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Old 12-09-2009, 01:24 PM   #31
chandlervdw
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scinerd,
I've heard that 1/3 gallon per lb of grain is a good ratio. If I do 1.5 quarts, that's .375 gallons versus .33. Your calculations give me 11 gallons where mine gives me 9.75 gallons.

Which is better? 1.5 quarts or 1/3 gallon per lb of grain?

Today is Brew Day! I'll be taking pics and posting them here afterwards.

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Old 12-09-2009, 03:01 PM   #32
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Brew Your Own makes a good point about mash thickness. It's harder to dissolve more sugars into a concentrated wort so I'm going go for more efficiency with a less thick wort.

I'm going to do a thickness of .356 gallons / lb @ 29.5lbs which gives me a strike of 10.5 gallons @ 160°F (I'll start at 185°F to counter the heat absorption by the mashtun), with a target temp at 149°F.

I can use some ice to cool it down if need be; that's why I'm going with 10.5 gallons, so that if I need to add any ice or hot water to adjust the temp, I've got a half gallon of leigh-way without going over .375 gallons / lb of liquor-to-grist-ratio (11 gallons of 'strike' water).

With scinerd's grist absorption rate (.13), I'll lose 3.83 gallons, which will give me 6.6 to 7 gallons of first runnings, depending on if I add ice/hot water to adjust my mash temp.

My recipe calls for a 1 hour boil of 12.32 gallons, so, theoretically, I'll need another 5.25 to 5.75 gallons of wort. By these calculations, my 2 batch sparges will be ≈ 2.8 gallons each, depending on how much my first runnings gave me.

Doesn't this seem too small, especially if I've got 29.5 lbs of grain in there and I've already collected the first runnings?
Maybe I'll do a bit of a mashout. I'll only collect 5 gallons of wort from the first runnings, then do my batch sparges. Still a problem though - water boils at 205°F and even with 1 5.75 gallon sparge of boiling water, I can't get the temp all the way to 168-170°F. Ideas?

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Old 12-09-2009, 05:55 PM   #33
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water boils at 205°F and even with 1 5.75 gallon sparge of boiling water, I can't get the temp all the way to 168-170°F. Ideas?
Not in south carolina it doesn't.

If your grain bed is already 150 degrees, and you've drained your first runnings, you don't need anywhere near boiling water to get to 170. You probably only need 175 or so.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:20 PM   #34
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ok, so boiling point is 212°F.
I found the right calculator in BeerTools Pro. For 29.5 lbs of 149°F grist, I'll need my 2.8 gallons to be 185°F for the first sparge, and 170-172°F for the second sparging.

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Old 12-10-2009, 04:00 PM   #35
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Ok, so the mashtun worked AMAZINGLY well last night. I prefilled it in the tub with hot water (≈ 120°F) and dumped it out (probably a little too early, about 30 mins) before adding the strike water, which was 10.5 gallons of 185°F, campden-tablet treated, filtered water. I overshot the strike temp on purpose, and we did have to add some ice to cool it down to 160°F.
I mashed in the the grist just a little early cause I didn't know it would hold the temp so well - at 163°F, putting my mash at 151°F. We assumed it would drop to 149°F but it never did! Stayed at 151°F for the whole hour. Awesome, except I wished we had waited until it was exactly 160°F so it would've been at 149°F but 151 is fine.

After vorlaufing a few gallons of water, we iodine/starch tested a sample. No black, all converted! We collected ≈5 gallons and then added ≈3 gallons of sparge water (180°F), let it sit 10 mins but it still looked too thick, so I added the rest of it for 1 batch sparge. It worked well, we hit 1.076, which was way higher than the predicted 1.055. This was based on a Refractometer Brix Reading of 18.5 @ 145°F.
Side question: does the refractometer need to be adjusted according to the temp?

The boil was kind of rough. It was cold outside and it wouldn't stay rolling unless we put a lid on top of the kettle, allowing just a little steam to escape, not to mention the fact that it took a good hour to get it to boil. Yeesh.

Moving to the fermenters was kind of rough, too - we used a funnel with a filter at first but we could only pour so much before it got clogged with hops. So, we just poured it the two carboys, hops and all. So much foaming when we poured that it was coming out of the top! Then added the yeast, I'm eager to see how they're doing right now when I go home for lunch...

Thanks for all the help guys, I think this brew might actually turn out great! I'm gonna let it sit for 3 weeks, then possibly dry hop for 2 or 3 more in a secondary, then let it sit in my corny keg for another 2 or 3 weeks before I force carbonate.

Again, does anyone know if you need to calibrate a Refractometer based on the temp of the wort?

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Old 12-11-2009, 09:51 PM   #36
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1) Side question: does the refractometer need to be adjusted according to the temp?

2) The boil was kind of rough. It was cold outside and it wouldn't stay rolling unless we put a lid on top of the kettle, allowing just a little steam to escape, not to mention the fact that it took a good hour to get it to boil. Yeesh.

3) Moving to the fermenters was kind of rough, too - we used a funnel with a filter at first but we could only pour so much before it got clogged with hops. So, we just poured it the two carboys, hops and all. So much foaming when we poured that it was coming out of the top! Then added the yeast, I'm eager to see how they're doing right now when I go home for lunch...

4) Thanks for all the help guys, I think this brew might actually turn out great! I'm gonna let it sit for 3 weeks, then possibly dry hop for 2 or 3 more in a secondary, then let it sit in my corny keg for another 2 or 3 weeks before I force carbonate.
1) Refractometers dont need to be adjusted for temp however they are somewhat sensitive. If you calibrate it at room temp with distilled water it should read 0 brix. If i were to then dip it into boiling distiled water, lets say it would be around .5 brix. There is a slight difference but its close enough to verify the numbers. I tend to always use a hydrometer with a 60 degree sample to double check my numbers. The refractometer is great for checking first and second runnings and such.

2) I would highly suggest getting a better burner since evaporation is key. Dimethyl sulfide is the rotten egg smell and all the precursors reside in grain. This is why a 90 minute boil is key on many pilsner beers because pils malt has more than 2 row per se. Next time dont cover and just get as good of a boil as possible. Walmart sells turkey friers for cheap which is enough to boil a 10 gal batch. If you do alot of them get a burner which has more btu's.

3) I never really worry about sediment. there are 2 different methods i employ. The first is to just drain into the carboy and let the gunk sink out. Its not desirable but if your worried, you can let it settle out in carboy one and then rack into a second leaving the trub behind. Personally, i whirlpool by stirring the keggle in a circular motion and let it settke fir 10-15 minutes covered... then take liquid from the edge. You will have a cone of trub and if you draw from the edge of the cone you will get a very clear wort. This is what i prefer.

4) Why are you waiting to force carbinate? Normally i would ferment primary for 3 in this case, then add hops for however long, keg and carbinate starting imediatly at serving preasure for a week and it should be ready. if you age then for a few weeks it should be excellent.
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