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Old 11-30-2009, 09:48 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chandlervdw View Post
To make a long story short, over the course of the 1 hour saccharaction rest, my grain bed temp dropped from 154°F to 140°F - I'm worried that the starches didn't get converted.
My guess, is that if you're using a cooler, you're not accounting for the cooler getting up to temp, and that grain bed probably dropped to 145ish during the first 10 minutes.


Heat water up to 175 or so, and just let it sit in the open cooler until it drops to strike temp, and then add grain.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:53 PM   #22
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too many pages to read through...are you pre-heating the MLT with hot tap water for at least 30 mins before you actually dough in?

I put 125F tap water in mine, which helps you from losing 14 degrees in an hour. You still have to strike above the desired sach. rest (i.e. 168F water for me hits about 152F grain bed, and I lose 1-2 degrees over an hour)

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Old 12-01-2009, 12:46 AM   #23
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Here is some info from howtobrew.com on grain bed depth and lautering.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter17-2.html

Palmer mentions something in there that I didn't think of at first. Too shallow of a grain bed can also result in problems with vorlaufing due to too shallow of a grain bed filter. Are you having troubles getting the runnings to clear? If so that could help explain some of the funny off flavors as well.

Anyways, hope this helps.
Cheers!

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Old 12-06-2009, 09:52 PM   #24
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I didn't seem to have too much trouble with the grain bed settling, although it was fairly shallow (4-6 inches deep). I got my wort to run clear after about a gallon or so of vorlaufing.

Just sampled my beer from the secondary and it's got that weird taste, which is sad. It's also at 5.5 Brix, which BeerTools Pro is telling me is at about 1.024, a little high. I'm guessing I didn't get full starch conversion.

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Old 12-07-2009, 01:12 PM   #25
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Ok guys, I need some help.
I'm going to go for another IPA, this time a 10 gallon batch. Don't worry, I'm splitting it between friends. I think the larger amount will help my mashtun not lose as much heat (plus, I've got the high density styrofoam, if needed, an in-oven thermometer and I will be preheating the mashtun before I even add the strike water as well as doing a starch conversion test at the end of 1 hour. Recipe calls for mashing at 149°F so I think I might need to go for a 90 min mash to get full conversion).

So, I'm going to be brewing "Hoppiness is an IPA," from Zainasheff's Brewing Classic Styles. But I need some help with calculations of strike and sparge water:
I know I need 1/3 gallon of strike water per pound of grain, right? I'm going to be working with 29.5 lbs of grain, so that puts me at about 9.8 gallons of strike water.
I read somewhere that your sparge water should be double your strike water.... but that'd be a ridiculous amount of wort. BeerTools Pro scales the 5 gallon recipe to 10, telling me that I need 12.32 gallons of preboil kettle volume. That makes my sparge volume only 2.5 gallons.

In short:
Strike: 9.8 gal
Sparge: 2.5 gal
Preboil: 12.3 gallons

Does that sound right? Cause it seems way off to me...

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Old 12-07-2009, 01:51 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chandlervdw View Post
I know I need 1/3 gallon of strike water per pound of grain, right? I'm going to be working with 29.5 lbs of grain, so that puts me at about 9.8 gallons of strike water.
I read somewhere that your sparge water should be double your strike water.... but that'd be a ridiculous amount of wort. BeerTools Pro scales the 5 gallon recipe to 10, telling me that I need 12.32 gallons of preboil kettle volume. That makes my sparge volume only 2.5 gallons.

In short:
Strike: 9.8 gal
Sparge: 2.5 gal
Preboil: 12.3 gallons

Does that sound right? Cause it seems way off to me...
I think it is off. You're going to lose about a pint of your strike water per pound of grain (give or take), so when you get your first runnings you'll only get 6 gallons or so out. Then you can batch sparge with another 6 1/2 gallons and end up right about where you should be for your preboil volume.
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Old 12-07-2009, 04:11 PM   #27
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I just scaled this recipe in BeerSmith. I get for ten gallon batches 39.51 Quarts of mash water.

Then, two batch sparges of 3.51 gallons and 3.15 gallons for 13 gallons in the kettle.

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Old 12-07-2009, 04:23 PM   #28
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Nice, thanks guys. That makes a lot more sense. After I found the appropriate calculator in BeerTools Pro, I got the same calculations. Plan on doing the 2 part batch sparge as suggested by Gammon N Beer.

One more question. I did some yeast washing from one of my "weird" batches and used it to make a 1 liter starter, then a 4 liter starter from that (just dumped the whole thing into the 1 gallon starter). Is there a way to calculate approximately how many billions of yeast cells I have? How many would I need for a 10 gallon batch? (I've read that for a 5.5 gallon batch, 236 billion yeast cells are needed)

Would it be wise to not use this yeast since my beer tastes strange? It's fermenting fine in the starter (going crazy, really).

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Old 12-07-2009, 09:35 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chandlervdw View Post
Nice, thanks guys. That makes a lot more sense. After I found the appropriate calculator in BeerTools Pro, I got the same calculations. Plan on doing the 2 part batch sparge as suggested by Gammon N Beer.

One more question. I did some yeast washing from one of my "weird" batches and used it to make a 1 liter starter, then a 4 liter starter from that (just dumped the whole thing into the 1 gallon starter). Is there a way to calculate approximately how many billions of yeast cells I have? How many would I need for a 10 gallon batch? (I've read that for a 5.5 gallon batch, 236 billion yeast cells are needed)

Would it be wise to not use this yeast since my beer tastes strange? It's fermenting fine in the starter (going crazy, really).
You might have your questions answered by checking out the Mr. Malty site: http://www.mrmalty.com/

As for reusing the yeast, I am no yeast expert by any means. I would use it as I doubt it is the yeast causing your problem. Maybe somebody with a background in yeast can chime in.

That said, whenever you are attempting to figure out an issue it is always best to control as many of the variables as you can. Therefore, it would be to use a new yeast.
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:19 AM   #30
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generally when somethings gone awry you want to change one thing at a time until you figure it out...If the yeast doesnt have any odd smell to it (should smell almost sweet, possibly with hints of alcohol and shouldnt be sour or acrid) then you could try and use it. Its all up to your confidence level. As for the your mash caluclations..heres how i would go...

since its an ipa you want it to finish fairly low and somewhat dry. 1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain gives the enzymes good access to starches and since you have so much room is a great idea.
1.5 qts/lb (x) 29.5 lbs = ~44 qts
44qts (/) 4 qts/lb=11 gallon mashin

with 29.5 lbs of grain and an absorption rate (lets say .13 gallons / pound) your looking at losing ~ 3.8 gallons. Therefor your first runnings would be somewhere around 7 gallons in the kettle. Then you would sparge until you reach your preboil volume. In the case of a double sparge...just split your water amt in half to reach your preboil. Make sure to vorlauf. In this case i would guess around 12-14 gallons is your preboil (on my system). Calibrate a wooden dowel or spoon to your kettle and use it to see how much liquid you have....Hope this makes sense.

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