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Author Topic: How thick?  (Read 1470 times)

Offline nvshooter2276

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How thick?
« on: June 29, 2023, 09:58:29 pm »
It seems to me that we ferment no more than five gallons at a time because that's how large are the plastic buckets many of us use. I have a ten-gallon fermenter by Huskee, with the attendant lid. I took my time in placing the one-inch hole for the transfer valve. The bottom edge of the fermenter is radiused, so there was a limit as to how far down I could go and still have my silicone gasket be situated on a flat/flattish/vertical surface. I found that one gallon of wort will be left below the spigot. If I ferment six gallons, I'll get five of it. I'm wondering how thick will be the bed of dead yeast once fermentation is completed. The bottom diameter of my fermenter is something like twelve inches. The bottom of the one-inch hole for the transfer valve is about 1½ inches from the bottom. I suppose it depends upon the mass of fermentables originally present. I have seven-plus pounds of amber LME with which I'll make at least six gallons of wort.

https://www.morebeer.com/products/wine-fermenter-10-gallon-fda-plastic.html?variant=WE505&msclkid=c66548eb728b19836da72b292f7bbcf8&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=BPA%20-%20Items%20-%20Fermentation%20Equipment&utm_term=4577610507286372&utm_content=BPA%20Item%20-%20Fermentation%20Equipment%7C10-59%7CC%3A40

In case anyone is interested, I calculated 5.85 gallons to the step in the bucket. Total volume is a red hair over ten gallons...
« Last Edit: June 29, 2023, 10:06:00 pm by nvshooter2276 »

Offline Drewch

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Re: How thick?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2023, 06:01:35 am »
I think it probably depends on too many variables to easily predict how thick the yeast cake / lees/ trub will be with any real accuracy, but extrapolating from what I've seen on my smaller batches, I'd guess that having your spigot at 1½" from the bottom is probably high enough to be above the yeast & trub. But 🤷‍♂️.
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Offline neuse

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Re: How thick?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2023, 06:59:17 am »
I tilt the fermenter bucket when transferring. That should work if you're leaving too much beer in it.

Offline nvshooter2276

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Re: How thick?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2023, 06:57:07 pm »
With the bucket level, pretty much one gallon is sacrificed below the spigot. If seven pounds of LME is fermented and a yeast bed of one-inch thick is left, I'm only losing about half an inch of beer. That isn't too bad. If the yeast bed settles down to maybe half an inch thick I'll lose an inch of beer, which is more than half a gallon. I'll be using Safale US-05. I'm told by the staff at my LHBS that US-05 is a good yeast for Lights, Darks, Pales, Stouts, Reds, et cetera. I've got close to a dozen packets of US-05; just longing for the day I'll get to make the beer that uses-up all my yeast...

Offline nvshooter2276

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Re: How thick?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2023, 07:16:16 pm »
Back to my ten-gallon fermenter for a minute...

I have read that Australians ferment their beer in a stone crock, covered by a tea towel. No tightly-sealed top. I guess they use the layer of carbon dioxide gas to protect the wort from infection. The lid to my ten-gallon thang doesn't fit tightly. Will my beer be OK if the top is clipped on, but not airtight? I got overly ambitious and drilled a one-inch hole in the top; I guess I can just plug it with a drilled stopper and an airlock.

Offline neuse

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Re: How thick?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2023, 09:51:24 am »
Lots of buckets don't seal completely. It's not ideal, but it seems to be ok if the beer isn't left in the fermenter too long. (I'm guessing about 3 - 4 weeks would be a reasonable max.) Although for very hoppy beers, this might not hold true. I don't brew IPAs, so no experience there. Maybe others can offer more info.

Offline nvshooter2276

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Re: How thick?
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2023, 09:34:12 pm »
Lots of buckets don't seal completely. It's not ideal, but it seems to be ok if the beer isn't left in the fermenter too long. (I'm guessing about 3 - 4 weeks would be a reasonable max.)
My fermentation max is 18 to 20 days at room temperature. Bottle and let it set for 28 to 30 days at room temperature, then three or four days in my 41-degree refrigerator. Pour slowly to groove on the head being formed...

