HOMEBREW Digest #4855 Tue 27 September 2005

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  re: Efficiency Again (John Palmer)
  RE: Subject: Effficiency, again... (Steven Parfitt)
  Efficiency ("A.J deLange")
  Re: Efficiency, again... (Ricardo Cabeza)
  Re:  Effficiency, again... (stencil)
  Brewing efficeincy ("Dave Burley")
  Oxy Clean as a cleaner (Erik & Marina Nelson)
  2nd Announcement: MHTG 2005 Franco-Belgian Challenge Cup (Eric Schoville)
  Mike's low efficiency ("Peed, John")
  efficiency ("Jeff & Ellen")
  re: effficiency, again.... ("Chad Stevens")
  re: metal fusion orifices + efficiency (Nathaniel Lansing)
  Kegged Lager and Fusels ("Rowan Williams")
  Conical Fermenters (Eric Schoville)
  The flax seed for foam stabilization thing.... (Signalbox Brewery)
  Welding Stainless Kettles / False Bottom (homebrewdigest)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 25 Sep 2005 21:16:25 -0700 From: John Palmer <jjpalmer at altrionet.com> Subject: re: Efficiency Again Mike Erye asks what could be going wrong when they are getting 11 gallons of 1.050 wort from 24.5 lbs of grain. 11gal x 50pts / 24.5lbs =22.4 ppg The maximum you could get from a mash of 100% lager malt is about 80% soluble extract by weight, fine grind, dry-basis. Multiplying 80% by 46ppg reference standard for sucrose = 37 ppg maximum we could conceivably expect from our mash. Accounting for 4% moisture and some lower yielding specialty malts in the grainbill, we can bump that down to 36 ppg max. Mike got 22.4 and that equals an efficiency of 22.4/36 = 62%, which is a bit low depending on the method they are using. And that is the big question. What brewing methods are you using Mike? Grind your own malt? Store ground? Single temperature infusion mash? Mash temperature(s) and time? Lautering equipment? Sparging Method? Are you losing wort to the hops and trub during the boil that is not being accounted for in your numbers above? All of these are factors that can affect your yield. We need more data. ;-) Good Brewing, John John Palmer john at howtobrew.com www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer www.howtobrew.com - the free online book of homebrewing Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 05:47:02 -0700 (PDT) From: Steven Parfitt <thegimp98 at yahoo.com> Subject: RE: Subject: Effficiency, again... Michael Eyre Ponders the intircies of Efficency.... >Hey all... >Wanna talk about efficiency again. It's not me, >honest, it's my brewing partner! He's obsessed with >efficiency. He say "Mike, we should be at at >least 75% and I calculate we're only at 50% in >promash!" ....... SNIP... >We used 24.5 lbs of grain and came out with about 11 >gallons, post boil, of wort at 1.050 O.G. .....snip..... >And when he say "Mike, we should have had a mid 1.060 >beer for this IPA" I'm not sure I can disagree with >him much longer. >What do you all think? >Mike A lot dpeends on your system, and process. I generally get anywhere from 78 to 83% according to promash. (I used to get 5% higher efficency till I found my scale I was using to measure grain was off by 5% !!!) Things that effect efficency include: (1) Hitting your mash temperatures including mashout (very important). (2) Sparging hot enough (170F continuously) (3) Lauter tun design (no channeling) (4) Slow sparge, an hour and a half or prefereably two hours for 11 gallons of finished beer. (5) Take into account any wort left in the boiler after you chill and rack out the wort to the fermenter. You need to add this volume to your volume in your fermenter to get your true sparge efficency. Tow quarts left in the boiler with the hops changes your effeicency by almost 5% I find that I get nearly the same high efficency on either a 5 gallon gott or my half barrel system if I Pay attention to the above 4 items. What is your mash tun system? what kind of manifold/flase bottom/whatever. How long idid you sparge? What were your initial and final gravity coming out of the mashtun? Steven Steven, -75 XLCH- Ironhead Nano-Brewery http://thegimp.8k.com Johnson City, TN [422.7, 169.2] Rennerian "There is no such thing as gravity, the earth sucks." Wings Whiplash - 1968 Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 13:00:45 +0000 From: "A.J deLange" <ajdel at cox.net> Subject: Efficiency There are many ways to define efficiency and in doing comparisons one must be certain that both sets of numbers are defined in the same way. The sensible (IMO) way to define efficiency is the number of pounds of extract obtained from a pound of malt but one can get various values for this depending where in the process one measures the pounds of extract. The most optimistic number is likely to be obtained in the kettle, given that one has sparged adequately, before any other losses set in. After the boil one can leave extract behind in the kettle (the hops are soaked with it), in the wort chiller, in pumps and hoses. The least optimistic will probably be obtained if one bases the collected wort volume on the volume of beer finally packaged because of additional losses in racking, filtering or in the cone of the fermenter. One can, of