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Old 01-12-2010, 05:07 AM   #1
DavidSteel
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Default Need tips for high gravity brewing

I'm going to be doing my first high gravity brew this weekend and I haven't read up on it all that much yet. I'm going to be brewing an IIPA with about 20 lbs of grain (and 9+ oz of hops). The only two yeast I have harvested and washed (have at my disposal) are Wyeast Labs American Ale - 1056 and Wyeast Labs London Ale - 1028. I can easily produce a yeast cake for this brew to be racked on top of, but I don't have any aeration equipment. Will a large yeast cake suffice in the place of the aeration equipment? I'll still shake the wort like a mad-man before hand, but I know that is very limiting and only doing probably 10% of the job.

I don't have any money or easy way to produce a yeast cake or a good enough starter with a yeast different than what I have, but should I get a different yeast anyway? Which yeast should I use that I have (or otherwise)?

Also, how would you suggest I go about my mashing and sparging? I have a 7.5 gallon aluminum brew-pot and a 10 gallon mash-tun. Does this sound like it would turn out okay?

Strike Water Volume : 6.56 Strike Water Temperature : 168.6
First Running Volume : 3.83
Sparge Water Volume : 3.27 Sparge Water Temperature : 215.1 (my wort is usually only 130 degrees after first running's)

What should I do in place of this if it seems off? Sorry for all the questions, but I'd like to do this right and shoot for at least 70% Efficiency, even though I'd like my usual 80% .

Tips/thoughts?

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Old 01-12-2010, 05:46 AM   #2
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Quote:
Will a large yeast cake suffice in the place of the aeration equipment?
It should be and I would personally go w/ 1056.

Quote:
I'll still shake the wort like a mad-man before hand, but I know that is very limiting and only doing probably 10% of the job.
From what I've read, this isn't the case. In fact shaking is actually very good at getting dissolved O2 into the wort. Here's some decent reading material that I found w/ just a quick google search:

http://cdn2.libsyn.com/basicbrewing/AerationMethods.pdf?nvb=20100112063145&nva=2010011 3064145&t=025111a0d5735c0e5c067

They used water instead of wort, but I would think the point is still the same. I do remember other studies showing similar results FWIW.

Quote:
The data from these experiments indicate that
rocking/shaking the plastic bucket fermentor is a
highly effective and quick method of dissolving
oxygen in the wort.
Quote:
The most rapid method of oxygenating the water
was achieved by the rocking/shaking method, in
which over 90% saturation was achieved in less
than 5 minutes of aeration.
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by CharlosCarlies View Post
It should be and I would personally go w/ 1056.



From what I've read, this isn't the case. In fact shaking is actually very good at getting dissolved O2 into the wort. Here's some decent reading material that I found w/ just a quick google search:

http://cdn2.libsyn.com/basicbrewing/AerationMethods.pdf?nvb=20100112063145&nva=2010011 3064145&t=025111a0d5735c0e5c067

They used water instead of wort, but I would think the point is still the same. I do remember other studies showing similar results FWIW.
Nice, I'll give it a read. I'd read that Notty can have a high attenuation/alcohol tolerance, so maybe I'll pitch a packet of that on top. Maybe.
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
maybe I'll pitch a packet of that on top.
Shouldn't be necessary if you pitch onto a cake. The cell count will be many times higher than a single pack of Notty.

And 1056 is a very good attenuator. I've done up to 1.100 w/ zero problems and I believe others have gone higher than that given the right conditions.
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:58 AM   #5
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Per Wyeast's website:

Quote:
YEAST STRAIN: 1056 | American Ale™
Origin:
Flocculation: Medium-Low
Attenuation: 73-77%
Temperature Range: 60-72F, 15-22C
Alcohol Tolerance: 10% ABV
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:02 AM   #6
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Per Wyeast's website:
Oh thanks, I was just there and I missed the alcohol tolerance on that some how.
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:10 PM   #7
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Bumping for some tips on the mash.

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Old 01-12-2010, 07:46 PM   #8
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So you have a copy of BeerSmith? Easily the best $20 you'll spend on this hobby. Takes a little bit of time to get it set up to your equipment, but once it is you're golden. I've not missed a temp yet thanks to it's calculations. I'm not home right now, so I can't plug your grain bill in (plus we'd need to know the breakdown of the grain bill to plug it in). If you want to mash at 1.25 qt/lb then you're a little high, it would be 6.25 gal. Overall it sounds like you're OK to go, though.

Having a well aerated and healthy starter can actually be more important than having a well aerated wort. Doing a proper starter should realistically grow all of the yeast you need to ferment the beer BEFORE you pitch, which would then mean that the wort would need very little oxygen in it because the yeast would just start fermenting right away.

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Old 01-12-2010, 07:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gremlyn1 View Post
So you have a copy of BeerSmith? Easily the best $20 you'll spend on this hobby. Takes a little bit of time to get it set up to your equipment, but once it is you're golden. I've not missed a temp yet thanks to it's calculations. I'm not home right now, so I can't plug your grain bill in (plus we'd need to know the breakdown of the grain bill to plug it in). If you want to mash at 1.25 qt/lb then you're a little high, it would be 6.25 gal. Overall it sounds like you're OK to go, though.

Having a well aerated and healthy starter can actually be more important than having a well aerated wort. Doing a proper starter should realistically grow all of the yeast you need to ferment the beer BEFORE you pitch, which would then mean that the wort would need very little oxygen in it because the yeast would just start fermenting right away.
Nice, my mash tun loses a good quart of water, that's why the grist ratio is a little wiggy. I actually just plugged the numbers and generals into this: http://www.brewheads.com/batch.php. It's got me within 1 degree of my temp and about a quart away from me desired pre-boil volume (but I blame my mash tun for that).

I'm wondering about doing a 90-120 minute mash and then sparging once after letting it sit or 20 minutes, but I don't know the effects of mashing that long, I wanted to do it in hope to get good/better efficiency than a regular 60 minute mash.

Also, I only boil off about .7-.8 gallons of water in 60 minutes, so I was thinking of doing a 120 minute boil. The issue I'm wondering is the effects a FWH would have when boiled for 120 minutes. I'd actually be adding the hops to the mash, so I'm not sure if that's quite the same as a FWH. Should I not do a FWH if I am going to boil for 90-120 minutes?
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:40 AM   #10
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You've only got a 7.5 gallon brew kettle, and over 10 gallons total water for mash and sparge schedule. Even with grain absortion, what will you do with excess wort? I only ask because I'm about to do a 14lb grain bill, and my kettle is 8 gal.

As far as FWH, I'd skip it and go with "first simmer hop". You might degrade your hop goodness with a 120min boil.

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