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Old 08-10-2013, 09:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mordhaus View Post
Another thing I took notice of when brewing my PTE clone kit from Austin Homebrew Supply is that they listed a final volume of 5.25 gallons. Then when I was using Mr. Malty to calculate my starter, their program defaults to 5.25 gallons.

Any thoughts on this? Should we be targeting a final volume of 5 or 5.25 gallons as rule of thumb or leave it up to recipe specifics?

I will say after tasting the PTE clone the other day while taking final gravity, I will definitely do some things differently from here on out.

1. Put that Stirstarter to use and make starters for every beer, big or not.

2. Like mentioned above, steep small and brew big. Fermcap S allowed me to control a 6 gallon starting boil and the tons of hop additions for the PTE.

3. Late extract addition. The Pliny called for 8lbs of LME. I added only 3lbs at the beginning of the boil and added the rest at 10 minutes before the end of the boil.

There's more, but I want to see this thread build in to an excellent tool through discussion and don't want to clutter up each post with too much information.
Everything you stated is spot on ! It's all of those process that make a huge difference . When you read the basic directions on making a extract beer. Or even watch a video it's very basic slap it together and done. But when we take a professional approach to our methods we make award winning beer.

I think the reason to the extra final volume of wort is due to the dry hopping. Dry hopping will absorb a lot of wort/beer. When I know I will be dry hopping I do the same as in adding more to the final volume .

The trick to not diluting your OG is use of a refractometer . This is why I always have extra light DME on hand during brew day. I can always add in small amounts to bring up the OG without changing the style of the beer.


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Old 08-10-2013, 10:24 PM   #12
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I think the reason to the extra final volume of wort is due to the dry hopping. Dry hopping will absorb a lot of wort/beer. When I know I will be dry hopping I do the same as in adding more to the final volume.
Ah, makes sense.

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The trick to not diluting your OG is use of a refractometer . This is why I always have extra light DME on hand during brew day. I can always add in small amounts to bring up the OG without changing the style of the beer.
I did not know this. So let's say you've got your pale ale at 5 gallons and you take a reading before pitching. You should be at a 1.054 and you come in at 1.050. What would be the procedure and measurement of DME to get where you need to be? 10 grams at a time, 20?

(Now I see why having a refractometer for O.G. readings can be very handy. You only need a drop instead of enough of a sample to float the hydrometer)


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Old 08-10-2013, 10:42 PM   #13
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Wow, what a refreshing thread. First, I have to admit that I all grain most of the time. At least 95%. That said, I am always on the lookout for sales or kits on sale that are extract or sales (like Morebeers 15% off everything) so I can buy an extract kit. I loved doing extract. So fast and admittedly so dam good with today's fresh extract. I'm a cheapo so I tend to all grain to save money becuase I brew an awful lot. I wish I could find better deals on DME bulk or had access to enough extract kits at a good price so I could brew extract more.
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:50 PM   #14
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Ah, makes sense.



I did not know this. So let's say you've got your pale ale at 5 gallons and you take a reading before pitching. You should be at a 1.054 and you come in at 1.050. What would be the procedure and measurement of DME to get where you need to be? 10 grams at a time, 20?

(Now I see why having a refractometer for O.G. readings can be very handy. You only need a drop instead of enough of a sample to float the hydrometer)
Your starting to understand. I use both a hydrometer and refractometer . Refractometer during the boil. Hydrometer for FG after fermentation .

When using a refractometer during the boil. You don't need to cool down the wort like you do with a hydrometer . I just take my spoon and pour a little on the glass. Mine has both Brix as well as OG scale. $50 is a bit steep but if a brewer searches around they can be had for half that.

I mix in a half cup at a time checking between. As you get used to it it can be done by feel. Using too much will dry out the beer. Adding maltodextrin and/or lactose will add back body and mouth feel. I've never went to far to have to do that. The most I've been off is about 2 points and that's rare.
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:03 PM   #15
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Wow, what a refreshing thread. First, I have to admit that I all grain most of the time. At least 95%. That said, I am always on the lookout for sales or kits on sale that are extract or sales (like Morebeers 15% off everything) so I can buy an extract kit. I loved doing extract. So fast and admittedly so dam good with today's fresh extract. I'm a cheapo so I tend to all grain to save money becuase I brew an awful lot. I wish I could find better deals on DME bulk or had access to enough extract kits at a good price so I could brew extract more.
I wanted to get it out there that there are brewers out there who do really well with extract.

You do know Morebeer has 10 beers under 50 cents a beer
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:18 PM   #16
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Refractometer during the boil. Makes perfect sense. I see great deals on these all the time on Homebrew Finds. Time to get one in hand.
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Old 08-11-2013, 03:18 AM   #17
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The term "the jump to all grain" always reminds me of Star Wars! It's not space travel or rocket science, it's just a more from scratch approach to brewing. I'm not an extract brewer, or an all-grain brewer, I'm just a brewer. I use different techniques to get the job done. Hurting for time and thirsting for a Bavarian Hef? Extract here I come! Read an awesome recipe in Zymurgy? I'm following it as closely as I can with all-grain so I can really nail it. Cranking out a big barley wine that maxes out my mash tun? Now I've got the tools to use both techniques so my brewing has no boundaries. My point with this rant? No one will ever settle any debate over extract vs all-grain. There are pros and cons to each, and both can produce great beer. A brewer need not decide whether to stick with one method of brewing; rather he should learn many methods and use what makes sense on a brew by brew basis. Why constrain yourself in the unlimited world of home brewing?

Ps- kudos to the OP for pointing out you can strive for excellence when brewing with extract.
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Old 08-11-2013, 03:36 AM   #18
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Demus, I hear you ! Mind you I live and brew in the Bronx NYC. My man/brew cave is 8x12. I do not have a basement nor a garage. Other hobbies include fishing "both salt water and fresh", golf, and playing guitar. All along with brewing. I brew,ferment and keg+bottle in this 8x12 space. I have 2 5 gal corny kegs and 1 2.5gal keg along with 3 fermenters.

My point is I don't have the room for a HLT,mash tun and boil kettle. In order to make all grain cheaper I would have to buy base malt in bulk. Where am I going to put a couple hundred pounds of base malt lol ?

We make do with what we got. Doesn't mean one way is better than the other. I have done BiAB by the way. Im really glad we have kept this thread free from debate.

There is so much I want to share its hard to try and put it in one thread.
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Old 08-11-2013, 04:00 AM   #19
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Love the thread. I'm in the same boat as you. I have done all types of brewing. All grain at my friends cause I don't have the room. I find extract with steeping grains and biab tastes just as good as doing all grain mostly stick to extract with steeping because of time. The only thing I have a hard time with is getting my final gravity levels to finish higher with extract rather than all grain which is easier Perhaps you know a good method of doing this. I've tried cutting my yeast amounts in half and adding more boiled extract to conk the yeast out to name a couple. Good thread keep it going.
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Old 08-11-2013, 04:01 AM   #20
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How about some setup pics ? This is my brew bench. The kettle I put together. I went with a 3 piece valve and cam lock. I did this as transferring to the primary wouldn't involve me trying to dump a 5 gal pot of wort . I silver soldered a 1.5 tri cover fitting in the side to accept a element. Specs are ULWD 2000w 120v SS element . That plugs into a junction box with a on off switch and a GFI outlet. The beauty of this is as you can see. I can cap off the fitting and use the kettle on a gas burner or stove.

I also use a small hot plate to heat water for sparging, heating extract and heating water for rehydration.






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