course, compute efficiency at each stage as he goes with the hope of improving numbers with increased experience at each step. The ultimate goal is, after all, to obtain the maximum volume of beer of the desired richness from each brew. The kettle number is arguably the most valuable because it is this number that tells you that you have ground your grain properly, set mash tun pH properly, went to and held at the correct temperatures for the proper length of time and sparged properly i.e. it is a measure of how well you mashed. The rest of the chain is mostly a matter of minimizing losses. Back to the first point for a moment. In older homebrewing books there were extensive tables on the number of specific gravity points to be expected from a pound of various brewing materials. Many of those books define efficiency in terms of the number of points relative to that expected number. For example, 1 pound of sugar in 1 gallon should give about 48 points of extract where as some grain might be listed at 30. Thus if you use that grain and obtain 25 the efficiency would be reported as 83% when, by the definition above, it would be 25/48 = 52%. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 11:01:13 -0400 From: Ricardo Cabeza <expunged at gmail.com> Subject: Re: Efficiency, again... Mike - Here's a few possibilities: 1) You mention 'batch sparging' in your post. Are you batch sparging? If you are, you will have significant efficiency losses. 2) How fast are you sparging? Try to slow down your sparging process. 3) I would question your partner's calculations. When I do the math for 24.5 lbs. of grain and 11 gallons to the fermenter, a recipe of 75% base malt / 25% specialty malt, and an overall brewhouse efficiency of ~0.87, I get an OG of 1.054 - 1.055. 4) On the topic of calculations, are you using the DRY basis course grind extract potential for your grains or the AS-IS course grind extract potential? The as-is extract potential accounts for the fact that there is moisture in the grain. 5) If you're using a hydrometer, throw it out. Those things are never accurate. The most accurate way to measure original gravity is to us a volumetric flask and an accurate scale. 6) How much sparge water did you use? Remember, your efficiency depnds very much on the volume of sparge water you use and the sparging technique you employ (i.e. batch vs. traditional). Just a few thoughts. I recently struggled with this efficiency question and I ended up working it out for myself. Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 12:02:57 -0400 From: stencil <etcs.ret at verizon.net> Subject: Re: Effficiency, again... On Sun, 25 Sep 2005 23:45:17 -0400, in Homebrew Digest #4854 Michael Eyre wrote: >------------------------------ > my brewing >partner! He's obsessed with efficiency. He say "Mike, we should be at at >least 75% and I calculate we're only at 50% in promash!" > [ ... ] > We used 24.5 lbs of grain and came out >with about 11 gallons, post boil, of wort at 1.050 O.G. 24.5 pounds of grain would give me, and should give you, 11gallons of post-boil wort at SG 1068 - 1075. > [ ... ] but my partner insists we're missing out. >And when he say "Mike, we should have had a mid 1.060 beer for this IPA" >What do you all think? He's right, there's a problem. I wouldn't get too obsessive about efficiency in terms tighter than 5-10 percentage points, since you never will know your theoretical yields accurately enough - even if you have the numbers for *your* grain, the tests were made months ago, and the malt has endured numereous insults since then - but you should get around 30 point-gallons per pound of base malt, or better. Note too that your own measurements - "around 11 gallons" - will introduce significant errors, that will not be compensated by increasing the precision of other measurements. Over time I've raised my yield from from the high 20's to a consistent 30-31, with an occasional 33-34 point-gallons per pound. Among the changes: - Two-pass milling, first at a nip of around .065" (AWG12 wire,) the second at .035 (AWG14.) This seems to permit finer grist while keeping more husk intact. -Overnight steeping. I calculate for a loose mash, 2qt per pound of grain, and dough-in with one third the cold liquor the night before brew day. Summer, the mash tun goes in the chill box; winter, it just sits on the cellar floor. Brewday morning it's usually around 55F. -Acid rest and pH adjustment. A second third of the liquor is infused to take the mash to 100F, and it sits there long enough let me bring down the pH, usually with CaCl2. The third infusion and further direct heating take it to whatever steps are called for in the recipe. This does not make for a short brew session, but then, the topic is yield (or efficiency thereof.) stencil sends Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 12:43:52 -0400 From: "Dave Burley" <Dave_Burley at charter.net> Subject: Brewing efficeincy Brewsters: Mike says he has been discussing efficiency with his partner and his partner insists they should be making a mid 1.060 SG with 24 pounds of malt in 10 gals. I agree and suggest you try my way of milling. Check