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Old 02-13-2010, 05:39 PM   #381
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What volume were you at for "full boil"? You will boil off at least a gallon per hour, even with a very light boil. I generally boil off 1.5 gallons or more and top off if needed.

Hydrometers are usually calibrated to 60F, so you will want to account for that when taking a reading and try to cool as much as possible. I use a 1 L mug with ice to cool my hydometer samples. It's the perfect size:



I wouldn't worry about sediment in the sample. It shouldn't affect the reading. But I would let it settle (then check again if you'd like) before tasting

There are a few ways to reduce the amount of trub.

1. You can whirlpool and siphon from the side of the tank (whirlpooling forces the liquid out to the sides of the pot and causes most of the trub to stay to the center.)

2. You can buy a boiling pot with a spigot and false bottom. This is what I usually do. In fact, the final boiling pot I had that was still for pouring is getting welded for a spigot and false bottom this week.

3. You can filter by pouring through a bag or siphoning through a bag. You could also add an in-line filter if you are using a spigot.

This method will give you MORE stuff from the mash...a lot more can get through the bag than can get through a spigot and line, especially when you vorlauf, so there is that to take into consideration. It's never had a negative effect on my beer, tho, so I don't let it concern me.

Glad everything went well! Let me know if you have any more questions.


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Old 02-16-2010, 01:26 AM   #382
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Deathbrewer, how do you clean your nylon bag in the long term? I mean I rinse it after usage and let it dry and get all the grain out, but after 5 or 6 uses, it is a little stained from the grains. Is the short term cleaning enough? I imagine after a long time I would want to clean it more thoroughly. I figure the washing machine is out because of the detergent. Dishwasher?


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Old 02-16-2010, 04:24 AM   #383
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I don't worry about it so much. Once in a while I'll soak them in sodium percarbonate (or PBW) but I generally just let them dry and then knock the dust off. A little stained nylon never hurt anyone
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:28 AM   #384
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After there was still stuff left in the one I used for berries in wine I threw it in the dishwasher. Never really thought about cleaning it beyond that. I am a big lover of oxiclean, a long soak in that and everything would likely be gone... (I will have a separate grain bag from my fruit bag)
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:44 PM   #385
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I kept the burner on while I mashed. It didn't burn the bag. However, I do keep it on low, and only keep the pot on the corner of the burner.

I'm still a noob at this. My hydrometer broke halfway through my first time due to some clumsiness on my part. But my beer came out plenty alcoholic.

I straddled the pot between two electric burners, stirred often, and constantly made adjustments to the temp to keep it exactly right. Using two burners, I felt like I had a lot of control over the temp.
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:21 PM   #386
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rexbanner View Post
I kept the burner on while I mashed. It didn't burn the bag. However, I do keep it on low, and only keep the pot on the corner of the burner.
Where were you taking the temperature? I take mine on the top, but I don't have the burner on. You are probably getting a hotter wort on the bottom compared to the top. Also, remember, there are grains resting on the bottom of that pot, which is much hotter than the wort is inside of it. I'm sure the beer will come out fine, but if you are trying to get certain characteristics out of your mash, you might end up mashing part of it a little higher.

I bet you wont even notice it though for a regular beer. Maybe in a pilsner or belgain ale. It's good to know the bag doesn't melt though.
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:55 PM   #387
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Flame burners work better than electric, but I still wouldn't correct or maintain heat with direct heat. It may work well with your setup, rex, but I've known too many people (myself included) that have crazy fluctuations when trying to deal with it.

Even when I use a big mash tun and use direct heat to mash out, it has to constantly be stirred and checked and it will never read completely consistently.

The best way is still to hit your mash temp and then insulate well. Minimizing head space (covering and using a pot that fits the volume with little head space) also helps.
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:11 AM   #388
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Where were you taking the temperature? I take mine on the top, but I don't have the burner on. You are probably getting a hotter wort on the bottom compared to the top. Also, remember, there are grains resting on the bottom of that pot, which is much hotter than the wort is inside of it. I'm sure the beer will come out fine, but if you are trying to get certain characteristics out of your mash, you might end up mashing part of it a little higher.

I bet you wont even notice it though for a regular beer. Maybe in a pilsner or belgain ale. It's good to know the bag doesn't melt though.
Word. I stirred it a LOT, and took temp readings from all over just to be safe. And you're definitely right. It takes a lot of attention, and frankly is a bitch to do.

But, if it's necessary to do it, just know that it won't do anything seriously bad.
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:45 AM   #389
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First off let me say Thank You for the well laid out tutorials of both the partial mash and all grain. I read the entire partial mash first and then the all grain, after that I felt confident enough to do my first brew using all grain.

I used Biermunchers Blue Moon Clone. Everything for the most part seemed to go fine. I was 2 low on both my mash and sparge temp, but for a first timer I'm plenty pleased with that. Since my sparge temp was a little lower I let it go for 15 minutes instead of 10. After that, to my surprise, my stove then gave me enough power to do a full boil in one pot. So far everything is looking great.

Cold break took longer than I was hoping (45-60 min) due to having a very shallow kitchen sink. When the temp was down to 80 I pulled a sample to test my OG. It was 1.054 and I was looking for 1.038. After filling the carboy I was well short of my intended liquid as well. I topped up with water to my desired level and re measured my gravity, it was 1.044. I forget to whirlpool my wort to send any trub to the bottom. The sample I measured was very heavy in suspended sediment.

I'm think I know where I made some mistakes but just making sure. Should I have let my test sample sit before taking the OG. If so, how much of an effect can particulate matter have on my gravity readings? Secondly, any thoughts onto why I would have been close to a half gallon low on my final amount of liquid and what can be done to reduce the amount of trub?

I'm not too concerned as it is fermenting away very nicely. I'll be able to get some efficiency numbers when I get back home tomorrow. Just looking for ways to improve my techique.
The suspended liquid definitely affects your OG readings A LOT. I was waiting for the sample to cool and settle when my hydrometer broke, but preliminary reading was 1.060, far greater than my cream ale should have been.

But it cleared very nicely. Without any irish moss or any other fining agents. Which leads me to believe a night or two in the fridge would have been fine to get an accurate reading.
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Old 02-17-2010, 04:04 AM   #390
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I tried this method for the first time tonight. I had my temp a bit to high and burned my nylon bag.....uggghhhhhhh


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