM »
In another discussion concerning acid additions, I wrote


I agree with this:

If your build your water profile for the beer style you are brewing, you should not have to add any acid to get the pH of the mash in the right range.  I build my profiles using RO water and calculate mineral additions using Martin's Bru'n Water calculator, and always hit the target mash pH.

...but it can even get easier than that in my opinion.  I add 1/8 tsp (~1 ml) 10% phosphoric acid to 9 gal distilled to create total brewhaus liquor.

5 gal brewhaus liquor for the mash using only the grain that require mashing along with 1 tsp CaCl gets me 5.3 -/+ .1 mash pH.

The grain that is not required to be mashed is added at mash out (15 min hot steep). 

Remaining 4 gal brewhaus liquor for sparge (additional 15 min hot steep).

All other salts for style/flavor/balance/etc are added to the boil kettle.

No gram scale no spreadsheet.  EZ PZ



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...that received this side bar:

A great method if you like the way adding grain late turns out.  I find that I almost never do.
no different than using steeping grains with extract batches I used to brew. I have found I have to add ~ an oz more steeping grains to get the same flavor beer.

Some brewers have used shorter (20-30 min) mashes as outlined in Simple Homebrewing so this wouldn’t be much different as far as steeping grain’s exposure to hot liquor than that.



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In my experience, it is very different, especially for darker grains.  Not saying it isn't a valid method, it's just not for me.

I don’t want to derail that discussion any further than I already did so I thought I’d continue in a new thread.

My question now reverts back to Q1 of my 2019 questions (post #1 above).  If there was a caveat of not using dark grains using the 20 min BIAB/20 min boil method described in Simple Homebrewing, why was it not mentioned in the book, the presentation, or when given the opportunity in post #2 above?

Why now a cpl years after describing the method in the book and in the presentation?

If I am misunderstanding I’d appreciate clarification. I simply don’t see the difference in steeping dark grains with base malts from the start and steeping them with the base malts later.

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« Last Edit: May 29, 2021, 01:25:12 PM by BrewBama »
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Brewed in the Tennessee Valley. Rocket City — Huntsville AL