the archives for more details or close the roller mill nip completely , turn the mill on ( or start cranking) and slowly open the nip until you get a good feed of grain. This will crack the grain into about 6 pieces without damaging the husk. Then repeat this process and you will get finer crushing without a lot of flour or harming the husk. Do this, and I guarantee your efficiency will certainly exceed 75%. Keep on Brewin' Dave Burley Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 09:48:47 -0700 (PDT) From: Erik & Marina Nelson <erik_marina at yahoo.com> Subject: Oxy Clean as a cleaner I want to know if anyone has used it as a cleaner for like brew kettles, mash tuns, etc. I know it is a excellent cleaner but I heard there might be soap in it so I want to know first. It is a lot cheaper than buying PBW, or is there another very good and effect no scrub cleaner Erik Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 13:26:24 -0500 From: Eric Schoville <eric at schoville.com> Subject: 2nd Announcement: MHTG 2005 Franco-Belgian Challenge Cup I guess our PDF was out of date, but now it has been updated! The Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild are pleased to announce the 2005 Franco-Belgian Challenge Cup. The contest is an attempt to encourage the homebrewing of French- and Belgian-style beers. As such, only French- and Belgian-style beers (BJCP Categorys 16-18) will be judged. The competition is sanctioned by the AHA and BJCP. AHA/BJCP 2004 Style Guidelines will be used. The contest will be held on 11/5/05. Additional information is available at our website: http://www.mhtg.org/contests/MHTG%20Contests.html Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 11:48:09 -0700 From: "Peed, John" <jpeed at elotouch.com> Subject: Mike's low efficiency Mike, I make your efficiency at 59% using high quality pale malt (1.038 pppg). On my system I would get 11 gallons in the mid to high 1.060's. I would take about an hour to sparge twelve and a quarter gallons of wort, then boil off one and a quarter to end up at eleven gallons; are you sparging too fast? You are sparging, aren't you? The efficiency of no-sparge brews would come out that low, or lower. What kind of setup are you using? I got lower affiance with a false bottom than I get with a slotted pipe manifold, but the false bottom's efficiency still was in the high sixties. The slotted pipe efficiency is 77% to 80%, but it's got all the pipes and slots that I can pack into it. Rather than use tees to join the pipes, I drilled holes in larger diameter end pipes and plugged the longitudinal pipes in directly. Tees make the spacing too wide and you can't get as many pipes in. The more slots in the pipes, the better, and the more pipes, the better. The holes in the round false bottom that I used to use were perfectly sized for trapping chunks of grain. That led to stuck mashes and, because of all the plugged holes, low efficiency. I paid a lot of money for stuck mashes and low efficiency (round coolers are really expensive). Standard rectangular coolers are dirt cheap and work great when coupled with a slotted manifold. The manifold is dirt cheap too, but it does take some work. In order to get the kind of slot density that you really want, you need a band saw. Or a hacksaw, extreme patience and nothing better to do on many long winter evenings. I assume that you've checked the grind. One way to get a good grind is to set the mill tighter and tighter each batch you grind, until you get a stuck mash; then back the mill off to the previous setting. Of course, that's a lot like saying, "tighten the bolt until it breaks, then back off a quarter turn" ... John Peed Oak Ridge, TN Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 20:57:16 -0400 From: "Jeff & Ellen" <JeffNGladish at ij.net> Subject: efficiency Mike Eyre wants to know if his mash is really inefficient when 24.5 pounds of grain net 11 gallons of 1.050 wort. I'd say yes it is. In my system I can usually expect to get 10 gallons of 1.052 wort from about 18 pounds of grain. This is a significant difference. Some common reasons for low efficiency are 1) improper/insufficient grinding of the grains and 2) sparging too quickly. Another reason is high pH. Try adding three or four ounces of acidulated malt to your next mash and see if that helps. On the other hand you may not have anything to really worry about. Efficiency is more about cheaper product and you and I as homebrewers are more into better product. Your system may be making great beer in spite of the efficiency. Jeff Gladish, Tampa Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 19:07:36 -0700 From: "Chad Stevens" <zuvaruvi at cox.net> Subject: re: effficiency, again.... According to the spreadsheet Gregg Lorton gave me, and that has always been dead on...: Assuming 24.5 pounds of Briess 2 Row and 16.77 gallons water, I'd end up with 11 gallons of 1.050 OG wort at 66 percent efficiency, or at 1.063 OG with 83 percent efficiency (about what I've been running lately). Long story short, I think you're in the ballpark; what you may be experiencing is channeling. My efficiency runs in the mid to upper 60's when I fly sparge, low to mid 80's when I batch sparge. Next time, let your first runnings run dry, then just dump your sparge water in, mix up the grain bed, let it sit for 10 minutes or so, recirculate till it runs clear again, then run dry or until you've collected the desired quantity. You should note a marked improvement in your efficiency. Let me know how it works out, Chad Stevens QUAFF San Diego P.S. If you aren't brewing, you're going to miss out...America's Finest City Homebrew Competition February 17-18th and First Round Nationals in April! Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 22:15:53 -0400 From: Nathaniel Lansing <delbrew at compuserve.com> Subject: re: metal fusion orifices + efficiency re:orifices Did you keep the original orifice size written down or in memory? Do you know the BTU rating of the burner? check out http://grillparts.com/howto/btu_guide.htm for the appropriate drill size. or http://www.propane.ca/Resources/page15.asp You can silver solder the orifice closed and redrill it. Keep the output face of the orifice (toward the flame) nice and smooth/flush when you solder it, and drill from the inside. re: efficiency, I'm coming up with 64% with the numbers you are giving us. Not that terrible really. Are you taking about 35 or 40 minutes to fly sparge? Are you testing the grains with iodine for complete conversion? Return to table of contents
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 22:26:09 -0700 From: "Rowan Williams" <rowan at canberrabrewers.org> Subject: Kegged Lager and Fusels Hello all, I've finally built my kegging system and my first keg was a Bohemian Pils. Unfortunately I had to keg the beer about a week before the gas bottle arrived so it spent a week conditioning at room temps (17C/63F) with some air in the headspace of the keg before being gassed up and refrigerated at 2C/36F. I did note headspace pressure when I gassed the keg so it must have done a bit more fermenting whilst waiting for the gas to arrive. Of more concern is the solvent/fusel presence in the lager. I brewed with an active dry yeast (S189) lager slurry from the previous pils and that batch tasted fine - so I don't think underpitching is an issue. The main problem was the relatively warm ferment at 17C/63F despite the fact that it did attenuate well (1.058 down to 1.009 from memory). Is this warm primary temp the main cause of fusels in the beer? The pils is still quite drinkable, but it does cause headaches the next morning, even after only modest drinking sessions. Will the refrigerated keg lose the fusel notes over time or should I revise my brewing routine and ferment as well as serve in the fridge? Cheers, Rowan Williams Canberra Brewers Club [9588.6, 261.5] AR (statute miles) Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 09:25:43 -0500 From: Eric Schoville <eric at schoville.com> Subject: Conical Fermenters Several people in my beer club are thinking about making some conical fermenters with hoppers from Toledo Metal Spinning, and we've come up with a list of questions that we hope you might be able to help us with. 1) Should we go with the 12.2 or 14.7 gallon hopper? Larger? 2) Does the 12.2 gallon have enough space to ferment a 10 gallon batch, and does the 14.7 gallon have enough room to ferment a 12 gallon batch? 3) Is it necessary to have 2 ports? In other words is the racking port necessary, or can you just drain all of the yeast off the bottom valve and then rack using the bottom valve? 4) Is a 1/2" valve on the bottom sufficient? Does it ever clog with yeast? Would it be better to have a 3/4", and does anyone know if 3/4" would fit on the 12.2 or 14.7 gallon sizes? 5) Do people recommend a welded union on the bottom or some type of Weld-B-Gone fitting? If Weld-B-Gone is recommended, does anyone have recommendations or sources? Thanks! Eric Schoville Middleton, WI http://www.schoville.com/brewing.php Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 16:46:25 +0100 From: Signalbox Brewery <signalbox.brewery at ntlworld.com> Subject: The flax seed for foam stabilization thing.... Chad says: >I'm avoiding the oil by not grinding the grain, rather I'm boiling the whole flax for the mucilaginous coating which is largely arabinozylose (pentose sugars) which are used for foam stabilization in firefighting foams. I've tried this various ways, and it appears boiled and added to the mash at saccharification is the best regimen. I keep having the problem of too persistent a foam though, if you can believe that. I get to near the bottom of my glass of beer and have these little rocks of Gibraltar floating in my glass. I want a nice smooth persistent head...still working on it. - ----- Well that was most opportune. I was investigating Maclays Oatmalt Stout (the nineteenth-century patent version, not the Almanac version mentioned by Jeff Renner) and discovered from James McCrorie there are two ingredients in the patent that are not in the Durden Park book; 2.3g/UKgal liquorice and 6.3g/UKgal linseed which I think is the same as flax seed. He was not convinced that the linseed served any purpose, but it looks as