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Old 05-29-2012, 02:57 PM   #1
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Default What are your unique brewing processes that make a difference?

*Do you brew uniquely?
*Has experience led you to a particular conclusion that is not usually discussed?
*Do you have uncommon techniques that you feel are worth the extra step?

Please explain your atypical individual processes and how you feel they make a difference. I think this will be a good discussion since most of us learned how to brew from the same half dozen old school literature sources.

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Old 05-29-2012, 03:24 PM   #2
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I only mash for 15-20 minutes. The modern malt is much more consistently produced. I learned it from a local brewmaster. The sugars are produced in that time period. And your strike water temp is much more important than I realized because if you overshoot your mash in and try to stir for ten minutes or so to get the temp right it's too late. By the way I use breiss and north western 2 row. Can't vouch for the non domestic stuff.

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Old 05-29-2012, 03:35 PM   #3
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When I add sugar, I do it after active fermentation has finished. The reason is that yeast lose the ability to consume maltose after just a few generations in a dextrose-rich environment; adding simple sugars to the boil means that many of the yeast you pitch quickly stop breaking down the complex sugars, leaving an under attenuated beer; by adding simple syrup after active fermentation has died down, I make sure I get all the attenuation I need, then wake the yeast back up to chew through the new simple sugar solution.

The additional benefit of waiting to add simple sugars is that you can top-crop healthy yeast in a lower-alcohol environment. In other words, when I top-crop the yeast from my 7% Double IPA, the actual wort they're coming out of is closer to 4% ABV, and they're in much better shape (in my experience.)

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Old 05-29-2012, 05:21 PM   #4
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That's cool. I've never harvested off the top before. How do you store it? Or do you pitch directly into your next batch?

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Old 05-29-2012, 05:59 PM   #5
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At home, I do a hybrid-BIAB system with a single batch sparge. Nothing revolutionary, but it's not the way most BIABers do it, and it's definitely not a 3-vessel system.

Also, I've always said that when we finally open the brewery, the beers won't taste the same because they won't have all the cat hair in the boil we get at home. We may have to import it from the couch.

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Old 05-29-2012, 06:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double_D View Post
I only mash for 15-20 minutes. The modern malt is much more consistently produced. I learned it from a local brewmaster. The sugars are produced in that time period. And your strike water temp is much more important than I realized because if you overshoot your mash in and try to stir for ten minutes or so to get the temp right it's too late. By the way I use breiss and north western 2 row. Can't vouch for the non domestic stuff.
Do you do a starch conversion test (dot plate and tincture of idoine)?
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:15 PM   #7
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I never do a single infusion mash. I always dough in and then infuse up to sach temp. I feel that it is gentler on the enzymes this way because there is already a good deal of water in the mash and water has a higher affinity for heat than does grain.

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Old 05-29-2012, 08:04 PM   #8
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Acidify the sparge water...my dark beers used to be harsh/astringent from tannin extraction.

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Old 05-29-2012, 08:09 PM   #9
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Small batch (3.5-4 gallons), split boil, stove-top brewing. Makes the brew day a litle more complicated, but it let me upgrade to all-grain without much added equipment (just a converted cooler for a mash tun)

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Old 05-29-2012, 08:15 PM   #10
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Double-D, what kind of efficiency are you getting from a 15-20 min mash? The way I understand it is that you can in fact get full conversion of the dissolved starches, but not everything is gelatinized by that point? I've often thought about this, as a 15 min mash would be AWESOME for the brew day.

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