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Old 08-18-2014, 06:32 PM   #1
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Default Experimenting with very small batches and so a question about loss of liquid

In an effort to better understand how flavors and color are affected by different base and other malts and yeasts and hops I am brewing very small batches (single gallons) while controlling every variable but one (eg the base malt or the yeast). I brewed one batch last night and while I only allowed a small vent in my kettle to be open I lost a huge percentage of the small volume of liquor during the boil. (I lost very little sugar (given the SG which rose from 1.035 to 1.060) but the volume remaining was far smaller than I had anticipated. In base malts such as 2-row or pale malt or marris otter is there much risk of retaining high levels of DMS if I keep a lid on my kettle tightly shut and my grain bill is about 2.5 - 3 lbs? Or do I need to allow the lid to vent the steam through about 1 inch to allow the DMS to be expelled with the steam?

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Old 08-18-2014, 06:34 PM   #2
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Why not just add more water for a higher pre boil volume?

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Old 08-18-2014, 06:53 PM   #3
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Your evaporation is based on the surface area of your boil, not the volume. So you'll lose the same for a 5g as a 1g as a 10g if they're in the same pot. If you're going to do 1 gal batches you'd rather get a smaller diameter, taller vessel for the boil so the area:volume ratio is reduced.
(I don't have a clue about the DMS susceptibility question)

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Old 08-18-2014, 07:20 PM   #4
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I am new to brewing and have only been doing 1 gal batches (4th one in 6 weeks on Saturday). My pot holds about 2-2.5 gal, and I just go ahead and fill to about 1.5 to 1.75 gal. From what I have been reading, you do not want to cover your pot during the boil. If you do, be sure to not cover it all the way or you will lock in those volatile things you want to boil off.
Not sure what types you are brewing, but I have found that doing IPAs and starting with a larger boil (1.5-1.75 gal) you get a lot more out of your hops. Also, I find that it helps to let the wort boil down to a little under a gallon so you can add fresh cold water to speed up lowering the temp.
Hope this helps

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Old 08-18-2014, 10:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomajt View Post
I am new to brewing and have only been doing 1 gal batches (4th one in 6 weeks on Saturday). My pot holds about 2-2.5 gal, and I just go ahead and fill to about 1.5 to 1.75 gal. From what I have been reading, you do not want to cover your pot during the boil. If you do, be sure to not cover it all the way or you will lock in those volatile things you want to boil off.
Not sure what types you are brewing, but I have found that doing IPAs and starting with a larger boil (1.5-1.75 gal) you get a lot more out of your hops. Also, I find that it helps to let the wort boil down to a little under a gallon so you can add fresh cold water to speed up lowering the temp.
Hope this helps
This does help. I guess I assumed that my loss due to evaporation and boil off would have been closer to 1 qt rather than about three times that amount, so I added only enough water to the mash and the sparge to bring the volume up to about 1.2. I will need to assume that the loss from my kettle is going to be far more significant than that and I may need to increase the volume closer to 1.75 gallons to obtain the gallon I am looking to ferment.
I do understand that hop utilization is going to be greatly affected by the low volume but I am assuming that I can make up for poor utilization with a greater quantity of hops. I am not looking to make a highly hopped brew with these experiments as much as I am hoping to learn what impact the use of say adding 10 percent 20 L crystal has compared to 10 percent 40 or 60 or 120 L when my base malt is say 2-row or Marris Otter. Or what differences there will be if I add 5 percent Vienna or 10 percent. I am far less interested (up to a point) in brewing to a recipe than I am interested in finding my way around grains and how they impact flavor and sweetness and color and texture and how temperature in fact impacts on fermentables or how yeasts highlight or hide esters. Strikes me that so many recipes seem to be so very complex (with lots of different grains) that it is unclear (at least to me) if their complexity is really needed or that the builders of recipes simply want to their recipes to have their fingerprints on them (how complex does a chocolate stout need to be? How complex does an Indian Pale Ale? A porter? ).
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Old 08-26-2014, 11:31 PM   #6
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You could add more hops... But hops are way more expensive than water.. Trying doing some calculations with brewers friend IBU calculator to see how much the boil size changes your IBUs.

Also, if you're wanting to see how the grains attribute to flavor, try doing some SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hops) brews. I have not done this either, but it does sound like a great way to see exactly what each grain is giving you in aspect of flavor, look, and even how i much it's effecting your SG.

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Old 08-26-2014, 11:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernardsmith View Post
In an effort to better understand how flavors and color are affected by different base and other malts and yeasts and hops I am brewing very small batches (single gallons) while controlling every variable but one (eg the base malt or the yeast). I brewed one batch last night and while I only allowed a small vent in my kettle to be open I lost a huge percentage of the small volume of liquor during the boil. (I lost very little sugar (given the SG which rose from 1.035 to 1.060) but the volume remaining was far smaller than I had anticipated. In base malts such as 2-row or pale malt or marris otter is there much risk of retaining high levels of DMS if I keep a lid on my kettle tightly shut and my grain bill is about 2.5 - 3 lbs? Or do I need to allow the lid to vent the steam through about 1 inch to allow the DMS to be expelled with the steam?
You can do something similar without fermenting. Us a 1 quart mason jar and fill it with 95grams of crushed base malt and 5 grams of whatever specialty malt you want. Add hot water (~165) up to the ring just below the threads and then loosely put the top on. After an hour you have a wort of about 1.055 OG and you can sample the taste. The advantage is that you can run a lot of trials simultaneously...if you find one interesting, ramp it up and do a 1 gallon fermented batch.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helibrewer View Post
You can do something similar without fermenting. Us a 1 quart mason jar and fill it with 95grams of crushed base malt and 5 grams of whatever specialty malt you want. Add hot water (~165) up to the ring just below the threads and then loosely put the top on. After an hour you have a wort of about 1.055 OG and you can sample the taste. The advantage is that you can run a lot of trials simultaneously...if you find one interesting, ramp it up and do a 1 gallon fermented batch.
Great idea! Thanks helibrewer. I like your proportion - 5 percent specialty and 95 percent base grains but if 100 gms = about .20 of a lb and if mashing volumes is about 1.35 qts/lb isn't the volume of water rather large for the quantity of grains?
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:58 AM   #9
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Great idea! Thanks helibrewer. I like your proportion - 5 percent specialty and 95 percent base grains but if 100 gms = about .20 of a lb and if mashing volumes is about 1.35 qts/lb isn't the volume of water rather large for the quantity of grains?
Not at all, brewing industry uses about 3:1 (w/w) and that ratio is 2.8:1 (w/w), meaning Liters of Water:Kilograms of grain.
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Old 08-27-2014, 02:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helibrewer View Post
Not at all, brewing industry uses about 3:1 (w/w) and that ratio is 2.8:1 (w/w), meaning Liters of Water:Kilograms of grain.
Does that volume not include sparge volume?
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