if there might be. The patent states that the linseed should be ground; perhaps I'll try both ways. I was drinking Guinness in Dublin at the weekend lamenting that it wasn't as good as 10 out of 11 home brews at a recent tasting, but wondered what caused the foamy islands in an empty glass. My son says mixed gas but who knows, maybe linseed. By "adding at saccharification" do you mean "adding when the temperature is raised to 60-somethingC / 150-something F? Do malted oats require the same beta glucanase rest as porage ones at these proportions (70% of the grist in the patent!) David Edge, Derby Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 21:41:18 -0400 From: <homebrewdigest at myxware.com> Subject: Welding Stainless Kettles / False Bottom Brewers, I am currently in the planning phase for a new mash/lauter tun. I thoroughly enjoy working with metal and I have access to a fairly well equipped metal working shop. My skills on the TIG are decent but I could most likely ask a pro welder to help me with a few things if I deemed it necessary. My primary concerns with this project are the effectiveness of the end result, reliability, and cost. I am working with a tight budget so I would prefer to keep the cost as low as possible. I would like the mash/lauter tun to be made of stainless, have an outlet valve, a false bottom with a stainless screen under it, an automatic stirring system, temperature probe(s), a sparge arm that is triggered by a float valve, and have the entire mash/lauter tun insulated while being able to directly apply heat. I am aware that this plan is ambitious, but I am going to start out with a few things and then build on. I also want minimize non-stainless materials that will come in contact with the mash. If anyone has any good information about any of these topics I would appreciate hearing it. As far as this post goes I am going to focus on the most current and pressing issues for this project. I do not have a kettle I am going to use yet. I am looking at purchasing a 30-36 quart kettle for around $50 or so. In my experience these are generally 23 gauge; quite thin. Some have 3/8 NPT nipples welded on, but I doubt that I can rely on the seller's measurements if I don't know for sure. This is one of the reasons I am leaning towards purchasing a kettle with no fittings welded on and making a custom one myself. How difficult does any person with welding experience think it would be to weld a piece of stainless (SS) tubing through the kettle? The SS tubing would have threads on each end so a ball valve could be attached on the exterior part and a filter screen of some sort attached on the inner part. I also have concerns about the effects of heat from TIG welding on the 23 gauge SS and making sanitary welds. This is one of the two primary concerns I have at this point. The other concern is about the false bottom. I want to purchase or otherwise obtain some perforated SS sheet metal. I will cut this into a circle to fit the kettle I purchase. I brew primarily with 2 row malts. What hole size and on what centers do most people recommend for this type of malt? I double crush on a two roller mill at spacing of 0.045 inches (I don't know if this information is useful to anyone). During my research I have come across many alternatives. A concern that I have is about creating a tight seal between the edge of the false bottom and the inner perimeter. I also do not want to scratch the walls of the kettle with the sharp edges of the perforated sheet metal. Keeping in mine that I would like to use SS where possible instead of other materials, I was thinking that I could take a small diameter SS tube cut a slit in it lengthwise and wrap it around the perimeter of the false bottom. I was hoping that this would minimize the scratching of the inner walls of the kettle and create a tight seal during lautering. Alternatively I could take a piece of SS sheet metal and bend it into a sharp and tight "U" shape and again attach it around the perimeter of the false bottom. One problem that I see with both of these ideas is that grain particles will get stuck in between the perforations and the "perimeter piece" on the false bottom. What does everyone think about this? I have seen the dome-shaped false bottoms but the reason I want to stay away from these is because I want to be able to heat the mash/lauter tun during the mash and I am concerned about scorching the grain if it is touching the bottom of the kettle. I may be wrong but if the false bottom is in place to hold back most of the grain and there is sufficient stirring the grain will not scorch. For this same reason I do not want to use strictly SS screen tubing (which I currently use in a different mash/lauter tun). These are the ideas that are running through my head. I'm excited to get into this project, but do not want to rush it. Any thoughts, ideas, criticisms, questions, comments, and the like are greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone. Best regards, Michael (I hope you're drinking a beer as you read this) Return to table of contents
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