Offline neuse

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Re: How thick?
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2023, 07:44:11 am »
Lots of buckets don't seal completely. It's not ideal, but it seems to be ok if the beer isn't left in the fermenter too long. (I'm guessing about 3 - 4 weeks would be a reasonable max.)
My fermentation max is 18 to 20 days at room temperature. Bottle and let it set for 28 to 30 days at room temperature, then three or four days in my 41-degree refrigerator. Pour slowly to groove on the head being formed...
To me, that seems to fit into the category of not "ideal, but ok". Others may see it as not ok. It probably depends on how much leakage there is - pretty subjective. If you're pursuing perfection, you need an airtight seal. If you're looking for beer that you like, use your own judgement.

Offline nvshooter2276

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Re: How thick?
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2023, 10:06:01 pm »
I finally got around to marking the ten-gallon fermenter with markings at 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 gallons by adding those volumes to the vessel and subsequently marking the levels. I was pleasantly surprised to see my calculation for six gallons from weeks and weeks ago was exactly correct. My calculation, however, did miss the seven-gallon mark. I also discovered that I'll lose about 3/4-gallon below the spigot, up from my original estimate of one gallon. Once I got to actually see the fermenter filled-up, seven gallons of beer is a lot of beer.

I have decided that my from-scratch brews will have 1.25 pounds of malt per gallon. Seven gallons of fermentable liquid will require 8.75 pounds of liquid malt extract. Do those of you with massive amounts of experience believe that's too much? Too little? What's your ratio, if you have one at all?

I have multiple cans of mr. beer pre-hopped extract. The American Porter is 1.87 pounds in 2.125 gallons = 0.88 pounds of syrup per gallon. The Northwest Pale Ale is 2.86 pounds in 2.125 gallons = 1.346 pounds of syrup per gallon. The reviewers of the Porter say it's tasty, good mouthfeel, good body, et cetera. My question is how can a beer with a dilution of 0.88 pounds per gallon be as robust, strong, tasty, et cetera as a beer with a dilution of 1.346 pounds of syrup per gallon? I have yet to brew-up either the Porter or the Pale Ale, so I have no real-world experience as to how each tastes.

Offline denny

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Re: How thick?
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2023, 08:27:51 am »
LME has 36 ppg, meaning one pound in one gallon will yield a gravity of 1.036. That should help you decide.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline neuse

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Re: How thick?
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2023, 08:43:45 am »
The 0.88 lbs per gallon beer would be about 1.032 OG. That's pretty low - like a session beer. So I agree with your concern. It probably wouldn't be what you're looking for. Like Denny said, go with the 36 ppg figure to see how it will turn out. You could look up the beer you're brewing in the BJCP guidelines to see what the OG range is. Note that 36 ppg is a rule of thumb. You can check with the specific extract that you're using to get a more accurate number.

Offline denny

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Re: How thick?
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2023, 10:00:07 am »
The 0.88 lbs per gallon beer would be about 1.032 OG. That's pretty low - like a session beer. So I agree with your concern. It probably wouldn't be what you're looking for. Like Denny said, go with the 36 ppg figure to see how it will turn out. You could look up the beer you're brewing in the BJCP guidelines to see what the OG range is. Note that 36 ppg is a rule of thumb. You can check with the specific extract that you're using to get a more accurate number.

I've never seen a liquid extract that wasn't 36 or darn close to it. Have you?
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline neuse

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Re: How thick?
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2023, 01:16:54 pm »
The 0.88 lbs per gallon beer would be about 1.032 OG. That's pretty low - like a session beer. So I agree with your concern. It probably wouldn't be what you're looking for. Like Denny said, go with the 36 ppg figure to see how it will turn out. You could look up the beer you're brewing in the BJCP guidelines to see what the OG range is. Note that 36 ppg is a rule of thumb. You can check with the specific extract that you're using to get a more accurate number.

I've never seen a liquid extract that wasn't 36 or darn close to it. Have you?
The Williams Brewing LME that I used were 34 ppg. Not much difference (5.6%), but I try to use the best info I can.

Online fredthecat

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Re: How thick?
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2023, 02:17:42 pm »
Back to my ten-gallon fermenter for a minute...

I have read that Australians ferment their beer in a stone crock, covered by a tea towel. No tightly-sealed top. I guess they use the layer of carbon dioxide gas to protect the wort from infection. The lid to my ten-gallon thang doesn't fit tightly. Will my beer be OK if the top is clipped on, but not airtight? I got overly ambitious and drilled a one-inch hole in the top; I guess I can just plug it with a drilled stopper and an airlock.

i read this a few times and just love it so much. this is as good as hearing about "Making the Classic Original German Pilsner" and how it won every award even on its first iteration.